Updated: November 2017
Anti Fatigue Mat Reviews:If you spend a lot of time cooking in your kitchen, then you will know how tiring it can be on your feet, legs, back, etc. There are floor mats that are commonly called anti fatigue mats that are designed specifically for those that stand on their feet for long hours. Whether you are cooking a meal in your kitchen or doing woodworking in your woodshop, it's nice to have a soft (cushioned) surface to stand on. Let's face it, many kitchen floors have hardwood or tile which is not forgiving at all. Garage areas can be even worse with concrete floors. The "chef's mat", or anti fatigue mat, are a great solution and will save your body the wear and tear. My wife is a great home chef and she does hours of cooking, especially when we host big dinner parties for family or friends. It was only after she complained of knee and lower back pain that we looked into these gel mats for kitchen floors.
Choosing an Anti Fatigue Mat - The first thing you need to think about is where will the mat be placed. So many of these anti fatigue mats are sold to restaurants (for kitchen use) and to those with workshops (car repair places, woodworkers, etc.). The industrial mats can be great, but not always practical for home use, especially in your lovely kitchen. You will find them made with materials like carpet, foam, vinyl or even rubber. Mats are also useful for dealing with accidental spills like foods, paints, you name it. Unfortunately they are not all easy to clean so look for those that are washable and that will hold up over time. When we researched some of the more industrial anti fatigue mats made of rubber, the manufacturers say you can just hose them off to clean. As somoeone wanting a mat for our kitchen, hosing it off didn't sound to great. The grid patterned mats don't clean as easy as the vinyl covered foam mats. Another type are the rubber interlocking mats which are meant for garage use more than in the kitchen. They can be hard to clean and aren't aesthetically pleasing enough to be placed on a kitchen floor. If you do plan on putting your anti fatigue mat in your kitchen, get one that is simple to clean (rubber or vinyl covered preferably). Thickness - Usually a good rule of thumb is that the thicker the mat the better it is for your body. Just don't go to thick - anything over an inch is probably too much and under 1/2" is not enough. This is going in your kitchen and you don't want to trip on something that sticks up to high. The dense rubber mats are ideal since they offer enough support. Experts don't always recommend the foam kitchen mats because they say they can be "too cushioned" causing other issues. Shape and Size - Really this depends on your kitchen or garage dynamics. Do you have space for a long runner in front of your cooktop or oven. Perhaps two rectangular or square mats - one in front of the sink and another in front of the stove. Anti fatigue rubber mats come in a variety of shapes and sizes and colors. Measure before you buy and determine your needs based on your kitchens design and layout. How About the Gel Filled Kitchen Mats - This is what we went with and I can only speak from experience, but the mat itself looks great and feels good too (my wife agrees). They are more expensive than the other styles, but the money is well spent. Gel filled anti fatigue mats start at about $100 and work there way up depending on size. The top brands for kitchen mats are GelPro, Wellness, Wearwell, Sublime, Rubber-Cal, and Kitchen Comfort. You can find them in stores like Office Depot, Lowe's, and Home Depot. For the best variety we found that online stores offer the best selection. You can browse the best selling anti fatigue mats here.