If you bring home a hamster, you will need to get a hamster wheel in order to ensure that your furry friend is both healthy and happy. Sometimes a hamster wheel comes with the enclosure that you purchase, but more often than not, you will have to buy one separately because the enclosure does not have one, or the one it comes with is unsafe.
In this article, you will find a review of the ten best hamster wheels currently on the market. We will also take a look at the different factors you should take into consideration before choosing a hamster wheel, such as safety, size, and durability.
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- 10 Best Hamster Wheels Currently On The Market
- 1. Exotic Nutrition Silent Runner Hamster Wheel
- 2. Kaytee Silent Spinner 10″ Exercise Wheel, Large
- 3. Suncoast Wodent Wheel Senior & Tail Shield
- 4. Niteangel Silent Hamster Exercise Wheel
- 5. Zacro Hamster Exercise Wheel
- 6. Ware Manufacturing Flying Saucer Exercise Wheel
- 7. Niteangel Wooden Hamster Exercise Wheel
- 8. N\a Silent Hamster Exercise Wheels
- 9. Petest Hamster Silent Spinner Exercise Wheel
- 10. MOJETTO Comfort Wheel
- What Is The Best Wheel For Syrian Hamsters?
- What Is The Best Wheel For Dwarf Hamsters?
- Why Do Hamsters Need A Wheel?
- Do All Hamster Breeds Need A Wheel?
- Are Hamster Wheels Safe Or Are They Cruel?
- Main Features To Keep In Mind When Buying A Hamster Wheel
- Can You Use Other Small Pets’ Wheels?
- What Are Some Alternatives to Wheels?
- Can A Hamster Run Too Much On A Wheel?
- How To Teach A Hamster To Use A Wheel
10 Best Hamster Wheels Currently On The Market
If your hamster is an all-night wheel runner and you just cannot handle the noise any longer, a great option for you to consider is the Exotic Nutrition Silent Runner Hamster Wheel. This hamster wheel is completely axel-free to ensure that there is none of the squeaking or grinding that keeps you up all night.
Other unique features include the plastic shield that keeps your hamster securely inside the wheel when he is running at high speeds. They have also designed the tracks to be slip-proof without adding any divots or gaps, so it is a completely safe option.
The only downside is that the cover or privacy plate that keeps your hamster securely in the wheel does make it a little bit harder to clean. It does disassemble, but that can be a hassle every time that you go to clean it out. Furthermore, it is one of the more expensive wheels out there, but a goodnight’s rest might be well worth the cost.
- The no-axel design means it is completely silent
- Excellent safety features like the privacy plate and slip-proof surface
- A very durable, long-lasting wheel
- The privacy cover makes it harder to clean
The Kaytee Silent Spinner Hamster Wheel is another great option if you are concerned about the noise that comes with hamsters running on their wheels at night. Rather than the traditional axel design, the Kaytee Silent Spinner uses a ball bearing design.
They also designed it with your hamster’s safety in mind. The surface of the wheel is made of gap-free plastic, which means you can feel confident that your hamster’s feet will not get stuck or injured.
However, many users have found that this wheel is much more fragile than some of the other wheels on this list. With prolonged use, pieces begin to loosen up and deteriorate. This means that if you do decide to get this wheel, you will likely end up replacing it eventually. Make sure you take the right size depending on your hamster breed since Syrian hamsters require a 10″ wheel at least.
- Silent design that will not keep you up at night
- The surface is solid plastic, so no risk for your hamster’s feet getting caught
- Perfect size for small dwarf hamsters
- Does tend to deteriorate with prolonged use
The Suncoast Wodent Wheel is designed for a number of different small pets, such as sugar gliders and hamsters. It is one of the larger wheels on this list, so it is great for Syrian hamsters, though dwarf hamsters would likely struggle to run on a wheel of this size.
It comes pre-oiled to ensure that it is both quiet and smooth for you and your hamster. However, it is not going to be as silent as some of the other options on this list that do not have an axel at all. Nevertheless, it is extremely durable. Even the plastic portions stand up well to chewing, and the metal stand is pretty much hamster proof.
One of the other unique features of this wheel is that it can be used as either a free-standing or a fixed wheel. While the metal stand is very sturdy, you can also easily attach it to the wall of your hamster’s enclosure with attachment wiring for some extra security or space in the enclosure.
- 11-inch diameter is perfect for Syrian and larger hamsters
- Extremely durable plastic and metal stand
- Can be used as either a fixed or free-standing wheel
- The plastic guard makes it harder to clean
This wheel comes in two different sizes. The first size is 8.5 inches, and the second is 10 inches. Both sizes should be suitable for most hamsters, though they might both be a bit too big for really small dwarf hamsters. It is available in three different colors (brown, pink, and white), so you can pick the one that best fits the look that you are going for.
