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5 Best Keyboards For Programming - 163 Tested - Spring 2022

Best Keyboards For Programming

For many programmers, having a good keyboard can significantly improve workflow. Spending countless hours coding requires a keyboard comfortable to type on, switches that feel light and responsive, and features like macro-programmable keys. Most of our recommendations for the best keyboards for programming are primarily gaming keyboards, but gamers and programmers have very similar needs.

Below are our top recommendations for the best programming keyboards. Also, make sure to check out our recommendations for the best keyboards, the best wireless keyboards, and if you find yourself typing more than you're programming, check out the best keyboards for typing.

  1. Best Wired Keyboard For Programming

    The Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM XT is the best wired keyboard for programming that we've tested. Though primarily aimed at the gaming market, it has helpful features for programmers, like a standalone column of macro keys, a USB passthrough, dedicated media keys, and a volume wheel. It feels sturdy and well-built, and its keycaps are doubleshot PBT plastic and feel great to the touch.

    It has good overall ergonomics and includes a plush wrist rest to help combat the risk of wrist fatigue. It also has one incline setting with feet that open sideways so you won't close them by mistake if you accidentally nudge the keyboard. We bought this keyboard with clicky Cherry MX Blue switches, which offer great typing quality and good, responsive feedback. However, they may be too loud for some office environments. If you'd prefer different switches, this keyboard is also available with linear Cherry MX Speed and tactile Cherry MX Brown switches.

    Unfortunately, it takes up a fair amount of space on desks and workstations, so it's not a great choice if you're working with limited space. However, the wrist rest is detachable, which can help free up some space if you feel comfortable without it. Overall, this keyboard is a great full-sized, wired choice with a collection of handy features typically found on more premium-priced models.

    See our review

  2. Best Wireless Keyboard For Programming

    The best wireless keyboard for programming we've tested is the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro. It's a full-size keyboard that connects wirelessly using a USB receiver or Bluetooth. It supports multi-device pairing with up to three devices at once, and you can easily swap between the paired devices using a switch on the keyboard.

    We bought and tested the unit with clicky Razer Green switches. While these switches are great for gaming and offer a light typing experience with nice tactile feedback, they may be too loud for an office environment. Fortunately, you can also get this keyboard with linear Razer Yellow switches, which are quieter but don't provide tactile feedback. As for extra features, this board has dedicated media keys and a programmable volume knob on the top right, meaning you won't get distracted by having to open apps to control your media.

    While every key is macro-programmable, the companion software is only available on Windows, so you can't change the settings if you use a different operating system like macOS or Linux. It does have onboard memory, so you can save your settings to the board while using a Windows system and use them on other devices that lack the software. Overall, this keyboard is one of the best keyboards for coding that we've tested, and it's an excellent choice if you're looking for a versatile wireless option.

    See our review

  3. Best Compact Wireless Keyboard For Programming

    For an option that takes up less real estate on your desk, the best keyboard for coding that we've tested is the Obinslab Anne Pro 2. It's a compact 60% keyboard that connects wirelessly via Bluetooth, so you don't have to worry about using or potentially losing a USB receiver. You can also pair it with up to four devices.

    Its frame is plastic, but it feels very solid and well-built. Its keycaps are doubleshot PBT, and they have a slightly textured matte finish that's very comfortable to type on. It also has full RGB lighting with individually backlit keys if you prefer working in a low-light environment. However, it has a pinkish hue when displaying full white light, which may be a dealbreaker for some. We purchased our unit with Gateron Brown switches that provided an excellent typing quality, but this keyboard is also available in various Cherry MX, Gateron, and Kailh switches.

    Unfortunately, it doesn't have any incline settings or an included wrist rest, so it isn't the most comfortable option if you're frequently coding for very long periods. It also lacks dedicated media keys, arrow keys, and a function row, but that's the trade-off for its much smaller desk footprint. Ultimately, this is an extremely customizable and well-built choice for programmers.

    See our review

  4. Best Ergonomic Keyboard For Programming

    When you spend a good portion of your day at a keyboard, you'll want something that offers comfort. The best ergonomic keyboard for programming that we've tested is the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB. It has a fully split design, so you can place the halves anywhere you like, as long as they're within the reach of its 20 inch connecting cable.

    The split design helps the overall comfort as you can place the halves to encourage a more natural posture for your wrists. Each half also comes with a magnetically attachable wrist rest for extra support. Along the left side of the board, there's a column of dedicated macro keys for easy access, but every key is macro-programmable, and you don't need the software to assign macros as you can do that directly on the board. Also, its latency is very low, so it's great if you're looking for a versatile option to use for gaming after you've signed off for the day.

    Unfortunately, though it's an ergonomic board, it doesn't have any incline settings. Instead, you'll have to purchase a lift kit separately to be able to set the angle you prefer. The split design takes some getting used to at first, and it does encourage you to touch-type rather than look at the keys on the board. With that said, it's an all-around comfortable choice with great programmability if you're looking for an ergonomic keyboard for coding.

