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 80 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 wired, full-sized mechanical board is an outstanding choice for gamers due to its customizable pre-travel distance and RGB backlighting. Its body is made of aluminum while the keycaps are made of durable double-shot ABS plastic. Also, it's quite comfortable with one incline setting and a detachable magnetic wrist rest. The cable that's attached to the keyboard should be long enough for most gaming rigs and is covered by a rubber coating.
It uses OmiPoint linear switches, which offer a very light typing experience. Not only that, but they're also quiet enough to not disturb those around you. You can customize the RGB backlight and program macros with the outstanding SteelSeries Engine companion software, which along with the keyboard itself, are fully compatible with Windows and macOS. Also, all your settings will be saved to the on-board memory. You can also customize the pre-travel and actuation force to suit your needs.
Unfortunately, the wrist rest that comes with it is a dust magnet, while the inclination feet open vertically and are prone to closing on themselves if the keyboard is pushed. Also, while all keys are macro-programmable, there are no dedicated macro keys. On the upside, it has dedicated media keys and there's a customizable OLED screen that can display anything from an image to a GIF. Overall, this is one of the best gaming keyboards we've tested.
If you're looking for a wireless keyboard for gaming, check out the Logitech G915 LIGHTSPEED. Its typing experience and build quality may not be as good as the SteelSeries Apex Pro, but it has unique low-profile switches and its compatibility options are better. This mechanical board's pre-travel distance and total travel distance are quite low, and the switches are available in tactical, clicky, and linear versions. The wireless versatility is excellent, with Logitech claiming thirty hours of battery life with the RGB lighting turned to maximum. It can be paired with two devices, one via Bluetooth and one over its proprietary receiver, and you can easily switch between profiles with the press of a button. It's fully compatible with Windows, and partially with all other major operating systems.
If you want an excellent gaming keyboard that has a sturdier-feeling build and a much better typing experience, get the SteelSeries. However, if you're looking to upgrade your setup and want unique low-profile switches, better connectivity options, and wireless capabilities to keep things clean, then get the Logitech.
The best office keyboard we've tested is the Logitech MX Keys. This wireless, full-sized model is well-suited for office work and feels very well-built thanks to its mix of metal and high-quality plastic. There are media buttons along the top accessed by the function buttons, which can be further reprogrammed and saved as a second programmable layer. Also, it can pair with up to three devices over Bluetooth or its proprietary receiver, and you can easily change between devices at the press of a button.
Typing on it is great, with its tactile scissor switches requiring minimal force to register due to its low actuation point. Keys may have a low profile, but they're quiet and feel stable, with an indentation on each key to help prevent typos. If you find yourself typing in darker rooms, or just like the look of it, each key is backlit. A sensor will turn the backlight on when it gets too dark, and you can also manually adjust the settings.
Unfortunately, it's not as ergonomic as you might hope, as it lacks wrist support and its default incline can't be further adjusted. Also, while the keys feel high-quality, the metal beneath the spacebar feels loose and wiggly. It can be programmed with the Logitech Options software, but it doesn't allow you to program any macros, which may be problematic if you're a programmer. Overall, this is a great choice to use in the office and is one of the best wireless keyboards we've tested.
If you're looking for something that's more comfortable to use, consider the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB. Its build doesn't feel as well-built, and it's wired-only which may be off-putting compared to the Logitech MX Keys, but it has better ergonomics and better software to customize it. This is a split board with two separate halves that can be positioned however you want, and it comes with a detachable wrist support. It works with RGB SmartSet software, which allows you to save nine unique profiles to the onboard memory as well as program macros. If you want an even better ergonomic option with a ton of customization, check out the ErgoDox EZ, though it's much more expensive.
If you want a keyboard with a solid design and wireless capabilities, the Logitech is a great choice, but if ergonomics and comfort mean more to you, get the Kinesis.
