The Best Ergonomic Mouse of 2020
In addition, if you use multiple computers that have Bluetooth connectivity you can quickly swap between as many as three of them with the press of a button on the bottom of the mouse.
While this is a great mouse, it may not be for everyone. It is a little bulky, making it cumbersome to move around — especially if you have smaller hands. We don't like that it lacks an indicator letting you know which CPI setting you are in. Additionally, if the computer you are using has a Bluetooth connection and you don't have use for the included dongle, there, unfortunately, is no place to store it. Despite these minor shortcomings, we think the Logitech MX Vertical is a terrific mouse for almost everyone.
If you are trying to limit your wrist movement, don't have much desk space, or are open to the possibility of trying a novel product, look no further than the Logitech MX Ergo. It is a well-designed, comfortable ergonomic trackball mouse with at least as many features as a traditional mouse. This gem is rechargeable and can quickly switch between 2 computers with the press of a button. Trackball mice can take some getting used to, but the Logitech MX Ergo makes it a little bit easier with its precision button. Activating the precision setting will slow down the cursor, giving you more control while clicking. You can also switch effortlessly between two adjustable angles (0° and 20°) to find a more comfortable resting position.
There are a few drawbacks with this trackball mouse. You need a tool to remove the trackball instead of being able to pop it out with a finger in order to clean it. Like its siblings, this model also lacks storage space for the dongle. Though the angle adjustment plate uses a pretty strong magnet to stay attached, you can end up losing it. Without the angle adjustment plate, the mouse becomes unstable and can wobble around, making it uncomfortable to handle. Even with these minor inconveniences, we think the Logitech MX Ergo is a superb trackball mouse for anyone willing to give it a chance.
The Anker 2.4 G Vertical is your best bet for an ergo mouse on a budget. This lightweight vertical-style model has a neat auto-shutoff feature to preserve battery life. After around 8 minutes of non-use, it shuts itself off completely and can be "woken-up" with a click of the mouse button. We are pleasantly surprised that when changing CPI settings, the change was followed by a flashing LED to indicate the current setting. Another great feature is the Anker's onboard dongle storage. This is a must for laptop users who are constantly on the move.
On the downside, batteries are not included, so you'll need to provide 2 AAA batteries to get up and running. And of course, they'll need to be replaced from time to time, which is a hidden cost not common to other models. That said, we have been able to get over 6 months of use out of AAA batteries before they needed replacing. Finally, this mouse doesn't have Bluetooth but instead uses a dongle to connect to a computer. All things considered, these critiques are minor in light of its competitive price point. As such, we recommend the Anker 2.4 G Vertical to anyone who wants to try out a vertical ergonomic mouse but doesn't need anything too fancy.
With its removable palm rest, the J-Tech Digital V628 Vertical brings something new to the table. This versatility gives you the option to use the mouse more like a vertical mouse. Though this technically isn't a joystick mouse it did at times feel like one during testing. This model has innovative forward and back buttons, with more than enough space to accommodate all of our fingers. Instead of the traditional right/ left configuration, the J-Tech's buttons are above and below your thumb providing unencumbered access. While the LED strip around the edge isn't a necessity, it does bring a little flare to a workstation. To turn this feature on/off, look for a switch on the bottom opposite the CPI button.
As with most gadgets, this mouse had a few drawbacks. The buttons are on the large side and a little sensitive. Occasionally, we found it easy to inadvertently press the right mouse button when moving the cursor across the screen. Additionally, it was difficult to avoid depressing the right mouse button with our ring finger when using the scroll wheel. We opted for more of a fingertip grip style with our pisiform support by the palm rest. If you are having a tough time deciding between a vertical mouse and a joystick mouse, we think the J-Tech Digital V628 Vertical will be right up your alley.
The Jelly Comb Ergonomic Mouse is designed with the small-handed in mind. It features a shorter length and a more slender body than the typical vertical mouse. The CPI selector is in an accessible spot, but out of the way enough, it won't be accidentally pressed while the mouse is in use. Last, but not least, we can't forget the dongle storage located under the battery cover — a feature we appreciate.
While the Jelly Comb's clicks are almost silent, its browsing buttons and scroll wheel are not. This annoyance is compounded by the lack of a CPI indicator to let you know which selection you have made. We were pleased that the thumb rests on a nice ledge, but the browsing buttons located at the top of the mouse are a bit of a reach even for those with larger thumbs. Finally, a battery isn't included, so you need to have one around to get going. Despite these shortcomings, the Jelly Comb remains a reasonably priced unit for small-handed users looking for a vertical mouse.
The Logitech M570 Wireless Trackball is a great option for budget-conscious shoppers. The trackball rolls freely in its socket making it easy to zip the cursor around on your monitor. The mouse is kept securely in place with grippy rubber feet allowing you to spin the trackball with abandon. It also includes onboard dongle storage — we are big fans of this feature if you can't tell. Moreover, the dongle is low profile, reducing the risk of damage if left plugged into a laptop during transport. Conveniently, the unit features a battery indicator to notify you when its single AA battery (included) is getting low.
There is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to trackball mice. Specifically, tasks like selecting text or closing windows can be challenging while getting used to the mouse. The M570 also lacks a precision button making these common tasks a hassle. All mice need to be cleaned periodically but more so with the trackball variety as dust collects in the socket increasing the rolling resistance. Yet, despite this maintenance and the adjustment period, the Logitech M570 remains a solid trackball mouse at a price that's hard to beat.
The iClever Vertical is another great inexpensive model. This mouse utilizes a unique design with a palm rest to reduce tendon pressure. It has an enjoyable, slightly rubberized finish. We like the internal storage for the dongle, making it easy to take on the go. The CPI selector is within reach and will blink a series of lights to indicate which setting you are in. Our indoor neighbors especially appreciated the near-silent mouse clicks, especially when we were practicing our online games.
Some of our larger handed testers felt this mouse was too small. Some noted it was difficult trying to fit all of their fingers on the mouse. While the normal mouse clicks are almost silent, the scroll wheel clicks and browsing buttons are relatively loud. If you want to start using the iClever Vertical right away, you need to have a AA battery on hand. If you have a small-medium hand and looking for something new to try at a reasonable price then give this model a chance.
While the Microsoft Sculpt may look like your standard mouse, it is far from it. Its large curved body is designed to support your palm as it naturally rests, and its slight tilt eases wrist discomfort. We enjoy the four-way scrolling feature for perusing large spreadsheets. Moreover, when we were out and about it was never a problem if we forgot our mouse pad. This model tracked well on just about every surface we placed it on. Additionally, the thumb ledge was large enough that we could completely relax our hand and it wouldn't slide off.
This mouse offers some nice features but it is lacking in a few important areas as well. For example, we like the browsing back button but were frustrated that it was not accompanied by a forward button as well. Occasionally we would over click, requiring us to navigate to the forward button on-screen; annoying to say the least. Additionally, the dongle is a bit too large to leave safely in a laptop for travel. Thankfully there is a storage slot for the device on the unit. As a final concern, we read many reports of click registering issues arising after prolonged use, though we did not experience them ourselves. Though it's not perfect, it remains a good choice if you are in search of a model to reduce hand cramps, and want a couple of nifty features.
Have you tried every other ergonomic mouse type and still can't find one that works for you? The 3M Wireless Ergonomic Mouse has you covered. It features a joystick grip that your fingers naturally wrap around and a platform for your hand to rest on. It may look like a joystick, but it doesn't function that way. You move it around like you would a standard mouse, but without the pain. We were easily able to navigate our 34" widescreen monitors with our tracking sensitivity set just a few ticks above default. The 3M Joystick is wireless and uses 2 AAA batteries, which are included!
While this mouse keeps your wrist and hand in a very ergonomic position, it does have its drawbacks. This model doesn't have a scroll wheel so you can't utilize "control + scroll wheel" shortcuts, and it uses a large, outdated dongle that isn't suitable for someone on the go — especially since there is no storage for it. During testing, we experienced some connection issues causing our cursor to stutter across the screen, but it didn't happen very often. We also experienced a loss of efficiency. Tasks would take an average of 25% longer to complete and required more concentration. That being said, we highly recommend the 3M Joystick for users that value comfort and a pain-free experience over being able to move quickly and efficiently with their pointer.
Why You Should Trust Us
At the forefront of our ergonomic mice testing is Austin Palmer. With more than 2 decades of experience spent gaming and working with vast spreadsheets and word documents, Austin has used more than his fair share of mice and experienced a great deal of wrist pain along the way. He has been an ergonomics practitioner and advocate since first being diagnosed with repetitive strain injury (RSI) in his wrists in 2009.
We spent many hours using and comparing these products side-by-side. Everything from accuracy games, surfing the web, trying our artistic hand at Microsoft Paint, fiddling with our massive spreadsheets, and even playing some low-key PC games. This gave us insight into how comfortable each mouse was and which tasks they were best suited for.
Analysis and Test Results
To determine which ergonomic mouse came out on top we divided our focus into three metrics: comfort, browsing, and surfaces.
Our assessment of comfort includes the mouse angle, mouse finish, and grip. We used testers, friends, and families, to get good aggregate data on this subjective metric. The mechanisms triggering wrist pain and the support that relieves it varies from person to person. The angle of each of these mice can vary quite a bit from model to model. They use these angles to relieve pressure on your wrist where the transverse carpal ligaments run. An angle too steep may put discomfort elsewhere on your wrist and an angle too shallow won't reduce the ligament agitation. However, we would strongly recommend consulting with a doctor or other medical professional before buying an ergonomic mouse if you have severe wrist pain or past injuries.
All of the mice tested are comfortable in their own ways, but our first "ahhhhh" moment was when we grabbed onto the 3M Joystick. This model keeps your arm in a relaxed handshake position with the weight of your hand on the side of your pal, (the pinkie finger's metacarpal). Your fingers naturally wrap around the "joystick" with your thumb resting comfortably on top. Though the 3M Joystick does take quite a bit of time to get used to, most testers reported a complete lack of pain when using this mouse.
The 3M Joystick was followed closely by the Logitech MX Vertical, Logitech MX Ergo, and the Anker 2.4G Vertical. The MX Vertical and Anker, as indicated by their names, are all vertical-style mice that aim to relieve pressure on the wrist using a slanted design. The MX Vertical is better suited for a larger hand. This model uses a 57° angle, similar to a handshake, with a large ledge for your thumb and a broad palm grip with a rubberized finish that isn't quite as grippy as the Anker. The Anker 2.4G Vertical has a slightly different approach. Instead of a broad palm rest geared towards the middle of your palm, the Anker has more of a "knuckle" rest which is quite pleasing. The rubbery finish is smooth and comfortable and helps keep your hand in place. The downside is there isn't much of a thumb ledge to rest on, but the natural and relaxed grip of your hand keeps it in place. Our medium-hand sized testers really liked this mouse.
Being a trackball mouse, the Logitech MX Ergo has a slightly different approach. The more traditional trackball mouse closely resembles the grip style of a traditional mouse, which puts pressure on your wrist. The MX Ergo combats this in much the same way as a vertical mouse — by adding up to 20° of optional tilt. The mouse is large enough that you can completely rest your hand on it, making even the less natural 0° position pretty comfortable. If you have extra-large hands, this model might not work for you. Similar to most of the mice in the review, there is a nice rubberized finish with an added bit of texture for a slightly better grip.
Following closely behind this trio are the J-Tech Digital Vertical and the Jelly Comb. The J-Tech is somewhat of an unusual shape even for a vertical mouse and feels most suited to someone with medium to large hands. It's a cross between a vertical mouse and a joystick mouse (when used with the removable palm rest). Your hand kind of slumps down into position on the slick surface. It is a little odd at first but we grew more comfortable with it over time, settling on the fingertip grip as our preferred way to hold this mouse. We feel the removable palm rest is a must. The mouse buttons are a little awkward as is and without the palm rest, it is difficult to grip the mouse while keeping your fingers in a good position to click.
The Jelly Comb is our top choice for those with smaller hands who find typical ergonomic mice to be unwieldy. It sits at an angle between a standard mouse and the Logitech MX Vertical, closer to the latter, and is tiny in comparison to the J-Tech. It also has a small thumb ledge to keep your thumb from dragging on a mouse pad. We don't recommend this mouse to someone with large hands unless you prefer a fingertip style grip.
Onto our next nest of mice. We didn't find these as comfortable as the rest, but in the right hand, it could be magic. This group of products consisted of the Logitech M570 Wireless Trackball, Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Mouse, and the iClever Vertical. The iClever felt natural to grip. It has a nice rubberized finish with molded grooves to reduce sweating. Our main complaint was it felt too cramped. Our fingers were never that comfortable, feeling a bit claustrophobic. Most testers liked the built-in palm rest, but it is a little small for large hands. A person with small to medium hands would enjoy this mouse.
The Logitech M570 has a comfortable grip and a smooth finish, but we didn't like the pressure we felt on our wrist. It has an awkward angle where there was pressure either on the carpels or the pisiform, and sometimes both. You might be able to avoid this with a medium or smaller hand. We had a similar issue with the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Mouse. It has a traditional mouse style with a slight angle that puts our wrist in uncomfortable spots, but it supports our palm wonderfully. The finish is a glossy plastic that our hands tended to get sweaty on and slide around. The majority of testers didn't appreciate this mouse to its full potential, but it was the number one choice for one tester. Their hand size was small-medium.
Next, we focused on browsing. We assessed how these mice handled surfing the web and scanning word documents and spreadsheets. Our focus was on how precise they were at executing basic tasks like copy and paste as well as closing windows and dialogue boxes. The Logitech MX Vertical, Anker 2.4 G Vertical, and the Jelly Comb handle tasks in much the same way as a standard mouse. The 3M Joystick, iClever Vertical, and the J-Tech Digital all have palm rests, which we found made typical computer tasks trickier since they remove the ability to pivot off your wrist as it rests on the mouse.
Having browsing buttons or remappable buttons are a must-have if you spend a lot of time surfing the web. The repeated wrist movements to get to the top left of the window could be the difference between discomfort and pleasant web browsing. Given this reality, it's a good thing that the majority of the products in our test group have a forward and back button. Namely, this majority consists of the Logitech MX Vertical, Anker 2.4G Vertical, Jelly Comb, J-Tech Digital, iClever Vertical, Logitech MX Ergo, and the Logitech M570. However, they do not all perform in the same manner.
These models allow you to quickly flip between pages with your thumb, or, in the case of our trackball mice, your index finger. The Microsoft Sculpt is only equipped with a back button though it does have a "Windows button" that allows you to quickly access the Start menu. Unfortunately, the 3M Joystick doesn't have any such buttons to make web browsing easier. Finally, the Jelly Comb's buttons were noticeable further away than most of the other mice, making them more difficult to press, and thus less beneficial to tendon health.
Another key element to minimizing wrist movement is how far you have to move the mouse to perform computer-based tasks. For example, it can get annoying and agonizing to repeatedly have to pick up and place down your mouse to move the pointer across the screen or twist your wrist to one side or the other. Easily adjustable CPI (counts per inch) was developed to solve this problem. Also referred to as DPI (dots per inch), both are talking about the same thing — mouse sensitivity.
CPI is the ratio of mouse movement to on-screen cursor movement. Most computers have software settings that allow you to adjust this ratio through a dropdown menu, however, a number of the mice in this review allow you to move between CPI presets with the click of a button. The Anker 2.4G Vertical, J-Tech Digital, Jelly Comb, and iClever have 3 CPI settings that toggle between 600/800, 1000/1200 and 1600. The Anker and iClever averaged about 100 CPI lower than the manufacturer claims. The Logitech MX Vertical has 2 settings and the Microsoft Sculpt and 3M Joystick don't have any such settings. The trackball mice are a different story since you don't need to pick up and move the mouse to get across the screen.
Next, we looked at how precisely each ergonomic mouse allowed us to click. Those without a palm rest function just about the same as a standard mouse. We didn't notice any degradation of accuracy in copy/pasting or closing/minimizing windows until we started using mice with a palm rest. The palm rest's purpose is to help take the wrist out of the equation by keeping it still. Your palm, usually the pisiform (a small bone in your wrist/palm opposite your thumb), sits on the palm rest making it difficult to pivot away. We were intrigued by these palm rests until we started using the iClever and J-Tech (using the removable palm rest). With these models, we started to notice a decline in our precision. We were highlighting a few rows to high or a few characters to the left or right of what we wanted, as well as mis-clicking the small "x" to close windows. Our wrist did feel better using these mice, but even after some time with them, we couldn't get our precision to the same level as the mice without palm rests. The 3M Joystick was by far the hardest to get used to and work with. The same problems we had with the iClever and J-Tech were exacerbated with this model. Even with a lot of practice, though our wrists were comfortable, tasks were slow and frustrating.
Trackball mice are a different story. We felt that the Logitech MX Ergo had a leg up on the Logitech M570. Though the trackball wasn't quite as smooth or "loose" to move around, we were more accurate with it — especially when using the MX Ergo's precision button that slows the mouse pointer speed down. Not many of the testers have had experience with trackball mice, but by the end of testing, most were almost as efficient as if they were using a standard mouse.
Finally, we looked at the scroll wheels. Each scroll wheel was similar to one another nevertheless each mouse had its quirks — whether it had slightly more resistance like the Logitech M570, smooth like the Logitech MX Vertical, or being relatively silent like the iClever Vertical. The mice that stood out to us were the Logitech MX Ergo, Microsoft Sculpt, and the 3M Joystick. The Logitech MX Ergo and Microsoft Sculpt stood out on a positive note with their 4-directional scrolling capabilities. This made traversing large spreadsheets much easier. Conversely, we have the 3M Joystick. There is no scroll wheel to navigate a webpage or word document. The 3M Joystick has the equivalent of clicking in the scroll wheel only. This makes it difficult to navigate these pages having to concentrate intensely on making sure not to move the mouse too quickly up or down. We did find that extended use scrolling with the J-Tech Digital started causing discomfort in our fingers.
Lastly, we looked at how these mice performed on different surface types as well as how they glide across a standard mouse pad. Trackball mice like the Logitech MX Ergo and Logitech M570 are the best for multi-surface use because they are stationary and their performance does not depend on the surface they rest on. Trackball mice aside, most of the optical sensor mice tested functioned properly on normal surface types you might find while using a computer, such as hard mousepads, soft mousepads, desktops, and paper or magazines. None of these mice had any trouble tracking on our testing mouse pad and desk — which is semi-reflective — or lined notebook paper and magazine cover. Since these models all performed well on smooth desktops and the like, we explored more exotic surfaces such as rustic style hardwood floor, reflective metal, and glass.
The Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Mouse has the best sensor of the lot. Case in point, it was able to carry out drawings in Paint on a glass table without any issues. You could limp along on a glass table with the Logitech MX Vertical and the iClever Vertical but it will be a rough journey as the mouse sensor will register movements far more sporadically. With the exception of the Anker 2.4G Vertical all of the other mice performed more or less equally well on common desktop materials. The Anker 2.4 Vertical became quite fussy on all but the smoothest, least reflective surfaces.
Finishing off our surface metric was an analysis of each mouse's glide across a standard cloth mousepad. Excluding our trackball mice, we found that the J-Tech Digital and the iClever Vertical were the smoothest followed by Jelly Comb and Anker 2.4G Vertical and finally, the Logitech MX Vertical and the Microsoft Sculpt. We had a little trouble with the 3M Joystick. We couldn't decide if we had a lemon or not when it came to gliding. On the one hand, it was by far the smoothest mouse we tested and on the other, whenever we moved the mouse towards us it would catch on the mouse pad and make a noise similar to separating velcro. We were concerned the mouse pad would tear or start to fray. Accordingly, we recommend using this model on a hard mouse pad.
It may take some time to find the mouse that works for you, but we think our top choices are best for most people. We hope our assessment of ergonomic mice in this review has been helpful when it comes to picking out your next mouse to relieve your wrist pain.
— Austin Palmer