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Types of Mousepads

The Other Pad: Yes, A Mousepad Guide

There are several different types of mousepads you can buy today, but knowing which one is the best for you is more complicated than you may think. There are hard mats, soft mats, metal, cloth, silicon, and even glass. Some come with designs, some glow in the dark, some are big, and some are small. So what are the criteria for finding the best mousepad for you?

What Kind of Mouser Are You?

How you use the mouse is very important in finding the proper mousepad. If you use it from the wrist and don’t move your hand a whole lot when using it, then a smaller mousepad with a textured surface is better for you. If you have sensitive hands, then a smoother surface is a better choice. If you experience wrist pain, you should consider using a wrist rest with the mousepad.

And if you use the mouse from the elbow, meaning you move the mouse heavily and use lower sensitivity settings, then you’ll want a larger mousepad. The surface type won’t matter because you won’t be resting your wrists on it anyway.

Space Matters

How much space is available on your desk? If you don’t consider this factor, you might end up buying a mousepad that is either too big or too small. Find out how much real estate you have on your desk for your mouse and buy one that is properly sized.

How Do You Use Your Mousepad?

Does it go with you on the road or stay at home? At home, do you move your mousepad to different rooms? Do you have multiple workbenches or different surfaces? All of these factor into which type of mousepad you should use, especially for gamers who play on the go and take their mousepads with them. Some of the mats we tested are made to stick to one surface, while others are easy to carry around and store away for travel.

Looks Matter

If keeping your desk as hip and cool as possible is your style, then finding a mousepad with an appealing design will also influence which mousepad you want to buy. Most mousepads available today, including those we tested, are fairly bland with black or grey colors and a logo or two. Others are much more colorful, with stylized designs, classy looks, or even completely personalized patterns. Just remember, you pay more for looking good. But even the most personalized mousepads are still pretty cheap.

Find Information Online

If you still aren’t sure which mousepad to get after reading the rest of this article, check online sources. Razer has an excellent mini-site with a ton of information on which mousepad works best for you, based on your criteria and Razer’s extensive line of mousepads.

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  • 2 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , April 21, 2010 9:46 AM
    I had to get a mousepad because my old desk had a glass top. I bought an ultra thin WOW pad that worked extremely well. New desk does not have a glass top. No mousepad needed.
  • 0 Hide
    4ILY45 , April 21, 2010 12:13 PM
    Some of the keyboards we’re using, like Microsoft’s SideWinder X8, Logitech’s G19, and a few others, don’t need any additional comfort hardware.

    Correction sir, SideWinder X8 is a mouse.. Sidewinder X6 is a keyboard..
  • 0 Hide
    pluripotent , April 21, 2010 12:51 PM
    ditto: I don't even have a glass top desk, but my deathadder mouse doesn't work on the glossy black surface. Pad required.
  • 0 Hide
    icepick314 , April 21, 2010 1:19 PM
    I use SteelSeries SX pad...


    it's coated aluminum pad which is very smooth and cool to the touch, which I love...
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 21, 2010 1:54 PM
    You actually missed one important pad (which is most likely because it's unfortunately only available in Germany at the moment).


    According to some gaming magazines in Germany it seems to be one of the best pads out there.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , April 21, 2010 2:06 PM
    Suprised you didn't review Func Industries.. Long time favorite from the Counterstrike crowd. Probably one of the best built pads i have used with many options. Defintely my favorite for FPS type games. MMOs - go for a Razer mat, or steelseries, or whatever you like, it doesn't matter. But not using one i believe will increase the wear on your mouse and mouse feet.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , April 21, 2010 2:16 PM
    I absolutely love my old Genius mousepad. It makes my trackball much more precise and responsive.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , April 21, 2010 2:35 PM
    Where's my MacPadd? I'm surprised it wasn't mentioned as it's one of the only pads that offers protection against microbes such as H1N1! /sarcasm

    Really though, what ever happened with that?
  • 0 Hide
    plasmastorm , April 21, 2010 2:45 PM
    Razer Lachesis and Destructor pad for me.

    Lovely and slippy :) 
  • 1 Hide
    sutleyc , April 21, 2010 2:59 PM
    Allsop Metal Art Mousepad, smooth plastic metal base on a non-slip surface. I use one at home (FPS) and the office (Photoshop).

  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 21, 2010 3:02 PM
    First-generation Razer DeathAdder and ExactMat for me. Works wonders for gaming and graphic design. If I have to upgrade, I'll take the 3.5G edition of DeathAdder and a Destructor.

    Anyway, as a gamer and a mouse user, I like to have a very high sensitivity (I'm the wrist type as mentioned in the article). So far, I've never achieved such sensitivity and accuracy with my previous mouse-and-pad combination. I'm with the mousepad-needing side here, even though I only casually game.
  • 0 Hide
    cadder , April 21, 2010 3:37 PM
    Our wooden dining table works well with my 2 old Microsoft mice and my new Microsoft blue laser mouse. I do have to clean off the table well before doing this, the biggest enemy of a mouse is stray salt granules. Sometimes when traveling I've used the cardboard back of a legal pad. It works pretty well but I don't think it would last a long time. The worst surface I've tried has been clean white paper. The mice don't pick up any texture on it. My G5 at work works pretty well with my old cloth mousepad. I've thought about gluing my old pad to a piece of heavy metal or ceramic tile so it would stay flat and wouldn't move around on my desk.
  • 1 Hide
    adaman2576 , April 21, 2010 3:45 PM
    I really never gave a thought about using a mouse pad until recently. I have been without one for many years. Not to long ago I was moving and so I took everything off my wooden desk. It wasn't until then that I noticed how faded the wood was where I use my mouse. If I get another new wooden desk I will definatly consider using a pad so I don't ruin the desk surface.
  • 0 Hide
    quicksilver98 , April 21, 2010 4:15 PM
    I purchased my Razer Destructor mouse pad last year to go with my Copperhead, and wow what a difference. The mouse tracks smoother and I tend to have less issues with dust from the tabletop days. I Strongly recommend picking one up if your a "Gamer" or even someone who likes precision mousing.
  • 0 Hide
    jamezrp , April 21, 2010 5:12 PM
    adedfdjdWhere's my MacPadd? I'm surprised it wasn't mentioned as it's one of the only pads that offers protection against microbes such as H1N1! /sarcasmReally though, what ever happened with that?

    You may remember that Macpadd failed to work with our friends at Tom's Hardware, and they fail as a company, clearly. We'd have loved to test out their mouse, but there was no guarantee we'd ever get it, if we bought it or not.
  • 0 Hide
    noerion , April 21, 2010 5:29 PM
    The second is that the Sphex easily becomes dirty and it can’t really be cleaned.

    I disagree on that part. I personally own a Sphex and the main thing that gets dirty is the bottom (since I do take it around places every once in a while). Razer made a big deal when these came out, that you could actually wash the Sphex (water and just a little bit of soap), which I've done multiple times. Each time I wash it, the adhesive becomes sticky again, allowing me to place it in a new position on my desk. Of course I make sure that my desk is clean at that point, too, so it'll stick well. It is without the best mousepad I've owned over the years. The tracking precision it provides while I'm gaming is excellent, and the mat itself is just right for my personal style.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 21, 2010 5:43 PM
    I bought a mousepad for $2 from... Office Depot, was it? It's about the size of the Max Payne one, and works very well. Why was no consideration given to the bargain bin dep't?
  • 1 Hide
    xc0mmiex , April 21, 2010 6:40 PM
    buy a rocketfish $15 from best buy and save yourself 15$, its identical to the Cyborg V5
  • 0 Hide
    kittle , April 21, 2010 6:41 PM
    I got one of these a while ago:

    they work great and look good to boot.

    but with optical and mice its much less of a need. And actually I find with my wood desktop at home a standard optical mouse wont track, so I have to use a laser mouse.

    But the biggest overall problem is cathair in the optical sensor -- once that happens, my mouse acts really funny until I clean out the 1-2 strands of hair that got in.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , April 21, 2010 7:24 PM
    The FUNC Industries Surface1030 Archetype is my favorite mousing surface ever! I've been using it for years now! Love it! Check it! http://www.func.net/index.html
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