Workplaces everywhere are encouraging employees to explore ergonomic solutions to health issues. From ergonomic chairs to standing desks, organizations know that a healthy employee is a productive and happy employee. So why not apply these same principles to your home? Purchasing an anti-fatigue mat (sometimes referred to as a standing desk mat), for example, is a simple way to alleviate unnecessary stress on the back or feet. In fact, according to a study conducted by researchers at Loughborough University, anti-fatigue mats have “statistically significant benefits” for participants who stood in the same spot for 90 minutes or longer.
Whether prepping meals in the kitchen, fixing a broken tool at your workbench, or working at your computer desk for hours at a time, these actions can take a toll on your joints. To help you get started on your search for the best anti-fatigue mat on the market, we looked into a variety of options and ranked them based on comfort, anti-slip qualities, and specific health benefits, among other things. Read on to discover some of the top picks.
- BEST OVERALL: AmazonBasics Premium Anti-Fatigue Comfort Mat
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: FEATOL Anti-Fatigue Mat
- BEST WATERPROOF: Pauwer Oversized Anti Fatigue Comfort Mat
- BEST FOR SORE FEET: FEZIBO Standing Desk Mat
- BEST FOR BACK FATIGUE: Genius Mat by Sky Mats
- BEST STANDING DESK MAT: Topo Comfort Mat by Ergodriven
- BEST RAISED MAT: Yes4All Foam Exercise Pad
- BEST ERGONOMIC: Butterfly Ergonomic Anti Fatigue Standing Desk Mat
- BEST WITH BALANCE BAR: CubeFit Standing Desk Terramat
There’s more to finding a well-designed anti-fatigue mat than looking for a soft, cushioning surface. A good anti-fatigue should be at least 3/8-inch thick and allow you to stand for 90 minutes or more without feeling discomfort in your feet or back. Here are a few shopping considerations to ensure you get the best anti-fatigue mat suited to your needs.
For the workplace, commercial, or industrial settings, a square mat may work OK, but for counter or desk use, you may need a rectangular mat that’s at least 2 feet by 3 feet long. If you work in a kitchen, you may want to choose something that’s 6 feet by 8 feet long (or longer) to ensure you remain comfortable while moving between prep stations and appliances.
If your mat is too small, you could end up standing with one foot on and one foot off of the mat, which may lead to posture issues. Measuring the counter or table area where you may be spending most of your time will give you a good idea of the size your anti-fatigue mat should be.
Anti-fatigue mats are available in a variety of materials, including wood, foam, gel, plastic, vinyl, and rubber. While a soft surface may be tempting, a mat that’s too soft won’t be doing your back or your neck any favors, as softer mats will force you to try and keep your balance throughout the workday. The most common materials used for anti-fatigue mats include:
Foam-rubber anti-fatigue mats are designed with multiple layers and feature a foam core and rubber outer shell. Foam-rubber anti-fatigue mats are durable and can handle long-term use, making them an ideal choice for workshops, offices, and stores.
Hard-rubber anti-fatigue mats are extremely durable, but they’re not so great at fighting fatigue. Hard-rubber anti-fatigue mats are best used on tile or cement floors in an industrial setting, like a factory.
Foam anti-fatigue mats are affordable but can become worn over time, compromising the mat’s overall support. Foam anti-fatigue mats are best used in areas that have light foot traffic, such as a laundry room or a bathroom.
Gel anti-fatigue mats are popular for at-home use. These mats feature a gel core and a durable, usually waterproof outer shell.
Sanitation and Safety
No matter where you plan to put your at-home anti-fatigue mat, it should be washable. Between dirt, debris, and food bacteria, there’s no telling what will cling to your mat. It’s also very likely you couldl spill things on the mat over time.
In addition to keeping your mat and workspace clean, make sure it’s safe. To avoid any unwanted trips of falls, purchase a mat with tapered edges.
The advantage of having an anti-fatigue mat as opposed to a traditional floor mat or rug is in the mat’s thickness. The added depth allows your feet to sink into the material—just deep enough to allow small, almost imperceptible adjustments to your muscles and posture to promote improved blood flow. A mat that is too soft or thin will have the exact opposite effect—your legs and feet will become tired quicker. For maximum relief, experts suggest choosing a mat that’s no less than 3/4-inch thick.