The best keyboard for programming that we've tested is the Razer BlackWidow Elite. This full-sized wired option is designed with gamers in mind but also works great for programmers. The ergonomics are pretty good, with two incline settings available and a very comfortable wrist rest. It features a 1/8" audio jack, as well as USB passthrough, so you can easily plug-in devices without reaching to the back of your computer.
The variant we tested has proprietary Razer Orange switches that help give it a tactile feel while also being fairly quiet. The keys themselves feel very stable and spaced out in such a way to help prevent typos, while also producing great feedback when typing. The Razer's Synapse 3 software lets you set macros and save multiple profiles on the onboard memory. It's also available with Razer Green and Yellow switches, which are tactile and clicky, and linear and silent, respectively.
Unfortunately, RGB settings don't seem to save to the onboard memory, unlike keybindings and unique profiles. The board itself is fully compatible with Windows, but only partially with Linux and iOS due to Synapse 3's incompatibility with those operating systems, which will prevent customization. Overall, though this is excellent for gaming, it's also a great choice for programmers due to its typing experience and programmable macros, making it of the best keyboards for programming we've tested.
If you'd like a wireless option, consider the Razer Pro Type. Its ergonomics aren't as good, and it lacks onboard memory like the Razer BlackWidow Elite, but it can be used wirelessly and can pair with up to four different devices at once. Unlike Razer's gaming lineup, it's only available with Razer Orange switches, which offer tactile feedback and don't require a lot of force to actuate. The spacing of the keys is quite standard, and even though there's some wobble, it's not noticeable when typing. Also, the keys are quiet and shouldn't bother those around you as long as you don't bottom them out. You can connect to it with its proprietary receiver and pair an additional three devices over Bluetooth, while switching between them is done with a button prompt. Unfortunately, its high profile could benefit from a wrist rest. While the Elite has full RGB backlighting, the Pro has white backlight instead that's limited to two effects.
Overall, if you want something with better ergonomics and on-board memory, then get the Elite. However, if you're working on multiple devices at once and want to connect to them easily, get the Pro Type.
The best keyboard for mobile devices we've tested is the Logitech K380. It's a simple option that's small and light enough to carry around in your bag. It feels decently well-built, so you won't have to worry too much about it breaking or falling apart if you carry it around.
It uses simple chiclet-style scissor switches that offer a good typing quality. It has a low profile and it's comfortable to type on for long periods. The circular keys might take some time to get used to, but there's enough space between them to help reduce typos. With the exception of some non-alphanumeric keys, it's 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. Also, the Logitech Options software doesn't offer many customization options, but you can reprogram some function keys from a preset list. 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 that we've tested is the Redragon K552-RGB. This wired, mechanical TenKeyLess option is an adequate choice as it's simple yet functional. It has a surprisingly solid build that's made of hard plastic and metal that offers no signs of flex. There are plenty of variants to this keyboard, including black or white frames and different backlights.
It uses clicky mechanical Outemu Blue switches, which provide tactile feedback and don't have a lot of pre-travel distance, but might be too loud for an office environment. You don't need too much force to actuate the keys, which provides a light and responsive typing experience. Also, the keycaps are made of double-shot ABS plastic and feel quite stable, with only the spacebar being a little wobbly. While there's no companion software, the outstanding RGB backlighting can still be customized on the keyboard itself.
Unfortunately, there are no macros and none of the keys can be reprogrammed. Also, this is a wired-only keyboard, meaning you can't use it wirelessly over Bluetooth or a proprietary receiver. Ergonomics are okay overall despite having only one incline setting, but it could benefit by having a wrist rest. That said, if you're looking for a simple yet effective mechanical option at a cheap price, the Redragon is one of the best cheap mechanical keyboards we've tested.
09/22/2020: Added Razer Pro Type as an alternative to the Razer BlackWidow Elite.
08/19/2020: Added Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB as an alternative to the Logitech MX Keys. Moved the ErgoDox EZ to notable mentions.
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.