Technology is advancing at breakneck speed these days, including developments when it comes to the computer mouse, which is still used on a daily basis in offices and at home. But what has happened with their essential accessory, the mouse pad?

Like the computer mouse, there have been a number of advances in the design and function of mouse pads in recent years, to best suit users’ evolving needs. People have a set of specific needs when it comes to mouse pads, which is why we’ve put together this guide.

Key Facts

  • A mouse pad is something which helps you use a computer mouse in the easiest and most efficient way possible. The rise of video games has completely revolutionised the mouse pad industry, with a number of products developed specifically for gamers.
  • There are professions which also require special mouse pads in order to avoid health problems resulting from constant use of the mouse during working hours.
  • The materials which mouse pads are made from determine how easy it is to slide the mouse and its speed. A good mouse pad is essential for any gamer, but it is almost useless if you don’t have a good mouse. This is also true in reverse, so it’s important to do you research and make the right purchase for both items.

Ranking: The best mouse pads on the Australian market

In the gaming world, it is essential to use a good mouse pad for optimum speed, but it is also important to help to protect the wrist in many situations, including in the office. Following is a selection of the best mouse pads, as always with the best value for money available. Let’s take a look!

No. 1: SteelSeries QcK Mouse Pad

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This cloth mouse pad has a smooth cloth surface, with a steady rubber base for support and structure. Both materials are high quality, durable and long lasting.

It is an extra large size, making it ideal for not only for office workers and anyone spending long hours on a computer and using a mouse but also serious gamers. With a larger mouse pad, this gives you more freedom of movement when gaming, which is particularly important when playing competitive games.

No. 2: VicTsing Gaming Mouse Pad

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This cloth mouse pad is made of mutispandex which has a colour-locking effect, and it will not fade with repeated cleaning. It also has a non-slip rubber base, meaning the mouse can be moved stably at any speed, as dense shading and anti-slip natural rubber base can firmly grip the desktop during use.

One of the advantages of this model is its ultra-smooth surface. It has a dense texture produced with high-pressure treatment, allowing the mouse to move quickly and position accurately. It is suitable for all types of mouse, including laser and optical, and is ideal for daily use. At 2mm thick, it can be used on pretty much any surface.

No. 3: Big Size Desk Mat Razer Mouse Pad

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This extra large desktop mat and mouse pad is 90 by 30 cm, meaning it can either support both your keyboard and mouse or to give you extra room for mouse movement. The base is non-slip, and the top layer is made of smooth, optically reflective material,

It is ideal for optical, trackball and mechanical mouses, and for any kind of computer keyboards. With a smooth surface texture and non-slip base, it is comfortable and convenient to use on a daily basis.

No. 4: Extended Gaming Mouse Pad

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Another large mouse pad for gamers and others who need lots of mouse movement, this mouse pad is 80cm by 30cm. It has an ultra smooth surface, making mouse movements accurate and controllable. This gives fast movement while maintaining speed and control during gaming. Offers a smooth tracking surface for your mouse.

The anti-skid rubber base is zero slip, helping keep it securely in place on your desk or whatever surface you are working or gaming on. The large size is designed for extra comfort when working or gaming.

No. 5: Extended VicTsing Gaming Mouse Pad

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This extended size mouse pad, is 80cm x 40cm to be large enough for adequate movement for the professional gamer, while still being able to fit on your desk. It is suitable for all types of optical mouse. With superfine fibre braided material, it allows smooth and accurate mouse movement, maintaining excellent speed and control.

Its non-slip rubber base firmly grips the desk or table, keeping your keyboard and mouse stable and stopping the mouse and keyboard from sliding. The mouse pad also has a water-resistant coating, meaning you won’t need to worry about accidental damage from spills.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about mouse pads

Do you remember the old mouse mats? The current ones are a far cry from the 20 cm squares that first came out years ago. Modern computer users – whether they are gamers or office workers – need mouse pads that are more ergonomic. Here are some of the questions users most frequently ask.

You may not need a mouse pad if you work in an office, unless you’re a professional gamer.
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What is a mouse pad exactly?

A mouse pad is a supportive or bounded surface on which the computer mouse rests. Its objective is to optimize mouse movements in the same way as the pointer on the device’s screen.

