The best mouse is an important part of many creatives' work setups. Mouses that come bundled with computers usually aren't very hot options for productivity or ergonomics, and even if you have an iMac, Apple's Magic Mouse really isn't as magic as it should be in our opinion (who wants a charging port on the bottom of their mouse?)
This all means that for a much more productive – and comfortable – workflow, you generally have to look elsewhere to find the best mouse for you. When we're looking for the best mouse, we want adjustable levels of sensitivity, smooth and accurate tracking (so we don't have to continually redo wonky selections), and programmable buttons that can help speed up our workflow by providing quick access to shortcuts for frequent actions.
Ergonomic design is another important consideration in the best mice. This means not only improved comfort, but it can help prevent wrist strain and RSI from occurring during long sessions of work. Vertical mice, though they look unusual, can work well here if you take the time to adapt to the shape.
In the guide below, we've selected the best mouse options available now at different price points, weighing up the pros and cons of each. For our testing criteria, we've considered each device's accuracy, smoothness, ergonomics and value for money in order to cover different requirements and budgets. We've also looked at customer reviews. See the tips at the bottom of the guide for pointers on what to look for to select the best mouse for you. If you use Apple machines, you'll also want to see our selection of the best mouse for MacBook Pro and Air, and we also have a specific guide to the best USB-C mouse.
The best mouse available now
If you need the very best mouse and you need it now, we'll save you a bit of time. The Logitech MX Master 3 is our clear favourite – at least if you're right-handed (there's no left-handed version, unfortunately). We find its ergonomic design makes it comfortable for all-day use. It has ample programmable buttons, not to mention a thumb wheel, which allows shortcut profiles to be setup for our favourite apps so we can blaze through repetitive tasks more quickly.
We find the MX Master 3 tracks accurately on pretty much any surface we've tried it on, and 4,000 DPI will be plenty for most creatives. It charges for minutes over USB-C and should keep going for up to 70 days. Best of all you can connect it to several devices and switch between them instantly. You also get Logitech's Bolt wireless technology, which brings better reliability in crowded workspaces while bringing down latency.
While the MX Master 3 is the best mouse for designers overall, it won't be to everybody's tastes; some may find it just a little too big and chunky, and that thumbwheel can feel like it's in the way if you're not making use of it. For a more compact and streamlined alternative perfect for taking with you wherever you go, the Logitech MX Anywhere 3 is just the ticket. Functionally, it's very similar to the MX Master (with the exception of the scroll wheel), and its simpler design makes it more suitable for use in either hand.
The only real downside is that it might be just a little too tiny for some. Designed with portability in mind, it comes in a bit smaller than the average desktop mouse and could prove to be just a little cramped for all-day use. If you have small hands, though, it should be the perfect fit and an ideal everyday option.
If you're familiar with Razer's other mice you might do a bit of a double-take at the sight of the Pro Click, which has a much more restrained design than you might expect. Razer's best known for its gaming peripherals, but this one's aimed at a more general audience and the styling's been toned down to match.
The Pro Click boasts an ergonomic design developed with Humanscale, as well as eight programmable buttons and an adjustable DPI that goes all the way up to 16,000, making it roughly ten times more sensitive than you're ever likely to need. This is a mouse that's designed to be used all day, and with a battery life of up to 400 hours it'll keep on going for weeks until you need to plug it in for a recharge. It's the most expensive option in our list of the best mouse options, but well worth paying extra for its superior ergonomics.
Who can resist the classics? The Microsoft Intellimouse was a desktop favourite back in the days when mice had balls rather than optical sensors, and now you can get a recreated version that retains its feel (complete with a cable) while bringing the internals bang up to date.
The Microsoft Classic Intellimouse echoes the original design and combines it with great responsiveness, with an adjustable DPI that goes up to a creditable 3,200. It's a well-performing and comfortable mouse with pleasingly old-school styling, and for many the fact that you won't ever have to think about batteries will be a definite plus.
If constant clicking's giving your carpal tunnel cause for complaint, upgrading to one of the best mouse options with a proper ergonomic design can make a world of difference. Vertical mice look a little strange, but if you're serious about ergonomics, they're well worth trying because they keep your arm in a more natural neutral 'handshake' position. It can take a while to get used to, but it can be very beneficial for the wrist.
The peculiar-looking Anker Vertical Ergonomic Optical Mouse ticks all the ergonomic boxes, and if you can get along with it you should find that it's an effective way to reduce the risk of RSI without compromising on performance since you get five programmable buttons for productivity shortcuts.
