Standing desks have become increasingly popular as a way of reducing the dangers of a sedentary job, by encouraging you to stand at your computer while you work rather than slumping in a chair all day.
They’re not without their own set of health concerns, though: standing on hard flooring for hours can hurt your feet and legs and result in fatigue and reduced productivity negatively. Ignore the problem long enough, and your back, neck, and lower body will definitely let you know about it.
There are two main causes of fatigue caused by standing: the nature of the flooring, and your footwear. Changing or removing footwear is easy enough, but how do you change what you’re standing on? A standing desk mat is your best bet.
Standing desk mats relieve physical fatigue primary by putting a thick, cushioned surface between you and the floor. Manufactured from things like rubber, memory foam, and gel foam, these materials provide elasticity and cushion your feet to reduce the strain on your legs. The better manufacturers offer science-backed ergonomic designs that are even more efficient at reducing fatigue and pain.
Standing desk mats aren’t limited to the office; many people use them at home as well. It’s not uncommon to see a flat standing desk mat in the kitchen where you spend hours standing and cooking, or in your garage if you need to work on your feet for hours.
You’ll want to consider a number of aspects when selecting a mat for yourself: the overall size, thickness, shape, weight, and ease of cleaning. Mats can be broadly split into two types: flat and contoured. While flat mats tend to be larger, contoured or “terrain” mats encourage movement and modify your posture to reduce stress on the body.
Whichever type appeals, we’ve put together our picks for the best standing desk mats on the market at the moment.
- Width: 26.2 inches
- Length: 29 inches
- Type: contoured
- Colors: 4
- Width: 24.3 inches
- Length: 26 inches
- Type: contoured
- Colors: 4
- Width: 20-24 inches
- Length: 32-70 inches
- Type: flat
- Colors: 13
- Width: 18 inches
- Length: 22 inches
- Type: flat
- Colors: 3
- Width: 17-32 inches
- Length: 32-70 inches
- Type: flat
- Colors: 22
Best Standing Desk Mat: Ergodriven Topo Comfort Mat
The Topo Comfort Mat from Ergodriven offers the best of both worlds, combining a large flat surface with an ergonomic, contoured design. It’s an impressive, albeit somewhat expensive, piece of equipment, and the best standing desk mat on the market right now.
The design encourages you to find and maintain stances that gently stretch your muscles to promote a healthy posture. No, it doesn’t have an alarm system to remind you to do this; instead, the mat relies on subconscious signals from your brain that make you feel like moving around. When you do move, the terrain provides several different positions to help counter fatigue.
This variety means you’ll avoid standing in one position for too long, reducing pain and tiredness in your leg muscles in particular. Moving around like this also helps your back and neck muscles avoid being locked in position for extended periods.
Depending on which parts you use, the mat’s terrain range help mobilize different muscle groups in your legs. Resting your heels on the back rail provides a deep stretch for your calf muscles, for instance, while the raised center ‘teardrop’ encourages a varied stance and lets you roll your ankle and foot as needed. These subtle movements also promote better blood circulation.
We love the variety of postures that the Ergodriven Topo Comfort Mat encourages, but since it’s reasonably bulky, you do need to be a bit careful not to trip over it when you move around. It’s not a deal breaker, though, because it’s easy to slide the mat under your desk with one foot when not in use.
Our only reservation with this mat is its suitability for shorter people: propping your feet up on the contoured edges requires a wider stance front to back or side to side, which can be uncomfortable for smaller humans. The Topo Mini is a better option for those under about 5’4″.
Available in four colors, the mat comes with an extended seven-year warranty that helps justify the price tag, along with a 30-day free return policy.Buy on Amazon
Best Standing Desk Mat with Roller Ball: Sky Solutions Anti Fatigue Mat
The Sky Solutions Anti Fatigue Mat incorporates a roller ball to massage your sore feet while you work. The mat includes acupressure beads that help stimulate the pressure points on your feet and and support ramps/terrains that let you stretch your leg muscles and improve the blood flow as you stand.
The roller ball does a pretty good job of targeting arch pain and other foot soreness, as do the acupressure beads at the front. They’re no replacement for specialist treatment, of course, but they do help relax and alleviate pain in the soles of your feet to some degree.
