The Best Wireless Mice for 2021

Wireless mice have come a long way in the last three to five years. New and improved versions of the technologies that mouse makers use to connect devices over the air have made a stable, nearly lag-free connection the norm for high-quality wireless gear. Likewise, better batteries and more efficient hardware have made charging a once-in-a-while concern, rather than a frequent one. Though the bar for making a usable wireless mouse is higher than a wireless keyboard, where it’s easier to tolerate a little input lag, plenty of companies out there now make products that feel indistinguishable from their cable-bound counterparts.

Microsoft mouse with plantwireless keyboards, most wireless mice offer one of two ways to connect to devices. The majority make use of a 2.4GHz radio-based connection, which syncs with a USB dongle you plug into your PC or Mac. Some mice, particularly models made for the office or mobile use, connect via Bluetooth, which doesn’t require any additional hardware assuming the client computer supports Bluetooth connectivity. A few models support both types of connection in one mouse.

While both connections work well most of the time, the 2.4GHz kind tends to be a little more stable. Bluetooth signals can be spotty, especially in public spaces with many Bluetooth devices in operation, which can introduce additional input lag. Luckily, the 2.4GHz connection has become the de facto standard in modern mice: Even cheap gear tends to prefer it.

Logitech MX Master 3 with USB dongleany mouse.

THE RIGHT SCULPT. First and foremost, a mouse should have a comfortable shape that supports your hand. Ideally the chassis of a mouse is designed to guide your hand into a specific position that makes it easy for your fingers to reach all of its inputs: click panels, buttons, the scroll wheel. That position should come naturally, and you should not need to use the muscles in your hand to position your hand in the right way.

Logitech right-handed gaming mouseLogitech MX Master 3, you will find additional customizations and shortcuts that make a seven-button mouse feel like it offers far more options, but more often than not, the difference between good and bad mouse buttons comes down to their placement, not their numbers.

Logitech MX Master 3Specialized MMO mice have a ton of buttons to replicate the function keys on a keyboard, so they often have 15 or more. To be clear, more isn’t always better: Adding buttons adds weight and, if poorly designed, creates uncomfortable movements that are slow to reach and can hurt your hand with overuse. That said, companies are still finding new ways to add inputs without compromising comfort, so it is possible to find mice that defy these categories.

SENSOR SELECTION. Last, we should at least talk a little bit about a mouse’s sensor, the internal component that matters most. Most modern mice have at least a decent optical sensor, which uses a small beam of infrared light (on older models it may be a visible red or blue light) to track its position relative to the surface where you keep the mouse (your desktop or mousepad). 

Most mainstream wireless mice have a good enough sensor to meet the average person’s needs. Any good mouse should hit at least 5,000dpi and deliver some ability to customize and/or store multiple sensitivity levels for when you need more precision versus more movement. Almost every office mouse will hit that standard, though not all of them will give you the customization you want.

Logitech MX Master 3 Sensorbest overall computer mice and the best gaming mice have explainers from their own angles. Check them out, too, for broader or narrower ranges of top models. But our recommendations below are a great jumping-off point.

About Mike Epstein

January 23, 2021
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