I waited until I got my book club friends settled in before I sat down on one chair and put my feet up on another. Every bone and muscle in my body hurt.

“Are you okay?”

“The tile floor did me in!”  I responded, having been standing for a couple hours prepping for the gathering.

Before discussing the book, advice immediately turned to soft floor mats to cushion the hard floor and reduce achy joints.

After that discussion, I decided to compare some of what’s available. I contacted a couple companies for samples to find out whether floor mats are worth the cost. Or as we ask at BiteoftheBest.com, to Bite of not to Bite?

I tested five different anti-fatigue mats from four companies — one WellnessMat, one GelPro, two Imprint Comfort Mats and one company’s that no longer sells the mats. All are non-skid and clean easily with a damp mop or sponge.

The following info was correct at the time of my requesting samples, with additional data from each company’s website.

  • WellnessMats (wellnessmats.com) range in price from $39.95 to $259.95 depending on thickness, size and style, have a 7-year warranty and are made in the USA of 100% polyurethane.
  • GelPro (gelpro.com) mats range in price from $59.95 – $599.95, depending on thickness, size and style, have a 3-year warranty, a gel core and are designed and assembled in the USA. (GelPro also makes — but I did not test — a NewLife mat with a 10 year warranty, made of BioFoam — a plant-based resource — and are made in the USA.)
  • Imprint Comfort Mats (imprintmats.com) range in price from $60 – $325, depending on thickness, size and style, have from a 7- to 10-year warranty, are made of 100% polyurethane and are designed and distributed in the US.

So what’s the bottom line? Each mat was effective in reducing achy joints and back pain. Although I like the look of the plain un-patterned ones, I found that they show water drippings and dirt much more quickly than those with a design. I recommend a patterned one. And, I prefer the thicker, more cushioned mats.

If you stand in your kitchen for extended periods of time, my recommendation is to buy whatever you can afford, keeping in mind,  the thicker, the more comfy. But do buy one or two to place on the floor in the area where you’re on your feet the most.

Anti-fatigue mat are worth every penny!

– bonnie

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