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Knowing how to find the best office mats will mean the difference between gliding over your floors without worry or getting stuck in the crevice that formed after rolling your chair like a rockstar. You need to know everything about office mats, including why they matter, which are the best, and how to use them properly.
I’ll admit that sitting in front of a computer can become mundane, and we all love rolling around to give us that feeling of freedom. Moreover, our offices are high-traffic areas for ourselves and the people with whom we do business. An office should be both professional and inviting enough. We don’t need concerns about the floors.
From turning your office into a convenient space where you can be the rockstar who never leaves your chair to ensuring that the floor is as attractive as possible, you’ll find an office mat that works for you. You want it to be purposeful while still welcoming your clients to a space where all opportunities exist.
My polycarbonate chair mat allows me to be simultaneously professional and crazy while keeping my floors safe from the screeching halt of my chair each time I bounce back to the opposite desk. I also use an old-school carpet protector under my coffee table because my guests tend to be as busy as myself.
Office mats have numerous purposes, and you’re about to learn how you can choose the best one for your office.
Why Office Mats Matter?
How do you feel as you walk into your office? Do you have beautiful wooden floors stretching under your oak desk? Do you have a formal carpet that makes you enter your working mindset? Offices are spaces where our minds intertwine between professionalism and a hint of our personalities.
Walking into an office that doesn’t blend well into your mood and personality can’t make you the most productive person. The essence of a room turns us into the people we need to be in that room. If you designed the right mindset-promoting office space, you want to protect it, including the carpet or floor.
I often get lost in my work, rolling about the floor like it’s indestructible. The first scratch on my gorgeous wooden floors made me cringe. The main purpose of a floor, office chair, or protector mat is to ensure that damage to the floor doesn’t take away from your mindset or mood.
Scuffs, spills, scratches, and indentations will sour your mood quickly, making you less productive in your workspace.
Various Types of Office Mats
Office mats aren’t the most attractive, in some cases, but they’re a necessity to keep your workspace and mindset consistent. These are the office mats you should consider for varying purposes:
- A chair mat goes under your office chair to protect the rolling area around your desk.
- You can use a floor mat for the same purpose as a chair mat, or you can place it under small pieces of furniture that move around, such as a coffee table.
- You can use a carpet protector over your wooden floors or office carpet to prevent stains and damage in high-traffic areas. An area rug works well under light furniture, much like the one I use under my coffee table. Some carpet protectors come in small portions to place under table legs.
- You can place a rubberized mat in slippery locations, which works well on vinyl, wooden floors, and tiles.
- Tempered glass mats are used the same way as chair mats, but they’re more modern and versatile (and expensive).
Among the myriad of carpet and floor protectors available, I’ll focus on office mats. They may seem boring but don’t need to be. They also come in various materials to broaden your options:
- Polycarbonate (highly durable and works with most floors and carpets)
- Tempered glass (works on most floors and is mainly transparent)
- Plastic (not so durable but can be changed often)
- Rubber (only works on some floors)
- PVC or polyvinyl chloride mats (high durability, wear resistance, and waterproof)
- Regular rugs or area mats made from synthetic fiber, nylon, polyester, and polypropylene (limited usability in high-traffic areas)
Office mats also come in different shapes for varying purposes:
- The bulb shape or teardrop mat looks like an upside-down mushroom, but it works well for corner desks, L-shape workspaces, and U-workstations.
- The rectangular or utility shape office mat is as plain as you think. It works for all desk layouts and workstations.
- The lip shape office mat works well for most spaces where you need protection under your desk. The lip fits into the desk’s legroom.
I won’t even mention the oval office mats because they’re so impractical unless you’re using them under a coffee table or for decorative purposes. Office mats aren’t normally decorative unless you don’t have high-traffic volumes or want a pretty design. You’d be better off with a traditional rug under your furniture.
The Major Differences Between Office and Area Mats
Area mats can be used as office mats, but they have limitations, the first being that they don’t make it easier to roll around on your motoring office chair. On the contrary, they can make it harder as you faceplant into the desk when the caster wheel trips over the raised rug. I shall not admit to anything!
A few differences can help you decide which is the best mat for you:
- Office mats offer durable and safe rolling, whereas area mats can cause dangerous obstacles in the wrong setting.
- Office mats aren’t the most decorative, but area mats can be any color, accent, mood, or pile (be careful with the pile for those raised edges that cause face-planting).
- Office mats come in specific dimensions, whereas area mats depend on your preferences and use.
- Office mats are durably designed, whereas area mats won’t endure rockstar office vibes or high-traffic areas.
- Office mats are often transparent to fit into most spaces, whereas area mats have to fit into the office decor.
