Don’t live with tendonitis, RSI, or the dreaded carpal tunnel syndrome - try the best ergonomic mice
If you’ve ever experienced RSI, carpal tunnel syndrome or pain in your arms and shoulders from computer use, then you’ll know how much of a difference the best ergonomic mouse can be. Working long hours with a mouse and keyboard isn’t great for your health, and the mouse can be the worst culprit of them all. Some don’t support your hand or encourage you to grip them in a comfortable position. Pressure on your wrist from the surface of your desk can aggravate or lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, while bad posture can result in tennis elbow. Meanwhile all those small but repeated wrist movements, clicks and wheel-rotating scrolling actions can strain your hand’s muscles and tendons, potentially causing damage over long-term use.
Ergonomic mice are designed to combat these problems. They provide support to hold your hand in a more natural position and encourage a better posture that puts less strain on your wrist and elbow. They place buttons and scroll wheels right where you need them, and make sure that you don’t overwork your hands clicking buttons and scrolling downwards. They can’t cure RSI or carpal tunnel syndrome – at the very least you’ll need to rest – but they can reduce the risks and stop these issues re-emerging, especially if you rethink your posture and working environment at the same time.
How to choose the best ergonomic mouse for you
What should you look for in an ergonomic mouse?
Lots of manufacturers describe their mice as ergonomic, but not all really make the grade. The key requirement is that the mouse is shaped to support your palm and fingers in a natural, comfortable position, and angled so that, rather than lay flat on the desktop, your wrist is encouraged to stay in a more vertical position, relieving any tension or pressure on the muscles and tendons while you move your mouse around. In some cases, this might even mean holding the mouse in a near-vertical or “handshake” grip.
This aside, it’s all about the details. Where are buttons placed? How much pressure does it take to click or press them? Are there wheels or touch-sensitive surfaces, and how comfortable are these to use? Obviously, we all have different hands of different shapes and sizes, not to mention different preferences over feel, sensitivity and button placement, but a good ergonomic mouse gets the fundamentals right for as wide a group as possible.
Like any mouse, an ergonomic mouse has a resolution, measured in terms of dots per inch, or DPI. The higher the DPI the higher the resolution and the smaller the movement the mouse can track and relay accurately to your PC. This matters, especially if you’re doing detailed work, but it’s not something to obsess over. It’s hard to find a mouse with a resolution below 1,000dpi these days, and there’s no absolute guarantee of accuracy. We’ve seen mice with 1,000dpi resolutions track more accurately and reliably than other mice claiming a 4,800dpi resolution.
Wired or wireless?
Most new non-gaming mice these days are wireless, and that goes for ergonomic mice as much as other mice. Most use their own dedicated USB RF transceiver dongle, which will come included in the box – and may be slotted into the mouse upon arrival. However, some models, particularly from Logitech, can also share a dongle with other devices, which can be handy if you have a USB keyboard from the same brand. Others use Bluetooth and may allow you to pair with more than one laptop or PC at once, which is useful if you tend to move between systems while you’re working or want to use your mouse with an office PC during the day but a laptop during the evenings and weekends.
Is there anything else worth looking out for?
If you’re buying wireless – and you probably are – look out for whether the mouse has a built-in lithium-ion battery or needs an AA or AAA battery, and how long the batteries last. Those with a built-in battery don’t tend to last as long without a recharge as some of the AA or AAA models, which can last for up to two years. However, they can just be plugged in when the charge runs out, so you’re rarely caught short.
What about left-handed users?
While there are some specialists making and selling left-handed ergonomic mice, the biggest names tend to focus on right-handed models only. Kensington makes a left-handed version of the Pro-Fit Ergo and we’ve seen left-handed versions of the Anker Wireless Ergonomic Optical. As both are relatively inexpensive, they may be worth a go. Otherwise, southpaws have two options: buy a high-quality ambidextrous mouse, like the Microsoft Comfort Mouse 4500 or Logitech G903 Lightspeed, or adapt to a right-handed mouse.
