The 9 Best Ergonomic Mice
This wiki has been updated 26 times since it was first published in May of 2016. Plenty of professions and hobbies require long hours in front of a computer screen, such as programming; editing text, video, or audio; graphic design; and gaming. If this sounds like you, you’re probably familiar with the pain your hand, wrist, and forearm may experience after hours of using a standard mouse. One of these specially designed mice and trackballs can help. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
July 30, 2021:
It's been quite a while since Logitech released a new flagship mouse, and their Logitech MX Master 3 is still one of the best models on the planet. Similarly, the Logitech MX Vertical is one of the most well-made vertical mice you'll find. The Logitech MX Ergo is a great high-end trackball, while the Logitech Ergo M575 is a very good value, and the Sanwa GMAERG16 would make a quality introduction to vertical mice for those who have never used one. Aside from upgrading to the most recent Newtral Semi-Vertical 3 and adding the Sanwa, our selection hasn't changed since the last update.
April 16, 2020:
There are a few different types of mice recommended for those looking for an ergonomic upgrade. Some are relatively standard but designed to fit just right in the hand; the Logitech MX Master 3 is one of the most advanced of these and is packed with tons of high-end hardware, although it is a bit pricey. The Razer Basilisk v2 and Logitech G502 are expensive and mid-range mice, respectively, and while they're definitely geared toward gamers, that makes them quality ergonomic choices because, after all, long periods of intense gaming sessions demand a supremely comfortable mouse.
While they're significantly more unconventional and tend to have a noticeable learning curve, vertical mice can really change the game if you're suffering from joint pain while using a PC. The Logitech MX Vertical is one of the most well made, and like most of their products it looks, feels, and operates like a premium piece of equipment. The Evoluent VM4R is another great vertical choice.
Halfway between standard and vertical mice, there are a few semi-vertical models that don't have the same learning curve but still allow your arm to move more naturally than a traditional model would. The Newtral Semi-Vertical is a high-end one of these, as evidenced by its removable wrist rest and three available sizes. The Jelly Comb Vertical, meanwhile, is a worthy contender for those hesitant to invest in one of the more extreme models, thanks to its quality design and low price.
Alternately, some users prefer to reduce wrist and arm strain by using a trackball mouse. The Logitech MX Ergo is the more recent evolution of the Logitech M570, and while they differ significantly in price, they're both very good static choices.
Perixx PeriMice Left-Handed If you're left-handed, the cold, hard truth is that most big-name manufacturers just haven't invested much into ergonomic pointing devices for you, which is why you might even have learned to use a right-handed mouse. Perixx is one of the few companies that has actually made a effort to help out your wrists and elbows, and while they only have a few options for southpaws, they're well-made, comfortable, and convenient. perixx.com
Who Stands To Benefit From An Ergonomic Mouse?
The secret is in identifying what’s adversely affecting your health and making the necessary adjustments.
While ergonomic mice are especially useful in reducing pain and discomfort for people suffering from ailments like arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome, switching over from a standard mouse can benefit virtually anyone. You may feel fine now, but if you spend a substantial amount of time working at a computer, you may be at risk of developing one of the conditions mentioned above or sustaining other types of repetitive strain injuries.
Office workers aren’t the only ones to consider. Think about gamers, writers, and even students; in today’s digital age, nearly everyone frequently uses a computer. When you use a mouse, you subject the same exact muscles to small, repetitive movements for prolonged periods of time that can have a greater impact on your long-term health than you may have thought. This pertains to your hand, fingers, and thumb in particular.
When these muscles become overworked and fatigued, it can result in pain, numbness, stiffness, and a restricted range of motion. Even if the strain of these motions doesn’t lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, or another significant injury, there’s a solid chance you’ll have to deal with some nagging discomfort at some point. Do you ever find yourself absent-mindedly cracking your wrist or massaging your hand after hours at the computer? We thought so. We have, too.
Whether it’s intentional or not, some people squeeze the mouse forcefully when using it. With standard mice, it can be difficult to keep your wrist straight; you may bend it up, down, or sideways depending on your posture. Dragging the mouse across its pad requires force, as does clicking it. Many people use too much force in both cases. And, as you may have guessed, all of these factors lead to unnecessary strain on your fingers, hand, wrist, forearms, and shoulders.
