If you’re like many hamster owners, you likely picked up a simple hamster wheel at the pet store when you adopted your hamster. But you likely realized when you got home or within a week that your wheel wasn’t going to cut it.
Inexpensive hamster wheels are a great starting place, but eventually, you’ll want to upgrade your hamster’s exercise equipment.
Those pet store wheels are, more often than not, squeaky, wobbly, and possibly even unstable. They might not move easily when your hamster tries to run, and they might keep you up at night with their scratchy, rattling noise.
Because the hamster wheel is such a crucial part of your hamster’s well-being, you’re probably doing all the research you can to find the best new wheel possible.
- What Size Wheel Does a Dwarf Hamster Need?
- Best Hamster Wheels for Dwarf Hamsters
- How to Enhance Your Hamster Wheel
- Ensuring Your Hamster Gets Enough Exercise
Below are the best wheels we’re aware of for dwarf hamsters in 2023. To create this list, we worked from first-hand experience as well as the opinions of other real hamster owners found online.
This list is specifically for dwarf hamsters. Many of these will work for Syrian hamsters, too, but you’ll want to purchase a larger size.
What Size Wheel Does a Dwarf Hamster Need?
Consensus: An 8-inch or 9-inch hamster wheel is best for a small dwarf hamster. Choose a 10-inch wheel for a large dwarf hamster.
Many sites state that a 6-inch or 6.5-inch hamster wheel is suitable for a dwarf hamster. And understandably, you might lean towards this smaller size to save usable space in your hamster’s enclosure. However, this small size isn’t the best for your dwarf hamster.
Instead, we recommend choosing a wheel that’s 8 inches or 9 inches for an average or small dwarf hamster. This is still small enough that your tiny dwarf hamster should be able to operate the wheel, but not so small that they feel cramped. Larger dwarf hamsters may need a 10-inch wheel.
Another important factor in choosing a large enough wheel is keeping your hamster’s back naturally arched, as it is when they walk normally. If your hamster’s back is completely straight or curves into a U-shape, the wheel is too small.
Running on a wheel that’s too small is not only likely to make running uncomfortable for your hamster, but it can also cause injury over time to the hamster’s spine.
Best Hamster Wheels for Dwarf Hamsters
Now let’s look at the top hamster wheels for dwarf hamsters as of this year. If you have a favorite wheel that’s not listed here, or one of these wheels didn’t meet your expectations, please let us and other readers know in the comments below!
1. Niteangel Super Silent Wheel (8” or 10”)
Consensus: You can’t go wrong with a Niteangel wheel for a dwarf hamster. This wheel is not recommended for gerbils, degus, rats, or mice unless you remove the center cap.
The Niteangel Super Silent Wheel is number one on Amazon for a reason. Niteangel is a top brand in the small animal market, known for its attention to small animal needs and safety.
This specific wheel is loved by hamster owners because, with double ball bearings, it spins silently (it really does), and because of its adjustable-height stand.
One important note on the Niteangel Super Silent Spinner is that some users have reported problems with animals that have tails.
Specifically, a degu, gerbil, rat, or mouse can get its tail stuck between the center cap and the back of the wheel. It’s unknown whether or not this problem has been resolved, but if you have one of those pets and want to use this wheel, we recommend removing the cap.
2. Carolina Storm Bucket Wheel (10”)
Consensus: The “Bucket Wheel” is extremely silent, as well as sturdy, aesthetically pleasing, and super easy to clean.
If you want to support a smaller business, the Bucket Wheel is well worth considering. If you’ve never heard of the Bucket Wheel, it’s named that because, well, it’s made out of a small bucket.
Bucket Wheels are also unique because you can adjust the running angle, which is good for hammies who try to spin themselves out of their wheels. The Bucket Wheel also has a 5”-wide running surface, which is much larger than most wheels have.
3. Exotic Nutrition Wodent Wheel (8”)
Consensus: The Wodent Wheel is excellent for experienced hamsters who need an upgrade.
