AbstractToday, petroleum-based superabsorbents are widely used, but interest in renewable alternatives is on the rise. This study presents two wood-based absorbent materials suitable for various absorption applications as an alternative to petroleum-based products. Never-dried bleached kraft pulp was treated with TEMPO-oxidation, and new carboxylate and aldehyde groups were introduced. It was found that the aldehyde groups contributed to the wet integrity of the absorbent materials, possibly by the formation of hemiacetal bonds. After oxidation, the pulp fibers were gradually disintegrated, and size analysis showed that the disintegration rate was enhanced by an increase in the charge of the oxidant. Freeze drying produced a porous foam with a large surface area that enabled a rapid absorption rate as well as a reasonably high absorption capacity even for absorption under load. Air drying formed a compact film with a slow absorption rate but with a high final capacity for absorption.