A standing desk is a great way to improve your health while working—but while your back might thank you, your feet might have a different opinion. Here are five of the best standing mats to help keep them comfy.
Standing mats aren’t particularly complex in design: they’ve been around a lot longer than the recent batch of standing desks, helping workers in retail, food preparation, and other occupations that stand in the same spot for long shifts to alleviate foot fatigue.
That said, a few are definitely a cut above the rest, thanks to quality materials and thoughtful features. We’ve selected the best overall, the best for those on a budget, for those who like to fidget and move around while working, and the best for those who want an extra-large mat for big workspaces.
Update, 5/10/22: Verified text and links updated. Replaced discontinued “Best Flat Mat” and “Best for Fidgeters” picks.
Although they seem boring at first, standing desk mats are pretty interesting. They come in a variety of sizes and designs, and they keep your feet, legs, and back feeling good after a long day of standin’ around. Here’s everything you need to keep in mind when looking for one:
- Material: What materials is a mat composed of? Make sure the exterior material is durable and easy to clean, and that there’s a non-slip underside that’ll stay in place all day long. We
- Size: Do you want a mat that’s just big enough to fit your feet while casually standing? Would you prefer a little extra room for fidgeting (or dancing, we won’t judge)? Do you like a mat that’s square, rectangular, or with a creative size that changes every few inches? There are plenty of mats for each option here, so think about how you move at your standing desk.
- Edge Design: Some mats are flat with edges that taper down to the floor so you won’t trip. Others have multiple edges that are angled up or wavy, which give you an easy way to stretch and fidget throughout the day. There aren’t necessarily any benefits to either, and it ultimately just comes down to a matter of personal preference.
Number one on our list is the Ergodriven Topo. This relatively small mat stands out from the pack thanks to its irregular shape, which encourages the user to frequently shift positions to avoid fatigue and repetitive stress injuries. Its variable thickness ranges from three-quarters of an inch thick to almost three inches, with deep ramps on the back and in the central “teardrop” ridge for when you need some extra support. Pebbled polyurethane feels great and is easy to wash, and it comes in a few muted colors to match different office decor.
The mat slides in and out from under your desk easily, and its bowl shape lets it double as a holder if you use a medicine ball for sitting at your desk. The Topo isn’t cheap, though, nor is it a good fit for people under 5’4″ (a smaller “mini” version is available for people of smaller stature), but it’s worth it if you’re looking for the best way to keep your feet comfy through a whole day of work.
Want a spacious mat with a few angled ridges for stretching? This is your new standing desk mat.
The VIVO Comfort Mat is the way to go for those who prefer their comfy pads to be completely horizontal. Though the 28 x 17-inch mat doesn’t include any of the foot-massaging topography seen elsewhere on this list, its high-density foam interior provides enough support without going flat(ter) or leaving permanent imprints.
Users appreciate its anti-slip bottom, which makes it handy for any non-desk duty you might need like working in the kitchen or garage, and rolling chairs can get onto it via its sloped edges if you need a bit of a rest. It’s made of easy-to-clean polyurethane material that’s easy to clean, and can be wiped with a damp cloth or vacuumed.
VIVO Comfort Mat
Want a simple mat with a flat design? No problem---this mat has your back. And your feet and legs.
If you like to move around while standing at your desk, give the Gaiam Standing Mat a try. It includes irregular cushion zones like the Topo, but the more complex curves offer even more positions for leaning and rocking. In addition, it has two large built-in massage ball bumps, which can give you extra points of cushioning and a bit of stimulation for restless legs.
The mat features nearly 10 resting ridges plus a (mostly) flat central valley to support a variety of standing zones. The mat’s base has a non-slip design, ideal for those who switch between sitting and standing. Not all edges are nicely tapered down to the ground, however, so be mindful when near it so you don’t trip.
Gaiam Standing Mat
If you just can't hold still while standing at your desk, you're not alone. Also get this mat.
Those willing to trade a few features for a lower price will like the Gorilla Grip Comfort Mat. This general-purpose mat comes in at just $30 for the smallest version, only about a third of the price of the alternatives on this list, and matches the three-quarter-inch thick polyurethane of the non-ridged portions of the other picks.
The mat comes in 19 different colors and patterns, and boasts a water-resistant, hand-washable finish ideal for kitchen use. Taller users will want to upgrade to the longer 39-inch version for a few bucks more, but those who need a mat that slides in and out quickly should look elsewhere, as the company’s anti-slip bottom is designed not to budge even on slick surfaces.
Gorilla Grip Comfort Mat
This mat offers affordable comfort, and looks nice, too.
If your workspace is big enough that you’re often standing at multiple positions throughout the day, ergonomically-designed mats probably won’t be practical for you. But this massive mat can handle the job, thanks to its nearly six-foot-long by two-foot-wide surface area. Even with a size more than twice that of the next biggest mat on the list, the price is more than reasonable at under $90.
The three-quarter-inch thickness matches the standard set by other mats, and Butterfly offers a lifetime warranty on the construction. As this mat is designed for semi-permanent use in a single spot, it features both an anti-slip bottom and a handful of colors and decorative patterns that will make it look a bit less utilitarian in a kitchen or laundry room. If you are planning on using it somewhere other than a conventional office, go for a printed pattern rather than an embossed one—it’ll be easier to clean if you should spill something.
Butterfly Long Anti-Fatigue Mat
This mat offers plenty of extra space for any standing desk user.
Make no mistake, we love standing desk mats. They keep our feet, legs, and back pain-free while we type up articles each day. However, they aren’t the only accessory option for your standing desk—check out our favorite balance boards! While they don’t do much for keeping your body comfy, they can improve your balance and even help you tone some muscles. They’re a nice bit of passive exercise and ideal for fidgeters.