As with any pet, it’s important that you make sure your sugar glider has plenty of space and stimulation to keep both mind and body happy, healthy, and occupied. One of the real basics of sugar glider 101 is making sure you have a wheel that is of an appropriate size and design for your glider.
Ensuring you have a wheel that fits your suggie’s needs and your aesthetic ideals can be a bit of a challenge.
Exercise wheels designed specifically for gliders are fairly new on the market so it can be hard to find the perfect wheel. By looking at our top-rated wheels below, you’ll soon be able to make an informed decision that meets all your requirements, as well as those of even the most discerning of gliders.
- What Is a Sugar Glider Wheel and Why Are They Important?
- What Kind of Sugar Glider Wheels Are Available?
- Choosing a Wheel Design
- Top 6 Best Sugar Glider Wheels
- What to Do Next
What Is a Sugar Glider Wheel and Why Are They Important?
A sugar glider wheel is like other wheels you’ll have seen in most hamster, rat, or other small animal cages in that they provide an excellent means of exercise for your little suggie.
Their unique half-hop, half-run means it’s vital to have a wheel that suits their style of movement. Just running back and forth across their cage won’t give them the level of exercise they need.
If you already own one of these adorable little fellas, you’ll know that they are bundles of energy. A suitable wheel gives the ideal outlet for them to let off some steam while keeping them happy and stimulated.
Can I Use a Different Kind of Rodent Wheel?
The shortest and safest answer would be no. Or, at least, it depends on whether they have certain features that can be dangerous to your suggie’s health.
Many rodent wheels will feature a bar going through the middle and that can damage a sugar glider’s spine due to their unique gait. Make sure the wheel you choose is free of any bars or axles before purchasing to minimize any risks to your pet.
Interested in more sugar glider tips? Check out our guides!
What Kind of Sugar Glider Wheels Are Available?
Sugar glider wheels come in plastic or metal material and each type has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Metal exercise wheels are more likely to last longer than their plastic counterparts. Metals are also a stronger material than plastic, so your sugar gliders are less likely to damage or wear down metal wheels by chewing or running endlessly on them.
Metal wheels, however, are usually made with rungs instead of one solid piece. The bad news is, sugar glider legs are extremely fragile and delicate and can easily get injured if they fall through the gaps in between the rungs when running.
Plastic wheels, on the other hand, are usually made from a single solid piece of plastic, instead of rungs, which is generally safer for sugar gliders since there are no gaps for their small legs to fall through.
Choosing a Wheel Design
The vast majority of universal rodent wheels will be much too small for your sugar glider.
Be sure that the wheel you choose is at the very least 11 inches in diameter though ideally 12 inches for a comfortable run. Make sure that your suggie can stretch out fully and not put strain on its spine.
When companies offer a choice of sizes, ensure you are opting for the largest that they supply. Always check that the one you choose is no smaller than 27.5cm at the absolute minimum.
Mesh wheels are generally safe for your little buddy as long as it does not have a crossbar across the middle, which is dangerous for sugar gliders since their tails and feet can get caught in the gaps. Plus, they are also very easy to clean.
An enclosed wheel or a ball-to-wheel combo is not safe if you have more than one sugar glider. One sugar glider can spin another glider around and will not give them a way to escape which can lead to severe injuries, so it’s imperative you choose a wheel design with an easy entrance and exit.
Wheels or saucers?
If you have a larger cage for your sugar glider, you might like to consider a saucer rather than a wheel.
While a wheel stands vertical and is either fastened to the side of the cage or has a supporting stand that keeps it elevated. A saucer is different as it sits at a roughly 45° angle across the floor of the cage.
If you’re concerned about your suggie catching any of its toes or its tail hopping in and out of a wheel, you may wish to consider a more open-plan exercise wheel and opt for a saucer.
Top 6 Best Sugar Glider Wheels
Exotic Nutrition All-Metal Wheel
Designed to be as silent as possible, the wheel’s dual-bearing construction means that your furry friend can run to their heart’s content without any annoying squeaking driving you up the wall.
Benefitting from no central axle, you will not need to worry about your sugar glider injuring itself by jumping into the bar or getting all tangled up. Molded tracks help your suggie grip on even at top speed. You also have the option of buying an extra sandy track to affix to the wheel to help file down sharp nails as they run, killing two birds with one stone.
A sturdy metal base means you’ll be able to pop this wheel wherever you like in your glider’s cage, without needing to anchor it to any bars. Bear in mind, though, that due to the size of the wheel, it may rock a little if your sugar glider is going for the burn.
You can opt for a cage attachment if you find this troublesome and fix it to the bars instead. Available in a choice of sizes, you’ll want to plump for the medium (12-inch) at least to guarantee a comfortable stretch for your suggie and you’ll also be able to choose between yellow, orange, and green to best match your sugar glider’s home décor.
- No dangerous middle axle
- Dual bearing design for a squeak free and mostly silent run
- Customisable options including choice of size and colourways
- One of the more expensive wheels on the market
- Fiddly to take apart for cleaning
- Enclosed front means a restricted view of your pet
Ware Manufacturing Flying Saucer Exercise Wheel
If you like to watch your sugar glider running at full tilt, then Ware’s Flying Saucer might be the ideal solution. If safety is your concern, the open construction promises your suggie won’t catch their tail or tips of their toes while careening about during a mad half hour.
