Updated April 28th, 2021
So why an ergonomic mouse? Most people hardly give a second thought to the mouse they use, preferring to focus their attention- and money- on the latest graphics card, CPU, or even PC case. If you’re one of those people, consider this- the computer mouse, besides the keyboard, is the only part of the computer you’re constantly in physical contact with. As such, not giving it its due respect can have serious repercussions.
The Different Types of Ergonomic Mouse
When it comes to ergonomic mice, there is not one form factor that will fit everyone. The first step to picking a comfortable mouse however is to be aware of your choices. In general there are four types of ergonomic mice currently out on the market:
- Ergonomic “Horizontal” Mouse: This is the most popular form factor by far, mainly due to users’ familiarity with the design. It comes with a contoured dome shape for comfort, and uses either optical or laser to track movement. A horizontal mouse is arguably still the best option for productivity if that is the most important consideration for you.
- Ergonomic “Vertical” Mouse: In a vertical mouse, the primary buttons are located on the side, with users assuming a “handshake” position to hold it. There is little to no twisting of the wrist, which may cut down on your chances of carpal tunnel syndrome. The carpal tunnel is the corridor where the median nerves and tendons run through from the forearm to the hand, and constant twisting has been linked to causing CTS. A virtual mouse may take some time to get used however, with some people never getting reaching the same level of ease as a traditional mouse.
- Trackball Mouse: With a trackball mouse, the base usually remains stationary as users roll a ball to control the mouse cursor. Apart from requiring less space, trackball mouse also involves virtually no wrist or arm movements to operate, which could greatly reduce the chances of RSI related injuries in those areas. A trackball mouse offers decent precision, though some users find general tasks such as cutting and pasting or drag/drop more difficult compared to other form factors.
- Pen Mouse: Not to be confused with a stylus, a pen mouse is a regular mouse housed in a pen form factor. This lets you hold the mouse similarly to a pen or pencil, with very little wrist movements required to operate it. Some people with CTS and wrist problems who can no longer operate a regular mouse have found a pen mouse to be a viable alternative.
- Joystick Mouse: A more radical form of the vertical mouse, a joystick mouse has a small but loyal following among people suffering from certain existing musculoskeletal issues. This includes people with carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis and arthritis. To operate the joystick, the user’s hand assumes the textbook “handshake” position, with the hand perfectly perpendicular to the desk. This results in no pronation of the wrist whatsoever. Precision seems to be an issue with this form factor for most people. The most popular joystick mouse is the 3M Optical Mouse.
We’ve extensively reviewed and compiled a list of the best ergonomic mice for 2021 you should consider to minimize the chances of permanently damaging your body through the routine use of a regular mouse.
The Best Ergonomic Mouse for 2021
|R-Go Tools Break||5||Wired and Wireless Versions||Best Overall Ergonomic Mouse for 2021||Check Price|
|Logitech MX Master 3||7||Bluetooth, Unify Receiver||Top Productivity Ergonomic Mouse||Check Price|
|J-Tech Digital V628 Vertical Mouse||4||Wired and Wireless Versions||Best Overall Vertical Ergonomic Mouse||Check Price|
|Anker Wireless Mouse||5||2.4 GHz Wireless||Best Ergonomic Mouse for Laptops||Check Price|
|Evoluent Vertical Mouse||6||Wired||Best Mouse for Carpal Tunnel and Tendinitis||Check Price|
|Mojo Silent Mouse||6||Bluetooth||Best Ergonomic Bluetooth Mouse||Check Price|
|JellyComb Mouse||6||2.4 GHz Wireless||Best Ergonomic Mouse for Small Hands||Check Price|
|Zelotes Mouse||11||Wired||Best Ergonomic Gaming Mouse||Check Price|
|Kensington Orbit||2||Wired||Best Trackball Mouse||Check Price|
1. R-Go Tools Break– Best Overall Ergonomic Mouse for 2021
When we set out to pick the best ergonomic mouse for 2021, we went back to the basics of what is most important in an ergonomic mouse, and that is comfort and fit. Everything else, from how cool it looks, number of buttons, or even battery life plays second fiddle. And based on that criterion, the little known R-Go Tools Break Mouse beat out the dozen of other mice we’ve tested this year to take the crown.
A lot of ergonomic mice on the market these days go overboard with their design in our opinion, resulting in a device that limits their comfort to a very small group of users in the end.
The R-Go Tools Break may not win any awards for the most striking design, but this conservative shape is what makes the mouse more or less a sure bet if you’re coming from a horizontal mouse or suffer from mild to moderate wrist pain. There’s little unwanted surprises.
On the right side of the R-Go Tools Break mouse you’ll find the two main buttons positioned at a 60 degree slope. We found this angle to be the perfect medium for most people to encourage the wrist to assume a more neutral position without being too aggressive about it. On mice with a higher degree of slant such as the Evoluent, you may start to feel like your fingers are constantly slipping off the buttons as a result.
To add to the perfect fit, the mouse comes in a larger variant as well for people with larger hands.
Two other design elements of the R-Go Tools Break further contribute to its long term comfort. First is the cut out on the left side that houses your left thumb perfectly as you operate the mouse. There is also a protruding lip on the bottom right side that cushions your pinky finger and prevents it from being dragged everywhere on the desk surface.
The result of the reserved but smart shape of the R-Go Tools Break means every finger on your hand feels supported as you operate it. By conforming to your hand so well, the mouse eliminates the unconscious gripping and tension in your fingers that gradually leads to nerve pain and other repetitive strain injuries.
Let’s talk about the most unique feature on the Break mouse now, which is a LED light on the left side that works with software to remind you to rest your hand frequently. Based on advice from the Dutch Health guidelines, the mouse lights up to remind you to take a 30 seconds break after every 10 minutes, and 5 minutes of rest after every hour. If you miss a break (by tracking mouse movements), the light changes to red. The duration can be customized via software.
While the reminder system works, I suspect that all but the most committed people will probably continue to use it past the first few weeks. Personally I stopped paying attention to the light after the first month, but then again, I don’t suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. For people with existing wrist or hand injuries, having a robust break reminder system can be a huge asset.
Rounding out the list of features are a customizable back and forth button, plus a DPI button that lets you easily toggle the cursor speed between 500, 1500, 2000 and 3500 levels.
Perhaps the best endorsement for the R-Go Tools Break is the fact that this is the mouse we’ve been using ourselves for the last few months, despite having a dozen or so to choose from laying around. Over the long haul it gives you the best mileage in terms of comfort and keeping wrist pain at bay. And that’s what an ergonomic mouse should be all about.
- 60 degree vertical design strikes excellent balance between ergonomics and usability
- Thumb rest and pinky finger gutter support every finger during operation
- Comes in two sizes to custom fit users based on hand size
- Physical DPI switch to easily switch between different mouse sensitivity
- Slope of mouse may be too gentle for people with advanced wrist pain
- Take a Break system only useful for the truly committed
2. Logitech MX Master 3– Top Productivity Ergonomic Mouse
The Logitech MX Master 3 retains the title for the best productivity mouse that’s also highly ergonomic. Small improvements have been made over the previous MX Master 2s version that make it even more comfortable to use.
Let’s start with the game changing feature of the MX Master 3- Logitech Flow. The technology basically enables the mouse to be used on up to 3 computers (both PC and Mac) simultaneously. Believe me when I tell you it’s like magic whenever I drag the mouse between my large monitor that’s connected to the desktop, to my Macbook Pro laptop sitting next to it on my desk to control both at a whim. It’s a huge productivity boost. One mouse, up to 3 computers. With the Logitech software installed on these devices, I can even copy and paste files, passwords, and any data between my desktop and laptop computers.
I constantly switch between my desktop and Macbook, and it’s a godsend to be able to use one mouse on both devices seamlessly, as if it was simultaneously hooked up to both devices. And using the Logitech MX Master 3 on my Macbook has helped greatly reduce my hand and wrist strain.
In terms of ergonomics, the Logitech MX Master 3 features a large footprint and high profile, with a dedicated surface for the thumb. Compared to the older MX Master 2s, the side scrollwheel and buttons have been shifted forward and down so they are more easily accessible, a common complaint in the lesser model.
