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The best mouse in 2021: Magnificent mice for all your needs

Best mouse
(Image credit: Getty Images)

As a designer, it's vital you have the best mouse for designing effectively. Still using the mouse that came with your PC or Mac? You're doing yourself a disservice and you could definitely find much better alternatives – especially if you're a heavy user of creative software.

An ergonomic mouse (which tracks your movements more accurately and puts your hand in the right position) is key if you're spending a lot of time working at your computer. And some even have programmable buttons so you can instantly enact 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.

This handy guide will help you get to the bottom of what you need (and be sure to check out our roundup of the best mouse for Mac if you're an Apple-user). We've carefully picked every mouse so you can be confident in your choice.

The best mouse in 2021

Best mouse: Logitech MX Master 3cb badge

(Image credit: Logitech)

01. Logitech MX Master 3

The best mouse for creatives right now

DPI: 4,000 | Interface: Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless | Buttons: 7 | Ergonomic: Right-handed | Features: Easy switch to connect to different devices, USB-C quick charging, gesture button

Comfortable design
Can be used on different devices
Not ambidextrous 

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.

Best mouse: Logitech MX Master 2Scb badge

(Image credit: Logitech)

02. Logitech MX Master 2S

Still one of the best mice for designers

DPI: 4,000 | Interface: Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless | Buttons: 7 | Ergonomic: Right-handed | Features: Scrolling wheel, Customizable buttons, Thumb wheel, ergonomic build

Customizable buttons 
Unbelievable tracking 
Not ambidextrous 

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.

Best mouse: Apple Magic Mouse 2cb badge

03. Apple Magic Mouse 2

The Apple classic

DPI: 1300 | Interface: Bluetooth | Buttons: 0 | Ergonomic: Ambidextrous | Features: Multi-touch

Looks fantastic
Multi-touch is clever
Spectacularly uncomfortable (for us)

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. 

Best mouse: Microsoft Surface Mouse

(Image credit: Microsoft)

04. Microsoft Surface Mouse

Got a Surface? This is the one

DPI: 1000 | Interface: Bluetooth (BlueTrack) | Buttons: 2 plus scroll wheel | Ergonomic: Ambidextrous | Features: Bluetooth Low Energy, Will also work with Mac

Matches Surface devices
Designed to be comfortable
Metal scroll wheel
All-day users might want something more ergonomic

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. 

Best mouse: Logitech MX Vertical

(Image credit: Logitech)

05. Logitech MX Vertical

An extremely comfortable vertical mouse

DPI: 4,000 | Interface: Bluetooth (up to three devices); USB-C | Buttons: 6 | Ergonomic: Right-handed | Features: Ergonomic build, Easy-Switch and Flow-Enabled, Fast recharging, Cursor speed switch

Ergonomic design
Fast recharging
4-month battery life
Slightly odd design

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.

Best mouse: Anker Vertical Ergonomic Optical Mouse

06. Anker Vertical Ergonomic Optical Mouse

The best cheap ergonomic mouse

DPI: 1000 | Interface: USB | Buttons: 5 | Ergonomic: Vertical | Features: No

Good for RSI sufferers
Cheap as chips
Thumb buttons don't work on Macs

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.

Best mouse: Logitech MX Anywhere 3

(Image credit: Logitech)

07. Logitech MX Anywhere 3

The best mouse for on-the-go-use

DPI: 4,000 | Interface: Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless (pairs with up to three devices) | Buttons: 6 | Ergonomic: Right-handed | Features: MagSpeed Electromagnetic scrolling, up to 70 days battery life, USB-C charging, silicone side grips, easy device switching

Pairs with three devices
Compact and portable
Electromagnetic scroll wheel
Non-removable battery
Too small for some

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.

Best mouse: Logitech MX Ergo Wireless

08. Logitech MX Ergo Wireless

The best trackball mouse

DPI: 512 – 2048 | Interface: Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless | Buttons: 8 | Ergonomic: Right-handed | Features: Trackball, USB dongle, Logitech ‘Flow’ software compatibility for use with up to three PCs simultaneously, micro USB charging, precision mode

Comfortable design
Accurate trackball
No left-handed version
Tilt options are limited

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.

Best mouse: Logitech Pebble

(Image credit: Logitech)

09. Logitech Pebble

A low-cost option for use on-the-go

DPI: 1000 | Interface: 2.4 GHz wireless connectivity; USB receiver | Buttons: 3 | Ergonomic: Ambidextrous | Features: Scroll wheel

Great value
Basic option
Logitech MX Anywhere 2 is much better

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.

Best mouse: Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Mouse 3600

(Image credit: Microsoft)

10. Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Mouse 3600

The best budget mouse for creatives

DPI: 1000 | Interface: Bluetooth | Buttons: 2 | Ergonomic: Ambidextrous | Features: No

Really, really cheap
Comfortable and easy to carry around
Smaller than most mice, not good if you are big-handed

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.

Best mouse: Microsoft Classic IntelliMouse

11. Microsoft Classic IntelliMouse

The legend returns - a great wired mouse

DPI: 3200 | Interface: Wired | Buttons: 5 | Ergonomic: Right-handed | Features: classic design, programmable buttons, subdued white lighting

Solid design 
Not wireless 
Right-handed only

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.

Best mouse: Razer DeathAdder Chroma

12. Razer DeathAdder Chroma

A gaming mouse that can be used anytime

DPI: 10,000 | Interface: USB | Buttons: 5 | Ergonomic: Right-handed | Features: lighting effects

Very comfortable
Very accurate
Lighting feels a bit gimmicky
Software can be flaky

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 Chroma 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.

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