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Which desk protectors are best?

When you purchase a new desk, it’s normal to want to keep it from scratching, wearing or staining. The best desk protector can keep your desk smooth and clean for longer, especially if the space is used regularly.

Whether you use your desk for drawing, homework or pounding away at your computer keys throughout a workday, a desk protector can guard your desk against a variety of harm. If you’re looking for something stylish and functional, be sure to consider the Satechi Eco-Leather Deskmate. It will add charm while protecting your desk from harm.

What to know before you buy a desk protector

Surface type

Desk protectors typically come in one of two surface types: textured or smooth. The best surface type for you depends on how you intend to use your desk protector. If you plan on doing a lot of handwriting or want to use your desk protector as a mouse pad, then going with something smooth will be best. However, if you want a little more grip for your computer, then a textured surface is ideal. Some desk protectors are reversible for flexibility in surface type and design. 

Underside grip

The best desk protectors don’t slide around the surface of your desk throughout a workday or homework session. While you can use double-stick tape to keep your desk protector in place, the best desk protector has a non-slip backing to keep it from moving.


Before settling on a desk protector, make sure it will fit on your desired desk. Measure the surface area of your desk so you know the maximum size possible for a desk protector. Then consider how large (or small) you want your desk protector so it fits your computer, mouse and keyboard. A desk protector that’s too large can look awkward and bulky while something that’s too small will make the process of fitting everything impossible.

What to look for in a quality desk protector


The material of your desk protector matters, more than just for the desired surface area. A non-slip desk protector is best, but you want to consider more than just this for your desk protector. Something that’s heat-resistant will help withstand the warmth from your computer. A water-resistant desk protector will also be beneficial if you ever drink your morning coffee or a glass of water at your desk. The best materials for a desk protector bounce back from handwriting dents, coffee spills and regular dusting and cleaning. 

Size and shape

There is a wide variety of sizes and shapes when it comes to desk protectors. Most are larger than 12 x 20 inches, and some are big enough to fit even large desk surfaces. You can find desk protectors with pockets or grooves to make holding papers or handwriting easier. Consider your ideal desk layout and then select a desk protector pad that supports your vision.


A desk protector that falls apart after a few months of use isn’t going to do a satisfactory job of protecting your desk from scratches and stains. The best desk protector mat will be durable enough to withstand daily wear and tear. Beware of cheap materials and poor craftsmanship when considering what desk protector is best for you. Reinforced stitching will keep the edges from fraying.

How much you can expect to spend on a desk protector

Some small desk protectors cost between $10-$20, though larger, more durable desk protectors are in the $20-$50 range.

Desk protector FAQ

Are desk protectors heat-resistant?

A. Some but not all desk protectors have heat-resistant technology. Some cheaper desk protectors may melt under the heat of a charging laptop. Consider your choices carefully before purchasing.

Can you write on a desk protector?

A. Yes, some desk protectors are designed to provide a smooth surface for writing. Examine the surface type of your desk protector before purchasing to ensure it is suitable as a writing surface.

What are the best desk protectors to buy?

Top desk protector

Satechi Eco-Leather Deskmate

Satechi Eco-Leather Deskmate

What you need to know: This attractive, high-quality tech desk protector mat is the perfect office accessory to keep your desk in beautiful condition.

What you’ll love: Designed out of an eco-friendly leather alternative material, this desk protector is water-resistant and safe for all desk surfaces. Expect a luxurious feel, versatile styling options and a material type that is ideal for many office purposes. 

What you should consider: Some disappointed users say their product came damaged and that it arrived with a strange smell needing airing out.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top desk protector for the money

Gray Desk Pad / Felt Mat

Gray Desk Pad / Felt Mat

What you need to know: This polyester felt desk protector pad will keep your desk looking cute and scratch-free.

What you’ll love: With six colors to choose from and multiple sizing options, you’re sure to find a desirable, affordable desk protector here. Due to the felt material, expect keyboard sounds to lessen. Enjoy the elegant, minimalistic design and have your choice of either round or straight corners.

What you should consider: Due to the felt material, this desk protector does not work well with a computer mouse so consider getting an additional mousepad if needed. 

Where to buy: Sold by Etsy

Worth checking out

Clear Acrylic Desk Mat Pad

Clear Acrylic Desk Mat Pad

What you need to know: If you’re looking for a straightforward, clear desk protector that’s water-resistant and easy to clean, this is a great choice for you.

What you’ll love: Protect your desk from scratches and spills with this clear acrylic desk protector. You can easily (and safely!) display pictures, calendars and notes without disturbing your workstation. Its smooth surface makes it easy to clean and comfortable to write on.

What you should consider: This seller does not allow returns, so be sure you select the size you really want before hitting the “purchase” button.

Where to buy: Sold by Etsy

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Abbey Ryan writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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