Best Bedding For Boa Constrictors

Are you overwhelmed looking for bedding for your pet?

Do you want to make sure you get the right substrate for your boa constrictor?

Boa constrictors, like many snakes, need specific types of bedding to keep their tanks clean and their bodies healthy.

Unfortunately, there are hundreds and hundreds of products out there, all claiming to be the best.

If you buy the wrong thing, your boa constrictor may get sick.

We are here to help you find out what is the best bedding for boa constrictors.

The best bedding for boa constrictors needs to be clean and natural. Free of mites and chemicals, the substrate needs to form a 2″ inch layer on the bottom of the tank. It needs to help retain heat and humidity while also being something the boa constrictor will burrow into. Our picks for the best include:

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For more information, check out our buyer’s guide and reviews of specific products below.

What To Look For In The Best Substrate For Boa Constrictors

In this section, we’ll go over what good bedding for boa constrictors needs to include.

Use this information to help you pick an item from the list below, and also if you go off of our list, you’ll have a better idea of what to save for your pet.

Or, save yourself some trouble and pick up one of our options in the next section.


The material of a substrate is an essential element to consider.

Not everything works well with boa constrictors.

Keep in mind, the park instructor is semi-arboreal and usually lives in forest-tropical areas.

Your substrate in captivity should emulate what they have in their natural forest floor.

Shavings from trees or fibers are always good options.

Be careful though.

As we mention below, you must make sure to buy this from an actual pet store.

Some owners will recommend sand as a substrate.

In general, this works OK for snakes, but it does present a danger.

Too often, the snake will accidentally consume some of the sand, causing major digestive issues.

It’s better to steer clear of this entirely.

Otherwise, common options for boa constrictor bedding include:

  • Aspen shavings
  • Cedar shavings
  • Coconut fibers
  • Coco chips
  • Mixtures of topsoil or clay with other such shavings.


The other primary concern for boa constrictor bedding is how clean the material is.

You might feel like you’re saving money by going to your local hardware store to buy some wood chips.

But these wood chips are often treated with chemicals.

So it might not seem like it at first, but when the material gets wet, it often leaks these chemicals.

At best, the boa constrictor skin will get irritated and possibly infected.

At worst, these chemicals may kill your pet.

This is why we always recommend buying from a pet dealer.

The substrate from reputable pet dealers will always be clean and free of chemicals.

Another thing to watch for with cleanliness is the presence of tiny bugs or mites.

Even reputable pet stores will sometimes sell products possibly infested to a small degree.

They’ll never admit to this on their sales pages, so the best way to tell if this is a problem is by looking at what other users have said.

In our reviews of the products below, we take this into account and will point out to you if this is the case.

Heat And Moisture Retention

One of the great benefits of a substrate, especially for boa constrictors, is how some will help retain heat and humidity in the tank.

Boas need a large space, especially when fully grown.

It takes a lot of healing power to keep the tank where it needs to be.

It’s the same with humidity.

However, getting a good quality substrate takes a lot of the load off.

Getting the best ceramic heat emitters for a boa constrictor tank will be a huge help as well.

Help With Droppings

One of the main reasons to get bedding from the owner’s perspective is to help with cleaning up poop.

The good substrate will clump up around the droppings and make cleanup easier.

The really good substrate may even begin to disinfect and kill the bacteria from the droppings.

This is usually due to a higher quality material such as coconut fibers or coco chips.


Under normal circumstances, we would recommend you get the nicest one fitting your needs no matter the price.

We still recommend this, but we understand if this is different with boa constrictors.

Boa constrictors, at minimum, need an enclosure equal to the length long and half the length wide and high.

The floor space should be covered with 2″ inches of substrate.

This adds up to a lot of material quickly.

Take, for example, an average bola constrictor at 8′ feet long.

This means you’ll need floor space covered of at least 8′ x 4′ feet or 32′ ft.² of floor covering.

Then, you need to cover this whole area with 2″ inches of substrate.

Balance quality with your budget, but pick from our list, and you likely won’t be disappointed in either area.

Check out the best cages for boa constrictors to see how much bedding you may need.

Review Of The Best Bedding For Boa Constrictors

what is the best bedding for boa constrictor

This section goes into detail on our picks for the best bedding. We’ll discuss their features and how it affects the use of the product.

Bedding is only one part of a boa constrictor tank. Learn more about what you need for a tank.

Zoo Med Repti Bark

Zoo Med Reptile Bark Fir Bedding, 24 Quarts
  • 100% pure fir bark that's washable and re-useable, simply soak in hot water ever 2-3 months for fresh and clean bark.
  • Smaller pieces help to prevent crickets from hiding in the substrate.
  • The ideal substrate for Green Iguanas and any other humidity love reptiles as bark slowly releases moisture into the environment.
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Repti Bark by Zoo Med is an affordable option by a trusted company.

It works well for most pets, including the boa constrictor.

As with all Zoo Med products, the substrate is clean and chemical-free.

Even when wet, nothing will leak out to hurt the snake.

This substrate is supposed to last for up to one year.

We recommend changing it if possible every three months, but this substrate isn’t prone to mold. 

It is possible to let it go for one year as long as you’re on top of cleaning out droppings.

The material is fir bark.

While this isn’t a typical option for snakes, it works just fine.

The most significant benefit of this material is absorbency.

