Shopping for a new chair mat for your office or home workspace?
Chair mats are designed to protect your flooring and provide you with a smoother movement while working at your desk. Choosing a mat with a lip allows you to move more freely at your desk and protect your home or office!
The chair mat lip is the portion of the chair mat that extends out from the main body of the mat and is designed to go underneath the desk. The lip is designed for two main purposes: to protect the surface under the desk (floor or carpet) and to provide ease of movement while sitting at your desk.
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What is a Chair Mat Lip?
The lip of a chair mat is the portion of your chair mat that extends from the mat’s main portion (typically rectangular, square, or circular).
The lip can vary in size and is designed to go underneath the desk or table. This allows the chair to roll more easily under the desk and protects the floor or carpet under the desk.
The chair mat lip typically extends out about one-third of the length of the main body and is centered at about one-third of the width of the mat. However, there are longer, wider, or smaller lips available.
Often the shape of the lip is congruent with the shape of the main portion of the mat. For example: if the body is rectangular, the lip will also be rectangular and if the body is circular, the lip will also be curved or circular. In most instances, the lip will be made of the same material and is all one part of the whole mat.
Why do Chair Mats Have Lips?
The purpose of the chair mat lip is to protect the floor or carpet underneath the desk and to allow the chair to roll more easily as your chair is pushed further into the desk.
Using a mat without a lip can be frustrating when you scoot your chair up to do your work and your chair falls off of the mat.
The frustration would kick in again as you scoot your chair out when you are ready to get up and out from your desk. Beveled edges along the mat’s ends can help with this; however, a mat with a lip offers a more effective way to combat this problem.
If you choose the right size, shape, and design of a chair mat with a lip, you should not roll off the mat at any point during your desk activities.
The other important reason for a chair mat lip is that it protects your floor or carpet from any damage from the chair’s casters.
The chair’s casters can scratch, mark, dent, or in other ways damage your floor whether it is hardwood, laminate, concrete, or any other flooring type. If you have a carpet or rug, the casters can tear, fringe, mark, create wear paths or in other ways damage the fabric.
The chair mat lip is specifically designed to protect the portion of your carpet or floor underneath the desk.
You may not care too much about the flooring in your office, but if you own the business, your floors can be a large expense worth protecting.
If you are using your chair at home, then protecting your floor with a chair mat with a lip is the way to go.
Chair Mat Lip vs. No Lip: What’s the Difference?
Ok, so now that we know what a chair mat lip is and what it is for; it is time to decide: lip or no lip? To answer that question here are a few more questions:
- What shape of desk do you have?
- Does price matter?
- Do you care about the floor or rug underneath your desk?
- Do you move around at your desk?
- Do you mind hitting a bump going in and out of your desk?
Chair mat lips are designed to fit under a desk with minimal space to move around in, such as a desk with a drawer on each side.
If you have a large workspace with no drawer underneath that you will be rolling around in, then you may opt for a larger mat with no lip.
You could also use a large mat with no lip if you can get it under the drawers somehow (in a traditional setup), but you would have to pay a little more for a larger mat with no lip vs the same size mat with a lip. Also, your desk might be off balance and you may damage the mat by setting a heavy desk on it.
If you care about the floor or rug underneath the desk, then you will want to protect it with a mat that has a lip.
If you move around at your desk, such as moving in and out or turning, you will also want a chair mat with a lip.
The lip provides you with ease of movement while seated at your desk. Choosing a mat without a lip may leave you hitting speed bumps every time you move in and out of your desk. The beveled edges can help with this irritant, but it is preferable to have the beveled edges and the lip.
Do you Need a Chair Mat with a Lip?
If you prefer to have ease of movement while sitting at your desk, care about the surface under your desk, and a larger mat won’t work, then you, my friend, might want to consider a chair mat with a lip.
My name is Vance, and I am the owner of To Ergonomics. Our mission is to improve your workflow by helping you create a supportive and welcoming environment. We hope that you’ll find what you’re looking for while you’re here.