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gel mat

Any opinions on Gel Pro Chef's mats, as seen in the recent Bon Apetit? www.letsgel.com

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  1. The woven texture seems like it would be a pain to clean, especially if you bake and get flour and sugar crusted in all the edge crevices.

    1. Those seem to be an emotional wallet savvy product, just waiting for your credit card number.

      My take is- don't buy it! Very good anti-fatigue can be found for about half that in price. YMMV

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      6 Replies
      1. re: RShea78

        Do you have a source for a good anti-fatigue mat of similar size? With back issues and both hips having been replaced and arthritis in one knee and I cook a lot, those mats seem like a godsend for me.

        1. re: Candy

          http://www.theonlinecatalog.com/shelv...

          I use the Bubble Mat from the above link.

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          http://www.matsetc.com/index.html
          http://www.instawares.com/mats-anti-f...

          Above are 2 that offers anti-fatigue mats. The top one in this area has been recommended by a friend and the next one is a company I have started to do some business with.

          All in all sizes are probably important if you have a long area. Simple dimensional mats (2x3, 3x5) may not work all that well in that case.

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          1. re: RShea78

            I searched for a good anti-fatigue mat a few years ago, but found that they all had an offensive rubber smell. How are these?

            1. re: BellaCalabrese

              To be honest no mat should have that odor for any more than 6 months or something is wrong.

              Now, any rubber mat I got, I washed is soapy water (unless advised not to. then follow last paragraph), allowed to completely dry, and followed up with a talc rub down. However, talc has been under some lung hazard warnings. Corn starch, baking soda, or your favorite carpet fresh should work fine.

              Another thing about rubber mats is they need picked up off the floor to air the floor off and allow the mat to breathe a bit. This should be done daily or whenever practical. Rubber can release a very strong odor of its own if just layed down and ignored.

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              1. re: RShea78

                Thanks, this is really helpful. I'd wondered how long the rubber smelled. Unfortunately, I can't tolerate that odor for very long at all before getting a headache.

            2. re: RShea78

              Loved that first link ~ great anti-fatigue mats! Also appreciated the rubber mat cleaning suggestions! Live well!!!

        2. I use old oriental rugs in the kitchen. Cheap at auctions. Even cheaper if they have a little fraying. Heavy pads under them. They don't show dirt. Camels and goats walk on these things in the desert where they are used as floor coverings. I have even taken them outside and hosed them down. The rug cleaner picks them up a couple times a year to be professionally cleaned.
          Before I redid the kitchen, I had Mexican tile floors. Never, ever again. I now have wood floors out of respect for my back, legs and feet. With the rugs, no problems.

          1 Reply
          1. re: MakingSense

            Wood floors in my kitchen too, or at least in the food prep area. At the other end where my girls track in mud and crud I have ceramic tile for ease of cleaning.

             
          2. I have had the gel mats for abt 6 months now. Bought 2 in black. I love them! No odor, easy to clean. They look nice and not fussy on my wood floor. I know they are expensive but hey, I spend a lot of time prepping and cooking.

            1. I actually use a yoga mat. They are inexpensive, easy to clean, and can be doubled- or tripled-up if you like more cushion. Might not be the first choice for those whose decor is less utilitarian than mine.

              1. I have had the gel mats for a couple months and absolutely love them. I don't have a problem with flour or sugar or salt getting caught in the weaving; they are really easy to clean and look very nice as opposed to the other alternatives I looked at (or had previously). I love the looks of them as well and we have gotten compliments. And they are according to the website made in the US. Best of all though, and most important, they really do make a difference to my feet and back. I have very flat feet and a bad back (and am 6 feet tall with long legs) so spending a lot of time prepping and cooking, even in my Dansko clogs, really wears on me. The mats do help so I recommend them, but recognize that they are VERY pricey.

                1. I have had mine for a year, and in the beginning I was delighted with it, but as babette feasts said, the woven texture is a real pain to clean! I'm almost thinking of putting a rug on top of it, as if you get water on it it gets on your shoes, and then I'm getting the white tile dirty every time I take a step!

                  1. I'm curious about these too... we have tile floors in our kitchen. Currently I wear Crocs in the kitchen (cheaper than gel mats and i can wear them for other things too). They really make a difference!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mimilulu

                      Totally agree with mimilulu! We have ceramic tiles in our kitchen and before Crocs I always had pain in either my heels or my shins. Now I just slip on my Crocs and no problem - even when I spend a marathon day of cooking for a group.

                    2. Two years ago,I bought 1 long and 1 short one, but decided I needed another long one so I got it for Christmas! I adore these mats. They are not hard to clean and simply have saved my back and feet. I spend many, many hours in my kitchen ( ceramic tile floor) and without these mats, I just couldn't do it any more. The only problem I have is that mine seem to move around a couple of inches. It's not that they slide when I step on them, just that all of a sudden I'll notice that they're not even. Maybe I should lose some pounds to reduce the torque, but who trusts a skinny cook? I know they are pricey, but so is foot/back surgery. My three are black and look great. I'm a fairly neat cook, so the cleaning of sugar, flour etc. is not an issue with me. I wish I had thought of the Persian rug solution, but alas.

                      1. I love mine- 2 long and 1 short on a hardwood floor. At fist I was worried about durability or them getting cut, but they have held up perfectly in 1 1/2 years hard use. Very easy to clean and very nice for the feet, plus nice looking. No smell, either.

                        1. I would highly discourage purchasing either of them. We bought both a short one and a long one right after we remodeled our kitchen a little over year ago. We have hardwood floors in our kitchen and they constantly move around on the wood surface. They have no adhesive qualities. We've since purchased some non-skid mats and they slide off those, too. The edges of the gel mats began curling up in the last couple of months. As for the fatigue factor....they're okay on that score. Still....I would never buy them again.

                          1. I just bought my second one. The first is about six months old. I love them. The basketweave is not a true weave - it's just a pattern - the relief is not very deep and it wipes clean easily. Mine looks like new, and I'm a messy cook.

                            1. we have two long one on our concrete kitchen floor and love them! thinking of getting another one for x-mas gift for someone this year.

                              1. Have had them for about 1 month now. It is great. Coming from hardwood floors, the gel mats are great. The curling on the edges is somewhat of an issue...we just flip them 180 sometimes and or push/fudge the gel a little bit and the curling straightens itself out.

                                Finish of the top material is great as well !
                                Looks great and matches well with our Santos Mahogony flooring.

                                1. Can't see how these would have any beneficial effect at all. Whatever you stand on, you're still standing, with your body suppporting its full weight.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: mpalmer6c

                                    It does make a difference it takes the pressure off of your lower spine because they have give to them rather then standing in one place on concrete etc.

                                  2. I was turned off by the price, plus they seemed too squishy to me and I can't imagine trying to clean flour off of it. All that said I almost got one but I got a wood grained one with a firmer surface instead, I got mine on a website called matsetc.com they treated me well and the price was good. I think that they sell mostly to commercial customers because the "household area" is pretty small.
                                    Here is that mat I got, I love it.
                                    http://matsetc.com/comfort-mats.html

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: bostoneight

                                      They're considerably less expensive than the Gel Mats; how's the quality?

                                      1. re: CindyJ

                                        So far so good. the quality is great and I like that it i has a firm and smooth surface, it cleans very easily but the cushion really helps my knees.

                                    2. I bought some cheap black ones at Costco a few years ago (next to some automotive stuff) and they're great! No smell, easy to clean, configure them as you please (4 squares that interlock on all sides), and our cat loves to scratch her nails on them (saves our furniture, and they are amazingly resilient).

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: Claudette

                                        Out of sheer curiosity, how do these look? I don't think that I would want an automotive mat in my kitchen. I like that mine looks like wood.

                                        (not my actual kitchen)

                                         
                                        1. re: bostoneight

                                          Ones I have seen are often plain grey or black. Some mats that use the same material "but nicer" can be found at the link below

                                          http://www.greatmats.com/children.php...

                                          (Feel free to back track on that website)

                                          1. re: RShea78

                                            Mine are black - not very fashionable, I'm afraid, but I do a lot of cooking (made 5 pies one night for a photoshoot) and looks take a back seat to function and price. Sorry - I should have been more descriptive. However, I can't tell you how many of my friends have loved standing on them!

                                            1. re: Claudette

                                              >>However, I can't tell you how many of my friends have loved standing on them!<<

                                              Heck, a friend of mine trims hers down and uses them for seat cushions.

                                      2. My feet and knees have been wanting this mat for several years - but my wallet wasn't too committed to the idea. Today I saw the smaller size at Costco for $69 iirc! They had a very dark espresso brown and a medium caramel brown.

                                        I purchased one and so far it feels great and looks good. No rubber smell at all. The basket weave pattern looks like it should clean easily.

                                        This is a great price and brought the item to a point I was willing to spend.

                                        1. I just bought a 20" x 36" and am already to upgrade to a 36" x 72" except that it is $500. That said - it is worth it. I spend hours at the stove and sink and, being an old broad, it kills my back and my knees. I love to cook and found the small mat for $70 and put it in front of the sink. I love, love, love it and am going to save my $$$ to buy the larger size. It is so much better than any of the other mats I have tried. Having dogs with long nails might be a problem, but it cleans up easily with soap and water.

                                          hbpmgr

                                          1. I got a gelpro as a holiday gift. I was waiting to report back to see how it "broke in". Well, I can now say it's great. And I want another one!

                                            I cook every day and the mat was definitely helping with the knees/back/feet issues of standing for long periods. Then yesterday, I threw my first dinner party while using the mat. All that extra kitchen time and I felt fine -- no nagging aches the next morning at all.

                                            As far as I am concerned, the mat passed the use-test. It also cleans up easily. I sweep it and I've wiped it down. As someone else pointed out, the basketweave isn't really a weave but a pattern so there are no crevices for gunk to get stuck in.

                                            I told DH that I must have another one for the sink area. After standing and doing all the cooking and feeling fine, I really noticed the difference when I was standing (for a very long time) doing all of the night's dishes.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: LNG212

                                              I love them too! Have you seen the new patterns? They're getting more designs that look great. I've just ordered the snakeskin pattern. You can see it here. http://gel-floor-mats.com/uniqueprope...

                                              1. re: wendyn

                                                I bought one of the 20x36 gelpros at Costco today. Had never heard of them and was hesitant about the price.

                                                But now that I'm reading the reviews, I'm happy I bought it! And now realize its a good deal too at $70.

                                            2. I have back problems, and though I don't think I would get one at this point in time, I could see it in about 10 years when my body breaks down a bit more. For right now, shoe orthotics and a daily pilates regime is keeping my kitchen bones feeling fine.

                                              Btw, Cooking for Engineers also recommended the mats and also has some useful comments.

                                              http://www.cookingforengineers.com/ar...

                                              Also, it appears from the comments on the link above, that GelPro will replace mats that curl at the edges for free if under the warranty period.

                                              1. I went to Bed Bath and Beyond today and noticed there are the Imprint mats, which are in direct competition of the Gel Pro mats are are sold at a lower price point.

                                                http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/produ...&

                                                Not sure if they are good, but something to look out for.

                                                1. One of the best decisions I made when remodeling was to put porcelain tile floors in the kitchen, dining, pantry, hallways and entry areas of my house.... from a durability and resale standpoint.

                                                  However, from a physical-comfort standpoint, it was definitely one of the worst decisions I made, because I had NO IDEA how brutal a floor surface like that is on "mature" feet, knees, lower back, etc. There is ZERO 'give' to a floor surface that hard. I developed a foot problem for the first time in my life, only about a year after doing that remodel.

                                                  I briefly considered getting an anti-fatigue mat for in front of the sink, but between the fact that I'd need to cover several different "stand areas", plus I could never find one that didn't have some kind of odor (I'm a 'supersmeller' .... must have been a canary in a coal mine in a previous life, LOL), they never worked for me.

                                                  I spend as much time walking on those floors as I do standing still on them, so it'd probably make no difference anyhow.

                                                  Next house gets high-grade vinyl flooring in the kitchen (had ceramic before, didn't like how it scratches up and chips). Easier on the body, and no grout to fuss with either.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: dessert_diva

                                                    I agree. I have hardwood throughout the house and my back knows it. Porcelain is even harder. Get some good cooking shoes with orthotics. With that said, my mother has the gel mat and loves it. She has a smaller kitchen though with only one prep area so it works for her.

                                                    1. re: smkit

                                                      I've already had to join the 'orthotics club' as a result of how badly these unforgiving floors messed up my feet; have to wear them 24/7, not just on the hard floors at home. I wear sneakers in the house, not only for the cushioning but for warmth too (dang tile floors are COLD in winter if you live north of the Mason-Dixon line!).

                                                      Unfortunately, in this house the porcelain tile floors make up more than 50% of the total floor space (bathrooms have it as well); all the rest of the floors are hardwood. So the only choices are Hard and Harder. Yet another reason why it'll be a relief to be able to move. Give me cushioned vinyl and thick carpet/thick padding-over-plywood-base anytime. The bathrooms will have ceramic tile floors but that's it.

                                                      1. re: dessert_diva

                                                        Unfortunately, my back has been bad since I was 14 (when I first broke it) and 16 (when I sadly broke it again) : (

                                                        Being a reckless kid has its drawbacks.

                                                        1. re: smkit

                                                          Next time you do floors, consider cork or rubber. Easy on the back/feet, easy to clean, warm in winter, cool in summer. These days, come in many colors & styles.

                                                  2. I got one of these (the 2'x6' one) for my birthday and I love it! The shorter size probably wouldn't work for me, but this one extends along the sink and the stove. I did get my mom a smaller one for Mother's Day, but she's put it in the laundry room, as its short length didn't really help a lot in the kitchen. Agreed that you may need multiple mats for multiple prep/cook areas.

                                                    1. I went to a restaurant supply store and bought one for about half that price. I have porcelain tile floors at home and work on my feet for about 10 hours a day. So I hated even washing dishes when I got home. I looked for about 2 years for an 'attractive' gel mat for the kitchen, only to determine that doesn't exist. I went to the restaurant supply store and bought one that I can take out back and hose off as needed. I love it, and it wasn't as expensive as some of the ones you can buy in retail stores.

                                                      1. Costco has knockoffs for about $20 or $25 IIRC. I have one in front of the sink and one in front of the range. I like them.

                                                        1. I saw good looking knockoffs at Tuesday Morning and at Homegoods this week for about 1/4 of the cost of the real deal! Tues. Morn. had the small size, Homegoods had the large size.

                                                          1. I love my GP mats. I got mine for BBB using the 20% off coupons. Best choice I made in a long time. They are expensive and I will always look for a deal on these but I have learned the hard way - being cheap with things that goes on/under my feet. It's a great product.

                                                            8 Replies
                                                            1. re: DAVESGIRL

                                                              I'm curious. Had you tried the others and found them lacking?

                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                Yes, I have tried some at home and some of the more expensive ones only in the stores. I have bad arches and back problems (from working in retail in my early years) and since using these mats I've had no problems standng for long periods of time while doing whatever I needed in the kitchen. The only other mat that felt like pure Heaven to me was the Wellness Mat which is sold in WS and is more expensive than the GPM.. Some of the others just didn't feel like the comfort would last to me.
                                                                Oh it's also said that GP mats will curl at the edge - but I've had no problems with this as of yet. but it's only been 4 months.

                                                                1. re: DAVESGIRL

                                                                  A Chow-friend of mine with serious back problems loves her GMs. I just have a 63 y.o. back so the knock offs are fine for me - at this point.

