Why Is My Office Chair Wobbly?

A wobbly chair is just about one of the most irritating things that you might have to deal with at work. They can be uncomfortable, annoying, and pull your focus away from your work on a regular basis. No matter why your office chair is wobbling, you’ll want to get it fixed as soon as possible!

There could be a number of reasons why your office chair is wobbling, from the wheels to the legs, the baseplate to the central cylinder. We’ll be looking at how to fix these things a little later in our article.

The main reason why an office chair will be wobbling is either because of loose hardware or broken parts. You’ll have to inspect your office chair to find the root of the issue, but if you cannot find the definitive cause, it might be worth replacing the office chair altogether.

While you might not want to pay for another office chair, the comfort of having a stable office chair will surely pay for itself within minutes. We have a buyers guide for the Best Office Chair Under £100 to help you find a good budget office chair if you cannot quell the wobbling.

How do you fix a wobbly office chair?

To fix your wobbly office chair, you must first know what is causing that dreaded wobble. To do this, you should examine the office chair to diagnose the issue. You will need to get the chair on its side or its head to properly find the source of the wobble.


First, you should look at the wheels to see if this is the cause of the wobble. The majority of wobbling office chairs can be put down to their wheels, so this is a good place to start.

With the wheels in the air so that you can see all of them easily, compare each castor wheel on each of the five legs. What you’re looking for here is whether one of the legs is bent or if there is another defect that might be causing the wobble.

Check all of the wheels against one another to see if one is cracked. If you find a broken wheel it will need to be replaced to fix the wobble. One of the wheels might also have to be tightened to fix the wobble, so try all of the screws before moving onto the next inspection.


If all of the wheels appear to be in working order and tightened sufficiently, check the legs of the chair. Here there might be a screw that is loose or missing that you’ll need to replace. If you need to replace a screw, make sure that you get the correct size as all of the rest.

To do this, take one of the existing screws to the hardware store and compare the screws on offer to the existing screw. This will avoid the wobble sticking around due to a screw being too loose or too large.

Chair’s baseplate

Again, if there is nothing wrong with the legs or wheels, move up to the bottom side of the chair’s seat. The chair base will be fixed onto the seat of the chair with a metal plate and screws. You can locate it by looking for the adjustment lever as this will be attached to the base plate.

Look for any obvious issues such as missing screws or bolts, or to see if the plate is obviously loose from the bottom of the chair. If there is missing hardware you will need to replace it. If it just needs tightening, you can quickly fix this with the correct tools.

However, if there are no bolts or screws missing, check the plate for damage to the metal itself. It will be trickier to fix an issue with the baseplate itself, although if you have the model number for the office chair you might be able to order a replacement part from the manufacturer.

Central cylinder

The central cylinder of the office chair could be loose on the chair’s legs. If you can tighten it by twisting it, then you should be able to fix the wobble. However, if the central cylinder is damaged, cracked, or bent, you will have to replace it.

This is a little more difficult to replace as they aren’t often replaced independently from the chair legs or the baseplate. However, you can purchase a complete replacement for the chair base. This will feature the legs, castors, central cylinder, and baseplate.

When in doubt, you can replace the entire chair base to see if that stops the wobbling. Just make sure that you opt for the correct size so that you can fix the wobble instead of giving the chair another reason to start wobbling!

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