Before You Consider Buying Some For Your Business Heres What You Need To Know
For people who spend a good portion of their days on their feet, anything that promises to relieve stress and discomfort is certainly welcome. And while there are a lot of products available, one item is starting to be used more often in businesses: anti-fatigue mats. But do they actually help? Heres some insight:
How We Picked And Tested
Building on the research by Wirecutter writers and editors that went into previous versions of this guide over the years, we narrowed the list of standing desk mats to test to eight models based on the following criteria:
- Ample cushion: A thick mat will more likely support a wide range of body weights and feel more notably comfortable than just standing on the floor. We targeted mats that were at least ¾-inch thick on the flat portion. Although the difference between ½ inch and ¾ inch might not seem huge, its like the difference between lying on a flat, 2-inch-thick pillow or a thicker, 4-inch one.
- Lengthy warranty: Most of the anti-fatigue mats we looked at offered at least a five-year warranty, which is a sign the manufacturer stands behind the mats durability. Some go further, offering lifetime warranties.
- Few negative owner reviews: In particular, we looked for red flags such as a substantial number of owner reviews that mentioned sliding, punctures or cracking, and other common issues.
We didnt consider standing desk mats that work like balance boards, the kind that wobble and make you feel like youre surfing or riding a subway train. Some people like them, but they take getting used to and could break your concentration while youre working.
During testing, we took stock of:
Good Support For Short Standing Cycles
If you prefer a flat mat, this one is comfortable even if youre standing for a couple of hours at a time. Its attractive price, lifetime warranty, and responsive customer support make it a great value compared to other budget mats.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $37.
If youre new to standing at your desk, you stand infrequently, or youre looking for an anti-fatigue mat for other short tasks in the kitchen, laundry room, or workshop, we recommend the ComfiLife Anti Fatigue Floor Mat. Of the sub-$50 mats we tested, the ComfiLife provides the best balance of pressure-relieving support, comfort, and price. Its build quality doesnt feel as premium as the Ergodriven Topo, but if you frequently switch between sitting and standingas you shouldthis is an inexpensive way to satisfy your comfort and ergonomic needs.
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Why You Need An Anti
Even if youre not exactly the next Bobby Flay, there might still be a spot in your house for an anti-fatigue mat. These types of mats are specially designed to be shock-absorbing, using various materials such as gel or foam. Maybe you spend hours in the garage or just invested in a standing desk wherever you find yourself standing, if you are on your feet in the same place for more than 30 to 40 minutes a day, the constant pressure on your legs, feet and back can cause pain and long-lasting damage. Investing in a good mat can soothe some of these issues. In addition to ergonomic support, floor mats can also provide traction, which reduces the risk of slipping and provides a layer between the floor and any dropped items or spills. Anti-fatigue mats come in a range of materials, sizes, designs and price ranges designed to suit any need.
How To Clean Your Anti
Depending on the type of mat you buy, there are different cleaning methods. Most mats that are made of rubber with a gel or foam core can be swept and mopped just like any other kind of flooring. Some types of rubber mats can be taken outside and washed with a hose. Other types, such as the Nevermove mat by Gelpro are machine-washable.
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The Problem With Anti
While anti-fatigue mats can be helpful, not just any one will get the job done. If they arent of good quality, youre going to run into these issues:
Too hard or soft
Just like Goldilocks trying out the bears beds, anti-fatigue mats have to be just right. If theyre too hard, they are not going to provide much comfort. And a mat thats too soft will cause your body to work harder and actually increase fatigue.
Not a good balance between stability and instability
In order to achieve increased blood flow, the mat has to have enough instability to have someone make adequate changes to their posture. But if there is too much caused by a too-soft mat it can lead to balance problems. As a result, the body has to overcompensate, which causes more of a strain.
Lack of response to movements
A high quality anti-fatigue mat will return its original shape quickly when someone shifts or moves. If there is a delay, the mat is not doing its job properly. This means that it will probably be worn out faster and have to be replaced sooner.
Bottoms out too easily
If the mat is too soft or thin and bottoms out when stepped on, it will essentially act like a mat that is too hard. This negates all the benefits of having an anti-fatigue mat at all.
They dont stay put
Some anti-fatigue mats arent flush to the floor and are prone to allowing dust to form underneath, which means there is the likelihood of them sliding. Lightweight mats can also move easily, creating a tripping hazard.
Flaws But Not Dealbreakers
Most anti-fatigue mats are flat for good reason: trip prevention, ease of storage, and to facilitate a range of tasks at a workstation. If you want to pace or work at different ends of your desk without raised surfaces getting in your wayor to use it for other tasks where movement is important, such as cookingyoull want to stick with a flat mat like the ComfiLife Anti Fatigue Floor Mat we recommend.
Ergodriven states in its product FAQ that the Topo provides an almost perfect performance up to user weights of 240 pounds. Both the FAQ and an Ergodriven representative clarified that the Topo can still work for people who weigh more than 240 pounds. Even so, wed suggest that anyone significantly over that weight keep the return policy in mind .
A few testers who generally liked the Topos movement-inducing design thought the central button was too squishy. It seems to be meant more as an occasional foot stop, or a spot to press and stretch foot muscles, but it does have a different feel from the contoured, firmer edges.
The Topos $100 asking price may be too high if youve just started using a standing desk and arent sure youll stick with it. In that case, you may be better off starting out with a more affordable flat mat, which you can repurpose in the kitchen if the habit doesnt stick or you decide to upgrade to the Topo later.
