Robo hamsters in exercise wheel

Best Dwarf Hamster Wheels (Reviews) & Hamster Wheel Size Guide

Exercise wheels are an essential accessory for every hamster cage which is why we’ve created a detailed guide on the best hamster wheels, types of hamster wheel and how to pick the best exercise wheel for your pet.

Hamster wheels help hamster owners keep their pet healthy while also reducing boredom. Both dwarf and Syrian hamsters love to run and will cover miles and miles of distance in their natural habitat so the exercise wheel provides a perfect outlet for this instinctive behaviour.

If you take a trip to the local pet store you’ll probably be confronted with a tonne of different hamster wheel options. Silent spinners, metal wheels, wooden wheels, saucer wheels, exercise balls – it can all get pretty overwhelming! Not to worry, you’re definitely in the right place.

Let’s get started.

Why Hamsters Need An Exercise Wheel

Hamsters are built to run. It’s a natural instinct for hamsters to run and explore when they awake from their nesting area. In the wild, hamsters will surface from their burrows during the night and cover miles and miles of distance scavenging for food, water and nesting supplies.

A hamster wheel is arguably as important as your pet’s food bowl and water supply. Hamsters simply need to exercise every single day and if they’re not able to, health can quickly deteriorate.

The closer you can match the natural conditions and habitat of a hamster, the better. Regular exercise makes for a healthy pet that will live a long and happy life. Boredom can also become a problem when keeping an animal in a confined space and the exercise wheel is a perfect cure for this – it can help satisfy your hamsters natural curiosity.

Did you know: Hamsters have been known to run around 5-6 miles (10km) every single night!

Hamsters also have lots of predators in the wild, including foxes, cats, snakes, hawks, owls, coyotes and even humans! They need to be fast runners so they can escape from this list of agile hunters.

Hamster Wheel Size Guide

Hamster wheels come in different shapes and sizes because hamsters come in different shapes and sizes! Whatever type of hamster you have, it’s important to purchase an exercise wheel that is the best possible size and shape for your pet.

A syrian will of course require a larger wheel than a dwarf hamster.

One of the best ways to find out if your hamster wheel is big enough is by watching your pet run and observing its posture. Your hamster’s back should be completely straight while running on a wheel, if it’s slightly bent or arched then the wheel is probably too small and it’s time to upgrade.

Dwarf Hamster Wheel Size

Roborovski in pet owner's hand

Dwarf hamsters are small and fragile creatures which means they require a small and lightweight exercise wheel.

The smallest of all the species is the Roborovski hamster which will reach a size of around 2 inches. The slightly larger Campbell’s and Winter White hamsters usually reach a size of around 4 inches and the Chinese hamster, while not a true dwarf species, will reach 4.5 inches.

Remember to select a lightweight wheel for dwarfs so they can easily turn the wheel and check that your hamster’s back is straight when running to ensure you have a suitable wheel size for your pet.

Roborovski minimum wheel size = 4.5 inches (diameter)
Campbell’s dwarf hamster minimum wheel size = 6.5 inches (diameter)
Winter White minimum wheel size = 6.5 inches (diameter)
Chinese hamster minimum wheel size = 6.5 inches (diameter)

Syrian Hamster Wheel Size

Syrians are the largest out of the pet hamster breeds and therefore require a slightly larger wheel. Syrians can grow up to 7 inches so choosing a wheel that has a large diameter will be very important.

Syrian hamsters are also much more powerful than dwarf hamsters so they can move the more weighty hamster wheels quite easily whereas a dwarf would struggle moving a wheel that has any real weight.

A Syrian hamster will require an exercise wheel that is at least 8 inches wide but you may need to purchase a slightly larger one as your pet grows or if your particular Syrian reaches a larger size than average – genetics play a part in this too!

The Different Types Of Hamster Wheel

There are a few slight differences between the different hamster wheel brands and some exercise wheels lend themselves better to certain hamsters or cage setups.

For example, not all hamster wheels need to be fixed to a part of the cage. Freestanding hamster wheels have their own built-in stand and can come in handy if you don’t have much room to fix your wheel to the side of the cage. They’re also usually much quieter hamster wheels as they rattle less against the cage.

Fixed hamster wheels can be fixed straight on to your cage and many hamster cages actually come with a fixed wheel built-in (although they aren’t the quietest!). Fixed hamster wheels are less likely to topple over than freestanding ones however they do tend to make slightly more noise.

Of course, you can find quiet hamster wheels that fix to your cage but these are less common.

Free standing hamster wheel benefits:

  • Place anywhere in your cage
  • Useful for aquariums and non metal wire enclosures
  • Silent wheels available
  • Less noise caused by rattling

Fixed hamster wheel benefits:

  • Saves space within your cage
  • Less likely to topple over
  • Often cheaper to purchase

There are also a variety of different materials used for hamster exercise wheels. You’ll be able to find a selection of metal, wood and plastic wheels at your local pet store.

Metal wheels can be slightly less common but they are very long lasting and easier to clean than their plastic and wooden counterparts. Metal wheels are incredibly strong and sturdy which also makes them very quiet. Your hamster is also much less likely to chew on this material, whereas plastic and wooden wheels can end up being used as chew toys by your pet!

The only real problem with metal wheels is that they can be hard on a hamster’s fragile feet. The best way to avoid any issues is to pick up a metal wheel that has a completely smooth surface. Any kind of rough metal surface should be avoided as they can lead to injuries.

Plastic wheels are the most common option and there is a huge range of plastic exercise wheels available. The cheaper plastic wheels tend to be very loud and sometimes end up squeaking after a few months of use which is definitely a sleep ruiner!

That being said, the higher quality plastic wheels are quiet and some are even available as silent spinners. Plastic wheels are inexpensive making them cheap to replace if you need to upgrade and there is a huge variety of colors and designs available.

Wooden wheels can be very quiet however they are often hard to clean and quite bulky, taking up more room in your cage. Wooden wheels are very durable and tend to be more stable than plastic wheels making them a good option if you’re looking for a freestanding exercise wheel.

How To Choose The Best Hamster Wheel For Your Pet

Hamsters are nocturnal animals so the last thing you want is a squeaky wheel keeping you up all night! Unless your hamster cage isn’t in your bedroom, you’re probably going to want to pick up a silent hamster wheel so you can sleep in peace while your hamster burns through those calories.

It’s also important to purchase a stable hamster wheel that isn’t likely to fall over when in use. Some lightweight freestanding wheels can topple over quite easily if a hamster runs at top speed. Fixed hamster wheels won’t be toppling over anytime soon but that’s not to say you can’t find a stable freestanding wheel, there are plenty of good options out there.

Avoid exercise wheels that have holes on the running surface as this can easily cause injuries. Hamsters have very small feet that can easily become trapped in small holes and you definitely don’t want this happening when your hamster is running at top speed!

A durable hamster wheel should easily last the lifetime of your pet and while they are slightly more pricey, you won’t ever need to replace a wheel that is built to last. Remember that your hamster wheel is going to see a good deal of wear and tear caused by your pet constantly chewing and running for miles every single night.

The surface of your hamster wheel is also very important. The running surface should be smooth and safe for your pet, whether you have a plastic, wooden or metal wheel. Some wheels now come with a non-slip running surface as an extra safety measure which is ideal for a hamster.

Here’s a quick summary of what to look for:

  • Use a silent wheel (or you’ll be up all night!)
  • Stable and unlikely to topple over when in use
  • Avoid wheels that have holes or gaps on the running surface
  • Spend a little extra for a durable wheel that’s built to last
  • Always look for a smooth running surface
  • Wheels that use non-slip materials are ideal

Hamster Wheel Reviews & Ratings

Below we’ll take a look at some of the best hamster wheels as well as their individual benefits and drawbacks.

Kaytee Comfort Wheel - The Best Hamster Wheel For A Syrian

kaytee comfort wheel

Price: $8.99
Overall Rating: 8/10
Size: Available in 8.5 and 12 inches
Material: Plastic
Stand Type: Both freestanding and fixed to cage options

The Kaytee Comfort wheel is a top selling hamster product and for good reason! This hamster wheel has a simple but effective design and the 8.5 inch wheel is large enough to accommodate fully grown Syrian hamsters.

