Best Hamster Wheels – What you need to know
Welcome to the wonderful world of hamster wheels. Images of these enchanting little furballs doing their circular aerobics are iconic – it’s one of the many great things about hamster keeping. You will have likely noticed that there are lots of wheel options on the internet so don’t worry about feeling spoilt for choice. Check out the following information to solve your hamster wheel headache. It takes you step-by-step through hamster behavior and why wheels matter, plus some ideas on the type of wheel to opt for. You’ll then be ready to decide what are the best hamster wheels for your little critters. Read on to avoid hamster wheel overload!
Hamsters and exercise
There’s no debate on whether hamsters need wheels. They do, but why? It’s obvious that they are nature’s busybodies, who love nothing better than to explore and root about. Cage space can’t offer them steppe habitat, so they require an outlet that keeps them healthy, fit and happy. It’s a requirement that’s linked to their wild behavior – they can run anywhere up to 5 miles in one night. Added to this, hamsters have to be quick, considering they are tiny and unnervingly edible to predators – which can include humans!
Hamster wheel material – Metal or plastic?
These come in a range of options including wood, but plastic and metal are the most common. While true that metal is more durable, they tend to be constructed with rungs so there are gaps. Plastic wheels usually come in one compact piece. The bottom line is that, whatever you go for, wheel surfaces should be safe, with no sharp edges or bumps. A degree of texture is okay but only to make the wheel non-slip – ideally, ensure the wheel is free of holes or any gaps. Hamster bits like tail and feet can become stuck – keep in mind the sensitivity of tiny feet to prevent bruising and/or soreness.
Hamster Wheel size guide
Getting this right is essential for hamster health and fitness. Considering the range in hamster size, wheel size also varies. Dwarf hamsters need different sized wheels to the Syrian hamsters, for example. The wrong size can impact on a hamster’s health, specifically if the wheel’s too small. Hamsters will run on their wheels with their backs arched. Change the wheel as soon as you can because this can cause serious health problems, such as tendon and joint conditions. In fact, the bigger the wheel diameter, the less risk of back arching – and it gives the hamster a better simulation of running on the flat.
The best Hamster exercise wheels available
There are many different manufacturers and models available on the market. Here are a few of the best hamster wheels available right now!
Best wheel size for Dwarf hamsters
For tiny critters such as Roborovskis, select a wheel that’s a minimum of 16.5 cm. Larger wheels need more strength to push, and the dwarfs lack the robustness of their bigger cousins. It’s okay to go for a slightly smaller diameter if your hamsters are very young, but adults will need all of that 16.5 cm.
Best wheel size for Syrians hamsters
Wheels at a minimum of 20 cm are appropriate for the Syrians and similar sized breeds. If you consider that the Syrian hamster can average around 18 cm in length, they’re going to need a wheel with a generous diameter. Comparative to their size, they are also stronger and capable of pushing bigger wheels without any problems. Also, it’s worth reiterating the caveat that the wheel mustn’t be too small for them, considering the risks to their musculoskeletal system.
Quiet, please! – Best silent hamster wheels
There isn’t a completely silent hamster wheel on the market, although you might need to pay a bit more for a product that is quieter. Essentially, it’s down to your hamster’s activity and how much ‘noise’ they decide to make! The quicker they are on the wheel, there’s going to be some sound effects as opposed to a gentle limbering up. If hamster wheel music isn’t your thing during the night, give some thought to where you want to site the enclosure. Enthusiasts tend to agree that the quieter the wheel means the slower the hamster. If annoyed by non-hamster squeaking, lubricate with olive oil at the wheel and spindle juncture – however, no guarantees!
Best exercise wheels for Dwarf hamsters
Dependent on hamster size, you may need to do a bit of tweaking in terms of diameter with an inch or so either way. Remember, younger critters might need something smaller but will grow into larger wheels.
Exotic Nutrition Silent Runner exercise wheel
Exotic Nutrition’s Silent Runner Wheel is the most innovative wheel on the market for its safety features and whisper-silent spin. The axle-free construction eliminates the dangerous center axle that many wheels have, reducing the risk of fur/tail entanglement, pet wrap-a-round, curvature of the spine, and other spine injuries. The wheel spins using dual-ball bearing technology, stainless steel ball bearings ensure the wheel glides smooth and quiet, unlike many of the annoying squeaky wheels on the market. The heavy-duty metal stand allows for give, protecting your pet from joint pain caused by running on a hard, fixed surface. Running tracks are textured, for excellent grip. Wheel completely dissembles for easy cleaning, no nooks for feces to hide in. Designed with a front plate for safety and containment, with natural bean-shaped openings. Features pet-preferred solid black walls. You’ll love this wheel’s silence, safety, and durability, it is truly built to last!
- Range of sizes available
- Available as stand-alone or attached to side cages
- Spacious enough to avoid back arching
- They come in bright, cheerful colors
- Reported as quiet – but not silent!
- cage Fixings are temperamental
Best exercise wheels for Syrian/larger hamsters
There are lots of larger wheels out there, but check out these best of the rest to get you started. Sizes accommodate smaller/average sized Syrians while, for the more robust hamster, wheels are available up to 30+ cm – these are also suitable for pregnant/podgy hamsters.
Kaytee Comfort Exercise Wheel
The Kaytee Comfort Wheel features a safe, solid running surface, quiet operation, and a “tail-safe” design, allowing pets easy entrance and exit. Every Comfort Wheel comes with a heavy duty wire stand and a 2-way attachment clip, so the wheel can be used either free-standing or clipped to a wire cage. Available in sizes small, large or giant.
- 21.59 cm diameter – nice and roomy for bigger hamsters
- One of the most popular wheels available
- Can stand-alone or be mounted to a side cage
- Has a special ‘tail-safe’ feature
- Can be difficult to attach to a cage
- Build quality is not the best seen
- Pretty nosy in comparison to other wheels available
Kaytee Silent Spinner Large Exercise Wheel
Kaytee silent spinner exercise wheels feature an enclosed spinner hub to reduce noise making them run quite compared to traditional exercise wheels. Silent spinners work two ways: free standing or attach directly to any wire cage. Features a high-quality plastic running surface is safe and comfortable for your furry friend’s feet. Available in sizes Mini, regular, large or giant. Size large is ideal for Syrian hamsters, large breed hamsters, sugar gliders, or other small animals.
- 21.08 cm diameter. good size for a larger hamster.
- Available in bright colors
- Relatively quiet
- Stability issues when mounted on the stand
- Not completely silent as advertised
- Build quality is average
Kaytee Silent Spinner Giant Exercise Wheel
Super Pet Silent Spinner Workout Wheel for Pet Critters (Assorted, Large, 12 Inch Diameter) The Silent Spinner, Large, is the wonderful, whisper quiet workout wheel for pet rats and chinchillas. Patented ball bearing technology makes these wheels super silent. This wheel spins on a plastic spoke to eliminate the annoying sounds of traditional metal wheels. The solid, but ventilated, plastic wheel has no wire spacing in which your pet’s tiny feet or tail can get caught or pinched. The durable plastic wheel features raised treads for better traction and improved pet safety. Silent Spinners work two ways – free standing or attach it directly to any wire cage. High quality, two-toned plastic running surface is safe and comfortable for your furry friend’s feet.
- 30.48 cm diameter offers a big hamster generous running space.
- Stand-alone and attachable to side cage.
- lots of colors available.
- Reasonably quiet but will make noise dependent on hamster speed!
- Build quality has been questioned much like the large version.
- Unstable when on the stand.
Hamster wheel cars are huge fun for viewing but, importantly, are great for hamsters too! Hamsters get all the exercise and stimulus they need, while you get to take lots of cute pictures. There are various types available on the internet.
No need to worry – your hamster won’t be lost in space using a Saucer wheel, shaped just like a flying saucer. Some models apply ball-bearings to the base, offering a quiet but fun ride for your hamster. These wheels still give your hamster adequate exercise and you 100% entertainment value.
Not strictly wheels, hamster balls give little critters exercise and interest while you’re busy sprucing up the cage. You can keep an eye on your hamster, and not have to worry about them getting bored. There are various exercise balls on the market, with some even glowing in the dark if you fancy a touch of nocturnal cleaning.
The best hamster wheel winner is…
You’ll now have some ideas on ideal features for the best hamster wheels. In truth, there is no winner overall – all hamsters differ, dependent on size and exercise needs. Observing your hamster on the wheel will be the best gauge, so enjoy the process.