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Where To Buy An Anti
Most brands of anti-fatigue mat have their own website that you can use to order directly, and of course, but plenty highly rated options can be found at major retailers. If you feel that you need to go to a physical store to step on a few mats to try them out, Bed Bath and Beyond and Home Depot both carry a wide range of anti-fatigue mats.
Why You Should Trust Us
In 2013, Wirecutter was the first publication to perform a hands-on, head-to-head test of the top standing desks, and weve been testing standing desk mats for nearly as long. The writers and editors of this guide have spent years working at standing desks, using different mats, and comparing them.
Wirecutter staff writer Melanie Pinola has been working out of her home office for over two decades, writing about technology and productivity for sites such as Lifehacker, PCWorld, and Laptop Mag. Shes researched and tested all sorts of office furniture and hardware, covering desk chairs, footrests, and ergonomic keyboards for Wirecutter.
We keep up to date on the research about the dangers and benefits of sitting, standing, and moving at worknot just because its part of our job, but because we have a vested interest in being more productive and healthy at our desks, and we want everyone else to be too.
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Smart Step Tough Guy Anti
A reliable floor mat solution that provides both comfort and durability, a Smart Step anti-fatigue mat will help you get through a long day on your feet. No matter where you work, the Smart Step Tough Guy thick black mat ensures you feel great while you stay productive.
- Unmatched Comfort, Support, and Durability
- ¾” SmartTech& nbsp Polyurethane Technology
- Gradual Edges Will Never Curl
- 99.99% Anti-Microbial
- Non-Slip Top and Bottom Surfaces
- Will Not Separate, Bubble, or Delaminate
- Perfected and Tested for Over 10 Years
- 10-Year Manufacturer’s Warranty
- Proudly Made in the USA
|3 in. X 2 in.|
Smart Step Salon & Barber Shipping
Most Smart Step Mats will ship within 5-7 business days post order confirmation . Due to our exclusive “Dye and Wash” finishes, branding and custom surface applications, additional production time may be required to process your order . For bulk and custom orders, please contact us for shipping timelines. All orders are shipped via UPS Ground.
UPS ground service should arrive according to the map below:
SMART STEP SALON AND BARBER RETURNS
PLEASE NOTE: ALL WARRANTY CLAIMS AND RETURNS MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY A PROOF OF PURCHASE. If the return is a warranty-related issue, a defective mat or is the wrong size or color, a UPS call tag will be issued to pick up the mat. If the return is the customer’s choice or the customer does not like the color, the customer must contact Smart Step within 30 days of purchase to request a return or exchange. The customer will be responsible for the shipping costs associated with the return, and a $20/mat restocking fee may apply. If the mat is being exchanged, the replacement mat will be sent after the returned mat has been received.
All returns of Smart Step Mats must have a return authorization number. You may request a return authorization number by filling out the form below. When the RA is received, our customer service department will reply back to you with the information to write on the outside of the box and supply you with the address to send the product back to.
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Who This Is For
A standing desk mat is for anyone who wants to make standing while working more comfortable. Though theyre typically used at a standing desk or a standing desk converter, standing desk mats are also known as anti-fatigue mats, and they can be used in any situation where youll be standing and performing a task for a while: food prep, dishwashing, workbench projects, and the like. Standing on a well-made mat relieves pressure on your entire body and makes standing feel like less of a chore. And the best standing desk mats enable or even encourage you to move. If youre going to be standing while working for more than a few minutes at a time, youll feel an almost immediate difference and benefit from having a mat under your feet.
A standing desk mat is for anyone who wants to make standing while working more comfortable.
If you feel discomfort or fatigue in your legs or feet when you stand, Cornell Universitys Human Factors and Ergonomics Research Group recommends that you either use an anti-fatigue mat, wear more comfortable footwear, use an angled foot rest, or sit down.
But sitting all day isnt the solution, either. Research has associated prolonged sitting with a higher risk of a host of problems, including heart disease and diabetes, certain cancers, and premature death.
Our Pick: Ergodriven Topo
*At the time of publishing, the price was $100.
The novel surface of the Ergodriven Topo provided the most comfort to the feet and legs of standing workers in our tests. Its varied, raised terrain encourages the sort of frequent movement that ergonomics experts recommend. The Topo is easy to slide under a desk and bring back out with one foot , keeping your hands unsoiled and your back pain-free. Its easy to clean and has held up over several years of testing. And because it isnt as wide and flat as standard anti-fatigue mats, it takes up less space under your desk.
Pretty much everyone who tested these mats was initially skeptical of the Topos design, but the benefits became evident within a few minutes of standing and were confirmed after months of use. The back edge and front corners of the Topo are higher than the sides, and the mat has a teardrop-shaped mound in the middle thats squishier than the rest of the materialgreat for massaging your feet. Without even thinking about it, you may end up standing on, pressing against, and heel-digging into all of those sections. I didnt know I had nervous legs, but Im glad this mat taught me that, one coworker said. Its nice because I cant stand straight and normal to save my life, but this made my usual slouching and foot fidgeting comfortable, said another.
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The Best Standing Desk Mats
After extended testing, weve removed our previous also great pick, the Imprint CumulusPro Commercial Couture Strata, from our recommendations because it slides around too easily under our feet.
Just as supportive insoles can make all the difference when you go for a walk, a standing desk mat can be a game-changer if you stand at work for even brief periods. A comfortable mat like the Ergodriven Topo supports your legs and back better than the floor will, and its varied terrain will keep you moving, which experts agree is crucial. This mat is easy to slide in and out of position, and six years of testing have shown its built to last.
This mats varied terrain encourages movement, making standing less tedious and less achy. The Topo is also easy to move when you switch between standing and sitting.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $100.