Featuring a super quiet spin mechanism, you’ll not notice much squeaking while your glider exercises. The durable design of this saucer also has your pet’s comfort in mind.
Made with a stainless-steel axle that doesn’t protrude into the center of the saucer and a grip-molded acetyl plastic hub. Bear in mind that some sugar gliders do prefer to run in an upright position, as they’d experience with a more traditional wheel.
That said, the Flying Saucer is one of your cheaper wheels on the market, so it won’t break the bank if your suggie should turn its nose up at saucer running.
- Open, almost horizontal design means easy viewing
- No cover or middle axle means no nasty nips to tails or toes
- Range of colours
- Some sugar gliders prefer to be upright so might not get on with the design
- Takes up more floor space in the cage
- No choice of colorway
Kaytee Silent Spinner Wheel
The Silent Spinner boasts patented ball-bearing technology to ensure whisper-quiet rotations. It comes with useful maintenance advice that includes oiling the mechanism to ensure quiet exercise for months to come.
Featuring ribbed tracks along the wheel, the grip is less pronounced than some other models but will still provide traction and a comfortable run for your glider. In addition, the axle-free design helps prevent accidents and deformation issues on your pet.
This wheel comes in a variety of bright, eye-catching colors but you will receive a random choice, so don’t set your heart on a particular colorway. Be sure to choose the 12-inch Giant model as the Silent Spinner Wheel comes in a range of sizes.
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Stand and bar attachment options to suit whatever your cage layout
- Cheap to buy
- Not too steady when freestanding if your pet is particularly active
- Random assortment of colours
- Fewer track grips than some wheels
Raptor Mod Wheel
One of the priciest wheels on the market, the Raptor Mod Wheel looks as premium as its price tag.
Featuring a completely metal wheel, you’ll not find the Raptor getting chomped by any nibbly gliders. A lifetime guarantee covers all general wear and tear making the initial cost much more palatable.
Each component, from the bearings to the mesh that makes up the track itself features the highest standard of materials, guaranteeing longevity and quality. You can choose to either have a free-standing setup or a cage attachment for a sturdier fix. You can also pick from ten different colors and buy extra add-ons including a nail trimmer kit.
- Lifetime guarantee
- Premium grade materials throughout
- Range of attachments
- Less streamlined look compared to other models
Savic Giant Rolly Wheel
The Giant Rolly Wheel is one of the cheapest options available while still giving your sugar glider the exercise space they vitally need.
Measuring at approximately 11 inches it will work perfectly for younger joeys, though you may want to consider upgrading as they grow. The wheel arrives with a metal stand for freestanding placement, but you can attach the wheel to the cage bars with plastic plates if you want.
Featuring a simple, no-frills design, the wheel is easily disassembled for cleaning. This design also provides a clear, open view so you can enjoy your glider’s exercise time as they work out. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly wheel that does what it says on the tin, this streamlined, fuss-free option is for you.
- Simple design
- The cheapest option that meets minimum size requirements
- Easy to clean
- Only comes in 11-inch size
- No choice of colours
- Not as sturdy as some of the more expensive models
MyLittleSugarGlider’s Lunar Sugar Glider Wheel
Born from a collaboration between an experienced sugar glider breeder and a graphic designer, the arty influence of the Lunar Glider Wheel shines through. With a range of bold, neon colorways, this is the obvious choice for anyone who wants their suggie’s cage interior to really pop.
Measuring at 11.5 inches across, this wheel is a little smaller than some of its competition. This sugar glider wheel will be fine for younger or smaller joeys – make sure to keep an eye out for any arched backs as your gliders run on it.
Featuring a solidly constructed back plate, you’ll not have to worry about any trapped toes getting caught between the joins. The wheel itself can be a little squeaky without any maintenance. As the whole wheel comes apart easily for cleaning and oiling, you can easily deal with any squeaks.
One of the Lunar Wheel’s unique features is that the wheel trim edge is fully removable so that you can swap colors in and out to complement or contrast with your wheel’s main hue. If you want your suggie’s home to be as stylish as your own, this is the wheel for you.
- Wide range of funky colourways
- Safe, solid back construction
- Customizable wheel trims
- Noisier than some other wheels
- Can only be cage mounted
- Slightly smaller diameter
What to Do Next
If you are lucky enough to already own a sugar glider then you’ll understand the choice of items specifically designed for your suggie’s needs aren’t exactly flooding the market yet.
Whilst you get the kudos of being ahead of the curve when it comes to adorable small furry ownership, this makes life harder when you’re on the hunt for equipment that meets your pet’s own unique requirements.
Having reviewed several sugar glider wheels, it’s clear that you’ll need to choose based on your personal priorities. Sick of squeaky exercise time? The Exotic Nutrition Sugar Glider Wheel will give you an almost silent suggie run and won’t break the bank if you’re on a budget. If safety is your main priority, try the Kaytee Silent Spinner Wheel to safeguard against any nips or pinches. If you’re splashing out and ready to spoil your sugar glider, choose the Raptor Mod Wheel and enjoy their lifetime guarantee and premium materials.
As more owners enjoy the sugar glider’s distinctive charms, there should be an increase in wheel availability. In the meantime, our top picks will give you a good foundation for choosing a wheel that will please both you and your glider for years to come.