Beveled edges allow the mat to resist curling. Offers a variety of stylish designs, colors, and lengths. Ergonomic foam structure provides cushioning for joints during long hours standing.
Mat edges can curl up over time despite design.
Bamboo slats feel good underfoot. Water-resistant treatment stands up to splashes and spills. Nonstick bottom coating keeps it in place. Can cover area from work surface to stove or sink.
Backing can leave marks on certain types of flooring.
Foam cushion build contours to your feet for supportive comfort. Extremely easy to clean with its stain-resistant surface. Includes a non-slip bottom to prevent sliding. No-curl edges.
Utilitarian looks. Some buyers note an odor when new.
Machine washable. Thick piles feel good underfoot. Microfiber absorbs water or oil and dries quickly. Grippy backing helps keep the rugs in place. Set of two covers most kitchen work stations.
Air dry only.
Woven PVC and polyester mat is water- and stain-resistant. Spills wipe clean with soft cloth. Non-slip backing helps mat stay in place during use. Supportive padding is designed to relieve standing fatigue.
Backing may mark some flooring types.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
You’ve heard that you should stand more and sit less, but staying upright for hours can cause discomfort, too. Spending time standing on hard flooring while cooking in the kitchen or tinkering in your workshop can do a number on your feet, ankles, knees, and back. That’s why anti-fatigue kitchen mats, typically used in commercial settings, can now live at home.
Anti-fatigue kitchen mats, also called chef mats and comfort mats, promise a number of benefits, from eliminating pain to increasing energy. Workplace ergonomic and OSHA studies throughout the years have shown that anti-fatigue mats used in the retail and restaurant industries reduce workers’ neck and shoulder stiffness, sore feet and heels, lower back pain, and lingering fatigue. To achieve this, the design of an anti-fatigue mat helps you constantly adjust your body while standing by making tiny muscle movements, which also keep your blood circulating.
Understanding the features of an anti-fatigue kitchen mat will help you choose the right one for your needs. Read on to learn more.
Edge design: A kitchen mat with beveled (tapered) edges has a clean, sharp design, which also lessens your chance of tripping on and off the mat. Reinforced edges that don’t feel flimsy to the touch are less likely to delaminate and will stay flat longer.
Thickness: Mats that are 3/8 to one inch thick work best. Anything thicker may cause you to trip or make you feel like you’re sinking into sand. Choose the right thickness so you’re standing at a comfortable height at your work surface.
Firmness: Just like choosing a mattress, buying a kitchen mat that’s too firm, hard, or soft for your personal preference will be counterproductive.
Responsiveness: Does the mat return to its original form when you step off it? If it responds slowly (meaning minutes), it may be too spongy for your weight. If you have a sense that you’re “touching bottom” when standing on the surface, that’s another indication the mat may not be the right one for you. A responsive mat should feel stable and slightly cushioned when you’re standing on it.
Size: Rectangular mats are best for counter work, but consider the size carefully. If you have a long counter, a short mat forces you to step on and off the mat constantly, which could be uncomfortable and cause a tripping hazard. You also want both of your feet on the mat at the same time for best posture and comfort. Sizes of mats differ from brand to brand, but they generally range from small (say 32 inches long and 20 inches wide) to extra-long (say 100 inches long by 30 inches wide).
Outer materials: The exterior material of a kitchen mat could be synthetic leather or a microfiber material with or without texture. Synthetic leather coverings are antimicrobial and designed to resist bacteria and mold growth. Machine washable microfiber mats are not typically considered anti-fatigue kitchen floor mats.
Inner materials: A true synthetic leather anti-fatigue kitchen mat will have one of the following inner materials: memory foam, high-density or polyurethane foam with a gel insert or core, or one-piece polyurethane foam, a premium material designed to withstand high traffic.
