The Easiest Way to do Fleece bedding!
Fleece Bedding,  Pets

The Easiest Way To Do Fleece Bedding

This is the easiest way to do fleece bedding for guinea pigs, rabbits, and other small animals. Over the years I’ve done all kinds of different things for bedding in my habitats. Yes, I call them habitats. I have indoor ones, outdoor ones, I don’t call them cages. I try and keep them as open and free as possible for all of my pets because they’re part of my family. Their habitat is to keep them safe just like my house keeps me safe. It’s not there to trap them like a jail, or at least that’s what we try and avoid!

Fleece bedding can be a daunting task. It needs regular cleaning and can be tough to organize and create if you don’t know the steps! I’ll be posting the more difficult fleece bedding pads that I make in the near future but for now I want to show you the easy way to do fleece bedding!

This might be a sort of cheat and keep in mind that it won’t work for everyone. If you have burrowers this will likely drive you mad.

You will need to do the fleece pads if you are dealing with diggers. Thankfully most of my piggies do not root their bedding around or pull up their pads so this seems to work really well for me!

Tips and Tricks for making Fleece Bedding Easy and Quick for Guinea Pig Cages

First thing you need to do is clean out your habitat. I take everything out, wash it well with a vinegar solution to make sure it’s sanitary, and then I wipe down the base or liner.

I use MidWest Cages because I’ve gotten really good deals on them and they’re cheaper than making a C&C Cage. If you are using a homemade C&C Cage this will likely still work for you as they are VERY similar!

Next thing you do is EASY (like most of these steps) place down your absorbent lower layer. I used an old towel as you can see. I never throw towels away. Once every year or so my mom buys me new towels for my bathrooms as a gift, usually on Christmas, after that I cycle all my other towels out to the animal room!

Note that I used just one towel. You can use more layers if you typically end up with a more moist cage. My piggies eat a diet that is mostly veggies and hay.

They rarely eat pellets because they can cause more harm than anything. I’ve found that this generally means they’re drinking a whole lot less. They don’t need to flush all that extra calcium out of their system and I usually don’t have a problem with moisture.

That being said, don’t be afraid to put down two layers. Moving blankets work really well as absorbent lower layers but they don’t wash well for me so I stopped investing in them. Use what works best for you!

Next, grab a fleece throw . It was just a super great shopping weekend so I picked up a bunch of fleece throws for gifts and just to have on hand for in the car, etc.

I realized after some research that these throws are made from exactly the same set up and materials as regular fleece for projects. I essentially realized that I’ve been over-spending for fleece for the last three years!

These fleece throws are new, I’ve not washed them. If you like to pretreat your bedding you can wash them a few times on warm, dry on low with no dryer sheets.

The dryer sheets should always be avoided for fleece bedding because it creates a layer that resists moisture absorption.

Fold this blanket in half and tuck in on top of your absorbent layers! It’s as simple as that…really. Next you can see that I lay in some extra fleece pads under their eating area and their hideaways.

This is usually a heavily soiled area and I change these pads out after about three days. You can use towels or smaller pieces of fleece for this or you can check out my upcoming post to see how to make these great fleece pads for yourself!

The benefits of fleece are vast. I’ve never had any of my pigs get rashes or skin problems with fleece. They don’t end up with chips stuck in their feet or in their genital areas. It’s much more sanitary for me.

It’s a bit more work because I have to wash the fleece pads and layers each week but in the long run it’s much more economical. I don’t spend on bedding and I have never had to replace the bases of any of my habitats.

With paper or chipped wood bedding the bases and liners can get built up and gross after awhile. You can see in the photos that the bases of my habitats are still like new! It really can save you quite a bit of money if you are willing to put in the work.

With this super easy method you’ll be amazed at how easy fleece bedding can be!

Here are my top tips and answers to popular questions about fleece bedding. It's easier than you think to clean fleece bedding. Use these tips for cleaning fleece bedding to get you started!

Learn More About Cleaning Fleece Bedding!

Here’s a post that I’ve put together on how to clean your fleece bedding. It’s a whole new world when it comes to fleece bedding so we have to know how to keep it clean and tidy for our furry friends.

Do you use fleece bedding in your habitats? Do you have questions about how to make this process work for you? Feel free to comment with any questions or insights!
Here you can see the types of blankets I’ve picked up to use in the cages. The sizes are a little different but they should both work well!

Hi! I'm Meagen. I'm a pet fanatic, dog mom, rabbit mom, duck mom, okay you get it. I'm doing a little bit of everything over here! My world is always better when there's something furry leaving hair on all my black pants!


  • Dana

    Thank you for your post! Some really great advice… I bought some fleece pillow cases when I saw them on sale…they were 100 % polyester… so I thought that might work well. I just got my kids 2 baby guinea pigs and we are trying to figure it all out. They are so adorable! I appreciate the advice.

  • Vanessa

    Really good idea, besides sanity is way more pretty. But I have a problema with these, my Guinea pig is super fluffly and her hairs get stuck in the fleece, even when washed in machine.

    • meagenbrosius

      You can use a lint roller to help remove the hair before it goes in the washer. I’ve also had great luck using a bristle brush to give them a bit of a brushing before they go into the laundry! Our long haired piggies used to have this issue as well 🙂

    • meagenbrosius

      Hi Catherine, Sorry I’m just seeing your comment. Some things do stick but something that can’t be brushed off. We use a dust pan and brush before giving a good shake and then they go into the washer. We do a bit of light clean up twice a week and then change the pads every 5-7 days.

  • Tammy

    I use fleece and my main issue is the hair! My long-haired male, Ruger, sheds on the fleece. It is next to impossible to sweep or shake off the hair. When I wash the fleece my washer and dryer are coated. I have to then run an empty load to rinse it all out. I worry about clogging the lines. Any ideas?

    • meagenbrosius

      Hi Tammy! I’m sorry to hear you are struggling. We use a dust pan and brush twice per week to give the cage a good sweeping and then if I still notice a lot of extra hair during the shedding sessions I’ll hang them out on the line and allow them to dry and then I’ll just brush them again, give a good shake, and then into the washer. A lint roller might work well after they hang out and dry it’s easier to remove the hair.

  • Aimee

    I’m looking into getting a guinea pig and i’m doing as much research as possible to make sure i can take care of it properly. I am wondering how the cleaning works? Do you replace the towel & fleece more often than you would with chip bedding? Can you use fleece bedding if you potty train your guinea pig to use a litter pan? Want to make sure i choose what will be best for both me and the guinea pig. Thanks

    • meagenbrosius

      HI Aimee, Sorry I’m just seeing your comment.
      We do a little more cleaning than with chip bedding but it’s so much more comfortable for the piggies that I don’t mind. Guinea pigs are not quite as easy as rabbits to litter train but it can be done. And yes, you could still use the fleece bedding you would just put it under whatever you are using as a litter pan area.

      In the long run it’s a bit more work but it’s more cost effective and comfortable for the piggies!

    • meagenbrosius

      Hi Hailey! Good question. No. They don’t make the washer or the dryer smell at all. I am pretty proactive about cleaning and disinfecting my washer on a regular basis to begin with but I make sure most if not all the debris is off the pads and blankets before they go into the washer.

      If you are worried about putting the pads and blankets into the washer while they are so smelly or dirty you could do a couple of things. Change the pads more frequently. Or especially when it is very nice outside you can hang them out on the line and give them a rinse with the hose before you run them through the washer / dryer!

      Good luck and please let me know if I can help any further!

    • meagenbrosius

      Hi Tunisia,

      We use regular laundry soap and occasionally vinegar if I notice that they are not smelling so great but usually just laundry soap on a hot cycle does the trick.

      I do use vinegar to clean and disinfect the cages after I remove the soiled bedding!

      Remember never to use fabric softener or a detergent with softener included. This will make the fleece less absorbent and means that the urine will not be wicked away from the surface as quickly as it should!!

      • Teri Hill Ramsperger

        I came across this and thought I could share some of my experiences with fleece.
        After I sweep the hay and poop off, give it a good shake, then I use a lint roller on it before it goes in the wash. It doesn’t get all the hair, but it is a HUGE game changer for me in the wash machine. Cleaning all that hair out of the washer is never fun!
        I use only vinegar to wash my bedding on the sanitize cycle, but I have one guinea pig sensitive to laundry detergent. They do not have an odor, but I do clean the cage/change pee pads daily and change bedding once a week. I hope this is useful to one of you! Good luck with your guinea pigs!

  • Sienna

    Hi , do you ever have issues with them chewing up the blankets ? My pigs will chew anything they get their paws on lol

    • meagenbrosius

      We never had piggies that would chew on their cage bedding. To help with that I’d make sure they have plenty of things to chew on, changing the fleece up frequently will help with that as well!

  • Mary Ellen Silver

    My guinea pig loves to popcorn around her cage so fast, it’s amazing. I think the fleece would be all wrinkled and pulled away from the sides of the cage unless they were held down some way. I thought of making fleece flippers so the fleece would withstand her racing around her cage and stay smooth and flat. What would you do if you were me?

    • meagenbrosius

      When we are using this method with the racers (we have a few that get a little crazy too) we use a brick or a heavy book in each corner and just simply wrap the fleece around the back. It keeps the fleece in place but it’s also possible to stitch a velcro square to the corners and stick the opposite side on the cage sides!!

  • LeeAnn

    Thank you so much for this post, I was hoping there was a different bedding method than chips. It is so messy. We just got our little piggies last week and we call their home a habitat also.

  • Sonya Harrison

    I’m just wondering if there is another way to make the fleece more absorbent than what I’ve done. I’ve bought new fleece and have washed it in hot water and vinegar many times and it still won’t absorb.

    • meagenbrosius

      If you are drying it in the dryer are you using fabric softener of any kind? That can prohibit the absorption. Also, I have had some types of fleece that I’ve had to wash 6-7 times to get the absorption levels up. Mine have all gotten better the more we have used them in terms of absorption so with use and age they should get better!

    • meagenbrosius

      Moving blankets are typically filled with material that frays and falls apart. The ‘guts’ so to speak came out of the ones I used and make a huge mess when washing them every week. It wasn’t worth it for me timewise to go back and sew all the edges closed to keep that from happening. After I broke three sewing machine needles in the process I just decided they weren’t for me. Other people really like them, I think they’re too bulky and they aren’t better at absorbing so there’s really no advantages that I’ve found over the years versus just regular fleece and normal old towels! Pricewise it was also a lot cheaper for me to just use old towels that my family or friends were getting rid of. They’re easier on my washing machine than the bulky and heavy moving blankets!

  • Patricia justice

    Hi in a first time guinea pig owner well actually it’s my little girls pet she 8 was wondering if there was any other type of blankets you could use besides the throw that have fleece? Also I know this isn’t exactly Part of what you discussing but would you happen to know if a guinea pig smelling of you or always nibbling on something like say trying to nibble your hand are they trying to bite you because there scared? I’m trying to pet and baby my daughter guinea pig Isabella sometimes I’ll be talking to her go pick her up after five or six minutes of talking to her and she runs,my little girl insist I hold and pet her but sorta I’m terrified

    • Meagen

      Hi! You can definitely try other blankets if you want. I’ve had the most success with fleece b/c it is very good at wicking away moisture and not feeling wet to the touch. This helps keep the piggies nice and clean and dry! Guinea Pigs are prey animals which means that even when threatened they do not normally bite. Biting does nothing to help them in the wild so if they’re nibbling at you it’s likely because they smell something on you that they think they can eat!! There’s not much reason to be scared of Guinea Pigs in general. They’re docile and usually more fearful of you than you are of them. Good luck with your piggies and I hope you are all settling in nicely together 🙂 Also, guinea pigs will almost always run from you. Fast movements will scare them a bit but they won’t retaliate with a bite. Once you pick them up and set them on your lap or in your hands and they feel secure they’ll calm down and enjoy the petting!!

  • ashley bord

    I already use fleece bedding in a regular cage. I use towel or floorcloth under the fleece, but it still is very wet. It also smells soon after I cleaned it. Do you have tips for this?

    • Meagen

      I would suggest using another layer of towels for sure but more than that I would look into your piggies diet! I’ve found that the more hay and vegetables / fruits my piggies eat the less they’re gulping water to try and flush out the excess calcium from pellets! Be sure to evaluate their diets in case that is causing them to drink excessively. I’d also suggest using a cleaning solution that has vinegar! Make sure to wipe out the plastics when you change the bedding. This will help with the smell. If your fleece is not smelling clean after you wash it I’d recommend a soak that also contains vinegar before washing. That will help kill any build up of bacteria and without the harsh chemicals!

  • Joanne

    I find using a folded toweling nappy (diaper) with another same sized piece of fleece on top, in the corners of my piggies’s indoor habitat, makes cleaning so much easier. Most of the poop and pee goes there, so I change those bits out daily. That way the rest stays fresh enough that I only need to change out the entire floor every 2 weeks.

  • Jess

    Hi! We just picked up 2 rescue piggies and a bag of chips. After 12hrs I ran to the store and grabbed two yards of fleece. Wow those chips are no fun!!! So now day 3 and I stumbled upon your website. No sew liners. You are a Guinea Pig life saver!!! I can’t wait to clean the cage (same as yours) and get to my layers. I am so thrilled!!! Thank you for making our lives simple and inexpensive. Jess and Zoey with our new friends Rosa and Rihana. The R&R sisters are love and first site ❤️❤️

    • Meagen

      I’m so glad you found us! It can be a little hectic at first…If you have a local Goodwill or thrift store be sure to keep an eye out for fleece blankets! I picked up a few just the other day and they are usually pretty cheap. I run them through two hot water wash cycles in the laundry to make sure if there was any fabric softener it’s gone (because it hinders the wicking abilities of the fleece) and then they’re good to go! Having a few options on hand will make it so easy to swap them out every few days! If you have questions or run into any issues give me a shout, I’m always happy to help 🙂

  • Melody Petry-Johnson

    You mentioned a post on making pads but I can’t find it. Has it happened? I would like to make some but I am not sure the best way and what to use. Any advice? Thanks

  • Michaela

    Hello, thank you for these great tips, I will try out the fleece bedding idea. I was wondering if you have any tips on how to help guineas to feel more comfortable around people? My kinder has recently acquired two young ones and they are so afraid of people. They spend almost all their day in the enclosed part of their cage and will only come out to eat if they are quite hungry or a towel is over the cage giving them the feeling of being sheltered. If anyone approaches the cage they bolt back into the enclosed area. When this part is opened up from the top they are visibly frightened and shake when held. I have the opportunity to take them home on weekends so if there is anything I can do during this time I would really like to help them.

    • Meagen

      Guinea pigs are naturally afraid of most things…and people (until they build trust) because they’re prey animals in the wild. They have no defense mechanisms so they just assume they’re going to die when they encounter a situation that they don’t know how to handle. That being said it can be helpful to remove the hiding places until they’ve warmed up to people. We do this with our rescue piggies and it seems to help them get used to being around movement, people, and other pets. Another tip I’d give is regular, calm handling. With practice they’ll get used to people and being handled. Also, coaxing them out with their favorite treats is a great way to get them used to associating people with positive things! Hope these tips help and they calm down and settle in for you soon!

  • Tristen

    Do you just sweep up the poo daily with the dust pan?? I see all these wonderful set ups online but no poops, I have 4 skinny pigs and they have ridiculous amounts of poo and never in a “regular” spot, it’s everywhere.

    • Meagen

      Yes! So I’m sure most of those pictures online are like me…we take them as soon as we clean things up and set things up fresh! Poop is a very real part of guinea pig life but I don’t LOVE taking pictures of it 😉 I spot clean every day or every other day depending on how the cages are looking. My piggies have regular spots, mostly near where they eat and I use an extra layer of fleece in that area so it’s simple to just pull that up after a few days and replace it until the end of the week when I do a full cage cleanup! Hope that helps!!

  • Amy Harmon

    Thanks for your post! Very helpful. I’m getting two piggies in a couple of weeks to keep as class pets in my 3rd grade class. I’ll be bringing them home on the weekends and vacations, possibly evenings if I set up a home away from home to make it easy. 🙂 Anyway, I would only want to wash the fleece once a week, but it sounds like some need to be changed every 2-3 days. If I kept a pail by the cage somewhere with the used fleece until I’m ready to have one big wash, will it stink very badly? How do you take care of that? I’m trying to get all the details worked out ahead of time before school starts. Thanks!

    • Meagen

      It’s going to depend on your piggies! My males for example are not super messy but my females are a disaster! If you sweep up the poops and hay each day off the fleece you can probably change the fleece and blankets once each week! As long as the top layer stays dry you’ll be fine! I use several layers of towels to make sure there’s plenty of absorption and then it’s easy to just toss it all in the wash. If you leave the dirty fleece and towels hanging around it probably will smell unfortunately 🙁 but I don’t think a week between changes will be too much if you keep it swept up every day or so to keep it from being too built up or messy!

  • Adrian

    Thank you for the idea of using fleece. I just got 2 little ones & its driving me crazy dealing with the paper shavings, especially, when they get happy and start kicking the stuff around out if the cage. I honestly would have never thought of that.

  • Alison Wilde

    Hi thanks for some great tips on fleece bedding. I’ve always used cages and hutches but now I really want to change to fleece bedding. I have two male piggies who get on really well and want to change to c&c as this would give them more space as they get bigger. However my biggest problem is that they have never been litter trained and they pee and poo everywhere. Is there anything I can do to try and keep them dry. Is it possible to try and litter train them now they will be twelve months old in January. I’ve put a litter tray in with them at the moment but they tend to throw it around the cage or try and lie in it instead of using it properly. This is the only problem I have and would love them to live in a clean and dry cage. Thank you any ideas would be welcome

  • Kyle

    I purchased some “polar fleece” from amazon for this and I have washed it at least 5 times in hot water as suggested but water still won’t go through, any idea why?

    • Meagen

      So my guess would be that the polar fleece is not quite the same as anti pill fleece or the fleece they use for those cheap fleece blankets that I usually use. Have you been washing in hot water or cold? I usually use hot water and no fabric softener which will make it repel water!

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