Welcome To Our Complete Guide To The Best Hamster Wheels. Giving You Reviews Of The Top Designs, And Helping You To Pick The Right Hamster Wheel For Your Tiny Friend.
In everyday life, the saying “hamster wheel” has become a catch-phrase for all kinds of daily challenges.
But in hamster life, “hamster wheel” means one thing and one thing only – that fabulous circular exercise toy that keeps your hammie busy and happy. Not to mention slim and trim and healthy!
If you are a newbie hamster owner, it might seem like a simple matter to hop online or head to a local pet shop and pick out a hamster wheel.
But that assumption can quickly fade when you confront the mountains of options before you.
From a silent hamster wheel to a metal hamster wheel to a wooden hamster wheel to a hamster saucer wheel….oh my goodness! How will you ever decide?
We are here to simplify the decision-making process!
This curated list separates out the “best of the best” hamster wheel options in every major category.
So now instead of 20 hamster wheels, you can choose from just two or three and then pick your favorite.
Happy hamster wheel hunting – and please do let us know which wheel you decide on and how your fur baby is enjoying it!
Do hamsters need a wheel?
Hamsters need a wheel almost as much as they need food, water and veterinary care.
To that point, many exotic “pocket pet” veterinarians now recommend that you set up your hammie’s entire habitat. Including picking out and installing an exercise wheel, before you even bring your new pet home!
So why do hamsters need a wheel? For starters, an exercise wheel is a natural antidote to boredom and loneliness.
Since hamsters are nocturnal (awake mostly at night) when you are asleep, both boredom and loneliness can be a real issue. This is especially true if your hamster doesn’t have access an exercise wheel to while away the hours. Did you know some hamsters have been known to run up to five miles per night on their exercise wheels!
But perhaps the main reason for why do hamsters run on wheels relates back to their life in the wild.
Wild hamsters are small, bite-sized and delicious, meaning they have lots of natural predators. Snakes, hawks, owls, foxes, coyotes and even feral cats will readily snack on hamsters. In some cultures, even people consume hamsters!
So when you see your hamster running on wheel for hours, you can now understand that a hamster exercise wheel meets multiple needs for your pet hammie. And he should never be without access to one for daily use.
Hamster wheel size
Choosing the right hamster wheel size is named as one of the top most important aspects of proper hamster care.
For instance, a Syrian hamster wheel size should be different than a dwarf hamster wheel size. This reflects the different size, weight and strength of large, medium and small hamster breeds.
There are two critical safety considerations to keep in mind when selecting the best wheel for Syrian hamster versus the best wheel for a dwarf hamster. Those two considerations are:
Wheel diameter The wheel diameter should be sufficient to keep your hamster’s back from arching while she is running. If your hamster can’t keep her back straight, she can begin to suffer from muscle, tendon, joint and even skeletal health issues.
Wheel running surface Regardless of what your hamster spinning wheel is made of (plastic, wood, metal, et al), the surface your hamster runs on must be smooth and safe. It is fine if the running surface has a bit of texture so your hamster won’t slip while running, but there should be no holes, openings or gaps that could cause your hamster’s tail, toes or feet to become lodged in the wheel. As well, texture should be minimal and only for non-slip purposes, since hamsters’ feet are very sensitive and can become easily bruised or injured.
Hamster Wheel Size Requirements
As well, these general sizing guidelines can help you select the right hamster wheel type and size for your hamster’s needs:
Syrian hamster wheel
Syrian hamsters are the largest of the popular pet hamster breeds. Syrian hamsters can grow up to 7 inches long and weigh up to 7 ounces.
Here, it is obvious that Syrian hamsters, while still fragile overall, are bigger and stronger than their dwarf or hybrid cousins. So they can easily navigate a big hamster wheel that would be too weighty for smaller hamster breeds to move.
A Syrian hamster wheel should measure at least 8 inches in diameter and larger as needed.
Dwarf hamster wheel
The smallest dwarf hamsters will reach only one to two inches in length and weigh up to 1 ounce.
The largest of the dwarf hamster breeds will generally top out at 4 inches in length and weigh around 2 ounces.
These teensy hamsters need smaller wheels because they are not as strong as their Syrian cousins.
Depending on the breed, age and size of your dwarf hamster, you should aim for a hamster wheel size of between 4.5 and 6.5 inches in diameter.
The former is better for young dwarf hamsters, while the latter will be suitable for most adult dwarf hamster breeds.
6.5 inch hamster wheel
As we mentioned in the previous section here, getting the right size hamster wheel is such a critical part of meeting your hamster’s exercise and running needs.
If the hamster wheel is too big, your hammie won’t have the strength to propel it to spin.
