How to Choose the Best Chair Mat: Basic Buying Considerations

by Mat Summers:

How to choose the best chair mat.jpgHow to choose the best chair mat

Most office workers probably don’t give much thought to the type of mats that lie underneath their chairs. However, having the right chair mats can make a significant difference in comfort quality for employees. If you’re a business owner who’s in the market for chair mats, here are some basic considerations you’ll need to make when choosing the best chair mats. 

Floor Surface

The first step in choosing chair mats is considering the type of floor surface that your mats will be used on. Is your office floor a hard surface or is it carpeted?  Hard floor surfaces include those such as hardwoods, marble, tile, linoleum and concrete. Carpeted surfaces can be everything from area rugs to traditional carpeting.

If your floor is a hard surface, you’ll need a chair mat that has a smooth backing, which protects a floor from scratches and other damages, besides keeps the mat stationary, so it doesn’t move.

On the other hand, if your floor is carpeted, your floor mats should include “teeth” or anchors for gripping a carpet to prevent a chair from sliding. Never use chair mats that are made for carpeted surfaces on hard surface floors. This is because carpet mats contain damaging cleats that can scratch a hardwood floor. 

Size and Shape Considerations

Chair mats are available in a large selection of sizes and shapes. Before choosing your chair mats, you’ll need to consider factors, such as desk width and if your employees will be rolling their chairs to access file cabinets and other office items. Don’t guess on the size of a mat area. Instead carefully measure the areas where you plan to place your mats.

After deciding the size of your chair mats, consider the shape. Do you need a rectangular mat or a mat with a keyhole shape? The most versatile shape is a rectangular mat as it can go with almost any type of desk configuration. But a mat with key-hole shape does better with L-shaped desks and corner workstations.  

Mat Thickness

The thickness of your chair mats is especially critical. While chair mats designed for hard surfaces have the same thickness, carpet chair mats vary in thickness. Keep in mind that the thicker your mat is, the easier it will be to roll on. This is because thicker mats provide more flatness and bend less. As a result, thicker mats are more level, so they’re more able to stop a chair from moving.


Consider the type of edging for your chair mats. Do you want straight or sloped (beveled) edges? If you have a hard surface, it’s better to choose a mat with a straight edge.

Conversely, beveled edging is the best choice for carpeted surfaces. If you have a difficult time finding a mat that fills up your work area, without getting underneath office furniture, buy a smaller mat that has beveled edges. This will allow you to smoothly roll your chair on and off of a mat.

Other Considerations and Warnings

  • Don’t select a mat that is so big that it has to be placed underneath office furniture as this can cause cracks in your mat, which can void a warranty. Remember that chair mats are made for only supporting a single chair and the person occupying the chair, and they can’t handle the additional weight of other furniture.
  • Also, avoid choosing mats that are too small because chair wheels can fall off the edges of a small mat. This can cause physical strain when an office worker has to pull a chair back onto a mat.
  • It’s better to use plastic chair casters rather than metal wheels on your chair mats.
  • Buying cheaper chair mats doesn’t always mean receiving an inferior product. Plastic chair mats are still ideal for business owners on budgets.

Questions? Don’t hesitate to visit our online store. Our non-toxic PVC (vinyl) chair mats offer several benefits, such as affordability and scratch-resistance. We deliver our mats, flat-ready, for immediate use. At Mat Shop we offer a four-year written warranty on all our products. Please contact us and find out more about our wide selection of office mats.

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