Before lashing out a lot of money or spending on something you are passionate about, it is normal to often question how long it will last. For the serious and dedicated gamers out there,
with something as easy to manufacture as mousepads, you will often come across mountains of cheap and poorly made mousepads which can be considered just total junk.
Obviously, it depends on what type of material your mousepad is made of to determine its lifespan. As you will find out, some materials are better than others:
Lycra Cloth Mousepads
Lycra is a fiber that is synthetic and made from polyurethane. Some people also refer to it as “Spandex”. Lycra as a material is well known for being strong and flexible, and it is often seen being used in skin-tight garments like bike shorts.
Mousepads that are made of lycra are often very pleasant to use because of how smooth they allow your mouse to glide around. Lycra is often used in large mousemats because a lot of people like using their mouse with large glides and strides when using the material.
Because of how flexible and stretchy in nature lycra is, this can mean that it might not last very long, especially if you go for a cheap and low-quality alternative. The edges of the mousepad in particular will start to fray and lose shape if made of Lycra.
Overall, it really does depend on the initial quality of the mousepad, so anywhere between 7 months to a couple of years is when you should start to see a loss of quality.
Although not quite as mentioned as other types of mousepads, there has been a noticeable niche of gamers deciding to use cork material mousepads because of the precision that they bring, with cork being such a grippy material.
Compared to softer and more fabric-like materials, cork will unsurprisingly hold up a lot better. However, cork is really dependent on how harsh your mouse is. For example, if you use a mouse that is quite cheap and rough and does not have a lot of natural protection underneath - then expect the cork to start to lose durability very quickly.
Expect cork to last longer, usually around 4+ years. Again, the actual way that you physically use the mouse determines how quickly the cork material will quite literally chip away.
If you are totally into the idea of minimalism and like a real cold and harsh industrial look, then you should definitely be aware of the world of aluminum mousepads.
You should have no doubts about using metal-type mousepads. Out of all the mousepads that are available on the market, the aluminum ones are ideal if you are after something that is purely there to last long.
The very firm and sturdy metal mousepad would stay put on the desk, and you will also not have to worry about the usual degrading of the edges/stitching - because there isn’t any.
Expect aluminum mousepads to last around 8+ years. The only really noticeable sign of degrading in these types of mousepads are just scratch marks from using the mouse or the occasional dint.
Rubber-Based & Plastic Mousepads
A rubber mousepad can mean many different things because there are so many different types of rubber combinations that can be used. A lot of typical gaming mousepads will feature rubber, often at the base.
Usually, if rubber is used at the base of the mousepad then that means that it will be made of some type of textured cloth on the top. As discussed before, in order for cloth and fabric mousepads to last long, they rely on high-quality materials and manufacturing.
Plastic mousepads include mousepads that are made of thin layers of various types of plastic and matte surfaces. Plastic-related pads seem to hold up quite well, but just like rubber ones, the overall quality is going to be the game changer.
Expect plastic mousepads to last anywhere from 6 months to 6 years. Because “plastic” is such a broad term, you should look into what kind of feel you like and go from there. Some of the cheapest mousepads available are made of certain plastics that won’t last you even a few months and should never be used for gaming.
So, as you should tell, mousepads are not only reliant on the material - with harder mousepads like aluminum and cork lasting longer than softer types, but also the price and overall quality are going to make a big difference.
Plastic mousepads are the golden example of when the price can really pay off. A lot of companies will dish out little promotional mousepads with their logo on them, because of how affordable it is to produce. On the other hand, expensive plastic mousepads can seem indestructible and will get multiple years of use out of it.
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