Wire cages are the most common type of hamster cage available. They are relatively inexpensive, light, and have a plastic base with a wire top attached that can be unclipped to easily get the hamster out or to clean the cage. This makes them the easiest type of cage to clean, while they also have the best ventilation, meaning that there are no problems with air quality or condensation, although they do need to be kept in an area away from drafts.
Wire cages with ladders and multiple levels are also available, which can give your hamster additional areas to explore. Although you should ensure that there is no place in the cage where your hamster could fall from a height.
The main disadvantage of wire cages is that they are less secure than solid sided cages. The wire bars should ideally be spaced no more than 0.5 inches apart for Syrian hamsters, and no more than 0.25 inches apart for dwarf and Chinese hamsters, to prevent them from potentially squeezing through and escaping. This makes most wire cages a less suitable option for dwarf and Chinese hamsters since it is difficult to find such a cage that also provides a large enough living space for the hamster. Doors on wire cages can also be insecure, so you should check to make sure they cannot easily be opened. A metal bolt clip can be clipped on to lock the door if necessary.
In addition, your hamster may develop a habit of chewing the wires of the cage, but it is unlikely that they will be able to chew all the way through them. Even so, it is advisable to provide your hamster with chew toys and other toys to try to avoid boredom and lessen this behavior. A solid sided cage may be necessary if this does not work.
Regardless of the type of cage that you choose, you will want it to have a deep tray to give your hamster a deep layer of bedding to burrow in. This is particularly important for wire cages to reduce the amount of bedding that is pushed outside the cage.