Topo Standing Desk Mat Review
Bottom Line Up Front: I have been using a standing desk at work and home for years now. I decided I needed a mat. I found the Topo on Kickstarter and jumped all over it. I have had it for three months now, love it, and highly recommend it. Here’s my Topo standing desk mat review.
I found this mat through another fitness blog. It was a Kickstarter campaign looking to change how we stand at standing desks. The idea is that while a standing desk is superior to sitting, it can be potentially problematic to stand in the same positions for hours on end. The Topo looks to combine the concept of an anti-fatigue mat with the concept of constantly shifting positions.
I was already on board with this at home at my standing desk. See below photo. I set up a rock mat aimed at strengthening feet and ankles, making them more durable, and also forcing position change. It is OK, but I ended up putting a thin outdoor rug on top of it because the rocks ended up being too uncomfortable. Had I gotten better rocks with rounded edges it would have been fine, but I got cheap yard rocks so they just hurt. The rocks under the rug still give weird shapes and force position change. Once I saw the Topo though, I thought it would be great for work.
Pros and Con
NOTE: If you want to view a short video about the mat before reading the review, go here.
Here are the positives:
- The mat itself is a very reasonable size. I am slightly above average male height and it is perfect for me. I doesn’t take up too much real estate yet takes up enough.
- It can be easily slid around or moved. I have a giant exercise ball I sit on when I have to sit (if someone comes into my office, I don’t stand if they are seated). I can roll the ball out from under my desk and replace it with the Topo easily. You could do the same if you wanted to alternate between sitting and standing at your desk, needing to relocate the Topo for a chair.
- It is durable. 3 months of use, no signs of wear. I wear combat boots 99% of the time I am on it too.
- The edges and raises spot in the middle are perfect places to shift positions. I think they got it right with the large edge on the back and the dot in the middle. I usually stand with one foot forward, one back on the large curb part. If I am reading on the screen, I often stand with my toes on the mat and balance as if on a curb. The raised front corner is also cool for the front foot. I use the raised areas constantly.
- It definitely reduces impact on joints when standing. The mat is softer than floor but not cushioned too much. They did well in the firmness of the mat.
My only con:
- Price. Relative to some other anti-fatigue mats, this is more expensive. It isn’t unreasonably higher and it isn’t just a flat mat, so maybe it’s a good deal. I paid less for mine since I got it in the Kickstarter campaign. The best standing desk mat according to The Wirecutter costs about $30-50 less. I think the Topo concept of something more than flat is worth it though.
Do you need a mat at all? Yes. When I go back to just standing on the hard ground, I see the potential value of an anti-fatigue mat. I worked for the first year at a standing desk without a mat at all. I think the mat is a good idea.
Is adjusting your position needed? Yes. If you have a standing desk, you should have something below your feet to cause you to adjust positions. Of all the options I have seen, the Topo does this the best. The budget rock mat isn’t a bad idea honestly. You just need a boot mat like this one and some stones like these. My outdoor rocks were a well-intentioned bad idea. I am too stubborn to buy the stones myself of course. I kind of like discomfort sometimes too. Maybe one day I’ll grow up.
BOTTOM LINE AT THE END (BLATE): If you have committed to a standing desk, you would do well with this mat. It is worth the price.
Buy one now at Amazon.com here.
QUESTION: Have you tried a mat at your standing desk? Do you think it’s necessary?