If you work in an office environment, the sound of dozens of people typing on keyboards can get loud and distracting. From the time the IBM Model M clicked and clacked its way through offices to 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, and even at that, there are dedicated quiet mechanical switches like the Cherry MX Silent Blacks. However, we haven't tested those, so we don't know how quiet they truly are. 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 130 keyboards, and below are our recommendations for the best quiet keyboards available. For other options, see our recommendations for the best gaming keyboards, the best keyboards for typing, and the best wireless keyboards.
The best quiet gaming keyboard that we've tested is the SteelSeries Apex Pro. It's a unique keyboard with a ton of features, and it offers fantastic performance for gaming. It's only available with linear switches, which are quiet, but like any mechanical keyboard, it can make more noise if you tend to bottom out the keys.
You can adjust the pre-travel distance of each key, which is a unique setting that we don't see on many keyboards. You can set it at its lowest for a light and responsive gaming experience and its highest for better accuracy while typing. It has full RGB backlighting with individually lit keys that you can customize, and you can reprogram or set macros to any key. It also has low latency, so you won't notice any delay when gaming.
Unfortunately, since the switches are linear, they don't offer any tactile feedback, so they may feel too sensitive to some while typing, even when setting the pre-travel distance to its highest. Also, since it's a wired-only keyboard, it obviously can't be used over Bluetooth connections. While it's very well-built and has good ergonomics, the wrist rest attracts dust easily. Overall, it's the best quiet keyboard for gaming that we've tested.
If you need something wireless, then check out the Logitech G915 LIGHTSPEED. It doesn't have as many features as the SteelSeries Apex Pro, like adjustable switches or an OLED screen, but you can connect the keyboard with one device via the receiver and two more via Bluetooth at once. It has low-profile keys, which may not be for everyone, but they can also be quieter than typical mechanical keycaps because they're shorter and closer to the frame, so they don't make as loud a noise when bottoming out. We tested the quiet tactile switches, and it's also available in linear and clicky, but the clicky ones are likely too loud. While you can reprogram the dedicated macro keys, you can't reprogram any other key.
If you want the best quiet gaming keyboard, you can't go wrong with the SteelSeries, but if you prefer something with wireless connectivity, the Logitech is a good option as long as you get the tactile or linear switches.
The best quiet keyboard for office use that we've tested is the Logitech K780. Although it doesn't have as many features as the higher-end Logitech MX Keys like white backlighting, it has a plastic frame that's a lot quieter, making it a better choice for those who work in an open-office environment.
It's a full-size keyboard that's good for office use. It's wireless and can connect with up to three devices via its Bluetooth connection or USB receiver. Typing on it feels great because the scissor switches are fairly light and have a low pre-travel distance. They provide tactile feedback, but the bump requires just a bit of force to get over. The keys are well-spaced out and should help reduce the number of typos, but it may take time to get used to the shape of the circular keys.
Unfortunately, it's limited on ergonomics as it doesn't have any incline settings or a wrist rest, but because of the low profile, you shouldn't feel any fatigue during long typing sessions. You can't program any macros, but you can reprogram some function keys to a preset list of commands. Overall, if you need something for the office, it's one of the best quiet wireless keyboards we've tested.
If you need something more ergonomic, then check out the Logitech ERGO K860 Wireless Split Keyboard. It's very similar in features to the Logitech K780, but even though the split design may not be for everyone, it offers comfort once you get used to it. It has a fixed wrist rest and negative incline settings that are supposed to relieve strain on the wrists, but we don't test for that. It's very quiet because the plastic frame doesn't cause too much noise when a key actuates, and typing quality is also good. It has media hotkeys, and you can reprogram a few function keys to a list of options. It has multi-device pairing with up to three devices at once.
If you're looking for the best silent wireless keyboard for the office, you should be happy with the K780, but if you're a fan of split keyboards, then check out the K860.
If you're on a budget, then the best quiet keyboard is the Microsoft Bluetooth Keyboard. Although it's an entry-level keyboard with minimal extra features, it still provides good performance for office use. The rubber dome switches are very quiet and won't bother those around you.
It connects to your PC wirelessly through a Bluetooth connection, but it's limited to just one device at a time. This also means you can connect it with your phone and tablet via Bluetooth. Some function keys don't work on mobile operating systems, but all alphanumeric keys work. The keys have a low profile and provide good typing quality as they're stable, but you may feel like they require some force to get over the tactile feedback. Customization is limited, but you can still set macros to a few function keys.
Its latency is objectively high for gaming, but that's expected for a Bluetooth connection, and you shouldn't feel any delay when typing. It's also limited on ergonomics because it doesn't have any incline settings or wrist rest, but you still shouldn't feel much fatigue. There isn't any backlighting, so it's not ideal for a dark environment. If these things don't bother you, and you're looking for the best silent wireless keyboards, you'll be happy with this one.
If you need something smaller for on-the-go use, then look into the Logitech K380. Due to its compact 65% size, it doesn't have as many keys like a directional pad and Numpad like the Microsoft Bluetooth Keyboard, but that means it should easily fit into your bag, and the build quality is decent. The K380 is similar in features to the Logitech K780. It has a multi-device pairing feature that allows you to connect with up to three devices at once via Bluetooth, and you can switch between them with the press of a button. Despite its small size, typing feels good and you shouldn't experience too much fatigue. Unfortunately, like the Microsoft, it doesn't have any backlighting either.
If you don't want to spend too much money on the best quiet keyboard, you should check out the Microsoft, but if you prefer something smaller, then look into the Logitech.
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.