Standing is undeniably amazing for your body! From improved posture to better musculoskeletal health, the benefits of standing are well proven. However, standing for long periods of time can be difficult. Being on your feet all day is very tiring and hard on your joints.
Whether you are a chef who spends hours on your feet or someone who works with your computer on a standing desk, you are probably familiar with that nagging ache in your feet, ankles, knees or lower back, often worse after prolonged periods spent in a standing position.
Thankfully, there is an easy solution to alleviate your discomfort – the anti-fatigue standing mat.
Anti-fatigue mats, also known as standing desk mats, are mats on which you can stand comfortably for long periods of time. These ergonomic standing mats counteract the negative aspects of prolonged standing while still allowing you to reap the benefits of a standing desk.
However, not all anti-fatigue standing mats are created equal. In our Anti-fatigue Standing Desk Mat Buyer’s Guide, we have outlined some of the features that you might want to consider when choosing a standing mat to purchase. This includes factors like material, size, cost, and warranty.
In this article, we will take an in-depth look at some of the best standing desk mats available on the market and highlight their best features as well as potential pitfalls that you should be aware of.
For ease of comparison, we have split this review into two segments – flat standing mats (ergonomic mats that are flat all over) and active standing mats (mats that promote more activity using ridges, bumps or rocking mechanisms).
Let’s start with our favorite active anti-fatigue standing mats of 2018.
Best Active Standing Mats
1. CubeFit – TerraMat Standing Desk Mat
- 6 topographical features
- High-quality materials
- Lifetime guarantee
- Certain features can feel overly soft
Our favorite mat of 2018 actually started off as a very successful Kickstarter campaign and based on the overwhelmingly positive reviews this standing mat consistently gets, its success and popularity is well deserved.
The CubeFit TerraMat has 6 different topographical features, providing you with a wide variety of positions (a minimum of 11) to stretch and stimulate different parts of your legs and feet.
Of these, our favorite feature is the raised massage mounds on both sides of the mat. Users find these smooth bumps to be great for the soles of the feet, particularly the arches. It can also be easily stored by sliding the mat under your desk when not in use. The raised balance bar at the top of the mat is also a neat addition. You can use it do calf raises and alternate your stance, thus activating your core in a subtle manner.
This standing mat is made from high-density polyurethane foam which gives it a firm feeling. This material is proven to reduce spinal compression, a harmful side effect of prolonged standing. Polyurethane is also known to be a durable material, ensuring that your mat will continue to remain firm and comfortable over time.
It is not overly large, available in the size 30.5” x 27.5”. Apart from that, the CubeFit TerraMat comes with a lifetime guarantee and if you are not happy with your purchase, the company offers a full refund.
A few users have complained that certain topographical features such as the massage mounds feel overly soft. You may also have to experiment a little with all the different elements of the mat to find postures that are truly comfortable for your body.
Overall, this is a high quality, beautifully designed active standing desk mat that is a great way to keep a healthy and active posture while standing.
2. Batmat Standing Desk Mat
- Cool retro bat-shaped design
- Lifetime warranty
- Ergonomic massage spots
- Odd smell when new
Not only does this eye catching bat shaped mat look cool, it also performs well. The surface of this active mat is dotted with massage spots, stimulating blood circulation in your feet and legs.
The textured surface also encourages you to change positions as you stand, thus avoiding prolonged stress on a certain joint or muscle.
Like the Cubefit Terra Mat, the Batmat is also made out of 100% polyurethane. It is a stable mat that does not slip around on smooth floors. It comes with raised edges, making it easy for you to slide the mat around without using your hands.
Users have praised its quality construction and long term durability but for extra peace of mind, the Batmat is covered by a lifetime warranty and a full refund policy.
One recurring complaint we found from users is that the mat had an off-putting odour straight out of the box. However, the bad ‘new rubber/foam’ smell was found to lessen considerably once the mat was aired out.
Overall, if you are looking for an ergonomic active mat that provides great massage stimulation, comes in a stylish retro design and is much cheaper than the Terra Mat, the Batmat is the mat to choose.
3. VARIDESK – ActiveMat Rocker
- Deep calf stretch
- Good if you are naturally fidgety
- Comfortable mat
- Rocker bar can be awkward to use
The Varidesk ActiveMat Rocker is an ergonomic standing desk mat that consists of a flat standing mat with a rocker bar placed over the top half of the mat.
By placing one foot on the rocker bar while you stand on your other foot, you are able to move your leg in a swinging motion, stretching your muscles and moving your joints as you stand.
In fact, users have mentioned that the rocker gives a deeper calf stretch than active mats that have only varied topographical surfaces.
This is especially great if you are a fidgety person. Being able to work off some of that excess energy while standing may just boost your focus at work! To quote the company website, you can “rock your way to a better workday”!
