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Standing on a hard, bare floor for several hours, whether it's because you're cooking a time-intensive meal on the stove or meal-prepping several ingredients at the counter, is not only exhausting, but it can cause strain to your lower body. It puts “constant pressure on your feet, lower back, and legs,” explains Dr. Kevin Lees, D.C., manager of auditing and quality for The Joint Chiropractic.
Enter the anti-fatigue mat. This thick, multi-layered mat provides a cushion between your feet and the hard floor. These mats also help improve traction, reduce slipping, and protect your floors from spills.
Most anti-fatigue mats are fairly bare-bones, yet there are subtle differences between different models that can make them better suited to certain situations. There are a lot of options to choose from, of varying sizes, styles, and thicknesses, so we rounded up some of the best anti-fatigue mats on the market to help you pick the right one for you.
Best Overall: Sky Solutions Sky Mat, Comfort Anti Fatigue Mat
Thick cushion provides necessary support
Softness creates an ultra-comfortable surface
Available in nine colors and three sizes
Texture traps dust easily
Creases from shipping can be permanent
For a simple yet effective anti-fatigue mat, consider the Sky Mat. This reasonably-priced option comes in three sizes and four dark colors, letting you choose the best fit for your kitchen. The anti-fatigue mat is 3/4 inch thick and made from the company’s patented foam, which is described as the “perfect blend of support and softness for standing all day." The mat has a beveled edge to prevent tripping, as well as a non-slip bottom. Further, the Sky Mat is designed to be durable and is easy to wipe clean if you spill anything on it.
Our tester used this mat at her standing desk, and she still felt comfortable after an hour on her feet. She also noted that it's just as nice to stand on with shoes as it is barefoot. Overall, this top-rated anti-fatigue mat is an affordable and highly effective product for your kitchen or workspace.
Sizes: 20 x 32 inches, 20 x 39 inches, 24 x 70 inches | Weight: 3 pounds, 3.45 pounds, 7.39 pounds | Material: Soft-foam core | Colors: Black, Blue Diamond, Burgundy, Chocolate Brown, Dark Blue, Green Ombré, Gray, Indigo Deco, Natural Beige, Sedona Red Rocks
"After testing several anti-fatigue mat options, it was evident upon my first use that the Sky Mat is softer and thicker (at ¾ of an inch) than most competitors." — Rachel Ellison, Product Tester
Best for High-Traffic Areas: GelPro NewLife Bio-Foam Comfort Mat
Provides incredible support
Firm cushion contours to feet
Shows signs of dirt and wear easily
Cushion is thick and can cause tripping
If your anti-fatigue mat is going to get a lot of foot traffic, you need a super durable product like the GelPro NewLife Bio-Foam Comfort Mat. It is more expensive than many other options, but it delivers in terms of both comfort and durability. This anti-fatigue mat has an abrasion- and puncture-resistant surface to increase longevity. No matter how long our tester stood on it, her feet never sank to the floor.
The mat also features beveled edges and a non-slip bottom, as well as reinforced no-curl edges, although our tester noted that the pronounced cushion could still cause tripping. Additionally, our testing showed it still attracted dirt rather easily. It is a bit firmer than other mats, but it still offers uncompromising support with nearly an inch of thickness.
This high-quality product comes in five sizes, and its polyurethane foam will always spring back, no matter how many shoes walk across it.
Sizes: 20 x 32 inches, 24 x 36 inches, 20 x 72 inches | Weight: 5 pounds, 7 pounds, 11 pounds, 6.5 pounds, 17 pounds | Material: Polyurethane foam | Colors: Earth, Midnight, Stone
"The higher price point reflects the top-tier construction, so rest easy knowing your investment will last longer than a few months." — Rachel Ellison, Product Tester
Easiest to Clean: AmazonBasics Premium Anti-Fatigue Standing Comfort Mat
Thick and comfortable
Foam layer contours to feet
Stain- and abrasion-resistant
If you’re going to use an anti-fatigue mat in your kitchen, it’s important that you can easily wipe off any spills. This 20 x 36-inch Amazon Basics mat has a stain- and abrasion-resistant surface, making it far easier to clean than other mats we have tested. It ensures your mat will remain as good as new, despite being located in a spill-prone area.