Are mouse pads known by other names?

As we previously implied, mouse pad is essentially a carpet which a computer mouse sits on. Some gamers refer to it as a “pad” or a “gaming mouse pad” however these are all essentially the same thing.

Not all mouse pads are appropriate for the gaming world.
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Is it really necessary to use a mouse pad?

It depends on what you do on your computer. In fact, many people are  accustomed to the touchpad (the little touch pad at the bottom of a laptop keyboard that is used to direct pointer on the screen. On the other hand, there are gamers who use the surface of the desk and do not want a mouse pad – even though its advantages are undeniable.

Paul EhrlichAnonymous

“To err is human, but to really mess up you need a computer”.

What are the benefits of using a mouse pad?

A mouse pad with a wrist rest can avoid serious problems like carpal tunnel syndrome (caused by repetitive strain on the hands).  Some gamers also confirm that a good mouse pad can be key to success in online games. Other advantages of a mouse pad include improved agility as it makes it possible to slide the mouse quicker, better grip and accuracy, a clean surface keeping the tracker ball free from dust and skin oils and less wear and tear – both on the desk and on the mouse. Here are the key advantages:

  • Agility: It means the mouse can slide easily, exactly as the pointer does on the screen.
  • Grip: They optimise the grip and mean greater accuracy by letting the mouse move over the entire surface.
  • Eliminate dust: Typical polyester (plastic) mouse pads are generally ideal for optical mice and for eliminating dust particles.
  • Resting joints: There are mouse pads which come with gel pads are ideal for supporting the wrist.,
  • Gamers mouse pads: The mouse pads for video game players are larger, to facilitate extensive movements of the mouse while gaming.
  • Less wear: Being larger, the mouse pad specific for gamers prevents wear to the mouse.

Do I need a large mouse pad for office work?

Not necessarily. Innovations in the gaming world are being introduced in other professions especially those that require long hours of computer work. In office work it is most common to use a keyboard including use of keyboard shortcuts, with limited use of the mouse, depending on the tasks you need to do.

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A mouse pad is recommended for people who need to frequently use a mouse.

Why is a mouse pad important for gamers?

A mouse pad brings control and speed to the game but will not help you win a competition if you do not have a good mouse. It is essential that the mouse you use has a high degree of sensitivity, measured by its DPI rate. (dots per inch).

The higher the DPI rate, the less movement you need to be recognized on the screen. In addition, when you acquire a mouse you should also look at the response time, as well as its functions and weight.

There are a wide range of mouse pads, and almost all are suitable for surfing the web.
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Is it worth it to buy a gaming mouse pad?

Yes, it is definitely worth it and you will not regret it. With the arrival of the optical and the laser mouse the old-fashioned mouse, using a ball tracker, have become outdated. A lot of these accessories are created specifically for the gaming world and will not work without a good mouse pad.

These are mouse pads specially designed for gamers and to  improve the mouse’s response. It is also important that the mouse pad is wide, robust and comfortable to provide for uniform and fast movement.

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Did you know that gamers can spend up to three figures on a top of the line mouse pad? 

What types of mousepads can you find on the market

Type of mouse pad Advantages Disadvantages
Fabric More budget-friendly

Are compatible with all types of mouse.

The fabric distributes the pressure of the mouse, making the movement easy.

It’s better to go for the ones with stitched profiles

Cloth ones stain easily and are not always washable.

Can deteriorate over time, and are not always accurate enough for gamers.

Plastic Better glide and movement compared to fabric mouse pads.

More durable.

Easier to clean.

Deteriorate with use, particularly when there is a lot of friction. Can also become deformed.

Gel crystal More precise and allows rapid, easy movement.

If looked after, the material does not wear out.

Easy to clean.

It is possible to get involuntary or unintended movements because of the ease of movement with this kind of mouse pad.

Due to its fragility, gel crystal mouse pads can break and are not the best for laser sensors.

Aluminium Ideal for those looking for speed and precision.

More expensive than fabric mouse pads but are long-lasting.

Keep cool in summer but are cold in winter.

Can be a bit noisy, especially if you work or play in silence.

What kind of maintenance does a mouse pad require?

