For me, working at home is all about making your life a little easier. One of the easiest ways to do this is by making the place where you work more comfortable. Working on a wooden desk without a desk mat is going to hurt your arms after a while. That is why I have selected the very best desk mats for you and have made a guide on how to pick one yourself if you don´t like my choices.
Before I started my search for the perfect desk mat, I thought about what I wanted to get out of it. I just wanted to be more comfortable and more productive when working at home.
The desk mats I am recommending here are all hand-picked by me. I have also looked at others’ opinions about the desk mat and the customer service of the company where I got my desk mat from. This way, even if I have a horrible experience, I don’t have that count as the entire score.
When I buy something – including desk mats – I always think about the money I am spending on it and the quality that I am getting. I don’t want to overpay, but I also don’t want to throw away the mat after 6 months of use because the quality was subpar.
In this guide, I am going to start by listing and explaining the criteria I have when picking out a desk mat. I will discuss these in-depth. This way you will know exactly why I have picked a mat. Then I am going to discuss what questions you should ask yourself to get yourself the best desk mat that fits your criteria. After this, I am going to give you my recommendations and tell you why.
At the end of the article, I am going to include a list of frequently asked questions about desk mats and answer them.
My Criteria When Picking A Desk Mat
Quality of the materials of the desk mat
You are going to want high-quality materials for a desk mat as it is not going to sit around without any use. If you are using the desk mat as intended, your arms are going to create friction non-stop.
A desk mat made out of inferior materials is going to start showing wear and tear in less than a year. After 4 years you can probably throw it in the trash. A high-quality desk mat doesn’t show serious wear and tear after 20.
Aesthetics of the mat
I want to have a desk mat that looks nice and not out of place. A great-looking desk mat that has a nice design and soft colors is going to help you relax and be more productive. A bad-looking desk mat with bright colors is going to draw attention and strain your eyes.
The price of the desk mat
This is a really important criterion for me. A desk mat needs to be affordable and high quality for me. However, I am also realistic. You are not going to get a desk mat made out of durable materials that are sustainable for under 5 dollars.
I do want a good ratio between what I am paying and the quality that I am getting. A brand name is worthless to me, and I refuse to pay extra for that.
Comfort when using the desk mat
A 12 hour workday for me is not uncommon. So I want my desk mat to feel as comfortable after 12 hours as it did after 5 minutes. That means that I want nice and soft materials that are still sturdy enough not to break down due to the friction of my arms.
Some cheaper mats start to tear after a while, which causes discomfort and irritates my skin. While this isn’t a big deal if you only sit at a desk for an hour, it is if you sit at one for 5 or more.
Reviews and complaints others have about the product
Sometimes a company messes up, mistakes happen. It doesn’t seem fair to judge them on my experience alone. So I also check out the reviews they have. That helps me to easily find recurring issues with the product of the service.
If a lot of reviews mention the same good or bad thing, I am going to assume that it is a persistent something that a lot of you are probably going to experience too if you order. So I will definitely take that into account.
Questions to ask yourself before buying a desk mat
While these seem pretty obvious questions for some, I often see a lot of people that do just buy a desk mat without taking anything into consideration. I think that is quite strange. You spend almost as much time on a desk mat as in your bed during the workweek.
How long do I work at the desk?
Not all desk mats are made equal. Some mats are absolutely perfect to work on for an hour or two but start to irritate your skin after 4 others are just pleasant, but remain pleasant even after 8 hours of working on them. If you work on a desk for a long time I would recommend you get something like faux leather. It is easy to clean off the sweat and dead skin cells that fall on the mat while working for hours on end.
What materials do I want to consider?
Desk mats are made out of all kinds of materials. You have leather desk mats, plastic desk mats, faux leather desk mats, and so on. You should think about your allergies, perhaps ethical reasons to be against a certain material, the temperature where you are from e.g. in hot climates plastic sticks to sweat a lot more than leather does.