Its foam layer will conform to the contours of your feet as you stand. In our testing, however, we found that while it's easier to clean and offers good support for the price, its slick surface prevents it from staying in place.
Size: 20 x 36 inches | Weight: 3.37 pounds | Material: Foam | Colors: Black, Dark Brown
"With a thickness of 0.6 inches, this mat provides just the right amount of cushion and support, and after spending months standing on hardwood floors, it felt like standing on a cloud." — Rachel Ellison, Product Tester
Best Waterproof: Royal Anti-Fatigue Comfort Mat
Not good for high-traffic areas
For an anti-fatigue kitchen mat that won’t get ruined if it gets wet, you need the Royal Anti-Fatigue Comfort Mat. It comes in a variety of sizes and colors, and it is perfect to use when prepping ingredients and cooking.
According to the manufacturer, the Royal Anti-Fatigue Comfort Mat’s 3/4-inch pad can be used on any type of flooring, from marble to hardwood. The mat has a non-slip bottom to keep it in place, a waterproof finish, and beveled edges that won’t curl. You can clean it with a vacuum or wipe it down with a damp cloth if it gets dirty.
According to buyers, this anti-fatigue mat is extremely comfortable to stand on. Overall, this is an incredibly durable waterproof mat that’s perfect for use in the kitchen.
Sizes: 20 x 32 inches, 20 x 39 inches, 24 x 36 inches, 24 x 72 inches | Weight: 3.7 pounds | Material: Polyurethane foam | Colors: Black, Burgundy, Mocha Brown
"Mats made for kitchens in your house tend to be softer, made for wearing socks or bare feet. They also are not made for standing for more than an hour or so. Mats that have 'travel control' are made to not slide on the floor. This may be important for people using them on tile or wood floors. And, beware of mats that can curl on the edges, this can lead to a tripping hazard." — Dr. Kevin Lees, D.C., manager of auditing and quality for The Joint Chiropractic
Best Color Selection: Kangaroo Original Standing Mat
Ample color options
Creases from shipping may not come out
Your anti-fatigue mat doesn’t have to be boring black or brown. The Kangaroo Original Premium Anti-Fatigue Comfort Standing Mat comes in a variety of colors, including green, blue, and red, allowing you to choose a product that matches your decor perfectly and still provides the comfort you need.
This highly-rated mat is 3/4 of an inch thick and made from high-quality foam. It features beveled edges, a non-slip bottom, and a textured surface to ensure you don’t trip or slip on it. The Kangaroo mat won’t break down over time, and it can easily be vacuumed or wiped down if it gets dirty.
This anti-fatigue mat is lightweight and very comfortable to stand on. The Kangaroo mat is also easy to clean and holds up well over time, making it a worthwhile investment to protect your feet and legs.
Sizes: 17 x 24 inches, 20 x 32 inches, 20 x 39 inches, 20 x 48 inches, 20 x 60 inches, 24 x 70 inches | Weight: 3.14 pounds | Material: Rubber | Colors: Beige, Black, Brown, Charcoal, Gray, Hunter Green, Mocha, Navy, Quatrefoil (Gray/White), Red, Sand, Sky Blue
Best Industrial: TR Industrial Anti-Fatigue Mat For Home, Office, and Kitchen
Super durable and lightweight
Not as attractive as other options
For the most durable anti-fatigue mat possible, you’ll want to look into the TR Industrial Anti-Fatigue Mat. While this industrial-grade mat isn’t as attractive as some of the other options, it’s incredibly effective and durable—plus the price is still reasonable.
This mat measures 24 x 36 inches and is 3/4 of an inch thick. It’s made of PVC, which the company claims is lighter and more durable than polyurethane mats. The TR Industrial Anti-Fatigue Mat is water-resistant, making it perfect for use near the sink or other areas of the kitchen, and the company even claims you can drop an egg onto this mat, and it won’t break.
The TR Industrial Anti-Fatigue Mat comes with a 10-year warranty, so you know it’s going to last a long time. Reviewers are impressed with the quality of this product, and one person even tried the “egg drop” test, which the mat passed. If you’re willing to sacrifice aesthetics for long-lasting durability, this anti-fatigue kitchen mat may be a good option for you.
Size: 24 x 36 inches | Weight: 4.68 pounds | Material: Nitrile-butadiene rubber and PVC | Color: Black
Best Decorative: J&V Textiles Oversized Chef Series 24 x 36-Inch Anti-Fatigue Kitchen Mat
Many attractive designs available
Easy to wash
May develop small tears over time
Many anti-fatigue mats are plain in appearance, but not the Oversized Chef Series. This product comes in over a dozen cafe-inspired designs, ranging from floral patterns to wine collages, all of which will bring an extra bit of decor and comfort into your kitchen.
The anti-fatigue mats from the Oversized Chef Series are 24 x 36 inches and 1.18 inches thick. The mats come in a variety of rustic patterns, making them a perfect choice if you want to give your kitchen a bit of flair. To wash this product, simply wipe it down with a damp cloth and soap, then let it air dry.
Reviewers say this mat is comfortable under their feet, and many say the beautiful patterns are an added bonus. However, a few people do note that the mat is not the most durable, developing small tears after a few months of use.
Sizes: 18 x 30 inches, 24 x 36 inches | Weight: 5.19 pounds | Material: PVC and nonskid latex | Colors: Black, Blue, Chalkboard Chefs, Coffee Words, Café Noir, Eat Laugh Live, Red Mosaic, Favorite Reds, Marrakesh, Boho Study Floral, Misty Woods, Vino Chef, Paris Wine, Pizza Pasta Chefs, Rooster, Autumn Delight II
Best Oversized: KMAT Cushioned Anti-Fatigue Floor Mat
Subtle embossed design
Thinner than other mats
Many anti-fatigue mats are fairly small—often around 3 x 2 feet—but if you're looking for a larger option, the KMAT Cushioned Anti-Fatigue Mat is over 17 inches wide and 60 inches long, making it more suitable to span the length of your kitchen counter. The mat is made from phthalate- and latex-free foam with a PVC exterior, and it's around 1/2-inch thick, offering plenty of cushioning as you work in the kitchen.
This kitchen mat has beveled edges and rounded corners, and its surface is embossed with a pretty scroll pattern for a pop of visual interest. It comes in gray or brown colors, and it has an anti-slip bottom that will keep it in place on your floor. The surface is waterproof and easy to clean, and the brand has a matching 17 x 28-inch mat if you want a coordinated appearance.
Size: 17 x 28 inches, 17 x 59 inches | Weight: 2 pounds | Material: Phthalate- and latex-free foam and PVC | Color: Grey or Brown
Our top pick is the Sky Solutions Anti-Fatigue Sky Mat because it hits the sweet spot between firm and soft. It's thick, grippy, and comes in a range of sizes and colors. Looking for something suited to high foot traffic? Look no further than the GelPro NewLife Bio-Foam Comfort Mat. This firm, durable option is almost an inch thick, offering outstanding support even after several hours of use.
What to Look for in an Anti-Fatigue Mat
Most are constructed with various soft materials like foam or gel, or even both. Dr. Kevin Lees recommends polyurethane, which is a foam found in many commercial mats designed to stand up to continual usage. The top surface is typically protected with some kind of cover—often waterproof vinyl or polyurethane. This also helps with cleaning up and protects the mat from spills.
Size and Thickness
Whatever material is used, Lees also recommends paying attention to the size of the mat. Most mats are designed to allow one person to stand in place fairly comfortably but not move around. If you want the ability to move back and forth at a kitchen counter, for example, without leaving the mat, consider looking for longer, runner-style mats.
“Thickness is important for the length of time you are using the mat,” Lees explains. Look for mats that are at least 5/8 of an inch thick, with 3/4 of an inch being better. But also don’t go overboard: Mats that are too soft and squishy can have a compressing effect, “leaving you feeling as if you are back standing on the hard floor,” he says.
