I Bought a Felt Desk Pad and Now I Feel Like a Fancy Boy

Etsy Oakywood felt and cork desk mat
Michael Crider

We’re big fans of massive mousepads, (also called desk mats) here at Review Geek. The market for these has exploded over the last few years: if you want, you can practically cover your entire desk surface in a comfy cloth pad.

But there are other options. Professionals used to have large pads of leather or felt called blotters to protect the fine surfaces of their desks from ink spills or scratches, and these have come back into fashion for modern offices and home workers. You can get ones made of leather in varying qualities, but a premium felt one caught my eye on Etsy, and I couldn’t resist giving it a try.

This wool-topped, cork-bottomed desk pad came from Poland, and it appealed to me because it came in an unusual 900x300mm size. That’s just wide enough for my mouse, keyboard, and add-on keypad for gaming, without going so high vertically as to bump my tablet and phone charger. But the size hardly matters: it’s the material that I fell in love with.

Oakywood leather tag on felt desk mat
The Oakywood maker’s mark sure beats a dragon or snake logo. Michael Crider

The dark wool is dense enough that it has very little give, which is excellent for using a mouse or typing, but soft enough that it babies my hands when I’m not actively working. It also doesn’t show the same swoops and swooshes that a dark mouse pad does. I like the way my wrist rests slide around on their plastic bottoms. The cork bottom stays still when I want it to but moves easily for small adjustments.

Gamers might scoff at the slightly irregular surface for a mouse, but I’ve found that it doesn’t really affect my mouse’s performance at all—chalk it up to the wonderfully adaptive sensors on modern high-end mice. I’ll confess to a bad habit of eating at my desk, which the wool pad is surprisingly okay with: brushing crumbs off its surface for the eventual attention of my vacuum is quick and easy.

Oakywood felt desk mat rolled up
The mat came from Poland in a tube, showing off the premium materials when I took it out. Michael Crider

I don’t want to test its resistance to water, so I’m relying on coasters—one of the drawbacks of more exotic materials for your desk pad. On the plus side over both a leather pad and a standard cloth pad, the felt doesn’t scratch. Or rather, I’ll bet it gets fine scratches all the time, but they’re so minute and imperceptible that they may as well not be there, and the dense foam-like surface of the wool tends to smooth over them quickly.

In short: it’s fancy. And surprisingly, it’s functional, too. The pad cost me $70 from the seller on Etsy, which isn’t ridiculous for a premium mousepad of semi-custom size. But there are alternatives all over Amazon made of synthetic felt with a similar feel, along with more conventional leather of varying qualities. You can spend a crap-ton on a serious piece of leather if you want to. They all come in a variety of sizes, from just big enough to be considered a mousepad to big enough to completely cover small desks.

If you’re looking for a more premium alternative to the more gamer-style desk pads, give any of these options a try. You might just find yourself feeling fancy, too.

Oakywood Felt and Cork Desk Mat

This fancy-pants desk mat can elevate your setup beyond the pedestrian gamer super-huge mouse pads.

 

Michael Crider Michael Crider
Michael Crider has been writing about computers, phones, video games, and general nerdy things on the internet for ten years. He’s never happier than when he’s tinkering with his home-built desktop or soldering a new keyboard. Read Full Bio »

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