Hamsters may be little but in the wild, they travel large distances often running for miles. Therefore, as responsible pet owners, we need to make sure that our hamsters have the opportunity to burn off any excess energy. The best way to do this is to invest in a good hamster wheel as it provides plenty of exercise and entertainment too.
A hamster wheel is a must for any cage, but you need to consider the size and growth potential of your hamster, what time they are likely to be most active and how easy it is to clean. Below we give our guide to the 8 best hamster wheels available.
- Exotic Nutrition Silent Runner
- Suncoast Sugar Glider Wodent wheel
- Ware Flying Saucer Hamster Wheel
- Kaytee CritterTrail Snap-On Comfort Wheel
- Kaytee Comfort Wheel Giant 12 Inches
- JEMPET Hamster Silent Running Exercise Wheel
- Prevue Pet Products Quiet Wheels
- Kaytee Comfort Wheel Large 8.5 Inches
Things to consider when buying a hamster wheel
There are several factors to consider when choosing a hamster wheel.
- Firstly, you need to get the right size wheel for your hamster. It is really important that you buy your hamster the correct wheel for their current and potential size so that your hamster always runs with a straight spine. Running with an arched back can cause problems in the future, such as curvature of the spine. Most cages come with a built-in wheel of approx. 5”. These wheels are way too small, even for dwarf hamsters, especially as your hamster grows. If you want to know more about how big should a hamster wheel be, then read our informative blog.
- Secondly, you need to consider when your hamster is most active. Most hamsters prefer to run around at night and therefore you may prefer a wheel that is quiet so that you can enjoy a peaceful sleep.
- Thirdly, remember to consider how easy the wheel will be to clean. Hamsters can be messy, and a fiddly wheel will make the whole cleaning of the cage take twice as long.
- Finally, you should think about the material of the wheel itself. Most hamster wheels are available in either plastic, wood or metal, but we would only advise buying a plastic or wooden one. Metal may be a stronger material; however, most wheels are made of mesh or bars which can be dangerous for your hamster. Your furry friend has fragile legs and toes and if they fall through the gaps or get caught between the rungs then they could get injured. Long term running on this type of material can also cause bumble foot, which are painful abscesses that develop on the bottom of the feet. Plastic wheels are much safer as they are made from one solid piece of plastic, so there are no gaps.
Having taken all of the above into consideration, we have reviewed the most popular hamster wheels that are currently available to buy, as well as answering any ‘wheely’ hard questions you may have.
Our guide to the best hamster wheels
Hamster wheels come in various sizes and designs, but ideally, you want a wheel that keeps them slim, trim, safe and healthy!
Best silent wheel – Exotic Nutrition Silent runner
- ✔ SAFE – The axle-free design eliminates a dangerous center bar, reducing the risk of fur/tail entanglement, pet wrap-a-round, curvature of the spine, and other injuries.
- ✔ SILENT – Innovative dual ball-bearings create a whisper-silent spin. Two stainless steel ball-bearings are within the back plate of the wheel, ensuring the wheel glides smooth and silent. The bearings SPIN around the bolt as your pet runs, unlike annoying squeaky wheels on the market that have a center axle that creates friction and noise.
- ✔ PACKAGE SET – Includes wheel, stand, and cage attachment washers for easy installation.
- ✔ IDEAL FOR – Hamsters (Teddy Bear, smaller Syrians, larger Dwarfs / Robos, etc.), Gerbils, Mice, and other similar small animals (not suggested for chewers).
- ✔ FAST, FREE SHIPPING in USA! Avg 3 days! ZooPro sells exotic animal food and accessories that are manufactured by Exotic Nutrition Pet Supply Company. Exotic Nutrition has been the industry leader of exotic animal products since 1998, specializing in sugar gliders, hedgehogs, prairie dogs, marmosets, degus, skunks, opossums, chinchillas, rats, hamsters, gerbils, squirrels, rabbits, guinea pigs, rodents, ferrets, chickens, bluebirds, wild birds, monkeys, marsupials, reptiles, amphibians & more
We love this hamster wheel as it is durable yet incredibly roomy, providing your hamster with plenty of space to stretch out and run. And whilst we all want our hamsters to keep fit, there is nothing worse than a squeaky wheel.
