Your mouse is always there for you, right (or sometimes left) by your side. You might not give much thought to it, but a good mouse can make you more productive, feel more comfortable and help you get through a hard workday a little easier.
To help you find the mouse that’s comfortable enough to use all day and has the features that let you be most productive, we spent several weeks testing 16 different mice, from basic, budget-friendly models to the tricked-out ergonomic mice with customizable buttons, plus some trackballs and vertical mice. In the end, two contenders rose to the top.
The Logitech MX Master 3 is the perfect blend of traditional ergonomic design, intelligent workflow features and portability. At $100, it's ideal for anyone looking for a workhorse mouse that can get them through years of productivity across multiple devices.
The Logitech M510 punches above its weight class. At $25, it's a budget-friendly mouse that still offers a comfortable design, several programmable buttons and impressively long battery life.
Best overall mouse: Logitech MX Master 3 ($99.99; logitech.com)
Nowhere is Logitech’s attention to ergonomic nuance more evident than in the design of the MX Master 3. It perfectly fits your hand’s natural resting position, with a wide, flared base that supports the base of your thumb. It’s such a nice feature that once you experience it, you’ll become painfully aware of how few other mice offer this support.
Right away, you’ll probably notice that the MX Master 3 has two scroll wheels: a main vertical wheel and a secondary thumbwheel. The main wheel uses a technology Logitech calls “MagSpeed,” employing contactless electromagnetic switches rather than mechanical ones, for accuracy and long life. As with previous Master series mice, the wheel switches automatically between free spinning and precise line-by-line scrolling depending on how fast you move the wheel.
In our testing it was easy to jump instantly to the bottom of a long document and move incrementally once we got to the section we needed to edit. A small button below the wheel lets you swap modes manually. The thumbwheel comes set up for horizontal scrolling and browser tab swapping but can be customized on a per-application basis to do things like change brush size in Photoshop, scroll through the timeline in Premiere Pro or raise and lower the volume in Zoom. It’s a handy workflow assist you probably didn’t realize you needed.
Using Logitech’s Options software, four buttons can be customized on a per-application or global basis. The software comes with built-in presets for apps like Word, PowerPoint and Excel, making it a one-click affair to add relevant shortcuts tailored to the app you’re using (which you can still change afterward, depending on your liking).
In addition, pressing the gesture control on the thumb lets you trigger actions by moving your mouse in a particular direction, much as you would with multitouch gestures on trackpads or touch screens. These gestures are also customizable; by default they let you switch between multiple desktops (we appreciated this one in our testing), open the Start menu if you swipe up and reveal the desktop.
The MX Master 3 supports three devices over Bluetooth and lets you switch between them with a single button on the mouse’s underside. It’s also compatible with Logitech’s Flow software, which lets you control multiple computers and drag and drop files between them. It even works cross-platform; in our testing, we used a Windows desktop and a MacBook Air. Moving the cursor past the edge of one screen on the Windows desktop would make it appear on the MacBook. If you use one of Logitech’s Flow-compatible keyboards (like the MX Keys, our pick for best keyboard, it will follow the mouse, giving you convenient control of multiple computers.
Pairing the mouse with your computer is, as is typical for Logitech peripherals, pretty painless. The unifying receiver lets you connect multiple Logitech devices to a single 2.4 GHz USB dongle, saving space in your computer. This is handy if, for example, you also happen to use our top picks for keyboards. Alternatively, you can pair via Bluetooth and switch between up to three devices by pressing the button located on the underside of the mouse.
The mouse is built out of sturdy plastic that never feels cheap or flimsy. The parts of the mouse you physically touch are all rubberized in a way that provides a satisfying grip, while the underside is made of a smoother plastic that provides a reasonable heft to the device. The mouse rests on four slick skates that let it glide smoothly over flat surfaces without the need for a mouse pad. Finally, the two scroll wheels are both made of machined steel that are extremely satisfying to grip.
The MX Master 3 claims a battery life of 70 days on a full charge, and after multiple days of using it, we never noticed a significant drop in battery life. If the need to refill the battery does arise, it features a convenient USB-C charging port on the front of the mouse, allowing you to charge the mouse while still using it much like a wired mouse.
At $100, this mouse is certainly an investment (and it comes with a one-year warranty to cover that investment). It’s not the most expensive mouse out there, but you could also easily shave a bit off by sacrificing a few bells and whistles (you can find some of those options listed below), but if you want a powerful, comfortable mouse that does it all, it’s hard to top the MX Master 3.
Best budget mouse: Logitech M510 ($24.99; logitech.com)
The Logitech M510 isn’t the cheapest mouse we tested, but it makes few sacrifices at that price and anything cheaper cut too many corners. The Logitech M510 features a comfortable design with two customizable buttons, and battery life long enough to make thinking about it a nonissue.
