10 Best Mouse Pads | March 2017

With time spent on a computer seemingly increasing every year, it's essential to have the right mouse pad in order to reduce strain and injury to your wrist and hand. Whether you're a frequent gamer or heavy PC user for work, we've got you covered with this selection. Skip to the best mouse pad on Amazon.
10 Best Mouse Pads | March 2017

Overall Rank: 10
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 3
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 6
Best Inexpensive
The Jaras Comfort Gel mouse pad combines a wrist-friendly design that both conforms to your wrist's shape while also evenly distributing pressure, for proper blood flow. However, its overall construction makes it very bulky.
The 3M Compact mouse pad features built-in anti-microbial product protection that inhibits the growth of bacteria and mold. Its unique tracking surface also extends the life of wireless mice up to 75%. But it's not very comfortable.
The Innovera Mouse Pad 50449 provides a soft cushioning gel that molds to your wrist for all-day support, making its ergonomic design a decent choice for frequent computer users. Unfortunately, it isn't completely slip-resistant.
The SteelSeries QcK has an ample sliding surface with a steady rubber base for extra stability, making this pad a reliable choice for both gamers and non-gamers, alike. It would be nice if the padding was a bit thicker, though.
  • simple yet functional
  • resistant to lint and dirt
  • it tends to wear out quickly
Brand SteelSeries
Model 63004
Weight 7 ounces
Available at an affordable price, the Belkin WaveRest is a solid gel mouse pad that quickly conforms to the natural shape of your wrist for maximum comfort, while also promoting proper hand movements. However, it's quite small.
  • reduces hand and wrist stress
  • durable, long-lasting design
  • the corners don't always lie flat
Brand Belkin
Model F8E262-BLK
Weight 6.4 ounces
The Redragon Archelon has been crafted with high-density, silk-processed cloth materials that function well on almost any desktop surface. Its reinforced, stitched edges also prevent deformation and wear. But it is rather noisy.
  • pad is waterproof
  • it is very easy to clean
  • hard to use with apple's magic mouse
Brand Redragon
Model P001
Weight 10.4 ounces
Regardless of your preferred in-game sensitivity level, or need for control, the Razer Goliathus Cosmic Speed delivers superior tracking responsiveness for almost any task. However, the silk-screen logo on its bottom is rather sticky.
  • smooth weave prevents user fatigue
  • lab-tested and pro-gamer validated
  • has a strong odor
Brand Razer
Model RZ02-01070700-R3M1
Weight 16 ounces
The Glorious XXL Extended Gaming mouse pad provides an immense gliding space that accommodates both a keyboard and a mouse, while being very gentle on a user's wrist. Its smooth cloth surface is also optimized for quick movements.
  • mouse pad is machine washable
  • anti-fraying stitched frame
  • low-friction design
Brand Glorious PC Gaming Race
Model GloriousMousepadPARENT
Weight 1.6 pounds
Made with high-quality silicone filling, The Pad MP-101 is an ultra-thick mouse pad with an innovative design that keeps your wrist in a neutral position, thereby relieving excess pressure on your hand without straining or pinching.
  • space saving and compact design
  • has a nonslip base
  • lifetime guarantee is offered
Brand The Pad
Model MP-101
Weight 8 ounces
The Razer Vespula offers 2 distinct surfaces designed for delivering fast action on one side, and a control surface for more precise movements on the opposite side. Its gel-filled wrist rest provides extra protection against injury.
  • built-in surface calibration technology
  • ideal for professional gamers
  • very comfortable to use
Brand Razer
Model RZ02-00320100-R3U1
Weight 1.3 pounds

Why Do I Need A Mouse Pad?

For some people, mouse pads have a bit of an image problem. It could be because they’re given away as promotional items at conferences, so they seem kind of disposable. It could be that mice have evolved (there’s a phrase that would be scary out of context), so that instead of the clunky, easily malfunctioning rubber-ball-operated mouse of old, we all have optical or laser mice that can cope more easily with our bare desks – if they even need to touch them at all.

Or it could be because back in the 90s some of us bought embarrassing ‘novelty’ mouse pads to liven up our desks (did you ever have one of those transparent ones with the colored gel inside, so when you moved your mouse you could watch the gel flow around like lava? Man, my purple gel mouse pad looked great in my high school bedroom next to my inflatable armchair and my ‘Have A Nice Day’ poster…).

Whatever the reason, mouse pads don’t seem like something a responsible adult would spend money on.

If you happen to be a gaming responsible adult, however, that first paragraph won’t have made a lot of sense to you, because you know the truth: mouse pads are a gaming essential. When everything depends on your precision and/or reaction time, the tiniest of nanoseconds you could lose thanks to the grain of your desktop really matter – the surface of a good mouse pad facilitates smooth movement and aids pointer precision. Not only that, but if you spend hours in front of your computer, you need something that won’t chafe your hand and will support your wrist.

It’s not only gamers who spend hours at their desk, of course: millions of people do just that every day, because we get paid to. Some productivity bloggers have noticed that using gaming hardware for work computing can help us to work more efficiently and comfortably: in other words, if gamers need a mouse pad, then it wouldn’t hurt freelancers, cubicle workers or bloggers to use one, too.

gdgt Central lists five good reasons for keeping a mouse pad in your life – the last of which is ‘They can be pretty cool’. Maybe I should see if my old 90s relics are still in my mom’s attic.

How Much Do I Need To Spend On A Mouse Pad, Really?

Mouse pads range in price from free – pick up a crappy one next time you’re attending a convention, visiting a college’s open day, or working for an employer you don’t like – all the way up to around $60 for a mat optimised for gaming. (We’ve even seen a ‘special edition’ mat advertised for almost three hundred bucks.) So can you really afford the mouse pad you need?

Well, to rearrange the Rolling Stones a little, you might just get what you need, but you can’t always get what you want. Although you probably do need something to help you control your mouse and to protect your precious hardware (mouse, desk, wrist etc), the more expensive the mat you buy, the more incremental the benefits you’ll see.

Think of mouse pads a little like running shoes. Pick up any issue of Runner’s World and you’ll see in-depth reviews comparing the weight of running shoes, their shape, the thickness of their soles. Does any runner need the lightest shoe, the most expensive shoe, the latest in shoe technology? Strictly speaking, no: any beat-up sneaker would do, at least for a little while. But if they’re going to be running for hours; if they want to be the fastest; if they want the edge over their competitors – then they want to know they’ve invested in a quality shoe that will give them that edge.

Any mouse pad is fine if you’re just going to sit down and check your emails once a day. But if you’re putting in long hours of work or gaming, you’re going to want to check out our recommendations for that competitive edge; decide which features are the most important to you; and spend what you can afford.

A Few Career Highlights Of The Humble Mouse Pad

1969 - The first mouse pad was designed, by Jack Kelley of Herman Miller.

1970s-1980s - Mouse pad use becomes ubiquitous among users of ball-operated mice.

1980 - Invention of the first optical mice . These required particular reflective mouse pads etched with grids, which caused no end of PEBCAK problems for tech support.

1983 - The first recorded use of the term ‘mouse pad’, as something other than an informal way to describe the place where a mouse lives.

1990s-early 2000s - An explosion in personal computer use lands a mouse pad on every desk; but with improvements.

2000-2010 - Major hardware manufacturers release ever more technologically advanced mice, leading many to wonder if these magic mice need a specific surface at all. But...

2010-present - Mouse pad manufacturers innovate to produce pads that are increasingly optimized to meet the demands of gamers. Mouse pads become serious pieces of gaming kits.

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Last updated: 03/26/2017 | Authorship Information