The sturdy mat is made with recycled material and is easy to maintain, needing nothing more than a damp cloth to clean it. Its compactness makes it easy to stow under pretty much any desk without taking up huge amounts of space.
You have four color options to choose from, although we’d have preferred not to have to pay a premium for everything except the standard black one. We’re also not huge fans of the scrunchy noise the mat makes when you stand on it: it’s not particularly loud, but it is audible.
Still, it’s a quality standing mat that comes with a lifetime warranty, has features you’ll rarely find elsewhere, and doesn’t cost a fortune (especially in black). We’re happy to recommend it on that basis.Buy on Amazon
Best Flat Standing Desk Mat: ComfiLife Anti Fatigue Floor Mat
The ComfiLife Anti-Fatigue floor mat has a simple and sleek design. The flat surface doesn’t include different terrains or acupressure beads, but it provides an effective solution for a wider range of needs.
The high-density foam inside the mat provides 3/4″ of cushioning, more than some of the competitors. This extra foam helps reduces the stress on your back, neck, and especially knees and feet on hard surfaces. The mat is quite squishy as a result: whether you view that as a pro or a con will come down to personal preference.
The mat comes in three sizes, and you can quickly find one that suits your work area. The smaller ones are ideal for compact spaces like home offices where you don’t move around a lot, while the larger ones allow more mobility in bigger spaces like kitchens and garages.
Speaking of moving about, tripping is less of a concern than some of the other models we’ve mentioned, thanks to the beveled edges. The non-slip bottom is also handy if you’re using the mat on polished flooring or anywhere else that slipping is a concern.
We’re fans of the lifetime money-back guarantee and vivid range of colors that we don’t have to pay a premium for. Those colors maintain their vibrancy over time as well, thanks to the strain-resistant surface that’s easy to clean.
It’s a plain mat that would probably benefit from a few extra design elements, but that’s really not a big deal if form over function isn’t your priority.Buy on Amazon
Best for Portability: Mount-It! Standing Desk Mat
Most standing desk mats are bulky and unwieldy, making them difficult to move or carry around easily. This Mount It! mat is an exception, both because it’s quite compact, and thanks to the handle incorporated into its design. Moving the mat around, whether at home or office, is less of a chore.
The extra mobility isn’t the only reason you want to consider this mat, though. Its gel foam helps cushion your feet and reduce pressure on your joints and spine, while the beveled edges help prevent tripping. There’s plenty of grip on the bottom as well, making it suitable for use on surfaces where traction is a problem.
Maintenance is straightforward thanks to a rubberized, water and stain-resistant surface that makes it convenient to vacuum and wipe down the mat. That small size that makes it so portable can be a problem for taller people, though: it can feel like it’s restricting your movement rather than encouraging it.
The Mount It! comes in three colors: black, brown, and red, but you’ll typically have to pay a slight premium for the brown and red ones.Buy on Amazon
Best Budget Option: KANGAROO 3/4″ Standing Desk Mat
If you want a pocket-friendly option, look no further than the KANGAROO standing mat. Despite its low price, this mat offers more than some other models on our list and is an excellent low-cost option. Well, once the rubbery odor fades away after a few days, at least!
Like the ComfiLife above, this flat mat has 3/4″ of cushioning that provides balanced support to your feet and legs. Where the KANGAROO really shines, other than the price, is the size and color choices: it comes in six sizes ranging from 17”x24” to 70”x24”, giving plenty of options for different use cases: office, kitchen, garage, laundry room, whatever.
Then you have the colors: there are a total of 21 colors and patterns to jazz up your surroundings, so it’s not exactly hard to find something that’ll blend well with your decor and not look out of place.
Beveled sides help stop you from accidentally tripping on the edges, although unlike some of the more expensive options, it’s not slip-resistant. Best to avoid using it in spaces that get super-wet. It does have a waterproof, stain-resistant surface, at least, so it’ll stay looking good for quite a while.
Lastly, we like the mat’s generous 10-year warranty: at this price point, that’s impressive. While it’s usually best to avoid being too budget-conscious with products that affect your health and well-being, the KANGAROO standing mat is an exception to the rule.Buy on Amazon
Main image via IJMphotos/Shutterstock.com, product images via Amazon