The M510 is comfortable and smart without resorting to an outlandish design. It features a symmetrical design that makes it easy for right- or left-handed users to work with, the only exception being two customizable buttons on the left side that are thumb-accessible for righties but awkward for lefties.
The M510 uses the same excellent unifying receiver that most other Logitech peripherals do, so you can pair it to your computer with the same dongle that your keyboard is connected to and save a slot. Unfortunately, the M510 only works with this receiver, and can only pair with one computer at a time. There’s no Bluetooth connectivity here, and the only way to switch it to another machine is by unplugging the receiver and plugging it in somewhere else.
What the M510 lacks in nice-to-haves, though, it makes up for by covering the basics in spades. The mouse runs on two AA batteries, which are rated to last a whopping two years, the longest claimed battery life of all the mice we tested.
The M510 is also one of the few mice we found near this price point that offers customization options. Using the simple, straightforward Logitech Options software, the two buttons on the side can be customized to launch apps, send keyboard commands or open certain websites. The scroll wheel can also be clicked by tilting it left or right, as well as pressed straight down for a middle click, giving you three more customizable buttons in one place.
A three-year limited warranty covers manufacturer defects. If you’re looking for a cheap but solid mouse for yourself, or buying in bulk for a team, this is the mouse to beat.
How we tested
We narrowed the field down to a selection of 15 mice, representing a cross section of high-end ergonomic mice, inexpensive wired and wireless mice, as well as a few thumb trackballs. For each mouse, we unboxed them, followed the included pairing instructions and connected them to a Windows desktop. For mice that paired with multiple devices, we also connected them to a Mac laptop.
We tested with an eye toward how intuitive the setup process was, how much the included software (if any) allowed customizing the mouse and how well it supported multiple devices. We then used each mouse for an entire regular workday as our sole input, split between the Windows and Mac machines where applicable. We installed any customization software the manufacturer created and created a few basic custom shortcuts. Where wireless use was an option, we used the mouse in wireless mode.
We based our rankings on each mouse’s setup process, comfort level, customization tools, multi-device performance (where applicable) and rated battery life and price. Since most of these mice have battery lives rated by months, we did not fully drain each mouse’s battery. To make up for this, we gave extra weight to how easy it was to charge or replace the batteries, and how often the user can expect to do so.
We used the following categories to log and rank the mice we tested:
Setup: Here, we looked at how long the setup process took, whether it was plug and play, how much the battery was charged out of the box, how intuitive the setup instructions were and how well it supported pairing with multiple devices.
Design and comfort: We examined the materials the mouse was made of, how comfortable it was to use and hold, how easy the buttons were to access and where the charger location was positioned.
Customization: In this area, we examined the proprietary customization apps, if they existed and how well users can create their own shortcuts or macros and tweak their mouse scroll speed and cursor precision.
Battery: We examined what kind of battery a mouse uses (integrated versus replaceable), how easy it was to charge or replace, what kind of cable the mouse uses to charge, whether such a cable was included and how long the battery was rated to last.
Performance: Here, we gauged whether the mice work as intended, whether they had any noticeable lag, how they connected to the computer and how well they stood up to a full workday’s worth of work.
Warranty and price: We also gave some consideration to how long the manufacturer’s warranty lasts, as well as factoring in the overall price.
Other mice we tested
Apple Magic Mouse 2 ($79; amazon.com)
The Apple Magic Mouse 2 is one of the rare Apple design flops that’s so baffling it’s hard to understand what went wrong. It comes with a USB-A to Lightning cable for pairing, even though many modern Macs don’t have USB-A ports anymore. It lacks a Bluetooth pairing button and the only way the instructions offer to change which device it’s paired with requires going into the original device’s settings and removing it. This mouse also has the simply unacceptable charging port on the bottom of the mouse, guaranteeing that you can’t charge the mouse while using it. These shortcomings combined make it a series of headaches during both setup and regular use. The mouse functions fine once it’s set up and charged, and some of the touch gestures can be useful, but at this price point, we have a hard time recommending this mouse unless it came with your computer.
Anker Vertical Mouse ($27.99; amazon.com)
The vertical mouse style isn’t for everyone, but for some wrist pain sufferers the configuration can be a relief, since the tilt can reduce strain on the wrist. The only downside is that the Anker model lacks significant thumb pad support, leaving your thumb to feel like it’s floating a bit unsupported. We only noticed this while comparing it to Logitech’s vertical mouse, but that model is nearly four times as expensive as Anker’s, so it’s an acceptable trade-off if you want a budget ergonomic mouse.
This is one of the two cheapest mice we looked at. It’s as bare bones as you can get: no extra buttons, no customization software and a wired-only connection. This isn’t the mouse you get to live a life of luxury, but if you need to buy dozens of mice for an entire team on the cheap, this is among the least expensive ways to do it. However, the TeckNet six-button mouse we looked at offered similar value, plus a couple extra useful buttons, so your best choice might come down to which one is on sale and how much you need from a mouse.
Nearly $40 might seem like a lot for a basic wired mouse, but the G203 features two extra programmable side buttons for shortcuts, and a button just below the scroll wheel for changing precision levels. This entry-level gaming mouse is customized using the company’s more powerful G Hub software, which is designed for gamers creating complex macros. This might be more useful for you if you’re on a budget but want to program more complex shortcuts than Logitech Options can offer.
Logitech M317 ($29.99; logitech.com)
At a $30 list price, the M317 is similar to the M510, but without the extra customizable buttons, and a rated battery life of only one year, compared to two for the M510. Those are hefty compromises to make for a mouse that’s usually more expensive, but this mouse is frequently on sale for as low as $18. If you want to shave off a few bucks and can get past the trade-offs, then these might be a good fit for you or your team as well. It comes with the same three-year warranty as the M510, making these two the only models we tested with warranties that last that long.
The Logitech MX Anywhere 3 is 80% of the price of the MX Master 3 with around 80% of the functionality, which seems fair. It has fewer customizable buttons, lacks the horizontal scroll wheel and doesn’t have quite as much ergonomic support. However, it pairs with multiple computers just as well, uses the same USB-C charging port with 70-day rated battery life and works with the excellent Logitech Options software. This would be an excellent mouse to catch on sale.
Trackball mice can be a bit polarizing, but if you find you prefer them, then this is an excellent choice. Instead of sliding a mouse across a desk (which can create wrist and arm strain), this trackball mouse has a ball that’s controlled with your thumb. It also features a 20-degree tilting plate, so you can position it in the way that feels best for your wrist.
In terms of customizability and portability, the MX Vertical Ergonomic Mouse is a peer to the MX Master 3. What sets it apart is its vertical orientation that allows your wrist to rest in a position that some find more natural. Logitech smartly included a bit of extra plastic to support the base of your thumb. This sounds like a small thing, but we experienced noticeably less strain compared to the Anker vertical model. At $99, it’s an investment, but your wrist might thank you.
Microsoft Bluetooth Mouse ($19.99; microsoft.com)
This basic Bluetooth mouse is designed to do its basic job and otherwise get out of the way. There are no customizable buttons or multi-device support, but if you’re looking for a cheap wireless mouse to throw in your travel bag, you could do worse than this. Battery life is average at 12 months.
Microsoft Surface Mobile Mouse ($34.99; microsoft.com)
There’s little to distinguish the Surface Mobile Mouse from the more basic Microsoft Bluetooth Mouse, other than its lower profile and modern-looking design, so we don’t think it’s worth the higher price. The streamlined design isn’t very ergonomic, and the plastic it’s made of feels fairly thin (though it stood up to decent use as a travel mouse in our testing).
Razer Pro Click ($99.99; amazon.com)
The Razer Pro Click must feel like the Tahani to the MX Master 3’s Kamilah. While this mouse beat out nearly every other mouse in almost every category in our testing, it came in just behind the Master 3. It supports multiple devices, but only by switching between Bluetooth and 2.4 GHz, instead of allowing multiple Bluetooth connections. It has a 400-hour battery life, which comes out to about 50 eight-hour days to the Master 3’s 70 days, and it charges via an oddly shaped Micro USB cable instead of the more accessible USB-C. It also has fewer customizable buttons, but all of these are quibbles. Overall the Razer Pro Click has most of the same benefits as the Master 3. If it were just a little cheaper, we might’ve even ranked it higher, but if you can catch it on sale you might end up just as happy with it.
Seenda Wireless Mouse ($12.99; amazon.com)
The Seenda wireless mouse is the only mouse we tested that didn’t include a battery, which was a little jarring since it only takes one AA, which most other manufacturers tend to include. Its plasticky mouse skates felt like they were scraping across our desk, which wasn’t encouraging. This is technically the cheapest wireless mouse we tested, but the Microsoft Bluetooth Mouse is worth the extra money, and if you’re really looking to save, you might be better off going wired and saving even more.
Surface Arc Mouse ($79.99; microsoft.com)
This is the oddest mouse we tested, but its unique design makes it an interesting travel mouse. When in use, the mouse is curved with an obvious arc, from which it gets its name. Its buttons are embedded within a touch pad that allows for a few gesture controls. What makes it most odd is that, to turn it off, you snap it into a flat position (it’s designed specifically to fit into a bag). It feels jarring at first, but it’s satisfying. This also helps reduce battery drain and lets you know very clearly whether it’s still connected to your laptop or tablet.
TeckNet 6-Button USB Wired Mouse ($9.99; amazon.com)
The TeckNet 6-Button Wired Mouse is one of the cheapest mice we tested, but despite that, it has two side buttons that work as Forward and Back controls as well as a precision control button beneath the mouse wheel, useful for multi-monitor setups. If you need to outfit an entire office with mice, need more control than the Logitech B100 offers and you have to keep costs to a minimum, this is worth a look.
Read more from CNN Underscored’s hands-on testing: