This might not seem like an obvious question at first.
But it’s a valid one because having a budget in mind before you go shopping online can stop you from spending more money than you need to.
So how much should you spend on a mouse?
How much you spend on a mouse will depend on what you need it for. A basic wired mouse can cost as little as $9 and entry level wireless mouse $12. Gaming mice are more expensive at $30 and a mouse suited for graphic design around $50.
Let’s dig into this topic in a lot more detail and help you decide how much you should spend on your “perfect” mouse.
If you only use your computer for basic web browsing, writing emails, online shopping, and paying bills then there’s no point in you spending $80 on a high-performance wireless mouse.
You simply won’t benefit from the features available on a more expensive mouse, so it’s wasted money. So focus on getting a good two-button mouse with a scroll wheel.
The flip side of this is that you also shouldn’t buy the absolute cheapest mouse you can find.
That’s as big a mistake as spending too much because the mouse will look and feel cheap, and the ultra-affordable mice tend to have a very short lifespan.
Two solid choices for a basic wired mouse are the Logitech B100 and the M90, both of these cost around $10 each. The B100 is no longer for sale as new, but you’ll be able to pick one up at a discount store or computer refurbishment company. Microsoft, Dell or HP mice in the same price range will also be enough for basic use.
Your entry level for a wireless mouse for basic home/office use is $12 for something like the HP X3000 G2. The next step up from there is to the Logitech Mx series of wireless mouse, with the M510 retailing for around $20.
Gamers are willing to spend hundreds of dollars on mice to give them even the tiniest competitive edge.
For those of you who aren’t gamers you might be wondering how gaming mice are different to regular wired or wireless mice.
An average gaming mouse has anywhere from 5 – 8 programmable buttons, high resolution optical sensors, an optical sensor switch or toggle.
Oh, and they usually feature lots of RGB (Red Green Blue) LED lighting to make them look cool. But that’s all it does – fancy lights don’t make a mouse more comfortable or responsive.
With that said, a gaming mouse can make sense for a remote or office worker who spends most of their day in front of a computer.
Because they will find uses for those programmable buttons e.g. to launch a macro in an application they use on a regular basis.
You can spend an absolute fortune on a wired gaming mouse. But you can also get something like the Razer DeathAdder for $25, an MSI Clutch GMx series mouse for around $30, or a SteelSeries Rival gaming mouse for
You get to choose from Corsair, SteelSeries, Logitech, Razer and MSI wireless gaming mice. In terms of money you can spend as little as $28 but we’d recommend a budget of $60 – $80 instead.
For Professional use
Yes, there’s a specific category of mouse aimed at professional users.
These include people who spend long hours at a PC or MAC, graphic designers, web developers, video editors, 3D modelers, etc.
They need a mouse that is extremely comfortable to use from a brand name they know and trust.
And they’re willing to pay more than $10 for a good mouse they can rely on.
The Microsoft Classic Intellimouse is…well…a classic and Microsoft mice often don’t get the credit they deserve. You can get one of these for around $30.
At the other end of the wired professional mouse scale, you’ll find the Logitech M500 which is double the price at over $60 each. But with that said, high-end Logitech mice are a pleasure to work with.
You also have plenty of options when it comes to wireless mice for professionals. Our top pick is the Logitech MX Master 3 which retails for $90, but with the Microsoft Surface option coming in a close second and costing just $48.
Note: If none of the above mice suits your particular needs then consider a gaming mouse instead. They LED lights are just for how but their ergonomics and internal electronics are designed for performance.
Mini buyer’s guide
Left vs. Right-handed mice
Most mice are designed for right-handed users, so you probably don’t need us to tell you to keep this in mind when shopping.
Or simply choose an ambidextrous model of your preferred mouse instead.
You need to be really aware of the physical size of a mouse before you buy it.
In an ideal world you’d get to touch the mouse, feel its weight, and see how it feels in your hand.
A mouse that’s too small in your hand is going to be as difficult to use as one that’s just far too large to wrap your hand around.
So always check the physical dimensions of a mouse before you buy it. You should be able to find that in product description in an online store or the manufacturer’s site.
Also, watch out for “travel” mice mislabeled/disguised as desktop mice – the images you find on websites can be very deceiving.
Wired or wireless mouse?
There’s this misconception that wireless mice are better simply because they don’t have any wires.
But ask a pro-gamer what they prefer and in 90% of cases it will be a wired mouse.
Because wired mice have no “lag” – the signal travels faster through a cable than it will by radio frequency (RF) or Bluetooth.
There’s also the fact that you never have to change the batteries in a wired mouse. Or have to worry about your dongle going haywire or just disconnecting your mouse for no apparent reason.
The downside of a wired mouse is…well…it has wires.
They trail around things, get in the way and can be a real nuisance at times.
A wired mouse is cheaper to run than a wireless mouse.
Neat freaks who want an austere or minimalist workspace though will choose wireless mice.
Gamers will choose wired mice in most cases.
And everyone else will choose what works best for them.
What is the cheapest mouse?
This actually got me thinking about how little people expect to be able to pay for an allegedly high-quality product.
Like nobody looks for the “cheapest car” they can find to transport their family around in.
Anyways, the cheapest full-size mouse I could find on Amazon costs $1.55.
But I know you’ll get exactly $1.55 of value from it.
Or in other words, you’ll be replacing this mouse in a matter of weeks…if it’s not broken when it arrives.
You can’t afford $10 for a new mouse?
Well then, skip candy, cigarettes or soda for a week and see if your financial circumstances improve as a result.
What type of mouse do I use?
I’m currently using a Logitech G400 series wired mouse because I got sick of running out of battery/charge in the middle of working on stuff.
Random disconnections and general connectivity issues in general pushed me towards using wired mice more often than wireless.
I also prefer the response time of a wired mouse for the limited amount of gaming that I do.
Wrapping it up
FYI, we only feature named brand mice in this roundup because our experience of some of the really cheap brands you find on Amazon has been pretty negative.
So, yes, you can save a few dollars by buying a “no name” mouse but you’re flipping a coin on quality.
Thankfully the process of choosing a good mouse isn’t rocket science.
Actually, it’s really just a 2-step process:
- Establish what you can afford to spend
- Spend that amount on a brand name mouse from Logitech, HP, etc.
And here’s a quick TLDR version for those of you who skipped to the end.
If you want a good wired mouse then you should spend $15 – $30 on your next purchase.
If you want a good wireless mouse then expect to fork over $50 – $100 to get something that lasts.
We hope you enjoyed this article and that it helps you choose a mouse you’ll love.