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 50 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, the best keyboards for programming, and the best RGB keyboards.
The best keyboard for gaming we've tested so far is the SteelSeries Apex Pro. This is a great mechanical keyboard that features SteelSeries' OmniPoint linear switches. These are unique as you can use the software to customize their actuation point to better suit your usage. A lower actuation point will feel quicker and more responsive, which is great for gaming. You can then raise it when you need to work and want to reduce the amount of unwanted registered keystrokes and reduce typos.
This keyboard is very well-built thanks to its aluminum frame and great ABS doubleshot keycaps. It even comes with a nice magnetic wrist rest that's comfortable to use for long gaming sessions. The board also has full RGB backlighting, which can be customized inside the software. There's also a customizable OLED screen that can display whatever you want. Right next to it, you have dedicated media keys, which are very useful to control your music and volume without needing to minimize your game.
Unfortunately, some gamers might be disappointed by the lack of dedicated macro keys, but at least every key can be reprogrammed. The wrist rest is also a dust magnet but is easily cleanable. This is one of the most versatile mechanical keyboards and its customizable switches make it a unique option.
If you prefer to keep your setup free of cables, take a look at the Logitech G915 LIGHTSPEED. It doesn't have an OLED screen like the SteelSeries Apex Pro, but it does have a column of dedicated macro keys, which is great for MMO games. It uses proprietary low-profile tactile mechanical switches that are similar to Cherry MX Browns, though you can get the keyboard with linear or clicky switches. These switches provide a light tactile bump that lets you know when a keystroke has been registered, and they have a very short pre-travel distance. You can customize the backlight of each key individually through Logitech's G HUB software, and the keyboard has onboard memory to save profiles if you need to switch computers. For multitaskers, you can pair this keyboard to a secondary device using its Bluetooth connection, and switching between the two is easy.
Overall, the SteelSeries has more features and is more customizable, but if you want a clean, wire-free setup, go with the Logitech.
The best office keyboard we've tested so far is the Logitech MX Keys. This is a full-size wireless keyboard with a sturdy metal frame and its low profile is decently comfortable to type on without a wrist rest. The keys feel stable and are also lightly indented, which can help with typing accuracy. It connects via a wireless USB receiver or through Bluetooth and it has a multi-device pairing feature, which is great for multitaskers.
There are a number of keys that can be reprogrammed through Logitech's Options software, although it's limited to a list of preset commands and you can't set macros to them. In addition, its customization software is only available for Windows and macOS, and some shortcuts don't work on mobile operating systems. On the upside, there's backlighting if you tend to work in dark environments and you can control the brightness directly on the keyboard.
This keyboard's typing experience is very good and shouldn't be fatiguing for most people. The scissor switches have a very short travel distance that makes them feel very responsive and typing noise is kept to a minimum. All in all, this is a well-designed keyboard that fits in any office setting.
If you like the Logitech MX Keys but you need a keyboard with better ergonomics, check out the ErgoDox EZ. This fully split keyboard has quite a unique design with ortholinear keys and a lot of blank keycaps for you to customize the way you want. This board allows you to create the perfect layout for you, and you can create up to 32 layers of different keybindings. Each key can be used for two commands, one by a single tap, and one by holding down the key. There's an infinite amount of incline settings thanks to the rotating feet, and the keyboard comes with wrist rests for a comfortable typing experience. Unfortunately, it lacks backlighting like the Logitech, but there are variants that support full RGB. It's also quite complex to learn to type on, but once you get the hang of it, it's probably one of the most ergonomic options available that we've tested.
Overall, the Logitech is a better keyboard and will be better suited for most people, but if you're up for a new challenge and want the most ergonomic keyboard we've seen, check out the ErgoDox.
The Razer BlackWidow Elite is the best keyboard for programming that we've tested so far. This keyboard stands out for its outstanding customizability, as well as for its numerous features and excellent performance. While our unit was outfitted with Razer Orange mechanical switches, which are comparable to Cherry MX Browns, there are two other types that offer different typing experiences to suit your tastes. The Orange switches provide nice tactile feedback without causing too much noise, and the keys are stable and easy to actuate.
Using Razer's Synapse 3 software, you can reprogram or set macros to any key on the keyboard. It also lets you customize the RGB backlighting and it has onboard memory to save profiles, making it easy to carry your settings over to another computer. Unfortunately, the customization software is only compatible with Windows; however, most keys work properly on macOS and Linux. There are dedicated media controls and it has a USB passthrough on the side, which you can use to plug in another peripheral or to charge a mobile device.
This keyboard's overall build quality is excellent. The frame doesn't exhibit any flex at all and it has doubleshot ABS keycaps, which is great for the durability of the key legends. There are two incline settings and it comes with a very comfortable wrist rest that attaches magnetically. Although this keyboard is mainly designed for gamers, most programmers should be happy with its performance and versatility.
The best keyboard to use with mobile devices we've reviewed so far is the Logitech K380. It's very portable thanks to its small and thin form. It connects via Bluetooth and has excellent compatibility with most mobile devices or tablet operating systems. It's decently built, so you should be able to toss it in your backpack or laptop bag without too much problem.
The circular keys have scissor switches underneath, which provide a light typing experience as they actuate quite fast. There's also a nice tactile bump before the actuation point, giving good feedback. Although there's no wrist rest included, the keyboard has a very low profile, so the overall typing quality is good. Additionally, you can connect to three devices simultaneously and easily change between them, which is very useful.
However, the keyboard doesn't have backlighting, so it might not be the best option if you're trying to get some work done in a darker environment. Also, there isn't a cradle to put in your devices like you'll find on the Logitech K780. Nevertheless, if you're looking for an affordable option that can be used with any Bluetooth compatible devices, the K380 is one of the best keyboards for your needs.
The best cheap keyboard we've tested so far is the Redragon K552-RGB. For its price, this is an impressively well-built keyboard. The frame feels robust and the keycaps are doubleshot, which is great for the durability of the key legends. 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. They do, however, 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. That said, the keyboard lacks onboard memory, so it can only store one profile at a time. Additionally, there are no dedicated media controls or programmable keys. On the upside, it has full compatibility with Windows and Linux, and only a few keys don't work on macOS.
It's worth noting that you can get this keyboard in a number of different configurations. It's available in a white or black frame, and there are also various backlighting options that you can choose from. 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.
If you don't like mechanical keyboards or you're concerned about typing noise, then check out the SteelSeries Apex 3. This is a very different keyboard than the Redragon K552-RGB, as it's a full-size keyboard with a NumPad, it has rubber dome switches, and has software support. However, the one thing they have in common is build quality. This keyboard feels sturdy despite its full plastic construction and it comes with a comfortable magnetic wrist rest. It has dedicated media controls and RGB backlighting, although it's zone-lit rather than per key. You can set macros to any key using SteelSeries' Engine software and save as many profiles as you want. The rubber dome switches have a high travel distance, which can be helpful in terms of typing accuracy, but the tactile feedback isn't as pronounced and they feel a bit mushy. That said, the overall typing experience is very decent and doesn't cause any fatigue when typing for extended periods.
If you like mechanical keyboards, then go with the Redragon; otherwise, the SteelSeries is a very decent choice and it comes with great software support and customization options.
05/14/2020: Minor text and structure changes; no change in recommendations.
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.