Which wheel should I get for my hamster?
It is essential that each hamster is able to access a running wheel at all times.
Wheels sizes will depend on the species of the hamster.
- Syrian Hamsters are generally larger in size and need wheels that are at least 27cm.
- Winter White/Campbell/Hybrid/ Roborovski Hamsters need wheels that are at least 21cm.
Where possible, pick a light-weight wheel that will not shatter when dropped. Also, you may want to consider a wheel that your hamster will be able to use from its small infant stage to when it is older and more feeble. Lightweight wheels tend to be pricier, but are well worth the investment. Some though large, are light enough to be used by both Dwarf and Syrian hamsters.
Popular brands available in Singapore include Carno, Wild Sanko and Savic (these brands are easily available at most retail pet stores and online). However, these days, with cross-border retail options so accessible, well-loved and tested brands we humbly recommend are Trixie and Silent Runner (by Exotic Nutrition).
There are two guiding principles when choosing a wheel
1. The hamster’s back does not arch when running on the wheel.
A hamster on average runs up to 8 km a night. Covering such distances with a bent back is uncomfortable and may lead to long-term back damage. Your hamster will also find difficulty gaining momentum when running on the wheel when it is not of an appropriate size.
2. The wheel should also have a solid track and not be barred or meshed to prevent bumblefoot.
Meshed and wire wheels are often popular with new pet owners as they are readily available and cheap to purchase. These wheels are dangerous for several reasons:
- Your hamster’s leg or foot could get easily stuck in the gaps of the wheels as it spins – which can cause serious injury.
- A hamster’s toenails/claws can also get stuck in meshed wheels and ripped out.
- The uneven surface of the wheel can also aggravate any potential small cuts – causing infections and bumblefoot.
Brand comparisons of various wheels
We’ve collated a list of popular wheels for your hamster, so that you can make a more informed decision. Check them out below! In this guide, we will discuss the pros, cons, diameters available, price range and other details to take note of when making your decision. Some of the wheels listed below may come in sizes that are smaller, however, we do not recommend those smaller sizes as they tend to be too small for your hamster. Bigger wheels always tend to cost slightly more than smaller ones, hence we have listed a range of prices instead of a fixed one. Do note that these prices are estimates.
Some of the wheels listed below have an axle-free construction which help reduces the risk of fur entanglement, especially for long-haired Syrian hamsters. This also tends to be easier to wash as you will not find yourself trying to disassemble the parts, especially if you have a hamster that has a habit of pooping or peeing on their wheels, which can happen sometimes and is normal.
At the end, we’ve also shared some pictures of cute hamsters on some of the wheels mentioned.
The Carno wheel is a great choice for first time owners due to its very affordable price range of $15 – $35 plus the range of colours and sizes available. You’ll be able to choose between 21cm, 25cm or 30cm to suit your hamster’s breed.
The downside of this wheel is that it might not be of the best quality – might break easily when dropped or squeak noisily (30cm). Sometimes they do not come with a stand as well.
You can purchase Carno wheels from most local pet stores. However, purchasing them online would always be a much cheaper option. Carno wheels can be found on Fatpouches, TaoBao and sometimes Carousell.
This Japanese brand offers hamster wheels that are very similar to Carno, but are of much higher quality and durability and hence, pricier at about $15 – $45. This wheel is also much more silent than the Carno wheel due to its steadier build.
This steadier build also means that the wheels, in particular, the 30cm one, is heavy, which Dwarf hamsters may find difficulties running on. It is available in 21cm, 25cm and 30cm, however with a much more limited choice of colours as each size only offers one or two colour options.
Wild Sanko wheels are available at local pet stores such as Pet Lovers Centre and also local online pet stores such as Fatpouches.
The 28cm Savic Orbital wheel is suitable for Syrians. Although it comes in a limited colour, it is lightweight making it suitable and easy for dwarves to run, even on the 28cm. The semi-covered feature of this wheels also gives hamsters a sense of security when running on it and helps reduce the chances of neck and leg injuries should a hamster accelerate too fast on the wheel and fly out.
However, the semi-covered feature of the wheel also means washing the wheel (with the assembling and disassembling of the various parts) can be a tad bit troublesome. If you’re unlucky, you might get one with a squeaky axle. But fret not, that can be fixed with a little tiny bit of cooking oil or vaseline.
This wheel also comes with a unique stand that has a little hook that can be hooked on barred cages, giving you more options as to how to place your wheel.
This blue wheel is available only in 27.5cm which can be a great choice for Syrians. The downside to this wheel is that it tends to slant a little. It is priced at around $35. Although not entirely silent, it is still generally quiet and doesn’t squeak.
Savic wheels can be found at Pet Lovers Centre.
This lightweight and silent wheel is also semi-covered, which again helps secure and safeguard your hamster when running. It is available in 20cm, 28cm and 33cm.
However, this wheel has to be purchased online and shipped from overseas which can get expensive. Miscota, an online pet web-store, retails this wheel for around $20 – $40 excluding shipping. Another downside is that its build quality can also feel cheap.
Kaytee Comfort Wheel
This wheel is available in 21.6cm and 30.5cm and can be found on online pet web-stores, Amazon Prime and at Pet Lovers Centre (online). It is priced at around $15 – $35 which is rather affordable for a wheel.
However, some owners have found this wheel to be squeaky and can warp easily.
Exotic Nutrition sells two kinds of wheels we recommend, the Wodent Wheel, and the Silent Runner. Although in limited colours, its lightweight and semi-covered feature makes it an excellent choice for your hamster as it makes running smooth and safe. This wheel is also of high quality and durable.
It is available in 20cm and 28cm for the Wodent Wheel and in 23cm and 31cm for the Silent Runner.
The Exotic Nutrition Silent Runner and Wodent Wheels are available on Fatpouches.com and ranges from $39-$52.
If you didn’t read everything on top, here is the summary in point form.
- Wheel Choice Principle 1: The hamster’s back should not arch when running.
- Wheel Choice Principle 2: The wheel should not be meshed/barred to prevent injury.
- Minimum wheel sizes: 21cm for Dwarves and Roborovskis, 27cm for Syrians.
- For specific wheel recommendations, do refer to our recommendations above.
If you want more helpful advice on looking after your hamster, including tips on food, toys, accessories and accommodation, add a comment below to let us know!
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