What is great about the Exotic Nutrition Silent Runner is that it truly does not make a sound. It also features a non-slip textured running track which allows your hamster to patter away without the risk of a potential injury. It also has the added benefit of filing your hamster’s nails in the process.
This free-standing wheel does not contain a centre axle, which allows your hamster to run with a flat back, reducing the risk of spinal injury. It is semi-enclosed with bean-shaped openings, so your hamster will be safely cosseted inside. Available in a number of sizes the Exotic Nutrition Silent Runner is a great choice for all hamster breeds.
- No centre Axle
- Textured non-slip running track
- Available in a variety of sizes
- Can be tricky to clean
Safest hamster wheel – Suncoast Sugar Glider Wodent Wheel
This spacious wheel is not only great for your hamster’s spine but has a wall to wall tail shield that completely covers the axle preventing any potential tail injuries.
We have always had an issue with keeping our hamster’s nails short, but with this wheel, you do not need to worry about trimming them. The Suncoast Sugar Glider Wodent Wheel has a built-in patented Nail-O-Matic™, that files them for you.
- Includes the patented Nail-O-Matic™ to reduce costly vets bills for professional nail trimming
- Easy to clean
- Includes tail shield
- More expensive than other wheels
- Need to replace the Nail-O-Matic™ part of the wheel every 3 years
Best Saucer Wheel – Ware Flying Saucer Hamster Wheel
- Additional supplies
- Small animal exercise wheels & tubes
- Your Pet Will Love to Run on The Flying Saucer Exercise Wheel
- Solid Running Surface is Great for Small Pets
This freestanding wheel offers a flatter running surface for your hamster. The Ware is our pick of the flying saucers and we like it as it can be purchased in a choice of sizes and colors.
This wheel is great if you keep more than one dwarf hamster together in a cage as they can accommodate multiple runners. It also has a solid running surface to keep your hamsters’ feet safe and secure from harm and is incredibly easy to clean.
Although this wheel is relatively quiet, we have found that the ones we purchased did start to squeak after some regular use, so you may need to oil it from time to time.
- Easy to clean
- Large enough to fit multiple dwarf hamsters
- Not completely silent
Best clip on hamster wheel – Kaytee CritterTrail Snap-On Comfort Wheel
- Space saving Snap-on Comfort Wheel creates an external exercise area for small animals. Safe and quiet operation means very little disturbing noise. Easy to clean, removable Waste Collector Cup keeps the pet’s area clean and sanitized.
- Bubble Wave Fun-nels design features a comfort grip that is safe for your pet’s paws. Snap-on Wheel is 6.75″ diameter, 4.5″ wide and available in assorted colors.
- Universally connectable, easily attaches to all CritterTrail habitats and accessories
Although this wheel is fun and colorful, we would not recommend it as the main exercise wheel for your hamster – especially Syrians due to their size. Instead, this should only ever form part of an entertainment system for your hamster and a larger free-standing wheel will need to be installed.
What is great about the Kaytee CritterTrail Snap-On Comfort wheel is that it is great for your hamster to hop in and out of, is economical in terms of space and it is easy and quick to install when used in conjunction with CritterTrail cage systems.
The wheel itself is fully enclosed for your hamster’s safety plus it is sturdy and relatively quiet when your hamster is running at full pelt.
- Simple snap-on space-saving design
- Can only be used in conjunction with CritterTrail cages
- Too small to be used as a main exercise wheel
- Difficult to clean
Best wheel for a Syrian hamster – Kaytee Comfort Wheel Giant 12 Inches
- Can be free standing or attached to wire cage
- For pet rats, chinchillas, and hedgehogs
- Encourages healthy exercise
- 12″ Diameter
- Colors vary
Syrian or teddy bear hamsters as they are otherwise known, are one of the largest hamster breeds, coming in at almost double the size of a dwarf hamster. Female Syrian hamsters tend to be larger than the males, but both genders are extremely solitary and territorial so will need to be kept on their own from around five weeks old. Averaging between 6-7” in size, they need a large wheel of between 8-12” which makes the Kaytee Comfort Giant Wheel perfect.
