Aspen bedding is a good choice for small animals such as hamsters, gerbils, mice, and rats. It is very economical and is absorbent and does a decent job of odor control. Sometimes (not always―it depends a bit on the brand or batch) is can be quite dusty which can cause sneezing and respiratory symptoms in some pets.
Cedar and pine shavings are no longer recommended as bedding for small pets; fortunately, many alternatives have become available. Aspen shavings are a good alternative for those that prefer wood shavings for bedding. It is one of the most economical beddings which also makes is a good choice for owners who go through a lot of bedding. However, it can be dusty which can lead to sneezing of your animals; we find it controls odor well for a few days but you can't leave the cage for an extra day or two without cleaning with aspen. As well, the shavings seem to cling to fabric and get dragged around the house more than other beddings.
Decent odor control
Readily available at most pet stores
Available in a range of sizes including large quantities
Can sometimes be dusty
Tends to get dragged around the house
Variation in texture, size of chips, and dustiness by brand