A computer mouse is a vital tool. Since the launch of the Apple Macintosh in 1984, it has helped consumers navigate the countless windows, icons, and menus in the digital world without having to memorize an endless string of Byzantine keyboard commands.

But, with repeated use, the device can also lead to problems—from mild wrist pain to musculoskeletal disorders like De Quervain’s disease, a kind of tendinitis in your thumb.

In response, Adesso, Logitech, Microsoft, and other companies have developed ergonomic mouse best for user, designed like ergonomic keyboards to place less stress on your wrists, forearms, and shoulders.

Some models slope upward, like a joystick, placing your hand in a handshake position. (See the Adesso iMouse E1 and Logitech MX910 below.) This helps reduce pronation, the twisting of your forearm when your palm faces downward. Others use the familiar horizontal design, but remain stationary on the mousepad, using a trackball maneuvered by a thumb to steer the cursor. (See the Logitech MX Ergo and Logitech M570, below.) This design can be helpful if moving the mouse causes pain in your wrist.

Yet others employ a hybrid approach. The Microsoft Sculpt, for example, is like a small ramp with enough horizontal DNA to feel familiar in your hand, but enough pitch to ease the stress on your forearm.

How We Tested Ergonomic mouse

ergonomic mouse best for me

To help you choose the best option, CR put eight popular models to the test. Dana Keester, the human-factors specialist on the Consumer Reports consumer experience and usability research team, photographed them in the hand of a test subject, examining the images to see how the mouse affected the position of the subject’s wrist and arm.

To get some idea of the learning curve required to master each mouse, she used various mouse-click games, recording the test subject’s accuracy (hits/clicks) and efficiency (hits/targets presented) over a series of trials.

What did we learn? Well, for one, you don’t need to spend big money to get a good ergonomic mouse. For $17, you can purchase a Ergonomic mouse best model that is just as sound as a $100 one. It might not have features such as wireless connectivity, but it will lower the strain on your muscles and tendons.

If you’re left-handed, be aware most models are designed solely for righties. In our reviews below, we list a few left-handed options.

what to consider when selecting an ergonomic mouse.

Vertical, Horizontal, or Hybrid?

According to Keester, you need to listen to your body when choosing the best form factor in an ergonomic mouse. Ask yourself, Where am I feeling the pain when I use my current mouse?

By placing your hand in a handshake position, a vertically oriented mouse helps reduce pronation, which, says Dr. Johnson, results in less muscle contraction and strain in your forearm. It also lets you move the mouse around your mousepad by pivoting your elbow instead of your wrist.

“With a flat mouse, people tend to pivot their hand from the wrist,” says Neil Carlson, an ergonomics expert, and industrial hygienist at the University of Minnesota. “That’s a lot of repetition, and you may experience discomfort across the top of your wrist and the top of your hand.”

If wrist pain is a concern, a hybrid mouse may also be a good choice. A model such as the Microsoft Sculpt or Logitech MX Ergo may feel more familiar in your hand than a vertical mouse while netting you some of the aforementioned benefits.

“On a traditional, horizontal mouse, with the hand resting palm down on the device, the forearm is fully pronated,” says Keester. “There’s often persistent extension in the wrist, too, which can be problematic.”

One simple solution for the latter, she adds, is to place a wrist rest behind the mouse.

But here’s another option.

Optical or Trackball?

These days, most mouse use optical sensors to guide a cursor across the computer screen. A small camera embedded in the device creates coordinates that tell the cursor where to move. Over time, these sensors have gotten more and more precise, allowing for the pinpoint movements required in professional gaming.

By comparison, trackballs seem old-school. They require the physical movement of a small ball mounted on the device via your thumb to steer the cursor around. But they provide significant relief for those in discomfort from routinely piloting a mouse across the desktop.

“Using a trackball greatly reduces the need to move the hand, wrist, or arm to move the cursor,” says Keester. “The mouse can be placed in a position that is comfortable—and not moved again.”

This requires a little adjustment, though, because the trackball is not as intuitive to use as an optical sensor.

Wired or Wireless?

As we mentioned earlier, higher-end models in this category often offer wireless connectivity. That means the mouse links to your computer via Bluetooth technology instead of a cable.

While it may be nice to have one less wire dangling across your desk, it doesn’t impact the mouse’s ergonomics. No matter which option you choose—wired or wireless—you want to keep the mouse near at hand to limit stress on your body.

“Place your hand on the desk palm up, with your shoulders relaxed and your elbows close to your body,” says Carlson. “The mouse should be right at the point where your fingertips are.”

You should also keep in mind that wireless mouse are powered by batteries—batteries you need to periodically recharge or replace.

One last tip: Whether you choose wired or wireless, you can customize the sensitivity of the mouse’s movements to find the range of motion most comfortable for you.

Some models—from the $14 Adesso iMouse M20B to the $90 Logitech MX 910—have a physical button that allows you to cycle through various sensitivity settings.

But Windows and macOS both let you change the sensitivity of any mouse connected to your computer.

On a Windows computer: Click the Start Button > “pointer” > “change the mouse pointer display or speed.”

On a Mac: Go to System Preferences > Mouse.

Make Sure You Have the Right Work Setup

To get the full benefits of your ergonomic mouse, take some time to optimize your workspace.

“The ideal working posture is one in which as many of the body’s joints as possible are in a neutral position,” says Keester. “The elbows should be bent at an angle between 90 and 100 degrees, with the wrists neutral and in line with the shoulders.”

To achieve that 90- to 100-degree angle in the elbow, you should position the mouse at the proper height, which may require raising your chair. A cushion or spare pillow can also be used to prop you up.

Ideally, says Keester, your feet are flat on the floor or a footrest, with the thighs parallel to the ground, the chair supporting your back in a slightly reclined position, and the monitor positioned so that you can read the top line of text without leaning your head back.

Final Word of Ergonomic Mouse Best

Here’s a closer look at each ergonomic mouse we studied. The models are listed according to price, from least to most expensive. For more info on how we arrived at the scoring, hover your cursor over the word ergonomics, efficiency, or accuracy.

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