The Wodent Wheel is a stable, easily washable option for hamsters who have used wheels before. It may be intimidating for young hamsters, with its enclosed style. Some hamsters may be too timid to go inside the wheel enclosure, and some may be too small to make this wheel spin.
However, for strong hamsters who love running on their wheels, the Wodent Wheel is a great choice. The enclosed style can also help hamsters who tend to spin too fast and fall out of the wheel.
Additionally, you can purchase the Wodent Wheel with a sandy-strip interior that helps keep a hamster’s nails trim and provides extra traction.
4. Zacro Hamster Exercise Wheel (8.5”)
Consensus: The Zacro Wheel has a large, sturdy base that makes it perfect for setting on top of the bedding in a hamster enclosure.
Many hamster wheels come with a wire base that easily sinks into the bedding of a hamster enclosure. This wheel is similar to the Niteangel wheel in that it has a broad acrylic base.
The Zacro Hamster Wheel is also unique because it has a completely smooth surface, which some hamsters prefer. Some users have added tread to the wheel for easier use, but some find their hamsters love the smooth surface.
The Zacro Wheel is also aesthetically pleasing, being made completely of thick, transparent acrylic. Another benefit is that, according to hamster owners, the acrylic is thick and solid enough to discourage chewing.
Consensus: The Silent Runner offers a great, versatile option for a tank or for attaching to a hamster’s cage.
If you have a hamster cage with bars, the Exotic Nutrition Silent Runner Wheel is a great option. The wheel comes with a sturdy metal stand, but it also comes with an adapter to attach the wheel securely to the bars of a cage.
This wheel is a perfect solution if you plan on transitioning your hamster from a cage with bars to a tank, since you’ll already have everything you need to install it in a tank.
The Silent Runner is also quiet, as its name suggests, and features an enclosed style with large openings, which many hamsters prefer.
The Silent Runner can loosen with regular use and become slightly wobbly. You can remedy this issue by tightening the wheel attachment regularly.
How to Enhance Your Hamster Wheel
You can make your hamster’s wheel even more usable and enjoyable with a few quick tweaks, which many hamster owners choose to do. Here are some ideas for making your hamster wheel your own (or your hamster’s own).
Add popsicle stick treads
If you find that your hamster prefers some tread inside their wheel, you can give them that with a DIY fix.
Just get this two-sided adhesive and these popsicle sticks. Then, precisely cut pieces of the tape to fit as many popsicle sticks as you want to use. Attach the sticks to the inside of the wheel at regular intervals to provide tread for your hamster’s feet to grip on to.
Note: Keep an eye on your hamster to make sure they don’t chew the popsicle sticks. If your hamster is an avid chewer of things they’re not supposed to chew, you may want to skip this project.
Add sandy strips or a sandy track
Some wheels offer a sandy track option, but this upgrade can be pricy. You can accomplish the same effect with this Sandy Trimmer Tape. Attach it to the inside of the wheel in strips, or lay it along the entire inside of the wheel’s track.
Adding sandpaper to the inside of the wheel can help your hamster get a better grip if that’s what they prefer, and it can also help keep your hamster’s nails trimmed.
Add a soft wheel cover
If your hamster prefers the finer things, you can cover its wheel with a soft, luxurious material. This can help your hamster gain traction, as long as it’s affixed well.
If you’re a savvy sewer and have a different hamster wheel, you can create a hamster wheel cover yourself.
Ensuring Your Hamster Gets Enough Exercise
An essential part of helping your hamster get enough exercise is providing a high-quality wheel.
But it’s also important to make sure your hamster has plenty of room to run around in their enclosure, as well as activity time outside their tank or cage. Regular exercise is key in helping your hamster live a long, happy, and healthy life.
Do you agree with this list of the best hamster wheels? Let us know in the comments if you have experience with these or other excellent hamster wheels!