Did you know that office chair racing is actually a sport in Japan? Known as the Isu-1 Grand Prix (isu is Japanese for chair), it sees teams of competitors chase each other around a track during a two hour race and has become so popular that rounds take place in towns and cities throughout Japan. But if the runaway wheels of your office chair are ruining your own carpet, you need a chair mat, stat.

This durable vinyl protector is available in two different sizes and formats to suit different types of floor. The studded underside keeps it in place allowing your office seat to move easily without slipping. Amazon

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Don’t think that one mat will suit all situations. There are dedicated mats to protect hardwood floors, and some mats designed for use on carpets will even make the distinction between low pile carpets and more densely piled ones.

Designed to blend seamlessly with your floor covering while protecting it, this large runner has cleats below to protect soft furnishings and a smooth top surface. Amazon

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You can usually choose between a mat and a mat with a lip. If you’re looking for a mat that will sit neatly under your desk and protect the carpet there, yet still keep you from slipping off when you roll back, you probably want one with a lip. On that note, it’s worth measuring before you order. Mats often come in different sizes and while most will work with a standard office chair, you should check how wide apart the wheels on yours sit to make sure it won’t bump the lip.

Hard material resists indentations while stay put spikes hold it in place protecting your carpet. Amazon

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While some mats are shipped flat, others may be rolled up to make them easier to ship. That can mean that they don’t lie entirely flat when first used. There are various ways to address this issue but ultimately if you warm the plastic a little, it will be easier to make it lie flat. Some people do this by leaving the mat to lie flat out in the sun, others use blowdryers, while some suggest soaking it in a tub of hot water.