review

StarTech Anti-Fatigue Mats Review: STSMAT and STSMATC Versions

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Feet are to people what tires are to car wheels, important tools that do crucial grunt work! Feet really do a lot of work, yet feet are probably the most neglected extremity of the body.
Even while standing, feet still don't get a break, especially on flat surfaces. Feet aren't really designed for the concrete jungle so, you really have to take a load off your feet any chance you get.
Using a standing desk is a fantastic way to get circulation flowing through the feet but, you can maximize the benefit by incorporating an anti-fatigue mat to your setup to provide a soft surface like beach sand or earth, which are nature's natural cushioning.
STSMAT underside
While you can't quite bring the outdoors indoors, an anti-fatigue mat can work as good. StarTech has a couple of anti-fatigue mats (STSMAT and STSMATC) available, both of which are made of polyurethane.
Polyurethane is the same type of flexible foam rubber used in carpet underlay. The StarTech anti-fatigue mats are much thicker though (2cm and 4cm respectively); hence the StarTech mats have more cushioning than a carpet.
The StarTech STSMAT anti-fatigue mat (pictured above) measures 2cm high/thick, 77cm long, 51cm wide and weighs 1.3 kg. The base of the STSMAT anti-fatigue mat is textured with a slightly coarse finish that provides enough grip so, the mat won't slide around on a smooth surface. If the floor is fitted with a textile carpet, you get even better grip as the mat naturally rubs against the upper layer of the carpet pile.
The top section of the StarTech STSMAT anti-fatigue mat has a matte finish with a beveled edge; hence the perimeter of the mat has an inward inclination deliberately designed to make it safer when mounting on the mat. This is actually very important to note because the mat can be technically used upside down but the beveled edge does create a dangerous step with a gap underneath it.
When placed correctly, the StarTech STSMAT anti-fatigue mat lays flush against the floor. That said, when mounting and, after using the mat for a while the back end of the mat will naturally tend to lift off.
STSMAT underside
This "lifting off" is due to the downward pressure of the body weight when standing on the mat, especially when standing in the same position. This is why it is recommend to shift the mat around to prevent the mat from caving up.
The top section of the StarTech STSMAT anti-fatigue mat also features a large StarTech branding, which is etched on the bottom right corner.
The contoured version of the StarTech anti-fatigue mat (STSMATC) is much larger in size, measuring 7cm high/thick, 65cm long, 73cm wide and weighing 3.4 kg. The flattest part of the mat has a height/thickness of 4cm. This mat integrates raised side panels, as well as foot massage features, including an array of small bumps embedded in the foam that are designed similarly to a bumpy foam roller.
While made of foam, these bumps are firm enough to dig in to the soles of the feet and alleviate sore feet. There is no automatic rolling action so, you have to physically move your own feet, which works well, although obviously not as vigorous as a vibrating foam roller. In the centre, there is a tear-drop like ball also made of the same firm foam and designed to massage the arch of the feet. On the rear of the mat, there is a large recessed crevice for the heel.
The foot massage features on the StarTech STSMATC really makes it stand out from the thinner anti-fatigue mat counterpart because you are able to give the feet a good massage, including the sides, which tend to be neglected. You can probably accomplish a better job with a physical foot roller and a tennis ball but, having these integrated in the mat makes it more convenient and clutter-free.
The base of the StarTech STSMATC mat has a series of long grooved lines across the base of the mat to prevent sliding. The brand logo StarTechCom is also etched on this mat on the front rear. The StarTech anti-fatigue mats seem good quality and feel like standing on memory foam.
The mats are soft but not so soft that they feel like standing on "nerf football" foam. The polyurethane foam used is dense so, it should last a few years. There is 2 years warranty too backing the craftsmanship.
You can buy the StarTech anti-fatigue mat with beveled edge (STSMAT) and the anti-fatigue mat with the foot massage version (STSMATC) from amazon. Check out the review of StarTech's laptop stand riser.

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