Hard Casters vs Soft Casters: Differences Explained

When you decide to purchase a moveable chair, furniture, or skateboard, selecting the right caster that depends on your surface is very important to prevent floor damage.

Also, your furniture’s durability, weight capacity, protection, and performance depend a lot on ideal casters. However, when you pay attention to the aspect of casters, you will see various different types of casters in the market, but the two most common casters are hard casters and soft casters.

Depending on the surface and purposes, you will see that both casters are used in chairs, furniture, and skateboards; we have made these hard casters vs soft casters comparison guides to help you understand their main differences. First, let’s get acquainted with the two casters separately.

What is a Hard Caster?

Hard casters are the regular face on most chairs, which are specially made for carpet floors. If your home or office has a carpeted floor, then a hard caster is an excellent option for you to move there quickly and safely.

Also, the hard casters are pretty durable as well as able to keep stability with high loads. There are also several other features, which we highlight below.

What is a Soft Caster?

Soft casters tend to be softer than hard casters, which you might have guessed by the name. This type of caster is designed to be lightweight and softer and is called a hard floor caster.

Basically, these casters are an excellent preference for hard floors like hardwood, tile, and laminate. It can move smoothly on the harder floor without any scratch or damage. In addition, you will see soft casters being used in roller skates, skateboards, and chairs in most cases.

Hard Casters vs Soft Casters: Detailed Comparison

There are many consumers who are confused about the difference between carpet and hard floor casters. Basically, for them, we have highlighted all the differences part by part in this part. So that you can easily understand the main dissimilarity between the two, let’s see.


Durability is very crucial for the extended life of your chair’s casters. And if we first go to compare the durability of the soft casters vs hard casters, then we will see that the harder caster wheels are much stronger than the softer caster wheels.

Durable construction is one of the reasons behind this durability. Therefore, hard casters are used comparatively much stronger materials; on the other hand, the lightweight and more soothing aspects are given more importance in making soft casters.

You can also see both soft and hard casters made with different types of materials. Most casters come with plastic, rubber, steel, and aluminum materials. But in this case, you need to know which material casters will be most suitable for which surface.

Plastic and rubber casters perform entirely on carpet floors. On the other hand, aluminum casters are best for smooth surfaces. Lastly, steel caster wheels work perfectly for almost all types of the floor like unsealed, granite, marble, and hardwood.

Floor Types

Though the main functions of both hard and soft casters are the same, depending on the surface, their usability is different. We have already explained which wheel is suitable for which purpose.

Soft casters are not suitable for soft floors like carpets because soft wheels struggle when moving on these floors. That’s why hard casters are designed for smooth performance on the carpet floor and surface, which can move faster without any kind of struggle.

On the other hand, the hard casters are not performing well on the harder floor, like tile, and while moving, it can damage the floor. However, softer wheels perform better on these surfaces. Therefore, it can move smoothly without any damage.

Load Capability

Determining the load capacity of each caster is very important. A heavier load increases the friction temperature, which in turn damages the caster. Therefore, the formula for determining the weight capacity per caster is (Casters/Total Weight = Load Capacity Per Casters).

In terms of load capacity, hard casters have a lot more weight capacity than the softer caster wheels because we said earlier that their built quality is much higher.

Hard Wheels or Soft Wheels When Skateboarding?

In short, the specifications of skateboard wheels are very confusing, so it is necessary to know the differences before picking a skateboard. However, if you have carefully read this guide, then you have got the difference between hard vs soft wheels and which one can be great for you.

However, if you prefer cruising and comfortable riding, then soft skateboard wheels are the most suitable option for you. Though softer skateboard wheels stick to the surface and are a little bouncy, that’s why it is not perfect for applying skateboard tricks. However, on rough roads, these wheels perform better than hard wheels.

On the other hand, hard skateboard wheels are not suitable for cruising; it is ideal for applying various skateboard tricks. So which wheels should you choose for a skateboard? I think now you got the answer.

How Do I Know If My Chair Has Soft or Hard Casters?

This is pretty simple; you don’t have to use advanced tips and tricks. If you look at the market, you can see that almost all office and home chairs are built with soft caster wheels. Due to this, it is very easy to guess what kind of wheels have been used in your chair.

If you look at the chair’s caster and see on stoppers installed in each caster, you can be pretty sure that soft casters have been used in your chair. And if the stopper is equipped at one end, then you have to understand that hard casters have been used in your chair.

There is also another easy way to understand; you first have to sit in the chair, apply pressure, and roll instantly. If you can easily roll the chair around, then you have to understand that soft casters have been used in your chair. Otherwise, hard casters have been used.

Final Verdict: Hard Casters or Soft Casters?

Though this isn’t a crucial topic for experienced and basic knowledge people, it is very important to know the difference between hard casters vs soft casters to protect your expensive floor or find the right skateboard wheels.

In short, if your floor is carpet, then you must choose hard casters, and if you have a hardwood or tile floor, then soft caster wheels are a suitable selection for you. Hopefully, our guide has assisted you in understanding the main difference and determining which one is ideal for you.

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