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What Is a Vertical Mouse and Is It the Best Ergonomic Mouse?

As the founder and CEO of a digital marketing and web design company, my job entails heavy usage of a computer. Whether it's for web design, SEO, or managing digital marketing campaigns, you'll typically find me seated in front of a screen for about 7 to 10 hours daily. Over time, this began to take a toll on my body, particularly on my wrist, neck, and trapezius muscles.

Having experienced first-hand the discomfort of recurring tension headaches and diagnosed migraines, I became extremely passionate about ergonomics and began to explore different solutions to make my office more ergonomic.

One of my discoveries along the way was the concept of a vertical mouse, also known as an upright mouse. I took the leap and purchased a Logitech MX Vertical Mouse back in September 2021 to try at my home office, which I use a couple times a week and served as a trial run. I enjoyed the initial benefits of the vertical mouse so much that I bought a second vertical mouse just two months later for my normal office where it’s used 7-10 hours per day.

logitech ergonomic vertical mouse

So, what exactly is a vertical mouse, and why am I recommending you try one?

What Is a Vertical Mouse?

A vertical mouse or upright mouse is a unique design twist on the traditional computer mouse that aligns your hand and forearm in a more natural position. Rather than laying your hand and wrist flat over the top of the mouse, as with conventional designs, a vertical mouse appears flipped on its side, typically at a 57-degree angle, encouraging you to hold the vertical mouse in a slightly angled handshake position.

The purpose behind the design of the vertical mouse is purely ergonomic. According to Logitech's ERGO Lab research, the vertical mouse is created with the aim to minimize muscle strain and reduce discomfort associated with long hours of mouse usage. Logitech's study showed that the ergonomic design of a vertical mouse can have a tremendous impact considering heavy computer users perform 3 million keystrokes and move their mouse up to 17 miles each year! If you’re moving your mouse that much and not optimizing your comfort, think about how much strain that can create!

My Personal Experience with Switching to an Ergonomic Vertical Mouse

As I previously mentioned, I switched to a Logitech MX Vertical Mouse in 2021 and have been very pleased with the results. Based on my experience, I believe there are three core pros of switching to a vertical mouse.

Pros of Using a Vertical Mouse

  1. Improved Ergonomics: Supported by third-party and Logitech studies and my own experience, the vertical mouse design reduces strain, not just on the wrist, but extending all the way to my neck and trapezius.
  2. Versatile for Work: The vertical mouse is just as efficient as a traditional mouse for all types of work I complete on a daily basis. Be it graphic design, web development, admin tasks, or even gaming, a vertical mouse does the job equally well, if not better. As a bonus, the Logitech MX Vertical Mouse model I use has a quick mouse speed adjust button that allows me to dynamically adjust the speed of the mouse movements on the fly. This gives me finite sensitivity for design work when I need it vs. my standard settings for speeding up the efficiency of administrative related tasks.
  3. Reduced Tension and Migraine Headaches: I noticed a significant decrease in the frequency and severity of my tension and migraine headaches after switching to a vertical mouse, among other ergonomic improvements in my office, which I attribute to the reduced strain on my body. I track my headache frequency, intensity, triggers, and other key metrics using the Migraine Buddy app.

However, like any product, there are also a few cons of a vertical mouse to consider.

Cons of a Using a Vertical Mouse

  1. Handedness Limitation: The design is not universal to both right and left-handed users. Meaning, unlike other mice I’ve used in the past, the mouse is not universal. However, Logitech does offer a left-handed version of the MX Lift Vertical Mouse which is similar in design to the MX Vertical Mouse.
  2. Adaptation Period: The vertical mouse has a completely different feel, and it might take some time to get used to. You will not likely enjoy the mouse on day one, or perhaps even month one. My suggestion is to try it out for at least 3 months before determining if it’s right for you.
  3. Size Matters: Pick a vertical mouse that fits your wrist size. A mouse that's too big or too small can counteract the ergonomic benefits.
  4. Price: Any truly ergonomic mice are going to come with a higher price tag. That said, given how frequently you are using the mouse, it’s well worth the cost in my opinion. Decreased pain and discomfort’s impact on productivity often can quickly outweigh the initial investment.