This wheel can actually be fixed to the side of your cage or freestanding using its floor stand. Safety has clearly been a focus for this wheel with a solid running surface that will be easy on your hamster’s feet.

Unfortunately this certainly isn’t a quiet hamster wheel so it’s best for cages that aren’t kept in a bedroom.


  • Can be free standing or attached to wire cage
  • Comfortable size for Syrian hamsters
  • Soft running surface


  • This is a somewhat loud exercise wheel

Kaytee Silent Spinner - The Best Hamster Wheel For A Dwarf Hamster

kaytee silent spinner

Price: $10.99
Overall Rating: 9/10
Size: Available in 4.5 and 6.5 inches
Material: Plastic
Stand Type: Both freestanding and fixed to cage options

The Kaytee silent spinner has become a favourite amongst dwarf hamster owners thanks to its durable build and silent design. People that have used this cage note that it does make noise if their hamster runs at top speed but most noise is cancelled out by the clever design.

The silent spinner uses an enclosed spinner hub to reduce noise. You can use it as a free standing wheel or attach it directly to any wire cage. The plastic surface is more than comfortable for your pet’s sensitive feet.


  • A very quiet hamster wheel
  • Use as a freestanding or fixed wheel
  • No small gaps or holes where food can get trapped


  • Does release some noise at high speeds

Mcage Running Wheel - The Best Hamster Wheel For A Roborovski

mcage exercise wheel

Price: $12.88
Overall Rating: 8/10
Size: 6 inches
Material: Plastic
Stand Type: Both freestanding and fixed to cage options

The Mcage running wheel is perfect for anyone with Roborovski hamsters thanks to its size, weight and durability, Your robo hamsters won’t have any issue moving this lightweight wheel and it has the added benefit of a near-silent design.


  • Very quiet
  • Lightweight
  • Perfect size for Robos


  • Not available in most pet stores
  • Too small for other dwarf hamsters

Wodent Wheel - The Best Closed-Off Hamster Wheel

wodent wheel

Price: $28.95
Overall Rating: 8/10
Size: 11 inches
Material: Plastic
Stand Type: Free standing

This 11 inch hamster wheel is a great size and helps protect your pet with a wall-to-wall tail shield. The Wodent wheel is one of the more durable exercise wheels available and stops your hamster from falling thanks to the closed-off design.

The only downside of this wheel is that it can be hard to clean. The front compartment is not removable so scrubbing the running surface is pretty tricky.


  • Solid, durable design
  • Offers something different with a closed-off design


  • More expensive than the other hamster wheels
  • Hard to clean

Legendog Wooden Wheel - The Best Wooden Hamster Wheel

Price: $14.98
Overall Rating: 7/10
Size: Available in 7 and 9 inches
Material: Wood
Stand Type: Free standing

The Legendog wooden wheel is both stable and sturdy with a ‘completely noiseless’ design. Some hamster owners report that this wheel does sometimes make a clicking noise but it’s definitely quieter than the more common plastic hamster wheels.

Your hamster can also use this wheel as a wooden chew toy as it has been built with natural and non-toxic materials. There is no chance of your pet getting its feet caught up as there are no gaps or holes as there are on metal wire wheels.


  • Sturdy build
  • ‘Completely noiseless’ design
  • Also used as a chew toy


  • Doesn’t fix to any cage
  • Wood is generally harder to clean than metal and plastic

E-Z Roller Exercise Wheel - The Best Metal Wire Wheel

metal hamster wheel

Price: $10.42
Overall Rating: 7/10
Size: 6 inches
Material: Metal
Stand Type: Free standing

This is a wire mesh hamster wheel that has actually been designed to prevent feet and tails from getting caught. It’s a 6-inch wheel that is perfect for dwarf hamsters and the lightweight design doesn’t take up much room in a cage.

Your hamster won’t be able to chew through this wheel which will help it last a little longer however some hamster keepers report that this wheel does have a tendency to start squeaking after a while.


