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The best gaming mouse pads to enhance your setup in 2021

Sarah Matthews
5 Oct 2021
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Tired of skipping mice and bumpy mouse mats ruining your gaming? Sort it out with our pick of the best gaming mouse pads to buy

It might not seem important, but buying the best gaming mouse pad you can afford will make a world of difference. A good gaming mouse pad completes your gaming setup, offering greater mouse control, more comfortable wrist support and unrestricted mouse movement, so it’s always wise to think carefully before you invest in one.

However, with so many options to choose from at such varied price points, it’s difficult to know where to start. Especially since mouse pads sold by well-known brands are often no better than those sold by smaller outlets. Most of the time, there’s no way to tell if you’re buying a high-quality product or one that will fall apart after a few months of use.

Luckily, we’ve been testing out a wide range of gaming mouse pads to see which is the best. Our top picks can be found below. If you’re completely new to gaming mouse pads and want some extra information before you buy, take a look at our buying guide.

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How to choose the best gaming mouse pad for you

Why do I need a gaming mouse pad?

Computer mice don’t work well on desk surfaces like smooth polished stone or transparent surfaces, which is frustrating enough when you're navigating your email inbox. Imagine how annoying it is to be mid-way through a game only for your mouse to stop working.

Granted, not all desks are made from polished stone or glass, but the fact remains that mousing on a surface that isn’t specifically built for it is often an unpleasant experience. It’s also one that can quickly wear away the pads on the bottom of your mouse.

That’s why most PC gamers buy a gaming mouse pad: they provide a smooth, uniform surface to ensure you can get the reliable speed and accuracy you want when you’re gaming.

Mouse pad size

This brings us to the age-old question: does size matter? With gaming mouse pads the answer is yes, to an extent.

For most gaming mice, you can adjust their DPI so that a small adjustment onscreen could either have you moving your hand a fraction of a centimetre or a few inches. The second of these options gives you greater accuracy, but you’ll need more mouse pad space to compensate.

In either case, you’ll likely have to move your mouse about quite a bit during gameplay. That means an A4-sized mouse pad, akin to one you might find in an office, possibly won’t give you enough space.

The smallest mousepads we recommend are around 35 by 25cm in size, giving you plenty of freedom to move without taking up too much desk space.

On the other end of the spectrum are extra-large gaming mouse pads that stretch across a whole desk, offering almost unlimited space to move your mouse about. You can place a gaming keyboard and other accessories on top of these mouse pads, so they essentially replace your desk surface. This means they don’t feel like they take up precious desk space – as a smaller mouse pad might – while offering a solid, unrestricted surface to game on. These larger mats are anchored down by a non-slip rubber base and whatever you place on top of them.

Mouse pad thickness

The most common thickness for a gaming mouse pad is between 2mm and 5mm. Thinner mousepads have the obvious advantage of being more subtle and sleek on your desk, whereas the thicker the mouse pad, the comfier it will be on your wrist. Most people will be happy with a gaming mouse pad that’s around 3mm thick, giving them a good balance of comfort and unobtrusiveness.

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Surface and materials

Gaming mouse pads should come fixed onto a rubber or foam backing. We’d always recommend opting for rubber composites as a backing for any mousepad to avoid it slipping around on your desk.

Soft fabric gaming mouse pads are more comfortable than plastic ones, so if comfort’s your priority, you’ll want one of these. They offer greater control and precision than hard surfaces, and the smoother the fabric, the less it will wear down your mouse’s feet over time. Also, be sure to buy one with a sturdy, thick stitched edge so it won’t fray around the edges; unfinished edges mean the fabric topping is bound to fray and peel away much faster.

Unsurprisingly, the same goes for hard plastic gaming mouse pads – you’ll want smooth plastic to ensure as little friction as possible, and it will need to have a rubber backing. Their major advantage is that they wipe clean and are more resistant to wear and tear than their fabric counterparts. If you’ve got a laser mouse, a hard mouse pad works much better than a soft one. They also provide even faster tracking, making them well suited to gaming, regardless of mouse type.

