Chair mats don’t only make an aesthetically pleasing addition to offices and gaming setups, but they also play a major role in protecting the beautiful hardwood floors and carpeted flooring, as well as reducing the physical fatigue and leg pain in the long, extended working hours.
So, before purchasing a chair mat for your office or gaming setup, it is essential to know how the specifications of each model can impact your experience as a user. So here are the main factors to take into consideration before making any purchase to make sure that you get the best chair mat.
How to Choose a Chair Mat?
Desk chair mats come in a wide range of sizes for matching your workspace. Each mat is measured by its length & width, and these measurements are used to calculate the product’s square footage.
There are large mats, average-sized mats, and smaller mats, so before purchasing you need to measure your floor or the area you want the mat to cover, and then choose the chair mat size that matches your place.
Read more, 6 Best Chair Mat for Tile Floors
Before you purchase, you need to know which material will suit your office chair casters or flooring the best, as there is a wide range of mats including; tempered glass chair mats, plastic mats, wooden chair mats, rubber chair mats, and more.
You should also think about whether you need the mat as a decorative piece or you need just a functional mat that gets the job done.
One more reason why you should pay attention to the materials is that there are materials that make a really durable mat with long-lasting durability, while other materials get scratches and indentations so quickly.
Third, Designed Use
You need to know that not every mat is designed to be used on carpeted flooring, and not everyone is designed to be used on the hardwood floor, so before you purchase make sure what is this mat designed for?
Here are the most common office chair mats and their uses.
Flat Pile Carpet Mat
A flat pile carpet mat is the best option for protecting commercial carpets with thicknesses of up to 1/8 inches without padding.
Read more, 6 Best Chair Mat for Vinyl Plank Flooring
Flat-To-Low Pile Carpet Mats
A Flat to Low-Pile Carpets mats are designed to protect low-pile and commercial floor mats of thickness up to 1/4″ inches, with padding. This option is also excellent for home & light-duty office applications.
Low Pile Carpet
Low-Pile Carpets for chair mats are made especially for protecting loop/Berber style carpets of thickness up to 3/8 inches, including padding.
These mats for carpets are ideal for moderate use in home & office applications.
Medium Pile Carpet
Medium pile carpets chair mats protect medium pile carpets of thickness up to 3/4″ inches, with padding.
These carpets are the best choice to make if you are looking for an office mat for all-day support while carrying out everyday tasks.
Also read , 6 Best Chair Mat for Berber Carpet
A High-Pile Carpet Chair Mat is manufactured for protecting high-pile carpets of up to 1″ thickness including padding.
This type of mat for carpeted surfaces provides high performance for heavy-duty usage and chairs carrying heavier weights.
Extra-High Pile Carpet
Extra-High Pile Carpet chair mats are versatile enough to offer excellent protection for all carpeted floors and many floor types, especially extra-high pile carpets that come in a thickness of more than 1 inch including the padding.
This kind of carpet mat is also excellent for heavy-duty use.
Light-Use Hard Floor Mat
These kinds of mats are so common, that they are used for protecting a wide range of hardwood floors, laminate, wood, vinyl tile, and many other hard floorings.
They are designed for occasional office, gaming setup & home use.
Check also, 6 Best Chair Mat for Laminate Floor
Heavy-Use Hard Floor Mat
A heavy use hard floor mat is a so thick mat that is meant for heavy use. This kind of mat is excellent for tile floors and is mainly targeting moderate use in home & office applications.
There are other types of chair mats in terms of design, so you should also pay attention to your workplace or gaming setup and decide which style will match it the best way.
Lipped Chair Mat
If you have been in the market for a mat before then you must have met that type of mat.
A lipped chair mat is a rectangular mat that comes with a rectangular extension on just one of its edges, to allow your office chair or gaming chair to fit closer to the desk or workstation.
Workstation Chair mat
In simple words, this type of mat is a corner-style workstation floor mat, that has a rounded triangular chair plus an extended lip edge, for allowing your best gaming chair or office chair to roll closer to the desk.
Also read, Best Gaming Chair Mats for EVERY Floor Type
The edges and the way a mat holds onto your floor or carpet is one more important factor that you should pay attention to while purchasing. And here are the most common types of edges that you will come across in the market.
AnchorBar® Cleats are designed with carpet-friendly spikes or some kind of cleats on the whole underside of carpet-ready chair mats.
This kind of underside comes in various sizes for attaching & anchoring your mat securely and firmly to carpeted floors of different thicknesses.
Beveled edges are usually common in the larger chair mats, this type of edge is excellent in enhancing the thinner, clear edges that surround the floor mat, which allows for a more effortless rolling on & off with your gaming chair.
Beveled edges come narrow at an angle in order to provide a ramp-like or wedge-like design, according to the mat.
Crystal Edges, Crystal Pane
As for crystal edges (aka crystal pane) chair mats, they are manufactured with clearer edges & clearer appearance, enhancing the view of the underlying type of flooring.
So if you don’t want to sacrifice the aesthetics and beauty of your flooring, this type of mat is ideal for you.
And the last type of edged is the standard edge style which typically means that the mat has a clear frame-like perimeter design, with no beveled edge.
Straight edge chair mats are designed with thinner edges than the center parts.
Sixth, Clean and Maintenance
One more aspect that you need to pay attention to while buying a mat is the cleaning & maintenance, actually, this mainly depends on the mat’s surface type, whether it is a smooth surface, textured surface, or a hard one.
It is worth mentioning that, the cleaning & maintenance of a glass mat differs from a plastic chair mat, and there are some transparent mats that come to you crystal clear then turn yellowish on your floor over time, so you should pick up the type of mat that is easy to maintain.
It goes without saying, we all go for products with longer warranties, it just makes us feel safe even if we 100% trust the product. The same goes with chair mats, we recommend getting the mats with a limited lifetime warranty.
Do you want it to show off and make a cool addition to your gaming setup? If yes then you will find your choice in the best gaming chair mats or custom chair mats, not the ones for office, because office chair mats usually come transparent or black.
You might also need it for protecting your solid flooring, bamboo flooring, concrete floors, or whatever type of flooring from damage caused by your heavy-duty office chair casters.
And the last common purpose, you might need a chair mat is for reducing leg fatigue, as there are many options that come with an anti-fatigue area.
And the last answer you will be given to your question: “how to choose a chair mat?” is to pay attention to safety.
And by safety, we don’t only mean the safety of your beautiful hardwood floors from the chair wheels, but also the safety of your indoor environment, as there are some types of chair mats that contain a lot of chemicals and toxins, which result in toxins and odors on your indoors.
So we recommend, that you check the components of the product you are about to purchase and check if it includes toxins or not.
FAQ on How to Choose a Chair Mat
Which material is best for chair mat?
Office chair mats and gaming chair mats come in a wide variety of materials including; plastic, wood, tempered glass, rubber, and PVC. The best material of them all is polycarbonate plastic mats, especially for carpeted floors.
As these mats are designed to be so durable, transparent, nontoxic, and easy to mold.
Are chair mats worth it?
Of course, they are.
Chair mats are definitely worth it for so many reasons, including; protecting your flooring from scratches, indentations, scuffs, spills, and more. they also make it much more effortless for you to move around your workplace or gaming setup with rolling pc chairs.
Furthermore, many chair mats feature an anti-fatigue part which reduces back pain and leg strain.