Top 5 Desk Pads – The Buyers Guide

leather desk pad

The use of a desk pad is one of the best ways to add style to your work-space and protect your desk from the effects of everyday use. A desk pad is a staple office accessory that serves as a work tool/enhancer while spicing up your work-space in the process..

An appreciable product research containing the advantages and shortfalls of the top 5 desk pads has been carried out in order for you to be intelligently guided in your choice of a suitable desk pad.

This article is has three main sections..

  • Desk pad reviews
  • What to consider in the purchase of a desk pad
  • Desk pad buyers’ FAQs

You may find this buyer’s guide helpful in choosing a suitable desk pad for your office. It will also give you a general overview of desk pads.

Satechi Mate & Mat

The “Satechi Mate & Mat” is the most preferred for a desk pad.  It is a high quality mat with a reasonable price.

The Satechi Mate & Mat is a high quality desk pad with a modern appearance.  There are a variety of colors available.  You can pick the color that best matches your personality and office interior decor.

Available colors:

  • Black
  • Cream White
  • Green
  • Lime
  • Orange
  • Soft Pink

This Satechi desk mat measures 24” x 14”.  The surface area is large enough to fit a keyboard and mouse or a laptop and mouse.

This mat is made of synthetic leather, which is commonly referred to as faux leather. It has similarities with a genuine leather desk mat because of its slightly rigid texture.

It has a smooth but firm surface which makes it suitable for use as a writing pad. The mat is dense/thick enough to prevent your pen from puncturing the paper as you write. Its surface smoothness makes your writing flow with ease just like a leather desk mat.

The backing is a material that can best be described as microfiber or felt-like. Because it is soft, there is little or no worry about getting your desk scratched.

If you choose to eat and drink at your desk, clean – up is easy.  The material is liquid resistant.  Liquid can be absorbed with a piece of cloth or even tissue paper.  Crumbs can be wiped off easily.

The mat is not rolled up for shipping, there is no waiting time for it to be flattened out.  It can be used immediately.

The following video by Satechi will give you a better idea of what to expect from the Satechi Mate & Mat.

 

Satechi Mate

Satechi Mate

Satechi Mate

Satechi Mate

Advantages:

  • Quality.  This is one of the highest quality desk mats you will find in this price range.
  • Durability.  Durability goes hand in hand with the quality.  This mat is highly resistant to wear and tear. Cheaper mats tend to fray around the edges after several months of use.  .
  • Texture.  Similar to a genuine leather desk mat.  The slight rigidity of the mat prevents your keyboard from sliding around.
  • Variety of colors.  There are six different colors to choose from.  You can pick the color that suits you.
  • Easy to clean.  Wipe off stains with a damp cloth.  No scrubbing.

Shortfalls:

  • Faux leather.  It is made of synthetic leather.  it is not the real thing though but, it  has  same texture, and for a very fair price .
  • Logo on the pad.  The company’s logo is in the bottom right corner.  If there was one thing to change about this desk pad, it would be to remove the advertising.
  • Non-slip backing could be better.  More often than not, the mat stays in place on your desk.  However, since the back is a felt-like material, expect to intermittent re-adjustments may be necessary.

Desktex Desk Mat

The Desktex desk mat is the best clear desk mat on sale, to the best of my knowledge.

The Desktex mat is made by Floortex, a leading manufacturer of office chair floor mats.

In using this mat, you can place photos, a calendar, charts, graphs, notes, and other documents under it and they will be viewable.

There are several models and sizes of this mat.  The strength, transparency, and anti-slip properties vary with each model.  On the product page, be sure to select the configuration you need before clicking “Add to Cart.”

Desktex Models- Materials and Styles

Materials

PET: This model made with PET material (100% recycled bottles and other plastics), is of a lesser quality than the other two in terms of its see-through feature.

PVC: This model made with PVC material is heat resistant. It can withstand temperatures of up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The material is vinyl which is cheaper than polycarbonate. It is fit for a keyboard, mouse and general desk preservation.

Polycarbonate: This model made with Polycarbonate material is also heat resistant but withstands up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. It is the clearest and toughest of the three models.

Styles

  • Smooth backing.  This is the most transparent style.  It is the clearest mat and easiest to see through.  However, the anti-slip feature is absent, so expect to readjust the mat on your desk more often.
  • Anti-slip.  The anti-slip backing prevents the mat from sliding around on your desk but it’s slightly less transparent than the mat made with the smooth backing style.   It is still clear, just a bit more opaque.
  • Anti-static.  The anti-static styled desk mat helps keep dust out of laptops and tablets.

