From top-billed esports athletes to everyday work-from-home warriors, everybody using the good ol’ mouse and keyboard needs a mouse pad. Buying a mouse pad is a no-brainer, and one of the easiest, cheapest ways to improve the precision and enjoyment you’ll get out of any gaming mouse. While even the most basic mouse pads are a drastic improvement over using your desk surface, there are a few need-to-know tips and recommendations everyone should hear before making their purchase.
What to Consider
Especially when it comes to competitive PC gaming, the behavior and movement of your mouse is key. Mouse pads can have a direct impact on both, so there are a few basic—and a few technical—considerations to make before choosing a future favorite.
The most important consideration is space. Mouse pads come in all sizes, from tiny micro squares to gargantuan desk-covering sheets. Measure your space, and choose accordingly. Following that, the mouse pad material and thickness are crucial, as both can affect how your mouse feels to use, and how you perform using it. Bonus features, such as spill and fray resistance, RGB lighting, or USB passthrough are just cherries on top.
A Note on Availability
Likely due to the sharp rise in work-from-home employees, demand for quality mouse pads, especially in smaller sizings, has risen dramatically, leading to low stock on many models. We recommend you check the product’s suggested retail price (MSRP) to avoid being up-charged.
How We Selected
We strive to rigorously test every product we recommend. For those products we can’t test ourselves, we perform intensive research, reviewing content from expert sources like PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Tom’s Guide, PCGamesN, and others, as well as thousands of consumer reviews from online storefronts on Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart. As for the products themselves, we evaluated them on sound quality, features, design, accessibility, and cost.
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Corsair MM350 Champion Series
A great all-around mousepad needs to be a lot of things. It needs a smooth, consistent top layer weave for precise and reliable mouse movement. It needs to be durable, standing the test of time against daily heavy usage. It needs to be comfortable, as intense work and gaming can last for hours. The Corsair MM350 Champion Series checks all of these boxes.
Coming in two sizes and color options, the MM350 is simple, comfortable, and effective. The top cloth and rubber weave is high quality, providing precise, consistent movement throughout.
The stitched edges do a great job preventing peeling and fraying, a common occurrence on regular mouse pads after a few years. And the added thickness makes this mouse pad more comfortable to use and more even and level, balancing out any bumps, cuts, or irregularities you may have on your desk.
Consistent, precise performance
5mm thickness provides comfort and a level surface
SteelSeries QcK Gaming Mouse Pad
The self-proclaimed “best-selling gaming surface of all time” with over 10 million sold, the SteelSeries QcK just works. It’s an all-black, no-fuss, precise mouse pad used by esports pros and homebodies alike. The micro woven cloth top provides a clean surface for small and wide mouse movements alike.
It’s not the thickest mousepad out there, and the edges on ours have begun to fray after four years of use, but for the price, the QcK is definitely a winner.
Smooth, even movement
Nonslip rubber back side
Wide variety of sizes
Edges fray, eventually
May be too thin for some folks
Best Hard Mouse Pad
Logitech G440 Hard Gaming Mouse Pad
Mouse pads with a hard surface are not for everyone, but they are perfect for certain activities. Because a smooth, hard top creates much less surface resistance than woven cloth ones, hard mouse pads are preferred for games that require a lot of small, fast mouse movement, especially at high DPI. Hard mouse pads are generally smaller, coming in plastic, rubber, metal, and combination varieties.
Of all the hard mouse pads out there, the Logitech G440 strikes a great balance between size, design, comfort, and cost. The smooth plastic top is great for rapid gaming, and provides just enough resistance to prevent sliding. The middle-of-the-road size and thickness, combined with a minimalistic aesthetic mean the G440 is a good fit for most seeking a hard mouse pad.
Very low friction is great for speed
Simple, compatible design
Razer Firefly Hard V2 RGB Gaming Mouse Pad
While customizable lighting on your mouse pad may sound ridiculous, some companies manage to pull it off without sacrificing performance or design. One such company is Razer, known for being able to put effective RGB on just about everything. Their Firefly V2 is a hard mouse pad that boasts fully chromatic RGB without sacrificing a precise gaming surface.
The Firefly V2 uses Razer’s Chroma software, allowing fully customizable, programmable RGB lighting on 19 lighting zones around the edges of the mouse pad. Combined with a comfortable size and 3mm thickness, the Firefly V2 puts a colorful spin on precision mouse performance.
Fully customizable RGB with 19 lighting zones
Quality hard-plastic top layer
Cable catch is a bit gimmicky
Best Desk-Sized Mouse Pad
ASUS ROG Sheath Extended Gaming Mouse Pad
While many of the mouse pads on this list do come in larger form factors, the ASUS ROG Sheath Extended is meant to cover your entire desk surface, turning your whole desk into a mouse’s playground.
Measuring at 35.4 by 17.3 inches, the Sheath Extended combines a massive size with solid design, good durability, and an affordable cost. Add anti-fray stitching along the edges and effective nonslip rubber basing, and the Sheath Extended is easily a top pick among desk sized mouse pads
Durable, quality materials
3mm thickness may be too thin for some
Best Charging Mouse Pad
Corsair MM1000 Qi Wireless Charging Mouse Pad
For those who want their mouse pad to pull double duty, the Corsair MM1000 Qi is the best mouse pad that is also a wireless charging station. Qi charging in particular means the MM1000 is compatible with a plethora of devices, from wireless earbuds to flagship smartphones.
While your device(s) are charging in the top right-hand corner of the mouse pad, you can still game with confidence, as the mousepad itself is a high-quality, low-friction, hard-top design.
Qi wireless charging
USB 3.0 passthrough Op
Open design spacious enough for charging and mouse use
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