How we test ergonomic mice
With ergonomic mice, comfort is everything, so to make sure that these mice live up to their promises, we put each one through its paces over several days on a Windows laptop or PC.
We try them out across a range of programs – including web browsers, Office apps, and image- or video-editing apps – to test how accurate and responsive it is, and whether it eases or aggravates discomfort caused by years of mouse use. While our focus is on precision, tracking, and the performance of the primary buttons and scroll-wheel, we also check any additional functions, buttons or wheels to see how well they work, along with any control software provided. Wireless mice are tested using Bluetooth connection and a 2.4GHz USB dongle, where supplied, so that we can check the strength, range and reliability of both wireless connections.
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The best ergonomic mice you can buy in 2024
1. Logitech MX Vertical: Best handshake grip ergonomic mouse
Price when reviewed: £85 | Check price at AmazonBetween the affordable M720 Triathlon and the superb MX Master 3, Logitech already produces some of the most comfortable and usable mice going, and the MX Vertical brings the same attention to detail to the vertical-style ergonomic mouse. The shape supports the hand securely in a handshake grip, with the index and middle fingers resting on the supersized left and right buttons, and the scroll wheel lying in between. The soft-touch plastics and some sculpted ridges stop your hand from slipping, while two customisable forwards and back buttons sit just beneath your thumb on the left-hand side.
All the buttons are tuned for a light but positive click, with just the right amount of feedback, and the tracking is absolutely stellar. The 4,000dpi optical sensor covers anything from precision image retouching to navigating vast Excel spreadsheets, with a toggle button on the top that allows you to switch instantly between two, easily customised speed and sensitivity settings. The MX Vertical connects via USB, a 2.4GHz dongle or Bluetooth, pairing with up to three devices at a time, and it supports Logitech’s excellent Flow software for seamless switching between them – although a little button beneath the mouse will handle the same job. Looking for the best ergonomic mouse out there, and willing to pay for the privilege? This is it.
Key specs – Sensor: Logitech; Max sensitivity: 4,000dpi; Connectivity: Bluetooth, 2.4GHz wireless, USB; Buttons: 4 buttons, 1 wheel; Battery: Internal Li-ion; Dimensions: 79 x 120 x 78.5mm; Weight: 135g
2. Microsoft Bluetooth Ergonomic: Best ergonomic mouse for mobile use
Price when reviewed: £51 | Check price at AmazonThe only problem with many ergonomic mice is that they’re often too big to slip into a laptop case and too large for users with smaller hands. Microsoft’s Bluetooth Ergonomic has neither issue. It’s a compact mouse under 12cm long and just over 4cm high, with a lovely lightweight feel. While it doesn’t have the vertical, handshake design, its curves do a good job of supporting the hand, with an indent and a platform on the left-hand side to rest your thumb.
The layout’s pretty simple, with just two buttons on the left-hand side beyond the standard two clickers and thumbwheel. The clicking action is nice and crisp, though, and accuracy in both normal applications and image-editing apps is top-notch, making it easy to make precise selections or navigate long documents and websites. Frequent wrist-pain sufferers might want something different, but it’s a great option to go with a new slimline laptop and comes in a choice of colours, too.
Key specs – Sensor: Microsoft Optical; Max sensitivity: 2,400dpi; Connectivity: Bluetooth; Buttons: 3 buttons, 1 scroll wheel; Battery: 2x AAA; Dimensions: 76 x 118 x 42mm; Weight: 91g
3. Kensington Pro Fit Ergo: Best quiet ergonomic mouse
Price when reviewed: £50 | Check price at AmazonThe Kensington Pro Fit Ergo mouse has an interesting design, coming halfway between the vertical handshake design and the style of a more conventional mouse. It’s very comfortable, with a longer-than-usual shape and a sizable recess on the left-hand side to support the thumb. There’s a button on the top that cycles through three DPI settings – 800, 1,200 and 1,600dpi – covering high-speed navigation and high-accuracy work.