Many mats feature an anti-slip design on the base. Acting like a built-in rug pad, this will keep you from slipping. Lees refers to this as "travel control" and notes that anti-slip features are especially important in areas where a mat could get wet (like a kitchen) or on slick floors, like hardwood or tile.
“Mats made from cheaper materials are not always cheaper,” says Lees. Look for signs the mat will last, like using durable materials. A sealed bottom and top will also protect it from breaking down and help it stand up to everyday spills. Also, consider what kind of wear and tear your mat will be subjected to: If you want a mat to stand on while folding laundry barefoot, you’ll need considerably less tough materials than someone who may need to stand in heels at work for hours without puncturing the mat.
Consider how the placement of your mat will affect its everyday usage. A mat made for the kitchen, says Lees, is typically squishier and designed with bare feet in mind. While they feel great, they might not be ideal for standing on for more than a few hours. For standing in shoes, a firmer mat that won’t lead to sinking may be better.
While most anti-fatigue mats aren't winning any beauty awards, it’s possible to find more options in an array of colors and even patterns. You can match your mat to colors in your kitchen, or simply find one that closely matches the floor, helping it blend in.
Types of Anti-Fatigue Mats
Commercial mats, often made of polyurethane, typically feature protection on the top and bottom to stand up to wear and tear from shoes, office furniture, and high-traffic areas. They may not be as soft as mats designed for home use but can be the best option for standing for long shifts.
To further increase motion, some anti-fatigue mats aren’t made flat to encourage more movement and stretching. A sloped area may allow you to stretch your calves as you work, for example, or grooves help your feet stay aligned. These are often intended for standing desks and work best for people in more stationary positions, not those moving around washing dishes or folding laundry.
For home use, kitchens are one of the most popular places to use anti-fatigue mats. Cooking can often require a lot of standing. Tile floors are also great for cleaning up spills and splashes but don’t do our feet any favors. Anti-fatigue mats designed for kitchens are often non-slip as well as thick and comfortable and great for bare feet and socks.
Can you put a chair on an anti-fatigue mat?
Most anti-fatigue mats are designed for standing and would be difficult to wheel an office chair on. Regular chair legs may also puncture or damage the cover on a mat. If you want a mat for an office desk or other area where you may sit and stand, look for a small mat that can go in front of your chair.
How long do anti-fatigue mats last?
A high-quality anti-fatigue mat can last several years. Heavy use may limit the mat’s lifespan to two to three years if placed in a high-traffic area. Dropped items, wearing shoes that may puncture a mat—like heels—and even wearing regular shoes on a mat may lead to premature wear and tear.
Are anti-fatigue mats waterproof?
Most anti-fatigue mats are designed for use in dirty areas of the house, like kitchens and workshops. Splashes and spills won’t hurt a mat, but that doesn't mean they are always completely waterproof. If a mat was somehow submerged in water or a bigger, messier spill occurred, you should dry it out. If all else fails, you may need to replace it.
How do you clean an anti-fatigue mat?
Most mats have a water-resistant covering made of a material like PVC or vinyl. You can simply wipe it clean as needed. Most anti-fatigue mats cannot be fully submerged in water or washed in a washing machine.
Can anti-fatigue mats be trimmed?
Anti-fatigue mats typically have three parts: a non-slip base, a foam or gel interior, and a water-resistant cover. Trimming the mat would expose the foam core, allowing it to get dirty and absorb spills. Your best bet is to buy the correct size mat to fit your needs.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Camryn Rabideau is a lifestyle writer specializing in all things home products. She's reviewed everything from the latest and greatest kitchen gifts to the must-have cookware essentials for your kitchen. She's also taken several interior design courses, which has given her an additional angle when it comes to home products.
Marshall Bright, who wrote the buying guide for this roundup, is a self-taught home chef who has interviewed and learned from famous chefs along the way. However, her real passion is for making home cooking accessible, fun, and comfortable. As part of her research on the more technical aspects of anti-fatigue mats for the kitchen, she interviewed Dr. Kevin Lees, D.C., manager of auditing and quality for The Joint Chiropractic.