Apart from regular cleaning some routine maintenance will make your mouse pad last longer including washing your hands before using the mouse and not eating or drinking close to the mouse pad. Here is what you need to know about keeping your mouse pad clean.

  • Clean your mouse pad often: The underside of the mouse can accumulate dirt from the mouse pad, hence the importance of cleaning it.
  • Clean your hands before using the mouse: This is logical, because our hands pick up a lot of bacteria from everything that we touch.
  • Food and drinks near your mouse pad: If you eat near your mouse pad, you should clean it frequently to avoid crumbs being picked up by the mouse. On the other hand, drinks can be a big hazard. If liquid gets spilt on the mouse pad immediately remove the moisture with paper towels or a cloth.

It is essential that the mouse you use has a high degree of sensitivity.
(Source: Belchonock: 97712064/123rf.com)

How do you clean a mouse pad?

Cleaning will  depend on the material it is made of as it will differ between plastic and cloth mouse pads. Cleaning a plastic mouse pad has a different approach to cleaning a fabric one. The following table shows the steps you should take to make your mouse pad like new.

Type of mouse pad How to clean it
Fabric Rub in a soapy solution of water and shampoo or dishwashing liquid.

Rinse and air dry. Alternatively, you can pop it in the washing machine.

Plastic Similar to a cloth mouse pad, make a soapy solution, then wipe gently with a cloth.

The same if it has a gel pad. Moisten, rub gently, rinse and let air dry before using again.

Aluminium Make a soapy water solution, with cold or lukewarm water. Then rinse with plenty of water.

Dry the mouse pad. Finally, take a drop of oil and polish the surface with a cloth for a while.

Gel crystal In this case, use a glass cleaner. If not available you can also use a bit of alcohol and a cloth.

Shopping criteria

If you have already decided to buy a Mouse Pad, it is important that you know what you are looking for before making a purchasing decision. On the other hand, if you are a gaming professional, you will likely already know that a good surface can make all the difference between winning a competition or coming in last. The most important things to consider are:

  • Intended use
  • Surface
  • Material
  • Size
  • Thickness

Intended use

As previously mentioned, the best mouse pad for you will depend on its use, that is, whether you are planning on using it in an office or for gaming. For office workers, a mat with a gel pad to rest your wrist may be advantageous. On the other hand, if you are passionate about gaming you will want to have the maximum surface area possible on the mouse pad.

If you are a competitive gamer, it is important to have a top quality mouse and an excellent mouse pad. This will usually mean a greater investment, but you’ll find it’s worth putting in the cash.Gamers need very large mats with a high quality surface. This is worth keeping in mind if you want to win!

A mouse pad may not seem important, but it certainly is important for those who work on a computer.
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Surface

This will be crucial if you are a gamer. According to experts, the surface should not have very bright designs or the slide of your optical mouse may fail, resulting in irregular jumps. Avoid a highly  reflective surface.

Material

The material will be dictated by the kind of mouse you use, either to work in the office or to compete. Control and speed are key aspects if you’re a gamer, so an aluminium or glass mat will be best, but  fabric is also a good material for a beginner.

Size

The size of the mousepad is crucial for a gamer because it allows you to move the mouse across the entire desktop. Speed in electronic games is everything, hence the importance of having a large mouse pad. A bigger size can also be useful if you are a draftsman, graphic designer or architect, among other professions.

Thickness

Your Mouse Pad must have the right thickness to correct possible imperfections of the desk’s surface. If you are gamer (even a beginner) look for one that is at least 2 millimeters (mm) thick. Professional players usually opt for 5 mm mats.

Summary

Until a few years ago, the mouse pad was simply an accessory to support the mouse and did not usually exceed 20 centimetres in size. The rise of video games has completely changed the landscape and now a mouse pad is an indispensable addition to the world of gaming. Varied types and styles offer something for all needs.

Gamers need specially designed mouse pads for optimal performance. Always choose quality and compatibility with the mouse sensors you use. You already know that a mouse without a good mouse pad will not do much good, and vice versa.

If you liked the article, please share it in your social networks or leave us a comment or a question that we will be happy to answer. Thank you!

(Source of the featured image: Belchonock: 97712089/ 123rf.com)

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