When a member of our Recipe Rescue Facebook group asked for a kitchen mat that would ease back strain while she’s prepping dinner on her kitchen’s stone floors, the group came through big time! Here are multiple readers’ picks for the best kitchen mat to help with back problems or just ease fatigue a bit.
We’ve got recommendations for foam rubber, memory foam, gel, or a combination — everyone has their favorite so you have to try what’s right for you.
And guess what? They’re not all horrible ugly! Shocker to me TBH.
CMP is an Amazon and rstyle affiliate
(Shown at top: The GelPro Elite Mat Decorator Collection in Morning Dusk)
The Best Kitchen Mats to Help Reduce Back Pain
Gel mats in general come highly recommended from lots of readers, and especially those from GelPro. There’s a shock-absorbing all-gel mat called the GelPro Classic kitchen mat starting at $89.95 for the Basketweave pattern, above. Or upgrade to the GelPro Elite mat which is 50% thicker, and includes both gel as well as an energy-return foam. The latter provides the most support, and run from $119.95 for a 20″ x 36″ mat.
If you want to cover the entire length of your kitchen counter with it, you can even get a massive 30″ x 108″ for $569.95. Oof.
GelPro Ergo-Foam Kitchen Mats
For a great value from GelPro, you can try their foam-only mats for the kitchen for just $34.95. There are dozens of different designs and colors, should you want an elegant gray wicker pattern, or my favorite, the elegant semi-gloss reptile print called Pebble (above).
Foam mats get a big thumbs-up from our readers, especially considering the price difference from gel. It’s hard to beat the price of this $29.99 20″ x 36″ kitchen mat from Amazon, complete with free Prime shipping. And the patterns and three neutral colors are pretty elegant! Besides, nearly 1000 reviewers give it 4.5 stars so I call that a good investment.
Our professional restaurant chefs in our group (we have a few!) also suggest hitting a restaurant supply store for a rubber mat like these from San Jamar. You’ve probably seen them before if you’ve ever been in a professional kitchen — the rubber offers decent support and prevents slipping and if you look for a bar mat, you’ll be able to find a size that makes sense for your home kitchen.
Other options from our readers:
Get a foam rubber mat from a grocery outlet, try picking up a kitchen mat at Costco, or check your local discount store like a Marshall’s or Kohl’s to see what’s in stock. Just be sure that you check the thickness of the mat, so that it doesn’t blcok any low drawers you might have!
And…One Non-Mat Option
Alternatively, listen to our pro chef friends and invest in sturdy, supportive footwear, and avoid cooking in bare feet or work shoes. Chef’s shoes are not “cute” — or particularly cheap, but chefs swear by supportive, clog-like shoes like the Birkenstock Tokyo Slip-Resistant work shoe which starts at $140 at Amazon, and is the kind of shoe required in most kitchens in part to help keep you safe.
There are less expensive ones, of course. But if you’re really having back issues and you’re standing in the kitchen a lot, it could be worth it to just keep a really good pair by the kitchen, and step into them every time you enter the room.