Difference between Office Chair Casters and Glides

Difference between Office Chair Casters and Glides

Most of you may have heard about backrests, armlets, footrests, wheels, and other chair parts, but have you ever thought about office chair glides and casters?

Very few know casters are the wheeled devices used in office chairs, while glides are flat feet attached to the chair legs. These terms are technical and need to be understood to gain maximum benefits from your office chair.

So this article contains all the information related to the difference between office chair casters and glides casters and glides to understand the difference between them and their usage. and make it easy for you to know which suits you the most. Continue reading for detailed discussion and more knowledge.

What are Casters on a Chair?

Casters are small wheel devices with a stem, mount, and wheels that help roll the office or meeting room chairs. If this is your first time buying an office chair, these parts may not be familiar to you. They are made to move your feet smoothly while moving around and sitting on the chair.

These casters will move with your feet when you make movements with your chair and keep them stable in all directions. This can be helpful for people suffering from knee or joint problems since they can use a full range of motion and allow you the freedom of movement around your workspace.

Casters have been around for thousands of years and have been used for transportation, treading on snow, lifting heavy objects, and many other purposes.

Types of caster

There are different types of casters available in the market today.  You must go for those that are not damaged easily and can be fixed without much effort. Pay attention to the quality of casters, as they will give you smooth rolling action.

Different types of casters are described as follows:

1. Hooded casters

These casters are covered with a hood to protect them from accidental damage or dust. They can be used to lean the wheel from pieces of paper or hair stuck into the wheel and can cause hurdles in movement, so you need not worry about the safety of your chair.

2. Free-wheeling casters

The free-wheeling casters can move in any direction without any resistance. These casters can easily give you the freedom to travel from one place to another. These casters’ swivel features help the user move freely with little force.

3. Charge-braked casters

These casters give a stable movement while you are moving it. They work oppositely from free-wheeling casters and help to lock the chair in place when you apply pressure on them.

4. Interval braked

These casters have a slight wheel brake to give you stable movement. They usually help you to move on hard surfaces with ease.

All these casters have pros and cons, so you must buy office chairs with different caster wheels to get the bell.

What are Glides on a Chair?

Glides are referred to as flat feet. These are used as the replacement of casters on some chairs. They help prevent any damage to the floor surface or carpeted floors. Floor glides are placed where the wheels are required, on the bottom of the chair leg.

They have a small stem that simply fits together without much problem, so you do not need to worry about installation. They provide less ease of moving a chair, so casters are considered the better option in modern furniture.

Glides come in different shapes, like round and square, with a bottom with plastic, rubber, or felt-like material attached at the end. While buying office chairs, ensure all glides are intact and fit perfectly.

Types of Glides

Different types of glides are available in the market, each varying in installation. They come in self-adhesive settings, nail-on, and screw-on settings. Self-adhesives are easily removable and installed. Nail-on glides are permanent and provide a solid connection. You must consider the type of office chair before buying them.

1. Metal glides

Metal glides are primarily used in the furniture like office chairs and sofas. They can be easily attached or removed without any hassle. These glides provide weight stability for the furniture and are sold reasonably.

2. Plastic glides

These plastic glides are usually made of complex and durable plastic material.  These work great on hardwood surfaces and come in various shapes and sizes. These are easy to fit or remove and can be used in any type of furniture.

3. Felt glides

These glides are very effective for protecting the floor from damage caused by office chair wheels as they provide cushioning. They need regular maintenance but facilitate you to move on uneven surfaces.

What is the difference between office chair casters and glides?

Casters and glides are very different in their use, customization, installation, weight capacity, and noise-dampening features. So before buying a chair, make sure you know the difference between them and choose the one that suits you better.

Difference of use

Casters are mainly used for moving an office chair from one place to another. They provide smooth movement and stability for your office chair when you use it. These are easy to install and remove with significantly less effort, which makes them an attractive option for most people.

Conversely, glides protect a floor’s surface where the chair will be placed. These provide extra protection for the floor so that it does not get damaged by chair feet when your chair glide on uneven surfaces in the office chair. They are best for chairs that do not require much movement.


Casters are one of the most customizable parts of a chair. The wheels can be easily replaced with a different size and shape, which gives your chair a new look in seconds. Wheel casters, ball casters, and leveling casters are all types of casters. Additionally, their applications can be customized. Many options are available to suit your needs, such as locking, braking, and swiveling.

Whereas glides are fixed to their place and do not allow any sort of customization with the chair.

They help the users sit on the chair without noise and are less flexible in terms of movement, making sure that the furniture is not damaged by placing it on any surface.


Both are easy to install and replace when the old one gets damaged. Casters require little effort in the installation process but are not difficult to do. You must have some basic knowledge of the installation process to do it without much effort.

But if you are not comfortable with the work, then you can use a professional who will do the installation for you.

Glides are easily installed on office chairs, as they need a little push or screwdriver to fix them. There is direct removal of the glides, so it is easy to replace when it becomes worn out or damaged.


The office chairs used in an ample space must be able to move smoothly but at the same time not produce any noise. Office chairs with casters produce some sort of sound when you move them. Working in a big office or a library can complicate the problem if your chair creates too much noise.

When it comes to glides, they do not have any sort of noise as there is no friction between each other, making them an ideal option for big offices and libraries where silence is required.

Weight capacity

Casters allow a certain amount of weight for each chair that can be placed on it. If the weight exceeds the limit, the chair will move in a way you do not want to.

Casters are usually heavy-duty and carry more than 2000 pounds weight than other casters, but not all materials are heavy-duty. So, weight-carrying capacity depends on the construction. It is better to check for the weight capacity of a caster.

Glides, on the other hand, do not provide any sort of support when carrying any extra weight. Heavy-duty glides can carry up to 500 pounds, while light-duty can carry 40 pounds. So they are recommended for light furniture like office chairs and sofas.

Bottom Line!

Being important parts of movable office furniture (especially chairs), both glides and casters provide extra protection, customization, support, and comfort to your office chair.  It is better that before you purchase office chairs, you know what exactly you want from them in terms of movement. You should also keep in mind your floor type as hardwood floors have different requirements from casters and glides on an office chair, and carpet flooring, on the other hand, has different.

We hope that you have enjoyed reading through this article which is full of information about the difference between office chair casters and glides. So next time you want to buy office chairs equipped with good casters or glides, go through this article and choose the best option for your computer chair.

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