Desktex mats come in different shapes and dimensions as shown below.

  • Circular – 8” diameter
  • Circular – 12” diameter
  • Rectangular – 12” x 18”
  • Rectangular – 17” x 22”
  • Rectangular – 19” x 24”
  • Rectangular – 20” x 36”
  • Rectangular – 29” x 59”
  • Rectangular – 35” x 71”

The Desktex is a good choice for clear mats.

Advantages:

  • Multiple choices of mat material.  You can pick the material your mat is made of whether polycarbonate, PVC, or PET.  The composition directly determines the strength of the mat and its transparency.
  • Multiple backings.  You can choose from either a smooth or anti-slip backing.
  • Sizes.  Desktex mats come in a variety of sizes that fits most desks.

Shortfalls:

  • Size may not be accurate.  The manufacturer, Floortex, notes that the actual size you receive may be plus or minus 10% of the quoted size.  This implies that the actual mat you receive may be 10% bigger or smaller than what you are expecting.  You may have to cut it for a custom fit.
  • Shipped rolled up. The PVC mat may take some time to lay completely flat after rolling it out. However, this con isn’t applicable to the polycarbonate mat which snap back in place when rolled out.

Lorell Desk Pad

The Lorell desk pad is the perfect definition of the phrase “crystal clear”. The transparent feature of this desk pad is faultless. It is the pad to buy if you want the beauty of your desk to stay “pure”.

It is made with top quality PVC material (vinyl) and measures 20”x36”. It is rectangular in shape. One of the purposes of this see-through feature is to enable the user put important items for reminders like a calendar, photos, schedules and other documents underneath the mat. They can be clearly seen as if the desk pad isn’t there.

The Lorell desk pad is also the perfect writing pad which doesn’t dent easily because of its thickness and firmness. It makes extensive writing easy and protects the user from finger and wrist fatigue.

It is a rectangular shaped mat and measures 20” x 36”.

Since it is clear, you can put notes, photos, a calendar, and other documents underneath.  The mat is very transparent so you can see through it clearly.

It is manufactured with high quality PVC, more commonly known as vinyl.  It is specifically made not to stick to your desk like other desk mats do sometimes.

Lorell Desk Pads, 36 x 20 Inches, Matte
List Price: $25.22
Price: $24.39
You Save: $0.83
Price Disclaimer

The Lorell desk pad cross – functions well as a writing pad.  It is thick and firm, it does not dent easily.  This makes it ideal to write on for an extended amount of time without wrist and finger fatigue.

The mat is shipped flat in a large cardboard box so it will lay flat upon opening. No worries about that. .

Advantages:

  • Transparency. The mat is crystal clear.  It is almost like there its not there at all.
  • Thickness.  It is thicker than most mats and does a great job protecting your desk surface.
  • Easy to clean.  Whether you spill a drink or accidentally mark on it. A standard glass cleaner and cloth can wipe it off.

Shortfalls:

  • Single size.  The desk mat only comes in a single size, 20” x 36”.  It would have been better if the mat had other sizes.
  • Factory smell. The mat smells like new plastic when opened and may remain so for a few days. The user may want to keep it elsewhere till the factory smell reduces so as not to change the aroma of your office.
  • Sliding tendency.  This mat has no feature that holds it to the surface of the table and may require certain weight upon it to keep it firmly in place consistently. This weight can be a monitor or a heavy office-note holder.

ES Robbins Rectangle Desk Pad

The ES Robbins desk mat is a thick desk mat- thicker than most desk mats- with a non-slip surface that keeps your laptop or key board firmly in place. It has matte and clear colors. Users who want a less reflective appearance will find the matte colored desk mats suitable. Those that like it clear will prefer the clear color option.

It has two sizes – 19” x 24” and 20” x 36” and functions very well as a writing pad as it is thicker than most pads and firm enough to avoid paper puncture while writing.

ES Robbins Rectangle Desk Pad, 19-Inch by 24-Inch, Clear
List Price: $39.99
Price: $19.45
You Save: $20.54
Price Disclaimer

This desk pad is shipped flat so it is delivered ready to use. It flattens on your desk from the moment it is laid.

To crown it all, this one is made in the USA!  I like promoting American made products.

