Is your hamster sleeping on their exercise wheel? You may be wondering what’s causing your hamster to sleep there. Maybe you’re concerned that there’s something wrong with your pet hamster.

When you find your hamster sleeping on their wheel for the first time, it can come as a surprise and you’re probably trying to figure out why they’re doing it.

Every hamster has their own unique personality. Getting to know your hamster’s unusual habit of sleeping on their wheel can help you notice if something is off. Keep reading as we’ll cover the potential reasons why your hamster is sleeping on their wheel and if there’s anything you need to do.

Why Your Hamster Is Sleeping On Their Wheel

When something changes with your hamster’s sleeping routine, questioning why they’re sleeping in unusual places is completely normal. A lot can change with hamsters in a short time.

In some instances where your hamster is otherwise acting normal, and nothing has changed in their environment, there’s probably nothing to worry about. Your hamster may have simply taken a special liking to their wheel. Lying in their exercise wheel could make your hamster feel safe and comfortable.

Does Your Hamster Not Use Their Bed As Much As They Used To?

One of the most enjoyable aspects of caring for hamsters is providing them with lots of toys, tunnels, hideaways, watching them explore their cage and making themselves at home. However, hamsters don’t always see the objects that their owners provide them in the same light that their owners do. It’s very normal for a hamster to repurpose their toys and equipment.

So, why doesn’t your hamster sleep in their bed as they should? Hamsters can be very particular about where they prefer to sleep. One reason could be because they may be unsatisfied with the size, design, or material of their bed, they may prefer another area of their cage better or perhaps it may not feel safe enough there.

Does Your Hamster Still Like Sleeping In Their Bed?

Hamsters can adapt quite well to environments quite unlike their natural habitat. They have learned to run on their wheel to satisfy their craving for action, climb through plastic tunnels, and make themselves at home in cages of all materials and designs.

However, the comfier the bed you provide for your hamster reflects the type of hideaway they would make in nature, the more likely your hamster will enjoy using it.

It’s Not Soft Enough
Hamsters prefer their sleeping nests to be soft and deep. They especially seem to enjoy burrowing under lots of soft, paper-based bedding, shredded newspaper, or paper towel.

A hamster may prefer to build their nest elsewhere in the cage if the hideaway you’ve provided is too small or limits the amount of bedding the hamster can have in their bed. If the bedding provided is too uncomfortable, a hamster might have trouble settling in to rest at all.

It’s Not Breathable Enough
Plastic hideaways or huts with only one small opening are a typical option used for hamster beds, however, these beds can quickly collect moisture or grow too warm for a hamster, which could result in water building up in an open corner or somewhere else more comfortable. Adequate ventilation is important for your hamster to comfortably use the bed you’ve provided.

Is Your Hamster Using Their Bed For Something Else?

Another reason your hamster mightn’t be sleeping in their bed is that they’ve repurposed the bed as a storage area or litter box. Once a hamster has decided to use their bed for something else, it can be somewhat tricky to change the hamster’s habit.

Is Your Hamster Hoarding In Their Bed?

Hamsters are natural hoarders and will often empty their food dishes the very day you fill it, packing their cheeks full of food and storing the food away in a corner or bed. While they usually don’t mind sharing their bed with a supply of food—many even prefer it—a very large hoard of food could result in your hamster moving their sleeping quarters elsewhere. 

Are They Using Their Bed As A Litter Area?

A hamster that prefers to do their business in their bed can actually make things a lot easier for you when it comes time to clean the cage. However, you didn’t really get your little hamster a comfy bed for the hamster to turn it into a litter area.


If your hamster is sleeping on their wheel, you should try to figure out why. The most probable reason is that they feel safe and comfortable sleeping in their wheel.

If you’re ever concerned regarding your hamster’s health or a sudden change in their habits, then consult your veterinarian or bring them in for a health check.