Which anti-fatigue kitchen mat is best?
Whether you find kitchen chores relaxing or dread them, standing on your feet long enough to cook every meal or wash every dish can take a toll on your body. An anti-fatigue kitchen mat is an easy way to lessen the strain on your body from daily chores.
Because the surface of the mat is flexible, your leg muscles contract lightly to keep you balanced, keeping your leg muscles active, which keeps your blood flowing as you stand for long periods. There are a lot of different anti-fatigue kitchen mats available, so it is important to consider the options to find the perfect mat to give you the most relief. The Kangaroo Anti Fatigue Cushioned Floor Mat is a top choice that’s perfect for hours of standing.
What to know before you buy an anti-fatigue kitchen mat
Anti-fatigue mats actually come in a few different designs, though the flat ones are by far the most common.
Flat anti-fatigue mats are the standard, as they are inexpensive to make and comfortable to stand on. A perfect entry-level choice, these mats are rectangular, flat all over and usually 1-2 inches thick. Many have beveled edges for a smoother transition to the floor.
Non-flat active mats are similar to flat mats, but they have bumps or ridges throughout the surface. They are also available in different shapes. These mats have a unique texture that provides extra relief from fatigue by encouraging you to shift your feet more, which helps with circulation.
Full active mats are less common than the other types, but they can be very effective at relieving the fatigue of standing all day. These mats typically feature some kind of movable part, such as a massage ball that you move around a track with your feet, which encourages you to keep moving. Full active mats can be a little odd aesthetically, but they certainly work.
The material that your anti-fatigue kitchen mat is constructed with has a significant impact on how comfortable it is to stand on. It is common to see anti-fatigue mats made from foam, foam rubber, hard rubber, and gel, with benefits and disadvantages to each.
Foam is the most inexpensive material used for anti-fatigue mats, making it fairly common with cheaper models. It isn’t particularly durable and it doesn’t provide a lot of cushion, but if you only stand for short periods at a time, it should do the trick.
Foam rubber refers to a mat that has a foam core and a rubber coating. These mats have the benefit of being constructed from affordable foam, as well as the durability and cushion provided by the rubber coating.
Hard rubber is the most durable material used for kitchen mats, as it holds up very well even with repeated use. However, thard rubber isn’t the most comfortable material, so mats made from this don’t prevent fatigue as much as foam rubber and gel options.
Gel is the most comfortable material used for kitchen mats, making it the most effective for preventing fatigue.
What to look for in a quality anti-fatigue kitchen mat
What size mat you need is largely dependent on the space you have in your kitchen. In general, a bigger mat means more relief. Standard anti-fatigue kitchen mats are usually 2-by-3 feet or 3-by-5 feet, though larger options are available for warehouse or industrial conditions.
Thickness is the main contributing factor to the comfort of a kitchen mat, as well as its effectiveness at preventing fatigue. The vast majority of mats will be between 1/2 inch thick and 1 inch thick, though there are even thicker options. In general, you should look for a mat that is at least 3/4 inch thick for proper cushioning.
Some mats will have a textured underside designed to keep it from sliding around on the floor. This is especially helpful in the kitchen, where water from dishes can easily get on the floor and cause things to slide around.
Particularly if you choose a flat anti-fatigue kitchen mat, keep an eye out for models with beveled edges. The slope downward around the edges helps the mat to stick on the floor, rather than rolling up, as well as diminishing the chances of tripping over the edge of the mat.
Ease of cleaning
Your mat will get dirty over time, so it’s a good idea to be aware of how easy it is to clean before making a purchase. For convenience, opt for a model that will be easily wiped off with soap and water, rather than models that require more delicate cleaning processes.
Anti-fatigue kitchen mat prices
Unless you’re opting for a very large mat of 6 feet or longer, you shouldn’t have to pay more than $100. Any mats less than $30 or so are probably made cheaply and won’t be as durable or effective as other models. If you need a large kitchen mat, you can expect to pay between $200-$500 for foot mats 6-12 feet long and $500-$1,000 for ones 12-60 feet long. For most households, a reliable and effective anti-fatigue mat should cost between $40-$90.
Anti-fatigue kitchen mat FAQ
How long does an anti-fatigue kitchen mat last?
A. As with most things, longevity will depend on the quality. In general, kitchen mats last one to four years. Purchasing a thick, quality mat and taking good care of it is the best way to get years of use out of it.
Should you wear shoes on the anti-fatigue kitchen mat?
A. If you have cushioned shoes, they can provide an extra level of comfort on your kitchen mat. However, be sure that you don’t wear shoes with high heels or other protrusions on the bottom, as they can damage the mat. If your shoes have flat bottoms, it’s really up to you.
What’s the best anti-fatigue kitchen mat to buy?
Top anti-fatigue kitchen mat
What you need to know: This ergonomic floor mat is supportive and reliable, perfect for hours of standing and designed to last.
What you’ll love: Thicker than most, this 3/4-inch mat is nontoxic and phthalate-free. It is shipped in a flat box to prevent creasing or rolling and comes in many sizes and colors.
What you should consider: Some customers thought the mats looked too industrial.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top anti-fatigue kitchen mat for the money
What you need to know: Available in a large variety of sizes and designs, this high-quality mat is supportive and comfortable for hours of standing.
What you’ll love: Specially designed foam provides a soft and supportive core, while the attractive rubber coating provides durability. This mat is shown to reduce stress on joints and muscles.
What you should consider: Creases left in the mat from the packaging may not fade quickly.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Comfortable, classy and designed specifically for the kitchen, this long mat is sure to help your aching feet.
What you’ll love: The comfortable foam cushioning is coated in a waterproof material that guarantees your mat will hold up to multiple rounds of dishes, and the ribbed design is aesthetically pleasing. It is available in sizes and colors for every kitchen.
What you should consider: Some users found this mat had a chemical smell at first, and the textured surface was hard to clean.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Collette Bliss writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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