What’s the Best Substrate for Your Snake?

Getting a snake as a pet can bring all kinds of joy to your life. However, there can be a lot to learn about keeping a reptile – including learning about the best substrate for your snake. Thankfully, we should have you covered.


Larger breeds of snakes often have a tendency to be a little destructive. It’s not their fault – they’re just large creatures. If you have a non-burrowing breed or an oversized snake, then why not ditch the substrate and opt for carpet? It’s usually best to invest in two pieces. This way, you can always have one in the enclosure while the other one is being washed. Opting for carpet as a substrate is also great for people that want to cut down on their waste thanks to the fact it’s reusable.

Cypress mulch

If your snake loves to burrow, then cypress mulch is a good choice. Another benefit of this snake substrate is that it holds its moisture. This is important for breeds that need a high humidity. It’s even one of the more attractive choices and can be found at many garden stores. Just be sure that you bake the mulch for around 30 minutes to make sure there are no hiding insects or mites that could harm your snake before decorating their enclosure.

Paper towels or newspaper

Paper of all kinds is excellent for snake substrate as it’s usually cheap and easy to come by. Paper towels are absorbent, making it easy to remove any mess as soon as you spot it. Shredding them up even gives your snake somewhere to burrow and hide. Once again, newspapers are cheap and can easily be shredded up. Although both options can help our snake to hide, they are not the best options for snakes that love to burrow.

Coconut fiber

Soft, comfortable, and attractive. Does it get any better? Thankfully, all of the benefits can be found in coconut fiber. The substrate is great for many reptiles as it’s chemical-free and a pretty addition to enclosures. The natural bedding also comes with its own odor-fighting properties and helps to keep bacteria at bay. To top it off, coconut fiber is one of the greener options for snake keepers on the market.

Aspen shavings

Several kinds of wood should be avoided when choosing a snake substrate. However, aspen shavings can be a good option. They work best for snakes that don’t need a lot of moisture as they can quickly become moldy with too much water. They are also best suited to smaller snakes. Larger snakes have bigger scales along their bellies, and the shavings could easily become stuck and cause irritation. Just be sure you have a clean area for feeding time to ensure none are accidentally ingested.

There are plenty of things to consider when finding the best substrate for your snake. Keeping them happy, appearance, cost, and suitability to your snake are all things to take into account when choosing the final product. Hopefully, you’ll soon have one that ticks all the boxes.