BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details
Expert Shopper Kitchen

Can a kitchen mat help with back pain?

Unless you eat everything out of the microwave, chances are you spend a good amount of time most days in your kitchen making meals. All that time standing around on those hard floors can be murder on your body, and nowhere worse than your feet, knees and lower back. That's why kitchen floor mats exist, helping reduce or downright eliminate the strain on your body.

In this article: Amazon Basics Kitchen Mat, iDesign Kitchen Mat and Kmat Kitchen Mats.


There are two major benefits to using a kitchen mat

  • Decreased stress: Your body experiences less stress when you stand on cushioning rather than barefoot on hard surfaces. You can get much the same result from shoes with thick, comfortable padding, if you don’t mind wearing shoes inside.
  • Aesthetics: Kitchen mats come in a large range of designs. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding one that meshes with the rest of your kitchen or purposefully stands out.

Thickness and firmness

In order to get the most comfort out of your mat, it needs to have the right thickness and firmness for you.

  • Thickness: Most mats are between three-eighths of an inch and 1 inch thick, though some are thicker. Yours should be thick enough to feel like you’re on a cushion but not so thick that it adds too much to your height. A mat that is too high would make you bend over slightly, aggravating your back.
  • Firmness: There are three major waypoints: soft, firm and hard. Soft mats you can practically sink into, though some find this uncomfortably similar to quicksand. Hard mats offer the minimum cushion necessary to get the health benefits, though some find this essentially equal to no mat at all. Firm is nebulously in the middle. The only way to be sure which you like is to try mats until you find one that’s just right.


The final consideration when ordering a mat to help with foot, knee and back pain is responsiveness, meaning how it responds to your weight and how long it takes to return to form after you spend time on it. 

Responsiveness is not about preference. It’s about stability. A mat with poor responsiveness either holds the impression of your foot for too long or doesn't bend to your weight at all. In both cases, you aren’t going to get the maximum health benefit. Instead, your mat should bend easily but return to a “like new” form quickly.

Size and shape

Kitchen mats typically are rectangular so they can cover the parts of the floor you regularly stand on. For example, one mat might cover the floor in front of your sink and a stretch of the counter beside it.

Most are 20 to 30 inches wide, but lengths can stretch anywhere from 32 to 100-plus inches.

Bonus features

Some kitchen mats have extras that help put them above the rest. Examples include nonslip grips on the underside to keep them stable, non-curling edges to prevent tripping and textured surfaces to help with traction.


Basic and small kitchen mats typically cost $5-$20, and better and bigger mats cost up to $50. The best and biggest mats, large enough for practically the entire kitchen, can cost $200 or more.

Best kitchen mats

Amazon Basics Kitchen Mat

This mat measures 20 by 36 inches, comes in black or brown and is sold individually or in a pack of five. It has a nonslip base and a non-curling edge, and it is easy to clean with soap and water.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

GelPro Kitchen Mat

This mat comes in four sizes (measured in inches): 20 by 32, 20 by 48, 20 by 72 and 30 by 108. It comes in 26 designs and is three-quarters of an inch thick.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

iDesign Kitchen Mat

This kitchen mat is more for decoration than function since its bamboo material doesn’t offer the same cushy protection of standard kitchen mats. It comes in five sizes and a set of one or two.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

KitchenClouds Kitchen Mat

This mat comes in six sizes, the three smallest of which have two thicknesses to choose from. It comes in 10 colors and is waterproof for easy cleaning.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Kmat Kitchen Mats

This set of two mats is perfect for covering more of your floor for less money. There are two collections: The smaller includes a 17.3-by-28-inch mat and a 17.3-by-47-inch mat, and the larger includes a 20-by-32-inch mat and a 20-by-59-inch mat.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

NuLoom Kitchen Mat

This polyvinyl chloride and polyester mat has a nonslip backing and is half an inch thick. It comes in an 18-by-30-inch size and a 20-by-42-inch size, and it is available in five colors.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

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 writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.

Share this post: