Very few mouspads seem to make my optical mice easier to use. They don't make it track better, and they don't make movement smoother. However, for the last six-plus months I've had my computer set up on my coffee table, and I've used it while sitting on the couch. For a while I was using a cutting board as the surface for my mouse. It worked basically okay, and I definitely needed it when playing World of Warcraft. However, my arm/wrist would end up with a red line where it rested on the edge of the cutting board. It was just too big. Then I hit on the idea of removing the dust jacket on a hardback book and using that. Bingo! Small, and it had the added bonus of actually making the mouse track well and move with just the right amount of friction that I like!
There are lots of problems with computing on the couch though: bad position for my back, inability to use the coffee table for anything else, lack of organized space for office stuff, needing to move the computer whenever I have more than one guest, etc. I wasn't putting the computer on the desk in the bedroom because the light in there sucks. My previous attempts at having the desk in the living room were badly thought out because it ain't that big.
Now I'm attempting it again, with the desk where my fish tank was, and the dish tank in the bedroom. Only the mouse doesn't track well on my desk top, and I hate my sucky mousepads. The book works mostly okay, but it raises the mouse another ¾ inches and the desk is already a bit too high for comfort. Plus it doesn't stay put on the smooth desk surface.
The obvious solution would be to remove the hardcover from the book and just use that. It's a stupid book (The Critical 14 Years of Your Professional Life) but I feel like the world will end if I purposefully destroy a book. It's an awful visceral reaction.