You might think you need to shell out a small fortune to get a good keyboard. Well, we're here to tell you that isn't the case. We've bought and tested a lot of keyboards, over 175 to be more precise, and through all that testing, we've found five standout models that we consider to be the best budget keyboards available. Though they're cheap, they still offer a solid build quality and a satisfying typing experience.
Many of the keyboards on this list use scissor or rubber dome switches, so if you're interested in a purely mechanical option, check out our recommendations for the best budget mechanical keyboards. Or, if you're looking specifically for a gaming keyboard with a low price point, there are our picks for the best gaming keyboards under $100. And, if none of those work for you, there's always our best keyboards article.
While we've tested quite a few keyboards, we've only found one that hits a perfect balance between a low price point and high functionality: the Logitech K380. This compact model is a favorite among students for its portability, wireless versatility, and ease of use. Although its companion software is only available on Windows and macOS, the keyboard itself is fully compatible with all major operating systems.
As it's a wireless unit, it connects with up to three devices at once using Bluetooth, meaning you can use the keyboard with a PC and an Android tablet or an iPad all at once and switch between them at the touch of a button without losing functionality. It also comes with two AAA batteries for power, and Logitech advertises a battery life of up to 24 months with a fresh pair of batteries.
All said, there's a lot to like in this little unit. But, if you need a Numpad for data entry tasks or math, check out the Logitech K360. While it doesn't feel as well built, it does have a Numpad and dedicated media keys along the top for easy control of your media.
While many gaming keyboards can cost a small fortune, there are options available that don't break the bank, like the EVGA Z12. In addition to being the cheapest gaming keyboard we've tested, it has a ton of features that even more expensive boards lack, like RGB backlighting, a braided cable, and a column of five macro keys on the left. Plus, along the top, there are dedicated media keys and a "Game Mode" toggle, which prevents you from accidentally minimizing your game when enabled.
In terms of its actual in-game performance, its latency isn't as low as higher-end options, but it's still good enough for casual gaming or playing slower-paced games. It uses rubber dome switches, which feel less crisp and satisfying than mechanical switches. However, the rubber domes in this board are surprisingly light and pleasant to type on while also being extremely quiet. All told, it's an excellent entry-level unit for a new or younger gamer that gives you a taste of the common gaming features without the steep price tag.
If you need a good, professional-looking keyboard for your office but are on a tight budget, check out the Microsoft Bluetooth Keyboard. It's an incredibly straightforward unit that lacks many extra features, though this is both due to its low price point and its intended use as a simple office keyboard. This model feels very familiar and requires no learning curve to get set up and typing away.
The keycaps have a nice matte coating that adds a bit of grip, which is helpful as ABS plastic is prone to becoming slippery and developing shine from finger oils over time. The keyboard comes with two AAA batteries for power, which, according to Microsoft, you won't have to replace for around three years, giving you a ton of longevity. As its name suggests, it connects using Bluetooth, but it only works with one device at once, so if you have a multi-device set up, our next pick is a better fit for you.
The Logitech K480 has a few unique features that make it a standout choice amongst the sea of cheap wireless keyboards. Like the Logitech K380, it's a compact little guy that uses Bluetooth to connect with up to three devices at once. Unlike the Logitech K380, it has a nifty device tray built into the top for holding your mobile devices right in front of you.
The inside of this tray is lined with a grippy rubber to hold your devices firmly at a nice visible angle. Right beneath the device tray, on the left side, there's a dial for switching between paired devices, so you don't have to worry about hotkeys or hard-to-find switches. Like many of the other keyboards on this list, this one also uses rubber dome switches, which make it extremely quiet to use and a great choice for bringing around on the go to libraries, coffee shops, or other quiet areas.
Aug 19, 2022: Re-categorized the article to better reflect current market conditions and user needs; altered the intro for readability.
Jun 21, 2022: Overhauled picks and recommendation categories to better align with user expectations.
Apr 12, 2022: Text updated for clarity and readability; no changes to picks.
Feb 11, 2022: Moved the Kensington Pro Fit Ergo Wireless Keyboard to 'Best Cheap Ergonomic Keyboard'; no other changes to picks.
Dec 14, 2021: Restructured article to reflect user needs; replaced the Logitech G413 with the EVGA Z15 as the Best Budget, and removed the Redragon K552 as 'TKL Alternative'; added the Redragon Dragonborn K630 as 'Best Compact'; moved the Kensington Pro Fit Ergo Wireless to the 'Ergonomic Alternative' to the Microsoft Bluetooth Keyboard, which was renamed to Best Office; moved the Logitech K380 to its own category; updated Notable Mentions based on changes.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best budget keyboards 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.