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The Pros and Cons of Different Horse Bedding Alternatives

The overall comfort of your horses is essential to keeping them healthy - as fatigue caused by discomfort will significantly reduce their immunity to sickness and disease.

While it has already been established that choosing the most appropriate bedding option is an effective way to keep horses comfortable, there are two factors that can compromise a stable owner’s decision:  availability and affordability.


Pros: Cheaper compared with other alternatives, straw is a readily available bedding option that provides warmth and comfort to horses. Since it is easier to muck out, it only requires little maintenance.

Cons: Straw is dusty, non-absorbent and edible; although cheap, it can be quite costly as it requires a large amount to make a good bed for your horses. Its light weight means it is easily blown around – making it more difficult to control.


Wood Shavings

Pros: Wood shavings make an absorbent bedding option that is readily available and relatively easy to sweep up.

Cons: Quality can vary and some wood shavings can be dusty - which might cause breathing allergies. Wood shavings also need to be mucked out regularly to avoid the build-up of ammonia.


Wood Pellets

Pros: A combination of cheap and absorbent materials, this bedding option rots quicker than wood shavings. Low maintenance, wood pellets are easy to store and muck out.

Cons: Activating the wood pellets can get messy and soaking them adds time to laying beds. With a tendency to be slippery when wet, this can be a hazard that can cause accidents.


Paper Bedding

Pros: Paper bedding is a dust-free and non-palatable bedding solution that will provide warmth to your equine friends.

Cons: Since this bedding option is made up of newspapers and magazines, things can get very soggy. Creating a good bedding from paper can also be costly, as you will need a lot to provide the suitable comfort for your horses. It will not rot down and it is very messy to use.



Pros: A crop that provides a bedding alternative that is easy to maintain, hemp is dust-free and absorbent. Its soft nature provides adequate comfort and warmth.

Cons: Since it is a seasonal crop, hemp can be expensive and it is not always readily available. Susceptible to mould, it invariably requires regular maintenance.


Rubber Matting

Pros: Deemed to be the most effective horse bedding solution, rubber matting assures a non-slip base that provides comfort and avoids injuries. Flat and cushioned, it can also reduce horse fatigue and stress.

Proven to improve the health of horses, rubber matting provides optimum warmth and comfort while helping to maintain a pleasant environment. Since it is waterproof, rubber matting is really convenient to clean – making it a hygienic bedding solution.

Cons: The only downside of rubber mats is the initial purchase price. This can be costly but if you consider how hard-wearing and durable they are, rubber matting does make a cost-effective solution in the long run.


Coruba’s horse bedding solutions are always made with the finest quality rubber. We offer second-to-none stable matting that is perfect for long term use. For more product information, please call 01702 560194.

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