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21cm for Dwarf Hamsters
28cm for Syrian Hamsters

Ensure your hamster runs with a level back and NOT with it’s head raised. An unsuitable wheel size can cause serious spinal damage to your hamster.
A saucer wheel can be used as an additional accessory but does NOT replace a standing wheel. Always ensure you hamster has access to an upright standing wheel for the majority of the time.
Avoid using wheels made of wire or mesh. Any wheel used should have a smooth, flat running surface with no rungs or ridges and a closed back wall.
Wire and mesh wheels cause cuts on your hamsters feet which can become inflamed and infected. This is called bumblefoot and it causes your hamster a lot of pain while walking or running.
Wooden wheels should be covered in a few coats of non-toxic varnish or paint to protect hem from urine stains. Wheels with balls bearings are extra silent.


Getzoo Wheels

Available Sizes (diameter): 21cm / 27cm / 30cm / 33cm / 42cm

Suitable for: All hamsters

Material: Wood / Plastic

Comments: Great quality and extremely silent. Can be bought with or without a cork layer on the running track. Wooden wheel/cork should be coated with varnish/paint to waterproof it.

Rodipet Wheels

Available Sizes (diameter): 21cm / 27cm / 30cm / 31cm

Suitable for: All hamsters

Material: Wood / Plastic

Comments: Great quality and extremely silent. Cork running track. Wooden wheel should be coated with varnish/paint to waterproof it. Wooden wheel is height adjustable.

Hope’s Healthy Treats Wheel

Available Sizes (diameter): 30cm 

Suitable for: All hamsters

Material: Wood

Comments: Great quality and extremely silent. Cork running track. Wooden wheel should be coated with varnish/paint to waterproof it. Height adjustable.

Trixie Wooden Wheel

Available Sizes (diameter): 21cm / 28cm 

Suitable for: All hamsters

Material: Wood

Comments: Silent with cork running track. Much cheaper than similar wheels on the market. Quality varies but rarely enough to cause an issue for your hamster. Wooden wheel should be coated with varnish/paint to waterproof it. 

Tic Tac Wheels

Available Sizes (diameter): 28cm / 33cm

Suitable for: Syrians

Material: Plastic / Metal

Comments: Extremely silent, great quality, smooth running track, easy to clean, available in many colours. Too smooth and heavy for dwarf hamsters to gain enough traction to run.

Trixie Plastic Wheel

Available Sizes (diameter): 21cm / 28cm / 33cm

Suitable for: All hamsters

Material: Plastic

Comments: Popular choice and easy to clean. Outer cover gives security to your hamster. It can become noisy over time. Heavy syrians can sometimes warp it which may add to the noise level as plastic rubs on stand while running.


Pros Cons
Wooden Wheels
Natural material, safe if chewed, smoother and quieter due to rigid structure, generally higher quality than plastic wheels, longer life, doesn’t bend or warp under the weight of larger hamsters.
More expensive, solid structure and unexposed mechanism means the axle can’t be fixed if it breaks, absorb urine, can’t be deep cleaned (Wooden wheels can be coated with non-toxic paint/sealant to prevent wee from being absorbed), cork running strip can be ripped up by destructive hamsters
Plastic Wheels
Easy to clean, cheaper than wooden wheels, more accessible (most wheels in pet stores are plastic), some can be tightened if they become wobbly.
Not ideal for big chewers, plastic should not be ingested, can break easier, generally lower quality than wooden wheels, not natural material, can be louder than wooden, as they generally don’t have ball bearings.


Wire wheels:
Wire wheels can be very harmful to your hamster. Their limbs can fall between the prongs and become trapped and broken.

Mesh wheels:
These wheels can result in your hamster developing Bumblefoot – An infection of the feet due to reoccurring damage and inflammation, caused from running on mesh wheels.

Wheels with exposed axles:
If hamsters lose their footing while running on these wheels, they can become caught and pinched on the exposed axles. This can lead to broken limbs as well as serious injuries.

Dangerous running surfaces:
Not all proper sized hamster wheels are safe. For example, the American brand Silent Runner. They are correctly sized, but offer replaceable running tracks such as ones with holes to allow wee to escape and sand paper to keep your hamster’s nails filed down. Both of these running surfaces are dangerous and can cause bumblefoot and other injuries.
Wheels with “rungs” or exaggerated running surface grips can also be dangerous. There have been many people online who have reported their hamster’s feet bleeding from this wheel. As the wheel spins, the exaggerated bumps hit the hamster’s feet, causing injury. Prolonged used could cause bumblefoot.


So many pet stores sell tiny wheels, some even as small as 10cm.
These wheels, coupled with lack of knowledge, can result in hamsters developing deformities in their legs and their spine.
We talk about curvature of the spine a lot when we explain why a big wheel is needed, but as you can see in the video, a hamsters legs can also be affected.
But how does this occur?
The small amount of room a hamster has while using a wheel as small as the blue one in the video, doesn’t give the hamster enough room to move it’s legs properly. The hamster ends up compensating for this space and moving their legs in unnatural ways just to take a step forward. If a hamster is subjected to this for too long, it’s joints can become deformed.
Hamsters that develop these problems need adjusted enclosures, everything has to be easy to reach, platforms have to be low and have ramps, not stairs, as they cannot climb even the smallest of ledges.
These hamsters can’t even walk properly. Watch this video to see the affect it had on a Winter White dwarf.
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