Ergonomic Vertical Mouse FAQ

Since I originally published this article, I have received questions from readers and friends regarding their interest, and hesitancy, in switching to a vertical mouse. I addressed the most common questions below based on my personal experience using a vertical mouse since 2021.

Is an ergonomic vertical mouse better and worth the extra money?

If you use a computer as part of your daily job, an ergonomic vertical mouse is well worth the cost! Even if you only use a computer 6 hours per weekday (which is conservative) and work an average of 50 weeks a year, that’s 1,500 hours per year (or 90,000 minutes).

From my experience, those hours can be much more enjoyable and far less fatiguing if you treat your body to a well-crafted vertical mouse.

What is the best ergonomic mouse for long hours?

Over my career, I have used a myriad of traditional mice predominantly from Logitech, Microsoft, and Dell. However, due to needing to make ergonomic improvements related to headaches and shoulder/neck pain, I switched to using an upright mouse exclusively in 2021. I strongly recommend either the Logitech MX Vertical Mouse (which is what I use at home and the office), or Logitech’s cheaper alternative, the MX Lift Vertical Mouse.

What’s the best vertical mouse?

The best vertical mouse is going to be somewhat subjective and will vary from person to person based on hand-size, typical tasks, and, ultimately, budget. While I am personally a huge fan of Logitech mice, you may find an alternative vertical mouse that suits your needs. That said, I would encourage you to not just focus on price, but dig into the reviews, the science behind the design, and the credibility of the manufacturer.

Is a vertical mouse better than a traditional mouse?

When it comes to ergonomics, a vertical mouse is definitely better than a traditional mouse. Check out Logitech’s extensive studies on mouse and keyboard ergonomics.

Are all vertical mice wireless?

No, you can certainly buy wired vertical mice as well. The mouse I use, Logitech MX Vertical Mouse, is wireless but also includes a USB-C charging cable. When plugged into the charging cable, the mouse becomes wired and stops using the wireless functionality.

How long does it take to learn how to use a vertical mouse?

I took about two months to get used to using a vertical mouse. Keep in mind, at the time I switched to the upright mouse, I was using it closer to 8-10 hours per day. So, for a safe bet, I suggest giving yourself at least three months of use to really get used to the vertical mouse.

How to change a vertical mouse’s sensitivity options?

Windows 10 and Windows 11 both have mouse sensitivity options (pointer speed, scroll speed, etc.) available within their default settings (no additional software required). You can just search “mouse settings” in the Windows search bar, and it will bring up the mouse settings portal.

That said, since I use the Logi Vertical Mouse, I pair my mouse with their free Logi Options+ software. This allows me to easily set numerous customizations. For example, I configure two different sensitivities at a time and toggle between them via the top button on my mouse. This allows me to use fast mouse movement with my day-to-day activities, but then toggle to a slower speed when in Illustrator or Photoshop for more fine detail movements.

With Logi Options+, you can program different functions for the mouse’s additional buttons and can even dynamically adapt what the buttons do based upon which program is actively being used.

Is an ergonomic vertical mouse good for gaming?

From my experience (when I actually have free time), using a vertical mouse for gaming is a great choice. I’ve tested the vertical mouse on both modern FPS and RTS titles (e.g. Battlefield, Age of Empires, etc.), and it works excellently. Technically, Logitech’s vertical mouse requires up to 4X less hand movement to move the cursor (when compared to a traditional mouse with a 1,000 DPI sensor).

That said, I am not a pro-gamer, so I have only tested this in the casual gaming environment.

What’s a good ergonomic keyboard to pair with a vertical mouse?

I use the Logitech ERGO K860 wireless ergonomic keyboard. This keyboard is pretty large and features an ergonomic split wave. Also, the most unique selling point is the keyboard has inverted tilt options which is more much stress relieving at the wrist joint in comparison to traditional tilt options.

Amazon has a combo pack that includes the Logitech ERGO K860 and the Logitech MX Vertical Mouse which is what I use at the office.

Should You Buy an Ergonomic Vertical Mouse?

I have found the benefits of using a vertical mouse to outweigh the cons drastically. To everyone who spends considerable time in front of a computer, I highly recommend giving the vertical mouse a try, especially the Logitech MX Vertical Mouse or the Logitech Lift Vertical Mouse.

Remember, in the end, it's not just about working harder, but also working healthier and smarter. Give a vertical mouse a try, and I truly believe that your body will thank you!

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