How we picked and tested
In 2015, we surveyed readers to find out what makes a great wireless mouse. Most of our readers prioritized comfort (which includes grip, how the mouse glides across a surface, and overall feel), sensor performance and type, connection type and dongle size, button placement and variety, useful software, battery life, and warranty coverage.
Based on our survey feedback, this is what you should look for in a wireless mouse:
- Size: Comfort can vary based on hand size, so we sought out average hand measurements for adults. Using hand anthropometric data collected by the Georgia Tech Research Institute (taken from studies conducted in 2002 and 2008), we combined men's and women's hand measurements to find that the average palm size is 4 inches, and the average middle finger length is 2.95 inches.
- Grip: Among our survey participants, the most common mouse grip was fingertip at 48 percent, followed by palm at 35 percent, and claw at 13 percent.
- Handedness: We found that 94 percent of our respondents use their right hand to operate a mouse, even though only 87 percent of the readers surveyed said they were right-handed.
- Sensor: A mouse's sensor should be able to register motion correctly and precisely—it shouldn't stop or jump around the screen. It should also work on a variety of surfaces, primarily desks, hard and soft mouse pads, wood, and fabric.
- Connection: The wireless signal shouldn't cut out during ordinary use across short distances.
- Connection options: Some mice can connect only via a 2.4 GHz radio-frequency (RF) USB wireless receiver—aka a dongle—others connect via Bluetooth only, and some mice support both.
- Dongle size: If your mouse uses a wireless receiver to connect to your device, that dongle should be as unobtrusive as possible.
- Buttons: Every wireless mouse should have the standard right- and left-click buttons.
- Useful software: Many wireless mice come with bundled software that allows you to track battery life and customize buttons, sensitivity, acceleration, scroll speed, and more.
- Battery life: A great wireless mouse should last a few months on a charge, at the very least.
- Warranty: Although most defects covered by the warranty should present themselves within the first year of use, longer warranties are nice to have.
We put each wireless mouse through a battery of sensor tests based on those that manufacturers use to test gaming mice to rule out any subpar sensors. We also tested each mouse on a variety of common mousing surfaces, including a desk, a hard mouse pad, a soft mouse pad, a wood floor, fabric, glass, and a mirror. We then used each mouse for part of our workday, every day, for a week to evaluate comfort, button placement, and software.
In 2015, we put together a panel of people with varying hand sizes to test wireless mice and discuss which they liked and disliked, to supplement our survey results. We did this again in 2017, bringing in seven new panelists to test previous picks and new contenders.
Our pick: Logitech Marathon Mouse M705
After two years, the Logitech Marathon Mouse M705 is still the best mouse for most people because of its low price and excellent balance of features: medium size, ergonomic shape, eight customizable buttons, long battery life, and Logitech's Unifying Receiver, which lets you connect up to six Logitech keyboards and pointing devices via a single USB port. Although it can't connect via Bluetooth, and its software is less intuitive than the newer Logitech software used by most of our other picks, the inexpensive Marathon is the best mouse for most people who want to plug in their mouse and go to town.
Comfort is subjective, so we were pleasantly surprised when the Marathon emerged as the clear comfort favorite among our testers. Eight of our 13 panel members liked the size, grip, and button placement of the Marathon best, and four ranked it second best. The Marathon's sensor tracked smoothly on nearly all of our test surfaces, but without Logitech's high-end Darkfield sensor, present in more expensive mice, it doesn't work well on glass and mirrors.
Runner-up: Logitech M720 Triathlon Multi-Device Wireless Mouse
If our top pick is unavailable, or if you don't mind paying more for the combination of Bluetooth and a USB dongle, we recommend the Logitech M720 Triathlon Multi-Device Wireless Mouse. The Triathlon was the second-most comfortable mouse according to our panelists, and it can connect via a USB RF dongle or Bluetooth and can pair with up to three Bluetooth devices at a time. It has six programmable buttons, useful software, and long battery life. But with a price of about $40, the Triathlon is too expensive for most people who want just a comfortable, plug-and-play mouse that will last for a few years. (If you can find it for less than $30, the Triathlon is a better value than the Marathon.)
An upgrade pick: Logitech MX Master 2S Wireless Mouse
If you spend all day using a mouse, we recommend spending more for the Logitech MX Master 2S Wireless Mouse. Our panel found it comfortable for all grips and hand sizes, even though it's a bit larger and heavier than the Marathon. The MX Master 2S is an upgrade over our main pick in just about every way: It has a better sensor, it can pair and switch between multiple Bluetooth devices, it has six programmable buttons and a second scroll wheel for your thumb, it supports Logitech's Flow software, and it has a rechargeable battery.
A portable option: Logitech M585 Multi-Device or M590 Multi-Device Silent
If you need a more compact mouse, the Logitech M585 Multi-Device and Logitech M590 Multi-Device Silent are the best options. Both are smaller than our other picks without being uncomfortable, track well on every surface except mirror and glass, can connect via dongle or Bluetooth, and have five programmable buttons. The M585 and M590 are identical, except that the M590's left- and right-clicks give only tactile feedback instead of the noise and tactile response of most computer mice.
For large hands: Logitech Performance Mouse MX
If you have big hands or prefer large mice, we recommend the Logitech Performance Mouse MX. The Performance is even larger than our upgrade pick, making it the most comfortable for larger-handed people to use. Plus, it has nine programmable buttons, more than any of our other picks. But it has a mediocre scroll wheel and it lacks the MX Master 2S model's thumb scroll wheel, Bluetooth, and support for Logitech's latest software. This mouse costs nearly twice as much as our main pick, but it's much cheaper than the MX Master 2S, so if you have huge hands and want to spend less, the Performance MX is a great option.
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