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 105 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 model feels very well-built and solid, with an aluminum body and doubleshot ABS keycaps. It also has good ergonomics thanks to the detachable wrist rest and adjustable incline setting and comes with full RGB backlighting that’s great for dark room gaming.
It uses SteelSeries OmniPoint switches that are unique as you can set your own desired pre-travel distance. This means you can choose a lower pre-travel to make it more responsive while gaming and then set a higher one to help with typos during productivity tasks. You can also program every key to a function, and there’s even an OLED screen that’s fully customizable as well. The outstanding companion software, the SteelSeries Engine, 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 macro. 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 keyboard, check out the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro. Although its software isn't compatible with macOS and you can't customize the pre-travel distance like the SteelSeries Apex Pro, it has extra incline settings, and it can be used both wired and wirelessly. The clicky Razer Green switches on our unit feel light and responsive since they don't require a lot of force to actuate, and they provide a nice tactile bump when a keypress is registered. It's also available in Razer Yellow switches that are linear and silent. It can pair with up to three devices over Bluetooth and its proprietary receiver, and you can easily switch between them with a button on the left side.
If you prefer a wired-only keyboard with a customizable pre-travel distance, get the SteelSeries, but if you want wireless versatility and more incline settings, get the Razer.
The best office keyboard that we've tested is the Logitech MX Keys. This wireless, full-sized model has a sleek design that feels more premium than other office options that we've tested. The frame is made of metal, while the stable keycaps are made of dense, good quality plastic. It's quite sturdy overall, and the grippy feet prevent the board from sliding around as you type.
It uses scissor switches, which have a low pre-travel distance and require a bit of force to get over the tactile bump, but overall, they're light to type on. Each key has an indentation, making it easier to hit it in the center, which can help reduce typos. It can be used wirelessly over Bluetooth or with its proprietary receiver and can be paired with up to three devices at once. It's fully compatible with Windows and macOS, with only some minor buttons not working on mobile devices. Also, it has a white backlight, which helps if you work in a dark environment.
Unfortunately, the ergonomics are only decent, as there aren't any incline settings and no wrist rest included, though you can buy one separately if needed. The companion software, Logitech Options, allows you to reprogram some keys to a preset list of functions, but you can't set any macros. The frame does exhibit some flex to it, and the metal under the spacebar feels a bit loose. That said, this is one of the best wireless keyboards we've tested.
If you prefer a keyboard with better ergonomics, consider the Logitech ERGO K860 Wireless Split Keyboard. It’s not as versatile and as well-built as the Logitech MX Keys, but the ergonomics are better thanks to the curved design and split key layout, which should reduce wrist strain, though this isn't something we test for. It also has two different incline settings, which create a negative angle, and comes with a well-padded wrist rest. It's wireless-only, and you can connect it with up to three devices, either with Bluetooth or the USB receiver, and it's easy to switch between each device. The typing quality is also great, but it may take you some time to get used to the curved design. The tactile scissor switches have a noticeable bump and require a bit of force to actuate, but they're still light to type on. It's very quiet and shouldn’t bother people around you.
If you're looking for a versatile and very well-built keyboard, go with the MX Keys, but if you prefer something with better ergonomics, take a look at the ERGO K860.
The best keyboard for programming that we’ve tested is the Razer BlackWidow Elite. This wired-only model offers excellent typing quality and feels very well-built as it doesn’t have too much flex. It also has good ergonomics even though it’s a straight board, thanks to a plushy magnetic wrist wrest and two adjustable incline settings.
It has excellent RGB backlighting and comes with many extra features like dedicated media keys, a wheel to control the volume, and a Windows key lock. You can also customize a lot of settings through the Razer Synapse 3 software, and since it has onboard memory, you can save your settings and keep them when you switch to another device. The unit we tested has the proprietary Razer Orange switches, which are fairly quiet while still giving good tactile feedback, but it's also available with clicky Razer Green or linear Yellow switches, so you can choose according to your preferences.
Unfortunately, there aren’t any dedicated macro keys, but it’s quite easy to reprogram or set a macro to any key with the companion software. Also, the space bar is a bit wobbly, but all other keys are very stable. 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 light and small 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.
Its scissor switches feel light and responsive to type on, thanks to its low pre-travel distance and fairly light actuation force. Its low-profile design helps to prevent fatigue when typing for long periods of time. It's very quiet to type on, so it shouldn't be a bother to anyone around you in a classroom or library. You can pair up to three devices simultaneously over a Bluetooth connection, and you can easily switch between them via the F1-F3 hotkeys.
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 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 don’t require much force to actuate 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, it doesn’t have any companion software, so you can’t reprogram any key. Also, the clicky switches are loud and may bother people around you if you’re in a noise-sensitive environment, and the ergonomics are just okay due to the lack of wrist rest. 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.
01/14/2021: Removed the Razer Pro Type as an alternative to the Razer BlackWidow Elite, and moved it to Notable Mentions.
12/17/2020: 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.
11/19/2020: Added Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro as an alternative to the SteelSeries Apex Pro, and made the Logitech G915 LIGHTSPEED a Notable Mention.
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.
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.