If you spend your workday in an office chair, a good-quality chair mat can make for a more comfortable experience. Chair mats protect the flooring beneath them from damage and also provide a smooth surface for chairs to roll across, reducing strain on backs and legs. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but choosing the right one depends on where and how you plan to use it. There are four key factors to consider:
Polycarbonate plastic is the most common material used for a chair mat. It is transparent, incredibly strong, and simple to shape. It doesn’t bunch or break under a chair’s wheels or legs and can be easily shaped to fit any space. It’s ideal for carpeted areas, as it creates a grip with the floor and prevents movement, but can be used on hard floors as well.
Some chair mats have spikes on the underside to secure them to carpeted flooring, which is great for preventing movement and protecting the floor underneath. However, if your workspace has hard floors, you’ll want to choose a chair mat with a smooth backing so that it doesn’t damage or scratch the flooring. These types of chair mats are also typically thinner and have straight, rather than beveled, edges.
A thicker chair mat is more likely to be able to support the weight of your chair, especially if it’s made of a high-quality, dense material such as polycarbonate plastic or phenolic. This is important because a thin, low-quality mat can crack under the pressure of a heavy chair.
The thickness of a chair mat also impacts its durability and how long it lasts. A thin, cheap chair mat might not hold up under the weight of a rolling chair for very long, and may need to be replaced sooner than a more durable model.
Some of the highest-quality chair mats available are made of a dense plastic such as PVC, which is highly durable and resists cracking and warping under intense pressure. This is a significant advantage over less expensive chair mats, which can be prone to stretching and distortion over time.
A good chair mat is essential for extending the life of both carpet and hard floors and keeping office workers comfortable while they work. Using a chair mat also reduces back and leg strain by allowing the worker to move their chair with less effort and by spreading the load of the casters over a larger area. By prioritizing quality and sturdiness over price, the right chair mat can be a wise investment that will provide years of service. Hopefully this guide will help you find the perfect one for your office.