10 Best Mouse Pads | April 2017

We spent 28 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. With the ever-increasing time we spend sitting at a computer, 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, which includes a variety of styles and materials to choose from. Skip to the best mouse pad on Amazon.
10 Best Mouse Pads | April 2017
Overall Rank: 1
Best Mid-Range
★★★★★
Overall Rank: 3
Best High-End
★★★★
Overall Rank: 8
Best Inexpensive
★★★
10
The Jaras Comfort Gel utilizes an ergonomic design that both supports and conforms to your wrist's shape while evenly distributing pressure to ensure proper blood flow. Its overall construction makes it a bit bulky, though.
  • provides a large area
  • surface becomes uneven over time
  • grip backing leaves a sticky residue
Brand Jaras
Model JJ-GEL/PAD
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
9
The 3M Precise MW310LE features built-in anti-microbial protection that inhibits the growth of bacteria and mold on its leatherette wrist pad. Its micro-grooved tracking surface promises to extend the life of wireless mice by up to 50%.
  • made of 25 percent recycled content
  • wrist rest is puncture-resistant
  • edges are prone to warping
Brand 3M
Model MW310LE
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0
8
The Innovera 50449 contains a soft cushioning gel that molds to your wrist for all-day support, making it a decent choice for heavy computer users. Unfortunately, it isn't completely slip-resistant, and may begin leaking gel over time.
  • the fabric covering is very soft
  • some buyers received another brand
  • may give off an unpleasant smell
Brand Innovera
Model 50449
Weight 9.6 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
7
The SteelSeries QcK 63004 has an ample sliding surface with a steady rubber base for stability, making it a reliable choice for both gamers and computing professionals alike. It would be nice if the padding was a bit thicker, though.
  • simple yet functional
  • resistant to lint and dirt
  • may retain ripples after unrolling
Brand SteelSeries
Model 63004
Weight 7 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
6
The Belkin WaveRest is a foam-filled option that gradually conforms to the natural shape of your wrist for maximum comfort, while also promoting proper hand movements. However, the tracking surface is a bit small for some users' needs.
  • reduces hand and wrist stress
  • good value for the price
  • makes crinkling noises as you move
Brand Belkin
Model F8E262-BLK
Weight 1.6 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
5
The Redragon Archelon P001 is crafted from high-density, silk-processed cloth that functions well on almost any desktop surface. It's designed to resist curling, and its reinforced stitched edges help prevent deformation and wear.
  • waterproof and easy to clean
  • intended for gaming use
  • tends to slide around a bit
Brand Redragon
Model RDN_P001_SIR_BLK
Weight 10.4 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
4
Regardless of your preferred in-game sensitivity level or need for control, the Razer Goliathus Speed delivers superior tracking responsiveness for almost any task. However, it does tend to give off a strong odor upon arrival.
  • smooth weave keeps friction low
  • designed by professional gamers
  • available in a variety of sizes
Brand Razer
Model RZ02-01910300-R3M1
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0
3
The Glorious XXL Extended provides an immense gliding expanse that accommodates both a keyboard and a mouse, and is very gentle on its user's wrist. Its smooth cloth surface is optimized for quick movements and has a nonslip rubber backing.
  • machine washable
  • anti-fraying stitched edges
  • low friction for speed and control
Brand Glorious PC Gaming Race
Model GW-XXL
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0
2
Made with a high-quality true silicone filling, The Pad MP-101 is ultra-thick, with an innovative design that keeps your wrist in a neutral position, thereby relieving excess pressure on your hand while preventing straining or pinching.
  • won't compress over time
  • reminds you to keep your desk clean
  • comes with a lifetime guarantee
Brand The Pad
Model MP-101
Weight 8 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0
1
The Kensington Duo features a soft two-compartment gel pillow, with a ventilation channel in the middle designed to keep your wrists cool and sweat-free while you work. It's both a stylish and ergonomic choice, and comes with a two-year warranty should anything go wrong.
  • choice of red or blue accent panel
  • satin finish is easy to wipe clean
  • matches natural curve of your wrist
Brand Kensington
Model K62402AM
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

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 on April 24 2017 by Ezra Glenn

Ezra is a writer, photographer, creative producer, designer, and record label-operator from New York City. He's traveled around the world and ended up back where he started, though he's constantly threatening to leave again.