Speaking of the scrollwheel, this is where the MX Master 3 really shines. Firstly, both the top “vertical” and side “horizontal” scrollwheel are now made entirely of metal and larger than those found on the 2s model. Considering the weakest link in a mouse is usually the scrollwheel, it’s good to see Logitech doubling down in this area.
The scrolling mechanics on the MX Master 3 is something that needs to be experienced to fully appreciate. Using electromagnets, they automatically switch from ratchet to free scroll depending on how fast you spin the wheel. Say you want to quickly scroll down to the bottom of a long document- a quick flick of the top scroll wheel is all you need, instead of putting your index finger on a grueling marathon run.
The usefulness of the side thumb wheel also took me by surprise. I work with spreadsheets and Photoshop often, and the ability to scroll side to side painlessly by scrolling a wheel is a gosend. Ergonomics isn’t just about comfort, but efficiency.
We bestow the Logitech MX Master 3 with the best ergonomic productivity mouse title, as it’s not just ideally sculptured to minimize clenching and in turn joint pain, but designed to maximize your efficiency when working on everyday tasks. The Logitech Flow technology is a feature anyone with more than one PC or laptop will come to appreciate greatly. The smart thumb and top scroll wheels take a big bite out of the need to physically move the mouse around when performing certain common tasks, boosting your productivity. And last but not least, the hand sculpted design and 4000 DPI resolution makes this mouse a dream to use for everything from drag and drop, point and click, to gaming and CAD.
- Magical Logitech Flow technology to control up to 3 computers with one mouse
- Excellent ergonomic design with a large and high profile to cradle most hands
- 5 programmable buttons, including a Innovative horizontal and vertical scroll wheels to reduce wrist movements and boost productivity.
- High 4000 DPI resolution for extra sensitivity in gaming or CAD.
- Both Bluetooth and Unifying Receiver connectivity with stellar battery life (rated 70 days normal use) on lithium battery.
- Some Mac users complain of Bluetooth connection issues
- Strictly for right handed users
3. J-Tech Digital V628 Ergonomic Mouse– Best Overall Vertical Ergonomic Mouse
When it comes to mouse ergonomics, the two main competing designs are horizontal versus vertical mouse. We did a lot of research in this field, and it seems even scientists cannot come to a consensus on which one is better. Make no mistake, however- for some people, a vertical mouse will feel more natural and comfortable to use over a long period of time than a conventional one. For this category of mouse, we pick J-Tech vertical mouse as the hands down best ergonomic vertical mouse, not just for its excellent ergonomic design, but great usability and ultra affordable price point.
Supplanting our pick for the best vertical mouse of last year, the Anker 2.4g Vertical Mouse, we find the J-Tech mouse superior mainly in the form factor. The J-Tech V628 is 5.8 inches tall and 4 inches deep, compared to the Anker at 2.9 inch and 2.4 inches. The heftier profile in fact makes the J-Tech suitable both for people with large and smaller hands. Whereas the former can better grip the mouse, for people like myself with small hands, I find loosely resting my fingers on the mouse instead very comfortable:
On the right side of the J-Tech are two giant buttons for left and right clicking, with a scroll wheel nestled between the two. On the left side you’ll find a conveniently located back and forth button where your thumb rests to make cycling between webpages or documents a breeze.
For those of you that have never used a vertical mouse, J-Tech’s design may seem radical, but this scientific form factor is meant to mimic a “handshake” where there is no unnatural twisting of the wrist to hold. The main cause of carpal tunnel syndrome stems from pressure on the median nerve that runs from your forearm all the way down to the hands. The “handshake” position essentially eliminates this pressure derived from twisting your wrist and having your hands face downwards when holding a traditional mouse.
The mouse’s optical tracking is simply superb, and lets you switch between 3 levels of sensitivity- 600 / 1000 / 1600 DPI resolution- depending on the task at hand and personal preference. From an ergonomic point of view, some people like to turn the DPI level down and utilize their entire arm to move the mouse instead of the wrist to avoid putting too much strain on the former.
A couple of things worth mentioning before you dive head first into the J-Tech Digital v628 Vertical mouse. Firstly, the mouse is not ambidextrous, making it only suitable for right handed people. Also, some people with small hands have complained that the mouse’s deep profile makes it hard to align all the fingers with the buttons while remaining in a comfortable posture. But if you loosely rest your fingers on the mouse instead of trying to get them around it (see above), then this mitigates the issue.