Perhaps the most notable thing about this mouse, though, is how quiet its buttons are. The click is barely audible, yet there’s enough travel and spring in the buttons that you always know when you’ve left- or right-clicked. It’s powered by a single AA battery which should last for up to a year and works through either Bluetooth or the bundled 2.5GHz USB dongle. It’s a fine, affordable ergonomic mouse – and Kensington even makes a left-handed version.
Key specs – Sensor: Optical; Max sensitivity: 1,600dpi; Connectivity: 2.4GHz USB/Bluetooth; Buttons: 5 buttons, 1 scroll wheel; Battery: 1x AA; Dimensions: 73 x 133 x 60mm; Weight: 94g
4. Logitech Lift: Best ergonomic mouse for smaller hands
Price when reviewed: £70 | Check price at AmazonIf the Logitech MX Vertical has a fault, it’s that it’s a chunky beast that doesn’t really work for smaller hands. Luckily, Logitech has fixed that with its latest ergonomic mouse, the Lift. It’s not as tall as its sibling, nor as long, but it holds your hand in the same handshake position, with a comfy rubberized coating on the rear half to stop your grip from slipping. The button layout also changes slightly, with one customisable button near the wheel, along with the forward and back buttons in the thumb scoop, while the buttons themselves have a lighter, near-silent click – it’s a great mouse for working late at night.
You can connect via Bluetooth or the included Logitech 2.4GHz USB receiver, and the Lift still works with Logitech’s Options software, with a flow feature that means you can work across multiple desktops or devices just by moving the pointer from one screen to the next, though you will need to tell the software how you have your screens arranged beforehand. Plus, while it’s slightly disappointing that it’s powered by an AA battery, it’s concealed, along with the USB dongle, behind a nifty magnetic plate. Well designed, accurate and available in three colours, this is the perfect ergonomic mouse for anyone with small- to medium-sized mitts.
Key specs – Sensor: Optical; Max sensitivity: 4,000dpi; Connectivity: 2.4GHz USB/Bluetooth; Buttons: 5 buttons, 1 scroll wheel; Battery: 1x AA; Dimensions: 73 x 133 x 60mm; Weight: 94g
5. Razer Basilisk V3: Best ergonomic mouse for gaming
Price when reviewed: £70 | Check price at RazerGaming mice come in all shapes and sizes, but the Razer Basilisk V3 might have the best ergonomics of the lot. It’s very light, with a low profile and a comfortable concave thumb grip, and it seems to drift effortlessly across most surfaces with the minimum of effort. It’s the rare gaming mouse that works just as well for design and productivity as gaming, though it’s there that the huge array of sensitivity settings – up to 26,000 dpi – and high polling rate make all the difference.
Each of the Basilisk’s 11 buttons is fully customisable, and its scroll wheel has a “free-spin” mode that switches you out of the normal notched setting into a mode where the wheel spins up and down without restrictions, which can be great for scrolling quickly through long documents or web pages. The faster you spin, the faster the scroll. We’re also big fans of the sensitivity clutch, which slows the movement speed when pressed for careful aiming or precise selections. All in all, it’s a sensational mouse.
Key specs – Sensor: Razer Optical; Max sensitivity: 26,000dpi; Connectivity: USB; Buttons: 11 buttons, 1 HyperScroll Tilt wheel; Battery: N/A; Dimensions: 60 x 130 x 42.5mm; Weight: 101g
6. Kensington Orbit Fusion: Best ergonomic trackball to ditch your mouse for
Price when reviewed: £81 | Check price at AmazonIf the small but repetitive motions involved in using a mouse are playing havoc with your wrists, a trackball might be the answer. Your mouse hand sits still in one position, while your thumb or fingers do the work of navigating around the screen. The Kensington Orbit Fusion is one of the most comfortable trackballs we’ve used. With the large 40mm ball moving smoothly under the fingertips, your right thumb and ring finger handle the left and right mouse buttons. Even if you’ve struggled with trackballs in the past – particularly thumb-controlled models – you might be surprised how quickly using this one becomes second nature.
