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Before bringing home a new hamster you'll want to make preparations for their care, including how you'll feed them, where they'll exercise, and the toys you'll play with together. They'll also need a home, preferably a cage that is escape-proof, easy to clean, and, most importantly, provides them enough living space that they can thrive.
“Hamsters need the most space you can possibly give them,” says Erin Ramsey, owner of Cheeks and Squeaks Hamsters, an ethical breeder of Syrian hamsters. “The bare minimum should be 600 square inches of unbroken space—this means that the second levels do not count towards this number. Not only do studies show this to be true, but we see that, in homes, they thrive when in extra-large cages.”
She also recommends looking for a cage that has bar spacing of 0.5-inch or less, can hold four inches of bedding, and is tall enough for a full-size hamster wheel. Our favorite is the Prevue Pet Products 528 Universal Small Animal Home, which is spacious, has tight wiring, and includes two separate entry doors. But we also have recommendations that may work better for you and your hamster.
Here are the best hamster cages.
Best Overall: Prevue Pet Products 528 Universal Small Animal Home
Tight 0.375-inch wire spacing
Tall enough for a large wheel
Easy to clean
Two entry doors
No accessories included
Ramsey recommends the Prevue Pet Products 528 cage as one of the best hamster cages you can buy. The extra-large cage offers your furry friend roughly 617.5 square inches of space to play in the extra-deep tubby base, as well as a spacious raised platform and a wide plastic ramp. The cage is topped with tight 0.375-inch wire spacing that will prevent hamsters from escaping, and the plastic base is 6.25 inches deep, allowing you to offer a generous amount of bedding.
This cage has two large entry doors—one on the top and one on the side—giving you easy access to your pet, and its 17.5-inch height gives you plenty of space to arrange accessories and toys. The snap-on mesh top is held securely in place by six clips, but it comes off easily to make cleaning a simple task.
Price at time of publish: $126
Best Budget: Ferplast Favola Hamster Cage
Includes essential accessories
Comes with connection port to attach another cage
Smaller than recommended
Not only is the Ferplast Favola Hamster Cage an affordable option for new owners, but it also comes with a number of key accessories, including a food dish, water bottle, hide away, and exercise wheel. This cage features two levels—a 4.75-inch plastic base that’s topped with a wire mesh level. The wire spacing is 0.25-inch, and the two levels are connected by a solid plastic ramp.
With an area of roughly 340 square inches, this cage is smaller than Ramsey recommends, but it comes with a connection port that allows you to connect it to another enclosure via a play tube. The cage has a small door on the top to access your hamster, and when it’s time to clean the cage, you can undo the latch clips on each side to separate the base from the top.
Price at time of publish: $75
Best Large: Aivituvin Upgraded 3-Tier Hamster Cage
Acrylic sides allow you to see inside
Two doors for easy access
Hamsters may chew the wood
Your hamster will feel like it’s living in the lap of luxury in the Aivituwin 3-Tier Hamster Cage. The main level of this cage offers more than 700 square inches of play space for your pet, and there are two additional levels where hamsters can explore, play, and nap in the included hideaways.
This cage is made from acrylic panels and fir wood that’s finished with grey paint, and it has wire mesh side walls where you can hang a water bottle and other accessories. There’s a no-leak plastic tray in the bottom that you can access via a side door, and the top of the cage also flips open for easy access. The cage can fit a hamster wheel up to 9 inches tall, and it comes with several accessories, including a food bowl and two seesaws.
Price at time of publish: $135
Best with Wheels: MidWest Homes for Pets Deluxe Critter Nation
Mounted on locking caster wheels
Lower shelf for storage
If you want to be able to move your hamster’s home easily or expand it to accommodate additional animals, the Midwest Deluxe Critter Nation cage is a worthwhile splurge. This large cage is mounted on four locking caster wheels that let you move it easily, and the brand sells add-on cages that can be stacked on top of the setup.
This cage offers more than 800 square inches of room for your pet, and it comes with an adjustable shelf and ramp, as well as a ramp cover to protect your hamster’s toes. A leak-proof pan and full-width double doors make the cage easy to clean, and there’s a built-in lower shelf where you can stash food and other supplies.
Price at time of publish: $189
Best with Accessories: Savic Hamster Heaven Metro Cage
Includes a variety of accessories
Fun, colorful design
Has large carrying handles
Complicated to assemble
Your hamster will never get bored in the Savic Hamster Heaven Metro Cage, which comes with a wide range of fun accessories. This colorful cage offers around 630 square inches of space for your pet, and it has a deep plastic base that’s ideal for burrowing. Plus, the cage comes with tunnels, an exercise wheel, two hideaways, a water bottle, two feeding bowls, and more—everything new hamster owners need to get started.
