Best mouse pads for gaming 2017

A gaming mouse pad is one of those peripherals that you never think you’ll need to add to your computing setup until you’ve got one.

Not only do the better ones add a luxurious strip of strokable material to your desktop that your palms will thank you for, they also help improve your mouse’s aiming accuracy and protect your desk from inevitable energy drink spillages during heated gaming sessions.

They aren’t all boring rectangular slabs of stitching and fuzz, either. There’s square-sized ones, rectangular pads and ultrawides that cover larger desks. Some even bring RGB backlighting to the party, coupled with a USB port for good measure.

We’ve picked out some of the best-looking and most practical mouse pads to complement your gaming setup.

Best cloth mouse pad

Razer Gigantus

A sizable desk-hugger with a plain design

Dimensions: 45.5 x 45.5 x 0.5cm (W x H x D)

Huge surface area
Low-key design
More expensive than rivals

As its name suggests, the Razer Gigantus is a giant of a gaming mouse mat. If you’ve got the desk space for it, the Gigantus’ sheer size makes it especially useful for low DPI (or sensitivity) gaming, as you can make long movements without having to lift and reposition your mouse between swipes. Its soft textured cloth finish feels great against the palms, and its rubberized base prevents it from slipping. Design-wise, it’s low key and won’t clash with the branding on your gaming mouse like some of its rivals, though it is a little more expensive than most.

SteelSeries QcK+ Limited

A jazzy work of craftsmanship

Dimensions: 45 x 40 x 0.3cm (W x H x D)

Excellent stitching
Allows for precise mousing
Design may be off-putting

Featuring a micro-woven cloth that’s designed to improve mouse glide, SteelSeries’ redesigned QKC+ Limited is a slick operator. Equally as wide as the Razer Gigantus but slightly shorter, the QKC+ still requires a fair bit of spare space on your desk. It also features immaculate anti-fray stitching which looks neat and tidy, so expect it to last at least as long as your mouse. SteelSeries opted for an arty hexagonal grid design which we think looks great, but won’t go with non-SteelSeries branded gaming mice quite as well as the Gigantus. On the plus side, the QcK+ is the more affordable of the two.

Best wide mouse pad

Cougar Arena

A sensibly-sized ultrawide mouse pad

Dimensions: 80 x 30 x 0.5cm (W x D x H)

Very wide mouse pad
Spill-resistant
Some may find the design garish

Depending on the size and shape of your desk, an ultrawide mouse pad like the Cougar Arena may be more suitable for you than a square one. The Arena is shorter than the cloth mouse pads on our list, but it’s much wider at 80 centimetres. This gives you much more space for horizontal mousing, which is fast and accurate thanks to the Arena’s smooth surface that sports a thatched pattern. Its stitched edges caused our wrists no irritation and should ensure that this mouse pad will last for a long time. It’s also spill resistant and features a textured rubber base to prevent slipping. Although the Arena is large enough to accommodate both your keyboard and mouse pad, it’s also small enough to use just for your mouse; unlike the next mouse pad in our list...

Corsair MM300

An ultrawide monster

Dimensions: 93 x 30 x 0.3cm (W x D x H)

Largest ultrawide mouse pad around
Anti-fray cloth surface
Too big for small desks

Though it’s tempting to think of the Corsair MM300 as the ultimate mouse pad, its gargantuan size only makes it suitable for the biggest desks. Should you have room, this monster can easily accommodate even the largest mechanical keyboards and leave room to spare. Its textile-weave surface is engineered for precision, and plays nicely with a wide range of mice including those with laser and optical sensors that we used to test it. There’s an anti-skid rubber base underneath to help the MM300 stay in place, and its stitched edges guard against peeling. Considering the amount of cloth you get, it's surprisingly affordable too.

Best RGB mouse pad

Corsair MM800 RGB

More than just a mouse pad

Dimensions: 35 x 26 x 0.5cm (W x D x H)

Customizable RGB lighting
USB pass-through Port
Twice the cost of regular mouse pads

The Corsair MM800 RGB is, first and foremost, a great mouse pad. Its low-friction surface is ideal for gliding your mouse around – and it’ll fit on smaller desks too - in addition to being easy to clean. However, this mouse pad is more interesting than most thanks to its 15-zone RGB LED customizable lighting effects, which light up your room while gaming and can be configured to dance to the same beat as other Corsair peripherals using the company’s CUE software platform. Better yet, the MM880 RGB features a built-in USB pass-through port for your mouse, freeing up a USB slot on your PC or gaming laptop.

Best hard surface mouse pad

Logitech G440

A solidly-crafted hard mouse pad

Dimensions: 34 x 28 x 0.3cm (W x D x H)

Smooth glide surface
Impeccable build quality
Sharp edges

The G440 has a hard surface, and as a result is much more durable than cloth mouse mats. Its polyethylene surface works well with high-DPI (or sensitivity) mice, making theG440 ideal for pairing with a mouse with multiple DPI settings, and a 4K monitor too. Featuring a minimal design that won’t clash with other brands of gaming mice, the G440 comes with the usual signs of a high quality-mouse pad – including a rubber base that doesn’t slip. The only caverat we found was that its edges are slightly on the sharp side, so care is needed not to move your arms too quick while they're rested on the desk.