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Protect Your Desktop With The Best Computer Desk Mats
Last updated: 24 Feb 2022
Whether it’s at home or the office, the area around our computers takes a lot of wear and tear and abuse on a daily basis. Laptops, computer mouse setup, books, tablets, papers, and everything else can scruff and damage the finish of tables and desks over time. Protecting your work space with a desktop mat is a quick, easy way to give yourself a durable, versatile workspace that is also efficient and practical. The best computer desk mats in 2022 are perfect for home or office use and have all the features you need to protect your work area while keeping it accessible.
Contrary to common belief, computer desk top mats are not out of vogue. In fact, people who agree with this, are the actual cavemen. These flat beauties not only make your workspace look chic, but they also serve many other purposes - one of which is protecting your desk from dust, spills, ink, and whatnot, and in some models, can serve as cooling mats. Desk top mats are the perfect office accessories and they sit flat on your desk, so they don’t take up space in a way that matters.
Like many products, desk top mats come in multiple designs, different levels of quality, and sizes. This variation in features can make it quite difficult to select the best desk top mat for your desk space. Fortunately, it can become fairly easy if you follow the tips from this desk top mat buying guide.
Why do I need a computer desk top mat?
Desk top mats are multifunctional, and you will be motivated to get one after reading through this list of their functions:
The first and most obvious reason why you need a desk top mat is that it tunes up the look of your workspace and makes it look more professional. You can think of them as make-up for desks. Since a great work environment is generally recommended for enhanced productivity, desk top mats could make you more productive too - which is quite impressive for accessories that some deem archaic.
Desk top mats can also serve as writing pads that enhance your flow of writing - indirectly reducing writing fatigue. They also prevent keyboards and mice from sliding in all directions.
Another valid reason to get a desk top mat is that it protects your wooden or glass desk from everyday harm like scratches, pen imprints, ink, coffee spills, wear and tear, and dents.
Desk top mats may help in task and material organization in the office. Executive desk top mats may help you in organizing your writing tools, phone numbers, business cards, or business documents. With a nice desk top mat, you should also be able to organize your daily to-do list too.
In summary, a great desk top mat will help you deal with workspace clutter, and this, if nothing else, makes it an important office accessory.
What are the factors to consider when buying a computer desk top mat?
Desk top mats come in various designs and materials, the most common of which are leather, plastic, and faux leather.
Plastic desk top mats are the most universal and budget-friendly and usually come in polycarbonate or PVC (vinyl) versions. They are designed to look clear and transparent, however, you can also get them in matte. A perk of using plastic desk top mats is that they are relatively easy to clean.
Leather desk top mats are the most expensive. They give a professional touch to your workspace and are designed for writing.
Faux leather desk top mats are probably the second-best desk top mats. They come in different colors and are also good for writing.
This is both an aesthetic and functional feature. You want your desk top mat to look elegant and also blend in with the color of your workspace environment, so select one with colors that match.
Color also determines the transparency of the desk top mat. If you want a desk top mat clear enough to see notes, documents, and pictures under it, you should go for the transparent colors of plastic desk top mats.
If you’re looking for opaque colors like black or brown, then you should choose leather or faux leather desk top mats.
Anti-glare/non-glare is one of the best features of the finest desk top mats on the market. Anti-glare desk top mats will not reflect light from any source, thereby preventing eye strain after working at the desk for long hours.
This feature is one of the best determinants of a great desk top mat and you should always consider it when purchasing one.
You need a desk top mat that is hard enough at the surface to prevent the tip of your pencil/open from puncturing your paper, but also soft enough to aid smooth writing.
One of the problems that typical desk top mats fix is the issue of slipping when writing or using a mouse, so it makes no sense to buy one that doesn’t do that.
The best desk top mats have a textured that prevents the keyboard, mouse, or writing paper placed on them from slipping – call it a non-slip feature. Some desk top mats will even stick to your desk when you apply slight pressure on them against the desk.
The determining factor of this feature in desk top mats is the base material, so check before making that desk top mat purchase.
Note: Although most desk top mats are designed to prevent slipping, you might want to buy one specially designed for writing if you will be writing a lot on it.
One of the functions of a desk top mat is to protect the desk from spills. However, these spills can also degrade the quality of the desk top mat. To ensure that your desk top mat lasts long irrespective of the spills on it, it is advisable to buy a waterproof one. In other words, desk top mats with protective coatings/layers are what you should go for.
With a large desk top pad, you don’t have to worry about buying a mouse pad, since your mouse can fit right on it. This makes your workspace tidy and saves you some money too. So, consider moderately wide desk top mats that will house both your keyboard and mouse.
Computer Desk Mat FAQ
How do I make my desk top mat lay flat?
Desk top mats typically stay flat, so this shouldn’t be a common or recurring issue. But, in case your desk top mat is curled up or is in an unusual state, blowing it over from side to side with the highest setting on a blow dryer should set it straight, literally.
How do I clean a desk top mat?
The material of your desktop mat will determine how you clean it. If yours is made of plastic, simply apply your everyday glass cleaner spray and wipe it down with a clean cloth. For leather/faux leather desk top mats, you will need a scrub, some soap, and a rag. After washing and rinsing off the soap, use a clean, non-soapy rag to clean off the remaining soap and then dry.
How do I get rid of the smell of a new plastic desk top mat?
Some new plastic desk top mats come with that new plastic smell. There’s almost nothing you can do about it, except to place it in another room for a week and wait for the smell to disperse.
Is there any major difference between faux leather and real leather desk top mats?
It depends on the quality of the faux leather mat. Top-quality faux leather desktop mats look and feel like the real deal. You might want to go for such faux leather mats, especially if they cost less than leather desktop mats.
Will a laser mouse work on a clear desk top mat?
The answer to this question depends on your brand of laser mouse. Some will work, while some won’t. You should do some internet surfing to find out if your laser brand will work on a clear desk top mat. Alternatively, you can opt for a matte or black desk top mat. They always work perfectly with laser mice.
Mark has worked behind the scenes in the world of office supplies for almost his entire adult life, so he understands the ins and outs like no one else. He's volunteered his time to help others build their ultimate home or work office space.