The cage is topped with mesh wire where you can hang its accessories, and there’s even a clear tunnel that sits on top of the cage, allowing hamsters to explore their surroundings. The base detaches from the wire portion for quick and easy cleaning, and there are two handles on either side of the cage, allowing you to easily move it around as needed.
Price at time of publish: $171
Best Glass: Aqueon Standard Glass Aquarium Tank, 55 Gallon
Simple and customizable
Lid sold separately
Instead of using a traditional bar cage, you can transform a glass aquarium tank into a suitable home for your hamster, and this 55-gallon tank from Aqueon offers around plenty of space for critters to play. This works especially well for dwarf hamsters, which are often small enough to squeeze through wire cages.
Overall, it’s a fairly standard aquarium tank, featuring glass walls with a black frame and silicone-lined edges. However, keep in mind that you will need to buy a screen lid to ensure your hamster doesn’t make a great escape!
Price at time of publish: $135
Best Escape Proof: Ware Chew Proof 3 Level
Narrow gap between wires, combined with chew-proof, powder-coated construction
Metal drop tray pan both secure and convenient for cleaning
Easy to assemble
Could use a little more floor space
With several elevated areas, a second entry gate would be useful
The Ware Chew Proof 3 Level has an all-metal design, with the cage sunk into a metal tray that's two inches deep. The metal drop is easily attached and reattached for straightforward cleaning. Plus, it includes shelves and ramps to provide your hamster with two elevated platforms, in addition to the nearly 500 square inches of floor space.
The Ware gets its name from its chew-proof, powder-coated wire. Combined with half-inch wire spacing from top to bottom and you have a cage that should be able to contain even the most cunning hamster.
Price at time of publish: $113
The Prevue Pet Products 528 Universal Small Animal Home (view at Amazon) is a highly recommended option for hamster owners, as it offers a deep and extremely spacious base where animals can burrow and explore. If you’re planning on getting multiple hamsters, consider the Midwest Deluxe Critter Nation (view at Amazon), which is mounted on locking caster wheels and can be expanded with additional cages on top.
What to Look for in a Hamster Cage
Many widely available hamster cages are actually far too small for these active little creatures, so it’s important to look at the area of a cage before buying. “Hamster owners should look for a cage that is over 600 square inches and tall enough to fit the proper wheel and at least 4 inches of bedding,” says Ramsey. To figure out the area of a cage, multiple the length by the width—this will give you the measurement in square inches.
Hamsters can squeeze through surprisingly small spaces, so you'll want to make sure the gaps in wire cages are small enough to contain them. Dwarf hamsters require gaps to be smaller than 0.25-inch, while Syrian hamsters can live in cages where the wire bars are up to 0.5-inch apart. When in doubt, opt for a cage where the wires are closer together.
“Hamsters are chewers by nature, so if you get an extra chewy hamster, you will want to provide a cage that isn't wood or plastic,” says Ramsey. You'll also want to make sure you pick a cage with a removable liner or a plastic bottom to make your cage easier to clean thoroughly.
How big should a hamster cage be?
Most hamster experts agree that the minimum area of a hamster cage should be 450 square inches, but Ramsey recommends looking for a cage that’s 600 square inches or larger on one level. Putting a hamster in a cage that’s too small can result in stress behaviors such as bar chewing or biting. Additionally, a large hamster cage will give you ample room to place accessories, toys, and deep bedding.
How do you clean a hamster cage?
You’ll need to clean your hamster’s cage at least once a week, which involves changing its bedding. To do this, you’ll want to put your hamster in a safe place, such as a pet carrier or hamster ball.
Start by taking everything out of the cage and disposing of the used bedding, then wash the enclosure with a cage cleaning solution or a mild soap and water. You’ll also want to wash all the cage accessories and let everything dry before putting new bedding in. Once this is done, you can return your hamster to its home.
Why Trust The Spruce Pets?
This article was written by Camryn Rabideau, a freelance writer and lifelong animal lover. To get more information about what makes a good hamster cage, she spoke with Erin Ramsey, owner of Cheeks and Squeaks Hamsters and an ethical breeder of Syrian hamsters. While selecting products for this list, she looked for cages that offered at least 600 square inches of space and had wire spacing of 1/2 inch or less. She also considered the material of each cage and whether it came with any accessories.