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Grovemade's newly-updated matte desk mat is the easiest way to class up your workspace and is a gateway to the company's larger line of accessories.
There's something to be said for having a good work surface. We aren't talking about your desk itself, but what goes atop it. Desk pads not only elevate the look but have practical benefits.
It protects the top of your desk. It can add some padding below your wrists as you type all day. It can act as a pad for your mouse. Sometimes it can also help your desktop accessories from moving about.
We've seen many variations of these work surfaces. Amazon is flooded with printed neoprene monstrosities that countless office workers added to their online orders as they began working from home.
Grovemade offers three tiers of desk mats, all of which target a different audience and price point. The simplest is the felt desk mat, made from Merino wool. This is what we had been using for the past year or so.
Above that is the matte desk mat, which we're reviewing here. The most premium option is unsurprisingly a full-grain leather variation.
The matte desk mat is unique because it is made from all-natural linoleum. It's made from a combination of linseed oil, pine rosin, wood flour, and calcium carbonate. This creates a durable, non-static, and fingerprint-resistant material that is vegan-friendly.
Under the linoleum is a layer of cork. This provides the perfect amount of padding and give while you work.
This mat comes in five sizes — small which measures 11-by-25 inches, medium at 11.5-by-38 inches, medium plus at 15.75-by-38 inches, large at 26-by-38.5 inches, and finally extra large. The extra-large is a whopping 26.5 inches by 49 inches. All mats clear the calipers at 3.5mm thick, regardless of the surface area you choose.
Quality craftsmanship from start to finish
When you buy from Grovemade, you feel like you're buying something real, something that isn't mass-produced, but painstakingly labored over. When it arrives at your door, you get a handwritten note from whoever packed your shipment.
The mat is rolled, which remains the only possible method of shipping large, flat, then objects. It's wrapped in a simple piece of brown paper with a Grovemade sticker to keep it in place.
There's no plastic here. Nothing that can't readily be recycled or made from recycled materials.
When our new mat arrived, we quickly unfurled it and placed it on our desk aside our green 24-inch iMac. It didn't flatten right away but took a few days before it settled in. For the first couple of days there were bumps along the edges as it adjusted.
Along one edge of the mat is the only branding you'll see. A minimalistic Grovemade wordmark and leaf emblem are etched into the top surface but remain nearly unnoticeable unless you were looking for it.
Should you buy Grovemade's matte desk mat?
This is an exceptional desk covering and ticks the most boxes for users. It isn't leather so it is palatable for vegans. It has a more solid surface so you can write directly only it without your pen tip going through like on felt or leaving imprints with leather. It is also ultra-durable and resists fingerprints and oils for a long lifespan.
As we've used it each day for the past few weeks, we've found it to be very comfortable. Cork provides just enough give to be easier on our wrist than the top of our standing desk and has led to less wrist fatigue while typing.
It also looks very handsome. It is more affordable than the leather but still gives off a similar high-end appearance. Aside from the black, there is a navy colorway too that is wonderfully unique.
Once you try Grovemade's desk pad though, be careful. It can easily act as a gateway purchase to the company's other desktop accessories that are great when paired with your Apple gear.
- Fingerprint resistant
- Ultra durable
- Solid enough to write on
- Cork backing
- All-natural linoleum top
- Black and navy color choices
- Works with all optical mice
- Minimal branding
- Great look and feel
- Quality build
- Not many color options
- Not as soft as leather or felt
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Where to buy
You can find Grovemade's collection of desk pads on its website including the felt, matte, and leather options in various sizes. The matte desk pad starts at $40 for the small and rises to $90 for the extra-large.