How to Choose the Right Mouse Pad Size for Gaming

Online debates surrounding the superiority of gaming peripherals – like gaming mice, keyboards, headphones, and monitors – are endless.
However, these conversations often miss out on an important – and often underappreciated – tool: gaming mouse pads.

We’ve decided to break the mold and shift our focus to something a little more basic today. But before we dissect today’s topic, let’s address the most commonly asked question first:

How to choose the right mouse pad for gaming?

To choose the right mouse pad size for gaming, determine your preferred mouse sensitivity and desk size. If you play at higher sensitivities, a smaller mouse pad will do. However, lower mouse sensitivity requires more surface area for any mouse movement along the x-axis or y-axis, requiring a larger mouse pad and – in turn – more desk space.

What Are the Different Sizes of Mouse Pads?

Mouse pads come in all sizes, each with unique advantages and disadvantages. Any mouse pad you find fits one of four main groups: small, medium, large, and oversized.

Let’s take a closer look at each type.

Small Size Mouse Pad

Small mouse pads measure approximately 20 x 25 cm (7.87 x 9.84 inches) with a surface area of about 75 to 80 sq. inch and are the tiniest mouse pads available. They’re compact enough to fit on almost any desk and are travel-friendly.

However, their small size requires higher mouse sensitivity levels, which could hamper player accuracy. That’s why small mouse pads aren’t ideal for gaming. But if you’re still interested in a small-size mouse pad, we highly recommend the Logitech Mouse Pad thanks to its durable, affordable price, and spill-resistant material.

Logitech Mouse Pad - Studio Series, Computer Mouse Mat with Anti-Slip Rubber Base, Easy Gliding, Spill-Resistant Surface, Durable Materials, Portable, in a Fresh Modern Design, Graphite
  • Move and glide effortlessly: The Studio Series mouse pad features a smooth, comfortable cloth surface with a fine weave for effortless, silent gliding on any surface whether in the office or at home
  • Spill-repellent, easy to clean: The desk pad's coated surface lets you easily wipe away any accidental mishaps; wipe liquids clean with a damp cloth
  • Crafted with precision: Say goodbye to fraying thanks to the anti-fray, durable flat-stitch edges; plus, get added stability from the anti-slip, rubber base (contains latex)
  • Carefully chosen materials: Travel mouse pad made from comfortable surface fabric and inner layer(2) using recycled polyester, giving a 2nd life to PET bottles, anti-slip base from natural rubber
  • Pair with your Logitech Mouse: Fresh color and modern design make Logitech Mouse Pad a suitable accomplice for your wired, wireless or Bluetooth mouse, taking your work setup to new heights

Medium Size Mouse Pad

Medium-sized mouse pads measure approximately 30 x 35 cm (11.8 x 13.7 inches) with a surface area ranging from 160 to 175 sq. inch and are about twice as large as small mouse pads.

Despite being bigger than small-sized mousepads, they still fit on most desks, making them popular among gamers. However, these can still be too big for travel and too small for gamers with low mouse sensitivity for improved accuracy.

If you’re interested in a stylish, standard-size mouse pad, consider the Razer RGB mouse pad, Firefly Hard V2. Being a Razer branded product with RGB, the Firefly Hard V2 fully supports Razer’s signature Chroma RGB suite with up to 16.8 million colors.

Razer Firefly Hard V2 RGB Gaming Mouse Pad: Customizable Chroma Lighting, Built-in Cable Management, Balanced Control & Speed, Non-Slip Rubber Base
  • Ultimate Personalization and gaming immersion with Razer Chroma: offers effortless, full integration with popular game titles and syncs with Razer hardware, Philips HUE, and gear from 30+ Partners; supports 16.8 million colors on individually backlit keys
  • Optimized gaming surface: features a micro-textured surface for precise pixel-tracking—calibrated for all mouse sensors—with a surface coating for both fast and controlled playstyles
  • Nonslip rubber base: made of natural-foam rubber for keeping the Firefly hard V2 mouse mat in place
  • Built-in mouse cable Manager: keeps wires mice in place for organizing and Mouse bungee-like functionality
  • ‎10.84 x 13.99 x 0.14 inches

Large Size Mouse Pad

Large-sized mouse pads usually measure around 40 x 45 cm (15.75 x 17.72 inches) with a surface area ranging from 280 to 300 sq-inch, making them approximately 1/3rd larger than medium-sized mouse pads.

Such a size means that large mouse pads also cover the area below a compact 75% or tenkeyless keyboard comfortably with more than enough space for mouse movement.

However, due to their size, these large mouse pads might not be suitable for gamers with small to medium-sized desks. Also, you might be unable to fit a full-sized keyboard and a mouse on these pads.

If you’re interested in a full-size mouse pad, consider the AmazonBasics Large Mouse Pad. It’s a machine-washable, high-quality mouse pad that, for the price, brings a lot to the table – no pun intended.

