• February 26, 2024, 3:18 am

The best ergonomic mouse for you in 2023 SoftAIT

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Update : Tuesday, November 7, 2023

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Whether you spend long hours at a computer each day or only sit to check emails intermittently, the likelihood of developing joint discomfort, carpal tunnel, and other wrist-related disorders increases with every minute spent at the desk, which is why you need to use an ergonomic mouse. Finding the best ergonomic mouse for your personal setup will mitigate the common causes of these problems by allowing your wrist and hand to maintain a more natural position while working to decrease tension in the tendons and nerve pathways of the area. Because all activities that require repetitive hand movements and unnatural hand positions risk causing inflammation to the sensitive areas of the hand, long-term ailments like tendonitis and arthritis are extremely common in office settings.

While this effect can be offset by good practices and preventative measures—like stretching, massaging, and muscle rest—it is just as important to use ergonomic office accessories to tackle the underlying cause of these issues. Users currently experiencing these symptoms and those looking to prevent them can all benefit from using well-designed computer accessories. From a vertical mouse to a trackball mouse and everywhere in between, we’ll break down some of the features of the best ergonomic mice on the market that will benefit any user’s well-being.

How we chose the best ergonomic mice

When looking for the best ergonomic mouse for particular needs, we factored in the specific activities you’d use it for, whether gaming, photo editing, general productivity, or a mix of uses. Existing hand and wrist issues, budget, space, and equipment sharing were also important considerations to keep in mind. For the vast majority of users, an ergonomic mouse that most resembles a traditional mouse both in form factor and usage will be the easiest to adjust to and the easiest to learn.

The benefits of ergonomic mice tend to increase as the form factor shifts away from conventional designs, with some involving sideways, or “vertical” designs that require a click movement that’s closer to pulling a trigger than pushing a button. With this in mind, we researched and tried firsthand designs that split the difference between fully vertical and traditional so you can find your perfect balance of familiarity and versatility. We sit at our desks far too much, scrolling through the internet to find the latest, greatest products, so we are deeply invested in tech that can ease wear and tear on our bodies.

The best ergonomic mouse: Reviews & Recommendations

The best ergonomic mouse overall will feature a shape that allows the hand to fall naturally over the surface of the mouse instead of requiring the palm to tilt down and back toward the user, which will take pressure off the tendons in the wrist. A design that offers a dedicated, expanded grip area for users’ thumbs can add greatly to ergonomic benefits as well. You should also look for traditional features, like dedicated scroll wheels that are easy to access with minimal finger movement required and wireless connectivity to allow a full range of desktop motion when needed. Pair one of the mice below with a properly ergonomic desk and chair setup, and your body will immediately thank you for investing in its health.

Best overall: Logitech MX Master 3S

Brandt Ranj / Popular Science

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Specs

  • Wireless: Yes
  • Weight: 5 ounces
  • Price: $99.99

Pros

  • Thumb rest
  • Extra programmable buttons
  • Ultra-responsive scroll wheel

Cons

We’re big fans of Logitech accessories in general, and the Logitech MX Master 3S is the best ergonomic mouse overall thanks to its comfortable hybrid design, flexibility, and a multitude of productivity-enhancing features. Its battery lasts up to 70 days on a single charge and offers around three hours of use from one minute of charging. A dedicated thumbwheel and controls above the thumb rest offer superior flexibility while demanding little hand movement, and it’s ready to use with multiple operating systems.

This mouse may look intimidating, but it feels immediately natural in the hand. The MX Master 3S buttons are extremely quiet—so much so that we can wholeheartedly recommend this mouse for office use—and the scroll wheel moves along with satisfying, incremental clicks. Initially, we didn’t know what to make of the thumb wheel but found it incredibly useful when working in image editing applications, which is when horizontal scrolling was most helpful. You need this mouse if you work in Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign.

One of the MX Master 3S’ most convenient features is the ability to pair it with up to three Bluetooth devices. A button on the bottom of the mouse lets you switch between connections, but it will never get pressed accidentally as you’re mousing around. We could use the mouse with both our personal and work laptops and switch between them without a hitch. While testing this mouse, the biggest surprise was the usefulness of Logitech’s Logi Options software, which allows us to designate a specific function to the mouse’s scroll wheel click and side buttons. Accessing core system features without taking our hand off the mouse was a huge time saver.

Logitech’s MX Master 3S is an ergonomic triumph, but it’s such a powerful, precise instrument that we could recommend it to anyone looking for a wireless mouse for creative work.

Best for gaming: Razer Viper V2 Pro

Razer Viper V2 Pro

Specs

  • Wireless: Yes
  • Weight: 1.87 ounces
  • Price: $128.20

Pros

  • Ambidextrous
  • 30k optical sensor
  • Lightweight

Cons

An ergonomic mouse is a must-have accessory for gamers because playing online matches requires constant movement and clicking, which can cause RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) if done with the wrong tool. Razer’s Viper V2 Pro is small, light, and designed to use with either hand. If you’re a left-handed person using a mouse designed for right-handed people, you may feel discomfort regardless of what you use your computer for.

We like the ergonomic benefits of the Viper V2 Pro, but it’s also a beast on the performance front. The mouse’s optical sensor is incredibly precise and allows the mouse to be used on any surface. Many gamers shun wireless peripherals because of latency (lag) between their actions (movement, button clicks) and what’s represented on screen. Still, Razer says its mouse can communicate with your computer 25% faster than the competition. If you’re still worried about latency, plug the Viper V2 Pro into your computer with the included USB cable. Additionally, the mouse can run for over 80 hours per charge, which is helpful if you often game and forget to plug it in.

Razer has a solid track record of making incredibly compelling accessories for gamers, and it’s made sure that the Viper V2 Pro mouse is efficient and comfortable to use for everybody. If you’re partial to wireless accessories but think you can’t use them for gaming, this mouse is an even better choice.

Best vertical mouse for arthritis: Logitech Lift Vertical Wireless Mouse

Logitech Lift

Brandt Ranj / Popular Science

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Specs

  • Wireless: Yes
  • Weight: 4.4 ounces
  • Price: $64.44

Pros

  • Thumb rest
  • Bluetooth and receiver wireless options
  • Programmable side buttons

Cons

  • Shape may not be for everyone

While members of the PopSci staff have previously lauded the Logitech Lift, I’d never tried a vertical mouse until testing this one and was initially apprehensive about trying a pointing device so differently shaped than the one I’ve been used to for over 20 years. It turns out my fears were unfounded, as the Logitech Lift was immediately intuitive—and more importantly comfortable—to use.

Logitech allows you to pair the Lift to your PC or Mac over Bluetooth or a USB-A adapter stored in the mouse’s battery compartment so you don’t lose it. I opted for Bluetooth, and the mouse was immediately recognized by my MacBook Pro. What struck me about the Lift was how natural it felt under my hand. Its thumb rest cradles my thumb, while my pointer and index fingers fall immediately onto the right and left click buttons. My thumb could easily reach the Lift’s two side buttons without much movement, while reaching the scroll wheel with either my pointer or index finger was just as simple. There was no learning curve to using this mouse; if anything, going back to a “normal” one felt foreign.

The Lift’s scroll wheel isn’t as smooth as the one on Logitiech’s MX Master 3S featured above, but it was ultra responsive. I never scrolled too far while using this mouse. Similarly, all four of its buttons worked 100% of the time, with nary a misclick in sight. It’s important to note that the mouse’s side buttons—located by the thumb rest—make louder clicking sounds than the comparatively soft top buttons. Neither set sounds annoying, but it’s something to consider. Clicking in the mouse’s scroll wheel button actually produces a sound that’s somewhere in between sound-wise.

A big part of the Logitech Lift’s appeal is customizing its buttons using the company’s LogiOptions+ software, available on both macOS and Windows. The app allows you to customize the Lift’s side and scroll wheel click buttons. I immediately customized the mouse’s side buttons to shift between virtual desktops and used the mouse click button to engage Mission Control, which shows all the active windows on my current virtual desktop. These customizations save me precious seconds dozens of (if not over 100) times daily and are essential for maintaining my productivity.

If you’ve wanted to give vertical mice a chance, Logitech’s Lift will ease you into using this type of pointing device. Its comfort, customizability, and overall performance make it an excellent choice for any desktop. Better still, a left-handed version is available so everybody can use it.

Best horizontal: Cherry MW 8C Ergo

Cherry MW 8C Ergo

Brandt Ranj / Popular Science

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Specs

  • Wireless: Yes
  • Weight: 4 ounces
  • Price: $49.99

Pros

  • Thumb rest
  • Bluetooth and receiver wireless options
  • Programmable side buttons

Cons

  • Software incompatible with MacOS
  • Clicky buttons may be too loud for some

There’s a lot to like about Cherry’s MW 8C Ergo, and it has feature parity with many of the other ergonomic mice we’re recommending—if you’re running Windows. Physically, the horizontal mouse has a gentle curve, with a shape that will be instantly recognizable to most people. The big differences here are the mouse’s thumb rest and arched top, which make it comfortable to use for extended periods.

Setting up the MW 8C Ergo was a simple affair. The company allows you to pair the mouse to your computer with either a USB adapter stashed in a hole on its underside or via Bluetooth. I always opt for Bluetooth, and my MacBook Pro saw the mouse within a few seconds. With a single click, the two devices were connected. Once paired, I used the MW 8C Ergo to help complete my daily work of scrolling through websites and opening and switching between different applications—from word processors to image-editing software.

The mouse felt comfortable to hold, with the thumb rest providing ample space for my thumb and my pointer and middle fingers draped over the right and left click buttons. The thumb rest also provided easy access to the MW 8C Ergo’s side buttons—more on that in a little bit. In general, I found this mouse’s scroll wheel to feel and perform well; I never scrolled too far because it clicked at regular enough intervals that I could stop at the exact point I wanted to. All of this mouse’s buttons make a pronounced clicking sound, which could be a pro or con, depending on your preferences.

Overall, I found the MW 8C Ergo’s build quality and performance to be on-par with other ergonomic mice I tested, which is great considering its lower price. Unfortunately, my issues with this mouse have to do with its software, which is Windows only. I run macOS on my personal and work computer, so I could not install Cherry’s Keys utility, which is required to customize the mouse’s side buttons. This meant I couldn’t make the MW 8C Ergo a seamless part of my workflow. This won’t be an issue if you run a Windows machine, but macOS users should be aware. With that caveat aside, Cherry’s MW 8C Ergo is a performant, inexpensive wireless ergonomic mouse.

Logitech ERGO M575 is the best ergonomic mouse

Specs

  • Wireless: Yes
  • Weight: 5.11 ounces
  • Price: $49.99

Pros

  • Trackball
  • Customizable buttons
  • Made from sustainable materials.

Cons

  • May take some time to adapt to

A trackball mouse allows you to move your computer’s cursor by rotating a ball on its thumb rest instead of physically moving the mouse. This allows you to use the M575 ERGO on small desks, airplane tray tables, or anywhere there’s little space. This style of mouse isn’t for everyone—especially if you’d like to actually rest your thumb on a flat surface—but worth considering if you’re experiencing strain on your middle and pointer fingers.

The mouse itself is shaped in such a way that your pointer and middle fingers will fall naturally on top of the mouse’s right and left click buttons. The ERGO M575’s auxiliary buttons are located on the left side of the left click button, where they can be easily accessed by your middle finger.

The ERGO M575 shares a lot of features with the other Logitech ergonomic mice we’re recommending, including support for Logi Options+, which allows you to customize the actions of its auxiliary buttons. It can be connected to your computer wirelessly using the included USB receiver or over Bluetooth, and runs on a single AA battery. Additionally, the ERGO M575 mouse is made in part from recycled plastics, which is great if you’re trying to make your work setup more sustainable.

Best wired: Lizsword Wired Gaming Mouse

Specs

  • Wireless: No
  • Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Price: $16.99

Pros

  • Programmable LEDs
  • Customizable buttons
  • Price

Cons

  • Less convenient to use than wireless mice

This wired gaming mouse from Lizsword is the best wired ergonomic mouse we could find, especially given its sub-$20 price tag. Advanced features like the ability to change the mouse’s sensitivity using a physical button instead of software, built-in LEDs, and additional customizable buttons make it a great overall pick if you don’t mind a mouse that needs to be plugged in at all times. That one annoyance comes with the benefit of never needing to charge the mouse or worrying about its battery level if you take it traveling. If you’re only going to use your ergonomic mouse at a desk, there’s no real downside to choosing a wired one instead of going wireless besides convenience.

