Throughout history, one piece of furniture has proved its place atop the pantheon of mankind’s tools. Holding up the arms of the greatest writers and thinkers, giving purchase to the pen of the world’s legislators and literates, there for the youngest student, there for the eldest governor. The desk is always with us.

And it comes in many forms. Wood is the tried, true and trusted material, but metal, marble and plastic all have their moments. And as far as style, good luck trying to name them all. Fact is, the desk is as diverse and developed as any piece of human craft. Why, then, do we let them go unprotected and uncovered?

The desk has a thousand uses and a thousand styles, but it’s only as good as its top. 

Above and beyond

It’s critical to have the best writing surface possible on your desk. Writing letters, sketching or drawing with pencil and paper, even the menial jotting down of notes… Natural grain and reclaimed materials are going to fight you on all of these. Soft or uneven grain can throw your pen tip left and right, and drawing or writing consistently on a soft finish can harm the surface. Ever noticed all the little marks on your desk’s surface? Custom neoprene desk mats aren't a terrible choice either, but tend to be softer and work better for precise mouse movements. 

It's important to be know what type of surface your desk has and how to protect it and get the best out of it. Lacquer and polyurethane are finishes that can help to even out inconsistencies and provide some hard resistance to pressure from your pen, helping it write better. Glass writing surfaces are some of the very best for smooth handwriting. They’re also easy to clean and super durable, which only helps the longevity of the desk itself.

Take a moment to check the description of the item in Amazon, or wherever else you’re shopping. In Amazon the material will be listed under “Top Material Type” in the details just above the “About this item” section. 

The best desk mat picks

What do you do if don’t have the best desk surface? Maybe you already own a desk that you like, and you don’t want to get anything different? Or maybe it’s not in the budget to go desk shopping right now. A great option is to look for desk pads. These can be found in different sizes and materials, so there’s likely one that will work for your setup. 

Krystalview Desk Pad with Microban

For something simple, Artistic’s KristalView desk pad with Microban costs only $60. It’s got non-slip grip to keep it in place, but there’s space to slide photos and other mementos underneath if you’re the sentimental type. And it’s infused with an antimicrobial product to keep it clean.

Deskpad cover top surface, scratch-free transparent quality 

AMPAD'S Affordable Desk Pad

Or try something like Ampad’s plain paper desk pad. At an affordable $18, it’s basically a giant sketch pad for any desk. Great for doodling and jotting down notes

ampad desk pad simple transparent corner holds quality affordable

 

Bonded Leather Desk Pad by Dacasso

Then there’s the beautiful leather desk mats. One we like is by Dacasso. For around $70, it features wrapped edging and felt backing. Overall, it looks really classy and won’t damage or ding your desk in any way.

 bonded leather desk pad brown quality smooth finish beautiful product 

Custom Neoprene Desk Mat

Neoprene is the best middle ground option, that's why we saved it for last. If you need a comfortable, multi-purpose desk pad that will protect your desk, can be used for light writing, and for precise mouse movements, this is your best bet. LoveDeskMats.com custom desk mat starts at $24.99 and come in multiple sizes, 10x16 to 18x36 inches.

The great thing about neoprene desk mats is that you can get custom images printed on them, such as a family collage, favorite photo, business logos, the ideas are limitless. Neoprene is also super easy to clean and maintain.

 

Did you know how important your desk surface was? Did you realize how few people take it seriously? Let us know if we’ve missed any great picks!