Overall if you already suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, or are looking for a radical departure from a traditional ergonomic mouse to see if that can further help with hand and wrist pain, we highly recommend the J-Tech Mouse, as it is simply one of the best vertical mouse at the most affordable price point we’ve seen.
Note that the J-Tech Digital V628 Mouse comes in both a wired and wireless version (using a nano receiver). The one we reviewed was wired.
- Best in category vertical “handshake” design that prevents twisting of the wrist that often leads to carpal tunnel syndrome
- Adjustable sensitivity- switch between 600 / 1000 / 1600 DPI resolution
- Both wired and wireless versions available (review is for wired).
- Very responsive Customer Support
- Some users report quality issues upon arrival
- Poor “back” and “forward” button placement can lead to accidental clicking.
4. Anker 2.4g Mouse– Best Ergonomic Mouse for Laptops
The Anker is my favorite “compact” vertical mouse, with a smaller profile that goes with your laptop like carrots and peas. It also maintains most of the ergonomic attributes of a good vertical mouse, from relieving carpal tunnel syndrome, hand cramps, to finger fatigue.
Just how compact is the Anker Vertical Mouse? It weighs just 3.3 ounces, compared to the J-Tech Digital V628 which comes in 4 times as much. This makes the Anker the ideal mouse to toss into your backpack when you’re heading to the coffee shop, or even as your primary laptop mouse at home. The Anker is also extremely slim, taking up very little horizontal space.
The Anker vertical mouse is wireless, connecting to your computer using 2.4ghz frequency and a nano USB receiver you plug into your computer’s regular USB port. As someone that frequently misplaces things, I love the storage compartment for the USB receiver when it’s not in use- it’s located next the battery case, and fits in snugly with little chance of falling out despite having no cover.
I spent many weeks testing the Anker mouse, and in terms of comfort and ergonomics, overall this is a decently comfortable mouse. People with carpal tunnel syndrome or frequent wrist pain due to non stop use of the laptop trackpad or traditional mouse should find relief with the Anker due to the aggressive vertical design. The main buttons are positioned over 60 degrees relative to the desk surface, which greatly reduces any rotation of the wrist to hold the mouse.
Let’s talk functionality now. The Anker mouse is relatively simple in that regard, unlike the Logitech MX Master 3 for example. Five buttons on the Anker Vertical Mouse let you perform all the standard tasks, including back and forth when web browsing. The scroll wheel features ratchet scrolling to evenly scroll through documents and webpages. The DPI switch is conveniently located at the top, letting you switch between 800/ 1200/ 1600dpi sensitivity.
For those of you looking for a light weight, cheap vertical mouse to go with your laptop or frequent travels, you’d be hard pressed to find a better mouse than the Anker vertical mouse.
- Compact and slim for laptops or travel
- Aggressive vertical design that many people say helped with their RSI
- Physical DPI switching buttons
- Budget friendly, at less than $20
- Possible quality issues, with mouse dying after a few months for some
- Mouse surface a little slippery for me
5. Evoluent Vertical Mouse Regular Size– Best Mouse for Carpal Tunnel and Tendinitis
Evoluent is the original creator of the vertical mouse, and as such has more experience than any other company in coming up with designs that facilitate people with existing musculoskeletal disorders such as carpal tunnel or even tendinitis. In some ways this can even be thought of as a medical mouse.
The Evoluent mouse features a sturdy base with a steep hand area that is sloped almost 90 degrees relative to the desk. This keeps your wrist in a completely, natural, untwisted position as you operate the mouse. A right lip at the bottom of the mouse supports your pinky finger so it never scrapes the desk. So does such a radical design work for people with carpal tunnel and other RSI issues? Well, consider this: The Evoluent vertical mouse is the only mouse that has been approved for use by physical therapists at the health clinic in UC Berkeley.
Another feature of the Evoluent designed to ease operation of the mouse for people with hand injuries is the adjustable optical sensor. A rocker conveniently located behind the main mouse buttons let you increase or decrease the speed of the mouse pointer on demand. People with CTS often will benefit from a less sensitive mouse cursor that is more forgiving to jerky movements, and with the Evoluent mouse, the cursor speed can be adjusted with ease.
