Desk pads, or desk blotters, may not be as common a sight in offices or on desktops as they once were but they are still a great option to consider whether you’re looking at them for practical or stylish purposes. They provide a better surface to write on than the hard surface of your desk — either used on their own or paired with traditional blotter paper — and they can protect your desk in the process — or cover up any damage it may have already incurred.
Even if you aren’t writing on them, they can serve as an effective substitute for a mouse pad, and they can come in sizes large enough to make for a great non-slip base for your laptop or keyboard.
Here are a few of our favorites.
Satechi Eco-Leather Deskmate
Best All-Around Desk Pad
If you’re looking to keep things simple and streamlined on your desk, then Satechi’s Eco-Leather Deskmate might be just what you’re after. It’s available in your choice of blue, black or brown, and is a good choice for smaller desks (or larger desks you don’t want to cover up too much) at 23″ x 12.2″ in size. You can use your mouse on the desk pad itself, but Satechi also makes some separate matching mouse pads that you can pair with the desk pad if you find that things are getting a little too cramped.
Dacasso Black Leather Desk Mat
Best Leather Desk Pad
Dacasso is one of the bigger names when it comes to desk pads, and the company makes a wide range of options to suit just about anyone’s needs. This leather desk pad with a felt backing is available in black or brown and in a range of sizes, and can add a higher-end touch to your desk as well as providing a great writing surface. If you’re looking to go fully old school, you can opt for a model with side rails and add some of Dacasso’s blotter paper in your choice of color.
Awnour Clear Desk Mat
Best Budget Desk Pad
If you're looking for an affordable option, this clear desk mat is about as cheap as they come. A few retailers like Ikea go even lower, like this $5 option, but unless you're already making an Ikea order, the cost of shipping will likely eat into those savings.
Grovemade Wool Felt Desk Pad
Best Felt Desk Mat
You can't swing a dead cat without hitting 18 desk mats that are made out of leather, so why not switch it up with something a little more unique? Grovemade's wool felt pads add a bit of texture to a desk that might otherwise lack it, both in terms of feel and in terms of color.
House of Doolittle Doodle Pad Refillable
Best Desk Pad for Writing
If you're looking for a desk pad that you can do some more analog work on, the House of Doolittle Doodle Pad is great for writing on. It comes with 50 paper sheets included, and is refillable when you burn through those.
Miroddi Desk Pad with Wireless Charger
Best Smart Desk Mat
Desk pads are pretty low tech by design, but you can sneak a little gadgetry in there. If you're looking for a pad that can also help you keep your other high-tech tools topped off, this pad with an integrated wireless charger makes it easy to keep your smartphone or headphone up near 100 percent without sacrificing desk space to a dedicated charger.
Grovemade Extra Large Desk Pad
Best Large Desk Mat
If you are looking for a truly large desk mat, Grovemade's Extra Large option should have you covered. At 26.5" x 49", it's one of the larger options out there. The Matte option is the most affordable, but you can also get this gargantuan pad in felt or leather if you are prepared to pay $200+.
Orbitkey Desk Mat
If you're looking for a desk mat with a little more functionality than just sitting there, Orbitkey's offering has a few features that might catch your eye. Complete with a flap for hiding documents underneath its vegan leather surface, it also has a special magnet-and-track along its top edge that helps corral any wires that may be connected to your various devices.
RISSLA Desk Pad
Ikea offers some basic, no-frills desk pads for less than $10 if you’re just looking for something to protect your desk, but it’s worth shelling out a little extra cash for the company’s RISSLA Desk Pad if you want a bit of a more complete package. It’s fairly large at 33 7/8″ x 22 7/8″, and it has both a lip along the front edge to hold it in place on your desk and a handy flap on the left side that you can tuck papers or other belongings under. The synthetic leather material is also made from 80% recycled paper, although you’re out of luck if you had your heart set on a color other than black.
Staples Faux Leather Desk Pad
They might not be able to match Dacasso’s desk pads as far as fit and finish goes, but Staples’ faux leather desk pads should fit the bill for anyone looking for a traditional style desk pad at a more affordable price. They’re available in black, brown or blue, and come with side rails that can accommodate blotter paper, or simply be used whenever you need a place to tuck away business cards or other papers.
AUKEY Extended Mouse Mat
This extended mouse mat from Aukey may not offer as good a writing surface as the other desk pads on this list, but it could be the better option if you’re mainly looking for something to put under your mouse and keyboard. It’s a mouse pad first and foremost, so there won’t be any issues with tracking or accuracy, and it’s big (35.4” x 15.75”) and spill-resistant, so it’ll provide plenty of protection for your desk. It’s also fairly understated as far as gaming accessories go, although a version with built-in RGB lighting is also available for those so inclined.