However, if you want a good mix of speed and control, you might want to opt for a hybrid gaming mouse pad. These are harder than fabric mouse mats, while still being soft enough to roll up for storage, offering a comfortable middle ground for all types of gaming. These do come at a premium, though, so you can expect to pay around £10 more than you would for a standard gaming mouse pad.

Extra features

To throw another spanner in the works, there are plenty of mouse pads out there that come with extra features such as wireless charging, USB ports and RGB lights. These are pretty unnecessary for the mouse pad itself, but if you’re looking for that extra bit of functionality or the aesthetic appeal of RGB lights, it’s good to know these options exist.

Wireless charging in particular can be super helpful on large gaming mouse pads for charging up wireless mice, headphones and phones when there’s no extra space on your desk for a separate wireless charger. The catch, of course, is that these extra techy features come at a price.

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The best gaming mouse pads to buy in 2021

1. HyperX FURY Ultra Gaming Mouse Pad: The best RGB gaming mouse pad

Price: £45 | Buy now from Amazon

With a wide gamut of RGB gaming mouse pads to choose from, this plastic pad from HyperX blows the competition out of the park. It’s a hard surface that has RGB lights that cover the whole perimeter of the board, as well as a light strip on the centre console to light up the pad itself. These emit a colourful glow from below the mouse pad, giving the setup a more subtle look.

You can also customise the colour setup using free HyperX software, which essentially gives you unlimited options for speed, colour, brightness and colour placement. We found this software really easy to use – much simpler customisation software than Corsair’s counterpart, the MM800 RGB POLARIS.

The mouse pad’s centre console is also well designed. It has sloped edges to allow mouse wires to slip over during gameplay, unlike other RGB mouse pads with centre consoles that can catch wires and restrict your movement.

Be warned, though, the plastic on this mousepad is the smoothest we’ve tried. While that makes your movements incredibly speedy, you get very little mouse control.

Key specs – Size: 30 x 36cm; Thickness: 5mm; Surface finish: Hard plastic; Extra features: RGB lights, HyperX customisation software

2. Razer Strider: The best hybrid gaming mouse pad

Price: From £30 | Buy now from Razer

Hybrid mouse mats are slightly rougher than standard plastic, but offer more control while still being speedy. In essence, you get the best of both plastic and fabric mouse pads, and this hybrid Razer gaming mouse pad is the best quality one you’ll find.

Despite being rolled up in its box, it doesn’t curl up when opened, allowing for bump-free use straight away. It has really tightly stitched edges to ensure the hybrid fabric won’t fray over time; perhaps more impressively, the stitching is flush with the mousepad, making it feel seamless on the mouse during use.

Razer has also given this mouse pad a great non-slip backing. It’s so good, in fact, that your desk will more likely topple when pressure is applied on the mouse pad before it budges.

It has no RGB or fancy features, but if you’re looking to upgrade your current mousepad, this one will improve your gaming experience no end.

Key specs – Sizes: 45 x 40cm (L), 94 x 41cm (XXL) ; Thickness: 3mm; Surface finish: Hybrid; Extra features: None

Buy now from Razer


3. HP Omen Mouse Pad: The best hard mouse pad

Price: £19 | Buy now from AO

If you don’t want an all-singing, all-dancing pad, the HP Omen hard plastic mouse pad is a brilliant option. Its ultra-thin, plain black design doesn’t look obtrusive on a desk, and it provides a smooth surface for quick tracking. Also, unlike fabric gaming mouse pads, there’s no ridge at the edge of the mat to restrict your movement.

HP says this mouse pad has been tested to withstand 250km of mouse navigation, meaning that it’s highly durable – you won’t need to worry about it wearing down for a long time. The base is also one of the grippiest we tested, and it’s glued very securely onto the plastic top. Our only slight niggle is with the edges, which are a little too sharp to use on soft surfaces without causing snags.

Key specs – Size: 34 x 27cm; Thickness: 1mm; Surface finish: Hard plastic; Extra features: None

4. Trust Gaming GXT 765 Glide-Flex: Best-value mousepad

Price: £25 | Buy now from Amazon

Despite being on the smaller side, this gaming mouse pad is hands-down the best if you love getting bang for your buck. It’s got all the basic features: a finely woven fabric surface is stitched securely onto a non-slip rubber backing so that you’ll never be interrupted by a slipping mouse pad.

