Best Standing Desk Mat of 2021
Our testers had an unmistakable preference for the Ergodriven Topo Comfort Mat. Its solid foam construction creates a damp feeling that both cushions and supports, allowing us to stand for long periods without tiring. Given that the conventional wisdom around standing desks is to alternate between both standing and sitting, having a mat that easily slides under your desk makes this transition a lot easier. The Topo's raised edges allowed us to push the mat quickly under the desk and pull it back out with one foot. We discovered that the mat's size works best with desks with nothing underneath them. Our testers found that they stood and worked longer atop this mat than others due to the various feet positions this model promotes.
The Topo is one of the most expensive mats we tested, though it is also available in a slightly smaller, more affordable size. It's also more of a one-trick pony than the other mats. If you're serious about alternating between standing and sitting at your desk and want a high-quality mat, the Ergodriven Topo is an investment that your feet will appreciate.
The Imprint CumulusPRO Commercial Couture Strata is the only mat we tested to be certified by the National Floor Safety Institute, which makes the price tag a bit easier to swallow. The Imprint's damp cushioning isn't as soft as other mats, but its firm support made it one that our testers could stand on for long periods without fatigue. We found the Imprint exceptionally comfortable and were impressed with its stability on hardwood floors. The bottom of the mat clung to the floor surface well enough that we had to peel the mat up to move it.
As you might imagine, the strong adhesion makes the Imprint harder to move than other mats we tested, most of which we could lift easily. Despite not being the most attractive mat, nor one that comes in a litany of colors and sizes, this is still our first recommendation for a solidly built, supportive, and stable flat mat.
Raised mats feature elevated borders and features intended to encourage micromovements while standing, but they often cost much more than flat mats. The Clever Productions Anti-Fatigue Mat delivers both in an affordable package. We found the smaller, firm beads on the lower border to be a refreshing DIY foot massage that also forced us to move our feet instead of standing in a static position. The mat has two different sizes of larger, flatter, softer bumps on the flat surface and varying-sized borders. We noticed that it was easy for us to leave foot imprints on the smooth surface, indicating a softer cushion than other mats.
The Clever mat does have a thinner middle than other raised mats that we tested, but its stability and easy storage make it an excellent option for someone seeking a raised mat that doesn't break the bank.
The ComfiLife Anti-Fatigue Mat is the softest of all the mats we tested. Soft doesn't automatically mean unsupportive, and the ComfiLife performed well in our support scoring. We liked the gently beveled edges, which were less defined than other mats we tested, minimizing potential trip hazards. This mat is simple, and simple has its appeal.
That said, our reviewers found they were quick to sink into the mat, and it was easy to leave footprints. We think this mat is best for short stints of standing, which is all some people want to get a break from sitting. The mat's softness, versatility, and price point make the ComfiLife a great value mat if you prefer a cushier ride.
The FEZIBO Anti-Fatigue Mat is the only wobble board we tested. Its 8.5-inch tilting angle is not so extreme to be wholly distracting but does provide enough rocker to let you move from side to side, avoiding a static stance. The FEZIBO also features massage beads on both sides of its concave side and horizontal raised lines in the middle. Our tester found the beads to be on the firm side but not so uncomfortable that they couldn't use the board barefoot. The mat's center is smoother, and we found that standing there allowed the board to remain flat with no wobble. We like its versatility, adding challenge to home workouts like planks and squats. It also travels and stores better than the other mats.
Its hardwood construction makes the FEZIBO the firmest of all the mats tested. Because it requires the user to balance, it may not be a great fit for those who are easily distracted. The FEZIBO is an excellent option if you're not married to the idea of a flat, stationary mat or if you have a smaller office space. Our testers also recommend this mat most for restless legs.
The FLEXISPOT Ergonomic Office Mat combines a raised mat's features, like massage beads and an elevated side, with a flat mat's surface area and shape. We found the beads' placement on the far sides of the mat allowed us to move our feet when we wanted a break without forcing us to stand on them the entire time. The beads, conveniently foot-shaped, are spaced approximately 15 inches apart, so those with wider stances may find the FLEXISPOT less comfortable.
Like a true raised mat, the FLEXISPOT has an elevated side that you can use to push it under your desk and pull it out again. The foam's softness meant it was difficult for us to pull the mat out with our heels unless we were wearing shoes. The FLEXISPOT Ergonomic Office Mat is a solid hybrid mat if you're undecided on whether to go the flat or raised mat route or want the best of both worlds.
The Gorilla Grip Original Premium Anti-Fatigue mat boasts reliable support in a non-toxic package. We tested the smallest size they make, but this mat is offered in six other dimensions, making it one of the most accomodating models we tested. We also appreciate the variety of colors offered, which include prints, stripes, and solids.
As with nearly all the flat mats we tested, the Gorilla Original was hard to push under the desk with one foot, partly because it boasts a grooved bottom surface that doesn't slide easily. Yet, we noticed that the mat did travel on hard surfaces. We were surprised to see that one of the mat's corners showed significant lift early on during testing, which could pose a tripping hazard. The mat's pebbled surface could trap smaller bits of dirt after prolonged use. While not a mat for everyone, the Gorilla Original is an option if phthalate-free construction is a priority and you want a more varied color palette or more size options.
