Which mouse pads are best?
While they may not seem like much, the best mouse pads can make or break a person’s experience on the computer, especially for those using their computers often for work or gaming. A wide range of mouse pads can be found on today’s market, though they don’t all share the same value and features that some might.
Out of many mouse pads, the Razer Golathus Extended Gaming Mouse Pad offers one of the best enlarged interfaces for mice, and it even includes a beautiful LED light around the outer edge.
What to know before you buy a mouse pad
Most importantly, the best mouse pads for your individual needs should include the things you want. While some prefer a super-accurate or extended mouse pad for things like gaming, media editing or other specific tasks, others may be limited on space and need to get a standard, 8-inch by 9-inch mouse pad. Still, some may need the most comfortable, ergonomic mouse pad or others may want a mouse pad with built-in wrist rests, to avoid issues like carpal tunnel.
Mouse pads come in a wide number of different material types, most commonly including cloth, foams and fabrics. These typically come with a neoprene backing that prevents slipping, while adding extra layers of durability and comfort.
Style and features
The overall style and design of a mouse pad are also important factors to consider since these are what you’ll experience whenever you’re using your computer. Mouse pads can be found in a wide range of designs, with some even offering lighting, battery-saving and other fancy features.
What to look for in a quality mouse pad
Preferred size and configuration
The size, shape and overall configuration are important elements for any mouse pad, since they determine how much space will be taken up on your desk and how much usable space they offer. In addition, mouse pad configurations can include things like whether the mouse pad needs to be wired for other features, like lighting, or if they include cushions for wrist rests.
Clean, comfortable material
The most durable mouse pads are those that remain clean and comfortable throughout your time using them. While some mouse pads tend to wear down or become gross from spills or years of use, others are often machine-washable, allowing the user to keep them clean for even longer, ultimately making them more durable and sustainable.
While it isn’t super common, some modern lighting pads have embraced gaming culture by adding lighting strips or other lighted features to their setups. Mouse pads with lighting may simply come with lighting in a single color, or they may offer added customizability with RGB lights that can be programmed by the user.
How much you can expect to spend on mouse pads
Fortunately, mouse pads could end up being the most affordable part of your computer setup. Still, there’s a wide range of mouse pad prices out there, and while cheap mouse pads may cost as little as $5-$15, other more advanced gaming mouse pad models can range from $40-$80.
Mouse pad FAQ
Do mouse pads help increase mouse battery life?
A. Many mouse pads claim to increase the life of optical mice, and they aren’t wrong. Mouse pads with lighter, more reflective or specifically designed surfaces can help make it easier for the mouse to track movement, resulting in less electrical current needed on a continual basis.
Are mouse pads needed?
A. While most optical mice can be used on a wide variety of surfaces, mouse pads are still used by many gamers or professionals who require precise tracking. Mouse pads can also offer users a smoother computer experience in general since the mouse is used for a wide range of tasks.
What are the best mouse pads to buy?
Top mouse pad
What you need to know: Many love the layout and look of this extended mouse pad, especially those who plan on playing PC games or doing other mouse-intensive computer activities, like video and photo editing.
What you’ll love: Along with its beautiful, extra-long layout, this mouse pad from Razer offers strong mouse control with a micro-textured cloth surface and customizable RGB lighting around the outside. It’s also available in four different designs, including a special Gears of War logo design.
What you should consider: Some buyers who wanted to save desk space found their mouse pads elsewhere, though this model can also be found in a non-extended configuration.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top mouse pad for the money
What you need to know: For those on a serious budget, this super-affordable mouse pad from Belkin will easily get the job done without breaking the bank.
What you’ll love: At 8 inches by 9 inches, this mouse pad doesn’t take up much space. It features a rubber material with a neoprene backing and a jersey surface that users find impressively accurate. It’s also extremely durable and should last for years to come.
What you should consider: A number of buyers found this mouse pad stinky out of the package, though others reported that theirs didn’t have any odor.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Another super-affordable mouse pad option, this simple mouse pad from 3M has a cool, triangular bitmap design and a precise surface suitable for optical mice.
What you’ll love: This 8-inch by 9-inch mouse pad is very reasonably priced, and it claims to extend the battery life of optical mice with its precise foam surface technology and light color. It’s also lightweight and comfortable for the user, making it a great and simple mouse pad.
What you should consider: Those into serious PC gaming found this mouse pad to be a little bit lacking in reactivity, compared to some models designed with gaming in mind.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Peter McGuthrie writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.