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Best Substrate For Ball Python (Top 5)

For your ball python to be comfortable, you need the right substrate for the python’s bedding. There are many options available such as aspen shaving, cypress mulch, coconut fiber, and even paper towels.

The substrate of choice depends on availability, affordability, and how easy it is to clean. Here are the best substrates for ball pythons.

Best Substrate for Ball Python

1. ReptiChip Premium Coconut Substrate

One of the best substrate for ball python is the ReptiChip Premium Coconut Substrate. These are easy to find, non abrasive and promotes the right level of humidity needed by snakes.

Apart from being used as bedding for reptiles, they are also used as potting mix for plants as well. There are several brands of coco coir substrates on the market.

Great alternatives include the Exo Terra Plantation Soil and the Zoo Med Eco Earth Coconut Fiber Substrate. This substrate may come compact or loose. If it is compact then you need to soak it in water to loosen it.

Why Use ReptiChip Coconut Substrate?

  • Coconut substrate is the best substrate for ball python eggs or at least one of the best
  • It absorbs bad odors
  • It doesn’t mold
  • It helps maintain optimal humidity levels for snakes

2. Zoo Med Aspen Snake Bedding

Aspen shavings may just be the best snake bedding. Ball python, as with other snakes, is comfortable on this bedding. This material is preferred because of its affordability and portability.

They are absorbent, contain no toxic oils or resins, and are great for the environment. Because of the popularity of this bedding, it is easy to find. You can find aspen bedding in every pet shop.

It is also the best substrate for baby ball python or at least the best. Similarly, you can order some online. My favorite aspen snake shavings bedding is the Zoo Med Aspen Snake Bedding. It comes in a 4, 8, or 24 quarts bag.

Why Use Zoo Med Aspen Bedding?

  • It is very affordable
  • It helps maintain optimal humidity levels
  • Its light color looks great in the snake’s vivarium
  • It is super absorbent

3. Zoo Med Eco Earth Loose Coconut Fiber Substrate

This is another excellent choice. This bedding is great at increasing the humidity in the snake’s tank. They also work well with other reptiles, and not just snakes. It is also resistant to mold growth and help keeps a moist yet bacterial free snake enclosure. It is also very affordable. I must say if you want the best ball python substrate for humidity then you must consider it.

Why Use Zoo Med Eco Earth Loose Coconut Fiber Substrate?

  • It is affordable
  • It is resistive to mold growth
  • It is excellent for snakes that require very high humidity levels to thrive

4. Zoo Med Repti Bark

Another super absorbent substrate is the Zoo Med Repti bark mix. This substrate absorbs moisture very easily and increases humidity levels. As you already know, high humidity levels keep snakes healthy and ease shedding. For snake keepers who leave in humid parts of the world, this bark substrate may increase the humidity levels pass what is needed.

Why Use Zoo Med Repti Bark?

  • This substrate increases humidity levels and is highly absorbent
  • It is reusable

5. Reptile Prime Coconut Fiber Bedding Substrate

For the economically minded, you can use coco coir. Not only are they easy to replace, but they are also very comfortable especially Reptile Prime Coconut Fiber Bedding Substrate.

Because of its light tone, you can detect any abnormalities in the excrement such as blood, worms and other parasites. They eliminate in bad odor as well. This versatile mix can also be used to incubate eggs.

Why Use Reptile Prime Coconut Fiber Bedding Substrate?

  • It is easy to find.
  • It is economical.
  • It is easy to inspect.
  • It promotes high humidity levels.

Snake Substrate Explained


Any of the discussed substrates can be the best substrate for ball python racks and tanks. It all depends on your preference. They are easy to be found and can be ordered online.

A healthy snake needs a healthy substrate. While substrates discussed make the best bedding for ball pythons, there are also substrates to avoid since they are bad for snakes.

The first are cedar and pine shavings. These are toxic to ball pythons. You really need to watch out for these as they may be mixed with other substrates good for snakes. You need to properly check the materials if you are buying a substrate mix.

Also, avoid sand, rocks, pebbles and other materials that can be abrasive and hurt the snake.

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