Since I had tested a SmartCells anti-fatigue mat in the past, I was already familiar with the SmartCells Cushioning Technology, so I expected the same stable, non-squishy support and I wasn’t disappointed. While some anti-fatigue brands go for a soft style of cushioning that can feel like you’re walking on sand (fatiguing
at times), SmartCells mats are dense but supportive, and you feel more energetic while you’re standing on one. So this test was no different in that respect.We positioned this mat at the kitchen sink where we tend to spend a lot of time. While the support met our expectations, what was surprising was the extra layer of cushioning that the carpet top provides. We did not expect that much difference, but it adds another level of comfort. The carpet is a Berber-type low pile similar to what we have in our family room. This mat sure looks lovely and the carpet top makes this industrial-grade mat look like it belongs in the home – a stylish upgrade.
The carpeting insert is partially recessed and the total height is still under an inch. The carpet is actually held into place by double-face tape, so when it needs to be changed over time, that will be easy to do. However, the carpet may fray – it looks likely and will probably need a little trim, if the fibers loosen at the edges. This normally would bother me, but I really like the extra comfort and the fact that the carpet can be easily replaced. So I find this a little trade-off of sorts. Of course, you’ll have to clean the carpet as needed, whereas you can just wipe a regular non-carpeted SmartCells mat. So that may be a consideration for some.
Another very nice feature of this mat is the wide rubber trim that provides an easy transition to the mat. The edge is firm and it stays put without curling or causing a tripping hazard. The mat stays well in place, having only moved about a couple of inches over a few days on vinyl flooring. I find this very reasonable and much better than some.
Faced with deciding between the carpet top or a standard SmartCells model (no carpet), we’d chose the carpeted mat without hesitation. My hubby’s first remark when he stepped on it?: “I wish the whole floor was like this”.
The carpet top is an excellent stylish upgrade for the SmartCells mat. Now the anti-fatigue mat not only feels great but looks like it belongs in the kitchen. We both highly recommend this mat, it’s essential for anyone who has or wants to prevent back, knee or foot pain while standing at the counter. And I love the tan pattern.
Reviewed By: Mariette Mifflin, About.com Guide