Biochar has emerged as a useful tool to reduce the bioavailability of heavy metals in contaminated soils. However, limited research has been directed towards determining the effects of pyrolysis conditions and feedstock types of biochar on the bioavailability of heavy metals in biochar-treated soils. This work evaluated the efficacy of plant- and manure-derived hydrochar and pyrochar for alleviating Cd bioavailability in soils using conventional chemical extraction, diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) and plant uptake. For each feedstock type, hydrochar showed lower maximum adsorption capacity than pyrochar. As determined by diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid, BCR extraction and DGT measurement, pyrochar significantly decreased the theoretical bioavailability of Cd. Moreover, a slight decrease in the ability of soil to resupply Cd to the solution was detected. Also, pyrochar induced a substantial reduction in Cd uptake in ryegrass. Corresponding to the high sorption capacity, swine solid-derived 450 °C pyrochar was the most effective in alleviating Cd bioavailability in soils, indicating its great potential for remediating Cd-contaminated soils. Additionally, the bioavailable Cd amount determined by DGT had the best correlation with the Cd content in ryegrass, showing that DGT technology could better represent the effects of biochars on Cd phytoavailability in the studied soil. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.