The 10 Best Desk Pads
This wiki has been updated 25 times since it was first published in October of 2015. If you're tired of seeing your expensive furniture get scratched and tarnished, one of these durable and stylish desk mats or pads will do a good job of protecting your workspace whether at home or in the office. Some are even big enough to let you ditch your mouse pad, and all are great for safeguarding dining room tables from less-than-careful kids doing their homework, as well. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
May 26, 2021:
We made two noteworthy changes while updating this Wiki. The ES Robbins Rectangle is no longer available so it's been replaced by the Oterri Protector. The Oterri is about as simple as they get, as it's designed to protect your desk from scratches and spills, and that's about it. The other change was an update to the newest version of the Ysagi Writing Pad, which is now outfitted with a nonslip treatment on the bottom. For this reason, we've elevated it to the #2 spot because of its elegance and ideal size.
January 28, 2020:
We have kept a range of options made from various materials, but it's important to note that most do not handle extreme heat well. To prevent damage to both the pad and the desk, you'll want to avoid setting hot items, such as dishes, directly on the pad. With that said, we still like the Dacasso Mocha for those who have the budget and who need a professionally appropriate choice. Those who still manage to use pen and paper can write on it, but it also provides a good surface for your keyboard and mouse pad. If you don't plan on doing any actual writing, then the Jialong Speed Gaming Mouse Pad may be a better option, although its styling isn't quite as business-friendly. On the plus side, it's priced affordably. We've opted to add a choice for the list writers and doodlers, as well, the House of Doolittle Executive Doodle. It boasts recycled paper and can be refilled as needed. Finally, we decided to add a rotary cutting mat, even though it is not exactly a desk pad, for the artists and crafters. Because this Dahle Vantage was created to work with sharp blades, it will protect your desk, and it is self-healing for long-term duty.
Saddleback Leather Company Desk Pad With its full-grain leather top and suede-lined underside, the Saddleback Leather Company Desk Pad feels functional yet high-quality. Each comes with a 100-year warranty, so you can count on it to go the distance, and there are several handsome colors available, including black and chestnut. saddlebackleather.com
Pottery Barn Boho Medallion Instead of a plain, off-the-shelf choice, fans of personalized stationery might consider the Pottery Barn Boho Medallion. It can be customized with the recipient's initials and is useful as well as pretty, thanks to its stain resistance. pbteen.com
Why You Should Use A Desk Pad
When you use pens or pencils to write without a pad underneath your document, you can end up leaving unsightly impressions behind.
If you work at a desk, consider investing in a desk pad. These products will protect your surfaces and elevate the look of your workspace. Plus, they're also quite affordable.
The first reason to pick up a desk pad for your office is to shield your furniture from spills. With a layer between your beverage and the tabletop, you don't have to worry about coffee rings and other accidents. And, since most desk pads are a breeze to clean using soap and water, you will avoid having to hire a professional cleaner to restore your furniture and decor after a spill.
Exposure to heat (as from a cup of tea or a hot plate of food) can cause considerable damage to wood surfaces. But, with a desk pad at your workstation, you can enjoy warm beverages and meals at your desk with the peace of mind that your surfaces won't end up tarnished.
Writing tools can harm your desk, as well. When you use pens or pencils to write without a pad underneath your document, you can end up leaving unsightly impressions behind. Even worse, pen or marker ink can seep through paper and leave a lasting stain. There's no reason to take a risk writing on an uncovered table when desk pads are available to help you keep your furniture in pristine condition.
A desk pad can also add flair to your office. It's simple to dress up a plain, boring desk by planting a spiffy pad on top. You can choose from tons of different styles to express your taste in a way that will subtly enhance the look of your home or office.
These days, most desks serve as workspaces for computers and other electronic devices. Even though antique wood tables are gorgeous to look at, they don't always make an ideal surface for electronics (which, by the way, tend to emit damaging heat). Many desk pads are designed so that computer mice glide effortlessly back and forth with no sticking or stopping, which isn't always possible on grainy wood.
What To Look For In A Desk Pad
There are tons of different desk pads on the market, which can make finding the right one a challenge. When you shop for your desk pad, keep an eye out for the following features.
The most important aspect to consider is the pad's construction. Desk pads are made from several materials, including plastic, cloth, and leather. There are synthetic leather options for individuals who love the look of leather but seek something a bit more environmentally friendly. Clear pads are perfect for those interested in protecting their surfaces without altering the appearance of the room.
If you want to customize your work surface, there are pads that come with a clear layer under which pictures, calendars, and other items can be inserted and displayed.
If you're concerned about sustainability, there are desk pads made from biodegradable materials, too. Folks who frequently sip beverages at their desk should go for a waterproof pad that won't absorb moisture and can be wiped dry. To combat eye strain, some models come with anti-glare technology.
Don't forget about your supplies. Many desk pads have built-in grooves for keeping writing tools in place. Others have integrated phone stands, making it easier than ever to access each of your devices at the same time.
Pockets are another feature that can make your workday run more smoothly. A desk pad with pockets allows you to neatly arrange all of the notes, business cards, and documents that would normally end up in a disorganized pile or thrown haphazardly into a drawer.
To make sure your desk pad stays put, settle on a model that comes with a textured, non-slip bottom. Felt or adhesive backings are also worth watching for. After all, there's nothing more irritating than trying to write on a surface that isn't secure.
Other interesting features include printed-on rulers, which can be especially helpful for artists and architects. If you want to customize your work surface, there are pads that come with a clear layer under which pictures, calendars, and other items can be inserted and displayed.
Tips For Keeping Your Office Organized
Purchasing a desk pad is a great step toward creating a comfortable, functional work environment. Below are a few useful tips for maintaining an organized space.
It can be a tedious task, but make sure to always file new notes and documents away. A file cabinet is a wise investment for home offices as well as corporate spaces. A simple alphabetical system of ordering documents is a far more effective approach to managing files than allowing papers to pile up on your desk.
You don't really need more than a few quality writing tools on hand, especially if you normally complete your work using a computer.
Personalizing your work area is perfectly fine, but don't go overboard. Clutter has actually been shown to have a negative impact on productivity and well-being, so clear off your desk and save the tchotchkes and trinkets for other spaces like your bedroom or living area.
If you have a ton of extra supplies floating around, hone your collection down to just the basics. You don't really need more than a few quality writing tools on hand, especially if you normally complete your work using a computer. Review your desk for items that are not used terribly often, and put them into storage.
Organizing your office isn't a one-time event, either. Every few months, take a moment to assess your workspace and evaluate how conducive it is to productivity. If piles of paper are beginning to form, file important articles away and toss out or shred whatever remains. With a clean, orderly office, your surroundings will be free of distractions, which is essential for maximizing productivity.