Gorilla is also the brand behind the Gorilla Grip Kangaroo Original mat. Its construction is similar, and it, too, comes in an array of sizes and colors. The Kangaroo has a slightly firmer and more supportive feel. Its surface is also smoother, which gives it a slippier feel if you're in socks but makes it a breeze to clean.
The Kangaroo also showed lift on one corner that continued along its length, making it a potential trip hazard, especially on smoother surfaces. Similar to its Gorilla sibling, the Kangaroo also showed signs of travel on hardwood. If you have hardwood floors you want to use this on, we recommend adding non-skid strips to the bottom of this model. Consider this mat if you're primarily using it on a carpeted surface and if you prioritize non-toxic construction or size and color options.
The Sky Mat Genius is unique among all the mats. Its blue tracking massage ball seemed gimmicky at first (and also, potentially hard to clean), but we found that it quickly became addictive. Like other raised mats we tested, the Genius has elevated sides, small beads, and other features to encourage movement. Both the elevated sides and center provide a softer cushion than other raised mats that we tested. We like the Genius' smaller footprint for both storing and use. Its smooth bottom makes it effortless to push under the desk with one foot.
That flat bottom also means it's treacherous on smooth surfaces. Our testers found that it would shoot out from under them unless they stepped on it very carefully. The Genius's massage ball and features make it a great option if you have a carpeted office or add grip tape to the bottom before using it.
The Sky Mat Anti-Fatigue Comfort Pattern Mat was the only mat we tested that wasn't a solid color. That alone makes it refreshing.
Like other flat mats we tested, the Sky Mat was hard to slide under a desk for storage. We also found the mat's surface and bevels to be slick, a potential tripping hazard. We think most of the above options are better than this mat.
Why You Should Trust Us
Our lead reviewer, Jenn Gleckman, has been a standing desk convert since 2014. She's spent roughly 6,000 hours standing at her desk and knows well the woes of tired legs. She uses anti-fatigue mats in her office and kitchen and has learned the importance of finding the balance between too soft and too firm. Jenn appreciates a mat with other uses, as she harbors a not-so-secret love for the efficiency of multi-purpose products.
After purchasing the top standing desk mats available, we spent over two weeks testing them. Our testing process involved weary limbs and fatigued feet after hours of standing, digging in our heels, and walking on and across various surfaces. Each mat was tested in two three-hour sessions, evaluating cushion and support while assessing stability, durability, and features. We wanted to understand how they performed in various situations to give you the information to find the best mat for your standing desk.
Analysis and Test Results
To identify the best standing desk mat, we looked at five key areas: cushion and support, stability, materials and durability, versatility, and ease of use. Testing standing desk mats required us to stand on them, often for hours at a time. Since the general rule of thumb is to alternate between sitting and standing, we looked at whether mats could easily slide under the desk and how easy it was to roll a chair over them (in most cases, it's not). We compared them side by side and evaluated them on a range of tests to determine which one was the best.
Cushion and Support
The raison d'etre for a standing desk mat is to avoid fatigue and discomfort while standing at your desk. Successfully achieving that requires a combination of cushion and support. Admittedly, one person's pillow top perfection is another's foot pain. That said, we identified mats that, when we dug our heels in, left an indentation. We also stood side by side on them, one foot on each, to evaluate which ones felt more supportive.
The softest of all the mats we tested is the ComfiLife Anti-Fatigue. We left footprints in it almost immediately. The Clever Productions, Sky Mat Genius, and the FLEXISPOT Ergonomic Office Mat also rate high on the soft scale. The dampest mats to be the Imprint CumulusPRO Commercial Couture Strata and the Ergodriven Topo Comfort, providing a combination of cushion and support that helps prevent fatigue. That said, the FEZIBO takes top honors as the firmest. Its wood core and latex top translate into a more supportive, less cushiony ride.
The raised mats' features also have varying levels of cushion. While the Clever mat's center is soft enough to leave footprints, its raised sides are noticeably firmer, providing more support. The Sky Genius is the opposite, with its raised sides feeling spongier than its center. The Topo is consistent throughout, thanks to its solid foam construction. So, too, is the FLEXISPOT, offering a soft raised side to match its center.
To evaluate stability, we placed the mats on carpet and hardwood surfaces and measured the movement or drift after two hours. We also walked on and off them to see if they moved under our weight.
The Imprint CumulusPRO shone in this test, especially on hardwood. We had to peel it off the floor to remove it, something we'd not seen with any other mat. On the other extreme, the Genius, which showed little movement on the carpet, refused to stay in one place on a smooth surface.
Mat surfaces vary. Many mats have some form of raised pattern, ranging from pebbled (the Kangaroo) to massage beads (the FEZIBO). The Sky Mat's surface is the smoothest of all tested, and testers could slide easily on it while wearing socks. The Gorilla Original has a slightly grooved pattern, but it, too, felt slick to our testers.
