Editor’s notes: October 2022
We’ve recently overhauled our best mouse pads list in order to ensure that you’re getting the latest, greatest, and best value for your money. Many of our top picks are gaming mice, but that’s because the first set of mouse pads we’ve tested are gaming mouse pads – although, to be fair, they’re also much better than their non-gaming counterparts.
As soon as we’re done testing non-gaming specific mouse pads and mats, we’ll be adding the best ones here, expanding our list from 10 to 15 because there’s just too many good ones out there.
Bear in mind that we’re not doing individual reviews of the mouse pads we test because they would simply be too short. However, know that we’ve tested every single product, noting our experience with it here to help you decide.
Michelle Rae Uy, Buying Guides Editor
Having the best mouse pad is just as important as having top-notch peripherals. The surface that you’re mousing on is an important part of the overall experience of using a mouse, whether you’re gaming, doing work, or creating content.
There’s a lot of focus on which is the best mouse to buy – whether that’s a normal everyday rodent, or a gaming mouse. However, very little thought is generally given to what mouse pad should be paired with the peripheral, if any thought at all. And, we’re here to change to change that.
We’ve picked out some of our favorite and top-rated mouse pads, the royalty of the mouse mat world if you will, for daily computing duties in the main, perhaps with a bit of gaming on the side. Many are gaming mouse pads designed specifically to help you win, but they can make great everyday mouse pad options, too.
Bear in mind that while we have picked out a best overall mouse pad below, it should be noted that these mats are something of a matter of personal taste, and their feel and glide is always going to be rather subjective. Furthermore, you may well be looking for something specific – like a really large mat, one with extras like a built-in charger, or perhaps a really cheap pad.
So, we’ve covered a range of different categories below to ensure you get the right mouse mat for your particular needs, and one that suits your shiny new mouse or indeed your old one, for that matter.
The best mouse pads 2022
The SteelSeries QcK is a cloth mat offering an impressive surface for mousing whatever your needs, whether that’s navigating around the Windows desktop or paying games on your PC. It’s officially a gaming mouse pad, but in truth, it’s a fine all-rounder due to its minimalist solid black design with just the SteelSeries logo in one corner.
There are no extra frills here, but having tested this mouse pad, we found that its exclusive QcK micro-woven cloth offers just a little more control over your movements while still delivering that smooth gliding action. That’s a nice balance that also makes it great for both gaming and work. Although if you do need a little bit more speed, there are better options on this list.
We also appreciate its beautiful rubber base. Not only does it do a great job of keeping the pad stable on the desk and minimizing slippage, but the rubber bits come in the shape of the SteelSeries logo as well, which is fun even though they’re out of your eyeshot.
There are various size options with this mouse mat, including plus-sized and mini versions measuring 450 x 400mm and 250 x 210mm respectively. So, should you wish to have a more expansive or a more compact mat, you’ve certainly got options.
The only thing is that its surface does tend to track more pet hair than other mouse pads we’ve tested. So, if you like to keep your setup pristine, you’ll have to spend some more quality time with your handheld vacuum cleaner.
The Roccat Sense Core is cheaper than many gaming mouse pads in its class while still delivering the same level of gliding performance and feel. So, if every buck / quid matters, this is definitely the one to get. And, you might even appreciate its minimalist design, especially if you don’t want to be a little heavy on RGB lighting.
We tested five different mice – some for productivity, others for gaming – on it, and we found that its cloth surface offers that nice smooth gliding feel but also just that tiny bit of resistance. This slightest friction gives you a little bit more control and precision, which should help when you’re gaming and when you’re doing productivity tasks.
The rubber base is mostly effective at keeping things in place, but we do wish it had a better grip on a desk. It does move a little when you’re gliding more vigorously, like during intense gameplay. That said, if you’re not playing too hard, it should hold it position just fine.
It does pick up pet hair fairly quickly. However, it’s pretty easy to clean. A quick run with a vacuum cleaner should do the trick.
There are several different sizes on hand, from a mini one that’s only 250 x 210 mm in sight and an XXL that’s 900 x 420 mm. The mini size is especially handy for users with smaller setups or who travel regularly.
The WFH Desk Pad might be better suited on Work From Home Desks’ brilliantly modular desks – though that’s really mainly due to its angled corners – but it’s an excellent desk pad to consider even if you’re got a different desk. That’s especially if you are tired of the same black color and want a big splash of color on your desk to brighten it up.
This is more for productivity use than for gaming. However, having tested two gaming mice on it, it seems to work just fine with them as well, particularly if you’re looking for a bit of resistance for more controlled gliding.
With productivity mice, however, we found that it works beautifully. The smooth gliding combined with its good amount of friction allows you a more seamless workflow – instead of having to constantly miss a button you’re trying to press onscreen. Its anti-skid natural rubber base also does a great job of keeping it in place. Plus, its edges are stitched to ensure it lasts longer and minimizes fraying.
And, as we said, it comes in different colors or colorful designs – eight, to be exact, only three of which are solid ones. Apart from the black version, it should add a dash of life into your setup, brightening it up no matter how office cubicle-dreary it is.
The only thing that really holds this back is the price. Sadly, it is on the pricey side, which makes it inaccessible to budget users. That’s why where keeping it as our top premium option on the list.
There are a lot of gaming mouse pads, but only very few can really compete with the Razer Goliathus Chroma in terms of performance, grippage, RGB lighting, and even size. There’s a standard size on hand, of course, but it’s the 3XL and extended sizes that are the stars of the show. That’s especially if you’re looking for something that’ll cover your entire gaming desk.
The micro-texture cloth surface here is optimized for all sensitivity settings and sensors. And, it did feel great to game on during our testing, offering smooth and speedy gliding. Meanwhile, its non-slip rubber base keeps it in place. Though that should also have something to do with the fact that it’s massive and that other peripherals like a gaming keyboard should act as weights.
The RGB lighting, which fringes most of the pad’s edge, is bright, customizable, and attractive. However, its presence does mean that this is best for gaming setups and not so much for work ones.
These big sizes might be too big for some people – particularly those with smaller desks – but that’s what the standard size is for really. Just bear in mind that you will be paying a hefty price here. That’s considering there are many affordable mouse pads on the market that are just as effective. But, if you can afford it, it’s certainly worth the money.
While most gaming mouse pads deliver that good balance between smooth gliding and precision control, this offering from HyperX focuses on the latter. More of a desk regular-not-oversized mat, it is made of a densely woven cloth material that’s more textured than it is smooth.
That texture allows for a bit more friction and resistance, which in turn offers better precision. The result is a more controlled gliding, which should help with competitive gaming on titles like Overwatch 2, Destiny 2, and Call of Duty. Though you also should know that it does feel a little rougher to glide your mouse on, which might be annoying for some people. It certainly felt a little weird for us to use during testing. At least in the beginning.
The RGB lighting here is bright as well. And, the touch sensor is a nice touch, even though it only really lets you toggle between three onboard lighting profiles.
As for the anti-slip rubber base, it’s pretty impressive. It has big honeycomb-shape rubber bits that allow for better grippage – unlike the fine ones on its rivals. It will, regardless of how intense your gaming session is, stay in place.
Because of the textured surface, we do not recommend this as a productivity mouse pad. If you’ve got a dual setup, better find a more suitable one on this list.
If you’ve been around since the early days of consumer PCs, the Zowie G-SR-SE might just remind you of the mouse pads from those days. This mouse pad puts on no airs – well, except for the color patterned surface that adds a splash of color to your gaming setup – and it does go back to basics and to the classics. Even the rubber base is just straight up that; no fancy designs, special textures, or cute patterns.
But, they are called classics for good reason: they work and work well. And, this mouse pad from BenQ’s peripherals line is cut from the same excellent cloth. By cloth, we’re referring to its cloth surface that feels smooth but also offers the tiniest bit of resistance since you do need a bit more control and precision when competing. Meanwhile, the rubber base, we found, is really effective and keeps it in place, no matter how intense your sessions are.
There are two color patterns on hand – deep blue and rouge, and they’re appealing. But, if you’re looking for a solid option, you’re out of luck. You could go for the Zowie G-SR model, but that one has a different feel.
For a minimalist mouse pad, it’s a little expensive. You’ll definitely find more affordable options out there. However, if you’re looking for a minimalist pad for your next competition, this one’s worth the price.
Roccat has always had impressive, if sometimes a bit of an acquired taste, RGB lighting. So it’s no surprise that the Roccat Sense Aimo not only boasts two customizable zones and comes with 10 onboard RGB lighting profiles, but also delivers bright lighting that you can sync with compatible devices for your full immersion. To access those lighting profiles, you just need to press the built-in button, which also allows you to turn it off completely if you need a break.
The brand claims that the cloth surface is machine-stitched, which apparently improves gliding. And, while we’re not completely sure how that works, we’ve also put it through its paces, and we can attest to how smooth the gliding is and how it helps your need for speed when playing fast-paced games.
Perhaps the weakest part of this mouse pad is its rubber base. It works effectively most of the time, but we have noticed that when were moving our mouse more forcefully, it moves a little.
There are two sizes on offer, but the mid size should work well for most people. It offers a spacious enough surface without taking up too much. Because there is RGB lighting here, it’s a little more expensive than non-RGB options; however, it’s also affordable.
If you’re used to soft mouse pads, the Asus ROG Balteus Qi might be a bit of an adjustment because of its hard surface. But, that’s not all; its surface is also textured and, therefore, a little rougher. The thing with hard mouse pads though is that they’re a little more precise, which is certainly a plus if you want to get to the top of the leaderboards.
There are a few things we wish were done better here. There isn’t an included USB adapter, which you will need to properly power the Qi charging, so we had to dig through our stash of wall chargers before we could test it. It needs two USB ports so you can take advantage of its features so if you’re using a gaming laptop, it’s not the best option. And, we did found that its Qi charging is a little on the weak side and requires you to be precise with your device placement.
However, you’re still getting plenty of features, which is part of its appeal. The RGB lighting is pretty, has 15 customizable zones, and has its own button to give you access to nine lighting profiles. The USB passthrough offers easy access to a port for your mouse, keyboard, or other peripherals. And, the Qi charging, which does require you to remove your phone case if you want to charge your phone, is certainly handy.
You’ve probably seen mouse pads out there which have built-in raised wrist rests of some kind at the bottom of the pad (usually gel-filled) to give your wrist some added support. We used one of these in the distant past, though, and didn’t find it helped – and over time, in fact, we became somewhat concerned that it might hinder in terms of wrist health, if anything.
So, if you want a mouse mat which is ergonomically sound, we’d recommend the SteelSeries QcK Heavy, one of the siblings of our top-rated overall mouse pad. This combines a micro-woven cloth surface with an extra-thick (non-slip) rubber base, and that additional thickness makes the mouse mat like a cushion for your wrist.
In our view, this is a more helpful solution than a chunky gel wrist pad, but if you do want to get a full wrist rest, our recommendation would be to buy a standalone one, not a built-in solution (Razer makes a good Ergonomic Mouse Rest if this is the route you want to take).
This Heavy variant boasts the same laudable overall quality as the SteelSeries QcK, and comes in (slightly fewer) different sizes – medium, large and XXL – so you can pick and choose the most appropriate amount of mouse pad real-estate for your needs. The spec above is for the medium size, with the large and XXL being 450 x 400mm and 900 x 400mm respectively, though note the latter isn’t as thick at 4mm rather than 6mm. With ergonomics as the primary consideration here, we’d probably steer clear of the XXL due to it having less of a cushioning effect as a result.
A competitive gaming mouse pad needs to have less resistance than all others, and that’s exactly what the Roccat Sense Pro offers. It’s not too textured that it requires a massive adjustment on your part, but we have found its surface to be just slightly less smooth to glide over. But, that’s also the exact point – it’s that textured finish that allows for fast, agile movements that are ideal for competitive gaming.
Meanwhile, it has a good rubber base that’s pretty great at keeping in in place as well as reinforced edge stitching that ensures minimal fraying. Because it’s also made of polyester military-grade fabric, you know that this will last you a good while.
There are two sizes on hand – the square one that gives you a spacious 450 x 450 mm surface area and the XXL size that offers a massive 900 x 420 mm space. The square one, we’ve found, is more than good enough, but if you want to home all your peripherals, the bigger version is affordable and worth considering.
The yellow Roccat flag near the top left corner, on top of the Roccat logo, is a nice touch. However, it’s still pretty minimal in terms of design and features. But, the focus here is agility so none of those matter.
What is the best mouse pad to use?
Our pick of the best mouse pad overall is the SteelSeries QcK Gaming, which is an impressive choice that may be minimalist but is pretty great for both gaming and work. However, it’s still important to know that the best one for you is also a matter of personal taste. The feel and glide is always going to be rather subjective, which is why we picked out these ten options for you.
How we test mouse pads
Testing mouse pads aren’t as rigorous as testing other peripherals. However, we do try and test them for at least a couple of days, putting them through their paces by using them the way we would our own mouse pads and desk mats. We use them for work, for gaming, and for photo editing, among other things. We also try to use a variety of mice on them, typically five, including productivity mice, gaming mice, and cheap mice. Finally, if a mouse pad has features, we test those features as well.