The human body hasn’t evolved to sit in a chair behind a desk for eight hours every day, at least five days a week. One consequence of our sedentary lifestyle is the alarming number of office workers affected by carpal tunnel syndrome, a medical condition whose main symptoms are pain, numbness, and tingling, in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and the thumb side of the ring fingers.
Typically, carpal tunnel syndrome results from the compression of the median nerve as it travels through the wrist at the carpal tunnel when using the computer mouse. Standard mice force the wrist into a palm-down position, which results in the tightening of the bones around the joint space.
If you’re already suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome or would like to minimize the chance of it affecting you in the future, you should replace your standard computer mouse with a vertical mouse to eliminate forearm twisting and promote a relaxed working hand posture. Below are our top seven favorite vertical mice in 2019.
Evoluent VerticalMouse Vertical Mouse
Evoluent is a California-based manufacturer of ergonomic computer peripherals and the inventor of the famous VerticalMouse, the first mouse to support a hand in a fully upright handshake position for eliminating the arm twisting required by ordinary mice. Since Evoluent’s Jack Lo invented and patented the VerticalMouse in 1994, the company has improved upon the original design numerous times until it arrived at the current iteration of the VerticalMouse.
Just like the original VerticalMouse, the latest version preserves the patented shape that supports your hand in an upright neutral posture, but the mouse now features an improved thumb rest to provide even more comfort over previous versions and two thumb buttons for easier access to shortcuts.
Tracking is provided by an accurate optical sensor, which can be adjusted using the speed control button on the side of the mouse. Top mounted LEDs indicate the selected speed, and the illuminated Evoluent logo on the rear side of the mouse shows when the mouse is active and powered from a USB port.
The VerticalMouse from Evoluent works with all modern operating systems without any drivers, but you will have to download the official driver for Windows or Mac from Evoluent’s website to use some of the more advanced features of the mouse, such as its programmable buttons. Because the Evoluent VerticalMouse carriers the legacy of the vertical mouse that has started it all, its price is somewhat steep, but we believe that your health and comfort are worth it.
Adesso iMouse E20 Semi-Vertical Mouse
The Adesso iMouse E20 is an excellent semi-vertical mouse, and it’s perfect for someone who’s not yet ready to purchase a full-fledged vertical mouse like the VerticalMouse from Evoluent but would still like to eliminate the cause of carpal tunnel syndrome by achieving a more ergonomic hand position.
The iMouse E20 has a high-precision laser sensor with four DPI settings (400/800/1600/3200), and it connects to the computer wirelessly at up to 30 feet. Laser mice are significantly more sensitive than optical mice, and they work on just about any surface, including those that are glossy. However, the extremely high precision of laser sensors means that laser mice pick up even the faintest movements, which some find distracting.
Located on the side of the iMouse E20 semi-vertical mouse are two internet navigation buttons, and below them is a spacious thumb rest to stop your thumb from sliding over your mouse pad or table and hindering your mouse movements.
J-Tech Digital Vertical Mouse
This affordable vertical mouse from J-Tech features a unique ergonomic design with a removable palm rest and two extra thumb buttons for navigating the web with minimal hand movement. The mouse is available either with a USB cable or with a wireless USB dongle. We prefer the USB version as the mouse is designed to eliminate as much wrist movement as possible anyway, so the cable is hardly noticeable.
Despite its low price, the J-Tech Digital vertical mouse has durable buttons with a lifespan of more than 3 million clicks, and a scroll wheel tested for 200,000 circles. A high-resolution sensor inside the mouse has three DPI settings—600, 1000, 1600— and we’ve found it to be accurate and responsive on all common surfaces.
Considering how inexpensive the J-Tech Digital vertical mouse is, we can wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who would like to try a vertical mouse without spending a lot of money on one.
Jelly Comb Vertical Mouse
While most vertical mice are somewhat unwieldy and definitely not meant for travel, the Jelly Comb vertical mouse is so light and compact that you can take it with you anywhere. Despite its small size, the mouse does a great job of elevating the pressure on the nerves in your hand with its smart ergonomic design that puts your hand in the right position without making the mouse too large.
The Jelly Comb features an optical sensor with three DPI settings (800, 1200, 1600) and high precision on all common surfaces. To make web browsing easier, the mouse has two extra buttons above the thumb rest, allowing you to go back and forward without moving your wrist. The Jelly Comb vertical mouse is compatible with most operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux. You might even be able to use it with Android devices, but the manufacturer doesn’t provide any guarantee.
Sharkk Ergonomic Vertical Mouse
The Sharkk Ergonomic vertical mouse is an aggressively angled mouse for people who spend most days in front of a computer. Just like most vertical mice, the Sharkk Ergonomic is designed for right-handed users, reducing muscle strain to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. The mouse is compatible with all modern operating systems, and it doesn’t require any additional drivers to work as intended.
The manufacturer offers a 1-year warranty on the mouse and hassle-free replacement should something go wrong with it. For less than $20, the Sharkk Ergonomic vertical mouse is hard to say no to.
And next up, we have the Evoluent VM4R vertical mouse. As with all vertical mice, the biggest advantage to this one is the ergonomic support — this one gently supports your right hand in an upright neutral position. The patented shape prevents you from twisting your forearm, which is what you generally would do with the traditional mouse.
It still has some standard features that you would expect out of a mouse — like the ability to adjust the pointer speed from low to high. All of the optical sensor controls are on the side of the mouse. There is no need to release the grip for speed adjustment. This one is USB wired, so it, unfortunately, isn’t wireless.
Anker Wireless Vertical Mouse
Last up, but certainly not least on our list, we have the Anker Wireless Vertical Mouse. The ergonomic design on this one encourages healthy neutral “handshake” wrist and arm positions for smoother movement and less overall strain. There’s also next and previous page buttons, which make for easy web browsing.
There’s a power-saving mode, which turns the mouse off after eight minutes of idle time. That helps preserve battery so that the mouse lasts longer.
Here we’ve shown you some of the best vertical mice that you can pick up on the market today. The advantage to vertical mice like these is that they’re perfect for ergonomics, helping keep carpal tunnel far away. These mice are actually really helpful for working all-day on the computer, but they certainly do have their own style to them. Some of them take some getting used to, if you’ve never used vertical mice before.
Do you have a favorite vertical mouse that you use? Let us know in the comments section below.