The rest of the controls show some smart thinking as well. Instead of a scroll wheel, which sometimes aggravates wrist pain, you get a rotating ring around the trackball that you can operate with your fingers or thumb. There’s a triple DPI switch to shift instantly between three different resolutions, plus three additional buttons under the thumb. Where some trackballs can feel cheap and rattly, this one feels rock solid, and – provided you can adapt to a slightly different way of working – it’s a great replacement for the ordinary mouse.
Key specs – Sensor: Laser; Max sensitivity: 800dpi; Connectivity: 2.4GHz wireless; Buttons: 5 buttons, 1 rotating scroll ring; Battery: 1x AA; Dimensions: 100 x 132 x 59mm; Weight: 173g
7. Razer Pro Click Mini: Best fingertip ergonomic mouse
Price when reviewed: £80 | Check price at RazerTo be honest, we doubted whether the tiny, ambidextrous Pro Click Mini counted as an ergonomic mouse. However, the design works fantastically well if you’re a fingertip mouse user, with your fingers resting over the outer shell of the mouse and your palm sitting flat on the desk. It’s not a position we’d recommend to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome sufferers, but it works for a lot of people, and the textured grips on either side of the mouse make it practically effortless to manoeuvre.
Otherwise, this mouse shares many virtues of the larger Basilisk. Sure, it only has half the maximum sensitivity, but even 12,000dpi is more than good enough, while the free-spin, tilting scroll wheel is a big plus when you’re navigating large documents or web pages. In a nice touch, it’ll work with a single battery for a lighter feel or you can insert two for a longer life, with up to 725 hours on a Bluetooth connection, or 465 with the bundled 2.4GHz HyperSpeed USB dongle. You can switch between three Bluetooth devices and one 2.4GHz with the switch and button on the underside. Razer has also fitted quiet micro switches for the buttons, so this is one mouse where your furious clicking won’t keep the household awake at night. The size makes it a great mouse for mobile use, but don’t let its dimensions deceive you; it’s also a comfortable option for daily desktop use.
Key specs – Sensor: Razer Optical; Max sensitivity: 12,000dpi; Connectivity: Bluetooth, 2.4GHz wireless USB; Buttons: 7 buttons, 1 scroll wheel; Battery: 1 or 2x AA; Dimensions: 63 x 100 x 34mm; Weight: 111g
8. Trust Bayo: A great value ergonomic mouse
Price when reviewed: £35 | Check price at John LewisIf the likes of the Logitech MX Vertical are way out of your price range, the Trust Bayo gives you a similar design for a whole lot less, although without the same premium materials or technology. The mouse feels lighter and less substantial, the glossy plastics don’t have the same grip, and the laser sensor maxes out at 2,400dpi. Yet with all this in mind, the Bayo punches above its weight, with three sensitivity settings selected through the button on the top, two extra buttons on the left-hand side and enough accuracy to handle detailed image-editing work.
Thanks to the shape, it’s a very comfortable mouse, supporting your hand in a handshake grip. With a built-in lithium-ion battery, there’s no need to fiddle with the old AAs, and it charges through a USB Type-C cable, although you still need the 2.4GHz USB dongle plugged in to connect. The only mild disappointment is the RGB lighting, which turns out to give you a choice of a soft blue glow or a speedy colour cycling effect. You won’t mistake this for a high-end ergonomic mouse, but it’s a strong, cost-conscious choice.
Key specs – Sensor: Optical; Max sensitivity: 2,400dpi; Connectivity: 2.4Ghz wireless; Buttons: 5 buttons, 1 scroll wheel; Battery: Internal Li-ion; Dimensions: 83 x 109 x 70mm; Weight: 110g