Do you have the best mouse for designing effectively? If you're using the mouse that came bundled with your PC or Mac then the answer might be no. It probably does the job, but if you look around you'll soon find alternatives that'll serve you much better, especially when using creative software heavily.
If you're spending hours every day working at your computer, you'll almost certainly do a lot better if you have a more ergonomic mouse that tracks your movements more accurately and offers programmable buttons so you can instantly access your favourite Photoshop shortcuts. There are probably more things to think about when looking for a new mouse than you realised; skip ahead to the what to consider when buying a mouse section for more information.
There is plenty of choice around, but our guide will help you get to the bottom of what you need (also check out our best mouse for Mac post for more Apple-specific products). We've picked every mouse carefully so you you can be confident in your choice – plus our price comparison tool will make sure you get the very best price.
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The best mouse in 2021
Logitech's line of MX Master mice are some of the best mice for designers ever made, and its latest model, the MX Master 3, has landed straight at the top of our best mouse for designers list.
This new version takes everything we loved about the previous version (below), and improved some areas, while bringing complete new features as well, making this simply the best mouse for designers. It's comfortable to use, and it can charge in a few minutes thanks to the USB-C connection.
One of the best features is that you can connect it to several devices and easily switch between them - useful if you want to use the mouse on your PC, laptop and tablet, for example.
It's got a lovely new design as well. However, it is expensive, and it's not ambidextrous. This means you can only use it if you're right-handed.
The Logitech MX Master 2S Wireless Bluetooth Mouse is a cheaper version of our number one mouse. But as the former range-topper it still offers wonderful comfort thanks to its ergonomic design.
You can comfortably use it for hours on end, and it features a super-responsive scroll wheel that lets you browse web pages or documents at your own speed, depending on how fast you flick the wheel.
Buttons located on the side of the mouse also let you flit between windows, and you can configure the buttons to help speed up your workflow. It's wireless as well, which gives you more freedom when working on your desk. The only downside is that it is expensive.
Apple was late to join the innovative mouse party when it created the Magic Mouse. Its replacement, the imaginatively titled Magic Mouse 2, has a super-light design and laser-tracking capabilities that make it easy to flick between InDesign CC pages and make even the smallest changes on practically any surface.
However, the downside is that it’s perhaps a little over-sensitive at times. The multi-touch area on the top of the mouse, which lets you scroll in any direction, can sometimes become frustrating when you want to keep your finger in the same place for a long period of time. But for Magic Mouse evangelists, there is nothing that comes close to this mouse.
Alternatively, a lot of designers prefer the Apple Magic Trackpad 2, which brings Force Touch pressure-sensitive technology (as seen in the screen of the Apple Watch) and Mac trackpads.
The Microsoft Surface Mouse is first and foremost designed to complement Microsoft Surface devices, but that's not to say it's a one-trick pony for it can be used with Macs and Android, too.
We'd say it's not a mouse you want to be using for 35 hours a week - so you'll need one of our more ergonomic options - but it is stylish and looks the part, especially if you're doing client presentations or similar. The metal scroll wheel is our favourite part while it's beautifully accurate.
The Logitech MX Vertical is an extremely comfortable mouse to use once you get used to it. The handshake grip is designed to reduce the stress on your wrist and hand muscles.
You can connect to up to three devices at a time, and a handy button on top of the mouse enables you to switch between different computers instantly. It also promises fast recharging and smooth performance. On the downside, there's no slot of a wireless receiver, and the quirky and slightly bulky design won't be for everyone.
Like the Logitech MX Vertical above, the Anker Vertical Ergonomic Optical Mouse takes a bit of getting used to. It's vertically aligned to encourage healthy, neutral 'handshake' wrist and arm. But once you get in the groove with it, it’s a cheap and very comfortable way to avoid RSI. If you're a digital creative that spends a lot of time using a mouse for work, then having one that is comfortable to use is essential.
After all, if you injure yourself and cannot work, it could mean you lose money. That makes this odd-looking mouse a very wise investment, which is why we think it's the best ergonomic mouse for digital creatives.
Need a compact mouse for working when you're out and about? Look no further than the Logitech MX Anywhere 3. Small – possibly too small for extended use if you have large hands – but perfectly formed, it'll connect to three different devices, either via Bluetooth or a 2.4GHz wireless dongle, and enables you to swap between them almost instantly.
Its built-in battery will keep on going for up to 70 days, and if you run out of juice at an inopportune moment you can simply connect it up via USB-C and keep on working. Its 4,000 DPI means it can track accurately on almost any surface, you can set up app-specific customisations for its buttons, and it boasts an electromagnetic scroll wheel that lets you switch between high-speed scrolling and pixel precision with a single flick.
The MX Ergo Wireless is a distinctly retro-looking mouse thanks to its trackball. While many mice-makers have ditched trackballs in favour of optical laser mice, Logitech has continued to release trackball mice, and for that we're thankful. For many people, the tactile trackball makes working on creative projects much more intuitive and comfortable, and the MX Ergo Wireless can be used flat or at a 20-degree angle.
If you want a mobile mouse for irregular use from a reliable name, try the Logitech Pebble. This wireless mouse comes with an unobtrusive Logitech USB receiver and works with Windows, Mac, Chrome OS and Linux, and is super-simple to get started with: just plug in the receiver and go!
Of course, for this price, you're not getting anything fancy. While the symmetrical design can be used in either hand (good news for lefties), if you're going to be using it for long hours you might want to consider something with a more ergonomic design like the Logitech MX Anywhere 2.
Not every person is comfortable with a huge mouse, so if you're after a smaller mouse, that still offers excellent features and performance, then the Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Mouse 3600 is a brilliant choice. It's small enough to easily carry around with you, and it's cheap as well. However, most importantly, it's comfortable to use, easy to set up, is wireless and has a battery that can last up to six months on a single charge!
The low price, long battery life and compact design makes this one of the best mice you can buy if you travel a lot. It means you never have to leave without a trusted pointing device that's comfortable to use.
For people of a certain age, the Microsoft Intellimouse will bring back strong memories of a real workhorse of a mouse, that wasn't flashy, but did the job brilliantly.
Microsoft has tapped into that nostalgia with the Microsoft Classic Intellimouse, which modernises the classic design and improves the sensor, allowing users to ramp up the DPI to 3,200. It’s not wireless, but for a comfortable and dependable mouse, this is a brilliant update to a computing icon.
Just like designers, gamers need a mouse that is sensitive and accurate, so it stands to reason that gaming mice are a good option for designers too. And the Razer range of gaming mice is one of the most responsive out there.
Razer mice have three types of sensors – dual, laser and optical – and an ergonomic shape designed to support the flow of your hand. The Razer Deathadder mouse is the bestseller (as well as the cheapest), and features an optical sensor and rubber side grips. It also syncs with all of your mouse settings stored in the Cloud.
Best mouse: What to look for
Figuring out which is the best mouse for you will depend on what you're going to be using it for, but there are some common features that we look out for when considering what products to include in this list.
For a start, the best mice need to be ergonomic, so they are comfortable and safe to use for long periods of time. They also need to be fast, responsive and accurate; the key thing you're looking for here is the mouse's DPI. In general, the higher the DPI, the better it can read the surface you're working on, so you don't have to be tethered to a mouse mat and in some cases you can quite easily work on a smooth glass surface.
There are also some features that will depend entirely on use case. To cover all the bases, we've picked a wide range of options here. There are mice that are small and easy to carry around with you, to wireless wonders with all kinds of extra buttons and features, and everything in between.