As mentioned, the Evoluent can be seen as a medical mouse, with many people suffering from CTS, tendonitis and RSI swearing by it. The price reflects this, as this is one of the most expensive mouse on our list. The clunky profile and radical design won’t suit everyone, but for that segment of people with hand injuries, this is the best vertical mice for wrist pain out there.
- Only mouse approved for use by physical therapists at UC Berkeley
- Convenient rocker to adjust mouse sensitivity on the fly
- Unique right lip that cushions your pinky finger from scraping the desk
- Expensive relative to other mouse
- Long adjustment period for many people
6. MOJO Silent Vertical Mouse– Best Ergonomic Bluetooth Mouse
For those of you looking for a wireless ergonomic mouse that doesn’t rely on any silly USB receiver, the Mojo Vertical Mouse is among the best ones out there. It connects to your computer seamlessly using Bluetooth for a zero hassle experience.
The Mojo Vertical Mouse comes with that familiar handshake design that minimizes any pronation of the wrist during use. Many users have remarked how their hand and wrist pain have gone away since switching to the Mojo mouse.
As mentioned, the Mojo mouse relies on your device’s bluetooth connection to connect wirelessly. This is primarily a computer mouse however- the manufacturer has said the Mojo will NOT work on most iPad, iPhone and other tablets. Two AAA batteries (which are included by the way!) give your Mojo around 6 months of usage before requiring a pit stop.
In terms of function and finish, the Mojo vertical mouse comes with the standard 6 buttons set up (2 primary buttons, scroll wheel, DPI switch, and back/forth buttons). The buttons are virtually silent when clicked, making the Mojo great in shared office spaces. The finish on the Mojo mouse is a smooth matt, which is nice to the touch and repels fingerprints.
Two things about the Mojo to be aware of before taking the plunge. First, the two back/forth side buttons for web browsing do not work with Mac computers by default, though that can be remedied via a 3rd party app (one user recommended the USB Overdrive app). Secondly, as mentioned, the Mojo mouse does not work with most tablets, despite being a bluetooth mouse. This is primarily a computer mouse.
The Mojo is one of the best all around ergonomic bluetooth mouse if you intend to use it with your PC or laptop.
- Contoured vertical design that many people credit for helping with their hand injuries
- Silent mouse buttons that are great in shared office spaces
- Simple Bluetooth connectivity that doesn’t require a USB dongle to pair with computer
- Not compatible with most tablets and phones such as iPad or iPhone
7. Jelly Comb Wireless Vertical– Best Ergonomic Mouse for Small Hands
For people with small hands, finding a comfortable mouse can be tricky. A smaller mouse usually means smaller everything, including the arch that supports the palm of your hand, making them a lot less ergonomic than their larger counterparts. Luckily Jelly Comb doesn’t have this shortcoming, resulting in one of the best ergonomic mouse in the market for small hands.
The Jelly Comb Wireless Vertical Mouse uses a vertical design that mimics a handshake, allowing smaller hands to wrap around the mouse fully without any twisting in the wrist. The mouse’s dimensions are around 4″ long by 2.3″ wide by 2.7″ tall, giving it a length and depth that carters very well to anyone with modest to small hands. Many users on Amazon with such hand profiles have remarked on just how comfortable the mouse is compared to traditionally sized mice.
The mouse comes with a traditional vertical scrollwheel on the top, and back and forward page buttons located above the thumbrest. Clicking on the mouse requires very little effort, and is whisper quiet. We love the low impact, high endurance design of the click mechanics, which Jelly Comb claims have been put through stress tests of over 5 million clicks. In other words, the mouse is built to last.
Another noteworthy feature of the Jelly Comb vertical mouse is the three modes of DPI sensitivity (800 / 1200 /1600) that can be adjusted via a switch located at the tail end of the mouse. For people with small hands, being able to easily increase the mouse pointer’s sensitivity with a touch of a switch is especially helpful, letting you get from point A to point B on the screen a lot faster.
