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To celebrate National Pet’s Day, we are giving away 10 sets of Cumulus9 20″ x 36″ comfort mats – one for you, and one for your pet.
To enter the contest, post a photo of your pet – preferably on an Imprint® Comfort Mat – to Facebook or Instagram and tag @imprintmats in the post! Make sure the post is set to public so that we are able to see it. Don’t have social media? We are also accepting submissions by email. Email your photo to firstname.lastname@example.org or upload below. Entries must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. PST on Aprill 11th.
We tested a dozen anti-fatigue mats in a coworking space flush with standing desks, and the Ergodriven Topo was the most well-liked because it encourages movement and gives bored feet something to do. The Imprint CumulusPro Commercial is still our favorite traditional, flat anti-fatigue mat; we prefer the newish Couture Strata variant because it looks a little nicer than the regular Commercial version, but both feel just as good underfoot.
If you know you stand fairly flat-footed, or if you prefer to have a wider area for standing (or dancing), we recommend the Imprint CumulusPro Commercial Couture Strata mat. The CumulusPro Commercial is our longstanding (heh) pick among traditional flat anti-fatigue mats because of its firm, supportive feel, its eco-friendly single-piece construction, and its generous warranty. We prefer the newer Couture Strata version over the regular Commercial because it’s a little nicer looking, but both feel the same under your feet. If you stand with your feet flat on the ground most of the day, you’ll likely prefer the depth and feel of the Imprint over the flat portions of the Topo.
Building on the hours of research by Wirecutter researchers and editors that went into the previous two versions of this guide, I researched the history of the product category and surveyed the field for the newest mats in the spring of 2016. As before, I narrowed the list to models made from easily washed materials, no thicker than an inch (at their flat portions), and covered with warranties greater than five years; I also confirmed that they didn’t cost too much or have bad reviews from too many people.
That left a list of eight new mats, which we tested alongside a few former picks from the prior version of this guide. We also tested a free mat that came with a standing desk and a couple of mats that sell well on Amazon, but those are not worth discussing in the same space as even our least-liked mats. We tested the Ergodriven Topo, the GelPro NewLife Eco-Pro, the Imprint CumulusPro (the Commercial, Commercial Couture Strata, and Professional versions), the SmartCells Anti-Fatigue Mat, the Smart Step Supreme, the StandDesk Anti-Fatigue Mat, and the Varidesk Mat 34.
Over the course of three months, everyone who used one of five standing desks at CoworkBuffalo—a coworking space in Buffalo, New York, that I co-own—used one of these mats. That’s at least a dozen pairs of feet on each mat. I rotated mats between desks every week, or immediately if someone disliked the feel of a mat. I stood for at least one day on every mat, took notes, and casually interviewed coworkers about their impressions. Most mats were fine to stand on for up to an hour, but people who regularly work while standing ended up zeroing in on the firmness, size, and style they preferred, and eventually everyone had a pick they liked the best.
Experts’ opinions on the benefits of standing to work have changed since the previous version of this guide (and our guide to height-adjustable sit/stand desks). It’s still true that sitting for prolonged periods can shorten your life, even if you are active at other times. But the health benefits of “interventions” such as working at a standing desk are still unproven. (That doesn’t mean they’re disproven, just that there isn’t enough evidence yet, from enough good studies or for a long enough period of time.) Most important for anyone who wants to stand while they work: The early hype suggesting that standing all day, or even for hours at a time, would be better than sitting has quieted.
The best advice, from Alan Hedge, professor of ergonomics at Cornell University, is the simplest: “Simply standing is insufficient. Movement is important to get blood circulation through the muscles.” Hedge’s recommended sit/stand/move cycle suggests that you should alternate between sitting and standing quite a bit, maybe up to 16 times per day.
Because of this recommendation, we considered the ease of moving a mat out from under your desk and back in, something you’d do at least 10 times per workday if you stuck to a 45-minute rotation.