What is great about this wheel is that depending on the space available within the cage, it can be placed either free-standing or can be attached to the wire bars. They feature a tail-safe design, and are good for long-haired Syrian hamster, as it does not have any spindles.
This wheel also has easy access which makes entering and exiting a breeze, especially if your hamster is slightly older and finds it difficult to maneuver around.
- 12” in size allows plenty of space for large Syrians to run around
- Free standing or fixed attachment
- Tail safe design
- Available in a choice of colors
- You need plenty of space to house this wheel
Best wheel for a Robovoski – JEMPET Hamster Silent Running Exercise Wheel
Roborovskis are the smallest of the dwarf hamsters, growing to just 2” in size so can easily enjoy running around in a 6” hamster wheel. There are no noticeable differences between male and female Roborvoskis either, so this hamster wheel size is perfect for both male and females.
The JEMPET Hamster Silent Running Exercise Wheel is made from natural wood so is stylish and versatile, doubling as an exercise and chew toy for your hamster (so is good for keeping their teeth in check). Plus you will find a safety stand and enclosed back which prevents your hamster from getting stuck.
The running surface is made of oak bark so is soft on your hamsters feet and greatly reduces the risk of injury.
- Super soft on hamsters’ feet
- Incredibly quiet design
- Made from natural wood
- Available in two sizes
- As it is gnawable it may need replacing
Best wheel for Chinese Hamsters – Pruvue Quiet Wheel
- Ball bearings keeps the wheel whisper-quiet when in use-no more squeaks or rattles!
- Use with stand or remove from the stand and fasten to cage wires
- The all-plastic wheel and base disassembles easily for cleaning
- Attractive translucent blue wheel on a clean white base
- Available in three sizes-for mouse & gerbil up to hedgehog & guinea pig
Chinese hamsters are not dwarf hamsters and although they do look of similar size, they tend to grow to around 4”. Therefore, Chinese hamster wheels need to be a minimum of 8” in size.
The Prevue Wheel can be affixed directly to your hamsters habitat or used with a stand depending on your personal needs. The wheel itself is a simplistic yet modern design and can be disassembled for easy cleaning.
One of the biggest pros to this wheel is that it is super quiet so your Chinese hamster can exercise for hours without you even knowing it!
- Incredibly quiet
- Available in a variety of sizes (although we recommend at least the 8” for a Chinese hamster)
- Freestanding or fixed attachment
- Can be disassembled to clean
- Not suitable for Syrian hamsters
Best wheel for a Winter White or Campbell Dwarf hamster – Kaytee Comfort Wheel 8.5”
- Specially designed for quiet spinning
- Encourages healthy exercise
- 8.5″ diameter
- Best for hamsters and rats
- Free standing or attach directly to any wire cage
Ok, so this may be a bit of a cheat as we have already reviewed this wheel for Syrian hamsters, but we just couldn’t resist giving it another mention – especially if you have a dwarf hamster.
The 8.5” wheel is a great size for Winter Whites and Campbell hamsters, as they do require a slightly larger hamster wheel of between 6”-8”, as they can grow up to 4” themselves. Although dwarf hamsters can share cages, it is recommended that you provide them with a wheel each – even if they prefer running together.
For more information on this wheel and the pros and cons of its design, see our review of the Kaytee Comfort Exercise Wheel Giant 12” for a full breakdown of features.
A hamster wheel will bring your furry friend so much joy. On top of the mental and physical advantages that many of these exercise wheels offer, there are health benefits too. From filing their nails to keeping their teeth in check and their weight down, your hamster can enjoy hours of fun working out in the night.