- Office mats are mostly water-resistant, whereas area mats will stain and become smelly if they don’t dry properly.
- Office mats aren’t recommended under heavy furniture, whereas area mats can house multiple pieces of furniture, even emphasizing the center of an office.
- Office mats are made of plastic materials, whereas area mats are made of traditional fibers and woven materials.
- Office mats are easy to clean, whereas area rugs take more effort and become costly to clean.
Considering the differences between office and area mats, you can make an informed decision about what fits better into your workspace and decor. I’m a sucker for Turkish rugs, but I’ve learned the hard way that they’re an expensive preference to have in an office unless they’re carefully hidden under furniture, out of harm’s way.
The Inevitable Advantages and Disadvantages
Nothing in life is linear, including choosing the best office mats. There must always be pros and cons to every choice we make, but how else will we know the right option in life? The choices we make will either cheer us on or make us miserable. That’s why we have free will. Office mats are no different.
Advantages of Office Mats
Protecting your floor or carpet with an office mat isn’t the only benefit of choosing these transparent and sometimes spiky additions to your workspace. Avoiding faceplanting accidents in the office is another bonus, but there’s more to necessary office inclusion. Office mats:
- prevent damage to the floor or wall-to-wall carpet
- reduce the noise of rolling around on an office chair
- extend the life of the wall-to-wall carpet fibers
- keep the floor or carpet under your feet clean
- allow for higher-traffic areas to remain tidy and undamaged
- can be dried easily when you spill coffee (who doesn’t spill coffee?)
- make the floors less slippery
- reduce the risk of accidents
- cause smoother sailing when you roll around on wheeled office chairs
- allow for more comfort in the office with rolling chairs
- fits into any decor if you choose transparent designs
- keep the desk’s legroom area cleaner and protected
- allow gliding between a desk and credenza to become an effortless movement
- promote a better mood in the workspace when carpets and floors are less concerning
Disadvantages of Office Mats
The aesthetics of an office mat must be the worst disadvantage because who wants to cover a beautiful wooden floor with a tempered glass mat? Who wants to cover their gorgeous Persian rug with a plastic mat that looks cheap and anything but sophisticated? There are some cons. Office mats:
- don’t always look amazing over affluent floors
- can be installed wrongly over the incorrect underlays
- may look cheap in an elegant space
- can look like they belong in a bathroom
- could disrupt the rolling flow if you choose the wrong size and shape
- may limit the boundaries of your office chair
There aren’t many disadvantages of putting office mats down, and the advantages can easily outweigh them. The decision to use one is mostly based on what you want to see and experience in your office. Sure, you can omit the use of office mats because you don’t want to hide your beautiful floors.
However, those beautiful floors won’t be so gorgeous for long if you don’t protect them.
Best Use Tips for Using Mats
Thanks to that same free will concept in life, we also have choices about how we do something. Sometimes, we do it well, and other times, we do it so wrong that it becomes a nightmare or funny story. As simple as office mats may seem, there are some do and don’t tips for using them.
- Roll the mat out immediately once it arrives. The manufacturers often roll them up to package the mats, so unrolling it can help you flatten them more easily before using them.
- Clean the mat with a damp, soapy sponge before drying it. It’s made of plastic materials, so you don’t need to throw it in the washing machine.
- Use rubberized floor mats in slippery places. Some office mats come with a gripper or claw backing to prevent slipping. You can also opt for a non-skid underlay.
- You can place an office mat under a small coffee table if you worry about spills. They also work well under a tea trolley if you have one in the office.
- Choose the shape according to your furniture layout.
- Measure the area before buying an office mat with the right dimensions. Include the dimensions between furniture you may need to reach on the chair, such as the credenza or filing cabinet. Indeed, you can stand up to get to the filing cabinet, but where’s the fun in that?
- Choose a chair or floor mat that fits into your preferences to keep the workspace mood right.
- Pick the right mat material for the floor type in your office.
- Only use plastic caster wheels on an office chair if you use an office chair mat. Avoid using the rollerblade wheels I mention later in this article if you’re using an office mat. Otherwise, you may have some face-planting moments again. The rubber on rubber doesn’t work well.
- Consider the level of use before choosing the material according to its durability.
- Find a mat you can anchor for extra protection if you’re laying it over a carpet. Studded or cleated underlays work, but they may add more pressure to the wear and tear of the underlying carpet.
- Use a lip-shaped chair mat if you use your drawers on the side of the desk. The mat may rotate if you turn to your drawers all the time.
- Think ahead by considering the changes you might make to the layout of your office in the future. If you like changing things up, you may want a more flexible mat.
- Choose your office mat according to your floor type. Don’t place a plush pile mat over a hardwood floor or tiles. The below chart shows how to match piles and thickness.
(Editors, please remove this note. All the images were self-created, so no need to worry 🙂
Secret Tip: Measuring your carpet pile is simple. Flatten a paperclip and stick it through the carpet until it touches the floor. Mark the paperclip flush with the carpet before pulling it out. Measure your inches from the marker to the tip of the paperclip that touched the floor.
If people didn’t know they should stop at a red light, they’d plow right through with no cause for concern. Knowing what to avoid will help you choose the right mat and benefit from it.
- Never think they’re waterproof enough to withstand endless humidity and moisture. Too much moisture can make the corners rise and bend the mat out of shape.
- Avoid placing the mat near heaters and temperatures above 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Plastic materials melt, bend out of shape, and become a fire hazard near extreme temperatures.
- Don’t place chair mats under furniture. They’re not made to support more than your and your chair’s weight.
- Don’t mismatch the floor type and office mat. Refer back to the chart above to see my recommendations.
- Never use a mat with cleats, spikes, or grips on a hardwood floor. They can also scratch and damage your floor.
- Don’t limit your range of motion by purchasing a smaller-than-necessary floor mat.
My Top Recommendations for Office Mats
A big thing for me is that the mat should serve a purpose. It’s not always about the design, albeit I do consider that important. The mindset the mat provokes is what matters, and I always rely on reading feedback on Amazon and other websites before purchasing a new anything.
These office mats meet my criteria for being the best choices, and they work on various floor types:
1. Amazon Basics Polycarbonate Office Chair Mat
Browsing the best sellers on Amazon can direct you to versatile mats. The Amazon Basics Polycarbonate Office Chair Mat is available in various sizes and shapes. It also has free shipping in the U.S. Additionally, I love this choice because the transparent design fits into any workspace and decor.
2. Sharewin Chair Mat
The Sharewin Chair Mat is the next bestseller from Amazon that works for hardwood floors. It’s just as versatile as the previous option, and it’s proven to be safe, even if your children lie on it. It also exudes no odor commonly found with PVC mats. No one likes the smell of plastic in the office!
3. Lorell Tempered Glass Chair Mat
The Lorell Tempered Glass Chair Mat might be pricy, but it maintains the 12th spot for best-selling mats on Amazon while it has an 88% 5-star overall rating. Tempered glass mats are expensive, but they’re the most versatile and durable, lasting longer and protecting your carpets and floors more than other mats.
4. Kuyal Office Chair Mat
For a more affordable office mat that also offers durable and odorless protection for your carpets, the Kuyal Office Chair Mat will keep you smiling in your workspace. This mat can also work on medium to thicker carpets, thanks to its studded backing. Easy gliding is promised, even though it’s studded.
5. Anji Mountain Office Mats
If you’re not into the boring designs of office mats, the Anji Mountain Collection is for you. It’s another expensive collection, but the mats come in various patterns, colors, and piles to suit any decor or workspace. They don’t make you feel like you’re working. You can sit on a mat that makes you think you’re in the Maldives.
6. Telihao Chair Mat (Budget Minded – Hardwood Floors)
In case you’re wondering if I’ve lost my marbles with these expensive options, I’ve got your back! I found a wonderful office mat for less than $25! The Telihao Chair Mat is made for smaller budgets while keeping your floors protected from your office chair. Made for gamers, it must withstand some rocking moments.
7. OFM Chair Mat ( Budget Minded – Carpeted Floors)
The OFM Chair Mat is another budget option below $25 if you have carpeted floors. It’s a studded, cleated office mat that allows you to protect your carpet while gliding effortlessly. It has accumulated more than 38,000 reviews on Amazon, mostly positive, leaving it with an overall 4-star rating.
A quick note with this mat is to choose the correct style. You’ll have the option of choosing the mat for hardwood or carpeted floors.
Truthfully, any protection for your floors is better than nothing. Whether you choose an expensive, decorative mat or one from the budget range, you’re doing the right thing. Hardwood floors and wall-to-wall carpets cost a lot more to repair, so avoid the tears and frustration by protecting the foundation of your office.
Bonus: The Beauty of Anti-Fatigue Mats
Standing desks have become a phenomenal method for people to be more productive while not succumbing to the mundane and health-defeating task of sitting down all the time. Some mats cater to standing desks, and the best one available is the Anti-Fatigue Mat from Saratoga Outdoor Equipment and Apparel Company.
