The dwarf hamster wheel is one of the most important things you will be buying for your dwarf hamster. Unlike that barely stepped-on treadmill collecting dust in your garage, your hamster will be using this simple piece of exercise equipment for much of the day, every single day. Because it is such an important aspect of your hamster's life, you need to be selective when buying the wheel. Four of the things you should keep in mind when shopping for dwarf hamster wheels are size, rungs, noise level, and getting one wheel per hamster.
The first thing to look out for is the size of the wheel. Like many (but not all) things dwarf hamster, the wheel should be smaller than average. A wheel too large will make it difficult for your hamster to run, and there will undoubtedly be many larger sized wheels when you do your shopping.
The second guideline when shopping for a dwarf hamster wheel is to avoid rungs. You don't want any rungs or gaps on the runway. Getting a wheel with rungs or wide spaces is like inviting an injury to happen. Your hamster could easily misstep and his foot could get caught in the gap, resulting in a twisted ankle. And given the amount these guys use their wheels, it's something that is bound to happen sooner or later. What you want to look for is a plastic wheel where the entire runway is one solid piece. If you already have a hamster wheel and it has rungs, you can actually use cardboard and a little bit of those arts and crafts skills of yours to cover the spaces and make the wheel dwarf hamster safe.
Another thing you will want to keep in mind is how much noise the wheel makes. Test it out before you buy it, spin it around for a bit. Does it squeak a lot? Depending on factors such as how far away the cage is from your bed room or whether or not it is near your work area, you will want to be wary of how much noise the wheel makes. So ask yourself, would squeaking be a problem for me? Remember, dwarf hamsters are nocturnal creatures so a lot of running will take place during the evening and in the middle of the night.
Finally, you will want to get one wheel per hamster. Too many dwarf hamster owners don't do this. One wheel is not enough for two hamsters. Hamsters like to run a lot and if there's only one wheel available, they may even end up fighting over who gets to use it. Your hamsters need their exercise and sharing a wheel will not be enough for these passionate runners so remember to get one wheel for each hamster.