If the hamster wheel is too small, your hamster’s back will begin to arch while running, causing pain and injury.
In general, hamster wheels in the 6-inch range do well for adult dwarf hamsters. So you can adjust upwards or downwards from there depending on the full-grown size of your hamster breed.
Best 6.5 Inch Hamster Wheels
Kaytee Silent Spinner Exercise Wheel
The popular Kaytee Silent Spinner Exercise Wheel comes in two sizes (4.5 inches, 6.5 inches).
Owners say this wheel is quiet but not silent. Colors vary, but they are all bright and fun.
Love Hamster Silent Spinner Exercise Wheel
The Love Hamster Silent Spinner Exercise Wheel comes in several sizes (5.5 inch, 6.89 inch, 8.3 inch).
Kaytee CritterTrail Snap-On Comfort Wheel
The Kaytee CritterTrail Snap-On Comfort Wheel is designed for use with other Critter Trail accessories such as tunnels and tubes.
Owners say it is very quiet – nearly silent – and sturdy. And that their dwarf hamsters love running on it.
8 inch and 9 inch hamster wheels
Hamster wheels for Syrian hamsters need to be larger than those designed for their dwarf or hybrid cousins.
Syrian hamsters are stronger and will enjoy the extra challenge of propelling these larger hamster wheels as they run.
Plus, a larger 8 inch hamster wheel or 9 inch hamster wheel will also offer a roomier running surface, making for a more comfortable overall fit.
Kaytee Large 8.5″ Comfort Exercise Wheel
The popular Kaytee Large 8.5″ Comfort Exercise Wheel measures a comfy 8.5 inches and is a best-selling hamster wheel product.
It even features a “tail safe” design.
Love Hamster Wheel 8.3 Inches Pet Silent Spinner Exercise Wheel
The unique Love Hamster Wheel 8.3 Inches Pet Silent Spinner Exercise Wheel comes in a variety of sizes and two colors (yellow, blue).
It is a perfect size for small to average-sized Syrians.
Exotic Nutrition Silent Runner 9 inch Pet Exercise Wheel
The fun and safe Exotic Nutrition Silent Runner inch hamster wheel is a good choice for young, senior and active adult hamsters.
There is no central axle so you don’t have to worry that your hammie will get a foot or tail caught while running or exiting the wheel. The color is bright yellow.
11 inch hamster wheel
Even Syrian hamsters can vary in size within the same litter.
One Syrian hamster might be the runt of the litter while another Syrian hamster baby might be the firstborn and have the extra benefit of their birth order to get the most food and grow bigger.
A 10 inch hamster wheel and up will work well for most medium to large-sized adult Syrian hamsters.
An 11 inch hamster wheel and a 12 inch hamster wheel provide the roomiest running experience for naturally big, overweight and pregnant Syrian hamsters.
11″ Diameter Wodent Wheel Dark Blue
This newer Wodent 11 inch hamster wheel is especially designed for larger furry “pocket pets” such as Syrian hamsters.
Niteangel Wooden Exercise Wheel for Hamster
The Niteangel wooden hamster wheel is completely handmade and measures 11 3/8 inches in diameter with a 3.5 inch running wheel width.
The running wheel has little wooden “steps” your hammie can use that pet owners say their hamsters love.
Best of all, owners say the minimal noise this 11 inch hamster wheel makes sounds like the “whoosh” of white noise so it doesn’t disturb their sleep.
12 inch hamster wheel
These 12 inch hamster wheel options will offer the roomiest, comfiest fit for large, overweight or pregnant Syrian hamsters.
Kaytee Silent Spinner Wheel, Giant 12-Inch
The wonderful Kaytee Silent 12 inch hamster wheel is not just large and roomy.
The wheel can be attached to the side of a cage or operated using the included floor stand. Colors may vary.
Exotic Nutrition Silent Runner 12″ Wide Pet Exercise Wheel
The Exotic Nutrition Silent 12 inch hamster wheel uses ball bearings for a more silent operation.
It offers a running track with a bit of texture to naturally trim nails. Because the wheel has no center axle, there is a much lower risk of injury.
You can mount it to the side of the cage or use the metal stand for freestanding use. Owners say it is quieter than other wheels they have tried.
Interpet Limited Superpet Comfort Wheel (by Kaytee)
The deep and roomy Interpet Kaytee 12 inch hamster wheel makes the perfect exercise wheel for even large or pregnant Syrian hamsters.
Silent hamster wheel
Very little in a hamster owner’s life is more prized than discovering a truly quiet hamster wheel.
For most owners, the ultimate goal is a silent spinner hamster wheel, but very few if any small or large hamster wheel can qualify as completely “silent.”
