The best anti-fatigue mat
Standing might be better for your health than sitting, but it still has its problems. Long periods of standing can cause pain in the feet, knees, and even lower back. An anti-fatigue mat can help you beat some of this pain, whether you use a standing desk at the office, spend long periods in the kitchen or at a workbench, or work at a reception desk. The Imprint CumulusPRO is our top pick, thicker than the majority of other offerings, and it gives users a soft and cushioned spot to stand.
Considerations when choosing anti-fatigue mats
Anti-fatigue mats can be completely flat, have some bumps or ridges, or have moving parts. Flat mats tend to be inexpensive and are great for providing some cushioning for your feet as you stand. Mats with bumps and ridges encourage more movement as you stand to reduce pain caused by being static. They may feature large ridges to massage your heels or arches. Models with moving parts are sometimes called "active" anti-fatigue mats. They feature moving massage balls or have curved bottoms so you can wobble and balance. The increased movement helps a great deal with fatigue and joint pain.
Foam anti-fatigue mats are soft yet supportive and affordable, but they're not especially durable. Foam rubber offerings have similar properties to straight foam, but are more hard-wearing. Hard rubber anti-fatigue mats are extremely rugged and easy to wipe clean, but they aren't as comfortable as softer options. Gel mats are exceptionally comfortable, providing ample cushioning and support, but they can be expensive.
Consider what size anti-fatigue mat you require. Smaller mats are fine for standing desks but aren't ideal if you have a larger work area. Some brands of anti-fatigue mats are available in one size only, while others offer a range of sizes.
Anti-fatigue mats range in thickness from around a half-inch to one inch (though raised areas and ridges will be thicker). The thicker the mat is, the more cushioning it offers and the more comfortable it is overall. We recommend choosing an anti-fatigue mat of three-quarters of an inch or more.
A beveled edge is an edge that tapers down from full thickness rather than stopping abruptly. Anti-fatigue mats with beveled edges are less likely to pose a trip hazard. They also help prevent the edges of the mat from curling up over time.
Anti-fatigue mats can slide around, especially if they're on a smooth surface such as tile or hardwood rather than carpet. Mats with non-slip bases have a textured or rubberized bottom to stop them from slipping and sliding about as you step on and off.
Anti-fatigue mat prices
Basic anti-fatigue mats won't set you back much -- only $25 to $35 -- but they're often of poor quality and aren't thick or cushioned enough to offer much relief from the pain of standing for long periods. Mid-range mats cost around $40 to $80. You can find some great options in this price range, though they won't have the most advanced features. High-end anti-fatigue mats include moving parts or plenty of raised and textured areas to encourage motion. They tend to cost between $90 and $200.
Q. Are anti-fatigue mats easy to clean?
A. Unfortunately, you can't machine wash the majority of anti-fatigue mats, so you need to either hand wash yours or wipe it clean. You can also sweep or vacuum your anti-fatigue mat to remove loose dirt and debris.
Q. What are antimicrobial anti-fatigue mats?
A. Antimicrobial anti-fatigue mats have a built-in antibacterial substance. They're ideal for use in areas where bacteria growth may be an issue, such as the kitchen
Anti-fatigue mats we recommend
Best of the best: Sky Solutions Comfort Floor Mat
Our take: A fun mat with a cloud-like feel, and it looks great.
What we like: Edge is beveled and bottom is nonslip for safety. Lots of color/pattern choices. Highly comfortable.
What we dislike: Some owners say it's hard to clean.
Best bang for your buck: Royal Anti-Fatigue Comfort Mat
Our take: This affordable anti-fatigue mat shows you don't have to spend a huge sum to get effective relief.
What we like: Available in four sizes and three colors. Soft and well-cushioned with a memory foam-like feeling. Beveled edge to lessen the chance of tripping.
What we dislike: Can slip around a little.
Choice 3: Guardian Air Step Anti-Fatigue Floor Mat
Our take: We love the huge range of sizes available, some large enough to cover kitchen or bar areas, but it doesn't offer as much relief as we'd like.
What we like: Choose between black or grey. Anti-trip beveled edges. Non-slip base. Made from vinyl foam.
What we dislike: Hard to keep clean.
Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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