Changes in Work Position
If you work at a standing desk, you probably find yourself shifting from one position to another to alleviate body stress, strain, and fatigue. Changing work positions is beneficial not only for your lower back but also for your overall level of tiredness by reducing strains and other injuries.
Standing for several hours can leave your body feeling stressed, but an anti-fatigue mat, used in combination with changes in your working position, can aid your overall productivity and relieve any pain you may be feeling in your feet or legs.
Footwear and Flooring
Wherever you plan to use your mat, the floor should be flat and free of debris. Inclines or uneven floors won’t be corrected by the addition of an anti-fatigue mat, no matter how well-made it is. Although, most manufacturers will encourage you to go barefoot or wear socks when using one of these mats that doesn’t mean that wearing shoes will impede the benefits of your mat. Try varying your footwear to find out what works best for your feet, legs, and back.
In layman’s terms, “ergonomics” refers to efficiency in your working environment. A healthy, productive workplace depends on it being ergonomically correct. Pains and strains can quietly build up to a point where it becomes overwhelming for your body—in some instances, you may require medical attention to heal.
Anti-fatigue mats have been recommended by experts as a way to promote comfort while boosting productivity. Professionals in a variety of roles can benefit from using an anti-fatigue mat including, office workers, food preparation workers, and daycare providers, among others. Many organizations provide their employees with anti-fatigue mats in an effort to create an ergonomic environment.
If you don’t work outside of the home, you can still benefit from ergonomics by positioning a mat near your stove or sink, for example, if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
Spilled drinks or water from a kitchen counter can cause floor surfaces to become slippery. Additionally, moisture damage can compromise the mat. Therefore, two of the most important features an anti-fatigue mat should include are waterproof materials and some form of an anti-slip coating. If you purchase a mat for a workbench scenario, this might not be as much of a consideration.
Many other ergonomic mats include fun features such as rollerballs or massage ridges. These allow you to manipulate your foot muscles and joints whenever you want. A balance bar is a neat element that allows you to do calf raises and work your core at the same time you’re doing your tasks. Some designers have even included a balance board with their mats, which can help to improve your focus while relieving foot tension by keeping your core and legs constantly active.
Our Top Picks
As mentioned above, a good anti-fatigue mat should promote comfort, be easily washable, and provide your legs and feet with the support they need to get through a long day or time-consuming task. To help you choose the best anti-fatigue mat for your home, we’ve listed some of our favorites.
The AmazonBasics Premium Kitchen Comfort mat has a smooth, textured surface and a firm supportive base for more comfortable standing. You can use this mat whether barefoot, wearing stockings or socks, or while wearing slippers or shoes.
The beveled edges of this 36- by 20-inch mat make it resistant to curling and much less of a tripping hazard. The non-slip base ensures secure placement. Its style and simplicity make it an appropriate choice for the kitchen, laundry room, office, workshop, garage, or anywhere you may be standing for an extended period of time. The stain and abrasion-resistant surface makes it easy to clean spilled coffee or kitchen messes with soap and water. A lack of ergonomic features is a bit of a drawback, but we consider it the best overall choice for the price and versatility of this mat.
This FEATOL anti-fatigue comfort mat is made from 9/10-inch advanced comfort PU foam, which is similar to gel and memory foam, for superior comfort. It’s highly resistant to punctures and tears. Suitable for kitchens, laundry rooms, or the garage—you can use this versatile mat almost anywhere. Because it’s one of the least expensive mats available, it’s affordable to put one in multiple areas around the house.
The low-angled, beveled edges provide a better grip on the floor, preventing slipping and tripping. The polyurethane material is also phthalate-free and without toxic formaldehyde for the eco-conscious. While some might be turned off because there’s nothing fancy about this mat, no bells or whistles, no ergonomic modifications or fancy textures—it still succeeds at the most important issue: Relieving fatigue.
The kitchen is probably the most likely place where a waterproof mat is necessary. Spills happen all the time, so you will likely want a mat that can handle the constant exposure to moisture and be tough enough for quick cleanups without staining from cooking. You might also want to look for a mat that can handle the wide-area you may be working in.
