Diets rich in various soluble nondigestible carbohydrates (sNDCs) were evaluated on different intestinal characteristics (histological, physico-chemical and microbiological) of chickens and compared with a maize-based diet as a control. A total of 160 Ross 308 male chickens were kept in deep litter pens (n = 40) and fed their appropriate diets from Day 1 to Day 35 of life. Four isocaloric and isonitrogenous diets, differing in their sNDC content, were composed; control (containing maize as the only cereal), maize-wheat-based (M + W) and maize-based supplemented with either 20 g/kg inulin (M + I) or 30 g/kg lactose (M + L). All of the diets tested decreased ileal crypt depth, ileal muscle layer thickness and increased caecal coliform counts relative to the control group. Villus-crypt ratio increased only in the M + L group. Ileal digesta of chickens fed the M + W diet had the highest ileal viscosity and the highest caecal butyrate, valerate and total short-chain fatty acid concentrations while the lowest pH was observed in caecal contents of chickens fed the M + I diet. The diet had no effect on ileal or caecal goblet cell and intraepithelial lymphocyte numbers. Lactobacillus counts in the caecal content remained unchanged. According to the present study, various sNDC sources may have beneficial gut health effects, however, some of the intestinal variables are dependent on the type of sNDCs.