'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?
ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.
When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.
ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.
An ergonomic mouse can be a quick, easy, and affordable way to make your home office or professional workspace more comfortable. Many feature vertical or tilted designs that put your arm, wrist, and hand in a more neutral position to reduce muscle and tendon strain.
Others use thumb-positioned trackballs for cursor movement, eliminating the need to move your whole arm to navigate programs and web pages.
While many mice are right-handed, you can find models with dedicated left-handed or vertical ergonomic mouse designs. I've gathered a list of the best ergonomic mice available and broken down their features to help you find the best one that fits you and your work style.
Also: The 5 best ergonomic office chairs
Tech Specs: Connectivity: USB dongle/USB-C/Bluetooth | Configuration: Vertical, right-handed | Buttons: 4 | Programmable: Yes | Max DPI: 4000 | Sensor: Optical | Compatibility: Windows, Mac, ChromeOS, Linux, iOS, Android
The Logitech MX Vertical is one of the most well-rounded, and best-designed ergonomic mice on the market. Its vertical design puts your hand and forearm into a more natural, handshake-like position to reduce muscle and tendon strain during long days at the computer. The optical sensor has a max DPI of 4,000 for speed and precision, and the conveniently placed DPI switch button lets you choose the sensitivity that best suits your work. Each of the 4 buttons can be programmed for different hotkey inputs or tasks, simplifying your workflow.
It's compatible with just about every operating system, and you can connect the mouse to up to three devices at once, switching between them with the push of a button or simply by moving the cursor to the next screen with the Logitech Flow program. The mouse connects to your computer via USB dongle, USB-C cable, or Bluetooth. The rechargeable battery gives you up to 4 months of use on a full charge, and just one minute of charging gives you 3 hours of use -- which is perfect for when you forget to charge overnight or need a quick top-up before a presentation.
Tech Specs: Connectivity: USB dongle | Configuration: Right-handed | Buttons: 6 | Programmable: No | Max DPI: 1200 | Sensor: Optical | Compatibility: Windows, Mac
You don't have to spend a ton of money to get an ergonomic mouse for your workspace. Cherry, the same company that makes mechanical keyboard switches, has developed an affordable, vertical mouse to help reduce hand, wrist, and forearm strain. The 45-degree angle puts your arm in a more natural position to reduce stress on your muscles and tendons as well as put each of the 6 buttons within easy reach.
The optical sensor has a max DPI of 1200, and you can choose between three different sensitivity levels with the DPI selector button. The mouse runs on two AAA batteries, and it can last up to 6 months before you need to even think about finding more batteries. An LED indicator lets you know well ahead of time when your batteries are getting a bit low. It also comes in a left-handed configuration.
Tech Specs: Connectivity: USB dongle/Bluetooth | Configuration: Right-handed | Buttons: 10 | Programmable: Yes | Max DPI: 2400 | Sensor: Optical | Compatibility: Windows, Mac
Long gone are the days when a trackball mouse looks like some sort of modern art installation. The ProtoArc EM01 has a traditional, right-handed mouse design that places the cursor trackball at your thumb for more comfortable navigation. The optical sensor has a max DPI of 2,400, and you can select different levels of sensitivity with the thumb buttons to suit your work. You can also adjust the tilt angle of your mouse up to 20-degrees for a more natural hand and arm placement. It takes some getting used to, but once you get a feel for how the trackball works, gaming with the EM01 feels as natural as it does with a traditional mouse.
Also: The best gaming PCs
The integrated battery lasts up to 100 days on a single charge and can be recharged by connecting the mouse to your computer via a USB-C cable. The ProtoArc EM01 is also capable of controlling two different devices simultaneously with Bluetooth connectivity. Just press the wireless mode selector button to switch between computers. And if you want to show off a little of your personal style, the mouse has an RGB ring light around the trackball that can be programmed with over 16 million colors and 4 lighting effects.
Tech Specs: Connectivity: USB | Configuration: Left-handed | Buttons: 6 | Programmable: Yes | Max DPI: Not specified | Sensor: Laser | Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux
We lefties tend to get forgotten or outright ignored when it comes to computer peripherals, but Evoluent has designed an ergonomic mouse just for us. It has a vertical design to put your hand and arm in a more natural position as well as to keep all of the 6 buttons within easy reach. You can also program each of the buttons to perform a specific task or set them as hotkeys for actions within programs. The laser sensor has 4 different DPI levels, which you can switch between with the push of a button and see which level you have selected with the handy LED indicator.