This wheel is very quiet due to the use of a dual ball-bearing wheel system instead of an axel. They have also sealed off the axel so that it will stay clean and functional.
The feature that makes this wheel stand out is the adjustable height. You can use the back to move the stand up and down so you can adjust it to where your hamster will be most comfortable climbing in and out of it.
- Super silent dual ball bearing design
- Adjustable height so you can make it easy for your hamster to get in and out
- Comes in a variety of sizes and colors so you can pick what works best for you
- Even the smaller size might be a bit big for smaller dwarf hamsters
The Zacro Hamster Exercise Wheel has a super clean and sleek design which makes it both safe for your hamster’s small feet and really easy to clean. Plus, the lightweight 8.7-inch wheel should be suitable for most hamsters (dwarf and Syrian.) Of course, this does depend a little on your specific hamster.
It also is another wheel designed without an axel, so you can trust that it will not be too loud at night as long as you put it together correctly.
However, this wheel does not come assembled, and some users have difficulty putting it together. It also is on the more expensive end when it comes to hamster wheels, so if you are on a budget, you might want to consider looking at some of the more budget-friendly wheels on this list.
- The sleek design is easy to clean
- Completely safe surface for your hamster’s small feet
- It does not have an axel which means it is on the quieter end
- Not always easy to put together
If you have space in your hamster’s enclosure and are wanting a saucer-like wheel rather than an upright wheel, the Ware Flying Saucer Hamster Exercise Wheel is a great option. It is made of plastic that is solid and resistant.
The disc shape also means that it will work with most breeds and sizes of hamsters. Other positive features include the fact that it is both really quiet and easy to clean.
The one downside to this wheel is that it does tend to deteriorate if overused and it is quite easy for your hamster to chew. However, because it is one of the more affordable wheels on this list, replacing it every now and then is not too bad.
- One of the most affordable wheels on the list
- Super easy to clean
- Designed to be very quiet
- This type of wheel is not the most durable
If you have a little bit more money to spend on your hamster’s wheel, the Niteangel Wooden Hamster Exercise Wheel will look great in your hamster’s enclosure. It comes in three different sizes ranging from 8.6 inches to 11.2. inches, so you should be able to get one that works for your hamster no matter his size.
The cork track on the wheel is great for hamsters that have more sensitive paws, and the wood making up the wheel is super durable, so it will stand up to regular hamster chewing. It also has the same unique adjustable height feature as the other Niteangel wheel on this list, so you can move it to whatever height works best for your hamster.
Finally, it is designed with a dual ball bearing to keep it spinning smoothly and quietly all night long.
- The wood is durable and resistant to chewing
- Cork track is super easy on your hamster’s feet
- Comes in three sizes, so you can pick the one that works best for your hamster
- One of the most expensive wheels on the list
This hamster wheel is a really great option if you are looking for a small, cute hamster wheel perfect for little dwarf hamsters. It is 6.9 inches in size and comes in four different cute designs. It is also super durable, so your hamster can run on it all night long if he wants to and it will keep spinning just as smoothly.
However, there is no need to worry that your hamster will keep you up all night with his running because it is designed to be very quiet. This wheel utilizes a ball bearing, so there is no axel grinding and squeaky while your hamster runs.
Finally, the wheel can be used as a free-standing wheel, or you can easily attach it to the side of any wire hamster cage that you have. Whichever option works best for you and your hamster is perfectly fine.
- Perfect size for most dwarf hamsters
- Super durable design will stand up to prolonged usage
- Can be used as a free-standing or fixed wheel
- Too small to be used for Syrian or larger hamsters
This hamster wheel is another great option if you are looking for a wheel that smaller hamsters will be able to use with ease. It is a 6.7-inch freestanding wheel, and it is super lightweight and easy to spin. It also comes in three different colors (blue, green, and purple), so you can pick the color that you like best.
This wheel is very sturdy, both as a freestanding wheel on the provided stand and when attached to the side of your hamster’s wire enclosure. Furthermore, the surface is really easy to clean, though it does have small ridges, which can become hard on some hamsters’ feet as they run for extended periods of time.
Finally, this wheel is another quiet design, though sometimes, with repeated use, it starts to make noise. Though if this happens, you can easily adjust it to make it quiet once again.
- Silent design ensures you will not be kept awake at night
- Comes in three different colors that you get to choose from
- Easy to clean
- Has small ridges along the surface, which can be hard on your hamster’s feet
The Mojetto Comfort Hamster Wheel is definitely one of the more basic options on this list, but it is very affordable, making it a great option for people trying to stick to a budget. It is mostly made of plastic, but the base is metal, and it is very sturdy. You can also mount it to the wall of the cage if you want.
