Scuffs, scratches, stains, and more affect the appearance of your flooring. Carpets and hard flooring both show wear in work spaces with rolling office chairs. Rather than spending money fixing or replacing flooring in these high-use areas, investing in the best chair mat is a cost-effective way to protect your floors.
Where does the damage come from? The wheels of office chairs tend to make scratches or wear paths that stand out more and more over time. Carpet can become lodged in the wheels of rolling chairs and get pulled up, causing an unsightly runner. The best chair mat inhibits damage from chair wheels and creates a barrier for dirt and moisture—they’re easy to clean, too.
Typically, there are different types of mats for carpet and hard flooring. A key difference is the underside and whether or not the mat has cleats. These cleats grip and secure the chair mat to carpeted floors. Mats for hard surfaces generally have a flat backing or very small grips. Chair mats for carpets have more thickness options to account for the carpet pile height. Choosing a mat tailored to a particular carpet’s pile height ensures a stable and rigid platform for an office chair.
Select a mat that has a low-friction textured surface to offer controlled rolling. If a top layer is too smooth, it doesn’t grip the wheels and may cause users to roll off the mat.
Our Top Picks
The best chair mat provides a safe rolling surface, properly grips the floor, and protects floors for years without curling or cracking. Selecting the right chair mat depends on the type of floor you have and your preference for color and size.
The MuArts chair mat lends peace of mind when it comes to floor protection due to its heavy, sturdy design. A thickness of 0.2 inches makes it sturdier than other chair mats, and a weight of 16 pounds resists curling or folding so it stays completely flat and in place. Users can easily wheel across the mat to get around their work space without sinking into the material. Constructed of nonbreakable, nontoxic plexiglass, this chair mat holds up to 1,400 pounds.
Measuring 47 inches by 40 inches, this chair mat fits a standard work space quite well. As for appearance, it’s clear enough that you can see your flooring or carpet pattern through the mat, making it blend into your home or office space.
Chair mats don’t have to cost a fortune. Mind Reader’s crack-resistant chair mat allows users to roll smoothly between tasks without fear of damaging expensive flooring. Made for hard floors or low-pile carpets, this chair mat has molded cleats and studs to hold the mat in place without causing damage. These grips ensure the mat stays secure on firm flooring and clings to any carpet, preventing slips.
The mat’s material is thick and wear-resistant, long-life polypropylene that comes in three color options, so users can choose the color that best matches their style. The top surface of the mat keeps users safe with a textured surface for smooth and controlled rolling. At 48 inches by 36 inches by 0.1 inches, this chair mat compares to others in the market for size at a lesser price.
Lorell’s tempered-glass chair mat gives users the support they need with a sophisticated and sleek appearance. Unlike other materials (such as plastic), glass doesn’t wear out over time—this is a mat that keeps its luster long term. This mat is 36 inches by 46 inches by 0.25 inches but also comes in two larger sizes to fit most desk spaces. Able to support up to 1,000 pounds, this delicate-appearing chair mat is tougher than it seems. The one downside of this mat is that metal can damage it; swap out any metal chair casters for plastic ones, and this mat performs remarkably well.
The scratch-resistant surface of the mat keeps it extra smooth for easy rolling, and it’s easy to clean with a simple and quick wipe. Unlike other mats that are meant for carpet or hard floors, this clear glass chair mat works on any floor, including high-pile carpet, low-pile carpet, hardwood, vinyl, marble, and more.
Chair mats need some extra grip to anchor properly to a carpet. The Starcounters chair mat, made from 100 percent durable polycarbonate, is a suitable option for low- and medium-pile carpets. At 48 inches by 36 inches, this chair mat will fit many desk spaces. The underside has built-in studs up to 0.15 inches deep that are meant to grip the carpet and stay secure for years of use. Built to last, this transparent mat doesn’t yellow or curl at the edges and holds up to more than 200,000 loading cycles. The textured top surface maintains grip for chair castors, avoiding accidental slips.
This chair mat ships flat, so it’s ready to use out of the box, unlike other styles of chair mats that need to flatten before use. This mat should be cleaned with only water and not chemical cleaners as they may cause cracks in the material. At the end of its lifespan, this chair mat can be recycled.
Some chair mats come with cleats on the bottom for grip, but unless they’re treated and intended for hard floors, these cleats may not be ideal. AiBOB’s chair mat comes cleat-free for use on any type of hard flooring, including hardwood, concrete, tile, vinyl, laminate, and more. It should not, however, be used for carpeted surfaces.
Made from 100 percent polyethylene for high durability and strength, it’s a mat that won’t crack or shatter. This mat protects hard flooring from scratches, dust, and spills, keeping a work space looking good for several years. An unusual surface texture allows chair wheels to move smoothly and easily but provides enough grip to keep the wheels under control. Measuring 48 inches by 36 inches, this chair mat has a built-in lip that fits under a desk and protects flooring from footwear. Breathe easy knowing this chair is BPA- and phthalate-free, giving users a healthier mat for the home or office.
Some work spaces are smaller than others but still benefit from the protection of a chair mat. This chair mat from Evolve gives compact work spaces on a low-pile carpet the protection of PVC. Using a cleated backing for grip and sourced from recycled materials, this GREENGUARD-certified chair mat is practical and sustainable. With a rounded lip that tucks under the desk and an overall size of 33 inches by 44 inches, this mat offers a practical and space-friendly design for standard wheeled chairs.
Whether for a dorm room, living room, or cubicle, this chair mat blends in with most decor. A transparent floor guard that doesn’t draw attention makes it a practical addition to a work space without compromising style.
When a standard-size chair mat just won’t do, upgrade to a larger size, such as this mat from Amazon Basics. With a smooth backing meant for all types of hard floors (including floors with under-floor heating), this chair mat provides an easy-glide rolling surface in an expanded size. Measuring 47 inches by 79 inches, this mat is a great addition to the work or home office. Made of phthalate-free, nontoxic, 100 percent polycarbonate, this mat stays rigid and does not sink, curl, or indent—even under hard weights.
A lightly embossed top surface offers controlled chair movement but easy gliding from one end of the mat to the other. The material also makes it easy to wipe clean, keeping a new-looking chair mat for a long time. Since it’s clear, it incorporates easily into most office spaces, and it’s large enough to give all-around protection around a workstation and not just on one side of it.