  • Wire mesh provides extra grip
  • Inexpensive
  • Doesn’t take up much room in a cage


  • Wire mesh wheels can be hard for very small dwarf hamsters to use
  • May start squeaking after time

Exotic Nutrition Silent Runner - The Best Silent Hamster Wheel

Price: $39.99
Overall Rating: 10/10
Size: Available in 9 and 12 inches
Material: Metal & plastic
Stand Type: Free standing

If you’re looking for a truly silent hamster wheel, this is as good as it gets. Exotic nutrition have created a silent hamster wheel that features a safe, soft running surface and non-slip running tracks.

The silent runner uses ball bearings (common on metal wheel designs) to allow the wheel to roll completely smoothly and silently. Another safety feature is how the wheel has been built with no center axle which helps reduce risk of spine injury and tail entanglement.


  • A truly silent hamster wheel
  • Superior build quality
  • Lots of extra safety features


  • More expensive than the other wheels on this list

Petzilla Exercise Wheel - A Silent Wooden Hamster Wheel

petzilla hamster wheel

Price: $15.99
Overall Rating: 9/10
Size: Available in 7.5 and 9 inches
Material: Wood
Stand Type: Free standing or fixed to cage

Petzilla’s take on the hamster wheel features a unique design and a sturdy wooden build that will last for a hamster’s lifetime. This wheel is incredibly quiet (just be careful to fit it correctly) and has a wooden track which your hamster won’t be able to chew away.

Pick the larger sized wheel if you have a Syrian as the smaller version is prone to toppling over under very fast speeds.


  • Durable and sturdy
  • Unique design
  • The only silent wooden hamster wheel


  • Hard to clean
  • Smaller version will topple over on Syrians

Be Good Pet Exercise Wheel - Best Non-Slip Wheel

Price: $12.55
Overall Rating: 7/10
Size: 8 inches
Material: Plastic
Stand Type: Free standing

Here is a great all-round plastic hamster wheel that has a much higher build quality than your standard pet-store wheels. The wheel is completely detachable which makes for easy installation and cleaning. This wheel also uses a non-slip running surface which works incredibly well.

Sometimes plastic wheels provide less grip for a hamster’s feet, but that isn’t the case with the Be Good Pets wheel. It is also very quiet and is big enough for a Syrian to not arch its back while running.


  • Very quiet
  • Non-slip surface
  • Perfect size for Syrians


  • Not as high-quality as the more expensive wheels
  • Prone to chewing

The Hamster Wheel Car (Critter Cruiser)

Critter cruiser

Here’s something a little different to the average wheel!

The Critter Cruiser is a fun little hamster wheel that allows your pet to explore the world outside its cage. This makes for the perfect holding area for your hamster while you clean its cage and there’s nothing quite like watching your hamster run across the floor behind the wheel of a car!

The wheel actually features 3 different settings. Positioning the wheel at the top setting allows the car to remain stationary while your hamster runs to its hearts content, the mid setting allows your hamster to actually move the car by running and the lowest setting can be used to combine the wheel with the Kaytee Hamtrac.

Hamster Wheels Vs. Exercise Balls

Hamster balls are an excellent alternative to wheels as they allow your pet to run in a much larger area and they also give hamsters a chance to explore as they would in the wild. It is always best to use both hamster balls and wheels together to keep your pet healthy and to reduce boredom. 15-20 minutes is a perfect amount of time for a hamster to run in a ball, just keep it well away from the stairs!

Silent Hamster Wheels: Too Good To Be True?

Silent hamster wheels may seem like a miracle to the hamster keeper, especially if you’ve felt the pain of a squeaky wheel keeping you up all night! Unfortunately, while there are some very quiet hamster wheels out there, very few are truly silent.

Many silent hamster wheels have been built so that the spinning motion makes no noise at all however the act of a hamster running on a wheel is hard to mask. Even when using a silent hamster wheel, you’ll tend to still here the sound of your pet’s feet hitting the surface of your wheel.

A lot of this also depends on how your hamster actually runs. If your hamster is an aggressive runner and quickly hits tops speed then you’re going to hear some sound coming from the wheel. Most good silent wheels are only truly silent when a hamster is running at a more relaxed pace.

So that’s everything you need to know about hamster wheels! Hopefully you feel a little less overwhelmed by the different hamster wheel options and have a good idea of which wheel you’d like to purchase. We have plenty of other hamster care guides, so feel free to browse the related posts below.