A noisy hamster wheel can ruin your sleep.
Hamsters are nocturnal animals who can run up to 9km (5.5 miles) miles per night. If their wheel is squeaky that can mean several hours of interrupted sleep.
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While there are things you can do to quieten your hamster's wheel, the best solution is to buy a quiet hamster wheel in the first place.
Below are 6 of the quietest hamster wheels available:
This is thanks to it's dual ball bearing system.
It features two ball bearings inside the backplate of the wheel which glide around the axel while the axel stays still.
Most hamster wheels use a rotating axel which can create a lot of friction and consequently create a lot of noise. The Silent Runner ball bearing system creates a silent and smooth spin.
The absence of a spinning axel is also far safer for your hamster meaning they wont get stuck in it or wrapped round it.
The Silent Runner comes with both freestanding and cage attachments and it also features sidewalls to protect your hamster from falling out.
The Kaytee Silent Spinner is another ball bearing based exercise wheel.
It is available in 4 different sizes:
It is super quiet (watch this video for proof) thanks to its enclosed spinner hub.
The hub contains ball bearings which allow the wheel to freely spin around a stationary axel smoothly and silently.
The hub also completely encloses the ball bearings and axel meaning that dirt won't build up on it so it shouldn't become noisy over time.
The amusingly named Wodent Wheel is a highly durable long-lasting wheel that doesn't squeak!
One thing to be aware of with this wheel is that the footfall noise does seem to be louder than some other wheels (see here), thankfully footfall noise is far easier to tune out than squeaking when you're trying to sleep.
It is also hard to clean as the cover, which helps prevent your hamster from falling off, is not removable.
Although the axel is a spinning axel that tends to be noisier it is covered which prevents dirt from building up. This reduces noise over time.
However it may still need occasional lubrication to keep it running quietly.
The Niteangle comes in two different sizes; small (8.5 inches) and medium (10 inches) and is available in brown, pink or white.
..but who cares about the aesthetics, how quiet is it?
Very, is the answer.
It features a dual ball bearing wheel system which means the axel doesn't rotate, friction is reduced and axel noise is non-existent.
The axel itself is also completely sealed off so it won't get covered in hamster feces and hair and your sugar glider, mouse or rat won't get their tail caught in it.
The Flying Saucer is a unique wheel which is almost horizontal.
This design helps it to be far quieter than many vertical wheels because the axel is under less stress.
The axel is the primary source of noise in most noisy hamster wheels. This design helps take the stress off the axle and thereby quieten the wheel significantly.
Don't worry, most hamsters don't care that it isn't a vertical wheel, they quickly adapt and get on with it.
One of the good things about this wheel is that if your hamster is prone to falling they do not have very far to fall off this wheel if they suddenly stop, making it far safer.
The only drawback is that it takes up a lot more space than a vertical wheel so isn't suitable for small cages.
This wheel is a unique wood-based wheel which rotates silently thanks to x y z.
Available at 7.5 inches or 9 inches this wheel is available in blue, green, pink, white and multicoloured options so you can ensure it fits in with the feng shui of your hamster cage.
It does create a bit of footfall noise when in use (watch this video to see) however it is certainly not loud, the noise of little hamster feet scurrying along on the wood is almost endearing!
It comes with both free-standing and cage attachments.
The free-standing stand is height adjustable too so if you want to give your hamster an extra workout climbing higher you can.
When choosing a hamster wheel that is quiet there are a few key elements that it is important to think about to ensure that you get a wheel that is quiet.
The key things to think about are the axle, the axle position, whether it is free-standing or attaches to the cage and the footfall noise they create.
The axle is invariably the noisiest part of the wheel. If your wheel is squeaking it is almsot always because of friction on the axle.
Oiling the axle is an easy way of fixing this, however buying a wheel with a axle designed to be squeak free is a better long term solution as oiling will need to be done every couple of weeks to keep it quiet.
Wheels that use ball bearings, such as the Silent Runner wheel, allow the wheel to glide around a stationary axel rather than spinning on a fixed axel.
This is far quieter because they reduce friction on the axel rod making for a far smoother and quieter ride.
If the wheel is clipped to the cage at an angle this can put more pressure on the axle leading to more friction on it and therefore more noise.
Innovative wheels such as the Flying Saucer wheel use an almost horizontal wheel to reduce axel friction and therefore noise, they are also much safer for your hamster.
The way your wheel clips onto the cage can impact how much noise it makes.
Wheel vibrations will travel through the axel into the cage which can significantly amplify the noise.
Padded cage clips are ideal as these will dampen vibrations.
Freestanding wheels are also a good option as placing this on sawdust or a matt will help further dampen vibrations through the cage.
You might have a completely squeak free hamster wheel running but if your hamsters feet hitting the wheel sound like a horse galloping through your lounge then you won't be very impressed with your purchase.
A soft padded wheel tread is ideal for reducing footfall noise from your hamster.