Fast mousepads are the speed demons of the mousepad world, focusing on smooth surfaces and frictionless glide above all else. If you prioritize fast flicks and smooth tracking in the games you play, then this list of the fastest mousepads is for you.
Fast mousepads are a niche market, as quite a few of the more popular hard pads are hard to get. To that end, we’ve featured both hard and soft mousepads that are readily available from online retailers for maximum convenience. Let’s get started.
- Best Fast Hard Mousepad: SkyPad Glass 3.0 isn’t the outright fastest pad available, but its high-quality glass and premium finish make it one of the best fast mousepads right now.
- Best Fast Hard Mousepad Alternative: Glorious Air is an ultra-fast speed pad with precise, uniform tracking and an accessible price.
- Best Fast Soft Mousepad: Roccat Sense Pro is a slick fabric pad with durable, water-resistant polyester fabric and two size options.
- Best Fast Soft Mousepad Alternative: Glorious Ice uses glass-infused cloth for an ultra-fast glide similar to hard pads, at the cost of long-term durability.
Our Favorite Fast Mousepads
1. Glorious Air
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||14.96 x 16.92 x 0.02 inches|
Glorious’ Air is one of the most accessible fast hard mouse mats on the market, offering great tracking and smooth movements at a wallet-friendly price. It’s not without issues, but it’s a great general-purpose speedy pick if you prefer the feel of a hard gaming mousepad.
The Air is one of the simplest mousepads on the market: it’s a thin piece of textured plastic with an adhesive backing in place of mousepad feet. The surface is all speed, with little in the way of control or stopping power despite the slight texture. It’s slightly faster than our top pick, too, so the Air may be of interest if speed is your priority above all else.
One of the Air’s main appeals is its uniform X and Y glide. Many gaming mousepads, even pricey ones, have varying degrees of inconsistency between the horizontal and vertical glide. So the Air’s combination of speed and uniformity makes it a great option even if you’re not concerned about value in a mousepad.
There’s a lot of like about the Glorious Air, but it’s worth noting a few downsides that may be an issue for you. Firstly, the adhesive backing is slightly aggressive, despite Glorious’ claims, and it may damage desks like the Ikea Linnmon. Sadly, there’s no way to know whether the adhesive will damage your desk beforehand, although we’ve only seen issues reported with the Linnmon.
Secondly, the Air’s durability is still up in the air. While Glorious claims that it’s improved its durability over the Helios (which would slow down noticeably within four to six months), we’ve read wildly inconsistent user reports about the Air. So you may want to tread carefully and buy a backup pad or two if you go for this.
Despite the issues, the Glorious Air is a great-value fast mousepad perfect if you need speed on a budget. While its $35 list price doesn’t seem like that fantastic of a deal, you can regularly find it on sale for less than $20. That makes it a killer deal and an easy recommendation for a fast mousepad.
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||• Normal: 11.81 x 13.77 x 0.14 inches
• XL: 15.74 x 19.68 x 0.14 inches
SkyPad’s Glass 3.0 hard pad isn’t quite the fastest mousepad ever, but its combination of ultra-quick glide and very high quality makes it the perfect choice for a premium hard gaming mousepad that’ll last you for years.
The Glass 3.0 is, as the name suggests, a pure glass hard pad. Unlike some other glass pads that opt for a rougher, frosted surface, the SkyPad Glass 3.0 has a slick, ultra-smooth surface designed for pure speed and low friction. The Glass 3.0 is all about the glide, with
SkyPad also sets its latest glass pad apart from the competition with its thickness (or lack thereof). The Glass 3.0’s 0.14-inch plate (not including the rubber feet) means it avoids the common issue of the front edge digging into your mouse arm when gaming. It’s significantly better than the Glass 2.0, which was a thick glass slab with a noticeably uncomfortable front lip.
SkyPad also gets points for offering the Glass 3.0 in two sizes, which is rare for a glass hard mousepad. The normal version measures 11.8 x 13.77 inches, while the XL measures 15.74 x 19.68 inches. We appreciate the XL size, which gives more surface area for big sweeps and flicks. You can also choose between black and white, with the option of SkyPad’s “angry cloud” logo or a more subdued text logo in the lower right.
Overall, the SkyPad Glass 3.0 is the glass gaming mousepad to go for if you’re after a high-quality, high-speed pad for fast-paced gaming. At roughly $130 for the XL version, it’s certainly not a cheap pad. But it’s as premium as mousepads get, and there isn’t really anything like it on the market.
You can get similarly speedy gaming mousepads for a lot less, but the SkyPad Glass 3.0’s total package is something you won’t find anywhere else. It’ll last for years without losing its glide, is extremely durable, and looks slick, especially in white. We think it’s definitely one of the best mousepads available right now, but whether that’s worth the high asking price is entirely up to you.
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||• Square: 17.71 x 17.71 x 0.07 inches
• XL: 16.53 x 35.43 x 0.07 inches
|Surface||“Military-grade” polyester fabric|
Roccat’s Sense Pro is a speedy soft gaming mousepad that offers hard pad-levels of glide and flick without totally sacrificing stopping power. Want something fast with better control than all-out speed demons? Consider the Sense Pro.
The Sense Pro uses a tightly woven “military-grade” polyester fabric for its mouse surface, better known as Cordura. The main appeal of Cordura as a mouse surface is that you can design it to be super slick without totally sacrificing stopping power and control. It won’t be as grippy as a conventional cloth surface, but neither will it be quite as slippery as a glass pad.
Cordura is also water-repellant, so there’s no need to worry too much about spills and splashes with the Sense Pro. Of course, avoiding getting your gaming mousepad wet is always better, but the Sense Pro should be able to endure the occasional clumsy moment.
Roccat’s Sense Pro gets our pick over other similarly speedy cloth pads like the Mad Catz G.L.I.D.E. 38 because it comes in two sizes. You get a 17.7 x 17.7-inch square version and a desktop-length extended version, with the latter perfect if you don’t want a mouse mat covering the entirety of your desk space.
The only noticeable issue here is the Roccat tag on the upper left. While we have no issues with branding or color, the stitched tag may be disruptive for low-DPI gamers or those who use all of their pad for broad swipes and extended mouse movements. It’s not a huge issue, admittedly, but it’s one that we can see some users facing.
Minor gripes aside, we think the Roccat Sense Pro is an excellent choice for speed freaks that prefer the comfort and portability of a soft mousepad. Its two sizes and slightly grippier surface make it a safe pick that’ll work for more setups and play styles than the other gaming mousepads on our list.
4. Glorious Ice
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||14.96 x 16.92 x 0.11 inches|
If you’re after a soft mousepad capable of rivaling even the best hard mousepads in terms of outright speed, then you’ll want the Glorious Ice. It’s not without flaws, but speed freaks on a budget may be willing to overlook them.
The Glorious Ice is the company’s take on a hybrid gaming mousepad. For the unfamiliar, this means a glass-infused cloth surface that offers all the speed benefits of a glass mousepad without the weight and cost. The Ice is about as fast as the SkyPad Glass 3.0 while costing a fraction of the price, making it a great value buy if you want speed above everything else.
However, glass-infused cloth still has some of the portability disadvantages of a hard pad. The surface doesn’t take kindly to being rolled up or folded, so you’ll have to transport the Ice flat like a hard pad. Not easy when it’s about 15 x 17 inches large.
Durability also takes a hit here. The Ice’s surface is sensitive to oils and contaminants and requires regular cleaning to maintain its glide. Glorious has a guide to cleaning the Ice on its site, which we recommend following if you buy one. Even then, don’t expect the Ice to last all that long; you’ll be lucky to get six months out of it before the surface starts wearing down, even if you baby it.
That said, the Ice’s $20 MSRP means it’s relatively cheap to buy new units once your current one wears down enough to be unusable. Is buying a new mousepad twice a year wasteful? Perhaps. But to put that price in perspective, you can get six of these for the price of one SkyPad Glass 3.0.
Of course, the SkyPad is the better, more durable mousepad and is worth the money. However, if you just want a speedy pad with a great price and don’t mind replacing it regularly, the Glorious Ice is a fantastic deal.
Before You Buy
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably already decided you want a fast mousepad. So let’s skip the usual speed vs. control debate and discuss a couple of topics more specific to fast mousepads.
Hard vs. Soft Fast Mousepads
When shopping at the speedy end of the market, you’ll most likely have to choose whether to buy a hard or a soft mousepad. There aren’t any objective performance differences between the two, and it mostly comes down to personal preference.
Soft mousepads consist of a fabric surface on a non-slip rubber base. They typically come in multiple sizes and are quite portable, as you can roll up traditional cloth and hybrid mousepads for easy transportation. Unfortunately, soft pads get dirty quite quickly as they absorb liquids and dust, making them harder to keep clean than hard mousepads.
Hard mousepads, as the name suggests, are made of glass or plastic. The hard surface doesn’t offer the slightly cushioned feeling of a soft pad, but the upshot is that a hard mousepad won’t absorb any dirt or liquids. You can clean a hard mousepad easily with a damp cloth, making them much easier to maintain.
Hard surface mousepads often only come in one size, forcing you to arrange your setup to accommodate the mousepad. They’re also harder to transport than their cloth counterparts, as they don’t roll up.
I prefer how soft pads feel, so I use them almost exclusively. But not everyone feels the same way, and some users may find a glass or plastic surface more comfortable to use regularly. The only way to find out how you feel is to try both types.
The vast majority of soft mousepads are slower than the average hard surface mousepad, but that’s not always the case. You can find some highly speedy soft mousepads out there, just as you can find slower, control-focused hard mousepads. So put speed concerns to one side and let other factors such as portability, price, and personal preference help you decide.
Glass vs. Plastic Hard Mousepads
If you’ve decided that a hard mousepad is the best choice for you, the next decision to make is whether you get a glass or a plastic hard mousepad.
Like soft vs. hard mousepads, there aren’t really any clear performance advantages for either of the two materials. However, they differ greatly in some areas that will likely have a larger impact on your purchasing decision.
Glass mousepads are the cream of the crop as far as hard mousepads go. These treated glass slabs are long-lasting, often retaining their out-of-the-box glide for years (if not indefinitely). A good glass mousepad—like the SkyPad Glass 3.0—will also be durable and stand up to a surprising amount of punishment.
The main downside is the price: the SkyPad 3.0 will set you back north of $100 for the XL version. While you get your money’s worth, it’s still a considerable chunk of money for a mousepad.
Plastic hard mousepads are the opposite. They’re often simple sheets of thin plastic with a textured surface to aid mouse tracking, with little in the way of premium design touches or feel. While these plastic mousepads are much more affordable, they generally don’t last very long compared to a glass hard mousepad.
For example, the Glorious Air is unlikely to retain its glide for more than a year. It won’t fall apart or suddenly stop working after that, but it’ll never feel as slick as those few months after you first take it out of the box.
That said, the Air is often available for around $20 or less. Is the diminished lifespan compared to a glass pad worth the price difference? We’ll let you decide.
If you feel like your mouse movements aren’t as zippy as they could be, then buying a fast mousepad might just be what you need. We won’t recommend them for everyone, but gamers who focus on fast-paced shooters will gain a lot from swapping to one of the pads on our list.
Those with the cash to splash should look no further than the SkyPad Glass 3.0. It’s a premium mouse pad in every sense of the word, exuding quality while offering a durable, fast surface perfect for flicks and smooth tracking. But if you’re on a budget and don’t mind replacing pads every so often, the Glorious Ice and its glass-cloth hybrid surface is worth checking out.