Best Wheels for Your Pet Mice

Last updated:
Jun 11, 2023

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If you own pet mice, you know that providing them with the right kind of wheel is essential for their health and well-being. Not all wheels are created equal, so it’s important to know what type of wheel is best for your pet mice.

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In this post, we’ll discuss the top five best wheels for pet mice and the benefits of each. With the right information, you can make an informed decision on the best wheel for you and your pet mice.

Overview: Why Get a Wheel for Your Mouse?

Mice are highly active creatures, and they need to run to get their energy out. A wheel is an excellent way to make sure they get that exercise, and mice love running on their wheels.

A healthy mouse in captivity will run an average of 6 to 20 km on their wheel each day (3.7 to 12.4 miles). Wheels have been shown to improve not only the physical health of a mouse but also a mouse’s mental health. Removing the wheel from a mouse cage has been linked to stress behaviors and depression.

In fact, wild mice have even enjoyed running on a wheel voluntarily when one was placed outside for them to use (Wired). So even if you have an extremely large mouse enclosure that allows your mice to run around for miles every night, they’ll still benefit from a wheel.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Wheel

Not all wheels are created equally, so what kind of wheel should you be shopping for? Here are some factors to consider.

Wheel size for mice

Mice may be small, but they can’t safely use a super small wheel. Even though pet stores sell small wheels that are 4, 5, or 6 inches in diameter, these aren’t really safe for any rodent.

Mice need a wheel that’s at least 8 inches in diameter to avoid an uncomfortable running posture. Running in a wheel that’s too small will lead to stress in your mouse as well as damage to your mouse’s back.

Mouse wheel material

Look for a wheel that has a solid, plastic running surface without openings of any kind.

Some wheels are made of metal mesh or wire, and these are not safe for mice or any rodent. They can cause a mouse’s tiny toes to get stuck, and they can lead to a condition called bumblefoot, which is an infection of the foot pad.

Some wheels that are made of plastic also have a crack running down the center of the running surface. This isn’t safe or comfortable for mice, who can get their toes or fur caught in the crack.

Another material to avoid is anything that’s not easily or completely cleaned, such as wood or cork. These aren’t practical for mice, which pee and poop while they’re running.

Wheel mounting style

It’s also important to look at how the wheel is mounted to its stand. Wheels that are mounted just at the back of the wheel are generally safer, but there are good wheels that are connected at the front and back with a central axel.

Just make sure that these connection points are safe for your mouse and aren’t a potential hazard for them getting their feet, fur, or tails caught.

Caps and covers

Some wheels that are mounted to a stand just at the back have a cap or cover over the mounting mechanism and ball bearings. These caps can be dangerous because there’s a small gap between the cap and the wheel where a tail can get caught.

With some wheels, like the Niteangel, this cap is removable without affecting how the wheel works. However, some wheels in this style don’t allow for the cap to be removed, or when you remove the cap, the wheel falls off.

Noisy wheels

If you want to maintain your sanity while owning mice, a quiet wheel is a must. Your pet will love the noise-free running, too! Avoid wheels that have squeaky bearings or that wobble and make noise against the mounting mechanism.

All of the wheels we’ve handpicked below are quiet runners, but the Niteangel is the most silent that we’ve found.

Upright vs. flying saucer wheels

In addition to normal, standing wheels, you’ll see wheels known as “flying saucers.” These can add enrichment to your mouse’s cage, but they shouldn’t be used on their own. Your mice should still have access to a suitable upright wheel, as well.

Our Top Picks

1. Niteangel Super Silent Wheel (8” or 10”)

View on Amazon


  • Compatible with either cage or tank
  • Height adjustable
  • Compatible stand available for more height
  • Easy cleaning
  • Clean and minimalist appearance
  • Different color varieties available
  • Super smooth spinning
  • Completely silent


  • Some mouse owners dislike the ridges in the track
  • No front guard if that’s something you want
  • Center cap cover is dangerous for mice (can be removed)
  • Metal mechanisms can rust if not cared for properly

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 small pet owners because, with double ball bearings, it spins silently (it really does), and because of its adjustable-height stand.

Important note: If you use the Niteangel wheel for your mice, remove the center cap before letting your mice use it! A mouse’s tail can get caught in this part of the wheel, and it’s not needed for the functionality of the wheel.

