Hamster wheels for hamsters are like the TV/computer for humans. Well, kind of. We don't get much exercise from our recreations! :(
Hamsters just love their wheels. They usually run at night and can run for hours and hours. It's just natural for them. So it is all-important to get a good wheel!
When we first got Spider-ham, he would hardly run on his starter cage wheel. We didn't know any better. The wheel looked fine to us.
But later we upgraded to a better wheel. And it was love at first sight. Spider-ham runs daily now, even in winter when he sleeps most of the time.
The problem was the design of the wheel. The back of the wheel secures to the wall of the wire cage. All of the weight hangs on the spindle. When running, the spindle becomes weight down and doesn't run smoothly.
Not all wheels that are designed this way are ineffective. But I noticed that many wheels that come with starter cages and are made of this kind of light plastic, do not run as smoothly.
If you have one, my advice is to get a better one. They are about $10 a piece.
A Respectable WheelMy replacement wheel is a Super Pet Hamster Run-Around 8-Inch Regular Exercise Wheel. This wheel can be hooked to the wall of a wire cage or independent. It runs much smoother and allows your hamsters to get on both ways.
Wheel Hangs On Cage Wall
Robos LOVE Their Wheels!
(Some people are afraid the bars on both sides may hurt their hamster. But so far, I've never seen Spider-ham run into them. They have stubby tails so of course, no tails to be caught too.)
I like this wheel but I still think it can run smoother. Secondly, I want the wheel to have solid base instead of wire. Lastly, this wire wheel does get a bit squeaky. Next are some options I am thinking about upgrading to.
Other Cool Hamster Wheels
SpinnersSuper Pet's Silent Spinner is probably your best option for wheels. This will be my hamster's next wheel. It...
The saucer may be a fun alternative to the typical upright wheel! I seen many hamsters run so fast they end up flying off the saucer though! So be sure your hamster enjoys this wheel and doesn't hurt him or herself.
When choosing Any Hamster Wheel, Remember These Tips
Noise ControlSome people are really sensitive to noise particularly at night. But your hamster will want to run at night for extended times. Get the silent spinner if the noise will bother you or your family/housemates.
Size of WheelGet a wheel at least two or three inches bigger than your hamster's length. My hamster is about 6 inches long so I'll get a wheel at least 8 inches in diameter.
You could get a 6-7 inch wheel for the dwarf hamsters.
The reasoning is that a small wheel may cause your hamster to arch its back too much. It would be uncomfortable. And long term injuries may occur.