If you want to know what desk mats are for and which one you should buy, this guide is for you!
Mixing equal parts of style, function, and comfort, desk mats have become our new favorite accessory for our workspaces.
Bigger than a mousepad but smaller than a full-sized desk, desk mats are an in-between piece of workspace gear that offer outsized benefits for their price.
They can help keep you organized, giving you space for your various odds and ends like pencils and paper clips, and they do a great job of making your desktop look and feel better and more professional.
In this article, we’ll give you the ins and outs of these handsome rectangles, including a few of our favorite brands and how to choose the best one for your needs.
The Desk Mat, Defined
What exactly is a desk mat?
While there’s no industry standard for what constitutes a desk mat, they are essentially an extra large mousepad.
However, the purpose here is not to give you yards of room for moving your mouse: It’s to be able to house your entire laptop workspace setup neatly on one area of your desk, all while keeping your desktop looking nice and free and clear of clutter.
Additionally, desk mats come in a wider range of materials than common mouse pads. You can find them made from leather, wool felt, microfiber, or other synthetic materials.
That makes them a great way to personalize your desk space, giving a real feeling of comfort and attachment to your most common areas.
My Favorite Desk Mats
Three brands of desk mats stand out to me as great options: OrbitKey, Harber London, and Grovemade. Let’s look at each in a little more detail.
OrbitKey Desk Mat
Here at The Modest Man, we’re big fans of just about everything that OrbitKey makes, and their Desk Mat is no exception. We even tested it for a hands-on review, alongside their handy Nest desktop organizer; check that article out here for an in-depth look.
OrbitKey’s Desk Mat comes in three sizes — slim, medium, and large — each of which is equipped with a particularly useful toolbar for your pens and a strong magnetic cable holder.
But even cooler than that there’s a “secret” compartment because lifting up the top layer of the mat, reveals a hidden document storage compartment.
Made from vegan polyurethane leather, it’s a very nice-looking desk mat with a smooth and water-resistant finish.
The only downside here is that even the smallest mat size may be too large to fit comfortably on your desk. You’ll definitely want to take measurements before you consider buying one of these.
Harber London Desk Mats
A UK-based brand specializing in leather goods, Harber London has a refined style that I’ve really come to enjoy.
Harber London’s leather desk mats are some of the most handsome I’ve seen yet.
They’re available in three colors, have a dense wool felt padding that makes them comfortable and quiet, and are equipped with a cable cut-through for easy charging access.
Additionally, Harber London offers simple wool felt or microfiber desk mats for a lower price. All three styles of desk mats are available in three sizes: Medium (20 by 12 inches), Large (31.5 by 13 inches), and Extra Large (31.5 by 18 inches).
With that many options to choose from, Harber London is a great brand for someone looking to personalize their workspace.
Grovemade Desk Pads
For maximum workspace customization though, it’s hard to beat Grovemade’s lineup of Desk Pads. They’re the same as a desk mat, just with a different name.
Grovemade offers three different materials for their desk mats: Premium leather (in two colors), merino wool (in eight colors), and linoleum (in seven colors).
Each offers a unique way to define your desktop space, with whatever handfeel and color you’re most fond of.
Additionally, Grovemade has the widest range of sizes — six in total — to choose from. From their small 11 by 24.75-inch options to their massive extra large 26.5 by 49-inch desk mats, there really is an appropriate size for almost any desktop.
Frequently Asked Questions
And before we go, we’d like to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about desk mats.
What Is the Point of a Desk Mat?
Desk mats do three major things:
- They keep your workspace neat, tidy and looking nice.
- They give you plenty of room to use your laptop, mouse, and office accessories.
- They dampen the sound and vibrations that your keyboard makes while you type.
They also can serve as a protective layer for fine wooden desks, offering some reassurance that the top won’t get nicked or scratched.
All in all, desk mats do a great job of making your desktop cleaner, more functional, and more pleasant to work at.
What Is the Mat on a Desk Called?
Hold onto your hat, because this one might be a shocker: That mat on a desk is called — drumroll please — a desk mat! Yep, there’s really not any more elaborate or fancy term for it.
How Big of a Desk Mat Should I Get?
Make sure to get a desk mat that’s at least big enough to hold your keyboard and mouse. If you’re using a laptop, account for that in your estimations, too. You’ll want roughly one foot of space to the side of your keyboard or laptop to use your mouse.
Questions? Comments? Leave them below!