Tech Specs: Connectivity: Bluetooth | Configuration: Ambidextrous | Buttons: 1 | Programmable: No | Max DPI: Not specified | Sensor: Optical | Compatibility: Mac, iOS
Mac users aren't left behind when it comes to ergonomic mice. The Apple Magic Mouse features a sleek, ambidextrous design that works well in either hand and a curved surface that fits the palm for more comfortable long-term use.
The top of the mouse also supports touch-based inputs for scrolling, zoom, and swiping. The internal battery gives you up to 8 weeks of use on a full charge, so you can spend more time working and less time worrying about powering your new mouse.
Also: The 6 best Macs
The best ergonomic mouse is the Logitech MX Vertical due to its configuration, compatibility, and comfort. And with a price of under $100, it's a wise and somewhat affordable choice to consider. This table compares the best ergonomic mice based on price, number of buttons, and DPI:
No. of buttons
Logitech MX Vertical
Evoluent VerticalMouse 4
Apple Magic Mouse
As you can tell from this table, we offered a variety of mice based on functionality and price. That way, you could find more options in your budget that suit your needs.
After finalizing your budget, you'll want to find a mouse that is comfortable to use and that will work well with your setup and needs. And when choosing the best ergonomic mice for your needs, there are different types available.
A vertical mouse is easier to get used to since it still has a traditional mouse design (just tilted on its side). Meanwhile, a trackball mouse has a steeper learning curve. Our table below outlines how each mouse we chose fulfills a unique purpose:
Choose this ergonomic mouse...
If you need...
Logitech MX Vertical
A well-rounded ergonomic mouse with three connectivity options
A budget-friendly ergonomic mouse with a comfortable design and exceptional battery life
An ergonomic mouse for PC gaming that controls multiple devices at once
Evoluent VerticalMouse 4
A left-handed ergonomic mouse with adjustable DPI and programmable buttons
Apple Magic Mouse
An ergonomic mouse for Mac devices with an Ambidextrous design and supports touch input
There were multiple factors that impacted our choices. The first of which was price. We wanted to choose a variety of options that met different budgetary needs. We also took into account purposes. On this front, we included ones for office use, gaming, and left-handed users. I also looked for the best designs for long-term comfort for long days at the office.
While there aren't sufficient medical studies to suggest that using an ergonomically designed mouse prevents repetitive stress injuries and carpal tunnel, they can help ease pain associated with these conditions. Putting your hand, wrist, and forearm in a more natural position can help to reduce strain on muscles and tendons. It also helps to reduce fatigue by promoting proper seating posture.
Also: 3 reasons you should use an ergonomic mouse before it's too late
Having an ergonomic mouse also helps with productivity. It achieves this by keeping buttons and scroll wheels close at hand for quick inputs.
By turning the traditional mouse design on its side, a vertical mouse can be a great way to reduce pain and tension caused by carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive stress injuries. With less ergonomic options, you must twist the two bones in your forearms to grip the device, resulting in pinched muscles in your arm and wrists.
Vertical mice have at least a 45-degree angle, which puts your arm and hand in a "handshake" position. In turn, it reduces strain and tension, making long workdays and input-heavy projects more comfortable.
Keep in mind the most effective way to reduce wrist fatigue is to pair your ergonomic mouse with an ergonomic keyboard.
If possible, you should go to a brick-and-mortar store so you can get a feel for how an ergonomically designed mouse will fit into your hand. If you can't test out a mouse before you buy it, make sure to read both positive and negative reviews. Negative reviews can help you identify common problems such as connectivity or battery life issues or any complications that can pop up after months of use.
You'll also want to consider a mouse that lets you program both DPI sensitivity and button layouts for more efficient workflow and better accuracy if you deal with spreadsheets. If you want to eliminate all hand, wrist, and arm movements to alleviate severe discomfort, consider a stationary trackball model, which uses a rolling sphere to move the cursor rather than a mouse sensor. They do take some getting used to, so give yourself time to learn how your trackball mouse works before using it on important projects.
There are plenty of options out there if you're looking for an ergonomically designed mouse for your home office or workspace. Here's a short list of other ergonomic mice I thought were great choices: