Best Wrist Rest of 2020
The highly rated HandStands Beaded Keyboard & Mouse Wrist Rest Combo takes our top spot for best wrist rest combo. Its beaded filling and poly/cotton blend covering makes it comfortable, breathable, and easy to clean. Cleaning is as simple as tossing them into a front-loading washing machine or a quick hand wash under a faucet. Furthermore, the keyboard rest doesn't have a rigid shape and can conform to just about any keyboard or wrist shape.
However, we did have some complaints about this product. For starters, the keyboard rest doesn't extend from end to end on a full-length keyboard. Making regular use of the number pad a little awkward. Additionally, we felt the mouse rest was overfilled, making it difficult to nestle our wrist into a comfortable spot and use lower profile mice. Despite these small drawbacks, we strongly feel the HandStands Beaded Keyboard & Mouse Combo is the best choice for most people.
Right out of the box, the Razer Ergonomic Wrist Rest has a leg up on the competition. Its angled profile makes this one of the most comfortable keyboard rests we tested. The leatherette covering and plastic frame make this a piece of cake to clean up. The plastic frame acts as a bumper, encasing the covering, preventing the edges from fraying or peeling when being bumped into by your keyboard, watch, or other objects.
If you live in a hot climate the Razer isn't the best choice. The leatherette covering isn't breathable and our wrists would start to sweat and stick to the pad as the day warmed up, even in our cool climate. This could have been mitigated if the inside material incorporated a cooling gel. The padding isn't very thick and you can feel the hard plastic base underneath, which bothered a few of our judges. However, we think these cons are very minor in the big picture and highly recommend the Razer Ergonomic Keyboard Rest.
The HyperX Wrist Rest is a great keyboard rest option if you live in warmer climates. When first placing your wrists on this model, it feels like the cool underside of your pillow that you flipped over in the middle of the night. It took much longer to heat up than any of the other wrist rests tested. We are appreciative of the symmetrical design providing equal comfort for our palms/wrists. While there may not be a plastic bumper covering the seams of the fabric, it is wrapped around a stiff plank and stitched in on itself — keeping it from easily fraying.
The covering is soft and comfortable but really stretchy. When going from mouse to keyboard, or to and from the number pad, the fabric tends to bunch up. It would get uncomfortable leaving our wrists on the folds. Over the long haul, we believe that this will form creases and cause the covering to stretch out and become looser than it already is — compounding the problem. The pad doesn't sit at an angle and is on the wider side, putting a little more pressure on our wrists than we would have liked. All in all, the HyperX Keyboard Rest is an exceptional keyboard rest for most people.
If you are looking for a memory foam keyboard and mouse rest, then the Gimars Memory Foam Keyboard and Mouse Wrist Rest Set is a solid option. The outer cover is constructed of a Lycra blend fabric that wicks away moisture and dries quickly. More importantly, the soft foam padding provides ample comfort and support. Additionally, the rubber bottom grips most surfaces but isn't so sticky that you can't easily adjust it.
The biggest downside of the Gimars Memory Foam Set is a lack of protection for the seams. The covering is only glued down to foam, leaving it at high risk for peeling. Furthermore, the fabric tends to collect dust and debris. This model isn't symmetrical, having a cutout where the logo is printed. This cutout yields uneven comfort and support for your hands. Aside from these flaws, the Gimars Memory Foam Set is a comfortable set of wrist rests at a great price.
The Kensington ErgoSoft Mouse Wrist Rest is our top pick for a firm mouse rest. Its gel-cushioned padding keeps its shape over time giving you continued support. The leatherette-like covering is easy to wipe clean and dries out quickly. Not to mention, the underside is a non-skid rubber that keeps the mouse rest in place while pwning — owning — noobs or web browsing.
We found that this model is comfortable with a standard or low-profile mouse but didn't play nice with vertical or large mice. The leatherette-like covering is soft and comfortable to the touch, but it doesn't breathe well and gets sweaty fairly quickly. Moreover, this model doesn't offer top-notch seam protection. The covering is glued to a hard rubber bottom — which has a leg up when compared to a covering glued to foam — but still has the potential to get nicked and begin peeling away. Regardless of these minor shortcomings, we were able to comfortably use the Kensington ErgoSoft day after day and highly recommend this for anyone looking for a firm mouse rest.
If you're searching for a wrist rest that feels like a hard surface but is raised to relieve a sharp angle, then we definitely recommend the Castle Bailey Leather Keyboard Wrist Rest. The company is eco-conscious using recycled material for their packaging. The Castle Bailey has a rectangular and symmetrical design offering equal comfort to each wrist. The leather covering is folded and stitched into place virtually removing any risks or peeling or fraying.
There are downsides to the Castle Bailey. It is on the expensive side for a keyboard rest, costing 1.5 to 3 times the amount of some of the competition. In addition, this model is wide coming in at around 4" and can be a literal pain for people with small hands. This model is constructed with a leather covering that, while technically breathable, gets sweaty rather quickly. That being said, we recommend the Castle Bailey Leather Keyboard Rest for anyone looking for an extra firm keyboard rest.
