LifeSpan Treadmill Mat Review
A generic equipment mat, the LifeSpan Treadmill Mat is ironically not ideally suited for use with their own walking treadmills. It is too large in area, and about one-third of the thickness one would want. For $50 it is one of the few made of rubber (albeit not made entirely of 100% recycled rubber), manufactured in the USA. But for an office treadmill you’re better off with a thicker mat that’ll provide more shock and noise absorption; one that is properly sized so as not to interfere with the desk legs, create a potential trip hazard, or expose an unsightly perimeter of rubber around your treadmill base.
|MSRP / List Price||$50|
78″ L x 35.5″ W
|Where to buy||
Buy on Amazon
|Quality and Aesthetics|
|Suitability for Treadmill Desking|
|Positives||Made in the USA, of "almost" 100% recycled rubber. One of the better mats in this price range as it is at least not made of noxious PVC material in a Chinese factory.|
|Negatives||No warranty. At 2 mm it is about one-third of the thickness one would desire under their treadmill. The LifeSpan mat is a bit oversized for an office treadmill, designed as a generic equipment mat to accommodate all of LifeSpan's other cardio fitness equipment lines. It is a bit longer and wider than would be ideal, creating an aesthetic issue at best, and a trip hazard zone around your treadmill, at worst. Too thin if you're going to use over carpet.|
Treadmills Are Giant Static Generating Machines
The primary reason to place a rubber mat under your treadmill is as an anti-static guard to protect against dust becoming attracted to and infiltrating the internal works of the machine. A basic mat will also prevent damage to the floor, and reduce vibration and noise.
Treadmill mats, also generically referred to as equipment mats or anti-static mats, come in many sizes, thicknesses, and material quality – from cheap, thin, easily-town PVC mats made in China, to thick, durable, 100% rubber mats made in the USA. There are even cheaper mats available on Amazon, but our expert review team wouldn’t recommend anything less than the $49.99-priced LifeSpan Treadmill Mat. That said, you get what you pay for, which in this case is a mat that’s a bit oversized, yet only one-third of the thickness of a high-quality mat like the iMovR RightSize™ Treadmill Mat.
Most mats are designed for larger gym equipment like elliptical machines (wider footprint) or running treadmills (longer footprint), so their dimensions tend to be a little too large for a walking treadmill base. Besides looking ugly on your office floor, they create a trip hazard, and can run into the legs of your height-adjustable desk. Being oversized can in some situations make it impossible to center your treadmill on the mat, or force you to put one leg on the mat and the other on the floor, tilting your entire desk and causing undue sideloading on the leg actuators.
The LifeSpan Treadmill Mat is in fact just a generic gym equipment mat, and ironically is a bit outsized for their TR800-DT3, TR1200-DT3 and TR5000-DT3 treadmill bases. If your walking treadmill is even smaller in footprint, such as the iMovR ThermoTread GT or the Rebel 1000 Treadmill, the mat is going to frame your unit in even more exposed rubber.
In general we recommend treadmill mats that are at least a quarter-inch – or 6 millimeters – thick. Thinner mats have a tendency to curl at the edges over time, which can pose an even greater trip hazard. The LifeSpan Treadmill Mat is only 2 mm thick, which won’t provide very much short absorption or noise reduction. Worse, it could easily tear when moving the treadmill around. Perhaps that’s not a big issue if you don’t plan to clean under your treadmill very often, but the idea is that the mat should make it easier to do exactly that – and thus extend the life of your treadmill by keeping dust out of the belt works and motor.
The static charge that builds up on a treadmill from the friction of a rubber belt continuously rubbing against a plastic deck attracts dust in the air and dirt from the bottom of your shoes into the space in between. Over time as dirt accumulates, it increases the friction and load on the motor, not to mention increasing the unit’s power consumption. Bottom line, you want to keep the static down, the treadmill clean, and lubricate frequently to protect the value of your treadmill desk investment.
Lastly, users who have purchased this mat for use on carpeting have all complained that it is too thin for this purposes. If your walking desk is on a carpet you’d be better served by getting the thickest mat available (6 mm), such as the iMovR RightSize Rubber Treadmill Mat.
Beware of mats made of PVC (vinyl), these are the cheapest but they’re not made to last, and their manufacturing process is much more harmful to the environment. For this reason most PVC mats are made in China, where the EPA isn’t around to enforce environmental laws. A good treadmill mat will be made of 100% rubber. A better mat will be made of 100% recycled rubber (typically from tires). The best mats, like the LifeSpan and iMovR treadmill mats, are also made in America. That goes to quality as well as environmental sensibility. If you read the user reviews on cheap treadmill mats offered on Amazon you’ll also frequently read about unpleasant outgassing odors that no one needs in their office.
Treadmill mats get dirty. But some mats can be ridiculously hard to clean from dust and footprints; again, not something you’d want to have to hassle with in your office. You want a nice, firm mat that can be easily cleaned without special chemicals, just soap and water. Better yet, getting a mat that is perfectly sized to your treadmill will keep all but a tiny surface area from being exposed, so you don’t have to hassle with keeping the mat looking nice.
At the end of the day, even though a mat made in the USA from 100% recycled rubber will cost more, it should last forever, saving money, time, hassle, landfill space, and a whole lot of pollution. Our only issue with LifeSpan’s treadmill mat in this regard is the weasel words “almost 100% recycled rubber” in their descriptive copy, which can mean just about anything.
LifeSpan does not offer a warranty on this product, which is one indicator that a measly 2 mm thickness is not going to endure much abuse. Compare to the 6 mm-thick iMovR RightSize™ Treadmill Mat which comes with a five-year, full-performance warranty.
Free shipping is included in the price when purchased through Amazon Prime. The LifeSpan Treadmill Mat is 35″ x 78″ x 2mm, and weighs 17 lbs.
LifeSpan Treadmill Starter Kit
See our comprehensive Treadmill Mat Comparison Review to learn more about the best treadmill mat for your walking workstation setup.