Unless you love using your laptop’s trackpad, a quality travel mouse is the best mobile work upgrade you can make. Not only can this accessory improve your productivity, but it can also help protect your wrists from pain and injury.
Most portable mice today offer outstanding accuracy and sensitivity, but you must consider their physical size, connection type, compatibility with your system, and battery life. Even with these features in mind, choosing from the myriad of models can be challenging.
To trim down your options and find a model that’s worth your while, check out our ranking for the best travel mice in 2023.
- Best Overall: Microsoft Arc Mouse
- Best for Digital Nomads: Dell Bluetooth Travel Mouse
- Best for Presentations: Swiftpoint ProPoint Wireless Ergonomic Mouse
- Best for Chromebooks: Lenovo Yoga Computer Mouse
- Best Budget: Logitech Pebble Wireless Mouse
#1 Best Overall: Microsoft Arc Mouse
The Microsoft Arc Mouse is one of the best travel mice for mobile workers looking for multi-system compatibility.
You can pair it with Windows RT 8 or higher, MacOS 10.7 or higher, and Android. The mouse is not compatible with iOS, but if you don’t really care about compatibility with an iPhone or iPad, the Arc Mouse won’t disappoint you. The only real downside is that it only connects via Bluetooth.
Its greatest highlight is the ergonomic shape. The curved design provides adequate support for your palm and reduces wrist strains. For travel purposes, you can snap it flat and stow it away in a small pocket or laptop bag compartment.
Adding to the value, the mouse automatically shuts off when it’s flattened and turns on when snapped into its curved position. Other highlights include precise tracking and the possibility to scroll both vertically and horizontally for seamless navigation.
The Microsoft Arc Mouse comes in several attractive colors, including Black, Light Gray, Ice Blue, Lilac, Poppy Red, Sage, and Soft Pink.
Check out the Microsoft Arc Mouse and see if it is the perfect fit for your needs.
|The arc shape is optimized for natural and comfortable interaction.||It only connects via Bluetooth, so it might be incompatible with some laptops.|
|You can snap it flat for seamless transport in a small pocket.||It is incompatible with iOS devices.|
|The mouse turns on and off automatically, depending on its position (curved or flattened).|
Best for Digital Nomads: Dell Bluetooth Travel Mouse
Dubbed the world’s first twistable mouse, it impresses with an ergonomic shape when in use and a twistable design that powers off and flattens the mouse. Similar to the Microsoft Arc, the Dell travel mouse is easy to stash in a small pocket or compartment.
For Windows users, the greatest highlight is the Swift Pair. Introduced in Windows 10, this function allows you to automatically pair compatible peripherals with your Windows laptop or PC. However, this doesn’t mean that the mouse only works with the Windows operating system.
It is also compatible with MacOS, Linux, Chrome, Android, and iOS systems. You can pair it with up to three devices contemporarily, and the battery life of up to 24 months makes it perfect for mobile workers and digital nomads.
Check out the Dell Bluetooth travel mouse and see if it is the perfect fit for your needs.
|Up to 24 months of battery life make this mouse perfect for digital nomads.||The mouse connects via Bluetooth only.|
|The Swift Pair function allows for seamless connectivity to a Windows 10 or Windows 11 system.|
|This mouse is compatible with most operating systems, including Linux and iOS.|
Best for Presentations: Swiftpoint ProPoint Wireless Ergonomic Mouse
- With health software
- Vertical pen grip
- Virtual laser pointer and spotlight
- Compatible with iPad and includes an iOS app
Small and ergonomic, the Swiftpoint ProPoint is the perfect travel mouse and presentation clicker in one.
This mouse is optimized for peak productivity, health, and performance. Its ergonomic pen grip is incredibly comfortable, while the reduced dimension allows you to fit it in a small bag or pocket. One of the greatest highlights is the integrated health software that sends alerts when it’s time to take a break and rest your hands.
The presentation clicker function allows you to use the mouse both as a desktop and as a stand-on presenter. When working at your desk, the desktop presenter mode turns the mouse into a virtual laser pointer that works on Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Team, and Hangouts — as well as other types of conference software.
At in-person conferences, the mouse turns into a presentation remote that you can use to switch between slides or highlight what matters most to your audience.
The mouse connects via Bluetooth or a USB receiver that doubles as a charger. A full two-hour charge provides around two weeks of use, or you can get an hour of battery life with just 30 seconds of rapid charge. The only downside is the high price tag.
Check out the Swiftpoint ProPoint and see if it is the perfect fit for your needs.
|The ergonomic pen grip maintains the natural position of your hand, preventing wrist injuries and reducing pain.||This is one of the most expensive travel mice.|
|You can use the mouse as a desktop and stand-on presenter.|
|The wireless mouse connects to devices via Bluetooth, or you can use the USB receiver (that also doubles as a charger).|
Best for Chromebooks: Lenovo Yoga Computer Mouse
- For laptops and computers with Windows or Chrome
- 2.4GHz wireless nano receiver
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Ergonomic V-shape
- Twists flat
- Built-in laser presenter
- Iron Grey
The Lenovo Yoga is a more affordable portable mouse and presenter designed to work effortlessly on all surfaces.
Like other travel mice, this model features a twistable design that flattens it out. However, twisting the mouse doesn’t actually turn it off. Instead, it transforms the mouse into a laser presenter with built-in side controls. A separate on and off button allows you to save battery when not in use.
In mouse mode, the device promises an ergonomic shape but is not the most comfortable to use. However, we do like the large buttons and touch scroll.