The Jelly Comb is wireless and operates on a single AA battery (not included). Instead of bluetooth technology, the mouse uses 2.4G wireless technology to create that invisible connection. Simply plug in the provided tiny wireless receiver into your PC or Mac’s USB port, and off you go. Some of you may decry the lack of a bluetooth connection, but the USB connection is extremely stable, and works with any device with a USB port, even my aging Samsung laptop that doesn’t support bluetooth. And when traveling, the tiny receiver can actually be stowed away inside a slot underneath the mouse, which is a nice touch.
For people with small hands that need an ergonomic and comfortable mouse, the Jelly Comb is your best bet, with its compact vertical design and dimensions that supports your palm and fingers extremely well. The mouse is also built to last, with a lifetime replacement guarantee unrivaled in the market.
- Compact vertical design tailor made for users with modest to small hands
- 3 adjustable DPI settings to easily change the mouse pointer’s sensitivity on the fly
- Soft, low impact clicking mechanics tested for over 5 million clicks
- Lifetime replacement gaurantee
- Back and Forth page buttons do not work on the Mac
- Single AA battery required not included.
8. ZLOTES Vertical Gaming Mouse– Best Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Gaming may be fun, but debilitating hand injuries such as carpal tunnel and RSI certainly aren’t. For one of the best gaming mouse that actually takes into account ergonomics, look no further than the Zelotes C18 Gaming Mouse. It comes with all the essential gaming related features such as high adjustable DPI levels and plenty of customizable buttons, but packaged in an ergonomic body that’s comfortable to use even after you’ve lost track of time saving the world from aliens.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Zelotes gaming mouse is the vertical design, which is a departure from most gaming mice. At the risk of sounding repetitive, this has tremendous potential benefits from an ergonomic standpoint. The main cause of carpal tunnel syndrome stems from pressure on the median nerve that runs from your forearm all the way down to the hands. The “handshake” position that the vertical design of the Zelotes mouse possesses helps reduce this pressure derived from twisting your wrist and having your hands face downwards when gaming for hours using a traditional mouse.
Two features of the Zelotes mouse make it not just an awesome ergonomic mouse, but a gaming mouse capable of meeting the needs of even serious gamers.
First is the high level of DPI levels – up to 10,000 DPI – that is easily adjustable using a physical button located on the right side. This makes the mouse responsive enough even for the fastest paced, precision oriented games. An LED indicator shows you the current DPI level you’re at (1500, 2500, 4000, 7000, 10000DPI), which I really appreciate.
Second is the number of programmable buttons (11 in total), including a truly unique rocker that turned out to be a lot more useful than I thought. By flinging the rocker up/down/left/right, you can basically activate any 4 shortcut or keys without fumbling with the keyboard or buttons. It puts key controls of a game right at your fingertips, and also adds a unique tactile feeling that’s rather satisfying when activating them. In my favorite game Battlefield V, I’ve assigned the rocker to perform a merlee attack when pushed forward, and throw a grenade when pushed back. It’s peeerfect.
The surface of the mouse can be best described as rubberized smooth, which I absolutely love. Two bands of LED lighting that can alternate between millions of colors really elevate the mood, and is especially fun in the dark. I’ve had multiple people comment on the lighting already since using the mouse out in public.
If there is one thing going against the Zelotes mouse, it’s the same thing that made it such an ergonomic mouse in the first place, and that is its vertical shape. Hardcore gamers are creatures of habit, and the radical vertical layout that’s so different from most gaming mice may be a stumbling block some gamers just won’t get over. For the rest of us though, it’s worth the switch to keep wrist pain at bay.
When it comes to gaming mice, ergonomics is rarely the main focus. Companies are quick to highlight their mouse’s high DPI levels or the number of customizable buttons at your disposal. Ironically, what gamers need more than anything else is a mouse that won’t lead them to RSI, or carpal tunnel syndrome in just a few years. Zelotes is an awesome gaming mouse that finally understands this.
- Rare vertical design in a gaming mouse
- 5 adjustable DPI settings, up to 10000 DPI
- Physical DPI switch
- 11 programmable buttons, including useful rocker
- Mood setting LED lighting
- Only wired version available
- Software download required to modify buttons
9. Kensington Orbit– Best Trackball Mouse
Finally, an ergonomic mouse that caters to both left and right hand users! The Kensington Orbit with its symmetrical design means it supports the contours of your hand regardless of which one you grace it with. An ambidextrous design also means you can alternate between your hands to use the mouse, an exercise that is highly ergonomic if you can master it. By spreading your mouse usage between both hands, you’re reducing the likelihood of RMS (repetitive motion syndrome), which develops when you overly or repeatedly use a specific muscle.
