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The Best Hamster Wheel

Updated on October 16, 2013

What is The Best Hamster Wheel

As a hamster owner, I know how important it is to provide my pet with a suitable hamster wheel but is it just a case of buying the first one you see in the pet store or is there more too it...

Many people purchase their hamster from pet stores and also purchase the hamster cage and associated accessories at the same time. The inherent problem with this is that the 90% of the wheels provided with the cage bundle are totally unsuitable for your hamster and could even lead to health problems in later life.

Throughout the remainder of this Lens I will show you what to look for when selecting your hamster wheel and a few of the products which I have personally tried with my hamsters Misty & Littlefoot.

What to look for in The Best Hamster Wheel

And why the breed is important!

Possibly the most important feature of any hamster wheel is the size; there are certainly other factors involved but initially you should always ensure that your wheel is of adequate size for your hamster.

The breed of your hamster will have a significant effect on your purchasing decision due to the large variation in sizes amongst different hamster breeds. The most common breeds of hamster within the petting industry are:

  • Syrian Hamster
  • Dwarf Campbell Russian Hamster
  • Dwarf Winter White Russian Hamster
  • Roborovski Hamster
  • Chinese Hamster

The smallest in this list is generally the Roborovski hamster which when fully grown, measures around 3 inches; compare this with the Syrian hamster which can grow up to 7 inches in length so you can see how each species will have different needs and requirements.

Hamsters are extremely active creatures and would normally cover many miles each night in search of food. What you are doing by placing a wheel in the hamster home is to allow your pet an outlet to exercise on and satisfy their natural instinct to run. While you may provide your hamster with other means to exercise (hamster ball etc.), the wheel will make up the majority of his or her exercise routine and the idea is to simulate normal running. Presenting your hamster with a wheel which is too small will cause an unnatural running posture which may lead to health issues in the future. It is therefore important to ensure that your hamster has the right amount of space to maneuverer within the wheel and that their running posture is not overly arched.

I have carried out quite a lot of research on this matter and there is no real definitive answer, only best practice and advice from fellow hamster owners. My recommendation is never to place a wheel inside your hamsters home which is smaller than 6.5 inches in diameter with Syrian hamsters requiring a wheel no smaller than 8 inches in diameter (obviously there is no upper limit to this as bigger is always better).This may seem a little excessive initially but will remain suitable as the hamster grows.

The table below outlines my recommendations for hamster wheel sizes per hamster breed:

Breed

Adult Size (Inches)

Hamster Wheel Size

 

Syrian Hamster

5 to 7

8 Inches Diameter

 

Dwarf Campbell Russian Hamster

Up to 4

6.5 Inches Diameter

 

Dwarf Winter White Russian Hamster

Up to 4

6.5 Inches Diameter

 

Roborovski Hamster

Up to 3

6.5 Inches Diameter

 

Chinese Hamster

Up to 4

6.5 Inches Diameter

 


My Hamster's Wheel

Best Hamster Wheel
Best Hamster Wheel

The Wheel I have chosen for my hamsters is the Savic Orbital 27cm Hamster Wheel. Check out my review of the Savic Orbital Large

I initially went for the 18cm version of this product which I was extremely happy with it until Littlefoot began to get too big for it. It was something which I was wary of when I purchased but went with it anyway. The video below is Littlefoot on the 18cm version of this product and as you can see, he is traveling at a healthy pace. The Savic Orbital wheels (18cm & 27cm) are advertised as silent but again, if you refer to the video, this is not always the case; much quieter than some of the wheels out there but far from silent.

Possibly my favourite aspect of this product is the metal hooks on the ends of the base which can be attached to the bars of the cage. The wheel is quite big so this feature allows it to be placed in multiple positions internally.

Unfortunately, this product is not available for purchase on Amazon in the USA but the products outlined below are more than suitable

Hamster Wheels on Amazon - These products are not suitable for Syrian Hamsters

The following products are available to purchase on Amazon and will provide an excellent exercise outlet for your hamster. Please note that I cannot endorse these products for Syrian Hamsters due to the fact that I believe them to be too small. For Syrian Hmaster Wheels, please scroll down to the next section of this Lens

Kaytee Hamster Silent Spinner, 6 1/2 inch Exercise Wheel, Colors Vary
Kaytee Hamster Silent Spinner, 6 1/2 inch Exercise Wheel, Colors Vary

Probably the best 6.5 Inch hamster wheel on the market.

 
Ware Manufacturing Flying Saucer Exercise Wheel for Small Pets, 7 1/4-Inch - Colors may vary
Ware Manufacturing Flying Saucer Exercise Wheel for Small Pets, 7 1/4-Inch - Colors may vary

Similarly to the wheel, the Flying Saucer allows the hamster to exercise at their own pace and schedule.

 

Hamster Wheels for Syrian Hamsters

Syrian Hamsters are larger than other breeds and therefore require more room and space to run. The following products are more than adequate for your Syrian

Rodent - Semi-Enclosed Exercise Wodent Wheel 'Sr.' 11 inch size Blue by Transoniq
Rodent - Semi-Enclosed Exercise Wodent Wheel 'Sr.' 11 inch size Blue by Transoniq

If you have the space in your hamster's home, this wheel is the ideal solution. The Semi enclosed design provides a little more privacy for your hamster and allow it to thrive

 
Wodent Wheel 8 Inch, Black with Blue Track
Wodent Wheel 8 Inch, Black with Blue Track

Probably a little more realistic, this wheel is extremely popular and for great reason. Just a smaller version of 2 aboce but equally fit for purpose

 
Kaytee Silent Spinner Wheel, Giant 12"
Kaytee Silent Spinner Wheel, Giant 12"

A Very popular choice amongst hamster owners.

 

Littlefoot's first Savic Wheel - Great product but just too small for a Syrian

The First wheel I bought for Littlefoot was the SAvic Orbital 18cm. A great product but he outgrew it quite quickly.

More than suitable for smaller breeds of hamster but please take care if you decide to get one for you Syrian.

How long does your Hamster spend His / Her Wheel?

I have 2 Hamsters, Littlefoot & Misty; each of them spend several hours a day in their wheels but this was not always the case. The wheel which came with Littlefoot's cage was never fit for purpose and he never even entered it. In fact I have a video of him running on top of it (that is pretty much all it was good for). I will post it below actually :)

My point is that most hamsters will always use the wheel if they can access it properly and it allows fluid movement. If you hamster is not usig the wheel regularly, it might be time to look in to getting a new one

How often does your hamster use the Wheel

See results

The Bad Wheel

I mentioned earlier that most of the wheels supplied with hamster cages are unsuitable, if you do not take my word for it then just ask Littlefoot. He never ran inside it once but did eventually find a use for it

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