Table of Contents

Different Types of Hamster Enclosures

Glass Aquariums / Tanks

You can usually find glass aquariums, or tanks, at any pet supply store. These tanks are heavy but sturdy and come in various sizes. If the tank isn’t tall enough, a custom lid may need to be created so that your hamster does not escape and injure himself.

  1. Bedding cannot fall out
  2. There are no bars that hamsters can climb or chew
  3. Hamsters cannot chew through the glass
  4. Prevents air drafts that may disturb the hamster
  5. Sturdy and doesn'tt break easily
  6. Needs a custom lid

  1. Heavy
  2. Poor ventilation and heat can be trapped inside
  3. Though non-toxic, aquarium silicone may be gnawed on
  4. A custom lid may have to be DIY-ed.
  5. Hamsters can only be removed from the top which may scare your hamster
  6. Pricey
  7. Cannot be stacked unless you have a rack

@Plueschraupe's Custom Glass Enclosure Setups

@LittleHammiesAdventures Glass Enclosure Setups

Bar Cages

Grid Spacing

Hamsters can be master escape artists, and grid spacing that is too big may result in your hamster escaping or getting injured. If you are going to get a bar cage, please be mindful of the grid spacing. We recommend the following:

  • Syrian Hamsters - Grid spacing must not exceed 1cm (0.40 inches)
  • Dwarf Hamsters - Grid spacing must not exceed 0.8cm (0.31 inches)
  • Roborovski Hamsters - Grid spacing must not exceed 0.6cm (0.24 inches)

  1. Lightweight
  2. Easy to Clean
  3. Cheap
  4. Customizable
  5. Stackable

  1. Poor circulation depending on the design of the bin cage
  2. Difficult to get in suitable sizes
  3. Plastic enclosures are easier to chew on, so an opportunistic hamster may find a way to escape
  4. Most bar cages come with a shallow base, making it frustrating for hamsters to burrow in.

@CosmicHamsters demonstrating a Savic Plaza cage vs the cage they adopted their hamster in.

Plastic / Acrylic Enclosures

Recently, many brands have come up with plastic or acrylic enclosures. Similar to tanks, most of these have transparent walls where you can see what your hamster is up to. However, the lack of proper ventilation may be a problem in some cages.

  1. Light
  2. Easy to clean
  3. Some come with a front opening which makes it less stressful for your hamster
  4. Bedding cannot fall out

  1. Commercial-quality acrylic and custom enclosures are expensive
  2. Plastic and acrylic enclosures are prone to scratching and wear over time
  3. Limited ventilation
  4. Chewing hazard
  5. Lack of insulation for countries with extreme climate conditions

Victoria Raechel demonstrates Niteangel's Stacker Series

Wooden Enclosures

Wooden enclosures are another nice and sturdy option to keep your hamster in. Many of these have a nice, natural look and are usually built to be sturdy. If the wood is unvarnished or unprotected, it might be prone to absorbing your hamster’s urine.

  1. Natural Look
  2. Sturdy and durable Material
  3. Wood has natural insulating properties
  4. Easily customizable

  1. Chewing hazard
  2. If wood is not protected, it is prone to absorb odors and hamster urine
  3. Can be heavy
  4. Wood that is not sanded properly may cause splinters

@Nico_syrian_hamster's Customized Pawhut Enclosures (1070 sqin / 6900 sqcm)

@Nico_syrian_hamster also combined both Pawhut enclosures to make an even bigger enclosure.

@Ninimifen's Niteangel Enclosure (989sqin / 6380 sqcm)

Bin Cages

Bin cages are the result of taking large storage bins and turning them into hamster enclosures. These are lightweight and stackable, and is often the go-to enclosure for many rescues and shelters. The biggest struggle is finding a bin that is large enough to use for a proper hamster enclosure.

  1. Lightweight
  2. Easy to clean
  3. Bedding cannot fall out
  4. Affordable
  5. Stackable

  1. Poor circulation depending on the cage design
  2. Difficult to get in suitable sizes
  3. Chewing hazard
  4. Needs tools in order to build

Rachel Got Hamsters' Bin Cage Setup

Other DIY Enclosures

If you’re someone who likes to work with their hands and create custom solutions, your best bet would be to make a DIY enclosure. Making a DIY enclosure would allow you to make an enclosure that perfectly suits your hamster and yourself. You can also decide how big it is. There really is no limit besides your creativity.

  1. Can be customized to be perfectly adapted to the needs of the hamster as well as the needs of the hamster keeper

  1. May be more costly if you don’t have the tools beforehand
  2. Construction skills are necessary

Victoria Raechel's DIY 2x4x2 ft enclosure (1152 sqin / 7432 sqcm)

@astronamyhammiescare's DIY Ikea PAX enclosure (3500 sqin / 22,580sqcm)

@lilyhamstersworld 115 x 60 x 75 cm DIY enclosure (1070 sqin / 6900 sqcm)


Different types of hamster enclosures have their own advantages and disadvantages. There are many choices that factor into what kind of enclosure you’re going to get, whether it be price, temperature, or accessibility. It is important that your hamster has access to a safe home that meets all his basic needs.


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