Amazon Basics Large Square Computer Mouse Pad, Cloth and Rubberized Base, Black
  • Large mouse pad—ideal for gamers, graphic designers, or anyone who uses a mouse for long sessions
  • High-quality cloth surface promotes smooth mouse gliding and enhanced precision
  • Steady; thick; rubberized base keeps mouse pad in place
  • Machine washable for easy cleaning; large size for optimal gaming
  • Measures 17.8 x 15.5 x 0.08 inches (452.12 x 393.7 x 2.032 mm)

Oversized Mouse Pads

Any mouse pad with dimensions exceeding 40 x 80 cm (15.75 x 31.5 inches) is considered an oversized mouse pad. Oversized mouse pads usually come in three sizes: XL, XXL, and XXXL.

XL mouse pads are typically 40 x 80 cm (15.74 x 31.49 inches), XXL mouse pads take things to around 45 x 95 cm (17.71 x 37.4 inches), whereas XXXL mouse pads can reach or exceed 60 x 120 cm (23.62 x 47.24 inches). This gives XL, XXL, and XXXL mouse pads a typical surface area of roughly 500, 700, and 1,100 sq-inch, respectively.

Needless to say, these oversized mouse pads are huge, with XXXL mouse pads offering ample surface area to cover even a large gaming desk, providing more than enough space for a large mouse and a full-sized keyboard. Just carefully compare the mouse pad’s dimensions with your gaming desk to avoid spillover issues.

If you’re considering buying one of these mouse pads, we highly recommend the SteelSeries QcK 3XL or the Razer Gigantus v2. If you’re on a tighter budget, consider the Katrio desk size mouse pad instead.

SteelSeries QcK Gaming Mouse Pad - 3XL Cloth
  • Limitless tracking space provides maximum coverage for all your mouse movements during battle
  • Complete desktop coverage with room for your keyboard, mouse, monitor and more
  • Legendary micro-woven cloth engineered to provide an optimized surface for tracking both optical and laser sensors
  • Never-slip base is designed to eliminate unwanted movement and provide a solid platform for gaming
  • Durable and washable surface for easy and convenient cleaning
Razer Gigantus v2 Cloth Gaming Mouse Pad (3XL)
  • Optimized across all mouse sensors: Calibrated with pixel-precise accuracy and total tracking responsiveness. Reducing the need to lift and reposition mice during high-leverage gaming.
  • Micro-weave surface: Glide the mouse with ease across the mat for quick, fluid swipes with both fast and controlled playstyles.
  • High-density rubber foam: At 3mm (M & L) and 4mm (XXL & 3XL) thick, the mats remain uniformly flat even over imperfect surfaces—a sturdy foundation for consistent mouse movements.
  • Anti-slip base: When things get chaotic, pull off clutch plays with a stable base that’s crucial to competitive gaming.
  • Up to 3XL size: Available in four different sizes - Medium, Large, XXL, 3XL. Find the most suitable coverage with the gamer’s favorite DPI uses and layouts.
KTRIO Large Gaming Mouse Pad with Stitched Edges
  • 47.3 x 23.6 Inch Oversized Pad: This XXXX-Large mouse pad provides ample room to fit your gaming mouse, full-size mechanical keyboard, and other desk items. Keep your desk clean and uncluttered with the freedom to configure your setup as desired. Perfect for gamers who use a lower DPI or need more room to maneuver. (Very Big! Be sure to check the desk size before purchasing).
  • Highly Durable Design: Frayed edges and low-quality materials are problems many gamers are familiar with. The Ktrio anti-fray mousepad addresses these issues with an advanced cloth textile chosen only after countless hours of testing. Stitching along the edges of the surface ensure it will never fray or peel.
  • Superior Control Surface: Ktrio extended mouse pad adopts textured micro-weave cloth surface on cover with enhanced command to provide the excellent balance between glide and control. The performance-tuned surface optimizes mouse tracking accuracy for both optical and laser sensors.

By now, you might probably be wondering:

Are Bigger Mouse Pads Better?

Yes, bigger mouse pads are better than smaller ones. They offer a larger surface area and make mouse tracking easier, especially if you prefer a lower mouse sensitivity. Also, they better accommodate palm and fingertip grip style users, who typically need more space for wrist movement.

However, the main drawbacks of large mouse pads are their space requirements and cost. Larger pads, particularly XXXL mouse pads that can be well over 1,000 sq. inch, require significant desk space, which might only sometimes be practical.

Additionally, oversized mouse pads carry a certain price premium due to their relative rarity compared to medium and large-sized mouse pads.

With that out of the way, here’s a quick comparison chart outlining all mouse pad sizes to help you decide.

A Mouse Pad Size Chart

SizeAverage Mouse Pad Size in Centimeters (cm)Average Mouse Pad Size in Inches
Small20 x 257.87 x 9.84
Medium30 x 3511.81 x 13.78
Large40 x 4515.75 x 17.72
X Large40 x 8015.75 x 31.50
XXL45 x 9517.72 x 37.40
XXL60 x 12023.62 x 47.24

But size isn’t the only thing that matters when it comes to mouse pads. You also need to look at other things to buy the perfect gaming mouse pad.

Considerations for Choosing the Best Mouse Pad

In this section, we’ll discuss factors you must consider before buying a mouse pad for gaming:

Surface Type and Material

The first consideration is the mouse pad material, which ultimately determines the surface texture. Mouse pads are available in cloth, plastic, glass, and even gel and foam.

