When planning your perfect desk setup, you need to think about what mouse to buy, what keyboard will be best, and what chair will be the most comfortable. However, you might overlook a simple but game-changing item: a mouse pad. Mouse pads can protect your desk from scratch marks and help make your gaming experience more immersive by giving a smoother surface to glide over. Even if you’re not a huge gamer, gaming mouse pads can be used for everyday use, and a high-quality mousepad is a great way to prevent wrist injuries and make working from home a little more comfortable.
If you’re looking to improve your gaming or work from home setup, here are our picks for the best mouse pads along with some tips to find the ideal option for you.
— Best Overall: Corsair MM100
— Best Budget: Razer Sphex V2
— Best for Gaming: Logitech G240
— Best Full-Size: Corsair MM350 Pro (XL)
— Best Ergonomic: SteelSeries QcK Heavy
— Best Hard Surface: SkyPAD Glas 3.0 XL Gaming Mouse Pad
How We Chose the Best Mouse Pads
To compile our list of the best mouse pads, we looked at a range of options that would work for a home office and for gaming. Factors we considered included material, such as whether a mouse pad was hard or soft and whether its structure would be a help or hindrance to function. We also looked at the size of assorted mouse pads and how they would fit in work spaces and gaming rigs. We also considered design and looked for ergonomic options. Finally, we considered a range of price points.
Best Overall: Corsair MM100
Why it Made The Cut: Whether you're a gamer or just looking to upgrade your work setup, this non-slip mousepad stays in place and provides the user with smoother mouse pad movements.
— Size: 12.6 inches L x 10.6 inches W
— Material: Cloth
— Thickness: ⅛ inch
— Non-slip base
— Affordable price point
— Precision tracking
— No added features
The Corsair MM100 is a great option for anyone looking for a cloth mouse pad that provides a smooth user experience. Its weaved cloth surface gives you a smoother feel than a normal desk, and thanks to the non-slip rubber underside, the pad stays stationary even when you’re playing a more fast-paced action game, like a shooter. The mousepad is also optimized for both laser and optical gaming mice, making it a great choice for gamers. Those with home offices can also enjoy the affordable price point and low friction tracking that this mouse pad provides.
Its medium size means that it will work fine for most desks, and it’s still a pretty affordable option, especially if you’ve already decked our desk setup out and are looking for ways to save.
Best Budget: Razer Sphex V2
Why It Made The Cut: For those who are looking for the most affordable mouse pad option, this mouse pad is very affordable, but still built to last. This mouse pad’s extremely thin surface makes it a sleek option that can fit most desk sizes.
— Size: 14.0 inches L x 10.0 inches W
— Material: Polycarbonate
— Thickness: 0.02 inches
— Fits with most standard desk sizes
— Inexpensive and affordable
— Designed to withstand wear and tear
— Adhesive base makes it hard to move
The Razer Sphex is cheap — really cheap. It’s usually eight dollars, but the mouse pad goes on sale frequently, which means it could cost you as little as five bucks. Its matte black color provides an unobtrusive surface that’ll blend in nicely with any black desk. It’s less than half a millimeter in height, and the polycarbonate surface is durable and ideal for laser or optical gaming mouse control.
The Razer Sphex also comes in multiple sizes, so if you have a smaller desk, you can get an option that fits. However, do keep in mind that the base is adhesive, which means once you stick it on your desk, it’ll be hard to take off.
Best for Gaming: Logitech G240
Why it Made The Cut: This easy-to-set up mouse pad barely moves and provides a comfortable, soft surface that will last you a long time.
— Size: 11.0 inches L x 13.4 inches W
— Material: Neoprene rubber
— Thickness: 0.04 inches
— Durable surface with seamless response
— Pairs well with a Logitech mouse
— Rubber base prevents movement
— Easy set up
— More expensive than other comparable options
— Works best with other Logitech accessories
The Logitech G240’s easy set-up and seamless response surface makes it a great option for those who don’t want to use a lot of brain power deciding on another desk accessory. There’s no set up time, and its rubber base means that it’ll stay in place the second it’s out of the box and on your desk. The cloth surface of the mouse pad provides just the right amount of resistance when starting or stopping rapid movements while playing your favorite video game.
This mouse pad does work best with a Logitech mouse, since its surface texture was designed to be optimal for Logitech G mice, which is useful, especially if you’re someone who loves Logitech products. It’s also a more expensive option, and if you’re using a different brand of mouse, it may not be worth the added price.
Best Full-Size: Corsair MM350 Pro (XL)
Why it Made The Cut: For those with bigger desks, this mousepad can fit both your keyboard and your mouse on one sleek and smooth surface.
— Size: 36.6 inches L x 15.7 inches W
— Material: Fabric
— Thickness: 0.15 inches
— Padded surface
— Stitched, anti-fray edges
— Anti-skid surface
— Will only fit large or oversized desks
The extended, extra large design of this Corsair mouse pad is designed so that you can place your keyboard on this mat while still having plenty of room to move your mouse. Even if you might not notice, your keyboard can shift slightly, or be nudged forward, especially if you’re an overactive gamer. This mousepad will keep your keyboard stable, and the high-quality cloth surface offers a smooth glide. It is one of the more expensive options on this list, but it’s built to last: the spill-proof material means that an unfortunate morning coffee spill won’t mean that you have to order a new mouse pad while you’re waiting for your second cup to brew.
Of course, the size also means it might not fit your desk setup, so be sure to measure your desk and see how well the mousepad will fit. But if you are someone who is looking for an extended mousepad, this might be the one for you.
Best Ergonomic: SteelSeries QcK Heavy
Why it Made The Cut: While it’s officially a gaming mousepad, the overall padded design of the SteelSeries Qck makes it great for those who are looking to upgrade from wrist rests on their mouse pads.
— Size: 17.72 inches x 15.75 inches
— Material: Rubber base with cloth exterior
— Thickness: 0.23 inches
— Provides a smooth and precise surface
— Excellent value
— Comes in a range of different sizes
— Some users report fraying along the edges after long-term use
When you think of mouse pads with wrist support, you’re probably picturing one of those mouse pads with the built-in raised wrist rests at the bottom of the pad. While these might seem helpful, they actually limit your wrist by limiting its movement. And, let’s be honest, the bulky look isn’t always attractive on a desk.
If you want a mousepad that was designed with ergonomics and wrist support in mind, check out the SteelSeries Qck Heavy. Its micro-woven cloth surface covers an extra-thick (non-slip) rubber base, which means you can move your mouse (and wrist!) freely and still get that extra-cushion no matter where your wrist is on the mouse pad. This mouse pad also comes in different sizes, but it doesn’t have the reinforced edges like some of the other options, and some reviews note that the mouse pad can fray after long-term use.
Best Hard Surface: SkyPAD Glas 3.0 XL Gaming Mouse Pad
Why It Made The Cut: For those who prefer the feel of a hard surface mousepad, the SkyPAD provides an extremely durable, sleek, glass surface that easily functions as a gaming and everyday mousepad.
— Size: 15.7 inches x 19.7 inches
— Material: Glass, Rubber
— Thickness: 0.14 inches
— Easy to clean
— Mounts onto desk for little movement
— Requires a mouse with Teflon feet for use
— Hard surface feel isn’t for everyone
If you don’t like a soft mat, there are a lot of hard-surfaced options out there, but many are made out of cheap plastic or are incredibly expensive. The SkyPAD is a glass surface that mounts onto your desk to create a non-slip surface that offers a lot of precision for those who need to pinpoint accuracy. The mouse glides nicely over the surface, and since it is glass, it’s easy to clean and won’t fray or wear thin like cloth mouse pads will.
While the SkyPAD may seem perfect, you will need to buy a mouse that has Teflon feet (the raised skates on the underside of the mouse that the peripheral slides on) to get smooth mouse action with this pad. And even though it’s cheaper than other hard mouse pads out there, this one is still much more expensive than your average cloth mousepad.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Mouse Pad
The best mouse pad for you will not only protect your desk, but also protect your mouse and cause the least amount of strain on your hands. You’ll want to measure your desk to make sure that you don't take up too much room on your desk or, even worse, not fit on your desk at all. Depending on what you’re using your mousepad for, you’ll also want to decide if you prefer a hard or flat surface mousepad. Hard surface mouse pads are usually plastic or glass, and provide a rigid surface for your mouse. Soft mouse pads are usually made up of cloth and provide a thin surface that can blend in with your desk.
Just like most desk accessories, the cost of a mousepad can vary greatly depending on the brand and the added features, so make sure you have a budget in mind. You might also want to consider what features are essential for you and what are just extra bells and whistles. For example, some mouse pads will have wireless phone charging capabilities, but you may not want to pay the extra bucks if you already have a charging station on your desk.
Q: How much do mouse pads cost?
The price of a mousepad can vary a lot, depending on the brand and features it has. You can always get a cloth mousepad for under $10, but ones that have more features, like RGB colors or wireless charging can be in the $100 range. Most high quality mouse pads will cost around $30-$40.
Q: What do mouse pads do?
Mouse pads are designed to protect your desks and help prevent dust buildup on your mouse. It’s also a great way to level up your gaming experience.
Q: Can a mouse pad improve my gaming experience?
Yes! A mousepad can provide a smoother surface that allows your mouse to glide with ease, and it creates less friction between your desk and your mouse. A non-slip surface will also improve the optical sensors in the mouse.
Q: Do mouse pads help with carpal tunnel?
If you already have carpal tunnel, a mousepad with a wrist rest can help keep your hand elevated while using your computer.
Q: How long do mouse pads last?
Cloth mouse pads can get dirty quickly, especially if you purchase one with non-water resistant fabric. In order to make sure your mouse pad lasts longer than two years, get one that is both stain-proof and spill-proof, and make sure it has reinforced edges to prevent fraying.
Q: Is it better to get a mouse pad with a wrist rest?
It’s better to get a padded pad than one with a wrist rest because the wrist rest can restrict your movement and actually cause more pain in the long term, especially if you don’t already have carpal tunnel.
If you’re looking for an affordable mouse pad that feels high quality, get the Corsair MM100. If you want the cheapest option check out Razer Sphex V2. If you know you want a hard surface mouse pad that’s easy to clean, the SkyPAD Glas 3.0 XL Gaming Mouse pad is a great option. But if you know you’re an avid gamer who wants a cloth mousepad, get the Logitech G240.
This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.