The best mouse can make even the dullest work a little easier to glide through, so it’s worth taking time to find the one that works best for you.
While just about every office job will offer you a cheap, forgettable peripheral, you don’t have to settle for a subpar computer mouse — in fact you shouldn’t, especially if you do a lot of creative work. This guide will help you find the right mouse for you, based on our own testing and reviews as well as reviews from thousands of users.
(Check out our best gaming mouse and best wireless gaming mouse selections if you’re more interested in how it plays than how it helps you work — although a good gaming mouse will usually work well for productivity, and vice versa.)
With November right around the corner we’re already rounding up the best Black Friday deals, too!
What is the best mouse?
As you may have guessed, there is no “best mouse” for everyone. Some mice are huge and feature-rich; others are small and inexpensive. A graphic designer probably needs a different mouse than an accountant — and this is assuming that you need a mouse exclusively for productivity, and aren’t interested in a gaming model instead.
Generally speaking, though, the Logitech MX Master 3 is the best mouse for most people. It’s highly customizable, incredibly comfortable, it’s wireless, it’s got a long battery life and it even has an innovative scroll wheel that you won’t find on any other mouse. Granted, this computer mouse costs $100, so it’s not a peripheral to buy on a whim. (In my opinion, however, it is the best wireless mouse for productivity users.)
At the other end of the spectrum is the Logitech M325, which is about as simple as a mouse gets. This small, wireless peripheral costs $30, and is a natural companion for laptops. It fits into backpacks, purses, pockets — anything. And its batteries last for more than a year, so you’ll rarely have to replace them. It doesn’t have any extra buttons or features, but it can still make your life a lot easier, especially if you travel frequently.
Looking for more gear to increase your productivity? Be sure to check out our picks for the best office chairs and the best monitors.
The best mouse you can buy today
The Logitech MX Master 3 is the best mouse, at least on the productivity front, as well as the best wireless mouse. It’s comfortable, feature-rich and lasts an amazingly long time on a single charge. This sleek gray peripheral is the latest iteration of Logitech’s MX Master series, and everything the company has learned from the previous iterations is on full display. The buttons give satisfying clicks, the grip is pleasant to hold and the horizontal thumb wheel makes scrolling through documents a breeze.
The software is where the MX Master 3 shines, however, as it comes preinstalled with a variety of different functionalities for popular programs. From Photoshop to Excel, Logitech has already predicted how you might want to use the horizontal scroll wheel and gesture controls, and developed optimized profiles for each program. You can also use the handy Logitech Flow feature, which lets you drag and drop files between two totally different computers, as though they were connected via USB.
Read our full Logitech MX Master 3 review.
If you walk into an electronics store and make a beeline for the laptop mice, the Logitech M325 is probably the first thing you’ll see. This mouse is inexpensive and ubiquitous, but it came by its popularity fairly. This small gadget is optimized for laptops, making it ideal for frequent travelers, or workers with limited desk space at home. It’s also extremely comfortable, according to user reviews, and provides a DPI just high enough to comfortably scroll across a screen without overshooting your target. It’s arguably the best wireless mouse for the price.
Thanks to a durable 2.4 GHz wireless dongle, you can use the mouse wirelessly anywhere — and with up to 18 months of battery life, you’ll rarely have to replace the peripheral’s single AA battery. Another cool thing about the M325 is that, unlike many other productivity mice, it comes in a variety of colors: red, blue, purple and pink. Logitech also produces extremely similar mice under its Party and Doodle collections, which adorn their mice with floral and cartoon patterns.
The Logitech MX Vertical flips the idea of an ergonomic mouse on its head — well, more accurately, on its side. This mouse is essentially what would happen if you squished a productivity mouse, then made it stand upright. It’s a little hard to describe, but once you see the MX Vertical in action, you’ll know right away whether it’s for you. If regular mice strain your wrists through small, repetitive motions, the MX Vertical might offer some relief. This is because it forces you to move your whole hand around, thus minimizing the strain on any one muscle.
Aside from that, the mouse is classic upscale Logitech goodness, from its adjustable DPI, to its durable build quality, to its robust software that lets you drag and drop files across two computers with Logitech Flow. It might just be the best wireless mouse for workers who struggle with wrist strain.
Read our full Logitech MX Vertical mouse review.
I’ve always maintained that a good gaming mouse is also a good computer mouse in general, and that’s definitely the case with the SteelSeries Rival 3. This sleek, medium-sized peripheral features a no-nonsense, semi-ambidextrous design with two programmable thumb buttons and a pretty LED strip on the bottom. The Rival 3 is the only mouse on this list with programmable RGB lighting, and while that won’t make you any more productive, it will make your desk look a whole lot prettier.
The reason the Rival 3 works so well for productivity users, though, is because of its programmable DPI and robust software. You can set up profiles for individual apps, and customize convenient macros for the thumb buttons while you’re at it. The Rival 3 is also very cheap, making it a robust option for the same price as many smaller, less versatile mice.
Read our full SteelSeries Rival 3 review.
How to choose the best mouse for you
There are three things to consider when choosing the best mouse for your particular situation: features, size and price.
Features vary from computer mouse to computer mouse. Some, like the Logitech M325, have no extra features whatsoever. What you see is what you get. Others, like the Logitech MX Master 3, have tons of extra buttons and entire software suites, which let you customize just about every aspect of the mouse’s performance. If you do a lot of graphic design or video editing work, a feature-rich mouse is a boon; if you stick mostly to typing and Internet browsing, a simpler computer mouse will work just as well. If you’re looking to reduce desk clutter, the best wireless mouse for your setup is a worthwhile consideration.
Size is also a consideration, although this is strictly a matter of personal preference. Mice like the Microsoft Classic Intellimouse are long-bodied, and appeal to users who hold mice with their entire palms. Smaller mice lend themselves to a “claw” grip, meaning you can comfortably hold it with three fingertips.
Price is related to a mouse’s feature set. Complex mice cost a lot of money; simple mice are cheaper. But beware extremely cheap mice, especially those from second- or third-tier manufacturers; they won’t last long.
You can also check out our guide to the best wireless keyboards here.