On the bright side, an increase in public awareness of this issue has resulted in a rise in the development of ergonomic office devices. Regular mice can be hazardous, but they’re far from the only culprits. Monitors, keyboards, chairs, and workstations all have an effect on our bodies and overall posture. The secret is in identifying what’s adversely affecting your health and making the necessary adjustments.
Features And Functions To Consider
Another way that a standard computer mouse can be hazardous to your health is its awkward placement at your workstation, desk, or table. These surfaces often have limited space, which may cause you to lean forward, reach outwards, or place extra strain on your muscles by assuming other unnatural positions to help you maneuver the mouse.
Some even have a built-in power-saving mode that automatically kicks in when the mouse has been idle for a certain period of time.
Ergonomic mice are designed so that the resting position of your hand, wrist, and arm is more natural. Some require the palm of your hand to be stationed in a vertical, upright position, which prevents the bones in your arm from crossing. Others help curb wrist movement by angling the thumb downward and encouraging you to use your arm more. In most cases, these positions are more comfortable for the user, as well.
Some options may feature an integrated trackball, which requires less forearm movement and force. As long as you’re using the proper technique with the trackball, it can potentially alleviate some of the stress your arm may feel after prolonged computer use.
A variety of models include numerous buttons placed in strategic locations across the device to facilitate certain functions. In many cases, these buttons can be re-programmed to suit your specific needs. These help create a personalized user experience and eliminate the need to reposition your arm to access the keyboard and accomplish certain tasks.
Modern technology can be a wonderful thing. Today, you can choose from ergonomic mice with powerful Bluetooth capabilities, adjustable lighting, and laser tracking systems. Some even have a built-in power-saving mode that automatically kicks in when the mouse has been idle for a certain period of time.
Some of you may prefer utility over style, while others may be seeking the flashiest piece of equipment you can find. Luckily for all of you, there’s no shortage of options or designs. Go with a simple, efficient model that you can learn to use in minutes, or select a sleek, eye-catching device with myriad curves, buttons and functionalities. As long as you’re happy and comfortable, that’s all that matters to us.
Choose The Right Model For You
As you’ve learned, ergonomic mice come in an array of shapes, sizes, and price ranges. Make sure you're aware of a particular product's attributes before you make a purchase, because specific models are designed for different types of hands and to address specific conditions. For example, some brands lag behind in designing left-handed options. If you happen to be a lefty, you’ll want to at least make sure you’re looking into mice with an ambidextrous design.
Unlike standard mice, these models allow you to bend at the elbow rather than at the wrist, and position your thumb so it’s facing up.
There’s an extensive selection of ergonomic mice that feature a vertical design. Unlike standard mice, these models allow you to bend at the elbow rather than at the wrist, and position your thumb so it’s facing up. If you already have a pesky injury or ailment, this will help diminish discomfort. If you’re looking to prevent something like carpal tunnel syndrome, this is a useful option, as well.
As is the case with so many things in life, size also matters. Before you even begin considering the bells and whistles, you’ll want to ensure that the mouse truly fits your hand. The weight is important, as well. If the dragging aspect of a standard mouse is what’s causing you irritation or soreness, you may want to lean toward a lighter option. If you need something to anchor your hand, a heavy model will probably suit you better.
Hold your hand out in front you in a natural position. It’s not completely flat, right? It’s curved. That arch is important to consider when choosing an ergonomic mouse. You want the design to mimic the natural contours of your hand as accurately as possible, so that your wrist and all of your fingers enjoy the support they require. Some options feature a thumb rest, and some don’t. It comes down to personal preference, but a lot of people find that having a natural resting position for the thumb provides comfort and stability.
Finally, check out the style and placement of the thumb wheel and the buttons. Try to identify how much resistance the thumb wheel offers. With this require extra exertion on your part? Will it allow for ease of movement? Consider the number and location of the buttons as well. Are they all easily accessible? Are there too many, which could potentially create confusion?
You may be skeptical about the relevance of all of these factors now, but you’ll be glad you paid attention once you cradle that ergonomic mouse in your hand.