Best Substrate for Ball Pythons to Give a Wild like Bedding Reviews 2023

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Keeping ball or royal pythons as pets is easier than people think.

May sound’s silly, but it’s true.

If you are a newbie owner of a snake, then probably you get confused with the word substrate. Am I right?

Well, the word “Substrate” is also known as bedding.

When it comes to giving the right enclosure, Ball pythons are known as one of the most comfortable snakes. They do not move much, they do not climb, and they do not need significant lighting.

But here is the most crucial part:

What you need to provide them is a good deal of room, an excellent place to hide, and a substrate with high humidity.

Today we will talk about the best substrate for your ball python to make a beautifully balanced environment. So let’s get started.

Why Do Ball Pythons Need Substrate?

Let’s discuss some possible reasons why pythons need substrate: 

  • The substrate can boost the humidity and retain the moisture.
  • It can handle big messes and keep the snake healthy.
  • When it comes to warming the environment surrounding your snake, the substrate is the best option.
  • It allows enough room and freedom for your snake to dig & drill holes.
  • Having a suitable substrate works as the base of ball pythons’ life.
  • It is comparatively affordable and easy to clean.

Quick Comparison of Top 3 Best Substrate for Ball Pythons


Reptichip Premium Coconut Reptile Substrate- Best Ball Python Substrate for Humidity

  • Ready to Use.
  • High-End Manufacture.
  • Super easy To Clean.
3rd best

Zoo Med Forest Floor Bedding 24 Qt- Most Reliable Forest Floor Bedding for the Ball Python

  • Pleasant scent.
  • Available even in the nearby garden store.
  • More tortoises friendly.

Our Handpicked List of 8 best substrate and bedding for ball pythons

Here are our reviews of 8 the best bedding for a ball python that you can grab your hands on.


When it comes to bedding options for a pet snake, Aspen shaving is considered as the most reliable substrate. And this aspen shaving from Zoo med performed beyond expectation to make a soft, dry home for my snake. I prefer this bedding option for the snakelet and smaller snakes.

What’s so special about it?

Well, it ensures a safe home so that your snakes or lizards can form burrows just like they do in the wild. This stuff is great, especially for corn snakes and a ball python.

I know you are a snake love but let’s be honest:

The odor is always a great concern when it comes to the taming snake. From this point of view, aspen is best as they absorb the odor. It got a 191% absorbency rating.

That’s really cool!

Another great thing about this aspen bedding, Snake poop is easy to find in it, and scoop out is more convenient. That means you can ensure an odor-free, fresh bed for your favorite pet.

The bottom line?

This bedding is soft to the touch, snake safe, and pretty economical in regards to price and amount you benefits get. I have to admit, this is the best option for bedding ball python so far.


  • Lightweight bedding option.
  • No toxic oils.
  • Can use for other pet as well.


  • Not good for big snake.

Is coconut fiber good for snakes?

That’s the very first question pop up to your mind when you see coconut substrate for snakes or ball python or other lizards.

Good question!

But the answer might surprise you. Coconut fiber is not only an eco-friendly substrate but also has odor-fighting properties. And this Coconut Reptile Substrate from ReptiChip is the finest coconut bedding option I have come across.


Made from exclusive coconut chips, this green fiber is one hundred percent organic. If you do some research on reptiles, you will find out they use this organic husk as bedding in the wild and jungle.

Ever wonder why?

Because this gives the humidity snakes and other lizards need to thrive. This substrate has quality fiber that will help the boost of your python’s healthy growth. Mixed size husks are carefully cleaned and fully hygienic.


  • Ready to Use.
  • High-End Manufacture.
  • Super easy To Clean


  • Pretty dusty.

Humidity demands?

No worry.

Apart from coconut husk, Forest Floor Bedding is another great option as a substrate. And this Zoo Med Bedding is the most trustworthy Forest Floor in the market right now.

From 100% cypress mulch, this terrarium bedding provides moisture well. It looks like My bigger gal loves it. The 24 qt bag is more than enough to cover the bed of ball python.

And you know the best part?

As a pet owner, our main aim is to make him comfortable. And this substrate is going to create a “forest floor" look, and your pet will feel he is just in the jungle.

Not only for snakes, is it suitable for any tropical species of tortoises. By retaining moisture, this bedding provides humidity.

Let me say this straight:

Cypress mulch is moister than any other substrates while absorbing 60% humidity level, which lizard requires.


  • Pleasant scent.
  • Available even in the nearby garden store.
  • More tortoises friendly.


  • Dries out quickly than coconut husk.

Keep your ball python happy with the eco earth substrate.

Yes, you heard that right.

Coconut fiber bedding is organically ideal for use in terrariums for a lizard that demands stable humidity levels their growth and happiness.

There is a lot to talk about this amazing substrate.

This Zoo med fiber is meant to be kept slightly damp to maintain stable humidity levels. Besides this, it breaks down odor. This feature makes it ideal for tropical terrariums.

Eco Earth Substrate is fully natural, made from the husks of coconuts. The coolest part, after using as bedding this can be safely composted into gardens. That means zero waste.

Here is the secret of ensuring the coziest bedding for my pythons:

Monitor your snake's humidity and then replace the coconut fiber before it’s totally dried out. That’s the key to maintaining good humidity. Also, I recommend changing the whole bedding setup every six months at a minimum.


  • Renewable item.
  • Break down odor.
  • Very light.


  • Have the risk of mite’s infection.

Ahh, reptile prime!

You guys nailed it once again, this time with another coconut fiber substrate.

It looks like they have tracked the mind what actually the snakes want for bedding. The reptile prime coconut fiber bedding is one of the finest bedding substrates we have seen in quite some time.

No doubt about it!

These fibers are the top choice among the herpetoculturists, and I can see why: Optimal substrate is good enough for terrarium set-ups to any lizards or reptiles.

And guess what?

Made from Coconut Coir, refines so well and turn husk. By removing the sand and dust out of the fiber, the husk has the best absorbent part. Weighs 24 quarts, it will easily take over 35-40 days. The keys to giving utmost comfort are holding more humidity longer. No smell at all!


  • Finer sizes coconut fiber.
  • Retains moisture well.
  • No dust.


  • A bit pricey.

Zoo med has excelled once again, this time with compressed coconut fiber that will give your snake the wild like bedding experience.

This stuff is kinda ground coconut substrate. Zoo med both offer loose and compress form, but as you can see this one is in compressed form.

Like any other eco earth series substrate, this one is also safely recycled. That’s the reason I love this eco-friendly bedding option for my ball python pal. This stuff keeps the moisture quite a while, actually.

Cooler than ever!

It got the consistency of soil but certainly blended with much easier. On the other hand, it has an excellent borrowing substant what a reptile really wants to grow.

Another thing I would like to mention: this 3 brick version is much cheaper than the 8 qt premade version. At the same time, it has the feature of reducing odor, which is a big plus.


  • Perfect for all types of reptiles.
  • Have a great drainage layer.
  • Great value for the money.


  • Have to do a little bit of labor with this to work.

Made from 100% coconut coir, this stuff is an excellent substrate for your snake or tropical terrariums bedding. At every stage of its lifecycle, this husk is eco-friendliness.

“Sustainable, organic and recyclable”

How can you beat it?

Earth-like, soft texture offers insulation, cushioning, and comfort. This 21 Quarts coconut husk is ready to use. The coconut husk is dust-free, chemical, and extra fragrance-free. Offering a safe environment for your ball python, and have peace of mind that you are safe, too.

And you know the best part?

The soft material contains no sharp edge, which can injure your lizard. By removing the waste and poop daily, you can use these 35-40 days.

After use, the bedding ingredient makes great, nutrient-rich compost for pots, flower beds, gardens, or lawns. Besides snake, you can easily use them as bedding for other Lizards, Geckos, Amphibians, and Tarantulas.


  • No aromatic oils.
  • Has incredible ability to encapsulate.
  • Superb Odor Control.


  • Got affected by mites easily.

If you are a lazy person and looking for an easy to clean bedding option for the fascinating pet, this liner bedding substrate from Zilla is the best option we have seen.


When you choose python as a pet, know that you are actually making a long-term commitment. And comforting him is the very first step. That’s why bedding is so important.

Why will you choose zilla?

Well, you will be glad to know that Zilla has been certified by the United States Association of Reptile Keepers. So don’t worry about quality.

What about the liner dimension?

With 17.25 x 71 Inches liner, your favorite pal will gonna get enough space. Non-abrasive material will not hurt your lizard. If you are a newbie, this bedding substrate liner is an excellent starter kit.

Here is the coolest part:

Ready to use bedding, simply rolls out and cuts to size as needed. And you are ready to go. That’s not all; cleaning is much easier. All you have to do rinse with tap water and reuse.


  • Treated with a biodegradable enzyme.
  • Absorbent.
  • Easy to maintain.


  • Not good for maintaining the humidity.

What to avoid for the ball python substrate?

As ball python are vulnerable as other reptiles, we need to avoid some ingredient to reduce the chance of respiratory infections. Here is a list of substrate you should avoid for their bedding.

  • Sand: Sand may get stuck a python’s scales, resulting in harmful lesions.
  • Cedar or Pine Wood Shavings: These are toxic, avoid them at any cost.
  • Gravel: The extra oil of gravel can cause toxic respiratory infections.
  • Sawdust: These are sensitive to snakes’ respiratory systems.
  • Dirt: It can invite parasites, mold spores, bacteria.

Things to Consider: Buying Best Substrate for Ball Pythons

Easy to clean:

You need to clean up the feces or urine stains of your python’s house. So when it comes to buying a substrate for a ball python, you should go for one which is easy to clean.

Comfortable for your Ball Python:

You should keep in mind that your snake will spend twenty-four hours on the substrate or bedding.

According to the research, choosing a substrate that is non-abrasive to the skin of python could be the right choice to ensure the highest comfort for your Ball Python.

Constant temperature:

Remember, the substrate you choose has a constant temperature & humidity level. The rapid change of temperatures will cause stress on the ball python.

Note: The temperature for your ball python should be around 88 ° to 96 °F. On the other hand, the humidity level for your ball pythons should not be under fifty percent (50%). The ideal humidity level is around 55% to 60%.

Readily available:

You need to opt for a substrate for your ball python, which is readily available and affordable in the long run. Also, you should continue a particular substrate that is comfortable for your ball python.

Soft texture:

The skin of a python is sensitive to rough materials, though a layer of extents defends their body. So it is recommended to buy bedding that comes with a soft texture.

Natural and non-toxic:

You should go for a substrate which is made from non-toxic and natural materials. This will make sure the hygienic environment for your pet.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Best Substrate for Ball Pythons:

Question 1: What is the best bedding for ball python?

Answer: The best bedding for a ball python comes with some unique features. These are including:

  • Highly absorbent (Up to 200% of its weight).
  • Odorless after absorbing the liquid.
  • Less dust production.
  • No toxic materials.
  • Easy to clean.

Question 2: Can you use sand for ball python?

Answer: You should not use sand for a ball python. The sand below the snakes’ scales can cause skin disorders like irritation.

Use news paper as a substrate while you have your python first, to see if there are any mites on the snake or not.

Question 3: Is coconut substrate good for ball pythons?

Answer: Yes, choosing a coconut substrate could be the right choice for your ball pythons. Let’s see why it is suitable for your ball pythons.

  • Highly absorbent of snake waste.
  • Absorbs bad scent.
  • Highest humidity level.
  • Anti-mold.
  • High surface area.
  • Pleasant to look at.

Question 4: What is the best substrate for royal pythons?

Answer: The best substrate for royal pythons, in our opinion, is either Beech Chippings or Aspen Shavings. They are best for royal pythons because of high humidity level and easy to clean features.

Question 5: What substrate is best for snakes?

Answer: The substrate, which is designed to take care of your beloved snake, could be the best choice. According to many consumers’ report, Aspen is often thought as the best substrate for snakes like-

  • Boas.
  • Hognose.
  • King snakes.
  • Corn snakes.
  • Ball pythons etc.

Final Verdict

Nowadays Ball Pythons are drawn from the wild & sold as pets.

Taking care of ball python is one of the significant factors to keep your snake happy, healthy, and friendly. So having the best substrate for ball python is probably the essential things you should consider when it comes to pet care.

As you can see, I have reviewed some of the finest bedding options for royal python. Out of these 8 bedding for a ball python, which one is my favorite?

Now it’s your turn.

Good luck ya’ll!

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