Our long-standing favorite flat mat
We’ve accumulated years of combined testing on standing desk mats among writers, editors, and coworkers, and all that work has made it easy to recommend the Imprint CumulusPro Commercial Couture Strata as a traditional flat mat for standing-desk use. Nearly everyone who tried an older version of the Commercial mat in our first round of testing in 2014 liked its feel the best, and so did our 2016 testers, who evaluated the Couture Strata version against the regular Commercial and a half-dozen new models. Like the regular Commercial mat, the Couture Strata comes with a 10-year warranty and doesn’t off-gas toxic chemicals.
We prefer the look of the Couture Strata variant—its light texturing, especially in its gray version, makes it look a little nicer than the typical rubbery-black look of most anti-fatigue mats, including the regular Commercial. The standard Commercial Mat is sometimes a little cheaper than the Couture Strata one and sometimes a bit pricier. If you don’t care whether the mat has a pretty top surface, get whichever one is cheaper at the time—they feel the same.
That the Couture Strata is not our top pick for standing-desk users is not a matter of its failings; we simply found that more testers used the Topo’s raised features, if given the choice. Still, a productive workspace is one that accommodates your most comfortable self, and if you want to stand on a flat surface—and pay about $30 less than for the Topo—the Imprint CumulusPro Commercial Couture Strata is the best flat mat we’ve found after years of testing. The Commercial has been our favorite for as long as we’ve had a standing desk mat recommendation.
The major flaw with Imprint mats is their confusing product-naming scheme. We previously recommended the CumulusPro Commercial Grade Mat, without the “Couture Strata” distinction, but not the squishier and smaller CumulusPro Professional, or the Cumulus9 (which is meant for use as a lighter-duty kitchen mat, despite its popularity on Amazon in standing-desk search results).
The Wall Street Journal recently released an article showcasing some convincing evidence that it’s time for us all to switch to standing at work. According to their article released on June 2nd, during a 6 month study researchers at Texas A&M University found that workers were 46% more productive than workers with traditional seated desks. Research and articles on standing desks have been popular over the last decade, however most have been focused on the relationship to health instead of productivity. In terms of health benefits, a scientist told Wall Street Journal that “statically standing is not much better than statically sitting.” The key difference, he argues, is that the standing-oriented desks get people to move more: The standers “wiggle, wobble, pivot, lean, perch, etc.,” which is crucial, he says, in today’s age of “technology induced inactivity.”
The Key To Safely Standing All Day At Work
Having all of the proper equipment is key to a safe and ergonomic standing work station. Standing all day can be hard on your muscles and joints which is why its important to have an anti-fatigue comfort mat. Imprint® CumulusPRO™ Comfort Mats are specifically designed to further enhance the benefits of using standing desks. They’re made with a 3/4 inch thick proprietary Cushion-Core™ Technology cushioning system that encourages safe movement and repositioning which activates the effects of fatigue reduction. The Imprint® CumulusPRO™ Commerical Grade series was even voted the #1 Rated Standing Desk Anti-Fatigue Mat in North America for two years running by The Wirecutter.
Imprint® Comfort Mats has long understood the negative effects of prolonged sitting and actively seeks to increase awareness about the dangers of sitting all day. This is why Imprint® is the proud sponsor of Get America Standing™ and Get Britain Standing™, which are two campaigns aimed at increasing awareness and education on the dangers of sedentary working. The goal is to assist companies in creating a healthy work environment for their employees, allowing them to be healthier, happier and more productive!
CumulusPRO™ Mats are made with Cushion-Core™ Technology to reduce fatigue and increase comfort and productivity — Up to 97% thicker than other mats!
Solid, one-piece polyurethane construction and a high-density core that’s guaranteed not to lose support over time
Resistant to chemicals, abrasions and punctures
Beveled edge design and no-curl edges reduce trip hazard while the non-slip bottom keeps mat in place
Lifetime Warranty: If you don’t love your new Imprint® Comfort Mat exchange or return it without question. Whenever.
Environmentally friendly and non-toxic
Endorsed by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA)
Tested and certified by the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI)
Imprint® Comfort Mats are available on the company website and at top retailers across the US and Canada. Learn more at www.imprintmats.com.