The downside to getting this more basic but affordable wheel is that it does squeak like a more traditional hamster wheel, which means it might keep you up at night if you keep your hamster in your room.
- A very affordable wheel
- Sturdy plastic wheel and metal base
- Can be used as a free-standing or fixed wheel
- Quite squeaky
What Is The Best Wheel For Syrian Hamsters?
What Is The Best Wheel For Dwarf Hamsters?
Dwarf hamsters are too small to successfully use the big wheels that Syrian hamsters need. Because of this, you want to go with smaller options like the Kaytee Silent Spinner or n/a Silent Hamster Wheel.
Why Do Hamsters Need A Wheel?
When hamsters are in their natural habitat, they will run for miles and miles every single night with the goal of finding food, nesting materials, a mate, etc. Because hamsters need to be able to run these long distances every single night, they are naturally very high-energy animals with an instinctual desire to run.
Of course, when a hamster is domesticated and lives in a cage, you cannot very easily give him miles and miles of space to explore every single night. Because of this, caring for your hamster’s needs means finding other ways to allow your hamster to run, play, scavenge, and expend his energy. One of the ways you can allow your hamster to get that exercise he is craving is with a hamster wheel. On a hamster wheel, your hamster can run the many miles they would in the wild while never leaving their enclosure.
Other benefits of hamster wheels include:
- keeping your hamster from becoming too bored or restless
- helps keep your hamster healthy
- gives your hamster a safe way to release his natural energy
- helps prevent your hamster from becoming obese
- fulfills your hamster’s natural need to run
Do All Hamster Breeds Need A Wheel?
Yes, it is important that your hamster has access to an exercise wheel, no matter the breed or size. It is a common misconception that small hamsters, like dwarf hamsters, will be okay without a wheel as long as they are given a bigger enclosure. Actually, just like Syrian hamsters, Dwarf hamsters in the wild will run for several miles, and their desire to do so does not go away just because they are domesticated.
However, that does not mean that they necessarily need the exact same hamster wheel. Syrian hamsters obviously need a slightly bigger wheel because they themselves are slightly bigger. On the other hand, while most dwarf hamsters can use a wheel that Syrian hamsters can fit on, they can also use wheels that are a whole lot smaller. Often the wheels that come with hamster cages/enclosures are sized for dwarf hamsters, so if you get a Syrian hamster, you might end up buying a new wheel anyways.
Now, this does not mean that all hamsters instinctually know how to use a wheel. They know they want to run, but they may not know that jumping on the colored wheel attached to the wall of their enclosure will allow them to do so. If your hamster does not appear to know how to use his wheel, check out the section below about how to teach your hamster to safely use his hamster wheel.
Are Hamster Wheels Safe Or Are They Cruel?
If you get the right kind of wheel, they are perfectly safe (for the most part.) However, it is still important to know the risks that are associated with hamster wheels, especially if you end up getting the wrong kind.
The main dangers of hamster wheels come from getting the wrong kind of wheel. There are certain wheels that have holes or spaces in the surface area. Wire wheels are especially dangerous, but even plastic wheels with gaps/spaces can be dangerous. When a hamster is running on a wheel with gaps, his legs, toes, tails, etc., could get caught up in the wheel. This can lead to bone fractures or breaks, dismemberment, or other injuries. For this reason, the surface or your hamster’s wheel should not have any holes/gaps. We will further go over what the surface or your hamster’s wheel should look like in the next section.
The second danger to hamster wheels is if you have multiple hamsters in one enclosure. Hamsters do not have the best sense of self-preservation, so it is not entirely uncommon for a hamster to run under the wheel while another hamster is on it. If this happens, it could lead to broken bones and organ damage, and it can even be fatal. For this reason, many people who have multiple hamsters in one enclosure rely on alternative exercise solutions.
Main Features To Keep In Mind When Buying A Hamster Wheel
It is important for your hamster’s overall well-being that you pick the correct size of your hamster wheel. In general, the minimum size for a dwarf hamster wheel should be 6.5 inches, and the minimum size for a Syrian hamster wheel should be 8 inches.
However, the best way to tell if you have the right size is to just watch your hamster run on it. When your hamster runs on his wheel, he should be able to do so with a straight back. If he can’t, you need a bigger wheel.
There are two main designs that you will come across when looking at hamster wheels. The most common is the upright wheel. This is probably what you picture when you think of hamster wheels. An up-right wheel that your hamster can crawl up on to and run.
The second option is a saucer. This is usually a circular piece of plastic that is slanted, attached to a base, and spins as your hamster runs. Both are perfectly fine options. However, if you only have limited space in your hamster’s enclosure, the up-right wheel is definitely the better pick.
3. Standing or Fixed
You will also come across wheels that are marketed as standing wheels or fixed wheels. A standing wheel is exactly what it sounds like: a free-standing wheel that you can place inside of your hamster’s enclosure. These wheels are generally quieter.