For anti-fatigue mats is the Mushyn Office Chair Mat. It goes under your office chair while providing you with the same benefits of the anti-fatigue comfort foam, and it has a lip with a footrest to make you feel absolutely comfortable while not falling asleep at your desk. Again, I admit nothing!
Whether you’re looking at comfort in the memory foam options while you increase your productivity and reduce stress, or maybe you’re looking for an easy-glide, highly durable office mat, there’s an option waiting for you.
An Alternative to Office Mats
Should you not like office mats, there’s an alternative that also protects your floors, any type of floor. Rollerblade wheels were designed to protect floors and often come in universal sizes to fit all office chairs. Moreover, they’re amusing as they increase your gliding speed and boundaries.
The Office Oasis Store sells a set of five rollerblade caster wheels for $36.95, which is also cheaper than many office mats. These are the original rollerblade wheels designed in 2016, and they come highly recommended on Amazon with an overall 5-star rating of 87% after more than 18,000 reviews.
The benefits of these wheels include:
- a quality lifetime guarantee that you’ll have no scratches, dents, or scuffs
- easy installation
- support for up to 650 lbs.
- standard sizing
If you feel an office mat will bind your rockstar office personality, the rollerblade wheels will allow you to rock on with a steel core surrounded by polyurethane wheels, guaranteed not to damage the floors.
Where to Buy the Best Office Mats
Coming back from the excitement of gliding from wall to wall on wheels that allow freedom in the office, you should still consider an office mat. You don’t want your beautiful carpet or floor to be damaged by an office chair, even if it’s the most comfortable thing you’ve ever sat on.
Amazon is a convenient place to shop for office mats (or wheels), but these are some other places you can find the quality mats you need:
Don’t forget to measure your workspace and the furniture around your desk and chair. Consider the do’s and don’t’s of choosing your office mat before heading to the store. Consider your floor type and how you want your office to feel to reach the right mindset.
Always keep the considerations in mind:
- Floor size
- Floor type
- Color preference
- Pile thickness of your current carpets
- Level of use (how much traffic goes through the area?)
- Your personal mood
- The mindset you want and how you can provoke it
Frequently Asked Questions
Answer: Keep in mind that area and office mats differ, meaning you could place a beautiful area mat under your desk. The rule is to position it so that it houses your desk and chair. The area mat should also be one or two feet shorter than the shortest wall in your office. An area mat isn’t a wall-to-wall carpet, after all.
Answer: Regular mats aren’t designed to stay in place under a rolling office chair. They also aren’t made to protect the floor beneath, whereas office mats are designed to protect the floors and stay in place, even with additional weight on the office chair. Most office mats will show the maximum weight of endurance.
Answer: A good office mat should last years, without any damage, scratches, or scuffs. However, they can slowly wear down the fibers of the carpet beneath due to the weight. Carpets don’t last forever, not even the Turkish and Persian rugs woven from wool with beautiful designs. Every carpet wears down over time.
Mats may place additional pressure on this regular wear and tear, allowing the carpet under the mat to look different from the rest of the carpet over the years. I avoid this simply by rearranging my office every few months. I love decorating and setting new moods in my workspace. It keeps me productive and creative!
Answer: I consider two factors important when choosing an office mat. Firstly, the size has to fit into my workspace. I have multiple desks and laptops open at the same time. My workspace looks like a gamer’s exhibit, and that’s why size is such a crucial factor for me.
Secondly, the mat must match my mindset when I’m in my workspace. I don’t love feeling like I’m chilling on the beach while I’m blogging. I like being focused, so my personal preference is professional, but that doesn’t mean yours must be. If you want the beach vibe, go for it!
You won’t get much work done if you’re in the wrong frame of mind. Consider what mindset you need to establish and choose an office mat that promotes it.
How to Find the Best Office Mats: Final Thoughts
Before you read this article, buying an office mat seemed simpler, but simplicity often leads to the wrong decisions. Humans naturally evolved to always go with the simplest and fastest answer, but office mats are more complicated than choosing dinner. The mat will be on your office floor for years to come.
It will stare at you, promote your mindset, and change the mood of your workspace, which can be convenient if you’re seeing plenty of clients. People also love rolling office chairs because of the convenience posed by them, and who can argue with the comfort offered?
Protecting your floors and giving yourself peace of mind only increases your productivity in a space where work manifests into something beautiful. I recommend the polycarbonate office mat for durability and working mindsets; however, the anti-fatigue mats do wonders for people who struggle to focus at work.
If your budget can stretch even further, I highly recommend the Anji Mountain Range for that classic feel in a busy office space. The bottom line is that you get a mat soonest if you don’t want curled carpets and scuffed hardwood floors.
For more information: