There’s a lot of focus on which is the best mouse to buy – whether that’s a normal everyday rodent, or a gaming mouse – but little thought is generally given to what mouse pad should be paired with the peripheral, if any thought at all. But of course, the surface that you’re mousing on is an important part of the overall experience of using a mouse.
With that in mind, we’ve picked out some of our favorite and top-rated mouse pads, the royalty of the mouse mat world if you will, for daily computing duties in the main, perhaps with a bit of gaming on the side. (Many mouse mats are designed specifically for gaming, but they can make great everyday mouse pad options, too).
While we have picked out a ‘best overall’ mouse pad below, it should be noted that these mats are something of a matter of personal taste, and their feel and glide is always going to be rather subjective, so bear that in mind. Furthermore, you may well be looking for something specific – like a really large mat, or one with extras like a built-in charger, or perhaps a really cheap pad.
So, we’ve covered a range of different categories below to ensure you get the right mouse mat for your particular needs, and one that suits your shiny new mouse (or indeed your old one, for that matter).
The SteelSeries QcK is a cloth mat offering an impressive surface for mousing whatever your needs, whether that’s navigating around the Windows desktop, or games for that matter (it’s officially a gaming mouse pad, but it’s a fine all-rounder in truth).
The QcK benefits from a surface that offers a great deal of precision in terms of mouse movement, and a smooth gliding action to boot. This pad also has a non-slip rubber base, so it feels very stable on the desk, plus it’s spill-proof and washable.
And it does all this while being a very reasonably priced mouse pad, which is the icing on top. About the only downside here is some reports of the edges of the mat fraying eventually, but we’re talking a long way down the mousing road – years, not months, in other words.
There are various size options with this mouse mat, too, including plus-sized and mini versions measuring 450 x 400mm and 250 x 210mm respectively, should you wish to have a more expansive, or more compact, mat. The former is slightly pricier than the medium size (which is the spec we’ve highlighted above), and the latter is cheaper, as you’d expect.
Most mouse pads are made from cloth, like our top pick above, but if you don’t like a soft mat, there are hard-surfaced options out there too. One of the more popular such models is the SkyPAD which offers a glass (rather than plastic) surface designed for a high level of precision when mousing. Like a lot of mouse pads, this is really made with gamers in mind who need pinpoint accuracy, but accurate mousing is also a pleasurable experience in general daily computing on the desktop – as is a surface which the mouse glides nicely over.
The benefit of glass is also durability, because as you can imagine, the SkyPAD isn’t a mat which will begin to wear thin, or exhibit curling, or other defects that some cloth pads might suffer from longer-term. Furthermore, it’s very easy to clean and there’s no bother with spills, too.
While the SkyPAD 2.0 has been a favorite of a good number of gamers who prefer a hard surface, there is actually a new version 3.0 coming out. It’s larger – pretty big indeed, in fact: an XL size – but now thinner, plus it’s really stable on the desk, not shifting about at all, and has a faster action than its predecessor. This mat also makes less noise, and as this was a complaint from some users about the v2.0 version, it’s good to see work has been done on this front (particularly in terms of everyday usage). The SkyPAD 3.0 is on pre-order at the time of writing, shipping in January (or if you can’t wait, you can grab the old 2.0 pad, but we’d be patient and hold out for the new one if at all possible).
Do note that you need a mouse with decent quality Teflon feet (the raised skates on the underside of the mouse that the peripheral slides on) to get a suitably smooth action with this pad. Overall, it’s well worth a look, even if the SkyPAD is fairly expensive. If you want a much more affordable option for a hard mouse pad, check out the Gigabyte hybrid pad later in this roundup.
Corsair’s range of mouse pads is well-liked and this is the entry-level cloth mat which boasts a very affordable price tag.
The MM100 is roomy, with a weaved cloth surface that promises smooth mouse movement, and a non-slip rubber underside to ensure that it stays nice and stationary even when you’re gaming and playing a fast-paced frantic action affair like a shooter.
In short, the MM100 covers all the basics nicely, and will do the job just fine, but there are obviously much better – and pricier – products out there. If you want something decent that’ll hardly make anything of a dent in your wallet, then look no further.
That said, our favorite pad, the SteelSeries QcK, often doesn’t cost a great deal more (exact pricing varies depending on sales and so forth, naturally), so it’s worth considering paying that bit extra to get the QcK in our opinion.
If you want to spend the absolute minimum on a mouse pad, then a basic offering from Amazon will do. In all honesty, we wouldn’t necessarily advise this as a wise course of action – after all, we spent the intro reminding you not to scrimp on a mat – but Amazon does have some very cheap mouse pads that are serviceable enough.
On a shoestring budget, we’d plump for the Amazon Eono brand mouse mat. This lies flat – there’s no curling up at the edges, as you can get with some cheap cloth mouse pads – and provides a smooth-glide mousing surface, plus it doesn’t shift about when using it. In short, it avoids all the pitfalls that a stupidly cheap mouse mat can often fall into, although the Eono is very thin (and you can feel that, which may not be to everyone’s taste – but there’ll always be compromises at the bargain basement level, and that said, we stopped noticing after a while with this mat).
Note that in the US, there is no Eono brand mat, and we’d steer clear of the equivalent Amazon Basics mouse pad – as reviews are mixed, and there are complaints about it curling up. Instead, hunt out the TNY Mouse Pad with Stitched Edge, which is well-reviewed on Amazon and looks very similar to the Eono.
Most mouse pads are a fairly standard not-too-far-off-squarish size, although as we’ve seen in some of the above mats, there are smaller and larger models. There are also really huge and long mouse pads often referred to as ‘extended’ mats or XL ones (or XXL, or throw in a few more X’s for that matter), and these are designed to cover the entire area of the desk in front of you. In other words, you can place your keyboard on the mat as well as mousing next to it.
The advantage of this is mainly to keep your keyboard stable – so it doesn’t have a tendency to shift about, or be nudged forwards, say – while giving you plenty of room for your mousing.
Our top pick in this category is the Corsair MM350 Pro (XL) which offers plenty of width as it’s almost a meter long, providing more than ample space. It has a high-quality cloth surface offering a smooth glide, with a spill-proof coating, and won’t break the bank either – while none of these extended pads are cheap, this is one of the more palatable prices out there.
Corsair’s MM1000 comes with Qi charging built-in, so any devices supporting Qi can simply be placed on the mat – in the charging zone, top-right – to juice them up wirelessly. A Qi charging adapter can also be used to charge most other devices (it’s plugged in via USB Micro-B, or Type-C, or a Lightning adapter).
This is a hard mouse pad with a plastic (micro-textured) surface, and it’s solidly built. The MM1000 is also a reasonably large size to make a bit of extra space to help comfortably play host to the hardware being charged up.
If you want a solid mouse pad which is capable of charging your various devices up, this is a good choice for the asking price.
The Gigabyte AMP500 is a hybrid pad, meaning it’s a compromise between a soft (cloth) and hard mat, being made of silicon. As we’ve observed already, not everyone will like the feel of a hard mousing surface – whether plastic or indeed glass – so what Gigabyte has done is produce something that offers the speed and precision of a hard surface, with the comfort of a soft one.
It’s a really nicely balanced compromise, and the further major benefit here is that the asking price for the AMP500 is very reasonable indeed. It’s way cheaper than some of the hard pads out there, making it a great choice for those who want a firmer mousing surface, but without breaking the bank.
Note that this is a large (and thin) pad, meaning that those folks with limited space on their desk might struggle a bit with the size, so be sure to consider that.
You’ve probably seen mouse pads out there which have built-in raised wrist rests of some kind at the bottom of the pad (usually gel-filled) to give your wrist some added support. We used one of these in the distant past, though, and didn’t find it helped – and over time, in fact, we became somewhat concerned that it might hinder in terms of wrist health, if anything.
So, if you want a mouse mat which is ergonomically sound, we’d recommend the SteelSeries QcK Heavy, one of the siblings of our top-rated overall mouse pad. This combines a micro-woven cloth surface with an extra-thick (non-slip) rubber base, and that additional thickness makes the mouse mat like a cushion for your wrist.
In our view, this is a more helpful solution than a chunky gel wrist pad, but if you do want to get a full wrist rest, our recommendation would be to buy a standalone one, not a built-in solution (Razer makes a good Ergonomic Mouse Rest if this is the route you want to take).
This Heavy variant boasts the same laudable overall quality as the SteelSeries QcK, and comes in (slightly fewer) different sizes – medium, large and XXL – so you can pick and choose the most appropriate amount of mouse pad real-estate for your needs. The spec above is for the medium size, with the large and XXL being 450 x 400mm and 900 x 400mm respectively, though note the latter isn’t as thick at 4mm rather than 6mm. With ergonomics as the primary consideration here, we’d probably steer clear of the XXL due to it having less of a cushioning effect as a result.
- Also check out all the best gaming mouse pads