Anti-static mats can be very beneficial when building a PC, especially if you are building your computer in a place where there tends to be a lot of static electricity, such as a dusty, or dry room, or on a carpet.
That’s why I put together a list of some of the best anti-static mats for building a PC. The anti-static mats on this list I have either used personally when I build PCs or they were tested by my friends or companions.
Why Do You Need An Anti-Static Mat When Building a PC?
Anti-static mats a good if you are building your PC in an area where you are risked of having an anti-static shock. If static electricity gets inside of your PC, you risk damaging specific components.
When your computer gets shocked there is a risk that your CPU, motherboard, GPU, or SSD can get damaged from the static electricity. That is why it is very important to have some sort of anti-static tool on you such as an anti-static mat or wrist strap.
Today we are going to go through the best anti-static mats because there is a lot more choice and different uses that will make repairing or building your PC a lot easier compared to let’s say an anti-static wrist strap.
Some anti-static mats are heat resistant, and extra durable, and some even have pockets and slots for tools that you might be using.
1. IFixit Portable Anti-Static Mat
The iFixit Anti-static mat is the best budget anti-static mat on this list.
I have personally used this mat for the first PC I ever built. This mat comes at a decent size with dimensions of 24 inches by 24 inches. This gives you enough wiggle room to move around without completely stepping off the mat.
The size of the mat was basically perfect for me as it wasn’t so small to the point where I could barely move, but it wasn’t too big to the point where it took up too much space in the room I was building my computer.
This mat is fairly light only weighing 0.82 pounds, and it is very portable as it is very easy to fold up and carry around.
A lot of other budget mats that I’ve used are made out of hard thick material that doesn’t fold up well and tends to be a hassle to unfold or unroll because they never lay flat on the ground, but I have never had any problems with this mat.
The iFixit anti-static mat comes with a wrist strap for your wrist as well as a grounding cord that gives you extra protection to prevent you from shocking your PC when building.
The product quality of this mat is amazing, and if you are on a budget looking for a very high-quality anti-static tool then I would recommend this mat to pretty much everyone.
2. CPB S180 Magnetic Repair Mat
Although this anti-static mat isn’t up my lane of preference. People who like to use a lot of tools and like to stay organized whether they are building their PC or repairing some other type of electronic will be very satisfied with this mat.
This mat comes with a magnetic slot where you can put all of your screws, nuts, and bolts keeping them organized so you don’t lose them.
It also has many different slots for tools and extra components that you are using that way you can stay very organized.
This mat is best for people who like to repair laptops and other electronics, but the anti-static wrist strap that comes with this kit will help you stay grounded and away from danger when you are building your PC.
3. Startech M3013 Mat
If you are looking for a more simple anti-static mat then the Startech M3013 Anti-static mat is the right one for you.
It comes with a grounding cable that attaches to the mat, that way all you need to do is stand on it in order to ground yourself. Nothing too special with this mat, but it is a very simple mat at a reasonable price.
If you are not looking for anything special then this mat will work for you.
The material is made from polyvinyl chloride and it is 24X26 inches which makes it an ideal size for any office build.
It is easy to put away as all you need to do is roll it up. The only issue is that after long periods of storage it might be hard to flatten it back out onto the floor. If this is an issue for you then I recommend going back to the first selection and purchasing the Ifixit mat as you won’t have this problem.
What Does ESD Stand For?
ESD stands for electrostatic discharge. ESD happens when there is a discharge of electricity that occurs between 2 objects with different electrical currents.
This usually happens when there is direct contact between the two objects. When building a computer this usually happens when you personal touch an electronic component in your computer such as your motherboard.
When this happens the static discharge transfers between both you and the object, in this case, the motherboard.
Due to how computer components are built, they aren’t meant to get the electrical charge from your body, potentially damaging your computer.
Even if ESD happens when you are building your computer, your system might run perfectly normally after this event happens. However, after a few weeks or months, you might notice system failure as the ESD has slowly been eating away at your computer.
This is why it is best to take electrostatic discharge seriously as it can damage your computer.
Can You Build Your PC Without an Anti-Static Mat or Wrist Strap?
Yes, you can build your PC without any sort of anti-static wrist strap or mat, although it is not recommended especially if you are new to PC building.
You are working with expensive computer components that cost hundreds of dollars. It is better that you spend a few dollars on ESD equipment so that you don’t have to risk damaging these parts because they can be destroyed in a matter of minutes after being exposed to the static discharge.
If you are still not sure about purchasing anti-static equipment, then check out my article that talks about Are Anti-Static Wrist Straps Necessary For Building a PC?
Where Should You Ground Your Anti-Static Mat?
Anti-static mats are grounded when it is connected to a conductive surface such as metal. The most common places to ground yourself with an anti-static mat are a wall outlet or your power supply.
By powering up and turning on your power supply, you can use the cable that connects to the anti-static mat and attach the prongs somewhere on the power supply.
Due to the power supply being turned on it will transfer any static electricity from your room and yourself to the power supply when you touch it with your body.
The power supply is one of the only computer components that will not be damaged from ESD if used in this way.