The defining characteristic of the Kensington Orbit is also something that’s hard to miss visually- a giant trackball centered near the far end of the mouse. Whereas the Logitech M570’s trackball is located in the thumb area and used as an secondary way to move the cursor around, the Kensington Orbit doubles down on the technology, implementing a large trackball that is spun using your main index fingers and as the sole mean to moving the cursor on the screen. In fact, the base of the mouse doesn’t even move, forcing your wrist to be completely stationary. If you have any sort of wrist pain, this is Beethoven to your ears.
The fact that the base of the mouse doesn’t move also makes is a godsend in tight spaces and on any surface you feel like, even on your lap. It’s important to note, however, that the mouse is wired, making it ill suited for use with your TV or other more distant devices.
One of the highlight feature of the Kensington Orbit is the large scroll ring that makes scrolling through webpages a breeze. It’s positioned perfectly around the trackball that together just makes navigating web sites and long documents that much easier compared to other trackball mice. In fact, the scroll ring is the main reason we decided to unseat our last year’s pick, the Logitech Trackman, with the Orbit instead for 2021.
Located along the two sides of the Kensington Orbit are two giant buttons to serve as the left and right click buttons. We found them extremely responsive and aptly positioned.
If there is one flaw in this trackball centric mouse, it’s that it’s simply not as precise as a regular mouse. This isn’t so much a specific problem with the Kensington Orbit as it is with trackballs in general. Many precision oriented tasks will take a little longer to complete, from dragging and dropping files, editing photos in Photoshop, to highlighting a few letters within a word in a document. For more generalized tasks such as launching programs or clicking on links, however, there is little difference between the two pointing devices. Read our full analysis, Trackball vs Regular Mouse for more information.
The Kensington Orbit isn’t for everyone, but if you’re looking for a radical solution to reducing carpal tunnel syndrome, or perhaps already suffer from some form of Repetitive Motion Syndrome or arthritis and need a mouse you can operate without constant discomfort, this may just be what you need. During our research we’ve come across many people who suffer from debilitating RMS or even paralysis in the hands that have given this mouse their effusive endorsement. The ambidextrous design and large trackball that can be operated by multiple fingers or even the palm of your hand means you are not limited to one posture when operating this mouse. And that makes the Kensington Orbit a highly ergonomic mouse that’s in a class of its own, even if it’s not the best mouse for everyone.
- Large trackball and solid base minimizes any wrist movement while operating the mouse
- Ambidextrous design makes it suitable for both left and right hand users, or alternate between hands to reduce tension
- Smooth, non racketed scroll ring that makes scrolling long webpages and documents a breeze
- Comfortable rubber padded wrist pad
- Not as precise as a regular mouse
- Wired connection creates some clutter.
Is an Ergonomic Mouse Necessary?
When you fail to invest in the best ergonomic mouse possible for your needs, the effects an be gradual but devastating. Cases of Carpal tunnel syndrome and nerve damage in the hand and wrist have only skyrocketed in today’s age of prolonged keyboard and mouse use. By investing in a good ergonomic mouse that fits the contours of your hand and natural posture, you minimize your chances of developing these deliberating repetitive motion syndromes later in life, or if you already show early signs of it, stop it from worsening.
As mentioned at the start of this guide, there is no one ergonomic mouse that fits all. What will fit like a glove for one person may never quite feel right for another. Productivity, comfort, and lack of any strain when using the mouse are the 3 most important factors to look for.
Having said that, it is important to give any new mouse some time to see if you will adjust to it. This is often the case when switching to a new type of mouse, such as a vertical or trackball mouse. There is an initial adoption curve to it, though once you are past that phase, you may have a completely different opinion of the mouse.
What to Look for when choosing an Ergonomic Mouse
When picking out your next ergonomic mouse, consider the following factors:
- Size: The size of the mouse should be an important consideration, to ensure it fits your hands comfortably. Too large, and your hands will not be rested in the right place on the mouse. Too small, and your fingers with be clinched, with a large gap between your palm and the mouse. Both are detrimental to your hands. Before purchasing your mouse, check its dimensions and compare it with your current mouse to get the proper perspective, as the product shots can be deceiving.
