What Is a Bamboo Chair Mat?

Dan Cavallari

A bamboo chair mat is a type of protective surface that is placed underneath a chair to prevent the legs of the chair from scratching a floor. It can also provide a flat surface for rolling chairs placed on carpets. The mat itself is made from bamboo, which is a lightweight and durable material that often comes in narrow slats that are then sewn or otherwise secured together to form a mat. Bamboo is a naturally attractive material that is more aesthetically appealing than the more common plastic chair mats often found at office supply stores. A bamboo chair mat is likely to be more expensive than plastic mats, however.


The shape of a bamboo chair mat can change by manufacturer's specifications, but they are most commonly square or rectangular. Others may be oddly shaped; rounded edges, circular patterns that more closely follow the needs of a rolling chair, and square mats with a tongue that extends underneath a desk are all fairly common shapes for a bamboo chair mat. Odd shapes may be more expensive than the more traditional square models, since extra work may be necessary to create these shapes.

The two most significant advantages of a bamboo chair mat over a traditional plastic mat are aesthetics and storage. Plastic mats tend to be fairly unattractive, and they can crack if too much weight is placed on them, leading to an ugly surface that may not be safe for chairs with rolling wheels. A bamboo chair mat is naturally beautiful and is more resistant to cracking and wear. Plastic mats are usually fairly rigid as well, which can make storage a hassle when the mat is not in use. Bamboo mats will roll up to a very compact size for storage or when moving the mat from one place to another. The smaller bamboo mats are also easier to ship, which means lower shipping charges should the customer order the unit online.

Bamboo mats are also somewhat more environmentally friendly than plastic mats. Bamboo is a renewable resource, whereas plastic is petroleum-based; the production of plastic mats increases carbon emissions and other types of pollution, whereas farmed bamboo can be replanted, and the construction process of the mat will produce little excess waste depending on what process is used to make the mat. Bamboo can also be recycled or repurposed easily, whereas some plastics can be difficult to recycle or repurpose.

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Discussion Comments


Your chairmat articles are the only reference I've found that come close to the advice I'm looking for. They go a long way in describing various aspects and types. But all of your articles on chairmats do not address the issue that I have, i.e., heavy-duty durability of the different chairmat materials. Picture a recliner chair with a two foot diameter steel tube, as a base, to which 6 equally spaced 1 inch ball-down casters are affixed. The casters sink deeply into a standard plastic chairmat.

I'm using two layered plastic mats right now and still the ball-down casters create divots, and sometimes make the chair hard to roll. (I can't use standard offset casters as recliner chair center of gravity is affected, i.e., it could tip over).

I like the bamboo idea but I can't imagine that it would last with 6 one inch steel balls rolling over it, with about 250 pounds of weight (the chair and me). The fact that bamboo mats can be rolled up, tells me that the method of bonding the bamboo slats (sewn) might be compromised by the steel balls rolling over them. The only alternative might be going to a 5/16 inch hard plastic mat (36X48), to be placed over my tight weaved approx. 3/8 inch office rug.

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