Cloth Mouse Pads

These are the most common type and are made from soft and flexible fabric material. They’re readily available in all sizes and thicknesses but have one downside: they absorb moisture quickly and get dirty quickly.

Plastic Mouse Pads

These rely on a plastic sheet for a smooth texture surface with above-average surface rigidity. These mouse pads also have considerably lower friction than their cloth counterparts, making them an ideal choice for gamers who like to play on lower mouse sensitivities. Unfortunately, they tend to be fragile and could break if you apply too much downward pressure.

Glass Mouse Pads

If you’ve got a knack for those quick 180 and 360-degree turns, then glass mouse pads might be for you. These are ideal for players who love to use run-and-gun and spray-and-pray FPS tactics. A major downside is that these mouse pads are highly fragile and may crack or shatter if dropped.

Gel Mouse Pads

Gel mouse pads are perfect for gamers with hand or wrist pain as they come with a silicon stand made of gel or foam. You can comfortably rest your wrist on the stand while gaming, which is great for those suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) as it alleviates the pressure on the median nerves in the wrist.

Desk Space

After deciding on the material, the next consideration is desk space. Desks come in various shapes, forms, and sizes, so it’s crucial to consider this when choosing a mouse pad.

There’s also the matter of keyboard placement. If you prefer to keep your mouse and keyboard on the same surface for consistent height, consider a large mouse pad that’s big enough to accommodate your keyboard and offers enough room for mouse movement.

Mouse Sensitivity

Some gamers play with sensitivity as low as 600 DPI. In this case, low-friction mouse pads, like plastic or glass, are ideal. But a thick cloth mouse pad is better if you pay at a higher sensitivity, typically 1200 DPI or more. It offers more resistance and friction, which is necessary for long-range shots that require extreme precision and hand-eye coordination.

What Is the Difference Between a Desk Mat and a Big Mouse Pad?

Both desk mats and mouse pads are designed to cover your desk but with one major difference. Desk mats are much larger than standard mouse pads as they cover the entire desk surface but usually lack premium surface texture. In contrast, mouse pads tend to be considerably smaller than desk mats so their surface is textured specifically for precise mouse movement.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Difference Between 3mm and 4mm Mousepad?

Because of the extra padding, 4mm thick mouse pads are more stable and wrist-friendly than 3mm ones. They also help cushion any imperfections on your desk. On the other hand, 3mm thick mouse pads offer a more consistent surface, ideal for gamers with palm and fingertip grip styles as they tend to put more pressure on their mouse.

How Big Is the Artisan XXL Mousepad?

The Artisan XXL is a 4mm thick XXL mouse pad measuring 15.75 x 35.4 inches or 40 x 90 cm with a surface area of 557.55 sq-inch. It’s available in three design schemes: Aquamarine, Lava, and Mount Fuji. The Artisan mouse pad features a woven polyester design, ensuring a smooth and premium surface for your mouse.

Play Avery Artisan Gaming Mouse Pad
  • DIMENSION - Our artisan mousepads are designed to 35.4"x15.75"x0.15" (900mm x 400mm x 4mm) for a perfect gaming experience. You will never run out of mousepad area ever again. Fits most table top and 4mm thickness provides the best comfort yet allow writing on paper without any hard backing
  • PREMIUM QUALITY PRINT - All artworks printed on our artisan deskmat are wholly drawn and owned by Play Avery. Artworks are printed to edge, removing the conventional black stitched edges around this extra large mousepad
  • MATERIAL - Our deskmats surface are made of highly dense weaved polyester, backed with non-slip rubber base and stitched anti-fray edges. This creates a premium quality, smooth and highly responsive surface gaming mousepad that last a long time
  • THICKNESS - At 4mm, our extra large deskmat provides the perfect comfort and practicality. Being an xxl mousepad, it is big enough to cover most desks, thick enough to cushion your pressure points, yet firm enough to support writing on paper without hard backing. Game and work in optimum comfort
  • WATER RESISTANT AND MACHINE WASHABLE - Anti fray edges are tightly and professionally stitched preventing it from curling or untangling after use and wash. This XXL gaming deskmat is machine washable


In conclusion, selecting the mouse pad is just as important as choosing the mouse itself. Small mouse pads offer convenience but might lack gaming precision. Medium pads aim to hit the sweet spot, making them suitable for most gamers. Large pads are all about space, not only for the mouse but also for a compact keyboard. However, they can be expensive and unsuitable for all desks.

Then there are the massive, oversized mouse pads that provide ample space but require a large desk and carry a price premium. Material is essential too; cloth for flexibility, plastic or glass for low friction, and gel for comfort.

Tracy has been working for RealGear since the first day it went online. She reads every e-sports related newspaper and website. She is a huge fan and a gamer with a soft spot for Lineage 2, WoW, and Guild Wars 1 and 2. She says she does not suffer from PvP insanity, she enjoys every minute of it. Tracy defines herself as a person who’d spend two hours customizing a character rather than indulging in an activity that would not be as nearly rewarding as playing games and testing hardware.

Leave a Comment