- Weight: Size and weight go hand in hand when it comes to a comfortable mouse. Don’t think a mere few grams won’t make any difference- it does. Do you like the added stability of a heavier mouse, or a lightweight one that is effortless to push around? Some mouse like the Utech Gaming mouse doesn’t force you to choose, as they come with a tuning set you can add or remove to achieve the precise desired weight and resistance. Again, check the mouse’s specs for its weight before making your purchase.
- Wireless or Not: While a wireless mouse does away with the clutter of one more cable on your desk, it isn’t without faults. It requires batteries to run (less eco friendly), usually uses a USB receiver to connect to the computer (that can be misplaced), and finally, needs to be “woken up” each time after some idle time. Think clearly about these drawbacks before settling on either a wireless or wired mouse. The biggest drawback of a wired mouse is obviously the added cable, which is especially annoying when you’re working outside.
- Form factor: The form factor of a mouse is critical to how comfortable and ergonomic it is. The traditional horizontal mouse will feel the most familiar for most people, though it is worth giving a vertical or trackball mouse a try, especially if you are starting to feel the early effects of RSI in the arms or wrist, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis. A joystick mouse should probably only be considered for people with an existing RSI condition, as most users find it less precise and harder to maneuver than the other three types of mice.
- DPI Switch: DPI stands for dots per inch. A mouse with a physical DPI switch lets you easily adjust the sensitivity of the mouse cursor without any software. A high DPI setting translates into a more sensitive mouse cursor, responding to micro movements of the mouse. Gamers often demand a mouse that supports an ultra high DPI setting so it’s more responsive, though some studies have found a correlation between high DPI setting and carpal tunnel syndrome. A mouse with a physical DPI switch lets you dial down your mouse’s sensitivity on demand depending on the task at hand, and can be highly beneficial.
- Number of Buttons: Virtually all mice come with at least two primary buttons for left and right clicking. Beyond that, is more the merrier? From an ergonomic standpoint, extra buttons- especially ones that are customizable- can eliminate having to move the mouse to perform certain tasks, reducing the chances of RSI injuries. At the minimum, look for a mouse with a browser back and forth buttons, as these are tasks commonly performed every day. The Utech Gaming Mouse comes with 12 programmable buttons on its side if there are other tasks in your daily routine that can use a shortcut.
- Left or Right handed: Most mice featured in our guide are for right handed people, though the Trackball mouse is ambidixoul. This means it can be used by both left and right handed people. The distinct advantage of an ambidixoul mouse is that it lets you alter between hands throughout the day to operate it, spreading out the workload between your two hands and greatly reducing the chances of developing injuries. If you are disabled on on hand, an ambidixual mouse such as the Logitech Trackball Marble also lets you use your other hand to operate it. This is something to consider.
- Price: Last but not least, price is certainly an important factor when purchasing a mouse, though not nearly as much as luxury items such as a laptop or monitor. Even the most expensive mouse certainly won’t break the bank. Do not just look at the price when elavuating the true cost of the mouse- look at the warranty period as well. An expensive mouse with a long warranty and hassle free return is arguly better than a cheap mouse that you are stuck with if it breaks in 2 months. Beyond warranty however, if a mouse delivers more comfort and better productivity than another one, that should be above all else the main deciding factor.
Picking the Best Ergonomic Mouse for YOU
Our list of the best ergonomic mice is meant to cover the wide spectrum of users and differing preferences when it comes to not just an ergonomic mouse, but mouse in general. Read the pros and pitfalls of each mouse above carefully to see which one covers all of your needs the best. There is no one size that fits all in the world of ergonomic design, and at the end of the day, the best ergonomic mouse is one that doesn’t just conform to your body perfectly, but your work flow as well to boost productivity.
You owe it to your body to start paying serious attention to that little device that you grapple onto many hours every day. Constant pain, nerve damage, and even disability could be in the cards if we don’t consider the ergonomics of the mouse we use day in and out. There is a perfect ergonomic mouse for you in our list; find it first before spending anther dime on the latest graphics card or shiny accessory for your PC.