Different types of mousepads
Mousepads can be divided into 2 categories, Soft Mousepads and Hard Mousepads.
Soft Mousepads are usually made out of fabric, rubber or some other synthetic type of material akin to ones just mentioned.
Soft Mousepads are arguably the more common of the two types, they are much more comfortable on the wrist and tend to be cheaper than hard mousepads.
Nowadays, most mousepads consist of two layers, with the bottom usually consisting of a material to keep your pad in place when in contact with a surface which is usually a padding of rubber or foam composite, and the top layer which is usually made out of cloth. There are two ways for them to be put together, either by using an adhesive to stick them together which many people prefer it for its convinience or they can be stiched together which many people prefer it for its durability
They can be more convinient to travel compared to hard mousepads as they can be rolled up and fit inside your bag without any worry. Compared to hard surfaces, it reduces the amount of wear and tear on the mouse feet, the smooth fabric dosent grate your skin when you drag your mouse across like it does on rougher surfaces in certain hard mousepads.
When it comes to gaming, soft mousepads have a large variety to choose from, with some attempting to have the least amount of friction, while some try to give the user more control over their mouse with a rougher surface.
Hard Mousepads despite being the less popular of the two, can still be made out of a variety of materials, including aluminium, plastic, certain types of fabric and glass. The bottom of these mouespads are usually made out of rubber so theres no worry about it every slipping out of your table.
Most people choose hard mousepads because of how smooth the surface can be. Compared to soft mousepads, most hard mousepads offer little resistence when dragging your mouse across. If you require quick and snappy reactions or just want to have fun gliding your mouse around, these type of mousepads might suit you better.
Because of the harder material however, the feet of your mouse can wear out easily. Hard mousepads that have a bit of rough texture in them for better contol, can also be worn out after heavy usage.
Size & thickness
The size of a mouspad isnt as important as other properties that make a mousepad but it still good to consider how big a mousepad you wish to get. Different manufactures will manufacture different sized mousepads, although you should keep an eye out to see whether a particular mousepad comes in different sizes. The sizes can vary from as small as 20cm X 20cm to as large as 100cm X 40cm (extended). Of course if you use your mouse in low sensitivity/dpi settings you would want to make sure that there is enough room for you to drag your mouse along so a bigger mousepad is preferred. Although bigger mousepads have its own downsides as well, its less portable, chances are you are more likely to stain the fabric and its a lot more hassle to clean them.
Some people prefer a thicker mousepad thats usually around 4-6mm thick. The reasons why people like them vary, some say that the texture is noticably different and they like it, or that it helps cover up the otherwise rough and bumpy surface of their desk. A thick mousepad can also provide more cushion for your wrist however if its too thick or made out of bad material, it can lead to the mouse sinking into the mousepad which can be an issue.
What should I get?
In the end, the best mousepad that you should get really just depends on how you use your mouse daily. Some people tend to prefer using their entire arm to move the mouse, therefore they want something that produces less friction when dragging your mouse over. While others prefer to rest their wrist on the mousepad and want something that is soft and comfortable. It is still good for you to know try out other mousepads yourself and see which one you prefer the most as everybody's idea of an ideal mousepad is different. It also important to note that mousepads have a surprisingly large amount of variety and combinations such as ones with rgb light on them, or ones with built in wireless charging and some come with accesories such as a wrist rest. If you are still unsure on what to start out with, you can check out at the reccomendations page to see what are some of the popular and good mousepads out there.