If a vertical mouse doesn't tickle your ergonomic fancy, perhaps a trackball would be more suitable; it keeps your hand in one place, and you move the pointer around by spinning the ball with your thumb. Like a vertical mouse it's an option that you'll need to get used to, and we wouldn't recommend one if you're planning on using it for gaming as well as work. However, if you fancy giving one a go, the Logitech MX Ergo Wireless is an excellent option.
You'll either love it or hate it – we'd strongly advise testing one out first to see how you get on before spending any money. If it suits you, you'll find that the find that the MX Ergo Wireless is an effective, comfortable and precise option.
While the Microsoft Surface Mouse would be the obvious choice for anyone looking for a mouse to go with their Surface, the Surface itself isn't obligatory. As long as you have a computer or tablet with a Bluetooth connection, the mouse should work just fine, and that includes Macs and Android devices.
We wouldn't say this is a mouse to be using all day, every day – we'd recommend one of the more ergonomic options on this list for regular use. But it's stylish and looks the part, especially if you're doing client presentations or similar. The metal scroll wheel is a delight and the mouse feels wonderfully accurate.
Our favourite portable mouse is the Logitech MX Anywhere 3, but given the price you'd definitely kick yourself if you left it on the train. For a more reasonably-priced alternative that you can chuck in a bag and take anywhere without too much fear of losing it, we'd go for another Logitech option, the Pebble. It does the job, it's compatible with just about everything and it's cheap enough to lose without it being the end of the world.
Of course, you're not getting anything fancy for this price. 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, yes, the MX Anywhere 3 – or scroll down the mouse below.
Another great option for using anywhere you like, Microsoft's Bluetooth Mobile Mouse 3600 is a little more ergonomic than the Logitech Pebble and cheap enough to take with you anywhere without fretting about losing it. It's easy to set up on any Bluetooth-equipped device, and it just one AA battery will keep it running for up to a year.
The low price, long battery life and compact design make this one of the best mice you can buy if you tend to travel a lot. It means you'll never have to leave home without a reliable pointing device that's a pleasure to use.
We mentioned the Razer Pro Click higher up as a top quality all-rounder and one of the best mouse options overall. That mode model comes without Razer's gamer-oriented styling, but if you do like the gaming look, here's the Razer DeathAdder Chroma, which was very clearly conceived as a gaming mouse. If you can live with such striking looks, you'll find that it's an excellent wired mouse (doing away with the need to worry about batteries or wireless interference) that boasts customisable RGB lighting and a whole lot of DPI.
Basically it's a great-value, responsive and comfortable mouse that gives better performance than you'd get from a wireless mouse at a similar price point. If you don't mind the cord running across your desk and the styling doesn't turn you off, it's a smart choice.
How to choose the best mouse
So what makes the best mouse? It may be subjective to an extent – some people swear by the improved ergonomics offered by the best vertical mice, while others just can't get used to the change. However, there are a few things you definitely want to look for, and which we considered when making our choice of the best mouse options above.
Ergonomics is important, especially if you'll be using your mouse for long periods of time. Many of the best mice have specially sculpted bodies that are designed to fit your hand in a very comfortable way. The problem with that, however, is that these often aren't suitable for using in both hands. Some brands do make left-handed version, but not all do, so the options are more limited for left-handed users – and you might even have to pay more.
Vertical mice and trackballs make great ergonomic options, but they do take some time to get used to because we're so accustomed to the shape and movement of a traditional mouse. Whatever option you go for, don't underestimate the ergonomic benefits of investing in a mouse mat with a wrist rest.
As for whether to go wired or wireless, there are advantages and disadvantages of each. The advantage of a wired mouse is still that you don't need to worry about battery life, but the batteries in the best wireless mice now last for months, and wireless mice aren't as bulky as they used to be. On top of that, many wireless mice let you turn up the DPI and report rate to make them more responsive for a spot of after-hours gaming.
Speaking of DPI, you'll want something around 1,000 for day-to-day use. There's a bit of a DPI war between gaming mouse manufacturers trying to eke the biggest DPI out of their sensors, but ultimately these huge numbers are impractical. The 16,000 DPI you can get out of the Razer Pro Click seems impressive, but if you tried to use it in real life the tiniest nudge of your mouse would send the cursor flying across the screen. An adjustable DPI can be useful however, to allow you to change the DPI for gaming for example.
The other thing to look out for is programmable buttons, since these allow you to create shortcuts for some of the actions you perform most regularly, helping you to speed up your workflow once you get used to them. Just note that with some mice, some of the buttons may not work on all operating systems, so always check the specs.