There are a number of types of hamster wheel on the market and it's important to choose a safe wheel for your hamster as well as one that's the right size. A safe wheel has a solid running track. Mesh wheels and the old fashioned metal wire wheels are very dangerous for them and can lead to injury. Also wheels that are too small for a hamster can lead to them running with a curved back and them suffer pain and spinal problems as they grow up. Aside from that, the Hamster may just stop using a small wheel if it's uncomfortable, and then start bar chewing because they have pent up energy.

In terms of size, Syrian hamsters run best in an 11" or 12" diameter wheel (28cm, 29cm or 30cm plus). They need to run with a straight back.

For Russian dwarf hamsters a 9" wheel is ideal and they can sometimes run in larger wheels as well. For Roborovski hamsters, an 8" or 9" diameter wheel is good.

Flying saucer wheels are also available for hamsters, but these should not be used as their only wheel. They are fine as an additional wheel or a playpen wheel, but they do need an upright wheel as the main wheel, to be able to run properly and in a straight line. In terms of size, Syrians need a 12" flying saucer. Dwarf hamsters are fine with a 6.5" or 7" flying saucer.

Most hamster owners paint wood wheels with plastikote enamal waterbased paint - to make them wipe clean. This is pet safe and virtually odourless. Rodipet also make a similar waterproofing paint for wood hamster items.

Good wheels available are:

The Trixie plastic wheel
The Trixie wood wheel with cork lining (silent)
Silent Runner wheel (silent - the orange or yellow one with the big holes)
Rodipet wheels (silent)
Getzoo wheels (silent)
Niteangel wheels (silent)


Also check on the forum and chat with other members about the pros and cons of various wheels