How to Choose the Right Mouse Pad?

Right Material, Right Size, Surface, Thickness, and Design are the core features you need to consider while buying the right mouse pad.

And in this complete guide, you will learn all these small little things so you can mouse your way to victory with the best mouse pad.

Let’s begin.

Note: Based on certain tests and analysis, our team of experts have put together this complete guide to help you choose the right mouse pad 

The Material (Matter of Feel)



Which type of mouse pad is best for gaming depends largely on the choice of the material. There are many types of mouse pad material. For example, cloth, silicon, aluminum, and even glass. Generally, they are two types: Soft Pads and Hard Pads.

Soft MousePads

Soft Mouse Mats are also generally known as cloth mousepads. It is because the cloth is made of soft foam and fabric. Due to their cloth nature, they can easily be rolled up for taking it anywhere. Similarly, they provide some cushion under the mouse so users can rest their wrists on it.

Soft mousepads also provide greater mouse control. Higher friction makes your mouse glide on the mat to add precision to the movement. Hence, you will have more control when playing FPS games such as Call of Duty, Overwatch, or Apex Legends.

Also, soft surfaces make less noise as you slide the mouse as compared to the harder ones. The cloth is mostly considered when you require comfort and portability. Soft mousepads also don’t wear out the feet of the mouse as fast as hard surfaces. This might be a little weird but it does. However, soft mats have to be changed or replaced every 5-6 months as it wears over time.

Likewise, cleaning the fabric is a little harder. They collect small dust particles and other debris that stick in their unused areas and need to be brushed off. As mentioned above, more friction gives more control, it also means less speed when gliding the mouse. So, soft materials are best when you want to drift your mouse with speed and with as little effort as possible.

Hard MousePads

Hard mouse mats are made of smooth solid materials like plastic or aluminum. Are hard mousepads any better? These usually are great for fast-paced gaming where speed is the concerning factor. Therefore, your mouse will travel a larger distance with much little force.

Laser gaming mice have laser sensors. They are very responsive at picking up too much information such as the reflection of tiny strands of fabric. However, this problem isn’t really there on hard surfaces as they do not pose any problem for the sensor.

Though hard surfaces do not provide some cushioning for your arm which might be the reason for you choosing the soft mouse pad. Likewise, hard surfaces can not be folded for easy carrying.

Likewise, you can hear some of the noise as your mouse slides over the surface, and might disturb you for prolonged periods. Another reason why hard pads might be a little disturbing is the fact that they can feel cold to the touch, if for example made of aluminum. So, it is only a matter of feel.

Since there’s no cushioning material, a hard mouse pad can feel uncomfortable or cause fatigue after extended periods of gaming. Hard gaming mouse pads will also cause your mouse feet to wear out sooner than soft mousepads.

They are, however, easy to clean. All you have to do is to wipe off the surface of the pad with a wet cloth and give it a few seconds to dry. Yes, you’re done. Their water-resistant nature also makes them an ideal choice for gamers who tend to play long and get sweat in their palm.

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Mouse Pad Size (Matter of Footprint)

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Mouse Pads occupy space, and you can balance that to your needs. What size mouse pad should I get is the question you should ask yourself. Extended, large, medium, and small are four different sizes that are mostly there.

Gamers mostly prefer larger mouse pads enough for mouse movements to glide through and on the mat. Also, larger mouse mats accommodate all grip styles: claw, fingertip, or palm for example.

Large mouse pads also are a better option for low gaming mouse DPI/sensitivity. A Low DP gives you better control when moving or aiming at targets, especially in FPS gaming.

However, not every gamer needs a large mouse mat. In that case, small or medium-sized mouse pads work great. They’re quite good and with a high gaming mouse DPI, you’ll be comfortable playing the game.

You can play with a high gaming mouse DPI on small or mid-sized mousepads because high DPI means a mouse cursor traveling a larger distance on your screen even when you move the mouse a small distance.

Also, that small or mid-sized mousepads are small enough to fit on top of almost any gaming desk. You can also carry around a small mouse pad to LAN parties or sports events if you plan one.

The Base (Matter of Thickness)

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How do I choose the right mouse pad? Should it be thick, thin, or heavy, or what makes a mouse pad good? These are common questions and you should know the answers to them.

Therefore, it is extremely important to understand its (thickness, size, etc), otherwise, your mouse pad will not sustain for a long time then.

The thickness of a mouse mat is important because it defines the skeleton of your mouse pad. There is not any detailed mouse pad size chart, but a few numbers to note:

Slim Base (2mm)

These are ideal for those who prefer a more solid feel. Due to its reduced thickness, it will behave similarly to a hard plastic surface mouse pad with comfort, obviously.

Heavy Base (5mm)

The surface is much softer and comfortable. The added thickness is ideal for LAN parties or tournaments where you’re not sure what kind of surface you’ll be playing on. Furthermore, it negates any uneven surfaces the mouse pad would be on, giving you the flattest surface possible.

Standard Base (3mm)

Standard mouse pad size in cm or mm is (3mm)/(0.3 cm). It is perfectly ideal, providing a balance of the thickness.

The Edge (Matter of Finishing)

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What makes the best mouse pad? or What does it mean to have the smoothest mouse pad? Hard ones’ Ergonomics or ones made of leather. Sure, these do count, but the edges also matter. Better quality mouse pads usually have an extended life span. This is because they do not erode with time.

However, if the stitching on the edges fray after extended use or several washes, the lifespan and smoothness of the mouse pad will fade away.

