Mechanical keyboards have exploded in popularity. What sets these keyboards apart are the aptly named 'mechanical switches' they use to register keypresses. There are many different kinds of switches available, each offering its own typing sensations and sounds, but most switches fall into one of three categories: linear, clicky, or tactile. Tactile switches are versatile and popular among typists and gamers, while linear are fast and most popular for gaming. Clicky switches are a bit more niche but enjoyed by some enthusiasts as they offer a satisfying and distinct click that lets you know when a key's been registered. For more information on switch types and their properties, you can check out our article here.
We've tested over 190 keyboards, and below are our recommendations for the best mechanical keyboards. If you're interested in a mechanical keyboard for a specific use, check out our recommendations for the best gaming keyboards and the best keyboards for typing. Otherwise, if you're on a tight budget, you can check out the article for the best budget mechanical keyboards.
The best mechanical keyboard that we've tested is the Keychron Q6. This keyboard delivers high-quality construction and top-of-the-line typing quality right out of the box. It has a gasket-mounted design that's more common on expensive custom keyboards which means the interior components are all held between shock-absorbing rubber pieces. This design helps provide a softer, slightly cushioned typing experience without the abrupt sensation of bottoming out your keypresses. There are also a pair of sound-dampening foam layers sandwiched inside, which soften the ping and rattle from the switches and stabilizers, making for a surprisingly smooth and pleasant-sounding typing experience.
We've specifically named the Keychron Q6 here as the best full-size mechanical keyboard we've tested, but this keyboard is part of a wider Q Series lineup with a range of different sizes and layouts available. If you're a programmer or typist, check out the more compact Keychron Q3. Or, if you're interested in an ergonomic-forward design, you may be interested in the split-key layout of the Keychron Q8. While all these options may seem intimidating, each entry in the series is very similar in terms of build quality and features, so it boils down to what size is the most comfortable and appealing to you.
For a less expensive option at an upper mid-range price point, we recommend the Razer Pro Type Ultra. It has a straightforward but refined design that blends well into an office or home environment. And while it doesn't offer the same degree of customizability or high-end, cushioned gasket mount design of our top pick, the Keychron Q6, it offers a couple of features the Keychron doesn't. For starters, this is a wireless model, and you can pair it with up to three devices via Bluetooth, which is great news if you rely on a multi-device setup at work or in your home office. It also features two incline angles and a plush wrist rest that can make a big difference to your comfort throughout the day, and how you feel when you clock out.
Speaking of clocking out, this keyboard also hides a surprising gaming performance, making it a great choice for your home setup so you can get some well-deserved gaming time when you're off work. One thing we'd like to point out is that this keyboard is only available with linear switches. And while these switches are quiet and smooth to type on, they don't have that tactile bump that some people prefer. If that's important to you, check out the Logitech G715, which is typically a bit more expensive but has a similar look and a wider selection of switches. It also has a cloud-shaped wrist rest that adds a playful touch to any setup.
The NuPhy Air75 is an incredible keyboard at a solidly mid-range price point. This compact mechanical unit features excellent build quality and a slim design that's surprisingly ergonomic and comfortable, even without a wrist rest. Its low-profile keycaps are also very thin but feel very stable and pleasant to type on, and their low profile ensures you don't have to strain your hands upwards to reach them.
This keyboard is very compact, making it a great choice if you're looking for an on-the-go unit or if you find yourself moving workstations throughout the day. With its excellent wireless connectivity options, you don't have to worry about bringing a cable around with you. You can simply pair the keyboard with up to three devices using Bluetooth or use it with its included USB receiver. Just note that its battery capacity isn't one of its strong suits, so you can expect to need to charge it somewhere between every couple of days to once a week, depending on your usage.
Other keyboards struggle to match the Keychron K10 when it comes to performance at a budget price point. Despite its modest price, it offers an incredible typing experience in its stock configuration compared to other budget options. It comes with your choice of Gateron G Pro switches, which come pre-lubricated from the factory for a smoother keypress. The standout feature of this keyboard is the system compatibility and the wireless connectivity. There's a toggle on the top of the board to switch between Windows and macOS systems, and the keyboard comes with system-specific keycaps for the modifier keys.