Weight: Some kitchen floor mats are heavier than others; this depends on whether a mat is filled with gel and/or foam. The weight of your mat matters if you plan to remove it from your space every time you’re finished with it. If you don’t need to take it off the floor, however, the weight shouldn’t matter. The lightest anti-fatigue mats may weigh about five pounds. Heavier or larger mats may weigh between 12 to 48 pounds. Due to their weight, heavier mats have more of a non-skid quality.
Durability: Anti-fatigue kitchen mats are made to be easily cleaned, stain-resistant, and waterproof. Spills can be wiped up on leather or vinyl versions with a sponge, mop, or disinfectant wipe. Microfiber mats can be washed, vacuumed, or spot-cleaned.
Warranty: Consider your anti-fatigue kitchen mat as an investment. Look for manufacturer warranties in case your mat has a flaw, such as curling edges or delamination. Warranties for mats range from one year for lower-priced mats to up to 10 years — or even a lifetime — for high-end mats.
Non-slip bottom: Kitchen mats are typically designed to be slip-free and will rarely, if ever, discolor hardwood, tile, vinyl, laminate, concrete, or carpeted floor. Some brands of mats sell grippers separately that can be applied to the bottom of the product to keep it from shifting.
Non-curling edges: Though there’s no guarantee that edges will never curl, it pays to seek out models purported to have non-curling edges covered under warranty.
Textured surface: A slightly embossed texture on the top can help prevent you from sliding if you’re standing on the mat wearing only socks or stockings. A slight surface texture won’t attract dust or dander, and it can still be easily wiped clean.
Color and design: Anti-fatigue kitchen mats can be found in colors that match the tone of your kitchen or bath cabinetry. If you prefer a designer-style mat, you’ll find items with embossed and printed patterns and designs.
Flat shipping: Find out if your mat will ship flat. If it does, that lessens the possibility of creases, curling edges, and bent corners.
In the $5 to $19 range, you’ll find affordable microfiber kitchen floor mats that are also used for bathroom and entry spaces. Though they’re available in many colors and designs, they offer minimal anti-fatigue benefits because they are only foam-filled. Higher-cost microfiber mats offer longer lengths.
In the $19 to $50 range, you’ll find the largest selection of faux-leather anti-fatigue kitchen mats in traditional sizes from 32 to 48 inches long. Kitchen mats in this price range are constructed from layers of foam, gel, or a combination of the two. They tend to have beveled edges for safety.
Above $50, you’ll begin to see mats of longer lengths, say 48 inches to 70 inches. The most expensive versions, over $200, will be extra-long mats that extend over 100 inches. Pricier kitchen mats tend to be filled with premium gel and/or a thick foam core. You’ll find hefty manufacturer warranties that last 10 to 20 years or more. You’ll also find mats of one-piece molded polyurethane for exceptional performance and longevity. Polyurethane mats keep more of their bounce over time due to their molded design, which eliminates layers that could separate or degrade in quality over time.
Q. Can I use an anti-fatigue kitchen floor mat for exercise?
A. Though it’s more cushioned and thicker than a typical yoga mat, a kitchen mat can be comfortable to sit on during yoga or other exercise. You can use anti-fatigue kitchen mats for a variety of other purposes, such as when cooking in a boat cabin or when you’re grilling on a deck. Some people use this type of mat as a bedside “rug.” It’s even used as a bed for senior pets because it has just the right balance of softness and firmness for mature joints and bones.
Q. Can I stand on an anti-fatigue kitchen mat while wearing shoes?
A. You can stand on an anti-fatigue kitchen mat with or without shoes. When you’re barefoot, the mat will feel especially comfortable because you’re tootsies will feel warm and cradled. If you wear shoes, you’ll feel like you have an extra level of support while standing on the mat.
Q. Can I sit on a chair if it’s on an anti-fatigue kitchen mat?
A. Anti-fatigue mats are made for standing. The casters on your chair will sink into the mat, and the materials could break down sooner than intended. It will also be tough to roll your chair on an anti-fatigue kitchen mat. However, a microfiber-covered kitchen mat may work better with an office chair on wheels.