Working on the computer for long hours at a time can be painful on your wrists and hands, and can lead to repetitive strain injury or carpal tunnel syndrome. That's why it's essential that you support your wrist adequately when you type, so that they don't feel fatigued even after a long day at the computer. A good wrist rest will even help to alleviate neck and shoulder tension. When looking for the best computer wrist rest for you, there are a few things that you should consider.
Is your chair and desk adjusted correctly? If you don't follow the guidelines on this, then you won't see the benefit of your wrist rest as you will be leaning on it too heavily and it will put pressure on your tendons.
The aim is to keep your wrists in a neutral position and part of this relates to the height of the wrist rest.
- It should match the height of your computer so that your wrists are no longer bent uncomfortably but lie flat.
- The rest should also be gently rounded to alleviate pressure points.
Material is another thing to look at, although this comes down more to personal preference.
Best gel wrist rest
Gel wrist rests have become hugely popular over the years and with good reason. If you have your heart set on buying one, there are a few things to look out for before you purchase.
One of the main benefits of a gel wrist rest is the cooling effect it can have on your wrists. This is why it is important to consider what covering the wrist rest has and if it will enable this. Some gel rests have coverings that make your wrists even more sweaty instead of providing the cooling effect as desired. It is also best to avoid neoprene, as this can cause a chemically odour that will stay on your hands.
- Gel wrist rests should be easy to wipe clean of stains, which is another bonus to them.
- They can however have a tendency to leak if they are poor quality, so while looking at the covering, it is also important to make sure that it is durable.
The firmness of the gel is another thing to look out for as this can vary drastically between brand. Ideally is should be of medium firmness although this preference will vary from person to person.
The Belkin WaveRest Get Wrist Pad for keyboards is a gel filled memory foam cushion covered in black fabric and with a wave shaped design. Its dimensions are 21 x 4.2 x 1 inches.
The fabric cover however is easy to keep clean:
- just wash with a damp cloth
- it doesn't stain easily due to it's dark color.
It is the same length as a standard keyboard and fits alongside it.
It won't move about while you use it but still:
- it lifts off your desk easily
- doesn't leave any sticky residue behind.
It is not bendable for ergonomic keyboards but is compatible with both laptops and standard keyboards.
It is a good thickness everywhere and firm on the wrists although the indent in the middle is much softer as it only has foam in this part and no gel cushion.
This wrist rest from 3M measures a compact 2.75 by 18 by .75 inches to fit easily on standard workstations. It is made completely of gel with a leatherette covering, this means that it is quite soft and pliable.
Many people find memory foam wrist rests to be too hard and inflexible and this is a good alternative to them:
- it is softer than a lot of foam covered rests
- the gel can compress slightly over time where your wrists rest most frequently.
An added bonus to this product is that due to the leatherette covering, it doesn't give off any bad odors from the gel, which is a downside of other gel-filled wrist rests.
It is compatible with all standard keyboards and laptops, although those with an ultra-thin keyboard my find issues with it's height. While it is good for gamers, it is softer than a lot of products aimed at this market, so may not hold up to extended use in this way.
The Kensington Duo Gel Mouse Pad is a mouse pad with an added gel wrist rest, designed to comfort and support your wrist throughout long periods of time using a computer or laptop.
The gel pillow is curved in order to follow the natural line of your wrist to support all movement and is a funky two-tone color combination of blue and black at matches in with most standard office spaces.
The dimensions of the full product are 7 5/8” wide x 9 5/8” long x 1” tall.
When first used it does have a rubbery smell but this quickly dissipates and it doesn't contain neoprene which can produce bad odours in some mouse pads. It is also entirely latex-free.
While the wrist pad itself is wonderful, this product's downfall comes with the mousepad attached, which has a number of issues:
- The first is that it is very flimsy and covered with a vinyl-like material that the mouse doesn't track over very easily – causing the mouse to jump unexpectedly.
- The second issue with the mousepad is that is isn't long enough and so is frustrating to use.
The bottom of the wrist rest / mouse pad has a non-slip grip so it doesn't slide all over the place like a typical mouse pad and is easily manoeuvrable when you want it to be.
Best keyboard wrist rest for carpal tunnel
- Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by a compressed nerve on the wrist,
- for those that suffer from it, typing for long periods of time can make symptoms worse, leaving them in agony.
- A good keyboard wrist rest should help to alleviate that discomfort and ensure you don't re-damage your wrists.
A slightly wider rest is also recommended, so that it can support the lowers arms slightly as well as the wrists. Making sure that the rest fits to the shape of your keyboard is a must, which will help you to decide if you need a straight or curved keyboard rest.
As with all wrist rests, it shouldn't move about when you use it. For carpal tunnel sufferers in particular, the wrist rest should have a strong anti-slip base.
This set of wrist pads for both mouse and keyboard comes with two options, ‘standard’ and ‘large’ . The difference between these two variants is that with the ‘large’ option the wrist rest for mouse is attached to a mouse pad, and with the standard it is the rest on its own. Both contain the keyboard rest.
