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 130 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 SteelSeries Apex Pro is the best keyboard for gaming that we've tested. It's a premium model that's available in both a TenKeyLess and full-size option, and although we tested the full-size model, we expect our results to be valid for the TKL keyboard as well. It's very well-built and packed with features that should please most gamers.
The stand-out feature of this keyboard is the customizable switches. You can adjust the pre-travel distance on each key to your liking; a lower setting results in a responsive gaming experience with low operating force, and a higher setting can help with typing accuracy. All keys are macro-programmable through the SteelSeries Engine software, which is available on both Windows and macOS. It has full RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys and dedicated media keys to easily skip through your music when gaming.
Unfortunately, it only comes with proprietary OmniPoint switches, which have a linear feel and don't provide tactile feedback that some people are looking for when typing. Also, since it's wired-only, you can't connect it to any mobile device. If these issues don't bother you, this is one of the best keyboards we've tested.
If you need a wireless keyboard, then check out the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro. Its switches don't have a customizable pre-travel distance like the SteelSeries Apex Pro, but you can get them with either clicky Razer Green or linear Razer Yellow switches, so you can get the ones that you prefer. You can connect this keyboard with up to three keyboards at once via Bluetooth or its proprietary receiver, and switching between each device is easy. Latency is actually lower when connected over its receiver than wired, but not by much. Sadly, the companion software isn't available on macOS, and the clicky switches on our unit are loud, but the linear switches should be quieter.
If you want the best keyboard for gaming, you can't go wrong with the SteelSeries, but if you need a wireless option that's available in different switches, check out the Razer.
The best keyboard for office use that we've tested is the Logitech MX Keys. It's a full-size wireless board with tactile scissor switches that feel fairly light overall, although they do require some force to get over the tactile bump. The switches are quiet, so typing shouldn't bother those around you, even in a noise-sensitive environment.
The keys are indented to make it easier to hit the key in the center, which should help reduce typos. While it doesn't come with a wrist rest or incline settings, the board has a low profile and should still feel comfortable. It has white backlighting with individually-lit keys, and there's a built-in sensor that turns the backlighting on automatically in the dark. You can pair it with up to three devices at once via Bluetooth and its unifying USB receiver.
Unfortunately, although you can remap some of the buttons to a preset list of functions, you can't set macros to any of the keys, which may be disappointing for some people. All in all, this is a good option if you're looking for a low-profile office keyboard with wireless connectivity.
If you prefer an option with better ergonomics, then look into the Logitech ERGO K860 Wireless Split Keyboard. It doesn't have backlighting like the Logitech MX Keys, and the unique split keyboard design may take some time getting used to, but it feels comfortable to type on once you do. It has negative incline settings which are meant to relieve strain on your wrists, but we don't test for this. It has many of the same features as the MX Keys because it has multi-device pairing, you can reprogram the functions to a specific list of functions, and it's well-built. Unfortunately, the scissor switches can feel a bit heavy to press at times as the operating force is a bit high, but typing quality is great regardless.
If you need the best keyboard for the office, then you should be happy with the MX Keys, but if you want something with a split keyboard design, then the K860 is as good.
If you're a programmer then the best keyboard for that use is the Razer BlackWidow Elite. It's similar to the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro, but since it's wired you can't connect to multiple devices at once. Still, it's great for programming and versatile for other uses too.
All keys are macro-programmable through the Razer Synapse 3, and you can also customize the full RGB backlighting with it, which is great if you need to use it in a dark environment. It's available with tactile Razer Orange, clicky Green, and linear Yellow switches, so you can easily get the ones you prefer. We tested the Orange switches, which have a low pre-travel distance, offer nice tactile feedback, and are light to press, so they offer an excellent overall typing experience. It also has good ergonomics with a detachable wrist rest.
Unfortunately, the Synapse 3 isn't available on macOS, so if you want to use your settings on a Mac you'll need to save them to the onboard memory from a Windows PC first. If that isn't a problem or you simply don't have Mac, then it's one of the best keyboards for programming.
The best keyboard to use with mobile devices that we've tested is the Logitech K380. This compact 65% board is light and thin, making it very easy to slip into a bag. You can pair it with up to three devices at once via Bluetooth, and it's compatible with many mobile operating systems, although some functions may not work.
It uses tactile scissor switches that require some force to get over the tactile bump, but their overall feeling remains fairly light. They're very quiet to type on, so they shouldn't bother those around you, even in quiet environments. It has a dedicated function row with media hotkeys, and there are three buttons to easily switch between your paired devices.
Unfortunately, there's no backlighting, so it may be hard to see the key legends when you're in a dimmer room. While you can program a few of the function keys to a preset list of functions, you can set any macros. Also, the Logitech Options software isn't available on mobile device operating systems. All in all, this is a great option if you're looking for a slim board to use with your mobile devices.
The Logitech G413 is the best cheap keyboard we've tested. It's a basic mechanical gaming keyboard that still offers good features for its low price. It comes with proprietary Romer-G tactile switches and most people should be happy with its low operating force and good tactile feedback, but it's not available with other switches.
It feels very well-built with an aluminum top plate, so the entire keyboard is solid. The doubleshot ABS keycaps feel a bit cheap and easily develop oil shine, but that's somewhat expected for a cheap keyboard. It has very low latency for a responsive gaming experience, and you can program macros to any of the function keys through the Logitech G HUB software. Our unit has red backlighting with individually-lit keys, and there's a variant with white backlighting if you prefer that.
Unfortunately, it lacks a wrist rest. You may feel some fatigue after typing on it for longer periods, but it shouldn't be too bad. On the plus side, it has a few extra features like a USB passthrough, so you can connect other devices directly to the keyboard instead of the computer. Overall, considering its price point and features, it's one of the best keyboards we've tested.
Jul 30, 2021: Updated text for clarity; added the Ducky One 2 RGB TKL and Corsair K83 to Notable Mentions.
Jul 02, 2021: Updated text for consistency and clarity.
Jun 02, 2021: Verified picks for availability; updated text for accuracy.
May 03, 2021: Replaced the Redragon K552-RGB with the Logitech G413; updated Notable Mentions based on market availability.
Mar 31, 2021: Verified that picks were still available and updated text for clarity.
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.