The truly modern workplace is often your own home, and tasks we perform around the house often result in discomfort. Whether it is lower back pain, stiff necks, or sore feet, standing for long hours can result in aches and pains. Fortunately, anti-fatigue mats are low in profile but high in aaaaah! Also known as comfort mats, these functional-yet-stylish mats really do reduce the fatigue that comes from standing in place beside your kitchen counter, garage workbench, and washer and dryer. As trusted rug experts after 20+ years online, we at Rugs USA also know mats. Anti-fatigue mats have become a key accessory in homes, keeping comfort underfoot in home offices, kitchens, laundry rooms, and more.
- Do comfort mats actually work?
- How do anti-fatigue mats work?
- Picking the best types of comfort mats by your uses
- Characteristics of the best anti-fatigue-mats
- Find the best anti-fatigue mat for your kitchen or elsewhere
Do comfort mats actually work?
For sure! Comfort mats have been proven to reduce aches and back pains experienced by people whose jobs demand that they stand for long hours on hard surfaces. These mats consist of different materials such as vinyl, timber, or rubber for the outer casing. The mat is filled with a single- or double-foam or gel to absorb shock.
For example, anti-fatigue kitchen mats bring a “healthy imbalance” necessary for micro-movements of small muscles in the calves and feet as you stand at the cutting board dicing up carrots, onions, potatoes, herbs, and lots more while prepping that favored pot roast for Sunday Dinner. As you make hundreds of little steps in place, your comfort mat improves blood and oxygen circulation while reducing the impact of your hard kitchen floor, consequently minimizing tiredness.
How do anti-fatigue mats work?
Good question! When we stand for long hours, blood flows down to the lower abdomen and the lower limb area, causing fatigue.
Another cause of fatigue relates to the imbalance between your feet. You tend to lean more on either the left or the right leg. Standing for a long duration of time can create pressure in the spinal column, causing fatigue and joint pain.
To remedy this, anti-fatigue mats use a double foam or gel casing to create an undetectable sway. As a response, your body will unconsciously shift in the reaction, using the small muscles in the feet. This will increase blood and oxygen circulation to the feet. In other words, if you’re standing in the laundry room and folding that seemingly endless load of socks and undies from that bottomless dryer, your comfort mat is giving you a nice massage from the feet up.
The soft foam not only distributes the pressure evenly but also cushions your feet from the hard concrete floor, effectively reducing spinal stress. They can even provide more stability when placed on carpeting or rugs.
Picking the best types of comfort mats by your uses
The best anti-fatigue mat is an individual preference depending on its requirements and applications. Each material is unique to suit the workplace, including kitchens, standing desks, work benches, or crafting counters. Various needs will call for different materials, quality, intensity, and price. Luckily, Rugs USA makes it easy for you to find and filter anti-fatigue mats, and provides a variety of styles to suit your different rooms and needs. Below are some recommendations by mat type.
Foam anti-fatigue mats for kitchens and more
Foam anti-fatigue mats are the most popular for the home. They consist of a colorful and textured outer casing filled with a single or double layer of foam. Foam mats can fit almost anywhere in the house, especially in laundry rooms, kitchens, and workshops, and are suitable for accentuating your rugs.
Foam rubber anti-fatigue mats for tougher work areas
Another option is a foam rubber anti-fatigue mat. As the name suggests, they consist of rubber-coated foam, which makes them suitable for harsher environments such as beside the workbench in the garage. The combination of rubber and foam produces a higher density. This increases its resilience meaning you can use the mat for longer without losing its shape and comfort.
Rubber mats often have a textured design that triggers frequent foot movement while delivering a bit of comfort. They can also cushion your feet from the cold hard concrete floor, making it ideal for workshops.
Hard rubber anti-fatigue mats: When you need toughest, not just “tougher”
Hard rubber anti-fatigue mats offer a mix of long life and increased comfort than other mats. They are resistant to wear and tear and are waterproof. Due to these pressure-resistant qualities, hard rubber anti-fatigue mats are easy to clean and suitable for extreme work environments.
Some manufacturers offer hard rubber anti-fatigue mats with multiple layers capable of resisting chemical, solvent, and other liquid spills. The hard outer casing provides exceptional resistance against fire, welding accidents, or any other industrial accidents.
Gel anti-fatigue mats go well in offices–and are another great kitchen choice
Gel comfort mats have a hard outer covering such as vinyl that is filled with pressure-absorbing gel. These are ideal for standing work desks in office spaces, your kitchen’s prep area, and even the laundry room’s folding counter. Any area where you find yourself standing for a substantial amount of time can benefit from a gel-icious anti-fatigue mat.
Characteristics of the best anti-fatigue mats
Before running to the store or ordering one online, you should first understand what characterizes the best anti-fatigue mats or comfort mats. This will help you determine which type of anti-fatigue mat is perfect for your situation.
Choose a mat that is suitable for your physical size or weight. Most anti-fatigue mats are of good quality but support different weights. Be sure to consider what is suitable for your situation that can bear that pressure without losing its composure or anti-fatigue properties.
An excellent anti-fatigue mat should provide balance while being responsive at the same time. A good anti-fatigue mat boosts blood circulation by triggering subtle changes to the small muscles. Rubber mats are often textured to encourage movement and are easy to clean. A resilient mat should bounce back to its original shape when you remove your foot.
Safety is key, both at home and in the workplace. Choose a mat that fits perfectly on your floor or under your work stand desk. The best anti-fatigue mats feature stylish slanting edges for secure movements on and off the mat. Anti-fatigue mats for slippery places offer a textured surface to lower trip and slip hazards by increasing traction.
You can secure a small, lightweight anti-fatigue mat into its place using double-sided rug tape if it doesn’t fit perfectly.
An anti-fatigue mat should be at least half an inch to one inch thick. Keep in mind thicker mats can trip you so you should look for ones with wide tapered edges. The wider the taper, the safer the mat. Balance is important to avoid fatigue and pain which means a thicker mat can do more harm than good.
Find the best anti-fatigue mat for your kitchen or elsewhere
The best comfort mats will increase blood and oxygen flow to your feet through subtle muscle movements, effectively reducing lower back pains and numbness. With their variety of styles, designs, and compositions there is one perfect for your situation. To get an idea of what is out there, start in our anti-fatigue mats section, and use the filters to find what’s best for you.