If you find yourself in the situation where you need an alternative for a mouse pad, or just don’t want a cluttered messy-looking desk:
There are many common household items you can use instead. Things you might not even have considered before. Hint – this will include some mini up-cycling projects!
So before you go out or online to find yourself a replacement, check out this list first!
Alternatives For A Mouse Pad
In general, reflective surfaces like glossy paper and glass don’t work for cheaper optical mouse models. If you have a laser mouse, it doesn’t really matter what you use!
But this post is assuming you have an optical mouse:
Then a suitable material would be one with some traction and that is not reflective in nature. It must be even on the surface (I.e. not have wrinkles or bumps) too.
So you can try materials like:
- Carbon fiber
- Imitation rubber (PU leather)
- Cardboard/ paper
- Some plastics
In fact, commercial mouse pads are usually made of polyester with a rubber base at the bottom for an anti-slip surface. Although there are definitely other materials mouse pads are made of.
On the other hand, did you check that your mouse sensor is covered with dirt? That may be why it is not gliding as well as it should!
That said, here’s what to use instead of a mouse pad for your optical mouse:
Have leftovers from your last DIY project? You may be able to whip out a simple mouse pad out of your remaining felt material!
Easy, and if you cut it nicely, it looks like you bought it from the store!
2. Yoga Mat
And old yoga mat can serve as an alternative for a mouse pad. Whether it’s made of cork, PU, or rubber. Just cut it to a more reasonable size!
However, if your yoga mat is basically disintegrating into flakes, it’s best to try something else on this list!
3. Wax Paper
Just in case you do have wax paper lying around your house, a small square of it will do for a temporary mouse pad!
The cover of a book – regardless of whether it is a paperback or hardback should do the trick if you need a quick alternative to a mouse pad!
Textbooks are even better since you have more surface area to work with!
You can also try the inside of the book if it can lie open and flat at 180°.
Woven place-mats will be awkward to move a mouse around but PU leather table mats or any place-mat with a smooth top surface (that is not too reflective) will work! Very convenient if you’re already working at your dining table or island counter!
6. Document Holders
Any matte document holder, folder, or file case made of paper or plastic should be able to function as a mouse pad as long as it does not have a glossy surface!
Plus, these are always available at an office! Similarly, the back of an envelope or clipboard might work too!
7. Loose Woven And Flat Fabrics
Take, for instance, a table cloth that is already on the table. Or a pair of pants. So long as the fabric can stay in place flat without bunching up.
Check that you have some packaging in your house from your last online delivery! These can work brilliantly as mouse pad alternatives once you lay them out flat.
If one side is too slippery, try turning it over!
Depending on where you currently are and what your normal occupation is, you might have brochures/ pamphlets or posters lying around.
Granted, these tend to be glossy. But if they’re not, there’s a chance that you can use them as an alternative for a mouse pad!
Don’t forget the “Do Not Disturb” signs that hotels use! Those might work too.
10. Wooden Surfaces
If you have a wooden desk top, a mouse pad is not necessary!
On that same note, if you have forgotten to bring along your mouse pad, try moving to a wooden table (or a wooden chair or shelf) and using that as a substitute!
11. Computer Mat
Getting a mat for your gaming or workstation? That will likely double as a mouse pad. So you don’t have to get a separate mat for your mouse!
If you happen to be working close to the floor:
Stone, vinyl or wood floors can actually be used in place of a mouse pad.
A single sheet of paper won’t cut it. You will need a few sheets of paper to reduce the transparency of this standard stationery item. Especially if you’re working on a glass tabletop.
In a similar fashion, you can just use a notepad!
14. Cutting Mat
Keen DIY enthusiasts should have this item readily available in their home. Provided it’s still fairly unscathed, a cutting mat will be a fine replacement for a mouse pad.
If all else fails, your own skin or clothing can be an alternative for a mouse pad!
Though we would consider this a last resort (besides relying on your laptop’s trackpad) since it does feel kind of weird to use a mouse on your leg or arm!
Which of these alternative mouse pad ideas did you find the most surprising? Or what other unconventional item have you used for a mouse pad?
And if you are going to upgrade your mouse soon, consider a laser mouse so you will no longer need a mouse pad!
Don’t forget to share this post with someone who is always leaving their mouse pad behind!