Introduced to the pet market in the late 1930’s, hamsters have since been elevated to become one of the most popular choices of pets.
According to the 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the APPA (American Pets Products Association), over 5.4 million households in the US own hamsters or other small animals.
People prefer hamsters because they don’t require much space as compared to dogs or cats. Hamsters also require fewer specialized gears.
However, for your little furry friend to stay happy, you’ll still have to meet his needs and especially exercising needs. Which is why it’s best to invest in a hamster wheel right from the off.
But buying a hamster wheel isn’t straight forward. In any case, hamster wheels come in many different designs as well as sizes, and so there are several crucial pointers to consider before choosing the best one for your pet.
These include your hamster’s size, whether it’s nocturnal or diurnal, how easy it is to clean the wheel, etc.
The 5 Best Running Wheels for Syrian Hamsters
Here are some of the best hamster wheels you can buy:
1. Silent Runner Exercise Wheel
On its other side, it features a black smooth surface. The four bean-shaped holes on the unit’s face act as the entry and exit way for your pet.
What’s more, this hamster wheel comes with a running track measuring about 3 inches wide.
It also measures 10” tall and 4” wide on the stand, 9” wheel diameter and has 2.75” diameter openings, which is a decent size wheel for a Syrian hamster.
Take note that the size of this unit is smaller as compared to most others in the market.
Other features of the Silent Runner Pet Exercise Wheel include:
- Axle-free Design – This style of design reduces the risk of tail/ fur entanglement, the curvature of the spine, pet wrap-a-round, and other injuries by eliminating the usually dangerous center bar.
- Dual-ball bearings – To allow for a whisper-silent spin.
- Textured running tracks – for a non-slip run with excellent grip.
- Complete disassembling wheel – which ensures deep cleaning since there are no nooks for dirt and farces to hide in.
- Closed-off Design with semi-open front plate – for safety, containment, and privacy.
- High-quality materials – on top of the thick sturdy plastic wheel, the hardware, cage attachment, and wheel stand feature heavy-duty metal.
- Easy to clean
- Sturdy built
- Requires a relatively large enclosure
- Can wobble against the cage’s side
2. Suncoast Wodent Wheel
It weighs 1.5 lbs. with dimensions of 11” in diameter and 4” wide as well an overall height of about 12”. Not to mention that it has 5 entry holes each measuring 3” in diameter.
What’s more, this hamster wheel features a support stand with no dangerous pinch areas and a uniquely designed running surface. Other features of this wheel include:
- Sporty black and green colors – In as much as you’ll still need to clean this wheel regularly, it’s dark color scheme helps in hiding glider grime.
- Wall-to-wall plastic tail shield – This shield completely covers the axle considering that Suncoast has built it into the wheel itself. As such, it helps in reducing tail-axle injuries by ensuring the axle remains out of reach.
- Special washers with ‘wall’ – to ensure the hitch pin stays correctly installed and doesn’t protrude.
- Compact design for maximum stability
- Fairly resistant to chewing
- Smooth running
- Enclosed option (for more timid hamsters)
- Open bases sometimes trap hamsters, though rarely
- Thinner plastic which can easily get damaged
3. Zacro Hamster Exercise Wheel
What’s more, this wheel comes with a shaftless design which eliminates the need for a center rod.
It’s also completely transparent and open with no corners to hide dirt. The wheel is 3.74 in (9.5 cm) wide with a diameter of 8.7 in (22 cm) and a weight of 850 g.
The size of this running wheel is perfect for an adult Syrian hamster or other small pet.
And it has stainless steel ball-bearings for a smooth and quiet wheel slide.
Other features of this hamster wheel unit include:
- Substantial wide base – which keeps this unit fairly stable and in place no matter how fast your hamster runs
- Easy mounting option – free-standing wheel using the bottom base
- Two-sided screwdriver – comes with the package
- Easy to clean
- Easy to assemble
- Safer for pets
- Sturdy, long-lasting material
- Extremely quiet on the run
- Relatively pricey
- No wall mounting hardware
- Relatively difficult to assemble
- An acrylic ‘scratch-like’ surface which may not appear aesthetically pleasing to some people. Though it’s removable.
4. POPETPOP Silent Hamster Wheel
The POPETPOP Silent Hamster Wheel is big, thick, and can mount on virtually all kinds of hamster cages.
Mostly blue, this hammy wheel consists of plastic material and measures 6.9 x 6.9 x 3.4 inches with a weight of about 6.7 ounces (190 grams). It’s perfect for smaller, young Syrian hamsters.
What’s more, one excellent feature of this wheel is its smooth running surface with no gaping spaces. Meaning hammy can run all day long without ever getting wrenched or hurt. Other features include:
- Ball-bearing – for a silent spin.
- Non-slip convex lines – enhance stability and friction, which reduces the risk of false steps.
- Aesthetically pleasing – The design is easy on the eye.
- Wide suitability
- Easy to clean
- Relatively affordable
- Firms structure
- Attractive to hamsters due to its funny design
- Due to its small size, your hamster may feel cramped
- Not very durable
5. JEMPET Hamster Silent Running Exercise Wheels
In fact, it’s a mute running toy that offers one of the funniest places for hamsters to rest and play.
This hammy wheel is a multi-function unit usable as both a chew and fitness toy. Its features include:
- Oak-bark running Surface- reduces the risk of pet feet injury and soft to the touch.
- Wide and thick wood base- Provides a more stable and reliable mount and greatly helps to avoid reversal.
- Closed back surface and safety stand- Helps to prevent your hamster from getting stuck.
- Silent working
- Wide applicability
- Multiple functions
- Safe and sturdy structure
- Fine workmanship
- Attractive to furry animals
- High quality and durable
- Aesthetically pleasing and can act as decoration for your home
- Quick to clean using only wipes or wet cloth. No water needed.
- Relatively expensive
- Tricky to remove stubborn stains
Why Do Hamsters Need a Running Wheel?
According to the American Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, hamsters can cover up to 6 miles running on a wheel at night. Why all the running? It’s simply their natural trait.
In the wild, hamsters spend most of their waking hours running, digging burrows, and gathering food. And just like their wild counterparts, captive hamsters too have the biological trait that programs these animals to be active. Which why a running wheel is crucial for your hamster.
Mind you, research shows that hamsters can suffer paralysis if they stay too long without exercising. So without a wheel, your hamster may start losing its ability to move freely. Paralyzed hamsters usually have difficulty moving their hind legs and take up a hunched position.
With that said, here are some benefits of a hamster wheel:
- Allow your hamster to fulfill its natural running instinct
- Helps to keep your pet healthy
- Helps to curb hamster obesity
- Allows your pet to release natural energy
- Reduced boredom
What is the Best Wheel Size for a Syrian Hamster?
It’s important to note that the most ideal hamster wheel for your hammy depends on its size and species.
For Syrian hamsters, go for a wheel that’s around 8-12 inches since this species is large. Females are usually bigger than males, and so may need the biggest possible wheel.
Also, you can’t have two Syrian hamsters sharing one wheel. The Syrians are extremely territorial and may fight over anything you force them to share.
Running is hamsters’ most favorite thing to do. However, not all hamsters are the same. So ensure to get yours a hamster wheel that befits it.
It’s best to go with a silent and stable wheel that won’t keep you up at night or topple over whenever in use. And remember to also ensure that the running surface has no gaps or holes. Or your little furry friend will easily get injured.
Lastly, get a wheel that’s durable and matches your budget as well as both you and your hamster’s lifestyle.