Its beveled, no curl edges and durable high density core ensures that the mat will continue to look good long after you start using it. The mat itself is flat and smooth, measuring 28.38″ x 35″. The rocker measures 19.5″ x 15.75, so only get this active standing mat if your desk is high enough for it to fit comfortably. The mat portion is very comfortable to stand on as it is ¾” (2cm) thick.
Some users have found the rocker bar to be bulky, stating that it gets in the way. Certain reviews have also mentioned the bar being more awkward to use than effective. Ultimately, it is something that you have to try out for yourself.
Since this mat is a fair bit more expensive than the other mats on the list, it is even more important that it feels comfortable to you. Fortunately, the Varidesk ActiveMat Rocker comes with a 30-day refund guarantee, giving you ample time to try it out and decide if it is worth the investment. The actual product warranty period is 1 year.
4. KANGAROO BRANDS Premium Anti-Fatigue Active Mat
- Small and compact (23″ x 17″)
- Raised incline with varied surface
- Certain raised features can be too soft
The Kangaroo Brands ergonomic standing mat has a varied terrain built on a inclined surface. Simply standing on this mat will give your heels and calves a slight stretch. To deepen the stretch, it has a raised beveled back that you can place your foot on. This mat also comes with round arch stretchers on the bottom two corners of the mat. These smooth raised bumps are nicely placed to massage the arches of your feet.
Users generally love the feel of the Kangaroo Active Comfort Mat, with multiple reviews stating how cushy and comfortable the foam rubber feels to stand on. However, there have been complaints that the raised terrain features are a little too soft, pointlessly compressing down to flat when body weight is applied on them.
At only 23″ x 17″, this is the smallest mat on our active mats list, making it a good choice if there is a lack of space and you just need a compact active mat to fit under a smaller desk. It also makes it easier to pack away when not in use.
As one of the more affordable options on our list, this Kangaroo active mat is a low risk investment which comes with a low hassle refund guarantee. If you need a small mat or are just looking to try out an active mat, definitely consider the Kangaroo Active Comfort Mat.
The Best Flat Anti-Fatigue Standing Mats
1. NewLife by GelPro Anti-Fatigue Kitchen & Office Mat
- Plant-based energy-return polyurethane foam
- Certified non-slip bottom
- Variety of sizes and colors
- Potential inconsistencies in color
Top of our list of the best flat standing mats of 2018 is the popular NewLife by GelPro Anti-fatigue Comfort Mat.
This 3/4″ mat is made out of molded energy-return polyurethane foam. The materials used are also wholly plant based, so it gets bonus points from us for being environmentally friendly!
According to the official website, the material used to construct this standing mat has pushback abilities that can restore energy and provide relief from fatigue even with prolonged periods of standing. The user reviews agree, with many users stating how this mat has made standing less tiring and less painful.
The NewLife by GelPro features beveled and reinforced edges which significantly reduce the risk of tripping. You can use it with confidence on any surface as it has a non-slip bottom certified by the National Floor Safety Institute. It is also water and stain resistant, making it perfect for not only the office, but also the kitchen and even the bathroom.
When it comes to colors and sizes, you have a lot of options to choose from with this anti-fatigue standing mat. It comes in 5 different sizes, from the smallest mat at 20 x 32 inches, 20 x 48 inches, 20 x 72 inches, 24 x 36 inches and the largest size at 36 x 60 inches. To match your interior design, there are 3 neutral shades to choose from – Earth, Midnight and Stone.
The GelPro NewLife mat costs more than other flat standing desk mats and one user mentioned some inconsistencies in color, but otherwise we could not detect any real disadvantages to this mat. It also comes with a 10 year warranty.
Overall, we love the NewLife by GelPro mat and feel that for its high-quality and superior comfort, this ergonomic standing mat is well worth it.
2. Gorilla Grip Original 3/4″ Premium Anti-Fatigue Comfort Mat
- Very affordable
- Many colors to choose from
- Lifetime guarantee
- Reduced traction when wet
The Gorilla Grip is an extremely budget friendly basic flat standing mat that ticks all the necessary boxes. It comes with 3/4″ of high-grade foam that would provide sufficient support to your joints while standing. As a flat mat, it does not have bumps or ridges but it is comfortable enough on its own with a textured surface that encourages you to change your standing position from time to time.
If you need your ergonomic mat to look good as well as feel good, the Gorilla Grip has many colors and sizes for you to choose from. It is also non-toxic and easily kept clean by hand-washing.
The one downfall of this mat is its lack of traction when wet. If you are planning to use the mat in the bathroom or other places where it could get soaked, be prepared for it to get slippery.
