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The Only Mouse Pad Buying Guide You'll Ever Need

10 August 2023

Having a good quality mouse pad is an important part of having an enjoyable gaming or working experience. Not only will it make your desktop look great, but it can also help with precision when using a mouse. A good mouse pad should have enough friction to allow for precise movements but not so much that it prevents you from making quick gestures. It should also be comfortable to use and have enough space for both your keyboard and your mouse.

Finding the right mouse pad can be tricky, though - there are so many different types available! To help you pick out the best one, here's a quick guide to the different types of mouse pads you can find and what makes them great.

Different Types of Mouse Pads

The first step in selecting the perfect mouse pad is to understand the different types of pads available.

Hard Surface Mouse Pads

Hard surface mouse pads are typically made from materials like plastic or metal and provide a smooth, flat surface for your mouse to move on. They generally don’t offer much cushioning but provide an ideal surface for optical mice. Hard surface pads are best suited for gamers or anyone who needs precise control over their movements.

Soft Surface Mouse Pads

Soft surface mouse pads are usually made from cloth or other soft fabrics and have more cushioning than hard surface pads. This not only makes them more comfortable to use but also helps reduce strain on your wrists and arms as you work. Soft surface pads are great for general computer use, but they don't provide the same level of precision as hard surface pads.

Extended Mouse Pads

Extended mouse pads are larger than traditional ones and often come with an ergonomic shape to fit your wrists perfectly. They generally feature a soft cloth surface that provides extra cushioning for your hands and arms. Extended mouse pads are ideal for anyone who spends long hours at their desk, as they offer maximum comfort while providing ample space to move around.

Gel Mouse Pads

Gel mouse pads are often made with a foam core covered with a special gel material that molds around your hand for added comfort. This material is temperature sensitive, so it will adjust to your body heat, providing extra cushioning that helps reduce fatigue caused by long hours at the computer. Gel mouse pads also help reduce wrist strain which can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome in some people. However, these types of mats may be more expensive than other options due to their specialized design and materials used in construction.

Rubber Mouse Pads

Rubber mouse pads are similar to hard surface pads in that they provide a flat, stable surface for your mouse to move on. However, these mats also feature textured surfaces, which provide extra grip and help keep your mouse from slipping. Rubber mouse pads are more durable than other types of mats, so they’re perfect for gamers who need reliable performance in intense gaming sessions.

Benefits of a Quality Mouse Pad

No matter which type of mouse pad you choose, there are several benefits to having a quality mat.

Comfort and Support

A quality mouse pad supports your wrist as you use the mouse for extended periods. This ensures that you won't incur any pain or discomfort from using the same position for too long. The best mouse pads are designed with ergonomics in mind, meaning that they help maintain proper posture throughout extended computing sessions—this can also help reduce fatigue over time.

Optimized Tracking

When it comes to gaming or other intensive tasks, having a quality mousepad can make all the difference in how well you perform. A good mousepad has just the right amount of friction so that your cursor moves smoothly and accurately across the screen. This is especially helpful if you're playing games that require quick reflexes – you won't have to worry about any lag or choppiness affecting your gameplay.

Increased Productivity

An optimized tracking surface can help make certain tasks faster and easier by reducing drag on the cursor when moving across large sections of text or images. Furthermore, some high-end mouse pads also come with built-in wrist rests that offer ergonomic support, which helps reduce strain and fatigue while using your computer for long periods.

Better Aesthetics

In addition to providing better function, a quality mouse pad can also improve the aesthetics of your desk setup. A well-designed mouse pad can add a touch of style and personality to your workspace, making it more enjoyable to use your computer. Additionally, a quality mouse pad can help protect your desktop surface from scratches and other damage caused by using a mouse without a pad.

Increased Durability

A quality mouse pad is also likely to be more durable than a cheap or generic model. This means that it will last longer and stand up to more wear and tear, saving you money in the long run. Additionally, a durable mouse pad can help to protect your desktop surface from scratches, spills, and other damage.

Reduced Noise

Finally, using a quality mouse pad can also help reduce noise while using your computer. If you have used a cheap or generic mousepad, you may have noticed that it often makes a loud scratching sound when you use your mouse. This noise can be annoying and distracting, but a good mouse pad should be designed to minimize these noises.

What To Consider Before Buying a Mouse Pad

When shopping for a mouse pad, there are several factors that you should consider to make sure you get the best value for your money.


The size of the mousepad will determine how much space it takes up on your desk and also how easy it is to use with your mouse. If you have limited desk space, look for a smaller pad; if you're gaming or need more freedom of movement, go for something larger. Additionally, some mouse pads come in multiple sizes, so you can choose the best fit your needs.


Different materials offer different levels of performance and comfort when using your mouse. Hard surface mats are ideal for gamers as they provide more accurate tracking and a lower friction surface, while cloth mats are softer and more comfortable. Additionally, some materials can also offer improved durability over time.


The grip of the mouse pad will determine how well it stays in place on your desk. Many models have rubberized bases that help keep them securely in place, but if you prefer a slicker bottom, then look for one with an adhesive backing. Alternatively, some mouse pads come with adjustable straps or clips to keep them firmly in place during use.


Some mouse pads also come with designs or patterns to add a bit of style to your desk. These can range from simple geometric shapes to colorful images, allowing you to choose one that reflects your taste and adds a bit of personality to your workspace.


The resistance of the mouse pad will determine how much friction is created when moving your mouse. High-end mats are designed to offer optimal tracking performance with minimal drag, while budget models often have a higher level of resistance that can affect accuracy and speed.

Fun and Useful Features

Finally, some mousepads come with extra features like wrist rests, built-in audio ports, and even wireless charging capabilities. While these may not be essential for everyone, they can make your experience more enjoyable and convenient.

Our Recommendation: MP018 Large Mouse Pad from FlexiSpot

The MP018 from FlexiSpot is our top pick for a quality mouse pad. It comes in two sizes – small and large – to suit your desk space and offers excellent tracking performance with minimal noise. The non-slip rubber base keeps it firmly in place during use, while the smooth cloth surface provides comfortable use without sacrificing accuracy or speed.

Additionally, this mousepad features an ergonomic wrist rest design that helps to reduce strain on your wrists during extended use. The surface pattern is neutral enough to blend in with most desktop setups, while the black and red accents add a bit of color without being distracting.

Overall, this mousepad offers durability, comfort, and convenience at an affordable price – making it perfect for anyone looking for an upgrade from their current mousepad. Plus, FlexiSpot provides a 1-year warranty for extra peace of mind.

Wrapping Up

Choosing the right mouse pad can make all the difference in how well you perform when using your computer or playing games. With this buying guide, you'll be able to find the perfect mat for your needs and enjoy improved comfort, accuracy, and durability during use. So go ahead and pick one up today – you won't regret it!