The Pauwer Oversized Mat is a full 60 inches long to cover a wide area of your kitchen floor and is fully waterproof. Not having any ergonomic ridges is positive in this case since the consideration of being a tripping hazard outweighs any benefits ergonomic modifications might bring.
This clever FEZIBO Standing Desk Mat is designed to keep your legs, core, and body continually active, which helps to improve focus as well as relieve fatigue and foot tension. A new innovation is the additional massage bar at the front of the mat that can knead the soles of your feet.
The FEZIBO Balance Board is designed for performing balance exercises. It creates a low-impact rocking movement to keep your mind and body focused and alert while working. It helps relieve muscle stress and pain in the core, back, ankles, and legs while standing, and it’s also plenty of fun.
This ergonomically-designed mat includes some clever innovations such as massage points, support ramps, and—our personal favorite—an acupressure roller ball. Take your shoes off and treat yourself to a massage on the soles of your feet whenever you need a break from work. Simply roll the ball under your arches.
The above-average thickness of the genius mat provides an excellent balance between comfort and support. Plus, it’s waterproof and easy to clean. Possibly because it’s the only anti-fatigue mat we could find with the rollerball feature, this item is more expensive than your standard mat. But if the added features work for you and relieves some of your discomforts, it’ll be worth the money.
Ergodriven calls the Topo Comfort Mat, “the first anti-fatigue mat designed specifically for standing desks.” It was featured as NYTimes Wirecutter’s top pick since 2016. Thanks to the ridges on the front and back of the mat, in addition to the handy toe-hold, this ergonomically designed mat has the ability to be moved or adjusted with one foot with no need to bend down.
The subtle design encourages micro and macro movements of stretching and massage without resorting to balance boards or treadmills. There is a raised tear-drop bulge in the center of the mat that enables further varied movement and improved circulation beyond the normal flat mat. The price tag is a little high, but if you can afford it, your joints will thank you.
A departure from the other anti-fatigue mats reviewed here, this product is definitely softer than what you might expect. This is because the raised height of the pad makes it perfect for exercising as well as standing. You can perform a series of step-ups while working at your desk or while performing other counter-height tasks.
Because of its compact size, it can also be used as a yoga pad, a footpad for raising your feet when sitting at a desk, or a plain-old seat cushion if you choose. The closed-foam construction makes it sweat-proof so it can be cleaned easily with soapy water and dried with a towel. If you’re looking for a product that is an anti-fatigue mat primarily, then this may not work for you. But if you need something that can work effectively for several different uses, the Yes4All is a worthy contender.
This uniquely-shaped mat is specially designed to help relieve your aches, pains, and fatigue.
Featuring massage points that help activate blood flow in the feet and legs, the Butterfly Ergonomic Anti-fatigue Mat isn’t just a pretty face. The tear-drop raised center also allows for manipulation of ankle range of motion. It has two versions available: The first-generation mat with beveled edges, which is a smaller size, and a larger version with raised edges for more opportunity for foot adjustments. The first-generation version comes in several colors to choose from.
Although this is the most expensive mat reviewed here, it’s the only one with a balance bar that allows you to do calf raises and work your core while you’re working at your day job. It also features two massage mounds to massage the soles of your feet and a “power wedge” that allows you to stretch out your calves. It’s larger than average, allowing extra roominess.
All in all, the Terramat has 11 different possible stances to help avoid the monotony of repetitive workdays. Having all these options for your health improvement makes it a good deal.
FAQs About Your New Anti-Fatigue Mat
If you have purchased a new anti-fatigue mat, here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions.
Q. Do you need an anti-fatigue mat for a standing desk?
While there is no requirement to have an anti-fatigue mat for your standing desk, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) frequently recommends anti-fatigue mats when standing for long periods.
Q. What makes a good anti-fatigue mat?
Not too soft. A good balance between support and comfort, to allow micro-movements of the legs to keep blood circulation at optimal levels.
Q. How often should anti-fatigue mats be replaced?
Mats should be replaced every one to three years, depending on wear and tear.
Q. How do you clean anti-fatigue mats?
Most can be cleaned with a damp paper towel or mild soap and water.
Q. How long do anti-fatigue mats last?
Depending on how often you use them, approximately one to three years.