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.
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.
Satechi Eco-Leather Deskmate
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
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.
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.
OrangeArt Modern Linen & Ecru Blotter
Another classic type of desk pad, this stylish desk blotter from OrangeArt (made by the company in New England) measures 14″ x 20″ in size and comes with ecru blotter paper that will provide you with a soft, comfortable writing surface. The four linen corners also serve as spots to let you keep important papers or business cards close at hand, and offer a nice alternative to the leather or vinyl options that are more commonplace.
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.
Grovemade Wool Felt Desk Pad
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.