Bevel angles among the flat mats we tested didn't vary significantly, but the mat's materials meant that they behaved differently when testers stepped on them. The beveled edges were less noticeable on softer mats like the Imprint, ComfiLife, and FLEXISPOT. Testers noticed that they could catch their foot on some of the more torsionally stiff mats, including the Gorilla Original, Kangaroo, and Sky Mat.
Only two mats showed lift during our testing process. The Kangaroo and Gorilla Original had slightly lifted corners, though the Kangaroo's continued partway along its length.
Most mats share similar material construction using dense foam. Some mats are phthalate-free and non-toxic; others are not. And a few outliers, like the FEZIBO, boasted hardwood and latex construction.
Durability in a compressed testing situation can be tricky. To speed the process, we walked and shuffled back and forth repeatedly on each mat. We also tried rolling an office chair on and off the flat mats to mimic a home situation where storing it wasn't an option. We quickly realized that it is all but impossible to roll up onto a flat mat while sitting in the chair. No mat passed that test. We could roll our chair off the flat mats, though it was nearly impossible to execute gracefully. We did not attempt the chair rolling test on the raised mats for obvious reasons.
Maintaining a clean standing desk mat helps extend its lifespan. With many mats featuring textured surfaces, we wondered how easy they would be to clean. Many claimed to be easy to clean or stain-resistant, though some had raised features that made cleaning more of a challenge.
Even the slightly textured surfaces of the Imprint CumulusPRO and Gorilla Grip Kangaroo passed the cleaning test with ease. However, as the surface wears, that might change. The small, closely spaced beads on the FEZIBO made it the hardest to clean, closely followed by the Sky Mat Genius' massage ball.
Does the mat have other potential uses? Kitchen, garage, or even for home gym workouts? Are there any unique features that made it stand out? And while aesthetics is another potentially subjective evaluation, we looked at whether the mat looked like it would fit in with standard home décor or had a utilitarian vibe more suited for a corporate or factory backdrop.
In terms of unique features, the Imprint CumulusPRO, Kangaroo Original, Gorilla Grip Original, Sky Mat Pattern, and ComfiLife are all rectangular flat mats with beveled edges. Some, like the Sky Mat, Gorilla Grip Original, and Kangaroo, come in colors beyond the standard black, brown, and grey. We find that a 20" x 32" size is a large enough footprint to accommodate a range of standing positions, foot sizes, and desk sizes.
The mats whose features stood out were the raised ones, by dint of their design. We were very intrigued with the Genius massage ball, which opened up one tester's cramped arches. The Clever Productions mat boasts two sets of massage beads—smaller ones on the raised edge and larger, flatter bumps on the flat section. The Ergodriven Topo's raised sides and center served as a less prominent massage feature. Both the FLEXISPOT and the FEZIBO feature massage beads, though the FLEXISPOT's are better positioned at the edges of the mat, which allows the user to stand in the smooth center section and move to the massage bumps as desired. The massage beads on the FEZIBO take up much more real estate, though they're not as firm or pronounced as those on the FLEXISPOT.
We found that all the raised mats had elevated sides that encouraged movement, which reduced leg and foot fatigue compared to flat mats. However, these features mean these mats aren't ideal for anything other than a standing desk situation in most cases. The exception is the FEZIBO, which can serve as a modified wobble board. We found it added a challenge to traditional planks and upper body strength training.
Aesthetically speaking, few mats scream cool to us outside of the FEZIBO. Its hardwood center, textured faux leather bottom, and leather hook stands apart from the foam mats. We also like the subtle texture of the Imprint, ComfiLife, Gorilla, and Kangaroo mats. The mats we find the least pleasing to the eye are the Ergodriven Topo, Genius, and Clever Productions mats, as their raised sides and unusual design, while useful, are distracting.
Ease of Use
Most mats require no setup or instructions for use. But we tested the mat's footprint—was it too big or too small for everyday use? We also looked at whether it could fit easily under a desk and be stored flat, where the desk had nothing underneath it.
The mats easiest to store are the raised mats, whose elevated sides let us push and pull them with one foot. Ergodriven Topo, Genius, and Clever Productions took top honors in this test. The FLEXISPOT is soft enough that it isn't as effortless for all testers. And while a challenge to push with your foot, the FEZIBO is easy to pick up and store upright.
The testers discovered that it was pretty much impossible to push or pull the flat mats with their feet. We found that we could pick them up and lean them against the wall or a file cabinet, with varying results.
The Gorilla Original , Kangaroo , and Sky Mat have enough torsional stiffness that meant testers could pick them up and store them without worrying about them sagging or flopping around. The Imprint and ComfiLife are floppier, translating to them slumping against the wall and being more difficult to store upright.
Like the people who use them, standing desk mats are not all alike. All do provide some cushion and support while you're standing on them, but you'll find a variety of quality, price, and features to consider. Depending on your specific objectives, you may find that one mat is better suited to your standing desk, and we hope this review helps you find the ideal mat for your needs.
— Jenn Gleckman