Probably the closest match to an authentic silent wheel is a metal hamster wheel with ball bearings, but in reality, part of how quietly (or not) a hamster wheel operates will always relate to how your hamster uses it.
Some hamsters seem to have an inbuilt need for speed, such that they can run and run and run at top speed until the wheel itself finally needs to replaced!
In most cases, owners say that their so-called “silent” or “quiet” hamster wheels are only quiet when their hammie is running at a leisurely pace. Once the pace increases, so does the noise level.
Best Quiet Hamster Wheels
According to hamster owners, these silent hamster wheel Syrian and dwarf choices come closest to being quiet enough not to disturb your slumbers.
Petzilla Quiet Hamster Exercise Wheel Silent Spinner, Sunflower Design
The uniquely lovely Petzilla Quiet hamster wheel comes in two sizes (7.5-inch, 9-inch) to accommodate hamsters of all sizes.
Owners say the wheel truly is silent so long as it is not attached to anything that might vibrate or make noise.
Exotic Nutrition Silent Runner Pet Exercise Wheel
Let’s see it again! The Exotic Nutrition Silent Runner hamster wheel comes in two sizes (9-inch, 12-inch) and three colors (orange, yellow, lime green).
The metal stand is sturdy and stable. Owners say their hamsters love this wheel and they do too because it lets them sleep at night!
Transoniq Wodent Wheel 8 Inch, Black with Blue Track
The virtually silent Transoniq Wodent hamster wheel features entry holes that offer a more enclosed running experience.
It is a hit with both people and their hamsters.
Hamster wheel car
Once you see this hamster wheel car with your own two eyes, you may soon decide your hammie can’t live without it (or, more accurately, you can’t live without it).
Just imagine the adorable photos you will take as your hamster “drives” around using only his hamster wheel for “fuel!”
Best of all, owners say this racing wheel really works and their hamsters love it. Hitting the hamster wheel jackpot can’t get any better than that!
Interpet Limited Critter Cruiser Racing Wheel (by Kaytee)
The super-cool self-contained Kaytee hamster wheel car looks exactly like what it sounds like – a hamster wheel inside a car.
This is an awesome choice for out-of-cage play and cage cleaning times. It is 9.06 inches high and 11.87 inches wide, so it is roomy enough even for large hamsters to enjoy.
Hamster exercise ball wheel
It is great to provide your hamster with 24/7 use of an in-habitat exercise wheel.
But what happens when you need to clean hammie’s cage?
You need to have some viable options to safely contain your hamster while you clean out her cage, change the bedding and spruce everything up.
Plus, sometimes it can be fun to offer your hamster play time that takes place out of the cage for some variety. The biggest challenge here, of course, is making sure your swift little fur baby doesn’t escape if you take your eyes off her for a second or two!
These hamster exercise ball wheel options are the perfect choice to give your hamster something fun to do while you tend to cage cleaning or just offer a change of scenery during playtime. Your hamster can run and explore to her heart’s content and you will always know exactly where she is!
For extra out-of-cage security, check out the third option on this list – it is a neat hamster track!
You can place your hamster’s exercise ball into the center groove of the track so she runs only in a set pattern in a certain location.
Kaytee Run-About 7″ Hamster Exercise Ball, Moon Glow
The popular and highly rated Kaytee Moon Glow exercise ball offers a unique take on the traditional hamster wheel.
Owners say this ball is sized well for all hamster breeds and is easy to wash and clean.
This ball comes in various sizes, including a very spacious 11.5 inch size for very large hamsters. The “moon glow” refers to how the ball is designed to glow in the dark.
Special Hamster Balls
Lee’s Kritter Krawler Exercise Ball, Standard 7 inch
Lee’s Kritter Krawler Hamster Ball has a lightly “ribbed” interior to give your hamster a good solid grip as he runs inside.
Owners say the plastic seems very sturdy and since there is only one entry/exit, there is less chance of your hamster escaping.
Kaytee Hamtrac Exercise Loop
A hamster ball on a track! While this isn’t a hamster exercise ball wheel per se, it is designed to be used with one.
If you often have trouble locating your hamster after he has rolled off in his ball to explore, this is your perfect solution. The four pieces snap together to make a circular “track” and your hamster can run around and around the track inside his ball.
All together, a single track gives your hamster just over a foot (25 inches) of running track. You can connect up to four track sets together to make a larger exercise loop.
The color is black. Kaytee states that the track will work for any of their hamster balls, but owners say it is best to use the track with larger exercise balls.
Van Ness Hamster Ball with Stand
The Van Ness variation on a hamster wheel ball and wheel car may present the best of all worlds – a hamster exercise wheel ball on a stand.
