Getting a great standing desk is only part of the battle. You do have to keep moving, of course, and standing while you work can be tough on your feet. That's why most standing desk enthusiasts suggest an anti-fatigue mat for use with your desk. This week we're looking at five of the best, based on your suggestions.
Photo by SmartCells.
Here are our top five standing desks, in no particular order.
The mat that earned The Wirecutter's recommendation for the best anti-fatigue mat comes with a pretty high pedigree. The team at The Wirecutter break down beautifully what you really want in a mat -- including the fact that you want it to have some give, but you don't want it to be too squishy (because that's just uncomfortable on its own), and that you want one that also encourages you to move around a bit over the course of the day. It comes in at $199 for a 20x30-inch version, has a soft and supportive core but is still firm enough to stand on for long periods, and the mat features a beveled edge that reduces the chances you'll trip over it (and makes it easier to clean.)
It's a touch thicker than a number of other anti-fatigue mats, but that's offset by its firmness, and it comes with a lifetime satisfaction guarantee.
For about $157 you can have a slightly more affordable option that's appropriately thick and firm but with enough give to use over long periods without making your feet ache. This model is a 24x36-inch mat that's a little thinner and longer than many, but perfect for the space in front of a desk. Like any good mat, this one has a beveled edge to prevent tripping and injury, and also is made of a firm, rubberised material that's easy to clean and dries quickly. This mat is also designed so the edges never curl, and has just the right amount of give whether you stand all day or just occasionally throughout the day.
The Sky Mat is currently the number one anti-fatigue mat on Amazon, and the ratings are full of stories of satisfied customers who are happy with their product. It has also been noted for retaining its good looks for years without getting ragged or rough around the edges, which is definitely a testament to its durability.
SmartCells' mats come in a variety of shapes, sizes and specifically tops. The standard smooth-topped 24"x36" anti-fatigue mat will set you back $385, while the odd octagon-shaped model with an inbuilt handle costs $239.99. SmartCells says their mats have just the right amount of give and can stay in place even under an office chair if you switch between sitting and standing over the course of the day. Instead of having a single core and outer layer, these mats have rubberised "cells" that allow them to adapt to where on the mat you're standing, kind of like springs on a bed. The SmartCells mats also have beveled edges to prevent tripping, and because of the cells, they're remarkably firm and supportive to stand on.
For many, the SmartCells mats' lack of squishiness is a major drawcard. They are also one of the few companies to offer myriad mat shapes to fit different workspaces that may not want a traditional rectangle behind a desk.
This Stanley utility mat will set you back $55.99, which is significantly less expensive than many of the other mats in this roundup. However, it's smaller (24x12 inches) and you're not really supposed to stand on it all day. It's more of a utility mat that provides some support for your feet while you stand at a workstation, to be resistant to spills and messes and to be easy to clean. The Stanley mat is certainly all of those things, with its textured top resembling a kind of gunmetal pattern that's super easy to clean, and the firm, consistent body offering just enough firmness to keep you on your feet without getting uncomfortable.
You'll still need to take periodic breaks and sit or walk around with this one -- it's not designed to be an all-day mat, but it is designed to be easy to clean, difficult to trip over, and perfect for just about any workstation, no matter where it's located. It packs a 20 year warranty, should you pick one up.
The Smart Step Home Fleur-de-Lys Anti-Fatigue Mat costs an eye-watering $273.99. It might also be too squishy for some (it's actually a kitchen mat, and not explicitly designed for standing desks, but Smart Step suggests it for any workspace). With that said, they come in a variety of colours, shapes, and widths, with this one being 36x20 inches. Like the others in the roundup, this one features beveled edges to prevent tripping, a rubberised surface that's super easy to clean and is resistant to spills and stains, and carries a 7 year warranty in case you need it replaced for any reason. The mat is commercial Polyurethane that's comfortable and offers anti-slipping features, but is also non-toxic, and puncture and heat-resistant. Plus, if you have a larger workspace, there's a gigantic 72x20-inch version available.
Even though it's not traditionally a standing desk mat, it's an exceptional option for people who prefer something a bit softer -- I personally found that it provides just the right balance of squishiness and support.
No honorable mentions this week. Just remember that if you do go with a good mat and a standing desk, it's not a panacea -- you still need to get around and move regularly.
Have something to say about one of the contenders? Want to make the case for your personal favourite, even if it wasn't included in the list? Don't just complain about the top five, let us know what your preferred alternative is -- and make your case for it -- in the discussions below.