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 tested over 110 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 that we've tested is the SteelSeries Apex Pro. This full-sized keyboard has an aluminum body that makes it feel very well-built and durable. It has good ergonomics thanks to the detachable wrist rest, and it should feel comfortable enough for long gaming sessions. It also comes with full RGB backlighting.
It has a remarkably low latency that makes it quick and responsive. Additionally, it uses SteelSeries OmniPoint switches, which let you customize the pre-travel distance to your liking. This means you can set a shorter pre-travel while gaming and a longer one to help with accuracy while working. The outstanding companion software allows you to easily configure and save all your preferred settings, and it's compatible with both Windows and macOS.
Unfortunately, there aren't any dedicated macro keys, but you can reprogram any key to a function and customize the OLED screen to your liking. Also, the rubber-coated wrist rest collects dust quite rapidly, which could be annoying. That said, this is an outstanding option that should satisfy most gamers, and it's also one of the best mechanical keyboards we've tested.
If you prefer a wireless gaming keyboard, check out the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro. You can't set your own pre-travel distance like with the SteelSeries Apex Pro, and it's not fully compatible with macOS, but you can connect it via Bluetooth or with its USB receiver and pair it with three devices at the same time. It's outstanding for gaming with full RGB backlighting, macro-programmable keys, and amazing build quality. It's also comfortable and shouldn't cause any fatigue, even during long gaming sessions. We tested the variant with clicky Razer Green switches, which provide a light and responsive gaming experience, though they can be quite loud. If you need something quieter, it's also available with linear Razer Yellow switches.
If you want a wired keyboard that allows you to customize your own pre-travel distance, get the SteelSeries, but if you prefer a wireless option with multi-pairing capabilities, take a look at the Razer instead.
The best office keyboard that we've tested is the Logitech MX Keys. This full-sized keyboard has a fairly small footprint and shouldn't take much space on your desk since it has minimal borders that keep it small without feeling cramped. It feels very well-built, as the frame is made of metal and the keys are made from good-quality plastic. Also, the feet are grippy enough to prevent the keyboard from moving while typing.
It uses standard scissor switches with a very short pre-travel and satisfying tactile feedback. Typing on it feels light and responsive, and the indented keys help to reduce the number of typos. Typing noise is quiet so it shouldn't bother those around you, even if you work in an open-office environment. Also, the keyboard has white backlighting that's very useful to work in the dark.
Unfortunately, its ergonomics are only decent. It doesn't have any incline settings and lacks a wrist rest, though most people shouldn't need one due to its low-profile. Also, while you can remap a few keys to a preset list of functions, the customization options are fairly limited overall. That said, this keyboard is a very good choice for the office and also one of the best keyboards for writers that we've tested.
If you want a more comfortable keyboard, consider the Logitech ERGO K860 Wireless Split Keyboard. It doesn't feel as well-built as the Logitech MX Keys and lacks backlighting to work in the dark, but its ergonomics are outstanding. It features a curved board with a split key layout, two incline settings to create negative angles, and a fixed wrist rest. Just like the other Logitech, it uses tactile scissor switches with a very short pre-travel. However, its unusual design might take some time to get used to, and the number of typos could be higher at first. That said, it provides a great typing experience once you get used to it, and typing on it is very quiet, making it a great choice for any open-office environment. This keyboard is wireless-only, and you can connect it with three devices via Bluetooth or with its USB receiver.
If you're looking for a very well-built keyboard with good backlighting, go with the MX Keys, but if you prefer something with much better ergonomics, check out the ERGO K860.
The best keyboard for programming that we've tested is the Razer BlackWidow Elite. This keyboard has a sturdy design that feels durable. It comes with two adjustable incline settings and a detachable wrist rest for better ergonomics. It also features full RGB backlighting, which is great if you work in the dark.
The typing quality is excellent due to the well-spaced keys and the ABS keycaps that feel nice to the touch. Our unit uses tactile Razer Orange switches, which are very responsive and feel light to type on, though they may cause more unintentional keystrokes if you're not used to them. That said, it's also available with clicky Razer Green or linear Razer Yellow switches if you prefer.
Unfortunately, you can't use it wirelessly, and the customization software is only available on Windows. Also, there aren't any dedicated macro keys, which may disappoint some programmers, but at least you can easily reprogram any key to a macro within the Razer Synapse 3 software. All in all, this is one of the best keyboards for programming that we've tested.
The best mobile keyboard we've tested is the Logitech K380. This compact model is perfect to slide into your bag along with your tablet or phone. It feels decently built and exhibits a bit of flex, but it should be sturdy enough to stay intact while traveling with you. You can pair it with three devices simultaneously via Bluetooth, and you can easily switch between them via the F1-F3 hotkeys.
It has good typing quality. It uses scissor switches with low operating force and very short pre-travel, so typing on it feels light and responsive. The keys are very stable, and the keyboard's low profile shouldn't cause any fatigue, even when using it for extended periods. It's also very quiet and shouldn't bother anyone even if you use it in a noise-sensitive environment like a classroom or a library.
Unfortunately, it doesn't have onboard memory, but the Logitech Options software offers cloud sync, so you can still use your custom settings on another device with the software installed. Although you can't set macros, you can reprogram some of the keys from a list of preset functions. It also doesn't have any backlighting, so it's harder to use in a dark environment. Nonetheless, this is a fantastic option for mobile devices, and it's among the best Logitech keyboards we've tested.
The best cheap keyboard that we've tested is the Redragon K552-RGB. This wired-only mechanical model has a compact TenKeyLess design that's simple but functional. It feels surprisingly well-built for its price and also comes with full RGB backlighting that you can customize directly on the keyboard itself.
It uses clicky Outemu Blue switches that feel light to press on and provide good tactile feedback. Even though it doesn't have a lot of extra features, it does at least provide hotkeys for media control and a Windows key lock that prevents you from accidentally minimizing your game. It also has good compatibility with most desktop operating systems, with only a few keys not working on macOS.
Unfortunately, the latency is mediocre, so dedicated gamers may notice some delays while playing. It also doesn't have any companion software, and the clicky switches are loud and may bother people around you. Nevertheless, this is a good choice if you're looking for a basic mechanical keyboard that won't break the bank, and it's the best option we've tested in this price range.
Mar 31, 2021: Verified that picks were still available and updated text for clarity.
Mar 01, 2021: Added the Corsair K100 RGB and the Razer Cynosa V2 to Notable Mentions.
Feb 12, 2021: Updated text for clarity and accuracy; no change in recommendations.
Jan 14, 2021: : Removed the Razer Pro Type as an alternative to the Razer BlackWidow Elite, and moved it to Notable Mentions.
Dec 17, 2020: : Replaced the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB with the Logitech ERGO K860 Wireless Split Keyboard as an alternative to the Logitech MX Keys, and moved the Kinesis to Notable Mentions.
Nov 19, 2020: : Added Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro as an alternative to the SteelSeries Apex Pro, and made the Logitech G915 LIGHTSPEED a Notable Mention.
Sep 22, 2020: Added Razer Pro Type as an alternative to the Razer BlackWidow Elite.
Aug 19, 2020: Added Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB as an alternative to the Logitech MX Keys. Moved the ErgoDox EZ to Notable Mentions.
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.