A USB receiver and a Bluetooth mode allow for easy connectivity to most PCs. The mouse is compatible with Windows 7 or higher and Chrome OS, but it only connects to Windows 7 via the 2.5GHz nano receiver. If you want to use Bluetooth, you must have Windows 8 or higher. For easy portability, the USB receiver has its own slot inside the mouse.
Check out the Lenovo Yoga and see if it is the perfect fit for your needs.
|You can twist this travel mouse to turn it into a laser presenter.||The shape is not the most ergonomic and can become uncomfortable with prolonged use.|
|The mouse connects wirelessly via a 2.4GHz nano receiver or Bluetooth 5.0.|
|It is compatible with Chromebooks and other devices running on Chrome OS.|
Best Budget-Friendly: Logitech Pebble Wireless Mouse
While not as high-tech as other options, the Logitech Pebble is a minimalist, silent, and affordable mouse to take on your travels.
Thanks to its flat design, it fits in tight pockets and small laptop bag compartments. The pebble shape fits naturally in your hand, while the round sides increase comfort. Silent clicks and scrolls also make it perfect to use in quiet libraries, open offices, or other public spaces, but you won’t get side-to-side scrolling or back/forward thumb buttons.
Like the Lenovo Yoga mouse, the Logitech Pebble connects via Bluetooth or a 2.4GHz USB receiver with no drop-offs or lag up to a 10-meter range. Another highlight is the AA battery, that provides a runtime of up to 18 months.
The mouse has no on and off button, but it goes into a battery-saving sleep mode automatically when you stop using it. The price is more than affordable, and you can pick from several colors, including Graphite, Blueberry, Off-White, Sand, Rose, and Lavender Lemonade.
Check out the Logitech Pebble and see if it is the perfect fit for your needs.
|The Logitech Pebble is one of the most affordable travel mice.||This mouse only has three buttons, including right-click, left-click, and scroll. There are no back and forward thumb buttons.|
|This mouse runs on one AA battery that provides up to 18 months of use.|
|The flat pebble shape is easily portable and feels natural in your hand.|
How to Pick the Best Travel Mice: Step-by-Step
When choosing a travel mouse, there are six essential considerations for most buyers.
- Compatibility with your OS
- Battery life
Let’s see how each of these factors can impact your decision-making.
Compatibility with Your OS
One of the most important factors in any computer peripheral is compatibility with your system. As far as travel mice go, some models pair with most operating systems, while others are optimized for specific OS types.
If you mostly use one OS (e.g., Windows or Mac), buying a mouse optimized for that specific system ensures a quick, no-driver installation. However, if you’re constantly switching between operating systems, you should pick a mouse that is compatible with all the devices that you use.
Three crucial features to consider when choosing a travel mouse are its physical size, shape, and weight. The best travel mice are ultralightweight, fairly compact in size, and relatively flat so that you can slip them into a small pocket or compartment. Some high-end models maintain a curved, ergonomic shape when in use but can be flattened for storage and transport.
Ergonomics is vital in a mouse as it prevents repetitive stress injury. However, even if most manufacturers describe their travel mice as ergonomic, these claims are not always true. The only way to know for sure if a mouse feels comfortable is to use it for a prolonged period. Since this isn’t possible without buying the product, you should always read reviews and find out how comfortable the mouse you want is for other users.
In a travel mouse, the battery life can make or break the deal. If you mostly travel for conferences and don’t get away from civilization too often, a mouse with an integrated battery that you can charge daily might suit you. Digital nomads who like exploring the great outdoors might want a mouse with a long battery life (weeks or months rather than days).
If you don’t want to risk getting tangled in a cord, you should also consider connectivity. Most wireless travel mice are Bluetooth-enabled, and some also come with a USB nano receiver. Whether you need a USB receiver or not depends on your computer — a Bluetooth-compatible laptop can connect to a Bluetooth mouse without a receiver. However, if you want to connect a wireless mouse to a non-Bluetooth-enabled laptop, a USB receiver is essential.
Before buying a travel mouse, you should also consider your budget. Entry-level models can cost you $20 or less, depending on type and functions (wired portable mice are usually cheaper than wireless models). A capable but inexpensive wireless model won’t cost you more than $30.
You can expect to spend over $100 on high-end options that include presentation clicker functions. Innovative design features, such as twist or snap mice, also drive prices up. If you want a reliable mouse without going over the top, you can find numerous models in the $50-$70 price range.
What to Know Before Buying a Travel Mouse
Travel-sized mice are typically smaller than the full-sized mice you might use at home or at the office. The reduced size might not bother you if you have small hands, but people with larger hands might not find a travel mouse comfortable. If this is your case, sticking to your full-size mouse might be your best bet, even when you’re traveling.
Radiofrequency (RF) mice might need a USB receiver, but they typically offer a more robust connection (fewer drop-offs and lower latency) than Bluetooth mice. However, a Bluetooth mouse can connect to devices that don’t have a USB port, so it is a better choice for small portable devices such as smartphones and tablets.
If you need programmable buttons, check if the mouse you like offers this feature. Some travel mice only have three buttons (left-click, right-click, and scroll) that you can’t customize. Others have as many buttons as full-size mice, some of which might be customizable.
Depending on functionality and features, travel mice can cost anywhere between $15 and $200. To get the best deal, consider what you want to use it for and select a mouse that best suits your needs and budget.
Using a Travel Mouse: What It’s Like
High-end travel mice are versatile to use and typically provide two-in-one mouse and presentation clicker functionalities. Despite the compact dimensions, most of these peripherals maintain an ergonomic shape and are comfortable for most people. These features make travel mice a good choice for any kind of mobile work. Moreover, people with small hands might even prefer to use a travel mouse when working at the office or at home.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©FeelGoodLuck/Shutterstock.com.