The ball offers lots of ventilation and is easy to clean. The ball diameter is 22 inches and the color is clear.
Hamster saucer wheel
The hamster saucer wheel is a more recent addition to the menu of hamster wheel options. This wheel is nearly flat – it actually looks a lot like what most people imagine a real flying saucer might look like (which is how it got its name, of course).
Your hamster will run in a nearly horizontal pattern on a hamster saucer wheel, encountering only a small incline during part of the run cycle. Some hamsters like this type of wheel better, while others prefer the more traditional hamster wheel design.
The only way to know for sure which type of wheel your hamster prefers is to let him try out both kinds and see which one he chooses to run on more frequently!
Ware Manufacturing Flying Saucer Exercise Wheel for Small Pets, 7 1/4-Inch
The fun Ware Manufacturing hamster saucer wheel is especially designed to be protective of tiny toes, tails and feet while your hamster runs and plays.
Owners say this size is best for hybrid and dwarf hamsters. Colors may vary.
Keersi Hamster Flying Saucer Exercise Wheel
The Keersi flying saucer wheel comes in two colors (blue, pink) and measures 7 inches across, so it is suitable for dwarf, hybrid and Syrian hamsters.
Metal hamster wheel
Metal hamster wheels are less common than their plastic counterparts, but they do have some advantages.
In general, metal wheels are easier to clean and sanitize than either plastic or wood wheels. They can also be quieter, which is due in part to how sturdy they are. Metal wheels also curb your hammie’s interest in chewing, meaning they often last longer than wooden or plastic wheels.
The one caveat when choosing a metal hamster wheel is that you must take care to provide the smoothest possible running surface. Luckily, it is usually possible to buy or create your own smooth flooring inserts to put inside the wheel itself. But if this is not possible, you may want to steer clear of any metal hamster wheel that isn’t completely smooth, as these types of wheels may in time cause tenderness or soreness to your hamster’s delicate feet.
Best Metal Hamster Wheels
Kaytee Run-Around Giant Exercise Wheel, 11-Inch
The popular Kaytee 11 inch hamster wheel is made out of wire, which offers great ventilation for your hammie as she runs.
The running surface is just a bit less than 5 inches in width. Whilst it is not silent, the wire mesh is safer than more open designs because there is less risk of getting a toe or tail caught while running.
Exotic Nutrition Metal Flying Saucer Wheel – The Treadmill Wheel
The unique Exotic Nutrition treadmill metal hamster wheel is shaped exactly like a flying saucer. It comes in two colors (black, green) and two sizes (11 inch, 14 inch).
Owners say it really is a quiet wheel and more durable than most plastic ones they’ve tried.
Prevue Pet Products SPV90013 Wire Mesh Hamster Wheel – 8-Inch
Opinions are divided as to whether wire or metal mesh is a good choice for hamsters, as these delicate pets tend to have foot sensitivities.
However, the Prevue Pet Products very close wire mesh hamster wheel is specifically designed for hamsters and gerbils. And the wire can be more sanitary and hygienic than most plastic options.
It is also much sturdier if your hammie is a persistent chewer.
Best hamster wheel
We hope you have enjoyed this curated list of the very best hamster wheel options in each major category!
While you still have lots of wheels to choose from, at least now you have a good idea of what size is best for your particular pet hamster breed as well as different features that different types of hamster wheels can offer.
It is also so important to remember that there really is no single “best” hamster wheel that beats all the others. This is because different hamsters have quite different wheel preferences, and sometimes these preferences can really surprise their owners!
So your ultimate goal is simply to find the best hamster wheel that most fully meets your pet hamster’s unique needs for exercise and enjoyment.
When you find that one “best” wheel for your hammie, please drop us a line and let us know which wheel your hamster chose and why you think she likes it best – we are always learning new things about hamster wheels here, and there is always more to learn!
Resources and Further Reading
- Williams, G., “Hamster Care 101: How to Care For Your Hamster,” Pet MD, 2017.
- Davis, B., “What Animals Commonly Eat Hamsters in the Wild?,” Sciencing, 2017.
- Malka, S., DVM, “27 Common Care Mistakes of Exotic animals [LI Vet Shares Experience],” Long Island Bird & Exotics Veterinary Clinic, 2016.
- Zucker, I. et al, “Light-dark rhythms in hamster eating, drinking and locomotor behaviors,” Science Direct: Physiology and Behavior, 1973.
- Pilny, A.A., DVM, “Excellence in Exotics: Enriching the Lives of Small Exotic Pet Mammals,” VetFolio Compendium, 2012.