Therefore, find a mouse pad that has a thick stitched frame around the perimeter of the mousepad. This will secure the seams between the surface and the base. As a result, the lifespan and the quality will retain for a longer time.

As a further benefit, your mouse pad will also not wear away from multiple washes. The thick stitched frame also survives the machine wash (with a dash of soap). If you do this, you need to air-dry the mat, remember!

Aesthetics (Resonate it with your desktop setup)

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What to consider before buying a mouse pad. Do Aesthetics Matter? Well, Yes. You should have one with a clean and modern look that reflects your interest and personality.

You can also buy one that comes in various shapes and sizes, bearing designs of cartoons and game characters, and many more. It’s also up to you to decide if RGB matters or not.

Any Add-on Features

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You can get an optimized gaming mouse pad that has extra cool little features to uplift the gaming experience. Some of the extra features, the different mouse pads offer are:

RGB Lightening

RGB lighting colors and effects can match with your other gaming peripherals such as your mouse and keyboard or even your room aesthetics and lightings. This can boost your creativity and provide an immersive gaming experience.

This is an often asked question: Are white mouse pads bad? No, they are not. The only problem associated with it is its cleaning. It takes an extra effort to keep it clean. White mousepads pick up every last speck of dust/dirt which can be at times frustrating.

Wireless Charging

These allow you to charge your wireless gaming mouse and other wireless devices such as smartphones. This way you would not be concerned with your mouse battery life.

USB Passthrough

Modern-mousepads come integrated with a built-in USB pass-through that allows you to plug in your wired gaming mouse closer to your mouse pad. The USB port also connects other peripherals such as signal adaptors.

Any Added Feature

You might get other extras including the ability to have customized game art on the surface, wrist rests, and water resistance. All these little things make the best mouse pad.

Do Extended Mouse Pads Provide Any Added Benefit?

best Extended Mouse Pad

Extended mousepads cover a large surface area. They also accommodate your keyboard along with your mouse. There is no real reason to buy a large mouse pad except you want everything to be on the same level.

Other reasons include:

Dampens the Noise: an extended mouse pad can help reduce the noise produced due to vibration from striking keys on the keyboard. Consequently, creating a smoother, anchored feeling when using the keyboard.

Adds Comfort: Large-sized mousepads provide a more comfortable surface to rest your wrist when using the peripherals.

Typing Experience significantly increases: With the rise in mechanical keyboards, gamers prefer an extended mouse pad whereon they can keep their glorious mouse and keyboard, significantly increasing the overall typing experience.

Looks Badass: I don’t know why but sometimes these aesthetic widgets pull off great innovative ideas.

YES, You can Wash Your Gaming Mouse Pad!

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Gaming mouse pads or any other type of mouse pad material can easily be washed, dried, and used over. It’s simple.

You can wash cloth Mousepads with the use of water, dish/hand soap. Then lightly rub the surface with a soft brush or sponge. Rinse it, followed by an air dry. Yess, avoid the use of bleach as it can decolor the surface material. Just pure simple water.

Similarly, you can wash hard mousepads with a wet cloth with some soap and stroke it against the surface of your mouse mat until the dirt is pulled off. Rinse the wet cloth, squeeze it and wipe it all over the mat until it is dry, completely.

What can I use if I don’t have a mouse pad?

You can use either a:

  • Magazine
  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Dining table mat
  • Hardcover book
  • wooden desk
  • Lap
  • Bedsheet

Is it bad to use a mouse without a pad?

The mouse would still work, however, it will result in a decrease in the lifespan of the mouse. It is not bad to use a mouse without a mouse pad unless you use it on a rough surface where it can damage its base.

Therefore, it is a good idea to keep the mouse safe and smooth to move and that is why we present you this guide on how to choose the right mouse pad.

Does it matter what mouse pad I use?

Mousepads provide control, precision, and accuracy so we can manipulate mouse movements with pinpoint control. The design and aesthetics matter also. Therefore, you would be requiring


The best mouse pads offer pinpoint control and awesome aesthetics, no matter what surface you prefer. … Anyway, most of these require some form of proprietary compatibilities, such as Logitech’s Powerplay system, so be sure to check whether your mouse and mouse pad will work together before you go jumping in, hand first.


Let’s brief it all.

The ideal mouse pad is the one that provides enough mouse movement. Hence extended or middle-sized are the choices.

Consider the kind of finishing/rolling at the edging or the perimeters of your mouse pad. These can become threadbare overtime. Therefore, try investing in a thick stitched frame around the perimeter of the mousepad. It’ll be worth it.

The humble mouse pad provides a smooth, uniform surface that ensures rigorously precise tracked movement. Therefore, there’s a compelling reason why you need to invest a bit in it.

A padded or soft cloth mouse pad has its own benefits compared to others. Therefore, it’s largely your preference. Additionally, you can buy a colored surface with a touch of style and finish to resonate it with your desktop setup.

That’s all there is to it. Perhaps you’ve found our guide helpful in turning your decision right.

You are more than welcome to add further detail or any feature you think can be a leading factor in choosing the right mouse pad.

Comment Section’s yours!


Joe Warne
Joe Warne
Articles: 48


  1. The best vertical mouse also has to be comfortable to use. You need to be able to use the mouse without any discomfort. There is no point getting a very heavy mouse if the comfort level just cannot tolerate it. So look for the best mouse in your price range but do not sacrifice comfort for speed.

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