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The Best Mouse Pad

Last updated on October 11, 2021
Best Mouse Pad

Our Review Process

Don't Waste Your Money is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our Picks For The Top Mouse Pads

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Best Overall

Dooke Non-Slip Wrist Supportive Mouse Pad

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

Dooke

Non-Slip Wrist Supportive Mouse Pad

Relieve wrist pressure and fatigue by switching to this mouse pad. It's made using a smooth breathable material and features a memory foam form that conforms to the shape of your wrist. The pad comes in a choice of creamy white or green, both of which have an attractive floral print.

Overall Take

Relieves FatigueThe anti-slip base on this mouse pad keeps it firmly planted on your computer desk.

 Best for the Office

MROCO Gel Non-Slip Mouse Pad

MROCO

Gel Non-Slip Mouse Pad

This sleek black mouse pad is an excellent choice for an office. The pad is constructed with a gel-filled wrist rest that is both soft and comfortable. Reinforced edges and a soft non-skid PU base add to the appeal of this pad.

Overall Take

Great BasicThanks to this mouse pad's premium-textured Lycra cloth, you'll enjoy a smooth surface that allows your mouse to glide with ease.

 Slip-Free Base

AmazonBasics Gel-Filled Wrist Supportive Mouse Pad

AmazonBasics

Gel-Filled Wrist Supportive Mouse Pad

There is ample room for tired wrists on the gel cushion of this mouse pad. The slip-free base keeps it stable on a desk or tabletop. Thanks to the thickness of the base, this model can be expected to last.

Overall Take

Large SurfaceThis sturdy mouse pad includes a wide gel cushion area.

 Ideal for Optical Mice

3M Precise Surface Mouse Pad

3M

Precise Surface Mouse Pad

The thin plastic surface material is optimized for performance with optical mice. On the underside, rubber material prevents slippage. The size is perfect for compact workstations — not too big or small.

Overall Take

Economical OptionThis perfectly sized mouse pad works great with an optical mouse.

Buying Guide

If you’re on your computer every day, you’re probably pretty sensitive about the slightest change in your monitor display, the smallest catch in one of the keys on your keyboard. Still, you might never give the slightest thought to your hard-working mouse pad — until it wasn’t there.

More than anything else, that quiet efficiency is the sign of a good mouse pad. it should provide a nice smooth surface no matter how often you scroll around, but not so smooth that you slip or lose your place. It should stay put and stay intact for as long as possible.

The first thing to consider when buying a new mouse pad is what kind of mouse you’re using, and how you typically use it. Most higher-end mice these days have a laser or some other kind of optical sensor that tracks your movement around a given surface. These are most commonly used by gamers or high-performing tech workers like graphic designers. “Old-school” mechanical mice are still very much in use by some households, and they sense movement by way of a rolling ball on the underside of the unit.

There is definitely more a sense of traction to the mechanical type, and accordingly, you might want to go for a cloth mouse pad to provide the slight “tread” that the trackball will need. The bonus to this type of mouse pad is that it will be softer, and probably more comfortable on long work sessions.

For laser or optical mice, a hard mouse pad might be the better option. These will usually be made of a thinner cloth or rubber material with a top layer of plastic or similar alloy. Some hard mouse pads might be a simple sheet of metal with a rubber covering underneath to prevent sliding. The feel is definitely a bit more slippery with this type of mouse pad, but that can be a plus for gamers who need their movements to be lightning-fast. There’s also the added benefit that hard mouse pads tend to be easier to clean and more likely to be waterproof (again, a particular concern for many gamers).

Whatever the material, mouse pads will come in many sizes. The best size for you will typically be determined by the size of your work area, though gamers are typically going to want a little extra room to zip their mouse around.

Finally, give a little thought to your health. Softer mouse pads can be easier on the wrist, and if you are likely to suffer from carpal tunnel or arthritis you may want to invest in a wrist cushion. This is a pillowy pad made of gel or foam toward the front of the pad that can give your wrist some much-needed support.

What to Look For

Are you experiencing any soreness in your wrists when you use your mouse? Your mouse pad may not be to blame, though it might be time to shop for a mouse pad with a wrist cushion. But before you do that, check your form. Your elbows should be at a ninety-degree angle when you’re scrolling around or using the keyboard, and you should be careful not to grip the mouse too tightly. Failing to do either one of these can lead to repetitive strain injuries.

More to Explore

As you might expect, the first mouse pad came into use along with the first mouse — a circuit board with two metal wheels, encased in a wood shell. This utilitarian gadget was invented by Douglas Engelbart for the Stanford Research Institute in 1964. It may have looked quaint even then, but it would be eight years before Bill English improved on the design for Xerox, adding the trackball mechanism that occasionally is still in use today.

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