A standing mat that comes with a lifetime guarantee, acceptable quality and comfortable ergonomics at this price point is more than good value for money. If you need a simple standing mat that is a bargain but still provides comfort and support, get the Gorilla Grip Comfort Mat.
3. Kangaroo Brands Original 3/4″ Anti Fatigue Standing Mat
- Well cushioned
- Multiple sizes and colors
- Only suitable for use on dry surfaces
Next on our list is a flat anti-fatigue standing mat from Kangaroo Brands. This mat is of the same thickness as the NewLife by GelPro mat at 3/4″. It is, however, more budget friendly. Made out of highest-grade foam, the Kangaroo Brand Original Standing Mat promises to remain durable over time without breaking down or getting compressed. This is backed up by a 10 year warranty.
It comes in 4 different sizes (32”x 20”, 39”x20”, 46”x30”x30” corner mat, and 70”x24”) and 9 different colors. You are almost certain to find one in a color and size that matches the interior décor of your home or office.
While the mat is not made out of exclusively plant based materials, it is a non-toxic mat that utilized phthalate-free materials.
Do note that the top of the mat is waterproof, but the underside consists of a grooved material that works best well on dry and smooth surfaces. If you are looking for a standing mat that can also be used in the bathroom or shower, the Kangaroo Brands Original Standing Mat is not for you.
Also, the cushiness of this mat makes it comfortable for most people, but some users have found the Kangaroo Original Standing Mat to be a bit too soft.
If you need a comfortable cushioned mat to use on a smooth and dry surface, the Kangaroo Brands flat standing mat is a good choice.
4. FlexiSpot Standing Desk Mat
- Good material and thickness (3/4” polyurethane)
- Anti-slide bottom
- Only one size and one color
- Limited warranty
Like many other mats on this list, the FlexiSpot standing desk mat is a flat mat that is made from 100% polyurethane material with a thickness of 3/4″. Thus, it is comfortable, durable and will provide you with good spinal support while standing.
The beveled edges will keep this mat flat and prevent it from curling up even after using it for a good amount of time. It also comes with an anti-skid bottom that keeps you safe while on the mat and protects your floors from damage.
However, this mat only comes in one size, which is 39 x 22 inches. Unlike some of the other budget flat standing mat contenders such as the Gorilla Grip mat, the FlexiSpot does not have a choice of colors. The basic black will blend in with most spaces but this basic mat is unlikely to be the highlight of your space.
Despite the anti-skid bottom, some reviews complain of a minimal amount of sliding when getting on the mat. Also, do be aware that the FlexiSpot Standing Desk Mat comes with a limited warranty of 3 years which covers only material or workmanship defects.
Basically, if all you need is a simple mat to ease fatigue and pain in your feet, legs and lower back and you are not fussed about colors or sizes, this ergonomic standing mat may be worth a look.
5. VARIDESK- 5/8″ Non-Slip Anti-Fatigue Comfort Mat
- Slightly too firm
- Limited warranty
The Varidesk Anti-Fatigue Comfort Mat is a flat standing desk mat that is made out of high-quality polyurethane. It comes in two sizes, 20×34 inches and 24×36 inches. This simple mat also has beveled edges for a slicker look and to reduce the risks of tripping. To make it even more convenient to use, it is easily cleaned either by a vacuum or by being wiped clean.
However, with a thickness of only 5/8″ (thinner than the other standing mats on this list), we found this mat to lack sufficient cushioning. Reportedly it is slightly too firm to be comfortable for prolonged use.
Another key disadvantage is that it does not have a vinyl layer or a skin on its top surface. This makes it more susceptible to wear and tear, especially if it is used daily for long periods of time. The warranty period of the Varidesk does not help to alleviate our concerns about durability as it has a limited warranty period of only 1 year.
If you are not planning to use your standing desk mat very often and only need a basic mat for the occasional light use, the Varidesk Comfort Mat may be a cost effective option to consider.
Anti-fatigue standing mats are a great addition to your home or office. From cooking in the kitchen to working at a standing desk, almost all of us spend a substantial portion of our day on our feet.
Investing in an ergonomic standing mat will allow us to spend those moments standing in a healthier and happier manner.
A shopping strategy we recommend is to first decide if you need an active mat or a flat mat. Once that is decided, narrow down the individual factors that are important to you.
Do you need a cushion that is softer or firmer? How important is color and size? Does a lifetime warranty make a difference to you? And so on.
We truly believe that if you manage to find the best standing mat for your needs, it will be an investment you will not regret. Hopefully, this list of the best anti-fatigue standing mats of 2018 has helped you decide.
Dr. Praveena Asokan, MBChB has a background in medicine, having graduated from the University of Leicester before working in various hospitals. Her additional experience as a medical researcher helped her transition to a career as a writer, and she now enjoys researching and writing on a number of health-related topics.