How To Fix a Sinking Office Chair: Quick and Easy Fixes

Is your office chair sinking unexpectedly, making it difficult to maintain a comfortable and ergonomic posture while working? A sinking office chair can be frustrating, affecting your productivity and causing discomfort. However, fear not! In this article, we will guide you through quick and easy fixes to resolve the issue and bring your office chair back to its former glory.

Key Takeaways

  • Identify the cause of sinking: Check for faulty gas cylinders, worn-out components, loose connections, or other issues.
  • Adjust height lever and check seat plate: Maximize the lever and tighten loose screws or replace damaged seat plate parts.
  • Consider gas cylinder replacement or use shims/washers: Replace a faulty cylinder or use shims/washers for stability.
  • Try external chair support: Install an external support to prevent sinking and add stability.
  • Maintain your chair: Regularly clean, lubricate, and check for loose screws or bolts to prevent sinking.
  • Use temporary fixes if needed: Cushions or pillows can provide temporary relief until a permanent solution is implemented.
  • Consider weight capacity: Ensure your chair is suitable for your body weight to avoid excessive strain and potential sinking.

Identify the Cause

Before delving into the solutions, it’s essential to identify the root cause of your sinking office chair. One common culprit is a faulty gas cylinder, responsible for providing height adjustment functionality. Additionally, wear and tear in the seat plate or other components can also contribute to the sinking issue.

To start, inspect the gas cylinder for any visible signs of damage or leaks. If you notice any issues, it’s a clear indicator that you’ll need to replace the gas cylinder. However, if the gas cylinder appears intact, you can proceed with the following solutions.

Troubleshooting Tips for Common Office Chair Problems

Office Chair ProblemPossible CausesSolutions
Chair tilts to one sideUneven or damaged base, loose connectionsInspect and repair or replace the base, tighten all connections
Chair doesn’t reclineFaulty reclining mechanism, locked tilt functionCheck if the tilt function is locked, lubricate or replace the reclining mechanism
Chair wheels don’t roll smoothlyDebris or hair entangled in the wheels, worn-out wheel bearingsClean the wheels and remove any debris, consider replacing worn-out wheel bearings
Chair squeaks or makes noiseLoose screws, worn-out components, lack of lubricationTighten all screws, replace worn-out components, and lubricate moving parts
Armrests are looseLoose or damaged armrest connectionsTighten armrest screws or bolts, consider using thread-locking adhesive for added stability
Seat cushion is uncomfortableWorn-out foam, inadequate paddingConsider using a seat cushion or replacing the seat foam for added comfort
Chair fabric is damaged or tornWear and tear, sharp objectsRepair or replace the fabric upholstery as needed
Gas cylinder won’t hold positionDamaged or worn-out gas cylinderReplace the gas cylinder with a compatible replacement
Chair doesn’t lock in placeFaulty locking mechanism, worn-out partsInspect and repair or replace the locking mechanism, check for worn-out components

Fixing a Sinking Office Chair with Height Adjustment Lever

  1. Begin by adjusting the height lever to its maximum position. This action ensures that the chair’s internal mechanism is engaged properly.
  2. Next, flip your chair over and inspect the seat plate. Tighten any loose screws or bolts that may be causing the sinking issue. If necessary, replace any damaged or worn-out components.

By following these simple steps, you can often restore the height adjustment functionality of your office chair and prevent further sinking.

Repairing a Sinking Office Chair with Gas Cylinder Replacement

In some cases, the gas cylinder itself may be the primary cause of the sinking problem. If you’ve identified the gas cylinder as faulty, you can replace it with a compatible replacement cylinder. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:

  1. Start by acquiring a replacement gas cylinder that matches the specifications of your current chair model. You can find these online or at office furniture stores.
  2. Flip your chair upside down and detach the base from the seat. Depending on the chair model, this may involve removing screws or clips.
  3. With the base removed, unscrew the gas cylinder from the mechanism using a pipe wrench or similar tool. Be cautious not to damage other chair components during this process.
  4. Install the new gas cylinder into the mechanism, ensuring it fits securely. Tighten it firmly but avoid excessive force that could cause damage.
  5. Reattach the base to the seat, ensuring all screws or clips are properly secured.

By following these steps, you can effectively replace the faulty gas cylinder and restore the proper height adjustment functionality of your office chair.

Fixing a Sinking Office Chair with Shims or Washers

If your chair’s sinking issue persists even after attempting the previous methods, you can try using shims or washers to stabilize the chair’s height. Here’s how:

  1. Determine the appropriate shims or washers for your chair. These can be found at hardware stores or home improvement centers.
  2. Flip your chair over and locate the mechanism where the chair connects to the gas cylinder. It’s usually a round or square metal plate.
  3. Place the shims or washers between the mechanism and the gas cylinder. Start with a thin shim or washer and gradually add more if needed until the desired height is achieved.
  4. Once you’re satisfied with the stability, test the chair by sitting on it and adjusting the height lever. Ensure the chair remains at the desired height without sinking.

