Manufactured by SATECH, the Smartcells Anti Fatigue Mat is an ergonomic under desk surface designed to counteract the negative effects of standing for long periods of time at a desk. The product was first produced in 2012 and is named for the hundreds of tiny rubber tubes or ‘cells’ which cover the base of the unit and provide support, cushioning and comfort. This system also absorbs shock and vibration and is ideal for office and industrial workplaces. The standard Smartcells mat is available in black, gray and light brown but the manufacturer also offers a custom color, shape and size service to cater for non-traditional office environments and other workplaces. It is suitable for use in shops, receptions and food preparation areas; anywhere where people are required to stand for prolonged periods of time. With prices starting from $93.29 for the smallest model, the product is not a cheap option but the industrial quality materials and durable ergonomic design mean that the mat is likely to last for many years to come. The manufacturer provides an 8-year warranty and shipping is free with Amazon Prime and with AskErgoWorks.
- Stable and durable
- Simple but innovative technical design
- Selection of sizes and colors
- Long lasting warranty
- Strong rubber odor which disappears after a few hours.
- Expensive when compared to similar products.
- Unremarkable in appearance
- Can be difficult to clean after heavy use or spills
- Users need to bend down and move the unit by hand
How does the Smartcells Mat look?
The color finish of the surface is smooth and features bevelled edges which give the product an elegant look as well as stopping it from moving or turning up at the corners. On the whole, the appearance is unremarkable which for many customers will be a positive. This may have played a part in the decision of several large multinational companies such as Boeing, American Airlines and Amazon to provide SmartCells Mats for their employees. The minimalistic and simple design means that this product will blend seamlessly into the decor of the majority of workplaces looking no different from a standard workplace mat. The small rubber tubes for which the product is named are concealed on the underside of the unit and cannot be seen when the SmartCells is in use. At its centre, the surface is just 0.5” high meaning that it does not cause any notable additional height to the floor area. SmartCells comes in standard black, grey and light brown color options and in three rectangular sizes. The wipe-clean matt surface can also be customised with grease-resistant, anti-slip and static-safe finishes. Manufacturers SATECH can also produce the product in runner form. In spite of these options, on the whole, the appearance of the SmartCells Mat is a little underwhelming and it seems disappointing that the visual design of the product fails to match the technical innovation. However, the manufacturer does offer some custom colors, shapes and sizes on request. These are priced on an individual basis and shipping of custom orders may entail some delays, depending on requirements.
How does the Smartcells Anti-Fatigue Mat perform?
The Smartcells base is made of moulded rubber giving the product a solid and stable foundation which provides a high level of support to users throughout the day. The mat is 0.5” thick which means that it doesn’t affect height specifications for existing office furniture. Its heavy weight and bevelled edges keep the unit stable on the floor. The manufacturer states that it is easy to clean by sweeping, mopping or vacuuming but some users have reported difficulty in getting the unit really clean after heavy use or spills. SmartCells is named for the hundreds of small rubber tubes, ‘cells’ which provide cushioning and support. These create an extremely springy and resistant surface which becomes softer when weight is placed on the product. The manufacturer has produced a video showing an egg being repeatedly bounced on the surface without breaking. SmartCells reviews report that the product is hard wearing, durable and that prolonged use alleviates back and leg pain and stiffness. Users also report an increase in the amount of time they can spend standing and an improvement in general energy levels and productivity. The product has received favourable reviews from people working in shops, restaurants and mail room environments as well as standing desk users in offices. A number of reviewers have even introduced it to their kitchens at home as a result of their positive experiences with the product at work. Some users have noted that the mat has a strong rubbery smell when first removed from the packaging but that placing it in an open space for a short period of time will solve this problem. One factor to note is that placing a chair on the mat will cause permanent indentations so users who intend to sit as well as, or instead of standing should ensure that their chair is placed next to, and not directly on the product. Because of the heavy weight of this product and the beveled edge design, the SmartCells needs to be moved by hand which means that users will need to bend down and pull the unit from one location to another. This is not ideal in every workplace and it may make the mat unsuitable for some people.
Price, Shipping, Returns, and Warranty
Prices vary for the anti-fatigue SmartCells mat. The smallest model (24” x 36”) costs $93.29 in a black color option whereas the largest (36” x 60”) in the most expensive of the color choices, light brown, comes in at $276.10. Shipping is free throughout the USA with Amazon Prime and international delivery is available to more than 100 other countries for an additional charge. Customers can also purchase the product from Ask ErgoWorks with a starting price of $109.89 and free delivery throughout the USA. Ask ErgoWorks also offers a 30-day return policy and a price match guarantee. To avail of this 30-day return policy, customers must send back the product in its original packaging within the designated time period including all accessories, manuals, and warranty cards. The manufacturer SATECH offers a generous 8-year warranty on the product which ships within a week of the order date and arrives in one package weighing 10.25 pounds for the smallest size. Reviewers recommend removing the SmartCells from its packaging and leaving it in a well-ventilated area overnight or for a number of hours prior to placing it in its permanent location. This will allow any rubbery odor to disperse.
The Bottom Line
The SmartCells office mat is a high performing and hard wearing anti-fatigue option and its range of colors, size options, and customizable specifications mean that the product is suitable for virtually any office or work environment. However, one of the downsides of the product is its high price. With the smallest SmartCells model starting at $93.29, and the figure rising to $276.10 for the largest size, this piece of office kit does require some investment. Nevertheless, the industrial quality of the materials and the excellent manufacturer’s warranty suggest that this is likely to be a long-term investment with a significant lifespan. The high number of positive SmartCells mat reviews online is evidence that customers are satisfied with the performance of the SmartCells. However, in comparing it with some of the alternatives on the market, it’s hard to find anything truly remarkable about this particular piece of anti-fatigue equipment. Certainly, it is comfortable to stand on and the springiness and resilience are very good. Yet somehow, there is something lacking about this product. The plain and unexciting design seems like a missed opportunity, particularly when we consider the innovative design and egg bouncing capabilities of the SmartCells. It would have been nice to see this reflected in the appearance of the unit which looks just like any other plain rubber mat you might see in any shop or office. When we compare the price to quality and weigh up the design against the technical specifications, our score for this anti-fatigue product is a very respectable 4. There are funkier and cheaper options out there, but for durability, stability, and reliability, all backed up with an excellent guarantee, the SmartCells is a safe and versatile choice which promises excellent benefits and years of future use.