New technology continues to revolutionize the computer industry year after year, and that includes major improvements to the accessories around computers like mice and mouse pads. The mouse pad, in particular, has changed tremendously in the last couple of decades.

Just like computer mice, mousepads had changed a lot to suit the different and changing needs of computer users. People have certain needs when it comes to mousepads, so we have put the below guide together to help educate you on how to choose the right one for you.

Key Facts

  • A mouse pad is something which helps you use a computer mouse in the easiest and most efficient way possible. The rise in popularity of videogames has changed the mouse pad industry forever, with special pads now designed specifically for gamers.
  • Certain professions, especially people who work in offices at computers all day long, also demand certain mousepads to help prevent repetitive stress injuries.
  • The materials which mouse pads are made from determining how easy it is to slide the mouse and its speed. A good quality mouse pad is a must-have for gamers, but not as useful if you don’t have the proper mouse to go along with it. This works in the opposite direction as well, so you need to investigate both before buying either.

Ranking: The best mouse pads on the U.S. market

In the gaming world, it is essential to use a good mouse pad for optimum speed, but it is also important to help to protect the wrist in many situations, including in the office. The below compilation contains five of the best mouse pads on the U.S. market, each with different features, but all combining great value for money.

No. 1: J & G  Modern Computer Accessories – Mouse Pad With Wrist Support

J & G Modern Computer Accessories Ergonomic Mouse Pad With Wrist Support is designed to keep your wrist and joints well looked after while you browse, read, game, and type. Cheaper mouse pads are usually flat and do not have the user’s wrist support in mind, but this mouse pad goes above and beyond to keep you comfortable. This does not, however, mean that this product skimps on precision. The anti-skid base and T-cloth pad make for accurate and precise scrolling for whatever your purposes.

Another great feature of this mousepad is the raised and reinforced edges that make sure your mouse never falls off the pad while scrolling. The memory foam pad conforms to the shape of your wrist so that using your computer feels effortless. No more wringing your hands and wrists in pain after hours at the computer. This product is backed by the manufacturer’s three-year warranty, so if for whatever reason it is not up to your standards, you will get a replacement immediately.

No. 2: Reflex Lab – 9″ x 8″ Mousepad

Reflex Lab’s 9 x 8 inch mousepad is waterproof, comes with stitched edges, and is ultra-thick and smooth for optimal scrolling. The extra-smooth surface is amazing for gaming mouse sensors and gives you incredible reaction speeds and precision. The super thick material feels great on your wrist and hands and lets you spend more time at your computer doing work or having fun gamin. It is also waterproof, so in the event you do spill something on it, you are not going to damage the material permanently.

Another nice feature of this mousepad is the anti-slip rubber backing that adheres well to most surfaces and lets you browse and game comfortably without having to constantly readjust the pad. This is a machine washable product, so you can always throw it in the washing machine if it gets too dirty. The professional stitching is a nice touch because it lets you know that this product was built to last and is not going to start to fall apart after just one year of use.

No. 3: VicTsing – Ergonomic Mouse Pad

VicTsing’s Ergonomic Mousepad is specially designed for gaming mice and features a lycra fabric cover for ultra gliding and reactive gaming. The gel filling is comfortable and soft on your hands and wrist, and actually conforms to your wrist to reduce stress and pressure points. The non-skid PU bottom is great because it adheres to and grips almost any desk surface, from glass to wood, so you don’t have to constantly readjust the positioning of your pad while browsing or gaming.

This product is also non-toxic and does not have a chemical odor. This is made to work well with all optical and laser mice, and while it was made with gamers in mind, it does not necessarily need to be used for gaming. The wrist support helps protect against the repetitive stress injuries that are common from extended computer use, and relieve the pain of joint tension and things like carpel tunnel syndrome. If you want to improve your mouse performance economically, then this is a great mouse pad to consider.

No. 4: Corsair – MM300 Gaming Mouse

Corsair’s MM300 Gaming Mouse is made from anti-fray cloth and specially made for sensitive gaming sensors. If you want maximum control out of your mouse pad, then this is a great, affordable product to look into. The textile weave on the surface of this pad is made to give you precision down to the pixel and ultra-low friction tracking. The stitched edges help protect against surface peeling which spells the end of many lesser quality gaming mouses and yet another trip to the store for you.

Whether you have a laser or an optical gaming mouse, this is made for complete and total control/accuracy. The anti-slip rubber base lets you put this mouse pad down with confidence on any surface. This is a large mousepad that gives gamers ample space to play. It measures 10.6 x 14.5 inches which means you don’t have to constantly track back into position. If you are looking for something that your mouse will effortlessly glide over the top of, and which gives you a lot of space to move around, this is a fantastic product.

No. 5: SteelSeries – QcK Gaming Mousepad

SteelSeries – QcK Gaming Mousepad is one of the most popular and best-selling mousepads ever created. The large cloth mousepad is tailor-made for gaming mouse sensors and has been the top choice for professional e-sport players for 20 years now. The micro-woven cloth fibers are perfect for low and high DPI tracking, making this the ideal mouse to play both fast-paced, and slower-paced games. Like any good gaming mousepad, it features a non-slip rubber base that lets you game confident that your mousepad is not going to sabotage you.

This is a great mousepad for making sweeping mouse movements because it provides you with so much room. Measuring 17.7 x 15.7 inches, this perfect gaming mousepad has sold over 10 million copies and for good reason: gamers love it. This is a durable pad that will stand up to constant gaming, and also something that you can throw in the washing machine to give a temporary clean if need be. With this mousepad, you have the ultimate accessory for competitive gaming and something that will undoubtedly give you an edge over players who choose not to go with the best.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about mouse pads

Do you remember the old mouse mats? The modern mouse pads are almost unrecognizable when compared to the older 3 inch squared pads years back. Modern computer users, both gamers and office workers, rely on ergonomic mouse pads to help protect their hands and wrists during long hours at the computer. Below are some of the most commonly asked consumer questions.

You may not need a mouse pad if you work in an office, unless you’re a professional gamer.
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What is a mouse pad exactly?

A mouse pad is a supportive or bounded surface on which the computer mouse rests. Its objective is to optimize mouse movements in the same way as the pointer on the device’s screen.

Are mouse pads known by other names?

As we noted earlier, you could describe a mouse pad as a fabric pad on top of which your computer mouse rests. Gamers often use the shorthand “pad” or “gaming mouse pad”, but they are all basically the same thing.

Not every mousepad is made for gaming.
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Is it really necessary to use a mouse pad?

It really depends on how you use your computer. Many people have become very used to just using a touchpad on their laptop. Gamers in the U.S., on the other hand, absolutely rely on their mouse pads for performance and competitive edge. Some gamers still use their tabletops, but a good quality gaming mouse pad is definitely ideal.

Paul EhrlichAnonymous

“To err is human, but to really mess up you need a computer”.

What are the benefits of using a mouse pad?

A mouse pad with a wrist rest can avoid serious problems like carpal tunnel syndrome (caused by repetitive strain on the hands). Some gamers insist that their mouse pads give them an edge while playing online. Good mousepads with the correct surface material make sliding faster and more accurate and are better suited for gaming mouse sensors. they also help keep the surface more free of dust, oils, and stand up to wear and tear better. Below are the main advantages to keep in mind:

  • Agility: The mouse slides easier and tracks the cursor on the screen more accurately.
  • Grip: The mouse is able to track across the entire surface of the pad so you get greater accuracy.
  • Eliminate dust: Typical polyester (plastic) mouse pads are generally ideal for optical mice and for eliminating dust particles.
  • Resting joints: Mouse pads that come with gel or memory foam pads take a lot of strain off your wrist.
  • Gamers mouse pads: Gaming mouse pads tend to be larger to help facilitate a greater range of motion and movement while playing.
  • Less wear: Being larger, the mouse pad specific for gamers prevents wear to the mouse.

Do I need a large mouse pad for office work?

You don’t necessarily need a large pad for the office. However, some of the innovations from the gaming world are making their way over to other activities and occupations that necessitate long hours at the computer. Depending on what you are doing at your office computer, you might be able to get away with minimal mouse use if you know how to use keyboard shortcuts.

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Repetitive stress injuries in the United States are very common among people who work in offices at computers all day.

Why is a mouse pad important for gamers?

A gaming mouse pad brings control and speed to the game but will not help you win a competition if you do not have a good mouse. You will need a highly sensitive mouse, with sensitivity being measured in DPI (dots per inch).

The higher your DPI, the less movement that needs to be recognized by the screen. Additionally, when you get a mouse, you should find out about its response time, as well as any additional functionality, and its weight.

There are a great many mouse pads and almost all of them let you easily surf the web.
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Is it worth it to buy a gaming mouse pad?

Yes, it is definitely worth it and you will not regret it. Since laser and optical mice have become popular, the old tracker ball models are all but extinct. Many of these are made with gamers in mind and won’t function as designed unless you have a good mouse pad.

These mouse pads are made with gamers’ needs in mind and help make the mouse more responsive. It is also important that the mouse pad is wide, robust and comfortable to provide for uniform and fast movement.

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Did you know some gamers spend a hundred dollars or more on the best of the best mouse pads?

What types of mousepads can you find on the market

Type of mouse pad Advantages Disadvantages
Fabric More budget-friendly

They are compatible with all kinds of mouse.

The fabric evenly distributes the mouse’s pressure, making movement more efficient.

It’s better to get ones with stitched profiles

cloth is easily stained and often is harder to clean

Can deteriorate over time, and are not always accurate enough for gamers.

Plastic Better glide and movement compared to fabric mouse pads.

More durable.

Simpler cleaning.

Falls apart with extended use, especially under high friction. Can end up deformed.

Gel crystal More precise and allows rapid, easy movement.

If you take care of it, it will last a while.

Simple to clean.

It is possible to make unintended movements because of how sensitive this mouse pad is to movement.

Due to its fragility, gel crystal mouse pads can break and are not the best for laser sensors.

Aluminium Ideal for those looking for speed and precision.

More costly than fabric mouse pads but tend to last longer

they are cool in the summer but can be cold during the winter.

Are often loud, especially if you play with no ambient noise.

What kind of maintenance does a mouse pad require?

Apart from regular cleaning some routine maintenance will make your mouse pad last longer including washing your hands before using the mouse and not eating or drinking close to the mouse pad. The below is what you should keep in mind about cleaning your mouse pad:

  • Clean the mouse pad often: The bottom of the pad can become dirty and dusty so give it a period wipe down.
  • Make sure your hands are clean before using your mouse: This makes sense because your hands are frequently dirty throughout the day.
  • Food and drinks near your mouse pad: If you eat at your computer you should clean your mouse pad often to make sure your mouse isn’t picking up and crumbs. Drinks and liquids are also a major threat to mice and mouse pads, so clean spills immediately.

You need your mouse to be highly sensitive
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How do you clean a mouse pad?

Cleaning will  depend on the material it is made of as it will differ between plastic and cloth mouse pads. It is a different process entirely to clean a fabric mouse pad as opposed to a plastic one. The below table breaks down the steps to follow when cleaning your mouse pad:

Type of mouse pad How to clean it
Fabric Mix water and shampoo or water and dish soap and rub in.

Rinse with water and air dry. Some can be put in the washing machine.

Plastic Similar to cloth – soap and water or shampoo and water will do the trick.

The same if it has a gel pad. Moisten, rub gently, rinse and let air dry before using again.

Aluminium Make a soapy water solution, with cold or lukewarm water. Then rinse with plenty of water.

Dry the mouse pad. Finally, take a drop of oil and polish the surface with a cloth for a while.

Gel crystal In this case, use a glass cleaner. If not available you can also use a bit of alcohol and a cloth.

Shopping criteria

If you already know you are going to get a new mouse pad, you need to know what to look for in order to make the best purchase possible. If you’re a professional gamer, however, you are already fully aware of how important a good quality surface for your mouse is. The below list contains the most important considerations:

  • Intended use
  • Surface
  • Material
  • Size
  • Thickness

Intended use

As we touched on earlier, to get the best mouse pad possible you need to know what you’re going to be using it for. Is it for simple office work, or competitive gaming? If it’s the former, a mat and a gel pad to rest your hand and wrist on makes sense. However, if you are a passionate gamer you will want to maximize your surface area and get a bigger mouse pad.

If you are a competitive gamer you will need both a high-end mouse and mouse pad. This typically means more money, but if you love gaming no price is too high. Large surface area mouse pads that are highly sensitive are preferred by gamers. You need this if you want to stand a chance of winning.

A mouse pad may not seem important, but it certainly is important for those who work on a computer.
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Surface

This is of paramount importance if you’re a gamer. Experts say that if you game you shouldn’t have a mouse pad with bright designs on it or it might affect your mouse, resulting in irregular jumps. Also, avoid any mouse pads with highly reflective surfaces.

Material

The kind of material you’ll need is based on whether you are gaming or working in the office. If you game, then control, speed and accuracy are your major concerns. An aluminium or glass mat work well for gamers, as do fabric – especially beginners.

Size

The size of the mousepad is crucial for a gamer because it allows you to move the mouse across the entire desktop. Speed is of the utmost importance online, so having a large mouse pad is crucial. Bigger mouse pads are also nice if you work with drafting and design programs.

Thickness

Your mouse pad needs to be thick enough that it compensates for any potential bumps or divets in your desk’s surface that could potentially throw your mouse off. A gamer should have a mouse pad that is at least 2mm thick. Professional players usually opt for 5 mm mats.

Summary

Up until recently, most mouse pads were kind of mindless accessories that didn’t exceed 7-8 inches in width. Gamers and the rise in popularity of competitive gaming have completely revolutionized mouse pads. They now come in a wide range of styles and functionalities and are absolutely indispensable.

Gamers need specially designed mouse pads for optimal performance. Always opt for something that is good quality and works well with your mouse. You are now fully aware that without a good mouse mad, your mouse is rendered almost useless.

If you enjoyed this guide to mouse pads and found it helpful, share it with your friends and family on social media. Additionally, you can drop a comment in the below section and let us know what you think.

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