The best standing desk mats
Because the Topo is light, has less of a grip on the floor, and provides a heel grip point, it’s easy to move out from under your desk and back in. Flat mats require that you bend down, grab the mat under its sides (not the most hygienic place), and drag. The Topo just slides under your foot. It barely sticks to the floor when sliding, yet it stays solidly in place when you stand on it. As with its raised surfaces, this small grace makes you less likely to give up on your good intentions.
The Topo mat is made of polyurethane and covered with a pebbled skin that cleans up easily from spills and dropped crumbs. In our tests it exhibited no punctures after we dropped a stapler, butt-end first, from standing height. We noticed no off-gassing (chemical smells) while unpacking or first using the Topo. The surface feels good with shoes on and works fine with bare feet, too. But pressing into the raised sections can put some pressure on your toes and the sides of your feet, which can get uncomfortable after a bit depending on your standing habits.
The writer and the editor of this review are 6 feet 2 inches and 6 feet 4 inches, respectively, and neither of us found the Topo too narrow for standing-desk work. At its flat portions, or on its outer edges near the bottom, most people’s feet will be about shoulder-width apart. The Topo is a little deeper but less wide than the flat mats we usually recommend; it’s about 29 inches at its widest, and 26 inches deep. Its being a bit smaller than a 24-by-36-inch mat means that, with some desks, the Topo can hide in a corner when you wheel your chair back under, and you’ll still have room for under-the-desk items such as a trash can or a desktop PC.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
Most anti-fatigue mats are flat for good reasons, namely trip prevention, ease of storage, and the ability to accommodate different tasks at a workstation. If you prefer lots of room to pace, dance, or work at different stations around your desk, you’ll want to stick with a larger flat mat (such as the Imprint CumulusPro). The same holds true if you know, from lots of experience at your desk, that you have little desire to move your feet while working, or if you prefer a flat surface to move on.