The other kind is the fixed wheels. Fixed wheels attach directly to the side of your hamster’s enclosure and are generally more secure/less likely to tip over.
Hamsters are nocturnal animals. This means that right when you are ready to turn in for the night, your hamster is going to hop on his wheel and start running (possibly for hours.) Because of this, you are likely going to want to look for a quiet wheel (especially if your hamster is going to be in your room) so you can sleep while he runs.
There are three main materials that you will run into when looking at hamster wheels. The most common is plastic, which is perfectly fine as long as your hamster does not start to chew on it. If your hamster likes to chew, you will likely want to get a hamster wheel that is either made of metal and therefore chew-proof or made of wood that is safe for your hamster to chew on.
6. Running Surface
For a long time, popular hamster wheels had gaps, mesh, or rungs. However, all of these features can be quite dangerous for hamsters. You want to look for a wheel with a completely solid running surface.
Can You Use Other Small Pets’ Wheels?
The good thing about owning a small pet is a lot of the accessories designed for one small pet can be used for another. This is true with hamster wheels. As long as the wheel is the correct size and has a solid surface, it does not matter what animal the wheel was technically marketed for.
What Are Some Alternatives to Wheels?
Unless you have the capabilities to give your hamster plenty of time outside of his enclosure, you pretty much need to get him a wheel. However, if you are home a lot, there are some alternatives that you can consider.
- Free-Roaming: Other people simply allow their hamsters to free roam around the room or in a designated area, such as a playpen. This can be a great way to help your hamster get exercise and avoid becoming bored, but it is only safe if you can carefully watch your hamster to make sure he is safe and not getting into things he shouldn’t.
- Stimulating Toys: You can give your hamster other toys like ropes, climbing objects, and chew toys to play within his enclosure. These toys will help prevent boredom, but they will not offer a great solution for exercise and running. For that reason, they are best when used in addition to a wheel.
Are hamster balls a good alternative?
Generally speaking, hamster balls are not great alternatives for hamster wheels. They are too small and even sometimes dangerous for a hamster to really enjoy. For a full discussion on the subject, please read our article “Are Hamster Balls Safe?“
Can A Hamster Run Too Much On A Wheel?
Hamsters will usually stop themselves before they run too much, but sometimes they can get addicted to running on their wheel. Some signs that this could be happening could be sores or blisters appearing on their feet or excessive exhaustion.
Let’s go over some of the reasons that your hamster might be running too much and some of the solutions.
Some hamsters will get bored when they are confined to their enclosures all day, no matter how many toys and activities you give them. If this is the case for your hamster, you have a couple of different options. First, you could try getting your hamster a bigger space. On the other hand, the often easier option is to just get your hamster out of the enclosure for some supervised playtime each day.
2. High Energy Diet
Hamsters need to eat a variety of different foods, but if your hamster’s diet is made up of too many high-energy foods like sunflower seeds, he might become hyperactive and then run on the wheel for far longer than he should.
3. Lack of Other Toys
While the wheel is a very important toy to provide your hamster with, he will be happiest if he has other options too. Providing him with other kinds of exercise/play equipment like tunnels, ladders, climbing toys, etc., will help prevent excessive running.
4. Natural Instinct
Of course, your hamster might just be running so much due to natural instinct. If this is the case and providing him with more space, more toys, a different diet, etc., does not work, you might have to limit your hamster’s access to the wheel by taking it out of the enclosure at certain times each day.
How To Teach A Hamster To Use A Wheel
The good news is, once your hamster figures out what the wheel is for, his instincts will cause him to naturally want to use the wheel and run, so your main job is to show him what it is for. However, forcing him on the wheel is not the ideal solution because it could cause panic or lead to him being scared of the wheel.
Instead, try to entice him on the wheel with treats and reward him whenever he shows interest in the wheel. You can also use treats to encourage him to start moving on the wheel. Before long, he should be a natural wheel runner. Just make sure you have a wheel that is both made of safe material and of the correct size.
- 10 Best Hamster Toys You Can Buy Online
- 10 Best Hamster Treats
- Hamster Cage Setup – How to Create The Perfect Habitat for Your Hamster
References and Further Reading:
- Exercise protects against articular cartilage degeneration in the hamster, Ivan G. Otterness, James D. Eskra, Marcia L. Bliven, Anne K. Shay, Jean-Pierre Pelletier, A. J. Milici
- Daily Novel Wheel Running Reorganizes and Splits Hamster Circadian Activity Rhythms, Michael R. Gorman, Theresa M. Lee
- Activity measured by running wheels and observation during the oestrous cycle, pregnancy and pseudopregnancy in the golden hamster, M.P.M.Richards