I hate to admit it, but I am slowly getting up there in age. Standing at the kitchen counter preparing dinner for very long has become quite a challenge for me. There are even times when I feel some back pain in my back.
A doctor recommended that I get a restaurant kitchen mat. So I looked around the Internet and found numerous options. How did I shop for one? And which kitchen mat did I buy? Continue reading to find out.
What Is A Kitchen Mat?
Kitchen mat or rug is often perceived as something that we can live without. On the surface, it may not appear as important as say, a pot holder or even a deep fryer.
But look closely at how these kitchen mats are designed, and you will realize how valuable these things can be especially for the elderly.
Kitchen mats can provide support for your entire body. It can reduce fatigue on your feet and the back even as you work for hours in the kitchen.
We all know how uncomfortable and tiring it is to be standing in the same spot for hours. When the back pain becomes unbearable, it is almost impossible for you to prepare the ingredients or cook a meal. Fortunately, anti-fatigue kitchen mats can ease the pain so you can focus more on the job at hand.
These mats can also be used to the office or any environment where a lot of standing is required. They come in different colors, shapes, and sizes and thus can make any room look more aesthetically pleasing.
What To Look For in a kitchen mat?
Before I started shopping for a kitchen mat, I thought that getting one was easy as 1-2-3. But it was far from that! Kitchen mats are made of different materials like foam, gel, vinyl, and rubber. There are also mats of different thickness and elasticity so it can really be confusing which model to get.
In shopping for a kitchen mat, consider the following factors:
1. Mat size
Look for a mat that is at least 2 feet by 3 feet long if you are to place it in the kitchen. If you have a bigger kitchen, you might want to invest in a mat that is about 6 to 8 feet long. I will tell you this--- it is very irritating to step on and off of a mat when you are working in the kitchen, so you should choose the size carefully. Avoid positioning the kitchen mat where you are standing one foot on while your other foot is off it as this can lead to posture issues. It is thus imperative that you measure the counter area where you want to install a kitchen mat.
2. Thickness And Density
A dense mat is less tiring to stand on than a soft mat. It can also provide more superior support. Look for mats that at least half an inch thick. However, it should not be too high as it could create a tripping hazard. Also, mats with a tapered edge are great as it can prevent tripping hazards.
3. Color And design
The kitchen mat should coordinate with the flooring or existing furniture and cabinets in your kitchen. For instance, if your kitchen décor has brightly colored cabinets you might want to get a colorful mat to complement the design. Black or neutral colored mats may be a good addition to a neutral-designed kitchen.
4. Ease of cleaning
Kitchen mats should be easy to clean. You must realize that these rugs will get a lot of dirt not only from spills and crumbs but also all that foot traffic characteristic of a well-used kitchen. Thus, find kitchen mats that are machine-washable. Mats that can be hand washed with soapy water may also be a good choice. Some materials like wool can resist water and stain, so you might want to get a mat made out of one.
5. Safety/health issues
You should also think of safety and health issues when choosing a kitchen mat. Those with a non-slip backing, for example, are great choices because they will stay in place and thus help prevent slip and fall accidents. You should also look for mats that don’t smell bad.
Top 5 Kitchen Mats Available On The Market Today
Here are the five kitchen mats that I had on my short list. At the end of the article, I will bare which of these rugs I eventually bought.
#1 Sky Solutions Sky Mat
This mat comes in five colors—black, brown, blue, red and khaki. There are also three size options--- 20 x 39 x ¾ inch, 20 x 32 x ¾ inch and 24 x 70 x ¾ inch.
Whatever the color and size that you choose, you can be assured that these mats are comfortable to stand on. These mats are also safe, eco-friendly, durable and easy to clean.
It is made of foam that can provide the right mix of support and softness for people who stand all day in the kitchen. It has a beveled edge as well as non-slip bottom to prevent tripping. Moreover, the mat has a very modern look. It can complement any look you have in the kitchen.
The mat is also very easy to clean as it is designed to prevent dirt or pet hair from gathering on it.
#2 Royal Anti-Fatigue Mat
Like the other kitchen mats, this anti-fatigue mat comes in different sizes and colors. The smallest size of this mat is 20x 32 inches while the biggest is 24 x 72 inches. It comes in three colors—jet black, caramel brown and mocha brown.
These mats can relieve up to 40 percent pressure on the knees, feet, and legs thanks to the ¾ inch foam that is integrated into them. It can also be placed on any surface, from marble to tile and wood.
These mats are also durable and easy to clean. You can vacuum the mats or clean it with damp paper towel. It also helps that these mats don’t collect that much dirt.
#3 Kangaroo Non-Slip, Anti-Fatigue Mats
This mat comes in nine colors so there should be one mat that will complement your existing kitchen décor. There are three sizes available with the biggest measuring 70 inches by 24 inches.
The mat features a ¾ inch thick, high-grade foam designed to relieve pressure and provide support to the feet even if you are working over long periods. The textured surface is designed to prevent slipping and tripping. The grooved underside, meanwhile, is designed to keep the mat firmly in place.
This mat is also strong and durable. The surface is made of easy to clean and waterproof material. You can vacuum the mat or clean it with damp paper towel. The manufacturer backs it up with a 10-year warranty.
#4 NewLife by GelPro Kitchen Floor Mat
This floor mat comes in eight color options. The mat features a 5/8 inch thick ergo-foam core that is designed to prevent back and feet pain with its excellent cushion support. The bottom of this mat is designed to stay in place.
The floor mat has beveled edges that won’t curl and thus prevent you or anyone in the kitchen from tripping over it. The surface is also stain-resistant, and thus the mat is very easy to clean.
#5 Kempf Water Retainer Mat
The key feature of this mat is its water-absorbing capability. In fact, it can absorb up to 1.5 gallons of water.
It comes in three sizes—2 x 3 feet, 3 x 5 feet and 18 x 30 inches.
The mat has a durable, heavy rubber backing that is designed to grip the floor. Because of its ability to absorb water, it can be used not only in the kitchen but also outdoors. Some people even use it under a pet water bowl so that it can contain spillage.
Now, which of these mats did I buy?
I chose the non-slip and anti-fatigue mats from Kangaroo. With nine colors available, it was easy for me to choose a mat that was appropriate with my kitchen design. I also love that it comes with a 10-year warranty. And so far, the mat has provided me with superior cushion and support.