You can connect this keyboard with up to three devices at once using Bluetooth or use it wired, and the battery life is incredible, allowing you to clock over 200 hours of use on a single charge with the backlighting off. Even though this is a budget model, it does have a full array of RGB backlighting, though it's worth noting there's no companion software to customize it. If you'd prefer an option that doesn't take up as much space, you may want to check out some of the other keyboards in Keychron's K Series. Most are very similar but in different sizes, like the TenKeyLess (80%) Keychron K8 or the compact (65%) Keychron K6.
For an even cheaper option, we recommend the ROYAL KLUDGE RK61. This keyboard is lightweight and has a tiny footprint, making it a great companion for smaller workspaces or use on the go. It's a wireless unit that supports multi-device pairing with up to three devices using Bluetooth, so you don't have to worry about any cables except when it needs a recharge. However, with a 10-hour battery life, it provides enough power to get you through the workday. Impressively for a keyboard at this price point, it has a hot-swappable PCB, which means you can pull out the stock switches and replace them with switches you prefer to control how your keyboard feels and sounds.
A hot-swappable PCB also allows you to easily replace broken or malfunctioning switches without soldering anything, which can increase the life span of your keyboard. You can also buy a few different variants of this keyboard with various wireless connectivity options and backlighting colors. These options can help you save money if you don't need RGB lighting or a USB receiver.
If you're a mechanical keyboard lover looking for the best pick for gaming, look no further than the SteelSeries Apex Pro. This keyboard uses OmniPoint switches which rely on magnets to register keypresses rather than a fixed physical mechanism. This technology allows you to precisely adjust the actuation point, or sensitivity, of every single one of your keys.
In practice, this means if you want super sensitive A and D keys for movements while gaming, you can set the actuation point for 1.5mm into the keypress. Or, if you'd prefer a deeper actuation point for typing, you can change that too. While the actuation point is one of the—no pun intended—key features of this keyboard, there's a whole host of other features, like incredibly low latency, USB passthrough to plug in a headset or mouse dongle, a nice wrist rest, volume knob, and even an OLED screen in the top right corner to display gifs, system or keyboard settings, or even a picture of your mother if that's what you want.
The sturdy GLORIOUS GMMK PRO has been a favorite among keyboard modification hobbyists since it first launched due to its high level of customization. Unlike our best pick, the Keychron Q6, which you can buy fully assembled, this keyboard only comes as a barebones kit, meaning you'll need to purchase keycaps and switches separately and install them yourself.
It's important to mention that it's not just the switches and the keycaps that are customizable. This keyboard is designed to be taken apart, tweaked, and modified at any level, so you can easily replace the sound-dampening foam inside the case with a different type of foam if you want a certain sound profile. Likewise, you can purchase different top plates, rotary knobs, and cables directly from GLORIOUS to complete your custom look. Unfortunately, you'll also have to buy the tools separately, like a keycap puller and switch puller, as this keyboard doesn't come with them.
Mar 03, 2023: We've moved the SteelSeries Apex Pro from its position as our 'Best Upper Mid-Range' pick to a new "Best Mechanical Keyboard for Gaming' category to better highlight its strengths. We've replaced it with the Razer Pro Type Ultra as our new 'Best Upper Mid-Range' pick.
Feb 03, 2023: We've reviewed this article and confirmed our current lineup of recommendations. We've added a special mention of the Razer Pro Type Ultra in our 'Best Upper Mid-Range' entry and added some contextual details concerning the battery life of our 'Best Mid-Range' pick, the NuPhy Air75.
Jan 03, 2023: Replaced the Razer Pro Type Ultra with the NuPhy Air75 due to the price fluctuations of the Razer Pro Type Ultra.
Nov 25, 2022: Removed the Keychron K3 (Version 2) as the 'Best For Mac' pick due to lack of relevance for the article.
Oct 28, 2022: Minor changes to text for readability and clarity; no changes to picks.
Whether you're looking for the best compact mechanical keyboard, the best full size mechanical keyboard, or the best TKL mechanical keyboard, the above recommendations are what we think are currently the best options available. We factor in the price (a cheaper product wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no keyboard that is difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our mechanical keyboard reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no product is perfect for every use, most keyboards are great enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them. Be sure to know your key switch preferences before choosing.