Models suggest that mechanical interactions alone can trap swimming microorganisms at surfaces. Testing them requires a method for varying the mechanical interactions. We tuned contact forces between Paramecia and surfaces in situ by varying their buoyancy with nonuniform magnetic fields. Remarkably, increasing their buoyancy can lead to ∼100% trapping at lower surfaces. A model of Paramecia in surface contact passively responding to external torques quantitatively accounts for the data implying that interactions with a planar surface do not engage their mechanosensing network and illuminating how their trapping differs from other smaller microorganisms.