When buying a mousepad, make sure to factor in the quality, feel, tactical response, and durability. The mousepad remains under your wrist the whole day, so it must feel comfortable. There are several hard and soft mouse pad materials, each offering something different.
Hard VS Soft Mouse Pads
Hard mouse pads are made of materials like plastic, aluminum, wood, glass, and stainless steel. They have lesser friction and offer great precision and accuracy. Hard mousepads offer the tactile responses gamers are looking for.
However, sudden stops aren’t easy on a hard surface and require control and skill. Furthermore, unlike their softer counterparts, hard mousepads cannot be rolled and carried around.
On the bright side, the mouse doesn’t sink into the mousepad. It minimizes wrist fatigue, which is common in most soft mouse pads. However, they don’t absorb warmth like soft mousepads and may feel cold to the touch.
Lastly, hard mousepads have a maximum thickness of 3mm, which is much less than that of a soft mousepad.
Soft Mouse Pads
Most soft mouse pads are made of microfiber, rubber material, neoprene, and polyurethane. These materials are bonded with fabric surfaces, which results in a cushion-like product.
Most substandard soft mouse pads combine padded rubber and a fabric covering. The soft material in a mousepad is good for support, but it lacks the precision and smoothness of a harder mousepad.
A soft mousepad is suitable for gamers that prefer wrist support when scrolling. However, the soft material creates fiction, which hinders your scrolling, especially during quick-scrolling games.
All in all, the non-slip surface of a soft mousepad provides an affordable alternative to high-end hard mousepads. They support laser mice as well as roller ball mice.
A soft mouse pad has a maximum thickness of 5mm and can be washed with soap, water, and alcohol.
Best Material Options for Mouse Pads
An aluminum mouse pad comprises three aluminum panels that are 0.6 inches thick. It is light and offers a flat, smooth surface.
It can withstand constant wear and tear. However, it can break after constant use. Furthermore, aluminum mouse pads are more expensive than their softer counterparts. Generally, they are good for gaming and editing tasks.
Tempered glass mouse pads are durable and can sustain a lot of wear and tear. The glass in these mouse pads is dynamic-static friction qualities, which offer a seamless mousing experience.
It provides excellent precision targets during gaming, and its anti-slip features help keep the mouse in position.
From an aesthetic viewpoint, a tempered glass mouse pad looks better than those made of plastic or aluminum. However, because of their features, they are more expensive than other mouse pads.
A plastic mouse pad provides a transparent and smooth surface for better mouse surfing. These mouse pads are made from skid-free rubber materials and non-slippery plastic.
Plastic mouse pads are lightweight, and they don’t slide around on hard surfaces. However, they aren’t suitable for machine washing, but they can be cleaned using rubber cleaners and alcohol.
Resin mouse pads are made of resin pads that are bonded together for a stable mouse pad frame. It has little friction, which provides a smooth surface for mice of all types.
These mousepads come in various colors, patterns, and designs and are a little more expensive than other hard-surface mouse pads.
Resin mouse pads provide an ideal surface for gaming and your everyday office tasks that require precise targeting and speedy scrolling.
Lycra is a light and stretchable synthetic fiber, mostly found in spandex. The mouse pads made of lycra cloth are durable, friction-proof, and lightweight. Made from polyester, the lycra cloth is elastic and sturdy.
It comes in different colors and designs and is suitable for people used to harder mouse pads. The softer material offers improved handling. However, the scrolling remains slower compared to other mouse pad materials.
Because they are a rarity, leather mouse pads are expensive. Because they are made from genuine leather, these mouse pads are soft to the touch and comfortable under the wrist.
Leather mouse pads offer great comfort and cushion, and therefore, they are suitable for gaming enthusiasts. Such mouse pads are available in different styles. However, there are only a handful of color shades available.
All in all, the softness of leather mouse pads offers precise handling and support for gaming and your everyday computer tasks.
Cork is obtained from tree bark, making it an eco-friendly mouse pad material. Cork mouse pads provide minimal friction and precise scrolling.
The anti-slip properties of the cork prevent the mouse from sliding across the surface. Cork is sensitive to the touch, which adds to your comfort. However, cork mouse pads are prone to damage due to the soft surface materials they carry.
Rubber is light, soft, and affordable. It’s the most common material used in mouse pad manufacturing. Most mouse pads on the market are made from rubber composites that are resilient and resistant to damage.
Rubber offers a non-slip base that keeps your mouse in a stable position. However, the soft layer of rubber can sink under heavier mice.