Ridges on the sides of the mouse make it easier and more comfortable to grip, while protruding side buttons are easy to find and hit without looking down. Lizsword says its mouse’s right and left click buttons can be pressed over five million times without showing signs of degradation. The company also provides software that allows you to change the function of each of this mouse’s buttons to make it easier to use. You also have the option to change its sensitivity this way. If you prefer to use wired accessories or want to save a few bucks, this is the ergonomic mouse to get.

Best budget wireless: Microsoft Sculpt

Microsoft Sculpt is the best ergonomic mouse

Specs

  • Wireless: Yes
  • Weight: 5.47 ounces
  • Price: $37.28

Pros

  • Curved design
  • Thumb rest
  • Price

Cons

Microsoft has been at the forefront of the ergonomic computer accessory revolution for years, and its Sculpt mouse continues that tradition. The wireless mouse has a thumb scoop on the side and a moderately sloped surface, making it the best ergonomic horizontal mouse on the market. A dedicated button offers Windows users quick access to the Start menu, and it connects to users’ systems via an included USB transceiver. USB receivers are more cumbersome than using a mouse that connects via Bluetooth, but it’s still easier than using a mouse with a cable.

The Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Mouse runs off of two AA batteries (might we recommend rechargeable ones) and offers a battery life of up to 12 months before needing replacement. Importantly, the mouse works with both Macs and Windows computers despite it being made by Microsoft. Our only minor qualm with Microsoft’s ergonomic mouse is its small size, which may make it a little difficult to use if you’ve got bigger hands. If that isn’t a concern, or you’d like a mouse that’s ultra-affordable, this is a solid choice.

What to consider when shopping for the best ergonomic mouse

There are dozens of factors to consider when judging ergonomic tech accessories because everybody’s definition of comfort is slightly different. We can’t account for the size of your hand or wrist sensitivity but we have considered how most people use mice for work and play.

Gaming performance

Even outside the realm of ergonomic computer accessories, gaming mice are set apart from traditional computer mice by using designs that favor comfort, precision, and speed, especially over longer periods of use.

When choosing an ergonomic gaming mouse, it’s not uncommon to find designs with a wealth of easy-to-access onboard programmable buttons that allow users to bind specific functions or actions to their specialized mouse. This extended functionality is miles ahead of that offered by traditional mice and has beneficial applications in gaming as well as graphic design, media editing, and more. High-speed, low-latency responsiveness, and wireless connectivity are key features to look for in the best ergonomic gaming mice to ensure that every small movement made translates accurately and precisely to the screen. For users looking to customize their PC gaming rig’s visual design fully, it’s also important to seek out an ergonomic gaming mouse that includes customizable chroma lighting to ensure a proper match to the rest of their computer accessories.

Vertical orientation

Arthritis is an ailment as unsavory as it is common. It usually begins due to—or is exacerbated by—repetitive movements that can include typing on a keyboard or scrolling with a mouse. The best ergonomic mouse for arthritis will allow users to keep their fingers, hand, and wrist in a position that minimizes joint stress, thereby decreasing the likelihood of contributing to joint swelling and worsening symptoms. Left untreated or unaddressed, arthritis-related swelling in the wrist can lead to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome, which can contribute to numbness, tingling, and pain in the fingers.

When looking for an ergonomic mouse for arthritis, choose a vertical mouse model that allows the hand and wrist to sit in a natural position, angled with the pinky finger closer to the desk surface. Doing so will decrease twisting in the joints and ligaments and reduce pressure in the forearm and wrist area, as well as limit the overall muscle use required for mouse movement. Look for a model that includes a thumb rest, too, as it will encourage and contribute to maintaining a more neutral resting position overall.

Horizontal orientation

In the world of computer accessories, the term “horizontal mouse” refers to the orientation of the user’s palm, which is why most traditional computer mice are classified as horizontal mice. The best ergonomic horizontal mouse will take some of the benefits of vertical mice and split the difference with traditional designs, allowing users to enjoy some, but not all, of the perks of an ergonomic model. Remember that a horizontal orientation will always put some measure of stress on the wrist and forearm, so a horizontal mouse isn’t a good choice for users with existing wrist, hand, and arm issues.

The vast benefits of choosing an ergonomic horizontal mouse are apparent when productivity and flexibility are the primary goals. Because of the design parallels to traditional computer mice, an ergonomic horizontal mouse will feel familiar in users’ hands, making it a good choice for office environments where there will be equipment sharing. No practice is required to use an ergonomic horizontal mouse, so users can simply sit down and begin enjoying a relatively more comfortable experience with no delay.

Trackball support

Trackball mouse designs have long been popular alternatives to traditional computer mice thanks to the intrinsic ergonomic benefits of the design. The best trackball mouse, such as the Logitech ERGO M575, requires no wrist movement whatsoever, opting instead to allow users to control the cursor with minute movements of the fingers or thumbs by freely rolling the trackball in its place. By eliminating the need for wrist and arm movement on the desktop, the likelihood of developing or exacerbating wrist and arm problems through use of a trackball mouse is very low.

When looking for the best ergonomic mouse with a trackball, find a design that combines a vertical tilt or pitch for the users’ hand to lay comfortably while clicking and a model with a removable and cleanable trackball for added longevity and flexibility. The limited movement requirements of a trackball mouse have benefits beyond the users’ wrists and hands, allowing these models to be used in especially cramped desk environments and making them a flexible option for productive work in almost any location.

Price

You don’t have to spend an unreasonable amount to enjoy the benefits of an ergonomic mouse, but there are a few sacrifices in design and flexibility that you’ll have to keep in mind if you’re looking to save money on these office accessories. More advanced features like trackball functionality and wireless connectivity drive up the price of ergonomic mice considerably, so you’ll most likely have to opt for a design that keeps you tethered to your computer via cabling and that requires some measure of wrist and arm movement. The best cheap ergonomic mouse will typically provide users with a horizontal design that allows the fingers and hand to fall naturally over the top of the mouse with limited arching or angling of the wrist. If you’re already suffering from symptoms of arthritis or carpal tunnel, it only makes sense to spend a little extra on a trackball or vertical design. Still, if you’re looking for a low-impact and easy-to-use ergonomic mouse on a budget, there are plenty of options for users like you.

FAQs

Q: How do I choose an ergonomic mouse?

If you have existing wrist and hand issues, going straight to a vertical mouse design is an easy way to ensure relief. Users with arthritis may want to steer clear of trackballs, however, due to the demands they place on finger movement. If you’ll be gaming or you’re looking for a more familiar feel, a horizontal ergonomic mouse may be the best option.

Q: What is the most comfortable mouse?

All of the best ergonomic mice on the market are designed to cut down on the aches, strains, and discomfort that come from the repetitive use of traditional office equipment. A vertical mouse is one of the most comfortable pieces of computer equipment available, as it allows the hand to rest in a natural, neutral position during use.

Q: Can using a mouse hurt my wrist?

Yes. Continuing to use a mouse that forces you to hold onto it uncomfortably can cause RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) over time.

Q: What is the best mouse to use for carpal tunnel?

The best ergonomic mouse overall for carpal tunnel sufferers is the Logitech MX Vertical Wireless Mouse, thanks to its natural shape that takes the pressure off of the wrist and forearm area, allowing for the release of tension in the area. Any comparable vertical mouse that promotes a healthy hand position will offer users some relief from the compression that traditional computer accessories may demand.

Q: How much does an ergonomic mouse cost?

This depends on the ergonomic mouse’s features—especially the number of additional buttons—but you shouldn’t need to spend more than $100 on a premium ergonomic mouse. Some of our other recommendations cost well under $50.

Final thoughts on choosing the best ergonomic mouse for you

Finding the best ergonomic mouse for your desk will make a significant positive impact on the long-term health of your body by limiting tension in the joints and ligaments of your hand, wrist, and forearm. If you have existing carpal tunnel or arthritis, go with a vertical mouse that doesn’t have a trackball. A horizontal mouse is the best choice for gaming and overall flexibility. In contrast, a trackball mouse is a perfect choice for a desk with limited space or users with limited arm mobility.

Why trust us

Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.

Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.



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