Why Having The Correct Casters On Your Office Chair Matters: Don’t End Up Spinning Your Wheels.

office chair caster

Office Chair Caster

If you plan to win the next office chair race at work you had better make sure that your chair has the right casters or else you'll get left at the start.

And even if you don't have chair racing ambitions it’s important to have the correct wheels.

Does this sound like you?
When you decide to move your office chair do you have to lean into it with all your weight and muscle to get it moving? Or is it so easy to move you have to drop an anchor to get it to stop? If either of these is true, your chair wheels are suspect numero uno.

What wheels does the average office chair have?
It’s almost certain that any office chair you buy will come with standard carpet casters. And that's hardly surprising, as the vast majority of chairs will be used on carpeted surfaces.

There's nothing mystical about carpet casters. All it means is that the outside of the wheels are made in hard plastic so that they move smoothly over most types of carpet. However, using them on other surfaces can be unpredictable.

When do you need something different?
Surely chair wheels don't make that much difference do they? As long as my chair moves easily that's all that matters. Well the problem is if you have carpet casters on a chair that's on hard flooring there won't be a problem moving. The problem will be getting it to stop still. Why is that?

For casters to work properly there needs to be a degree of friction between the wheel and the surface it’s being used on. Too much friction makes the chair difficult to move. Too little friction means it rolls at the slightest move you make.

For this reason casters for hard flooring have a softer facing to give the right resistance. What if you don't want to move your chair in relation to your work?

When are no wheels a better idea?
People who work at higher work surfaces will often go for a chair with a footring to rest their feet on. This way of working tends to be more static and casters can sometimes be a bit unstable. Also, meeting room swivel chairs don't need to move very much. For both these situations wheels are often substituted with glides. Glides are small flat feet and help keep the chair static and stable in use. All the other functions work as normal.

What should you do if your chair has the wrong wheels?
In the first instance contact your chair’s supplier and ask if they can supply the correct casters. These are usually inexpensive with a set of 5 normally costing under $30. And if they can’t help there are a number of online suppliers. Either way swopping them is simple.

How easy is it to change them?
Fortunately if you find that your chair has the wrong casters it’s pretty straightforward to fix. Most office chair casters have a push pull fixing arrangement. Just turn your chair on its side, grip each wheel in turn and pull.

Usually they release easily. Next it’s a case of pushing the new ones firmly into place and they will click when properly located. The whole thing should only take a couple of minutes to do. Now you will be in full control of your chair.


  • Most chairs come with carpet casters
  • Hard flooring needs a different type of caster
  • Glides work well for static use such as chairs with footrings and meeting room chairs
  • Getting replacements is usually straightforward
  • Changing wheels is easy

So make sure your chair has the right wheels, whether you're a boy racer or simply want to be in control of your chair. This site offers a great selection of office chair casters.


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