Do You Really Need A Mousepad? When To Ditch It

A mousepad is not just an accessory to complete your PC setup. It also allows the mouse to have smooth movement. Without a mouse pad, the mouse cursor may have jittery movement. However, there are cases where a mouse works even better without a mouse pad

This may lead users to think that maybe the mouse runs smoothly on any surface, even without a mousepad. Although it is partially true, there are a lot of angles to answer this question.

This article aims to provide you with facts so that you can make an informed decision on whether you need mousepad and when to ditch them.

Why Do I Need Mousepad?

A mousepad is usually composed of cloth for the mouse to have minimum friction. This reduced friction allows the users to move the mouse freely and smoothly across the mousepad. This can especially be useful when you need precise mouse movements, such as in gaming, photo manipulation or editing, video editing, etc.

Besides providing smooth mouse movements, it also makes your setup look clean and elegant. Below, we have explained a few reasons you need a mousepad.

Smooth Mouse Movement

smooth mouse movements

Without a mouse pad, the contact surface between the mouse skate and the desk will have a lot of friction. This may cause the mouse to have rough movements. 

Because of the reduced friction that the mouse pad provides, the mouse movement will feel a lot better. Using a mouse pad also provides smooth wrist movements, which in turn provides better physical mouse movement. 

If you are a gamer, all thanks to this smooth movement, tracking in FPS (First Person Shooter) games will also become much easier. Editing and manipulating photos and videos that require precise mouse pointer movements also benefit from using a mousepad.

If you are unsure how a mouse cursor moves with or without a mousepad, move the mouse slowly across both surfaces. Now, check the mouse cursor movements for irregular movements. If your mouse suffer from random movements, we recommend you to use a mousepad.

Provides Wrist support

wrist support mouse pad

When you are using a mouse, the bottom area of the wrist sits on the surface. On a hard surface, this part of your hand may suffer from discomfort and fatigue when using the computer for a long period.

Some mouse pads come with foam that acts as a support for your wrist. It keeps your wrist in a neutral and elevated position. This means the muscle will require less work to stabilize the wrist, avoiding fatigue and stress in those areas.

However, this only works on mouse pads with wrist support. But a mouse pad with no wrist support also gives you comfort compared to using a mouse without a mouse pad. Although it may not give you the same level of support compared to a mousepad with wrist support, you will find that it feels a lot better when using a mouse pad.

Keeps the Mouse Clean

clean mouse

Under any mouse, you can see that there is a plastic material. This material is called a mouse skate and is composed of Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), or Teflon. As this material comes in contact with the surface and has a low coefficient of friction, it is responsible for making mouse movement smooth. 

The mouse pad prevents the mouse skates from scratches that may damage the Teflon. Mouse skates with a scratched-up and dusty Teflon will increase the friction on your mouse. And using a mouse with damaged mouse skates will feel a lot rough. Besides this, the mouse skates may even fall off if you are not using a mouse pad. 

Small irregularities on the desk may cause the Teflon to fall off during rough mouse movement. Although you can stick the Teflon right back, there is a chance that it will fall off again.

Besides mouse skates being clean, a mouse pad also helps keep the lens that’s located under the mouse clean. The mouse uses this lens to project light to the surface. When dust particles gets stuck on the lens, light may not illuminate the surface efficiently. And as mouse uses surface illumination to determine the mouse movements, its tracking mechanism may fail.

A mouse pad uses a soft cloth and a sponge-type material that absorbs the dust and keeps the mouse pad clean. This results in both the lens and skates to avoid dust particle.

Keeps the Desk Clean

keeps desk clean

Like protecting the mouse skates by using a mouse pad, your desk will also require some protection. As discussed above, the dust particles will stick on the mouse skates if you use your mouse without a mouse pad. 

Even when small rough materials like dust particles gets stuck under a mouse, the desk area where the mouse moves frequently will have a lot of scratches. These scratches are not an issue if you do not care how the desk looks. However, we recommend you use a mouse pad to avoid scratches on the desk.

Lessons Noise From Mouse Movements

If you are a person who spends a lot on a setup to make it quiet, using a mouse pad is a necessity. Without a mouse pad, you will constantly hear a rough noise when you slide the mouse on your desk.

 The texture of the mouse pad eliminates all, if not most, noise caused when sliding the mouse.

When to Ditch a Mouse Pad?

Depending on the type of mouse you use and the table surface, arguments can be made on whether a mouse pad is good for you. Whether the surface is rough or smooth, most modern mouse will track the mouse pretty accurately as long as the surface is flat. 

Therefore, if you feel that you feel comfortable using a mouse without a mousepad, ditching them would be the right choice for you.

When Using Laser Mouse


A laser mouse uses concentrated light to track the surface. Unlike an optical mouse, the image that the mouse takes is a lot crispier, and it tracks the mouse surface to extreme accuracy.

However, lasers can penetrate through surfaces. And when used on a mouse pad, some light will reflect, and some light will pass through. This will give false information to the sensor about mouse movements, which will result in jittery mouse movements.

If you face this issue, try using the mouse on a smooth reflective surface.

When Mouse Feels Smooth on a Desk

mouse on a desk

Some desks may be composed of material that offers low friction compared to a mouse pad. Using a mouse on these desks will definitely feel a lot better than a mouse pad. If you are not sure about it, try comparing the two. 

Use a clean mouse pad and check the mouse movements. Then again, clean the desk and use the mouse. If you find that the desk feels better, you can ditch the mouse pad. 

One thing to consider when using a mouse without a mouse pad is cleaning. Make sure you clean the mouse skates and the desk regularly.

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