Using shims or washers can provide a cost-effective solution to a sinking office chair, allowing you to continue using your chair comfortably.

Using an External Chair Support

If you prefer an alternative fix that doesn’t involve disassembling your office chair, you can consider using external chair support. These supports are designed to provide additional height and stability to sinking office chairs. Here’s how to install one:

  1. Purchase an external chair support that is compatible with your office chair model. These supports are often available online or at specialized retailers.
  2. Place the external chair support on the seat of your office chair, aligning it with the gas cylinder.
  3. Ensure the support is securely attached to the chair and that it provides the desired height.

By utilizing an external chair support, you can avoid complicated repairs and quickly restore the height and stability of your office chair.

Maintaining Your Office Chair to Prevent Sinking

Prevention is always better than cure, and this applies to maintaining your office chair as well. By following these maintenance tips, you can prolong the lifespan of your chair and minimize the risk of sinking:

  1. Regularly clean your chair to remove any dust, dirt, or debris that could affect its mechanisms.
  2. Lubricate the moving parts of your office chair, such as the height adjustment lever, with a suitable lubricant to ensure smooth functionality.
  3. Periodically inspect the chair for loose screws or bolts. Tighten them as necessary to prevent any potential sinking issues caused by loose components.

By incorporating these simple maintenance practices into your routine, you can keep your office chair in optimal condition and reduce the likelihood of experiencing sinking problems.

Alternative Options for Repairing a Sinking Office Chair

If the previous solutions didn’t provide the desired results or if you need a temporary fix while waiting for replacement parts, consider these alternative options:

  1. Add a cushion or pillow to the seat of your chair. This can provide temporary height and support until a more permanent solution is implemented.
  2. Seek professional assistance. If you’re uncertain about the issue or lack the tools or expertise to fix your sinking office chair, it’s advisable to consult a professional office furniture repair service. They can diagnose the problem accurately and provide suitable solutions.

Remember, temporary fixes should not replace proper repairs or replacements. It’s essential to address the root cause of the sinking issue for long-term functionality and comfort.

Maintenance and Care of Office Chairs

Maintenance TipsDescription
Regular CleaningClean your office chair regularly to remove dust, dirt, and debris that can affect its mechanisms.
LubricationApply lubricant to the moving parts of the chair, such as the height adjustment lever, to ensure smooth functionality.
Check for Loose ComponentsRegularly inspect your chair for loose screws or bolts and tighten them as necessary to prevent sinking issues.
Proper Weight CapacityEnsure your office chair is suitable for your body weight to avoid excessive strain on the mechanisms and prevent sinking.
Correct Sitting PostureMaintain a proper sitting posture while using the chair to distribute weight evenly and reduce stress on the components.
Avoid Excessive ForceAvoid applying excessive force or sudden impacts on the chair, as they can damage its mechanisms and lead to sinking.
Avoid Excessive MoistureKeep your office chair away from excessive moisture or water, as it can cause rusting and degradation of the components.
Store ProperlyIf not in use for an extended period, store your chair in a dry and secure location to protect it from potential damage.


A sinking office chair can be an annoyance, affecting both your productivity and comfort while working. However, with the right approach and a little bit of effort, you can fix the problem without needing to purchase a new chair. By identifying the cause and following the appropriate steps outlined in this article, you can regain a stable and comfortable seating experience.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can I repair a sinking office chair myself?

Yes, in many cases, you can repair a sinking office chair by following the appropriate steps and using the right tools. However, if you are unsure or uncomfortable with the repair process, it’s recommended to seek professional assistance.

What is the primary cause of a sinking office chair?

The primary cause of a sinking office chair is often a faulty gas cylinder or damaged components in the chair’s mechanism. Wear and tear over time can also contribute to the sinking issue.

How can I prevent my office chair from sinking?

Regular maintenance, including cleaning, lubrication, and inspecting for loose screws or bolts, can help prevent your office chair from sinking. Additionally, using an external chair support can provide added stability and prevent sinking.

Can I use cushions or pillows as a permanent fix for a sinking office chair?

Cushions or pillows can provide temporary relief by raising the seat height. However, they are not a permanent solution and should be used as a temporary fix until the underlying issue is resolved.

How often should I clean and lubricate my office chair?

It’s recommended to clean your office chair regularly, at least once every few months, or as needed. Lubrication should be done annually or if you notice any squeaking or stiffness in the chair’s mechanisms.

Are all office chair gas cylinders the same size?

No, gas cylinders come in different sizes and specifications. It’s important to find a replacement cylinder that matches the specific requirements of your chair model.

Can I replace the gas cylinder myself?

Yes, replacing the gas cylinder is a relatively straightforward process. However, it requires some basic tools and mechanical skills. If you’re unsure, it’s best to seek professional assistance.

Is it worth repairing an old office chair instead of buying a new one?

It depends on the extent of the damage and the cost of repairs. In many cases, repairing an old office chair is a cost-effective solution that can extend its lifespan and save you money compared to purchasing a new one.