Ah, the underappreciated computer mouse. Even in the age of trackpads and touchscreens, it remains one of the most important tools in your work repertoire.
Whether you’re looking for a new mouse to replace your daily driver or something for a more specific function, here’s a shortlist of great options. Some ground rules: I chose wireless mice that are compatible across major operating systems. Some ship with an optional wireless connector that plugs into a USB port, but all offer direct Bluetooth connections for maximum compatibility and minimal fuss.
Great for everyday use: Logitech MX Master Series
If you’re just here because you’re looking for a new mouse, this is the one.
The Logitech MX Master series–currently buoyed by the $99 MX Master 3—is a near-perfect combination of comfort, price, and features.
Yes, at $100, it’s not cheap. But if your work requires a lot of mousing, it’s worth the coin. There’s even a Mac-specific version, which features Apple-specific button customization.
The hardware itself is solid and comfortable for medium to large hands, with a slight right-ways tilt that positions your wrist at a comfortable angle and a solid heft that feels premium without being too heavy.
The real magic, however, is in Logitech’s software. Called Logitech Options, it lets you finesse scroll speed, thumb wheel sensitivity, button functions, and a bunch of other settings so you can get the mouse dialed in just how you like it.
Flip the mouse over and there’s a selector button that lets you toggle connections between three different computers, which is great if you’ve got multiple devices on your desk that you use for different tasks.
Now, not to throw a curveball out there at the last minute, but I personally find the previous version of this mouse, the MX Master 2S to be more comfortable than the latest design. I bought the MX Master 3 back when it came out but returned it and switched back to my trusty 2S because I like the scroll wheel a bit better. It’s not a huge, earth-shattering difference but I just kind of . . . well, missed my old mouse. Though technically discontinued, the MX Master 2S can still be had on Amazon for around $60, which is a pretty good price.
The newer version has a slightly revamped scrollwheel, USB-C charging as opposed to Micro-USB on the 2S, and better positioning of the side buttons. I don’t use those side buttons for much of anything, but if you’re someone who likes to use all your available mouse buttons, the newest version might be a better fit for you.
Great for travel: Microsoft Arc Mouse
I love, love, love the $80 Microsoft Arc mouse for its ingenious design.
When not in use, it snaps down flat in order to take up as little space as possible in your bag. When it’s time to work, it pops up into a surprisingly comfortable arc shape.
In order to keep the mouse so slim, Microsoft has done away with a hardware-based scroll wheel and instead dishes up a touch-sensitive scroll zone that lets you run your finger horizontally or vertically to scroll up and down or side to side.
This mouse can work with Macs, although you’ll miss out on certain touch gestures you get with Apple’s $79 Magic Mouse, such as double-tapping with two fingers to open Mission Control.
Still, if you’re looking for a do-it-all travel mouse, the Arc Mouse is a great option. Shop around, too: although $80 direct from Microsoft, it can be found for cheaper elsewhere. Certain colors start at around $45 on Amazon, for instance.
Great for aching wrists: Logitech MX Vertical
If you suffer from carpal tunnel or repetitive stress, take a look at the $100 Logitech MX Vertical. I own one of these and break it out a few times a year when my wrist really starts to flare up.
It looks like a sea-faring cargo ship and takes a bit of getting used to, but once you’ve got it down, it works wonders as far as comfort is concerned. It’s got the same great software features as the aforementioned MX Master series, too.
If your wrists would prefer that you’d avoid conventional mousing altogether, check out Contour’s $265 RollerMouse Red, which is an entirely different take on the old-school mouse design. It takes the mouse out of your hand completely, substituting a bar that sits in front of your keyboard and rolls up and down while sliding side to side to move the cursor around your screen.
Full disclosure: I do not own this thing, but I’ve got a couple friends who swear by it. It’s a trip to use, too: It’s a lot more intuitive and accurate than it might first appear.
Great for southpaws: Kensington SureTrack
The $30 Kensington SureTrack, however, is a surprisingly capable southpaw-friendly mouse given its low price tag. It’s got a comfortable design with solid buttons, built-in cursor speed control, a smooth scroll wheel, works with just about any device, and comes in multiple colors.
I can’t attest to how it works left-handedly, unfortunately, but no complaints here from a righty.
Great for trackpad lovers: Remote Mouse
Mouse, schmouse. You can turn your phone into an oversized, slick-as-glass trackpad with the Remote Mouse app.
Available for iPhones and Android phones, and compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux computers, it works great as a standard cursor-moving, button-clicking mouse replacement, but it’s also got cool built-in features: media remote, app launcher, and more.
There’s a free, ad-supported version that offers plenty of functionality or a $14-per-year Pro version that syncs settings between multiple devices and offers more granular media and app controls.