It’s no secret that we lead more sedentary lifestyles than ever before.
Our ancient ancestors never spent as much time sitting on their backside as we do, and it’s not only changing the way we look and feel but it’s also having a huge impact on our health and well-being.
It wasn’t all that long ago that a breakthrough new study revealed just how dangerous it is to sit as often as we do in our modern society, equating sitting every day for eight hours a day to having the same negative impact on your health that smoking a pack of cigarettes per day would have.
At the same time, it isn’t all that easy to just spend hours and hours standing on your feet, either.
We get fatigued, we get worn out, and we end up putting quite a bit of pressure on our feet, our legs, our hips, our back, and all of the major and minor muscle groups, joints, and tendons along this chain.
But that’s where quality anti-fatigue mats come into play.
What Are Anti-Fatigue Mats?
Anti-Fatigue mats are cushioned mats designed to keep you comfortable while standing. Some common use cases for anti-fatigue mats are:
Essentially any scenario where you need to stand for long periods of time, an anti-fatigue mat will come in handy.
How to Buy the Best Anti-Fatigue Mat
The best anti-fatigue mat solutions are going to help you alleviate a lot of that stress and a lot of that pressure almost immediately.
They dramatically reduce the amount of pressure your body is going to feel, allow you to reposition yourself on-the-fly, and also provide a whole host of safety and traction benefits that you just won’t get with traditional floor materials.
There’s a reason why these kinds of mats exist in commercial kitchens and commercial workplaces where individuals are standing 99% of the time, for hours and hours on end.
It’s because they really work!
To get your hands on the best anti-fatigue mats, however, you’re going to want to make sure that you zero in on the key elements we highlight below.
Material the Anti-Fatigue Mat is Made of
It’s obvious that you want to get your hands on as high quality an anti-fatigue mat as possible, and that means getting your hands on something that features only top-tier construction materials.
Most commercially available anti-fatigue mats are going to feature some sort of rubberized material (usually PVC or some type of vinyl). These options are rock solid, steady, and durable and almost always feature high-quality traction and safety benefits as well.
At the same time, over extended amounts of time they lose some of their anti-fatigue benefits just by the nature of the material itself.
Foam mats are advertised as being comfortable, squishy, and easy on your bare feet – but they don’t have the kind of strength or stability underneath to provide you with through anti-fatigue properties.
The middle ground you’ll want to shoot for are the premium gel construction material mats that are both cushiony and supportive, helping you to fight back against fatigue but also gently cradling your feet rather than causing even worse pressure on your pressure points.
Ease of Maintenance
It’s always a good idea to look for anti-fatigue mats that are easy to take care of, for obvious reasons. This is especially true if you are going to have these floor mats in high-traffic areas where they are going to get a lot of activity.
Quality anti-fatigue mats should be easy to clean and wash (most often with a damp rag or a hose), feature antibacterial properties, and could even be made out of hypoallergenic construction materials or anti-bacterial/antimicrobial materials as well.
Sanitary and hygienic properties are a huge factor if you’re going to be using these anywhere close to where food is prepared.
The very best anti-fatigue mats are going to be anti-slip as well, featuring textured surfaces (with unique patterns or pebbles for extra grip) that you’ll feel confident standing on over extended amounts of time.
You need to be sure that these mats are safe even when wet. But you also need to make sure that there is an easy and gradient transition between the floor and the highest level of the mat so that you don’t worry about stubbing your toe or tripping over the tool you’ve brought into a space to improve safety and comfort.
Higher density mats are better at fighting fatigue than thinner mats, and the softness of a mat (or the squishy-ness) isn’t always a good thing.
It’s always a good idea to shoot for solid, stable materials that aren’t going to relax over time. You’ll also want to look for anti-fatigue mats that are at least ½ inch in thickness if not even thicker than that.
Lastly, you’ll want to consider the overall size, length, and width of the anti-fatigue mat you are getting your hands on.
Think about the space this material is going to exist in, think about the dimensions you have available for this mat to cover up, and find ways to cover as much floorspace as possible – but do so in a way that provides the highest amount of workable and protected floorspace at the same time.
Check out the dimensions of the mat, then measure the space you plan to place it on. Keep in mind that the mat needs to be wide enough for you to stand on comfortably.
Top 5 Anti-Fatigue Mats
Here are our picks for the best anti-fatigue mats:
1. GORILLA GRIP Original 3/4” Premium Anti-Fatigue Comfort Mat
Well-designed to comfort and cradle your feet even over extended amounts of time, you’ll find this comfort mat designed to alleviate pressure and stress not only in your feet but all the way up through your posterior chain as well.
Three quarters of an inch thick and made out of high quality and commercial kitchen grade foam material, the construction materials used here are 100% non-toxic, Proposition 65 compliant, and include absolutely zero dangerous chemicals whatsoever.
You also get a no slip, pebbled grip that helps you stay stable on this anti-fatigue mat for extended amounts of time, too.
2. CubeFit Terramat
Made out of high quality, 100% non-toxic material that naturally resists bacteria and allergens, this is a strong, stable, and nonslip surface that protects your body when you expect to be standing for extended amounts of time.
Specifically designed by personal trainer and biomechanical engineer, everything about this particular anti-fatigue mat has been implemented to help your body rest and recover faster. A number of 3D elements are strategically placed throughout the surface of this material so that you can “work your feet” and your body, relieving stress and tension while you stand.
3. NUVA Premium Anti Fatigue Standing Floor Mat
One of the highest quality and best reviewed floormat solutions on the market today, this anti-fatigue solution takes advantage of European industrial design that not only produces a very functional piece of technology but an attractive option as well.
Made out of high quality PVC recycled rubberized materials, you get a lot of shock and pressure protection out of this extra thick anti-fatigue mat that you aren’t going to get with lower quality or thinner solutions.
Non-toxic, 100% waterproof, and featuring a slightly beveled edge to prevent slipping and tripping, the entire bottom of this solution has been covered in an anti-slip strip material to lock this mat in place no matter what.
4. Topo Comfort Mat by Ergodriven
Another nontraditional design in the anti-fatigue mat world, this particular choice has been designed to help you increase your endurance and eliminate your pain by allowing you to move your feet around the mat without even consciously having to do so.
Created with biomechanics in mind, everything about the “terrain” of this anti-fatigue mat has been carefully chosen to help you with micro and macro movements to give you a variety of different dynamic positions that will free fatigue from your body almost instantly.
On top of that, the bottom layer of material on this solution has been treated with a no slip grip system. It’s going to “lockdown” on almost any floor surface with just a little bit of pressure, but as soon as you step off of the floormat you can move and reposition it with one of your toes – gliding around to get it in that sweet spot with no difficulty at all.
Combine all of this with waterproof features and a top-tier warranty and you are looking at something special here.
5. Kangaroo Original Standing Mat
One of the original anti-fatigue solutions to hit the market a number of years ago, as well as one of the most popular options still out there today, this particular anti-fatigue mat has been chosen by commercial kitchens and industrial settings for years and years because of the performance it provides.
Manufactured entirely out of 100% non-toxic material, much of it 100% recycled, this is a cushioned anti-fatigue mat designed with ergonomics in mind. Flat with a slight and gentle contour that allows the transition from floor to mat to be as subtle and as soft as possible, you’ll find this to be a very safe, very stable, and very comfortable floor solution as soon as you try it out.
Best of all, you get a 10 year guarantee with a full money back promise should you be unhappy with this purchase for any reason whatsoever. The folks behind this anti-fatigue mat stand behind their product with real confidence, and that should give you the peace of mind you need to move forward with this purchase.
The Best Anti-Fatigue Mat
At the end of the day, we have to say that the original Kangaroo Anti-fatigue Mat remains one of the best options money can buy and is still our recommendation as the best of the best in the anti-fatigue mat world.
Simple and straightforward, it lays flat no matter what, has nonslip grip surfaces on the bottom to stay in position, is available in a variety of different sizes, shapes, and styles to fit any interior aesthetic imaginable, and continues to provide some of the best anti-pressure and anti-fatigue benefits of all these products.
The top has a unique “diamond plate” texturing that isn’t all that obvious at first, at least until you slide your feet over the surface of this mat and discover just how stable and nonslip it is.
The soft transition between the floor and the top of this mat is another big benefit. You won’t have to worry about stubbing your toe or having to “climb” on top of this mat, and option that comes in at three-quarter of an inch thick.
At the end of the day, you’re getting a high-quality piece of equipment here that’s going to last for years and years. You won’t find too terribly many companies offer a full 10 year warranty or guarantee on their products these days if they are even just the slightest bit concerned that their solution won’t last the test of time.
That isn’t ever going to be a problem with this anti-fatigue mat, that’s for sure. Trust the folks at Kangaroo. They know what they are doing!