What office atmosphere do I want?
This matters a lot more than people think. A clean office helps you improve your productivity. A well-lit working place helps concentration. Soft colors don’t stress you out as much as bright ones do.
Using red and yellow colors will make you hungry faster while working. These are a lot of factors that do matter, but not many people think about when decorating their home office for the first time.
The 3 Desk Mats I recommend
Londo Leather Extended Mouse Pad
Pros of the Londo Leather Extended Mouse Pad
- Quality of materials: The Londo Leather mouse pad feels amazing on your arms. The mat is made out of genuine leather and feels like it is made to last. The leather has a very nice color that does not fade due to the friction of your arms with your mat. That is a good sign that the leather is high-grade.
- Aesthetics: The mat looks amazing. It gives a nice luxury element to your desk and it instantly makes your home office look, high class. I really like the soft color of the leather. For me, this is a perfect color for any decor. It seamlessly fits into my home office.
- Reviews of others: People love this mat! It is shipped quickly, has good quality materials and there aren’t a lot of negative reviews. There doesn’t seem to be a certain negative point that keeps coming back, so this seems to indicate to me that this is a very solid product you are most likely going to enjoy and won’t regret getting.
- Comfort: Working on this mat feels like heaven. There isn’t a lot I would change about this mat. It does feel a bit irritating on my arms after a full day of work. However, that feeling fades away within 2 minutes. My elbows also don’t hurt after a long day of work. Writing on this mat is also very easy. It is soft but not too soft.
Cons of the Londo Leather Extended Mouse Pad
- Price: This is quite an expensive mat. It definitely won’t break the bank! However, It is going to be pretty expensive if you are just going to use it in your dorm or on a desk, you do not use often. There are cheaper mats, but I do think it is worth the price if you work at your desk a lot.
Adir Professional Self Reversible Healing Cutting Mat
Pros of the Adir Professional Self Reversible Healing Cutting Mat
- Quality of materials: This desk mat is going to last you a long time. It is waterproof and you will not get a lot of wear and tear. There aren’t a lot of things that I look for when checking the material. The backside is very important for the mat. This needs to be antislip and should not trap moisture too much. This desk mat gets great points on both those aspects. Since this is a cutting mat, it is perfect for people who do arts and crafts at their desks. Architects are also going to love this mat. This mat can survive a sharp blade, so it will also survive your elbows!
- Price: The Adir Professional desk mat is really cheap. It is by far the cheapest high-quality mat that I have found online. So if you do not want to spend a lot of money this one is perfect. It is a great option to use in a dorm or a bedroom that has a desk. It is also a good idea to buy a cheap mat if you only work a couple of hours a week at home.
- Aesthetics: If you want a great-looking mat with a rugged industrial vibe. Then this mat is going to be perfect. I like the black color of the mat. It does not draw too much attention and is very easy on the eyes.
Cons of the Adir Professional Self Reversible Healing Cutting Mat
- Reviews from other people: While a lot of people really like this desk mat, it doesn’t seem to be perfect for your average desk worker. It is mainly used by people who do not work for multiple hours at a time on the desk. The plastic also smells a bit when it comes out of the package. While this does not last long, it can be off-putting and some people might think this desk mat will keep smelling this weird.
- Comfort: As I said, it is great to work with when you are using your knife and do art and crafts. However, for a regular home office working like me, this mat feels pretty bad on the arms after a while. I think this is the perfect mat for people who are just doing some work on their desks and need to draw and cut stuff. If you are a person like that, the comfort of this mat will not bother you too much.
Grovemade Wool Felt Desk Mat
Pros of the Grovemade Wool Felt Desk Mat
- Comfort: This mat really feels good on the arms. Wool Felt gives a completely different feeling as opposed to leather. You do need to get comfortable with the wool. Some people might be allergic to it, or dislike the tickly feeling the felt gives you. For me personally, it is no problem, So I did not count this as a con. However, it is very much possible that you will find this desk mat to be uncomfortable.
- Quality of material: The material out of which this wool felt desk mat is made is great. I really enjoy the feeling that this mat gives. It does not wear or tear easily, even when using it for many hours. Surprisingly, it is also very easy to wash and clean. I had expected a Wool felt mat to be quite a mess when eating at the desk, or just sweating when it is warm. However, It wasn’t a problem for me at all.
- Price: The price for this Grovemade Wool mat is very fair in my opinion. It is quite expensive for a mat, but I do think the price-quality ratio between the two is very fair. It might be a bit too much money for a regular desk that you won’t use a lot, but it is at the perfect price point for those that work full time at their home office desk.
- Reviews from others: People really like this Wool Felt Desk Mat. There are not many negative reviews to find online, and those that I can find are pretty trivial. If a customer has a bad experience, it seems to be a one-off that is in no way systemic of the product or company.
Cons of the Grovemade Wool Felt Desk Mat
- Aesthetics: I do not enjoy the look of this Mat. It might be because it does not fits the style for my own office, but it sticks out like a sore thumb despite the soft colors. If you do have a less classical home office, or you have another sense of style, you might enjoy the aesthetics a lot more than I do.
Final Verdict: How They Compare
I have looked at hundreds of desk mats. I have picked out these three very different desk mats for your home office. So it is important to remember that if I mention something negative about the mat, it isn’t too bad if you compare it to the average desk mat on the market.
Best desk mat overall: Londo Leather Extended Mouse Pad
Out of the hundreds of desk mats I checked, this one came out on top. It simply looks amazing and feels amazing. The quality is great and the aesthetic will add a classic look to your home office.
Going back to what I am looking for in a desk mat – Comfort and increasing my productivity – this is the perfect mat for this. I only have one minor complaint about the desk mat, The Londo Leather mouse pad is a bit expensive. I wouldn’t use this if I was a student or had a small budget for my home office.
Best desk mat on a budget: Adir Professional Self Reversible Healing Cutting Mat
If you want a great desk mat for an unbeatable price, this is going to be a great pick. It is an extremely sturdy desk mat. You are going to enjoy doing your arts and crafts on this desk mat. It also looks very nice in my opinion if you are going for an industrial look for your home office.
The only downside that this desk mat has that I think is really worth mentioning is that it just does not feel comfortable to work on for a prolonged amount of time. The material is bound to hurt your arms after a while. So do not get this desk mat if you work long hours.
Frequently asked questions about desk mats
Answer: This really depends on the material. However, I do think alcohol wipes are the best option for most desk mats. They are very effective and cheap. They easily clean the desk mat of stains, but also kill off bacteria and mold that might be forming due to the sweating on the mat.
Answer: I really like a good desk mat. It makes working at your home office desk a lot more comfortable. If you sit at your desk for let’s say 8 hours a day, your arms and wrists are going to suffer. Wood just is not a pleasant material to work on for prolonged times. A desk mat gives you a classy and comfortable surface to work on.
Answer: I think that a leather desk mat is the best of all your options on the market. They are waterproof, feel comfortable on the arms, they can last many years even when working on them for hours, they look great and they are very easy to clean. The only downside to them is that they can get quite expensive depending on the brand and size of the mat. Some are easily over a hundred dollars.
Summary and final thoughts about desk mats
There are thousands of desk mats to choose from. Even if you do not enjoy any of my picks, there are enough desk mats out there that will be just perfect for you. These were the three mats that were the best suited for me. I have looked at their price, quality of the materials and the reviews people have written about these mats.
Desk mats are a great addition to any home office. They help you work more productive and will make your time sitting at the desk more comfortable. I do think it is one one the most underrated items for any home office. I really enjoy working on one as opposed to just use the surface of a regular wooden desk.
Do you think we have missed a great desk mat? Or do you want to share your experience with a desk mat you have bought recently? Let us know in the comments!