I don't use a mouse pad. My mouse just runs around on my wood desk and seems to work fine for my needs.
Edit: You're talking for a computer mouse right?
The permie formerly known as "Mike Jay"
"Hundreds of years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in or the type of car I drove... But the world may be different because I did something so bafflingly crazy that it becomes a tourist destination"
You used to need a good surface for the old kind with a ball, but with the ones that use an LED (which you should be using since the ball type ones are so old they are like dinosaurs) then all you should need is a surface with enough of a pattern.
The folding plastic table I used to use as a desk has a surface that isn't quite good enough, but even a sheet of white copy paper had enough texture for the sensor. But with my new hanging wall desk, the surface has a wood-like finish so that has enough texture.
I do dislike using a mouse pad because it takes up more space than needed.
Creator of Shire Silver, a precious metals based currency. I work on a permaculture farm. Old nerd. Father.