The most common chair mats for carpet are made from plastic or vinyl, and they tend to be fairly unattractive. They are, however, efficient, inexpensive, and relatively durable for carpet use, so for the person on a budget, this is perhaps the best option. These plastic chair mats for carpet can accommodate chairs with casters, or wheels, as well as chairs with fixed legs. Other options include bamboo chair mats and mats made from other types of wood as well. These tend to be more expensive but also far more attractive and in some cases more durable.
One consideration to keep in mind when choosing chair mats for carpet is a lip that runs around the perimeter of the mat. This lip will prevent chairs with casters from sliding off the side of the mat and into the carpet, which can lead to injury or, at the very least, discomfort. The lip will essentially bump the wheels and keep them from moving once they reach the end of the mat. These mats will cost a bit more than other types of mats, but the convenience is often well worth the price, especially for chairs with wide legs.
If the chair mats for carpet will be stored or moved frequently, consider a folding mat or a rolling mat. A rolling mat will roll up like a carpet and be lightweight enough to move easily. Folding mats may fold into quarters, thereby making handling and storage a bit easier. These mats do tend to be slightly less stable when rolled out for use, but the convenience of being able to roll up or fold the mat will be worth the sacrificed stability for people who move chair mats frequently or who will be storing the mats when not in use.
Consider purchasing chair mats for carpet that feature a lip which extends beneath the desk. This will prevent the front casters of the chair from slipping off the front of the mat, again causing inconvenience.These tend to be slightly more expensive than simple square mats. Vinyl and wood mats can feature this lip. Many people prefer vinyl mats on carpet, since many vinyl mats are clear, thereby allowing the color of the carpet beneath to show through. This provides a consistent aesthetic in the office. Vinyl will show dirt more once it accrues, however, so cleaning the mats regularly may be necessary.