What Size Wheel for Hamsters? A Guide for Common Breeds

Hamsters are naturally meant to run and can cover miles every night in the wild. So, in a closed environment, they need that exercise to function healthily. That is why hamster cages come with wheels.

Now you must be wondering, what size wheel for hamsters? The answer is it depends on the breeds of hamsters. Common breeds such as Roborovski, Chinese, Campbell, etc. will need a wheel that is 6 to 8 inches. The Syrian hamsters need bigger wheels, for them 8 to 11 inches is ideal.

In this article, we will cover all you need to know about hamster wheels and more. So, let us get right to it!

What Size Wheel for Hamsters?

The wheel size for hamsters can change depending on the breed. It is because not all breeds have the same height and weight. Hamsters like the Roborovski dwarf hamsters can grow up to 7 to 12 cm long and weigh around 50 grams

What Size Wheel for Hamsters

On the other hand, Syrian hamsters can reach a length of 15 to 18 cm. They also weigh more than other common breeds. That is why wheel sizes tend to be different for different breeds. However, aside from large common breeds like the Syrian hamster, 6 to 8 inches wheels support most hamsters.  

Here is a table of wheel sizes according to Hamster breeds;

Hamster BreedWheel Size
Chinese Hamster6 – 8 inches
Syrian Hamster8 – 11 inches
Roborovski Hamster8 – 9 inches
Winter White6 – 8 inches
Campbell6 – 8 inches

The wheels are an important part of every hamster enclosure. The size needs to be according to their height and weight. It is because they should not feel congested or uncomfortable while using the wheel. That can lead to various health hazards for pet hamsters. Follow this to find the appropriate wheel size for your pet hamster.

What Type of Wheel is Best for Hamsters?

There are many types of wheels available in the market. They are made from various materials and the build is also different. In terms of materials, metal, wood, and plastic wheels are the most common ones. For the build, there are mesh, barbed and solid wheels. Let’s look at the types in detail. 

What Type of Wheel is Best for Hamsters

Based on Materials

  • The metal wheels become too cold or too hot depending on the weather. That can be a problem for your pet hamster. Also, the hard surface of the metal can contribute to bumblefoot, a condition that can be compared to sore feet for hamsters. 
  • On the contrary, wood wheels might seem like a good option. The problem with wood wheels is they can be easily chewed by hamsters. Hamsters have a sharp set of teeth that can go through materials like wood easily. 
  • So, a plastic wheel can be a good choice. Hamsters can chew plastic wheels too but generally, they avoid it. In addition, plastic wheels have higher availability and a multitude of options to choose from.

Based on Build

The mesh and barbed wheels are the most common wheels that come with a hamster cage. Many people do not change the wheel and leave it as it is. However, they are mostly cheap wheels and can be dangerous for a hamster.

These wheels have holes and the footing is also not comfortable. A hamster’s foot can easily get stuck in one of the holes. That will be painful and can cause critical injury. The problem with footing can also cause bumblefoot. So, these types of builds should be avoided for hamster cages.

A solid build is the best. They guarantee safety and the best footing for a pet hamster. There are also plenty of options because the best hamster wheel manufacturers always make solid wheels. You can have soft plastic wheels, wheels with curves for footings in the solid category. So, you can never go wrong with a solid build.

Other Wheel Factors

Aside from build and material, there are a few other factors you should be aware of.  Wheels can make a lot of sounds depending on the quality. Hamsters usually use the wheel at night. 

  • So, a squeaky wheel might become a problem for you as well. The solution to this problem is silent wheels, they have bearings that make them quiet.
  • There is also another factor which is the height of the wheel from the cage surface. If the wheel is set up too high the hamsters will have a problem climbing the wheel. That can lead to them being uncomfortable using the wheel. Even if the wheel is the best quality.
  • Also, if there is more than one hamster in the cage, there should be more than one wheel. Though hamsters can use the same wheel, they should be given the option for a separate wheel. So, if there are two hamsters in a cage, there should be two wheels.

You can watch this video for more small factors that are related to hamster wheels;

Best Wheels You Can Buy

There are many wheels available in the market. We have gathered some of the best ones according to user reviews.

Best Wheels You Can Buy

Niteangel Super-Silent Hamster Exercise Wheels

Niteangel wheels are loved by the hamster community. It is a company that has a wide variety of hamster pet products. The wheels they make are super silent and require low maintenance. They come in a variety of colors and start from $31.99.

Niteangel Super-Silent Hamster Exercise Wheels

Carolina Storm Wheel

Carolina Storm wheels are lightweight bucket wheels. They come for both hedgehogs and hamsters. The wheels just like Niteangel come in many colors but bucket wheels provide more safety. The price of these wheels starts from $35.

Carolina Storm Wheel

Rodipet Wooden Cork Surface Wheel

Rodipet in this list is the only wooden wheel. Though wooden, it is durable and the cork surface protects it from hamster teeth. Also, the wood that is used to make it is hard beech. So, hamsters would not be able to gnaw on them. They are a little expensive and go for $89.

Rodipet Wooden Cork Surface Wheel

Zacro Hamster Wheel

Zacro wheels are silent and they only come in transparent plastic. It supports many other small pets. Moreover, it is quite easy to clean and assemble. And it can be mounted on a wall too. For the features, their prices are actually low. They are priced at around $38.78.

Zacro Hamster Wheel
If you’re looking for information on the appropriate wheel size for hamsters, you might also find our article on hamster grooming tips and Russian hamster care sheet helpful. Our article on hamster grooming tips provides valuable tips and techniques to keep your hamster’s coat clean and healthy, ensuring their overall well-being. Additionally, if you’re specifically interested in Russian hamsters, our Russian hamster care sheet offers comprehensive guidance on meeting their specific care requirements. By exploring these articles, you’ll gain a better understanding of proper hamster grooming practices and the essential care needs of Russian hamsters.


Here are some frequently asked questions related to the topic.

Q. Can hamsters survive without a wheel?

Hamsters need to run to burn off their energy and fight off their boredom. Without a wheel, they cannot do that and that can lead to death.

Q. Are hamster balls a good alternative for wheels?

No, they can be quite dangerous and can be stressful for hamsters. The RSCPA actually prohibits their use.

Q. Can I make my own hamster wheel?

You can but it might not meet all the safety requirements. There are many DIY tutorials available for hamster wheels. So, you can follow them and try making one for your hamster.

Final Thoughts

For a quick recap, what size wheel for hamsters? The answer is it depends on the breed but 6 to 8 inches is enough for smaller breeds of hamsters. For bigger breeds like the Syrian hamster, it should be 8 to 11 inches.

If you have gone through the article you are now aware of everything that you need to know about hamster wheels. Now take care of your adorable furry little buddies and constantly keep them under supervision. They are solely dependent on you for their well-being.

Lisa G

Meet Lisa G, the founder and author of RodentsFact.com. With over 3 years of experience studying and observing various species of rodents. Lisa has established herself as a credible expert in the field. Her passion for these often-overlooked animals shines through in her in-depth articles and engaging writing style. Follow her blog to learn fascinating facts and gain a new appreciation for the furry creatures that share our world.

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