2. Exotic Nutrition Wodent Wheel (8”)

View on Amazon


  • Slightly textured track is perfect for mice
  • Front guard helps mice who spin too fast and fly out
  • Different track options (sandy track)


  • Not height adjustable
  • Doesn’t attach to cage bars
  • Difficult to disassemble and clean
  • Dedicated chewers may chew up the soft plastic

The Wodent Wheel is a stable, reliable option for mice who like a wheel with a front guard.

For mice who love running on their wheels, the Wodent Wheel is a great choice. The enclosed style can help mice 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 mouse’s nails trim and provides extra traction.

One downside is that the Wodent Wheel can be difficult to disassemble for cleaning, which you’ll need to do regularly. Another negative is that the wheel cannot attach to the bars of a cage without some serious DIY creativity.

3. Zacro Hamster Exercise Wheel (8.5”)

View on Amazon


  • Large base lets you set it on top of bedding easily
  • Compatible with tank or cage
  • Completely smooth surface for mice with delicate feet
  • Acrylic material discourages or prevents chewing
  • Easy cleaning
  • Clean and minimalist appearance


  • Some mice might not like the smooth surface
  • No front guard if that’s something you want

Many mouse 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 mice and mouse owners prefer. Some users have added tread to the wheel for easier use, but some find that their mice 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.

4. Carolina Storm Bucket Wheel (10”)

View on Amazon


  • Extra wide track
  • Adjustable running angle
  • Completely smooth surface for mice with delicate feet
  • Easy cleaning
  • Clean and minimalist appearance
  • Different color varieties available


  • Some mice might not like the smooth surface
  • No front guard if that’s something you want
  • Doesn’t attach to cage bars
  • Easily chewed

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. A favorite amongst hedgehog owners, the Bucket Wheel can be great for mice, too.

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.

A downside of the Bucket Wheel for mice is that it’s made of a softer plastic that can be easily chewed.

5. Exotic Nutrition Silent Runner Wheel (9”)


  • Compatible with either cage or tank
  • Front guard keeps speedy mice from flying out
  • Slightly textured track is perfect for mice
  • Different track options (sandy track and auto-clean)


  • Not height adjustable
  • Can start to wobble over time
  • Difficult to clean
  • Dedicated chewers may chew up the soft plastic

If you have a mouse 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 mice from a cage with bars to a tank since you’ll already have everything you need to place it in a tank.

The Silent Runner is also quiet, as its name suggests, and features an enclosed style with large openings, which many mice prefer.

The Silent Runner can loosen with regular use and become slightly wobbly. You can remedy this issue by tightening the wheel attachment regularly.


Here are our answers to some of the mouse frequently asked questions about mouse wheels.

Can you put a mouse in an exercise ball?

No! Hamster balls are not safe for mice or any small pets. They don’t have good ventilation, and it’s hard for mice to see their surroundings from inside the ball. This can cause a great deal of stress for your mouse. If you want to let your mouse free-roam, do so on a raised surface or in a playpen, without a ball, instead.

Do mice need multiple wheels?

If you have multiple mice, you don’t necessarily need more than one wheel. However, if one mouse tends to “hog” the wheel, it would be very beneficial to provide at least two wheels for two to four mice.

Are mesh wheels safe for mice?

No, we don’t recommend mesh wheels or metal wheels with bars. Mesh and metal bar wheels aren’t safe for mice or other small pets. A mouse’s toes can get caught in the mesh or between the bars, and the uneven surface can cause foot irritation.

What size wheel do mice need?

Fully grown mice need a wheel that’s at least 8” in diameter. A wheel that’s 10” is even better. Anything less than 8” will cause your mouse’s back and/or tail to bend unnaturally, which is uncomfortable and harmful.

Choosing the Right Mouse Wheel

Finding the right wheel for your pet mouse can be difficult, especially if you’re a new mouse owner. Ultimately, we recommend spending a little bit more money upfront for a high-quality wheel that will last you forever, rather than having to upgrade or replace your wheel regularly.


About Us

LittleGrabbies is an independent blog run by one human and her pets. We want to help you sift through all of the information that's out there for small pets to provide the best possible care.


The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.


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