- The dimensions of the keyboard rest is 18 x 3.35 x 0.98 inches
- and the dimensions of the wrist rest with mouse pad is 15.5 x 13.5 x 0.4 inches.
If you go for the option that includes the mouse pad with the mouse wrist rest, the pad is a very large size so good for a variety of quick mouse movements.
Company offers a replacement or your money back if you have any problems with the product but no set warranty.
Overall this product is a bit flimsy, but is a good basic product to help prevent and ease carpal tunnel syndrome.
The Gimars memory foam keyboard wrist rest comes with a couple of different variations. The first is a standard mouse wrist rest along with the keyboard wrist rest, however the 'large' option upgrades this to a wrist rest including mouse pad. The dimensions of the keyboard wrist rest are 17*3.4*1 inches and the mouse wrist rest is 6.3 x 3 x 1 inches or 10 x 8.6 x 1 inch with the mouse pad included
It is made of memory foam but doesn't keep the shape of your wrists after use, rather it springs back into shape of it provides the same level of support long term.
One downside is that the keyboard rest is quite skinny and those with larger wrists/hands may find that this is a disadvantage.
The covering does contain some neoprene and this may cause a slightly chemical smell for a while after first use. The cover is also prone to collecting dust however this can be remedied with a lint roller. It can also be wiped with a damp cloth to clean.
It is long enough to fit with any standard keyboard or laptop.
- As it does not have a non-stick surface, this product comes with a small sheet of adhesive "dots" (about 1/2 inch diameter) to peel off and put on the bottom of each wrist rest to keep them from slipping around on your desk.
- An issue with this however is that these dots come off over time and can leave a sticky residue on your desk.
Best mouse wrist rest for carpal tunnel
As with a keyboard wrist rest, if you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, a rest for your mouse hand is recommended.
It's recommended that you go for a gel filled rest that will have a cooling effect on the wrist however the most important thing is the thickness and level of support it gives. This preference will vary but firmer is usually better.
- If you are looking for a rest that comes with a mousepad, the bigger the pad is the better as this will mean that you won't need to lift your wrist off the rest as much and will make moving the mouse much smoother.
- For this it is important to look for an anti-static covering on the pad, as this will prevent the mouse from sticking.
- A patterned mouse pad is the best for an optical mouse to keep working.
This type of mouse pad is also great for gamers, particularly if the mouse rest has a strong non-slip bottom that will stay firmly in place.
The Fellowes Gel Crystal Transparent Mousepad and Wrist Rest is a gel filled wrist rest:
- it has a smooth silicone finish
- the mouse pad portion is made of a smooth fabric that lets the mouse glide easily over it
- it is quite small with dimensions of 9.19 x 7.88 x 0.75.
Another positive about this wrist rest is how easy it is to clean:
- the silicone surface wipes easily
- the mouse pad itself can be wiped with a damp cloth
- it doesn’t stain easily meaning it will still look new after weeks of wear.
It is useful for both a laptop and keyboard, and although not for an ergonomic keyboard, it will work well with a vertical mouse.
Some may find the gel to be an odd texture on the wrist at first although it is very cool and soft. It is a good thickness to support the wrist and won’t depress over time and wear, though it may be too soft for some. The manufacturer offers a 30 day guarantee on this product although there is no longer warranty.
It is good for those with repetitive strain injury and carpal tunnel syndrome to give them some extra support and for its cooling effect.
This mouse rest from Lingsfire is made of memory foam:
- It has a hard plastic base
- a black cover with anti-sweat fabric that doesn’t stain easily
- it's easy to wipe clean with a damp cloth.
It can not only can be used as mouse wrist, but can be used as the keyboard wrist rest pad. The dimensions are (L*W) : 5.1*2.8" / 13*7cm/
It is made of memory foam but is quite firm and gives your wrist a lot of support.
It is completely latex free and has no neoprene in it so has no nasty chemical smell even when it is first opened.
The wrist rest is quite inflexible and firm so it can’t be manoeuvred into another shape. This means that is you are using it as a keyboard rest as opposed to a mouse rest it isn’t suitable for use with an ergonomic keyboard.
This mouse wrist rest is suitable for use with both keyboards and laptops, as it gives you firm support.
One possible issue with this rest is the plastic in it:
- the wrist pad may crack over time
- you have to be careful that it doesn’t fall as it can break.
- However it does have a 30 day money back guarantee from the manufacturer.
The LetGoShop Wrist Rest is designed to be cooling on your wrist and to gently support it while you use your mouse. The dimensions of this product are 4.3 x 2.7 x 0.8 inches.
It is made of silicone gel that is quite soft and squishy and is in a 'heart' shape, with a deep groove in the middle where you place your wrist so that it is supported on the sides. It is quite small, but this means that it fits with the majority of mousepads and also works well for those using a vertical mouse.
- Due to its coating, it is much easier to wipe clean than some of it's cloth-covered counterparts.
- Just give it a quick wipe with a cloth and any stains will come right off.
Due to its cooling effects on the wrist, this is recommended for those with carpal tunnel syndrome or repetitive strain injury. It is also recommended for gamers, although some may find that it is too small and soft for them – unlike a memory foam rest this doesn't mould to your wrist but only offers support.