These days, most of us spend a considerable amount of time in front of a computer with a keyboard as our main input device. As such, it's important to choose a keyboard with features that suit our needs, whether it's for gaming or productivity. We do the work of narrowing down the choices to the most common uses and hopefully help you choose one that suits you.
We've reviewed more than 60 keyboards, and below are our recommendations for the best keyboards that are available. For other options, see our recommendations for the best gaming keyboards, the best mechanical keyboards, and the best RGB keyboards.
The best keyboard for gaming is the SteelSeries Apex Pro. It's a unique high-end keyboard with proprietary OmniPoint switches and it's packed with gaming features that should please both gamers and people just looking for a great overall keyboard.
Its switches are linear switches that don't have tactile feedback but offer quick actuation for gamers. You can customize the pre-travel distance on a per-key basis, so at its minimum, it has the least amount of actuation force required, and at its maximum, it has the most amount of force, which makes it easier for typing. It has full RGB backlighting that you can also customize through the SteelSeries Engine software, and the keyboard has a unique OLED screen onto which you can put anything you like.
It comes with a wrist rest, but unfortunately, it's a dust magnet and gets dirty easily. However, it's a really well-built keyboard with an aluminum body. There aren't any dedicated macro keys, but you can set macros to any key. It's also available in a TKL size, but we tested the full-sized variant. Overall, this is an impressive keyboard, making it the best keyboard for gaming that we've seen so far.
If you prefer a wireless gaming keyboard, then check out the Logitech G915 LIGHTSPEED. It doesn't have the incredible customization options the SteelSeries Apex Pro has, but it's available in three different types of switches: linear, clicky, and tactile, which is the one we tested. It has five dedicated macro keys, which are the only keys you can set macros to. You can create up to three profiles of macros, and switching between each profile is easy with the press of a key, so in reality, you can save up to 15 macros on this keyboard. Unfortunately, it has limited ergonomics and its typing quality is just okay. On the upside, it has full RGB backlighting and it's well-built. Since it's wireless, you can connect with two devices at once via Bluetooth and its proprietary receiver.
If you simply want the best gaming keyboard we've tested so far, you can't go wrong with the SteelSeries, but if you want to keep your setup clean without any wires, then check out the Logitech.
The best office keyboard we've tested so far is the Logitech MX Keys. It's a good choice for office use that has multi-device pairing with up to three devices. It's great for an at-home office setup with many different devices as it can pair either through Bluetooth or its proprietary receiver, and switching between each device is easy.
This keyboard uses scissor switches, which have a small travel distance and are light to press. The keys are stable and have an indentation in them so that you know you're pressing the proper keys, helping reduce typos. It's placed on a slight incline, but there are no incline settings, so you can't change that, and even though it doesn't come with a wrist rest, Logitech sells one separately. This keyboard has a few extra features to help with productivity, as there are media hotkeys, so you can skip through music easier, and it has white backlighting if you work in a dark environment.
Unfortunately, customization is limited. The function keys can be reprogrammed to a preset list of commands, but you can't set any macros. However, this is a well-built keyboard as the entire frame is made out of metal. Overall, most people should be happy with this keyboard for office use.
If you prefer a keyboard with much better ergonomics, look into the ErgoDox EZ. It can't be used with mobile devices like the Logitech MX Keys, but it's a very customizable split keyboard. Both halves can be placed however you like as each side has three feet to adjust the incline settings. It comes with many blank keycaps, and you can set macros and reprogram every key to your preference. Even though it only has the onboard memory for one profile, you can save up to 32 layers of keybindings. Sadly, it doesn't have any backlighting, and this design isn't for everyone. It takes some time getting used to, but it's available in a wide variety of mechanical switches, so you can get the ones you feel the most comfortable with.
If you want the best office keyboard we've tested so far, the Logitech is a good choice, but if you prefer an ergonomic keyboard, the ErgoDox is a great alternative.
The best keyboard for programming that we've tested so far is the Razer BlackWidow Elite. Although it's designed to be a gaming keyboard, it has all the features necessary to make it a great programming keyboard.
You can set macros to every key through the Razer Synapse 3 software. The dedicated software is only available on Windows, but since the keyboard has onboard memory, you can customize it on a Windows then use it on a macOS or Linux. It also has full RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys, which can also be set in the software. The unit we tested has proprietary Razer Orange switches, which are tactile and silent, but it's available with clicky and linear switches. The typing quality is excellent as the keys are very stable, and the Orange switches aren't heavy to press.
Unfortunately, the wrist rest it comes with is a bit unstable and moves during usage. Luckily there are some extra features, as it has dedicated media keys, a USB passthrough, and an audio jack. Overall, it's the best keyboard for programming we've tested so far.
The best keyboard for mobile devices we've tested so far is the Logitech K380. It's a simple keyboard that's small and light enough to carry around in your bag. It has a decent build quality, so you won't have to worry too much when carrying it around that it's going to break or fall apart.
It uses simple chiclet-style scissor switches that offer a good typing quality. The keyboard has a low profile and it's comfortable to type on for long periods. The circular keys might take some time getting used to, but there's enough space between them to help reduce typos. With the exception of some non-alphanumeric keys, the keyboard is compatible with all common desktop and mobile operating systems. It has multi-device pairing with up to three devices via Bluetooth and there are hotkeys to switch between each device.
Unfortunately, it doesn't have any backlighting, so it's not ideal if you work in dark environments. The Logitech Options software doesn't offer many customization options but you can reprogram some function keys to a preset list of options. Overall, if you're looking for a reliable keyboard that you can use with your mobile devices, this one is a good choice.
The best cheap keyboard we've tested so far is the Redragon K552-RGB. For its price, this is a well-built keyboard. The frame feels robust, and the keycaps are double-shot, which is great for the durability of the key legends. It's worth noting that you can get this keyboard in a number of different variants. It's available in a white or black frame, and there are also various backlighting options that you can choose from.
Except for a slight wobble on the spacebar, the keys are very stable, and it's outfitted with clicky mechanical switches that are comparable to Cherry MX Blues. These switches provide a good amount of tactility, and they don't require much force to actuate, making the overall typing experience feel light and responsive. However, they make quite a bit of noise, so it isn't the most ideal for noise-sensitive environments.
This keyboard doesn't have a whole lot of extra features, but it has full RGB backlighting that's highly customizable, despite the lack of software support. There are a number of lighting effects to choose from, and you can also create your own. Additionally, there are no dedicated media controls or programmable keys. Overall, if you're looking for a simple mechanical keyboard that offers a decent typing experience at a low price, you should take a look at this one.
07/16/2020: Minor text and structure changes; no change in recommendations.
06/12/2020: Removed the SteelSeries Apex 3 as a budget alternative.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best 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.