    See our review

  5. Best Budget Keyboard For Programming

    If you're on a budget, the best mechanical keyboard for programming that we've tested is the EVGA Z15. Although it has a budget price point, it feels very well-built and comes loaded with features more commonly found on premium boards. It's also very comfortable to use as it has two incline settings and a comfy included wrist rest for extra support.

    Impressively, this budget keyboard is hot-swappable, which is great if you don't enjoy the clicky Kailh Speed Bronze or linear Speed Silver stock switch options. You can easily read the legends in the dark as each key is individually backlit with full RGB lighting. Its extremely low latency makes this a versatile choice if you're looking for a keyboard to use for work during the day and for gaming at night. Also, it feels very comfortable to type on, thanks to its two incline settings and plushy wrist rest.

    Although its companion software allows you to program macros to any key, reassign keys, and customize the RGB backlighting, it's not the most intuitive software to use, so you'll have to play around with it a bit to take full advantage of it. Also, the included ABS keycaps are prone to becoming slippery from finger oil over repeated use. However, you can minimize this by consistently cleaning or changing out the keycaps for a PBT set if you prefer. Overall, this keyboard offers a full range of premium features with a budget price point, making it great as a daily programming option.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Ducky One 3: The Ducky One 3 is one of the best mechanical keyboards for typing, but it isn't as good as the Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM XT for programming because it doesn't have dedicated software to reprogram the buttons. See our review
  • Dygma Raise: The Dygma Raise is a good programming keyboard with many customization options. It doesn't have dedicated macro or arrow keys, so the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB is a better ergonomic keyboard. See our review
  • Ducky One 2 Mini V1: The Ducky One 2 Mini V2 is a good alternative to the Obinslab Anne Pro 2. However, it doesn't have customization software, and it's wired-only. See our review
  • SteelSeries Apex Pro: The SteelSeries Apex Pro is an excellent all-around keyboard mainly designed for gaming, and its linear switches may be too sensitive for some while typing and programming. See our review
  • Logitech G915 LIGHTSPEED: The Logitech G915 LIGHTSPEED is a good wireless keyboard if you want dedicated macro keys and like low-profile switches, but the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro can pair with more devices and comes with a wrist rest. See our review
  • EVGA Z20: The EVGA Z20 is a higher-end version of the EVGA Z15 with a few extra features, but it doesn't have hot-swappable switches, and it costs more. See our review
  • Razer BlackWidow Elite: The Razer BlackWidow Elite is excellent for programming and has similar features to the Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM XT, but it doesn't have macro keys and may be hard to find. See our review
  • Corsair K100 RGB: The Corsair K100 RGB is a great programming keyboard that's only available in two types of linear switches, so you can't get tactile ones like the Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM XT, and it costs more. See our review
  • EVGA Z12: The EVGA Z12 is even cheaper than the EVGA Z15 and has dedicated macro keys. However, it uses rubber dome switches which don't provide good typing quality like the mechanical switches on the Z15. See our review
  • Razer Huntsman V2: The Razer Huntsman V2 is a full-size keyboard like the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro that's available with linear or clicky optical switches, but it's wired-only. See our review
  • Razer BlackWidow Lite: The Razer BlackWidow Lite is a budget-friendly keyboard that's good for office use, but it's not hot-swappable like the Z15, and it costs a lot more. See our review
  • Razer Pro Type Ultra: The Razer Pro Type Ultra is a wireless keyboard aimed at office and productivity use. It has a clean, white design that may blend in better than most gaming keyboards. Unfortunately, it's only available with linear Razer Yellow switches. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. May 05, 2022: Swapped Ducky One 2 in Notable Mentions to Ducky One 3 to be consistent across articles; no changes to main picks.

  2. Mar 07, 2022: Verified picks for availability; updated text for clarity; no changes to picks.

  3. Jan 06, 2022: We've converted our 'Compact Alternative' into a new category, 'Best Compact Wireless Keyboard For Programming,' with the Obinslab Anne Pro 2 remaining as our pick. We've also added the Razer Pro Type Ultra to Notable Mentions.

  4. Nov 09, 2021: Replaced the Razer BlackWidow Lite with the EVGA Z15 because it's much cheaper; added the EVGA Z12, EVGA Z20, and the Razer Huntsman V2 to Notable Mentions.

  5. Sep 10, 2021: Replaced the Razer BlackWidow Elite with the Corsair K95 PLATINUM XT because the Razer is hard to find; moved the Corsair K100 RGB to Notable Mentions to avoid two categories repeating.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best keyboards for programming for most people. We factor in the price, feedback from our visitors, and availability.

If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our keyboard reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no keyboard is perfect for every use, most are good enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.