If you work in an office environment, the sound of dozens of people typing on keyboards can get loud and distracting. From when the IBM Model M clicked and clacked its way in offices until now, keyboards have gotten much quieter. Noise is created when the key actuates, and the noise level is dependent on the type of switch the keyboard uses; mechanical switches tend to be louder than non-mechanical ones. It's hard to find the best silent keyboard because all keyboards will make a bit of noise when you're typing on them, so it's better to look for the best quiet keyboards instead.
We've tested over 140 keyboards, and below are our recommendations for the best quiet keyboards available. For other options, see our picks for the best gaming keyboards, the best keyboards for typing, and the best wireless keyboards.
The SteelSeries Apex Pro is the best quiet keyboard for gaming that we've tested. It has unique SteelSeries OmniPoint switches, which provide a linear feel and are quiet, so it won't make enough noise to bother others around you in a noise-sensitive environment. It has a ton of features to please most gamers.
The stand-out feature of this keyboard is the ability to adjust the pre-travel distance on a per-key basis. You can set it to its shortest for a more responsive gaming experience or its longest to help with typing accuracy. Latency is also really low, so you know you're getting a quick and responsive gaming experience. The dedicated SteelSeries Engine software allows you to customize the individually lit RGB backlighting, set macros to any key, or display anything on the OLED screen of the top right of the keyboard.
Unfortunately, it's wired-only, so you can't use it with mobile devices, and the linear switches may feel too sensitive to some for typing because they don't offer any tactile feedback. It has good ergonomics thanks to its wrist rest, which attracts dust easily, meaning it can get dirty. If that isn't an issue for you, it's one of the best quiet keyboards we've tested.
If you prefer something wireless, then check out the Logitech G915 LIGHTSPEED. It's a fairly different keyboard from the SteelSeries Apex Pro, so you can't adjust the pre-travel settings. However, you can get it with three types of low-profile switches, and the GL Tactile switches on our unit provide a responsive gaming experience. It can either connect to devices wirelessly through its proprietary USB receiver or Bluetooth. With either type of connection, the latency is low, which is fantastic for a wireless keyboard. The GL Tactile and the GL Linear switches are quiet, but the GL Clicky switches are louder. It has dedicated software, but you can only reprogram the five macro keys, and we've received reports of issues with the Logitech G HUB software.
If you're in the market for the best quiet gaming keyboard, the SteelSeries has a ton of features, but if you want a wireless option, then check out the Logitech.
The best quiet keyboard we've tested to use in the office is the Logitech K780. It's a very good office keyboard with low-profile keys that provide great typing quality because they have a short pre-travel distance and aren't too heavy to press. Despite not having a wrist rest or incline settings, you shouldn't feel fatigue during long typing sessions, and the typing noise is very quiet.
Although customization is limited, you can still use the Logitech Options software to reprogram a few function keys to a preset list of commands. This makes it easier to open your productivity apps during work. Every key works as intended on the common desktop and mobile operating systems, but the software is only available on Windows and macOS. It's fairly well-built with a solid plastic frame, and it also has a slot into which you can place your tablet or phone.
Unfortunately, it doesn't have backlighting, which is disappointing if you want to use it in a dark environment. It also uses disposable batteries instead of a rechargeable one, which isn't ideal for on-the-go use, but the disposable batteries should last a while. All in all, it's one of the best quiet keyboards we've tested.
If you want a more ergonomic design, look into the Logitech ERGO K860 Wireless Split Keyboard. It's larger than the Logitech K780, so it's harder to carry around with you, but it has much better ergonomics thanks to its curved, split keyboard design and built-in wrist rest. It also feels better built because the wrist rest is comfortable. It may take time before you get used to the unique shape, but after you do, typing feels great, and the negative incline feet help promote a more natural typing position. You can customize a few function keys, but you can't set macros to any key, and it lacks backlighting.
If you're looking for the best quiet keyboard for the office, the K780 is a simple yet effective choice, but if you prefer an ergonomic shape, then check out the K860.
The best quiet keyboard that we've tested in the budget category is the Microsoft Bluetooth Keyboard. It's a full-size entry-level keyboard without many extra features, but it still offers good performance for those looking for an office keyboard.
It has typical rubber dome switches with a low profile and short pre-travel distance, but the keys may feel heavy to actuate at times. Still, typing quality is good, and the keys are stable. The typing noise is very quiet and shouldn't bother people around you. You can connect the keyboard with any device via Bluetooth, but it doesn't have multi-device pairing, and it doesn't come with a proprietary receiver. It works with all common operating systems, including desktop and mobile ones, but some keys don't work on some operating systems.
Unfortunately, since it's a full-size keyboard and doesn't have multi-device pairing, it's not ideal to use with mobile devices, and it may be hard to bring with you on the go. However, it's well-built with a plastic frame that feels solid. Although customization is limited, you can set macros to a few function keys through the dedicated software only available on Windows. Overall, it's the best quiet keyboard you can get on a budget.
If you're looking for a keyboard to use with your mobile devices, look into the Logitech K380. Although it doesn't have a numpad like the Microsoft Bluetooth Keyboard and has a more compact design, typing still feels good because the keys aren't cramped. It has stable keys, and even though the circular shape may feel weird to some people at first, it shouldn't be much of an issue. The main advantage is that it has multi-device pairing over Bluetooth with up to three devices at once, and switching between each device is easy. Unfortunately, you can't set macros to any key, but you can reprogram a few function keys to a preset list of commands.
If you're on a budget and want one of the best silent keyboards, the Microsoft is a great choice, but if you want something smaller with multi-device pairing, look into the Logitech.
Nov 11, 2021: Verified picks and Notable Mentions for availability; updated text for clarity.
Oct 29, 2021: Updated the text for clarity; added the Razer Huntsman V2, Lenovo ThinkPad TrackPoint Keyboard II, and Microsoft Surface Keyboard to Notable Mentions.
Oct 08, 2021: Verified picks for availability and updated text for clarity; added the Keychron K10 and Apple Magic Keyboard with Touch ID to Notable Mentions.
Sep 20, 2021: Verified picks for availability and updated text for accuracy.
Aug 30, 2021: Updated text for clarity; updated Notable Mentions based on market availability.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best quiet 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.