                                                                  1. re: DAVESGIRL

                                                                    I have a GPM, for which I paid pretty dearly about four years ago. The edges are curling a bit, but I still wouldn't trade it. It sits squarely between my sink and my stove, and I work there for hours at end w/out--so far!--any back or foot problems. I wish my whole kitchen were "carpeted" by it.

                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                      <<I wish my whole kitchen were "carpeted" by it.>>

                                                                      I say that all the time! I begged DH to get one for me as a gift. He got me 2 - first one for the prep/stove area and then a second one for the sink (we wash dishes) area. And I'm always saying how awesome it would be if our apartment were simply carpeted in this stuff. I love it.

                                                                        1. re: DAVESGIRL

                                                                          ha! I know. I just completed one of their online surveys and got a coupon for 15% off. Too bad that's not as good as the 20% coupons at BB&B. But I'm certainly thinking about getting a third. :)

                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                        Love mine! I have the 20 by 72, and it covers my work area and my sink area. I've had it for about 6 months and it has really reduced the strain on my back.

                                                                2. I've had mine for almost 2 yrs and love it still! It has worn well, finish still looks like new.

                                                                  The only problem - and istr reading NOT to do this in the original paperwork - is I put a crease in the middle which won't go away. Had a messy spill in the kitchen and brought the mat outside and placed it over the railing (narrow, metal) on the back steps to hose it off. Then it rained. So it hung on the railing for about 5 hours. Now there is a crease. It seems the interior gel bent or separated a bit, resulting in the exterior layer becoming looser. This has created a wrinkled line. It is pretty visible, but not substantial enough to trip on or even feel when standing on it.

                                                                  1. Flooring is important to the overall look of the kitchen - and so is comfort. I highly recommend WellnessMats. You are standing all the time in the kitchen, so you might as well be comfortable. These highly decorative, durable mats are great for your feet and you'll never want to move off of them!

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: cjmarshall

                                                                      I received a Wellness Mat for a gift and I LOVE it -- I wish I could cover my entire kitchen floor in them. I've tried the Gel Pro, and I have to say, I think the Wellness Mat is far better -- it's thicker and more comfortable, and it just seems like a better quality product. My mat has a "grapevine" pattern -- similar to the basket weave -- and it's really easy to clean.

                                                                    2. Any update(s) on best gel mats on the market these days?

                                                                      17 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Dax

                                                                        I can tell you about my gelpros - I purchased two brown basketweave mats for my kitchen directly from the company at least 4 years ago at a cost of well over $200. For the past 6 months or more, the edges of the mats are no longer flat, have curled up and resulted in a tripping hazard even though I have taken care of them as specified - only soap and water, kept flat, etc. Considering the cost of these mats, I would have expected a much longer life than 4 years and now they're out of warranty. I would not recommend these mats to anyone at this point.

                                                                        1. re: VickiD

                                                                          This may be why it has the new version which is really foam mats:

                                                                          http://www.gelpro.com/shop/newlife-co...

                                                                          1. re: VickiD

                                                                            The edges on mine curled up too. Really ugly now. I don't even use them anymore.

                                                                            1. re: VickiD

                                                                              I just threw out my Gelpro after I almost tripped over those ever curlier edges several times. I did love its cushioning properties though. It was expensive; it lasted 5 1/2 years. Was it worth it? Not sure, but I'm shopping around and I'll be looking at other brands.

                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                I think 5-1/2 is about its lifetime. I have the Sublime Imprint mat. It is doing just fine, but I won't be surprised if it starts to fall apart after 5 years.

                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                  Is the Sublime Imprint a brand?
                                                                                  I figure 5 1/2 years is not a bad run for a very heavily-trafficked mat. If they could figure out how to keep those edges from curling, they'd be on to something.
                                                                                  I'm looking around, but I haven't given up on Gelpro. My mom bought a cheaper mat, but both she and I could really feel the difference between hers and mine.

                                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                    <Is the Sublime Imprint a brand?>

                                                                                    I think so. It was on sale in my local Home Goods, so I grab it for $40.

                                                                                    http://www.amazon.com/Sublime-Imprint...

                                                                                    Beside the GelPro mat from GelPro the company, GelPro the company also has the New Life mat (which isn't gel). Have you considered those?

                                                                                    http://www.gelpro.com/

                                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                      Thanks--I like the 7-year warranty on that Sublime.

                                                                                      I have looked at the New Life, but only online. That is more similar to what my mom bought, but hers is a definite knockoff. I do like the edges. (Just looked and see that they offer a 10-yr "limited warranty.")

                                                                                  2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                    My Wellness Mat isn't all that old (just about a year) and I'm loving it. It, too, comes with a 7-year warranty. http://www.wellnessmats.com

                                                                                    1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                      What are the edges like on the Wellness mat?

                                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                        The edges are a soft smooth 'bevel' that is about two inches wide from the full height of the foam mat to the edge next to the floor. They lie flat, and are integral with the mat, so it would be difficult for them to curl.

                                                                                        I've had a couple of Wellness mats for a year and a quarter, and would never want to be without them. I only wish they made a 48" long version (to fit a particular space in my kitchen).

                                                                                      2. re: CindyJ

                                                                                        Thanks. It looks the Wellness Mats are about the same price range if not more than Gel Pro. Do you like it thus far? My Sublime Imprint seems to be doing far for 6 months - 9 months. Still early, I know.

                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                          I briefly considered the Gel Pro, but then read the reviews for the Wellness Mat and my mind was made up. I really do like it and I'd recommend it to anyone who's considering a mat like that.

                                                                                          I should mention that shortly after getting the mat I ordered a cover for it. The covers are sold separately in a variety of colors and patterns and I thought it would be a good idea to protect the mat and to make cleaning easy. However, the cover, which slips on over the mat and is held on snugly with elastic, caused the mat to slide around on the floor, so I returned it. As it turned out, the mat is so easy to clean that having a cover on it really isn't important.

                                                                                          1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                            Thanks. I am not in the market to buy one right now, but I will read more about the Wellness Mats.

                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                              You can try them out at Brookstone, ChemicalK. Or come on over and try the one I have in my kitchen. :-)

                                                                                2. re: Dax

                                                                                  I bought a couple of them at Costco and they are great. I forgot the brand but they are down the aisle by the flooring/household stuff.

                                                                                3. I have had 2 Gel mats. One I purchased and the edges curled. My husband took a picture and sent it to them. They replaced it. Then the edges curled again. The new store I am working in sells Wellness Matts. Pricy but well worth the money and much more comfortable too than the gelpros. Both of mine are going to Good Will.

                                                                                  1. Just a shout out to the GelPro mat I bought at Costco six months ago. It was $25 for a 36"x20" mat, has held up very well (under my feet, and also four usually-muddy giant dog paws running over it). We hose it off on the deck every few days and survived that, too. Also, it has really relieved stress on my lower and mid-back, which was becoming an issue afor me fter long days in the kitchen. We like it so much, we plan to pick up a second one for another part of the counter we stand at a lot. We chose a soft gray color and I was concerned it would show dirt very quickly (see giant dog paw reference above), but it really doesn't look bad even after a long day of dog paws and food prep. Note that I think we got our mat at a steal sale price; I think they cost more now, even at Costco. Still, they are under $100, which is generally less expensive than what I see many similar fatigue-relief kitchen mats sell for.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. I would skip the mat and get good shoes. No tripping hazard and the benefits are always under your feet.

                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: wekick

                                                                                        I've thought about that... which shoes would replicate the feel and support of a good gel mat?

                                                                                        1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                          My s.o. often wonders, half-joking, whether the Wellness mat people would sell big sandal-'shoes' made of the same material as their mats.

                                                                                          1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                            I'm not sure I would try to replicate the mat but talk to a physical therapist or a pedorthist about what is the best shoe for your foot. There is more to it than finding a gel insert. It has to do with fit and support. Good walking shoes are made to be resilient. In my line of work, I have always been on my feet 10-12 hours a day with a 30 min break if I was lucky. The right socks are important too.