This Kitchen Floor Mat Has Made Washing Dishes Actually Relaxing

I first discovered the GelPro kitchen floor mat about two years ago, when I began having all sorts of trouble with my back and was looking for a way to make standing in my kitchen for hours at a time more comfortable. It was an expensive purchase (about $130), but the mat fit the space between my sink and butcher block-topped island perfectly, so I took the plunge. I'd happily do it again for double the price.

I cook for a lot of people, but the thing is, I don't have a dishwasher. I wash my dishes by hand, which means I spend a lot of time standing barefoot on the hard tiles between my island and my sink. My GelPro Classic mat (I got it in the "Truffle Basketweave" color) covers that space now, and blends in seamlessly with the look of my brown 70's tiles. That mat bounces and forms to the shape of my feet, and it's so comfortable that I even lie down and do my stretches on it—it's the softest firm surface in the house, why wouldn't I? Sometimes I just lie down on it because it feels good. It's always a pleasant cool temperature but never too cold.

My GelPro mat-covered floor has become my favorite spot in the kitchen: it's my command center between sink and main work area, and it's right next to a window that looks out over a garden. I stand there to drink my morning coffee, I stand there to eat solo dinners at the counter, I stand there to talk on the phone, and I stand there when I entertain. And when I do entertain, I swear my guests are more willing to help with the dishes once they realize it means standing on my GelPro mat.

The gel filling of these mats is very sturdy, but after two years of use mine started developing a little sink hole right where my heels dig in. I've been told I have a stubborn streak, but I don't think my heels are necessarily more forceful than anybody else's—I think I just do an awful lot of dishes. Turns out that every GelPro Classic mat comes with a 3-year warranty: all it took was one easy phone call with the kindest customer service rep and a replacement mat was on its way. If my love of my mat hadn't already made me a customer for life, that experience most certainly did.

See this review on Epicurious Recipe Blogger.