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How to choose the best Chair Mats

A chair mat stops your floor or carpet from getting unsightly marks and helps to keep your chair steady while you work.

If you’re thinking about getting a chair mat for your office, you have come to the right place! There are many different materials and backing options, and following our guide will help you choose the best mat for your specifications.

What is your floor type?

When choosing a chair mat, the first detail to consider is the flooring. Different flooring types each require the mat to have a certain type of backing so it holds well and is fit for use. Flooring can be divided into three main categories:

Chair mat backings spiked and smooth

Hard floor: This includes hardwood, laminate and vinyl tiles. These floor types require a mat with a smooth surface as any spikes would lift it and make it uneven, not to mention uncomfortable to walk or sit on.

Medium-pile soft floor: Carpets with medium pile can be found nearly anywhere. They are standardised as between 3/8 and ¾ of an inch and are installed in both homes and offices. This type of flooring needs a mat made from a thick material with studs on the back to keep it in place.

Thick-pile soft floor: This type of carpet is very unlikely to be found in an office space – unless it’s a home office. Think plush carpets and shaggy rugs, a carpet with a thickness of over 3/4” requires a very thick chair mat that has long spikes to ensure it stays in place.

Which material should I choose?

There are a variety of different materials that you can choose when it comes to chair mats. So, having taken account of the kind of flooring you have, as described above, your final decision will be partly based on the durability and texture of the mat, and partly on aesthetics and how the mat will look in your space. We go into detail of the two main chair mat materials below:

Chair mat in an office

PET (polyethylene terephthalate)
Chair mats that are made from PET are very common. Their smooth surface makes them ideal for hard floors, and they are available with a clawed underside for carpeted floors, too. PET mats are very durable and will last a long time underneath your chair.

This material is also fully recyclable and very energy efficient, boosting your business’s green credentials.


A much stronger option, polycarbonate chair mats are fire-resistant and compatible with heated flooring systems. They are available in a smooth surface finish for hard floors and with a claw backing for floors with medium-pile carpet.
Polycarbonate chair mats are crystal clear making them ideal for both modern and traditionally decorated workplaces.
What size is best for my chair?

Choosing the right size for your chair mat depends on your personal habits. If you roll around on your chair often to get up and sit back down, you will need a larger mat. However, if you stay seated and still for long periods of time you may find a smaller mat is the better option.

Some of the most common chair mat sizes include:

  • 36” x 48”
  • 45” x 53”
  • 46” x 60”

However, you can get mats in any size. We can even create custom sizes for you, for some types of chair mats.

Is the shape of the Chair Mat important?

Most chair mats are either rectangular or t-shaped and choosing the right one depends on how much rolling the chair will be doing. If you will be getting in and out of your desk often throughout the day, a large rectangular mat may be best. Just make sure there is mat space underneath all the places that the chair will be rolling.

Chair mat shapes

Additional Chair Mat features

Aside from all the basic factors listed above, some chair mats are available with added benefits to increase your comfort.

These could include:

  • Anti-slip surface to stop the chair rolling around while in use.
  • Antimicrobial technology to prevent the build-up of bacteria and mould.
  • Antistatic to prevent build-up of static electricity that may interfere with electronics or computers on the desk.
  • Additional patterns that make the design of the chair mat more attractive to match the interior décor of your space.


Chair mats are a very useful accessory to add to your home or office space as they increase comfort and protect your floors.

Please note that, when you first receive your mat, you may find it curls up a little after you have unrolled it. This is a very minor issue that should be resolved within a day or two after use.

We hope you have found this guide to be of use. You can view our full range of chair mats by clicking here.

If you require any further assistance with chair mats, or any other product from our website, please do not hesitate to contact our customer service team who will be more than happy to help.


0121 702 1659 @FirstMats Facebook