The BRILA Mouse and Keyboard Wrist Rest is another great option for a foam wrist rest set. It has comfortable memory foam padding with "massage holes" — though we aren't actually sure what the massage holes are for. The fabric is fairly breathable and comfortable to rest your hands on. They have a rubberized bottom keeping them in place and are easily cleaned with a little bit of soap and water.
We did find some flaws with this model. We didn't feel the build quality was on the same level as some of the competition. The mouse rest covering didn't meet the rubber bottom, exposing the foam inside. This coincides with our next complaint of this model: there isn't any seam protection. The covering is glued onto the foam as well as the rubber bottom, leaving the keyboard and mouse rest open to start peeling or fraying. The BRILA Mouse and Keyboard Rest Set isn't the best but is a decent option if you find it on sale.
The Fellowes Memory Foam Wrist Rest uses a narrow design and is a great option for folks with limited or crowded desk space. This model also features a sticky backing that grips most surfaces and is easy to clean with a damp cloth — the outer covering is just as easy to wipe down and get rid of dust. The narrow profile and breathable fabric help to keep your wrists cool.
Regrettably, it has a crescent shape that makes the portion for the right wrist stick out a bit more than the left side. It is tough to find a comfortable position while still being able to reach all the necessary keys. The fabric covering and rubbery bottom are glued to the foam leaving them susceptible to peeling and fraying. This model is a little on the long side, sticking out on either side of our standard full-sized keyboard. All things considered, the Fellowes is a decent keyboard rest if you are looking to save space.
The Kensington Duo Gel Keyboard Wrist Rest is super easy to clean. Its plastic covering and base can quickly be wiped dry after washing, getting rid of any lengthy dry times. On a clean surface this model grips tightly, keeping it firmly in place. The big gel pockets are comfortable to rest on as well as a lot of fun to squish, poke, and pinch.
The Kensington Duo Gel's all plastic body does come with a big downside. It gets sweaty even with the built-in ventilation channel. This vent channel causes some problems as well. The big gel pads on the ends are higher up than the center — where the vent channel is — making typing uncomfortable and a little awkward. The gel pads are also much wider than the vent channel area, making it difficult to get your wrists into a good position for typing. The gel filling of the Kensington Duo Gel is comfortable, but the unbalanced comfort between wrists is hard to look past.
Why You Should Trust Us
Taking the lead on our wrist rest testing is Austin Palmer. He has over two decades of experience using and building computers. In 2009, Austin was diagnosed with a repetitive strain injury (RSI) in his wrists. Ever since then he has been a big supporter and advocate of ergonomic practices. He brings a critical and empathic eye — or wrists — when it comes to evaluating keyboard and mouse rests.
We spent many hours laying our wrists on the line to provide a comprehensive, side-by-side comparison of these products. We thoroughly examined the design and how each wrist rest was put together. Additionally, we used each of the keyboard and mouse rests for up to 12 hours a day to compare their overall comfort.
Analysis and Test Results
We divided our testing into two main focal points — Comfort and Craftsmanship — each composed of different side by side tests. We used our keen eye and expansive general knowledge to evaluate each keyboard and mouse rest's composition and construction. We typed, browsed, and gamed extensively with each model to assess their level of comfort (the keyboard and mouse rests were rated separately).
Keyboard Rest Comfort
Being comfortable and supportive are the most important things a keyboard rest can do. To ensure we collected a good set of data we rallied the help of family, friends, and co-workers to assist in judging these products. When it comes to comfort we believe that padding and shape are crucial, followed by the material used as the covering.
The Handstands and Razer earned the highest scores of the entire group. The majority of our judges scored these rests equally, with the Handstands pulling slightly ahead, due to its breathable plush fabric and bead filling. The Razer isn't very breathable with its leatherette covering and all plastic body, but overall this wasn't too much of an issue. Giving the Handstands another slight advantage over the Razer is its bead filling. You can move the beads around and tie-off an end with a rubber band to customize your level of comfort. This technique works best if you don't use the number pad often. Both of these models use a symmetrical layout, ensuring equal comfort.
Following the top models are the HyperX and Gimars. Overall, our judges were happy with these models, but there were some negative aspects that didn't go unnoticed. While both models have a soft foam cushion, the HyperX stays cooler longer with gel-infused foam. Our smaller-handed judges felt the HyperX was slightly too wide, feeling a little bit of discomfort on their tendons. Most of the judges weren't fond of how loose the covering was, despite it being plush. It tended to bunch up with repeated movement from the mouse, or number pad, back to a typing position. The Gimars, on the other hand, has fabric that is glued to the foam and an odd asymmetrical shape with a curved cutout where you rest your right hand. Most judges felt annoyed at the differing wrist comfort and felt the manufacturer should have picked one width and stuck with it. This model was also on the short side, making it awkward to use the number pad.
Lastly, we have the BRILA, Castle Bailey, Fellowes, and Kensington Duo Gel Keyboard Rest making up the least favorites of the group. Each model provides its own flavor of comfort, from soft to extra firm. On the soft end of the spectrum, we have the BRILA and Fellowes. Most of the panel didn't like the higher profile and crescent shape of the Fellowes. Additionally, we didn't find this model comfortable with low-profile keyboards. The BRILA has a similar crescent shape but is much wider. Most judges felt this keyboard rest worked well with different keyboard types — both low-profile and standard. A few of our testers noted a slight hump when resting on the BRILA but others didn't seem to notice. Both of these models have breathable fabrics and stay relatively cool. More testers preferred the jersey material of the Fellowes over the spandex blend of the BRILA.
The Castle Bailey is the firmest keyboard rest we tested. While a few judges thought this was too firm, most complaints were that it was too wide. It was difficult to use with a standard keyboard but seemed to work ok with a low-profile keyboard since your hands are positioned at a different angle. It has a leather covering that we found to get rather sweaty at times. The Kensington Duo Gel, on the other hand, isn't breathable with its plastic outer shell. Most of the judges didn't find the non-traditional design, which resembles a yin-yang, very comfortable. The ends are noticeably higher and wider than the middle section.
Mouse Rest Comfort
Taking the top spot overall, the Gimars is our favorite when it comes to mouse rest comfort. The majority of our judges gave this model full marks. Its soft padding gently cradles and supports your palm and wrist. It has the same breathable, comfortable lycra blend fabric as its keyboard counterpart. This model worked well with all types of mice and hand sizes.
Following the Gimars, the Handstands and Kensington ErgoSoft both received high marks from our panel of judges. Most judges agreed that the Handstands was super comfortable, but not the most versatile when it came to mouse choice. It feels overfilled and favors large or vertical mice, the Kensington ErgoSoft on the other hand, doesn't work well with vertical mice and is better matched with a lower profile mouse. The Handstands mouse rest has the same composition as its keyboard rest — both being very breathable. The Kensington ErgoSoft's fabric isn't as breathable but the gel padding stays relatively cool.
Bringing up the back of the pack, we have the BRILA. We wouldn't go as far as to say this model is uncomfortable — it is more or less plain. It doesn't have a "WOW" factor like the rest of the group. The wrist shaped groove in the middle creates small humps on either side. Our larger handed judges felt some relief from this groove but felt the humps pushed up too much on their palm. Our small-handed testers didn't feel quite the same relief with the wrist channel. Their hands were not large enough to sit on the humps.
For our next round of tests, we evaluated the craftsmanship and construction of each wrist rest. We scrutinized each model as well as combed through tons of reviews looking for any common issues and failures.
Of all the models tested, we feel the Razer Keyboard Rest, the Castle Bailey Keyboard Rest, and the Handstands Combo will stand up the best to the tests of time. The Razer's covering is encased in a plastic frame, completely protecting the edges from fraying or peeling. The leatherette covering on the Razer isn't as durable as the genuine leather of the Castle Bailey but should last for years to come. The Castle Bailey's leather covering is folded in on itself and stitched to a durable leather base. The Handstands Combo, on the other hand, aren't attached to a base and the seams are hidden inside themselves, like a throw pillow.
A trio of close runners-up in this category — the HyperX Keyboard Rest, the Kensington Duo Gel Keyboard Rest, and the Kensington ErgoSoft Mouse Rest — all received solid scores from our judges. The HyperX got bumped down a tier due to its covering but redeems itself with its phenomenal seam protection. The covering is loose and likely to stretch over time. Both Kensington models have solid coverings and good seam protection. The Kensington ErgoSoft fabric is glued to a thick piece of rubber giving it an edge over the lower tier models, but not quite as good as the — what appears to be — seamless Kensington Duo Gel. What keeps the Kensington models from the upper tier are being gel-filled. If they get punctured, then you're out of luck.
The BRILA Rest Set, Fellowes Keyboard Rest, and Gimars Rest Set give us the most cause for concern. This trio uses durable fabric covers, but don't provide adequate seam protection. The covers on these models are glued down to foam leaving them susceptible to peeling and fraying. The BRILA mouse rest arrived with the cover already separating from the rubber base.
Using a Wrist Rest
When typing on a keyboard your wrists and palms shouldn't be touching your typing surface. Your hands should be raised off the surface, free to move about. This can be difficult to achieve all day and many people, including ourselves, are guilty from time to time resting our hands on our desks while typing, putting unnecessary strain and pressure on our wrists. Enter the wrist rest, or should we say palm rest. When using one of these gadgets you don't want your wrist on the pad, contrary to what the name suggests. Doing so puts unneeded stress on the ligaments, increasing the risk for pain and other problems. You want to gently rest the heel of your palm on the pad when not typing. We highly recommend consulting your physician or other professional if you are currently experiencing pain, tingling, or numbness before purchasing a keyboard or mouse rest.
We would like to reiterate that while typing your wrists should be raised and be able to freely move about. When taking a break the heel of your palms, not wrists, should gently rest on the pad. If you start to experience any pain, tingling, or numbness using any of these products discontinue use and evaluate the situation.
Wrist rests are an easy and cheap way to relieve and prevent wrist pain, with proper use. It can be tough to comb through all the available information and models to find the perfect keyboard or mouse rest. Hopefully, this article has narrowed down your search and helped you decide which keyboard or mouse rest is right for you.
— Austin Palmer