Do You Need a Mouse Pad?

A computer mouse sitting on a mouse pad, on top of a wood desk.

Do you like your desk? Do you like your mouse?

If you answered yes to either of those questions… Then no, you don’t need a mouse pad, but you’ll definitely want a mouse pad. You might be thinking, “But I never needed one one before” or “I see other people without them.”

Great! Take this chance to look closely beneath your mouse… Or the next time you see that person without a mouse pad, look at their desk where the mouse is…

You might see some damage… Small scratches and fading of the surface level on both desk and the bottom of the mouse. To some lesser or greater degree, depending on how often the mouse is used.

What is a Mouse Pad?

A mouse pad is a protective surface to use your mouse on. Its main function is to protect your mouse and desk from wear and tear. However it can also enhance mouse use, offering greater control.

Mouse Pad Benefits


Mouse Pads offer a controlled, even surface for a smoother mouse experience. There are different types of mouse pads for different types of control. For example, if you’re obsessed with speedy mouse control, you would opt for a smooth cloth mouse pad with a rubber base. The rubber base keeps the mouse pad anchored down while the smooth fabric surface keeps it.

Now if you’re looking for more precision control (typical for PC FPS gamers), you’ll want to look into control pads, or “control mouse pads.” These mouse pads offer a grainy texture for enhanced tactility, you’ll have complete control of the most minute movements with your mouse.

Whether it’s getting from Point A to Point B as fast as possible or enhanced mouse control… There’s a mouse pad for everyone.

Desk Protection

Mouse pads protect your desk from damage. It’s no surprise that dust settles on our desk… However, combine dust particles, with a bald mouse and a bare desk… The damage comes naturally. 

Mice usually have these soft little pads underneath called “feet.” But after extended use on a hard surface, the feet are rubbed raw and cease to exist. After that, it’s just hard plastic smothering small grainy dust particles into a hard surface desk.

This can damage all types of desk, but wood/fiberboard/leather desks will take the most amount of damage. A mouse pad is an easy and convenient way to protect your desk from damage.

Mouse Protection

We mentioned it above, but we’ll mention it again. A mouse pad protects the cute little feet on your mouse. While a mouse pad won’t ensure your mouse keeps them forever, it’ll definitely slow the process at which they deteriorate. The feet help with grip and control for your mouse, why wouldn’t you want to keep them for longer?

Keyboard Sound Suppression

A benefit of having a large mouse pad that spans the whole desk, is it provides some noise suppression for your keyboard. If you have a mechanical keyboard that produces noise, the clicking and clacking may vibrate off your desk and make things worse. By using a long mouse pad that sits underneath your keyboard and mouse, you can rest assured you only hear the clacking of your clicky mechanical keyboard switches.

Which Types of Mice Require a Mouse Pad?

While all mice work alright without a mouse pad, there are no types of mice that don’t benefit from a mouse pad. Mouse pads offer control and protection you otherwise would not have.

Do Mouse Pads Have any Downsides?

This may not be a surprise to you, but we have to say it. Mouse pads get dirty! While the dust is no longer being grinded down between your mouse and desk, they still find their way onto the mouse pad. Big surprise, right?

So you do have to clean them, but at least they don’t ruin your desk. Some mouse pads are washer safe, others you’ll just have to wipe down. Alternatively, if you hate cleaning… Just buy a new one! Replacing a mouse pad is a much easier process than replacing a desk or renewing the surface layer of a desk that’s been worn down from unprotected mouse use.

Another downside to mouse pads is… Well, mouse pads made of metal or wood… They defeat the purpose of trying to protect your desk and mouse. If you decide to go with a metal mouse pad, sacrifice your mouse and get one with a rubber bottom so your desk doesn’t get damaged beneath.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do Mouse Pads Help With Gaming?

Mouse pads are perfect for gamers. They add a perfect amount of control and speed to your game. There are control mouse pads for extra tactility in mouse movements, smooth fabric mouse pads for ease of speed, and also hybrid mouse pads that offer the best of both worlds in a unique mouse pad with both fabric and plastic interwoven. Hybrid mouse pads offer the right amount of grip and smoothness for enhanced tactical support and speed.

What Happens If You Don’t Use a Mouse Pad?

Your desk will, sooner or later, end up looking like driftwood. Depending on what kind of desk you have the damage will be more pronounced, or take longer to damage. Wood, fiberboard, or any desk you’ve bought on Amazon will likely take significant damage.

Painted surfaces chip away and vinyl surfaces scratch up and break away. Your poor little mouse will also lose their feet…

Is It Bad to Use a Mouse Without a Pad?

Generally, it’s only bad for your desk and mouse. If you care about them, then consider protecting them. A cheap $10 investment can give you years of desk protection.

What Can I Substitute for a Mouse Pad?

Feeling crafty with your hands? Can’t invest in a mouse pad right away?

Here are 5 substitutes for a mouse pad:

  1. Thick magazine
  2. Sheets of paper taped down
  3. Cardboard
  4. Dinner mats 
  5. Duct tape

Have fun being crafty!

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, if you care about your stuff or just want an easier time later down the road (instead of having to deal with fraying paint and wood), invest in your future time and get a mouse pad. You don’t need a mouse pad, but you definitely will benefit from a mouse pad.

When it comes to the bare minimum protection and smoother mouse experience, any basic mouse pad works. But you’re not limited to the basics with mouse pads either.

You can choose to get marvelously aesthetic, super technological, or crazy tactical. Consider your investment in a mouse pad is for your own protection and well being… All the extra perks are just bonuses.

There are mouse pads with built in LED lights, mouse pads with wireless charging (for your mouse, keyboard, or phone), and an insane amount of designs for nearly anything you can think of. You can get a small mouse pad for just your mouse, or a large mouse pad that covers your entire keyboard and mouse area (maybe even your entire desk).

You don’t have to change your lifestyle for it, but the choice is yours if you want to.

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