The best kitchen mat
If you’ve ever spent hours on your feet sweating over a complicated meal, you understand how much pain can blossom in your feet, knees and back. In restaurant kitchens, you often find special mats designed to reduce this pain as much as possible. Now you can buy some of these mats for your own kitchen.
The best kitchen mat is the GelPro NewLife Anti-Fatigue Designer Comfort Kitchen Floor Mat. It comes in several sizes and colors, so you can get one that matches the layout and look of your kitchen.
What to know before you buy a kitchen mat
Kitchen mats come in all shapes and sizes, from small one-person rectangles to long counter-length mats. When deciding how big of one to get, ask yourself what spaces in your kitchen you stand in front of the most and make sure they’re covered. The sink, stove and main countertop are the most common.
There are a few types of edges you can find in kitchen mats but the best are beveled, or sloped, to reduce the risk of tripping when getting on and off the mat.
Thickness and firmness
The thickness and firmness of the kitchen mat have the largest bearing on how comfortable you’ll find it.
- Thickness: Most kitchen mats are roughly half an inch to 1 inch thick, give or take some fractions of an inch. You want it thick enough to provide good cushioning but not so thick as to become a tripping hazard or to make you have to stoop over your counter.
- Firmness: Firmness is down to preference. Think about how firm or soft you like your mattress as a starting point. That said, you don’t want it to be so soft that it stays compressed after stepping off it or so that you feel like you’re standing on the floor.
Color and design
A kitchen mat is going to attract attention so consider the impression you want it to give when shopping. You may want it to blend in with the rest of your kitchen, for example, or you may want to make it pop.
Kitchen mat features
The best kitchen mats have nonslip coatings or materials on the underside to prevent nasty accidents. These shouldn’t leave any marks or otherwise damage any kind of flooring. Some nonslip backings are better than others; always check the user reviews to see how well it performs.
You can always use a nonslip grip or double-sided tape if there’s no nonslip backing, but that takes extra money and effort.
Many kitchen mats develop curling problems as they age which can make them easy to trip over. There are few, if any, mats that will never curl but there are mats that curl less than others. Look for “no-curl” in the product description.
The best kitchen mats have long warranties that cover many issues such as curling with age and delamination. The better the warranty, the more faith a manufacturer has that you won’t need to take advantage of the warranty.
Kitchen mat cost
For $20 or less you can get a basic mat that doesn’t provide as much cushioning. For $20-$50 you can get a decently sized and cushioned mat. For $50-plus you can get extra-large mats with superior cushioning. The biggest and best can exceed $200.
Kitchen mat FAQ
Do I need to be barefoot to use a kitchen mat?
A. No, you can stand on a kitchen mat with almost any kind of shoe, barring those with sharp spikes such as stilettos and cleats. If you need to be on your feet all day you may even want to wear shoes so you can combine the cushioning from them and your mat.
Can I use a kitchen mat for anything else?
A. You can use a kitchen mat practically anywhere and for more than just standing around. For example, you can use them in the bathroom or outside in front of a grill. For examples of activities, you can use them for exercise and especially yoga.
How do I clean a kitchen mat?
A. That depends on what it’s made from. Vinyl or rubber mats can be mopped or wiped clean, for example, while microfiber mats can be vacuumed, spot cleaned or even machine washed.
Which kitchen mat should I get?
Best of the best kitchen mat
Our take: The gel of this mat makes it among the cushiest and most comfortable.
What we like: The surface is stain-resistant and waterproof making it easy to keep clean in case of spills. The edges are beveled and curl-resistant so there are no worries of tripping. It has a nonslip bottom and it comes in four sizes and 27 colors.
What we dislike: Some consumers had issues with their mats starting to curl after a year or so. Others had issues with the nonslip bottom not keeping the mat in place.
Best bang for your buck kitchen mat
Kmat Two-Piece Nonslip Kitchen Mats: available at Amazon
Our take: These are perfect for both covering a larger area and for absorbing liquids from spills.
What we like: They are highly absorbent of both water and oils, plus they’re machine-washable for easy cleaning. They have a no-skid backing and the microfiber material is soft but durable. They come in two size collections, both with one small and one large mat, and in three colors.
What we dislike: The fuzziness can make vacuuming tricky. Some customers had issues with the stitching coming undone in the washing machine.
Honorable mention kitchen mat
iDesign Formbu Bamboo Floor Mat: available at Amazon
Our take: This is a great mat for those who want something more stylish.
What we like: Bamboo is naturally water resistant and durable, plus a special plastic coating helps it last even longer. It has a nonslip coating on the back. It comes in five sizes and you can order it in sets of one or two.
What we dislike: There’s no padding so those who spend hours in the kitchen should consider something else. It can be slippery when wet.
Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Jordan C. Woika 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 spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
© 2022 BestReviews. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC