A uniquely patterned surface provides greater contrast for optical mice. Speeds up performance and smooths out movement. Extends the life of wireless mice. Good for gaming.
Doesn't lie flat on a table.
Provides a clean, smooth surface for a value mouse pad. Surface cloth is easy to protect and clean to extend the pad's life. Easy to store when traveling.
Edges of the mouse pad can begin to rip after some heavy use.
Heavy-duty rubber base keeps the pad from sliding around when used for travel. Stitched edging offers more durability and a little more support for the wrist. Can be used for all mice. Durable enough for daily use.
Takes up some space in travel bags and luggage.
Cloth surface is free from blemishes and defects to promote accurate and smooth mouse tracking. Rubber base will keep the pad in place during heavy gaming use. Machine washable.
Not as large as some professional-level gaming pads.
Large gel wrist pad is contoured around the proper angle to keep the wrist supported during long periods of use. Reinforced edges prevent damage. Gel support is smooth without being too squishy.
Main pad area is smaller compared to traditional pads.
The right mouse pad can help you get the most out of your computer mouse. Good ones are expertly constructed from quality materials and allow you to easily move your mouse in any direction. Mouse pads come in various materials, sizes, styles, and colors for home or office use.
Of course, choosing the right mouse pad may prove difficult due to the sheer volume of options available.
Our shopping guide and product recommendations can help you differentiate between an ordinary mouse pad and a top-of-the-line model, so you can find an affordable first-rate mouse pad that will serve you well.
Mouse pads are generally made of four materials: cloth, plastic, aluminum, or glass.
Cloth: Cloth mouse pads consist of foam and fabric. Many cloth mouse pads feature a neoprene backing to help prevent the pad from moving. These pads are easy to fold up and carry just about anywhere.
Plastic: Plastic mouse pads, also referred to as hard pads, have a rubber base. These offer a smooth surface for the mouse and are simple to maintain.
Aluminum: Aluminum mouse pads offer exceptional strength and durability compared to cloth or plastic models, but they tend to be more expensive.
Glass: Glass mouse pads are luxurious options compared to cloth, plastic, or aluminum. Additionally, they may be more prone to damage.
Think about why you want a mouse pad in the first place, so you can select one based on your day-to-day use. For example, if you’re an avid gamer, you might want to prioritize size and texture as you search for a mouse pad. A large mouse pad will provide lots of room to move your mouse and allow you to precisely manage mouse speed and control. On the other hand, if you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome or require extra wrist support, select a mouse pad with a built-in wrist rest, which will allow you to comfortably control your mouse.
If you want a mouse pad that matches your distinct personality, you're in luck. Lots of eye-catching pads are available in myriad designs, so you should have no trouble finding one that complements your personal style. But keep in mind that ones that feature designer logos, computer game characters, or other unique designs may be more expensive than standard options.
Mouse pads typically have one of three base options: slim, standard, or heavy.
Slim: At about 2 mm thick, a slim base provides a solid and sturdy feel.
Standard: At about 3 mm thick, a standard base offers a great combination of comfort and support.
Heavy: At about 5 mm thick, a heavy base is a terrific option for use on uneven surfaces.
Let's face it – no one wants to buy a mouse pad that will wear out quickly, so it’s important to find one that has strong edging. Some mouse pads have stitching around the perimeter that connects the surface and base and protects the pad's edge from wear and tear.
Nonskid backing: A mouse pad should allow you to move your mouse as needed, but the pad itself shouldn’t move. A pad with a nonskid backing will stay in place. The nonskid backing should be durable and sturdy and not leave a mark on your work surface.
Battery-saving capabilities: Some mouse pads can help extend the life of the battery in a wireless mouse. For example, using a wireless mouse on a pad with battery-saving capabilities may draw less current in comparison to using a mouse on a desktop or foam surface.
Machine washable: Regardless of where you use your mouse pad, it’s likely to get dirty. A machine-washable pad will be easy to keep clean.
Nontoxic: Various mouse pads are odor-free. These mouse pads are RoHS-certified for safety, nontoxic, and don’t emit a chemical odor.
Gel cushioning: Some mouse pads have a soft, gel-filled cushion that conforms to the wrist and can help alleviate wrist pain. If you want an ergonomic mouse pad, a gel-filled cushion may be beneficial. It’s designed for maximum comfort and support and can help you use your mouse to browse, play, and work with more precision.
You won't have to break the budget to purchase a mouse pad, even a high-end option.
Basic mouse pads are priced between $5 and $8. These are usually simply designed, with a solid rubber base, and work with all mouse types.
Mouse pads priced between $8 and $12 may offer a gel-filled wrist support, among other features.
Most top-of-the-line mouse pads cost between $12 and $15. These mouse pads may be constructed from aluminum, glass, or other premium materials, offer a large surface area, and come in custom designs and styles.
Inspect the pad surface. Ideally, you want a mouse pad that offers the optimal combination of control and speed based on how you plan to use your mouse.
Look beyond appearance. A mouse pad may look great but deliver inferior results, so don’t just focus on a pad's color, style, and design when looking for one that matches your expectations.
Learn about maintenance. A mouse pad that can be tossed in the washing machine is easy to keep clean.
Consider portability. Many mouse pads are lightweight and simple to carry with you.
Remember that size matters. Consider how you’ll use your mouse pad so you can select one that offers ample space. For instance, if you want a gaming mouse pad, you may want to pick up an extended model that offers sufficient space to accommodate your gaming activities.
Q. Do I need a mouse pad if I use an optical mouse?
A. A mouse pad is intended for use with different mouse options. If you use an optical mouse, however, a mouse pad isn’t always required. While a traditional mouse includes a rubber ball, an optical mouse has an optical sensor that detects when the mouse is moving on most surfaces. But if you use an optical mouse on a semi- or fully reflective surface, the mouse's optical sensor is unable to see which direction the mouse is moving. In this instance, a mouse pad is required to track the optical mouse's surface movement and direction.
Q. How can a mouse pad help reduce the battery usage of my wireless mouse?
A. The mouse sensor draws most of the device's power. Some mouse pads have a reflective, light-colored surface that delivers more precise mouse tracking in comparison to a mouse pad with a dark surface. This means a light surface may require less current from a wireless mouse than a dark surface.
Q. How long will a mouse pad last?
A. That varies based on the mouse pad's construction, materials, and other factors. Keeping your mouse pad clean can increase its lifespan.
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