Mechanical keyboards have exploded in popularity. The mechanical switches they use to register keypresses set these keyboards apart. Many different kinds of switches are 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. Check out our article for more information on switch types and their properties.
We've tested over 200 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, the best keyboards for typing, or the best keyboards for programming. Otherwise, you can check out the article for the best budget mechanical keyboards if you're on a tight budget.
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 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 named the Keychron Q6 the best full-size mechanical keyboard we've tested. Still, this keyboard is part of a wider Q Series lineup with various sizes and layouts available. Each entry in the series offers virtually the same experience, so it boils down to the most comfortable and appealing size. 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 like the split-key layout of the Keychron Q8.
Each keyboard in this premium lineup is also designed to be fully customizable and includes a small toolkit and impressively thorough instruction materials to walk you through it. You can fully deconstruct your keyboard and replace switches, sound-dampening material, stabilizers, or keycaps if you crave a more personalized keyboard experience.
For a less expensive option at an upper mid-range price point, we recommend the Razer Pro Type Ultra. This keyboard has a straightforward but refined design that blends well into an office or home environment. While it doesn't offer the same degree of customizability or high-end, cushioned gasket mount design as our top pick, the Razer provides some 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 greatly affect how your wrists and hands feel at the end of the day. This keyboard's conservative design also hides a surprising gaming performance, making it a great choice for your home setup to get some well-deserved gaming time when you're off the clock.
Keep in mind that this keyboard is only available with linear switches. While these switches are quiet and smooth to type on, they don't have that tactile bump 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 solid mid-range price point. This compact mechanical unit features excellent build quality and a slim, surprisingly ergonomic, and comfortable design, 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 compact keyboard makes 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. You can pair the keyboard with up to three devices using Bluetooth or use it with its included USB receiver. Its battery capacity isn't one of its strong suits, so you can expect to charge it somewhere between every couple of days to once a week, depending on your usage.
If you like what this keyboard offers but prefer a high-profile option, check out the NuPhy Halo75, part of Nuphy's very similar Halo lineup of keyboards. The Halo75 offers better overall acoustics and a slightly better typing experience thanks to several layers of silicone-dampening material inside the board. However, it isn't as portable as the Air75 and isn't as comfortable to use without a wrist rest.
Other keyboards struggle to match the Keychron K10 for performance at a budget price point. Note that this keyboard is available in a few different configurations. We bought and tested one with full RGB lighting and an aluminum case, but configurations with white-only lighting and a plastic case are less expensive. No matter your configuration, this keyboard 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 it with up to three devices at once using Bluetooth or wired, and the battery life is incredible, allowing you to clock over 200 hours of use on a single charge with the backlighting off.
If you don't need a Numpad or prefer a more compact option that doesn't take up as much space on your desk, we recommend checking out some of the other keyboards in Keychron's K Series. They're different sizes and can be less expensive depending on their configuration, like the TenKeyLess (80%) Keychron K8 or the compact (65%) Keychron K6.
For an even cheaper option, we recommend the ROYAL KLUDGE RK61. This lightweight keyboard 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 cables except when charging. Speaking of charging, this keyboard's major weak point is its battery life—although it can last up to 10 hours before recharging. While this keyboard doesn't offer the same premium-feeling build quality as some of the options above, it does have 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 lets you precisely adjust every key's actuation point or sensitivity. In practice, if you want super sensitive WASD cluster for movements while gaming, you can set the actuation point down to 1mm. Or, you can create a profile with deeper actuation points on all keys for typing.
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.
If you're looking for a smaller alternative and can do without features like the SteelSeries' OLED screen, the Wooting 60HE is worth a look. It uses hall effect Gateron Lekker switches along with a host of software features that make use of their unusual properties—you can set a custom reset point for each switch, and there's a separate 'Analog Mode', in which the switches measure gradual key presses instead of registering them as binary inputs, allowing them to act as substitutes for joysticks. The latter feature is great if you're a fan of flight or racing games or any other game that requires an extra level of precision.
The sturdy GLORIOUS GMMK PRO has been a favorite among gamers and keyboard modification hobbyists since it first launched due to its customization options available at purchase. Like our top pick, the Keychron Q6, you can buy this keyboard fully assembled or as a barebones kit. A configurator tool on the GLORIOUS website lets you choose between different plate materials, stock switches, and a range of PBT keycaps, coiled aviator cables, and top plates, all in a range of colors to suit your setup.
And the customization doesn't need to end once it's on your desk. This keyboard is designed to be taken apart, tweaked, and modified at any level. You can lube your switches and stabilizers or easily mod the sound-dampening materials inside the case if you're hunting for a certain sound profile. Unfortunately, the variety of customization options can quickly add up in price at checkout, and unlike our top pick, the Keycrhon Q6, this keyboard doesn't include a set of tools. Still, the GLORIOUS is a highly versatile option for anyone interested in custom mechanical keyboards.
May 30, 2023: We've added a special mention of the NuPhy Halo75 to our current 'Best Mid-Range' entry. We've also verified the pricing and availability of all other products but made no changes to our lineup since all picks remain the best options available.
May 01, 2023: We've reviewed this article, confirmed our current picks, and made some minor changes to our text. We've removed a note regarding price changes for the Razer Pro Type Ultra and added details about the hardware customizability of the Keychron Q6 and the GLORIOUS GMMK PRO. We've also highlighted some of the different configurations available for our 'best budget' pick, the Keychron K10.
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.