The best gaming mouse pad in 2024

best gaming mouse pads
(Image credit: Future)

The best gaming mouse pad can still benefit you when you're playing some of the best PC games and already own the best gaming mouse.

While buying the most premium gaming mouse pad won't suddenly turn you into an esports champion overnight, it can make using the mouse easier. Because of that, these mouse pads are great for both gaming and work.

What are the key factors to look out for? Grip styles and the materials you’re working with — after all, you don’t want a mouse pad that’s going to get torn after a few months of heavy gaming usage. Durability is key.

With most of our picks coming in at under $20, these pads don’t qualify as a big financial commitment. That means you can try out several to see which kind is best for you. Again, the best gaming mouse pads won’t transform you into a better Fortnite player, but they won’t break the bank, either.

How to choose the best gaming mouse pad for you

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If there's one piece of advice we could impart for choosing the best gaming mouse pad, it would be "don't overthink it." We take notes when we test mouse pads, and "works well" is our final observation for every single one. When you get right down to it, most mouse pads are just soft pieces of rectangular cloth, or hard pieces of rectangular plastic. The design is relatively difficult to mess up — and even if you do get a real piece of junk, you can replace it for about $10.

It's also worth noting that, perhaps due to their low price and high turnover, buying mouse pads can be unpredictable at the best of times. Of the 10 models we ordered for our initial tests, only five arrived — and three of those five were different than the pads we wanted. Every retailer simply refunded our order rather than attempting to track the missing goods or find a replacement.

In other words, even the companies that sell mouse pads don't put an awful lot of effort into finding the perfect mouse pad.

Essentially, when you're looking for a mouse pad, consider whether you want a soft or hard surface, then decide how big you want it to be. Beyond that, it's mostly just a matter of aesthetics. Even the prices don't differ all that much from brand to brand.

Marshall Honorof

Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi. 

With contributions from
  • bahoicamataru
    almost every single pick is bad, failed to mention any decent pads such as those from xraypad, artisan, the coolermaster mp510, or the dechanic control. do not trust this reviewer, he doesn't know enough about mouse pads, and doesn't even talk much about speed, static friction or other actually important aspects.
  • Edckiii
    So what is a good gaming pad as my son is a gamer and thinks his black gaming pad is no longer good...
  • COLGeek
    Edckiii said:
    So what is a good gaming pad as my son is a gamer and thinks his black gaming pad is no longer good...
    This is a thread to comment on an article. You should start a thread in the forum to seek this sort of advice. In addition, I would recommend posting your question at our sibling site, Tom's Hardware, instead.
  • Dev1lman
    Why is it always Razer, Logitech, Steelseries? There are so many better mouse pads out on the market. Like Lethalgaminggear, Artisan, equate, XTen, endgame gear, list goes on and on. Not to bash the article, I respect your doing the count down. Just get outside of those crap pads. They are marketed big time by a company for eSports players and in most cases the eSports player has to use them for sponser reasons. Thanks for your time.