Should I Buy One of Those Ugly-as-Sin Kitchen Mats?

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Pablo Enriquez)

You can typically find me in one of two positions: hunched over my laptop at my desk or hunched over in my kitchen. (I’ve really gotta work on my posture!) While I do sit a lot, I also spend a lot of time washing things in the sink, prepping veggies and other ingredients, stirring pots on the stove, and doing various other kitchen-related tasks. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen — standing in the kitchen.

And I feel like my body pays the price for it. My knees (specifically the left one, which underwent an unsuccessful surgery last year) are always killing me. My back usually aches by the time I wash the last dinner dish of the night. And my feet often throb.

So I ask you, dear readers: Should I get one of those ugly-as-sin anti-fatigue kitchen mats?

I feel like I already know the answer. I probably should, right? But I just can’t bring myself to do it! Let me detail my internal monologue with you.

1. They’re so ugly!

Even the so-called cute ones are still pretty ugly. My husband likes to joke that I think we live in a museum, but I like to think of it more like a magazine spread or a perfect Instagram shot. I like everything to be in its place at all times (or as many times as possible!) and I have been known to buy things for their form rather than their function. I just want everything to be pretty!

2. But they really do make a difference!

I’ve heard many accounts from friends and family members who swear by these things. I’ve heard how these mats can help alleviate joint, foot, back, and all the pains in between. And I know there are studies that find that workers who are on their feet for long shifts report less discomfort if they’re standing on a mat versus a hard flooring surface. I should be willing to do whatever it takes to be more comfortable in the kitchen, right?

3. But they’re so ugly!

I’ll decide to bite the bullet and then I’ll go online to buy one and instantly talk myself out of it when I’m reminded how much I hate all the options. Can’t I just get a cute rug? And put seven rug pads under it? That’ll be cushy!

The ones with the best reviews (in terms of comfort) all look so industrial or, if they have a design or a texture, they just aren’t my style. I actually don’t hate these, but of course, they’re not as thick or high-tech as some of the top reviewed options.

What should I do? Do you have a kitchen mat? If so, which one? Do you like how it looks in your kitchen or is it purely a matter of comfort?