Advantages:

  • Thickness.  An outstanding feature of this mat and the others reviewed in this article is the ability to use it as a writing pad because of their thickness.  Even with a single sheet of paper, your pen or pencil will not puncture the paper when writing.
  • Indentation free.  This is a durable and sturdy desk mat.  Writing on the mat does not leave indentations.
  • Flat on delivery.  Since it comes in a flat box, lying flat is natural.  It is ready to use right out of the box.

Shortfalls:

  • Quality.  The quality is not as good as the Desktex or Lorell mats.
  • Low heat resistance.  It has a low heat resistance.  Be cautious when setting a hot cup of coffee on the mat.  It can easily develop a melted “ring” where the cup was sitting.

Artistic Rhinolin II Desk Pad

The Artistic Rhinolin II desk pad is designed primarily as a writing pad. Keyboards and laptops can be put on top but its smooth surface makes it an exceptional writing pad. This smooth surface is also “self healing” in the sense that it quickly recovers from indentations made while writing. It reverts to its original form quickly!

The surface firm and slightly cushioned. It is specially protected from bacteria multiplication and microbes including mildew and molds by an in built Microban antimicrobial technology. This protection is round the clock so your desk mat stays clean always.

The Artistic Rhinolin II comes in black color with a matte finish. There are several sizes of this mat as shown below:

  • 12” x 17”
  • 17” x 24”
  • 20” x 36”
  • 24” x 36”

The Artistic Rhinolin II has nearly the best anti-slip protection any desk pad can offer .  This is because of its foam-like backing.  This backing helps prevent the desk pad from sliding around while you’re working.  The backing is not adhesive so you can pick it up and/or move it around as convenient.

The Artistic Rhinolin is shipped flat, not rolled up.  Thus it will lie upon receipt.

Advantages:

  • Exceptional for writing.  This desk pad is designed mainly for the purpose of writing.  It has a firm, yet slightly cushioned surface that allows your pen or pencil to glide across the paper with pleasurable ease.
  • Antimicrobial protection. The in built Microban antimicrobial technology prevents microbes from multiplying.  It keeps your mat germ – free between regular cleanings.
  • Anti-skid protection. Stops movement of the mat around your desk that may be caused by the pressure of writing. This is achieved with the aid of the foam-like backing of this mat.

Shortfalls:

  • Variable Dimensions.  As with most desk pads, the pad you receive may vary slightly from the quoted dimensions.  The pad you receive should be within 1” of the quoted dimension.
  • Smudges easily.  You will notice fingerprints on the surface after use.
  • Low heat resistance. Hot items placed on the pad may cause discolorations.  This includes a cup of coffee or warm plate.

The Desk Pad, Your Paddy

The desk pad is a work enhancer. You haven’t met your office paddy if you’re not using one.

It is big enough to fit your key board and even mouse with some models. They can facilitate your productivity while spicing up your workspace at the same time. They can make your office look professional. They keep your keyboards from sliding around, function as writing pads and protection for your desk.

Basic Functions of a Desk Pad

Desk Protection

A desk mat will help protect your desk from the effects of everyday use.  This includes protection from scratches, spills, wear and tear.

You can use a desk mat as a keyboard and mouse pad.  This t is for the protection of your desk from wear at areas where your keyboard and mouse slide across your desk. A keyboard can cause on a bare desk surface will cause scuffs and/or discoloration your desk surface where it sits.

Anti- Slide Aid

A desk mat will keep your keyboard from sliding all around your desk with the aid of their slightly textured surface. Desk pads are designed to be firm in place mostly. A special backing prevents them from sliding.

Writing Surface

Desk pads function perfectly as writing pads with most of them having a smooth but firm surface that encourages a steady flow when writing.

Desk pads, such as the Artistic Rhinolin II, are designed specifically for writing.  If you are buying a desk pad for the purpose of writing, purchasing one made primarily for writing. .If you have tried writing on a desk pad, you will find that it is a much better experience than simply writing on a hard surface.  Your writing will take on a smooth flow as your pen glides across the paper. Writing fatigue is drastically reduced.

What to Consider While Purchase of Desk Pads

When purchasing a desk mat, there are several factors to consider. Below is a list of the basic factors to consider.

Material

Desk pads come in a variety of materials.  The most common are plastic, leather, and faux leather.  Polycarbonate and PVC (vinyl) are the most common types of plastic mats.

