computer hardware

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Mousepads come in all sorts of colors, patterns, shapes, and, of course, sizes. A typical mousepad is a small circle or rectangle that sits next to your keyboard. If that’s all you’ve known, it’s time to go big.

The public debut of the humble mousepad happened in 1968 during “The Mother of All Demos,” a revolutionary demonstration given by Douglas Engelbart. It was a typical-sized mousepad—just big enough for the general area around the mouse.

That was pretty much the norm for mousepads in the following decades. Recently, however, there’s been a rise in popularity for giant mousepads, otherwise known as “desk mats.” A desk mat just might be your new favorite desktop companion.

Giant Mousepad, XXL Mousepad, Desk Mat, etc.

Larger-than-usual mousepads go by a few different names, but they’re all basically accomplishing the same thing. Rather than only having a pad under the mouse itself, they extend under your keyboard and take up a much larger area on your desk.

Desk mats originally became popular among competitive gamers who prefer to keep their mouse’s DPI low. That means they need a large area to move the mouse around the screen. A typical 8″x10″ mousepad just isn’t big enough.

You don’t need to be a competitive gamer or use a gaming mouse to have a desk mat. There are some practical reasons for owning a giant mousepad that anyone can appreciate.

So Much Room for Activities

computer hardware

Logitech

As you might expect, size is the main benefit of a large mousepad. If you’ve ever used a traditional small mousepad, you have almost certainly run the mouse off the edge. That’s always annoying, and it has led some people to simply stop using mousepads altogether.

While you don’t technically need a mousepad, mice do work better with one. A desk mat gives you much more space to move your mouse around, plus there are some benefits that don’t have anything to do with your mouse.

A desk mat doubles as a soft surface to rest your wrists while typing. It’s also protective for your desktop surface. You can use it as a coaster, and it protects your desk from scratches from sliding your keyboard and other accessories.

Another benefit that I’ve noticed since switching to a desk mat is better organization. The mat becomes a clearly defined “no clutter” zone. I only keep my keyboard, mouse, and water bottle on the pad. Everything else is kept out of the way.

It sounds obvious, but it’s just really nice to have the soft, spongy mousepad material covering a large portion of my desk. My hands and wrists are never in contact with the hard desktop. Anywhere I move my mouse is covered. I simply don’t ever need to think about it.

Desk Mats for Your Consideration

Hopefully, I’ve convinced you to upgrade your old tiny mousepad. I think you’ll be happy you did. But which desk mat should you get? Thankfully, there are a lot of great mousepads out there, and you have many choices of colors and patterns.

There’s no one right mousepad for everyone: There are a lot of good mousepad options out there depending on the color, material, and design you might be looking for. Take a look at our guide to the best mousepads you can buy for more great mousepad ideas.

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