When the boa constrictor defecates or urates, the chips will clump out and prevent the droppings from spreading.

The material is suitable for burrowing in and retains heat well, but not as good as some.

There are different options out for the size of packages:

  • 4 Quarts (2 pack)
  • 4 Quarts (4 pack)
  • 4 Quarts
  • 4 Quarts (6 pack)
  • 8 Quart
  • 10 Quart
  • 24 Quart

Pros For This Product:

  • Lower price
  • Safe material
  • Good for burrowing
  • Lasts a long time

Cons For This Product:

  • Less than stellar heat retention
  • Doesn’t block smells

Zilla Jungle Mix

Zilla Reptile Terrarium Bedding Substrate Jungle Mix Moss & Fir, 8-Qt.
  • Sphagnum moss and fir shavings blend
  • 100% natural which is ideal for tropical and forest habitats
  • Retains high level of humidity
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Zilla is another company with a strong reputation, and this jungle mix is affordable.

The bedding is made from a combination of sphagnum moss and fir shavings.

This better simulates what may be found in the boa constrictor’s natural habitat.

This bedding is excellent for burrowing. It is also excellent at retaining moisture.

It’s available in 4, 8, and 24-quart options.

The mix does an excellent job of clumping up around droppings and resisting mold, but it doesn’t seem to last overall as a substrate for a long time.

It will need to be changed at least every six months.

It’s also messier than other options with more substantial pieces to them.

Pros For This Product:

  • Affordable
  • Closely matched natural ground
  • Great for burrowing
  • Absorbent

Cons For This Product:

  • Messy
  • Needs changing more often

Zoo Med (Pack of 3) Aspen Snake Bedding

Zoo Med (Pack of 3) Aspen Snake Bedding, 24 Quarts
  • Convenient case pack of (3) 24qt bags.
  • #1 Preferred snake bedding by professional herpetoculturists worldwide!
  • Provides a safe, naturalistic substrate that allows snakes, lizards, and small animals to form burrows and nests as they would in the wild.
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This no-nonsense aspen bedding by Zoo Med costs a little more, but the large amount you get and it’s usefulness may make it worth it for you.

With this deal, you get three packs of 24 quarts of aspen bedding.

Aspen bedding is one of the most common pets and snake substrates.

It’s clean and free of mites or other bugs.

It also has no chemicals at all.

The aspen provides something for the boa constrictor to burrow in.

Zoo Med’s product holds on to heat and absorbs droppings.

The only thing it doesn’t handle well is getting wet.

The bedding is almost too absorbent and tends to collect mold when wet.

If the bedding gets wet, you’ll have to change it.

The aspen bedding doesn’t block the smells of droppings and other snake related things well.

Pros For This Product:

  • Safe and suitable for burrowing
  • Retains heat well
  • A large amount of substrate providing good value

Cons For This Product:

  • Absorbs too much when wet
  • May tend to mold when wet

Zoo Med (2 Pack) Eco Earth Loose Coconut Fiber Substrate

Zoo Med (2 Pack) Eco Earth Loose Coconut Fiber Substrate for Reptiles 8 quarts
  • Ideal for naturalistic terrarium type set-ups incorporating reptiles, amphibians or invertebrates
  • Use it damp for tropical species as it naturally absorbs and breaks down odor and waste products
  • Add Eco Earth loose coconut fiber substrate on top of Zoo Meds HydroBalls to create an ideal drainage layer for optimum plant growth, humidity and drainage in naturalistic terrariums
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Zoo Med’s coconut fiber substrate is a more premium option with a higher price for the amount you get.

Coconut makes an excellent substrate and is popular with reptile owners for several reasons.

Zoo Med’s coconut absorbs droppings well and breaks down bacteria and odors.

The shavings are appropriate for boa constrictors and nice to burrow in.

Coconut fibers respond well to moisture and help maintain a steady level of humidity in the air.

This is an entirely chemical-free and safe product.

It doesn’t hold on to heat as much as a substrate with more substance to them, but the difference is minimal.

This two-pack consists of two 8 quart packages.

It doesn’t tend to mold and lasts a long time.

Pros For This Product:

  • Long-lasting
  • Traps droppings and breaks down odors
  • Excellent at retaining humidity

Cons For This Product:

  • Higher price for the amount of substrate

ReptiChip Compressed Coconut Chip Substrate

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ReptiChip’s coco chip bedding is similar to a standard coconut fiber substrate.

It has many of the same benefits, including odor-reducing, clean and safe, and suitable for retaining humidity.

They also have some of the same drawbacks, including a higher price.

The coco chips are coconut fibers broken down smaller and more fine compared with the typical coconut bedding.

This helps make the coco chips better at retaining heat. However, it does make it messier to deal with.

Pros For This Product:

  • Retains heat and humidity well
  • Good for burrowing
  • Traps droppings and reduces odors

Cons For This Product:

  • May be too small for baby boa constrictors


We hope you find this guide to what is the best bedding for boa constrictors helpful.

Any of these products would make a fine addition to your enclosure, but you need to balance what’s best for your needs.

Remember, safety and cleanliness from good materials made by reputable dealers are the most important things to watch for.

After this, balance with other features such as heat and humidity retention and overall pricing.

Habitats and setting them up correctly are the most important things to ensure a long and healthy life for your pet.

This guide will offer you some help in enjoying your pet for a long time.

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