Below is a quick reference table that outlines desk pad materials and the optimal use for each.

Desk Pad Material Function Remarks
Plastic General Use Polycarbonate and PVC mats. The Best option for clear, “see through” mats.
Faux Leather Writing Aside from genuine leather, these have the best appearance.. They come in a variety of colors.
Leather Writing Leather desk mats look very professional but they are the most expensive.
Anti-static Laptops Keeps dust out of your laptop.

Surface

The surface factor in the purchase of desk mats pertains mainly to the writing function. You’d want to pay attention to this feature if you are going to be writing on your desk mat. Choose a mat with a firm surface with some softness. This will enable you write with your pen without puncturing the paper while you enjoy a smooth flow. Consider your mouse also. If it is the ball type, a typical writing pad will do. You may choose between a faux or leather mat.

Color

 Desk pads are mostly clear, black, and brown in color.

Clear desk pads are plastic mostly, with the exception of some matte colors.

Leather and faux leather desk pads are usually black or brown. They actually look more professional.  Most desk pads designed specifically for writing fall in this category or color options.

Non-slip Backing

A good desk mat should be able to keep a keyboard from sliding over while in use. Please check the backing of any mat you want to purchase. Make sure it is non-slip. The desk mat with one of the best backing is the Artistic Rhinolin II. It sticks to the desk when light pressure is applied to it. An example of light pressure is, when your wrists are resting on the mat while typing using your keyboard.

Our Choices


Desk Pad Buyers’ FAQs

Q:  How much does a desk pad cost?

A:  I recommend Amazon for any purchase on desk mats due to the convenience and great customer service they offer. Amazon is a marketplace; prices may change at any given time.  Please visit the product page on the Amazon website for the most current pricing of desk mats.

Q:  How do I make my desk pad lay flat?

A: Use a blow dryer on the mat. Set the dryer to the highest speed to blow over it, back and forth.  After a few minutes, it will start laying flat.

Q:  I ordered a plastic mat and it has anew plastic smell.  How do I get rid of the smell?

A: Give it time.  If the smell bothers or offends you, take it out of your office or room for a few days (6-8 days).  The smell will fade away..

Q:  I need a strong plastic desk mat. From   PVC and Polycarbonate, Which should I choose?

A:  If you value strength, then purchase the polycarbonate model.  It is far more durable than PVC.

Q:  I need a leather desk mat, but your top recommended mat has a faux leather material.  Is there a big difference?

A:  Faux leather mats can match genuine leather mats in quality and texture. For instance, the Satechi Mate & Mat is top quality faux leather and I recommended anytime. It is far less expensive than a leather mat.

Q: I’d like to put reminders, photos, schedules, e.t.c. under a clear mat.   Are clear mats that clear? really?

A:  It depends.  Some mats which ought to be “clear” from product description are actually cloudy in appearance.  A good example of a crystal-clear mat is the Lorell desk mat.  It is a perfect definition of the phrase “crystal clear “.

Q:  How do I clean a desk mat?

A:  For plastic desk mats, including PVC (vinyl) and polycarbonate are easy to clean. Simply spray with your glass cleaner and wipe it down.

To clean a faux leather mat, wring out a soapy cloth and scrub.  When this is done, wipe the mat down with a damp, non-soapy cloth to remove any remaining soap suds.

Q:  Will a laser mouse work on a clear desk pad?

A:  Yes and No.  You can do a search on the internet for the compatibility of your mouse with clear desk pads.  If you are not sure of your options, you can purchase a matte or any other colored desk pad.  In general, black desk pads are very compatible with laser mice.

Icing the Cake

Phew! Who knew there would be so much to consider when buying a desk pad?

Hope this article was informed and made your decision easier to make.  If so, do others a favor by sharing it with them on Facebook or your favorite social network.

I always love to hear from readers.  Kindly fill out the form on the contact us page if you would like to send a comment or suggestion Your Office Companion.

Writing is mostly unavoidable when working on your desk. More often than not, it is the most important part of daily office operations from signing important documents and checks to writing letters and memos. Writing is an indispensable activity. The desk pad was invented to ease the discomfort experienced when using fountain pens on hard desk surfaces both from friction when writing and ink spillage on the desk directly. Desk pads can actually soak up the ink, preventing it from soaking the desks. It provides a surface for friction-free writing. It remains relevant today even with the advent of ballpoint pens and computers.

You Need a Desk Pad

-To Protect Your Desk

Your desk requires protection from the daily effects of work like scratches, stains and heat damage from computers. These “hazards” can deface a magnificent desk, which can eventually hamper your productivity.

-To make Writing Pleasurable.

Nothing is as fulfilling as deriving pleasure from working. It enhances creativity, productivity and growth eventually.  A desk pad will provide a writing surface which is firm and comfortable.  This can reduce writing fatigue. This will make working on your desk better and more profitable.

-To Complement Any Desk Space

There are varieties of desk mats available to fit any style and theme of your office and  desk. They give your desk the aesthetic touch it deserves, making it comfortable to use while protecting it as well.

Desk Mat Sizes

It is important to note that suitable mats are available for all desk sizes. Pads are rectangular in shape and can range from about 12” x 17” all the way up to 35” x 71” for a very large desk pad.  Pads that are 19” x 24” are probably the most common, but sizes are really determined by the brand.

Types of Desk Pads

There are varieties of pads made to perform specific jobs.

Standard Desk Pad

This type of desk pad is quite popular because it is simple and relatively cheap. They are made from synthetic materials mostly, have anti-slip features – which keeps the pad from sliding when in use- and mostly black in color, though some manufacturers make them in other colors including pink. The standard desk pad is easy to clean so be free to eat on it. A simple wipe with a cloth and regular household cleaner should do the job. It can be used both as a writing pad and protection for your desk from scratches and direct heat from your computers. It can be used as a mouse pad and for your keyboard. You can use both at the same time for larger models. Larger desk mats can take a laptop, monitors and still have space for writing. That’s just great! A good buy if you ask me!

Clear /transparent desk pad

If you want a pad that is not opaque or solid-colored, a clear desk pad also called a transparent desk pad, is the perfect choice for you.  Most people buy transparent desk pads if they want to place photos, cards, or pictures that they can see under their pad whenever they are working.  They are a perfect option for those who want to protect their desk without interfering with the colors in the office.

Clear desk pads have non-glare surfaces and non-slip backs as well. This type of pad is usually made from polycarbonate, PVC, or recycled PET.  When buying a 100% transparent desk pad, make sure it is displayed as crystal-clear or at least see a picture of the product because some are actually translucent not transparent.  Some people like translucent pads, but the choice is yours because both can look really good.

Curved Desk Pad

This pad has one of its edges curved. This pencil ledge curve made from wood is specially designed to hold writing and drawing tools such as pencils, pens etcetera. This pencil ledge also adds beauty to your table and office in general. This in turn enhances your style and the user’s comfort.

Leather Desk Pad

An elegant looking pad we have here! Arguably the most luxurious and irresistible looking desk pad. It is also referred to as an executive pad in the market and comes in magnificent browns and blacks. Sounds like royalty don’t you think? Well the leather desk pad is sure to make your office and desk look classy.  It has a felt backing and side rails which allow for blotter paper, a calendar, for storage of something like business cards.  Some even have side rails made from attractive woods like walnut.  They can be used under computer monitors, laptops, for writing and more.

 Custom Desk Pad

If you want something a little different, a little extra especially in appearance, a custom desk pad will satisfy your taste.   This pad is made from rubber and functions as typical desk pad but designed with custom images.  More often than not, they come with images of popular cartoon, games and animated characters or/and scenes.  Custom desk pads can be quite thick. This is good news if you want to add some personal flavor to your work space while resting your wrists comfortably.  Some of the pads have awesome and attractive pictures at the top end.

Desk Pad Calendar/Desk Calendar Pad Calendar Desk Pad

This is a large calendar, cross-functioning as a desk pad. It will show each month in its page while showing upcoming months which will be smaller. It can be used as a writing pad and protection for your desk while keeping you organized at the same time.  You can take notes, schedule appointments or plans on it. The better brands will allow you to tuck the pages in so that they are protected but they don’t have an anti-slip backing. Be careful with beverages, food, and of course sauce when eating near your desk – because there are papers on this pad – as they will be sure to leave stains. If you write with too much force, it will most likely leave an impression on the calendar underneath.   In the end, desk pad calendars are very useful and convenient.

Desk pads make work-life easy and interesting. They give you the comfort you need while working which means less fatigue and more efficiency. They protect your desk and add style to your work space. There are varieties of desk pads to fit any work-space including yours.


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