More importantly, the mouse pad offers vibrant RGB lighting with 12 colour modes and has a four-port USB hub included on the right-hand side. This came in really handy for plugging in dongles for gaming mice and keyboards straight on your desk, as well as wires for charging other devices such as phones. Plugging these into a hub on your desk is much easier than bending to find an available socket on the wall.

Considering its affordable price, you really can’t go wrong with this mousepad if you’re willing to compromise on size.

Key specs – Size: 35 x 25cm; Thickness: 3mm; Surface finish: Soft fabric; Extra features: RGB, 4 x USB ports

5. Oversteel Magnalium RGB XL: Best extra-large RGB gaming mousepad

Price: £26 | Buy now from Amazon

Despite its extra-large size, this mouse pad from Oversteel instantly rolled out flat with no bumps when we unpackaged it. Having arrived rolled up in its box, that’s a testament to the thick, quality feel of the mousepad; you’ll be able to game on it as soon as it arrives, without flattening it down with heavy weights.

We thought this mouse pad was particularly comfortable underhand, and it also offered a good mix of control and speed. If you’re prone to spillages, the fabric top is really easy to wipe clean and dust. It’s also one of the only affordable gaming mousepads around that’s not just black; it has a subtle dark grey (and not at all derivative) alien face on the right-hand side to add a little bit of interest.

In terms of extras, this pad has an RGB strip sewn around the edge. It offers nine different light options and is plugged in via USB through a tough braided cable.

Key specs – Size: 90 x 35cm; Thickness: 4mm; Surface finish: Soft fabric; Extra features: RGB

6. GIM gaming mouse pad with wireless charging: Best wireless charging gaming mouse pad

Price: £29 | Buy now from Amazon

One issue with big gaming mouse pads is that they take up a lot of desk space. That means there’s less room for additional items like a wireless charging pad, which makes this mouse pad from GIM exciting. The mat itself is of great quality, offering a fast and precise tracking surface for gaming, but it’s also got a Qi wireless charging pad for charging phones, earbuds and wireless charging gaming mice.

This saves you from having to buy a separate wireless pad and it looks seamless on your desk. It delivers 10W power, which is strong enough to charge your devices at a reasonable speed. Also, the mouse pad’s RGB has 10 lighting modes, including 7 static light modes and 3 dynamic modes. You can also switch these lights off if colourful lights aren’t your thing.

If you’ve researched wireless gaming mouse pads before, you’ll know that big gaming brands sell wireless charging mouse pads at far higher prices; however, we just don’t see where that money is going. For example, the Logitech Powerplay mouse pad costs £90 and charges your mouse through the mat while you’re playing; this sounds ideal until you realise it won’t charge anything except a few compatible gaming mice.

As most wireless gaming mice will see you through many hours of gaming on a single charge, we reckon there’s more value in a charging pad that can charge something like your smartphone, say, while you’re busy gaming. This GIM mouse pad performs that service admirably, ridding you of messy charging wires at a fraction of the price.

Key specs – Size(s): 80 x 30cm; Thickness: 4mm; Surface Finish: Soft fabric; Extra features: RGB, Wireless charging

7. ADX lava mouse mat: Best budget gaming mouse pad

Price: from £6 | Buy now from Currys

If you’re on a tight budget, but still want a well-made mouse pad, then consider this model from ADX. With a smooth fabric surface, a grippy rubber base and thick stitched edges, it’s essentially amazing quality for the price.

The mat is available in three different sizes, medium, large, and extra-large, all of which provide plenty of space for gaming. Also, it’s the perfect thickness for maximising speed and control in your games. Unfortunately, there’s no colour, graphics or extra features on this mouse mat, but that’s to be expected when it’s such a bargain.

Key specs – Size(s): 40 x 28cm(M), 45 x 40cm (L), 90 x 40cm (XL); Thickness: 3mm; Surface Finish: Soft fabric; Extra features: none

Buy now from Currys


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