Whether you need a keyboard with RGB backlighting for dark room gaming or just want to give your setup a personal touch or some flair, it's clear that the RGB craze is still going strong. From the most expensive keyboards on the market to budget options, it's possible to find a keyboard with great RGB backlighting and excellent customization options.
We've tested over 130 keyboards, and below are our recommendations for the best RGB keyboards that are available for purchase. For other options, see our recommendations for the best gaming keyboards, the best wireless keyboards, and the best keyboards overall.
The best RGB keyboard we've tested in a full-size is the SteelSeries Apex Pro. It has full RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys, and its black frame helps to make the keys even easier to read in the dark. This keyboard feels very well-built and has good ergonomics thanks to the detachable wrist rest and adjustable incline setting. It also has many extra features like dedicated media keys, macro-programmable keys, and a customizable OLED screen.
It has remarkable latency and even competitive gamers shouldn't notice any delay. It uses unique proprietary OmniPoint switches that let you customize the pre-travel distance to suit your needs. This means that you can set a shorter one for better responsiveness when gaming and a longer one when doing productivity tasks, as it can help reduce typos. These switches are linear and require very little force to operate, resulting in a light typing experience that isn't fatiguing.
Unfortunately, this keyboard is rather large, especially with the wrist rest attached, so it may take a lot of space on your desk. Also, it lacks dedicated macro keys, which could be disappointing for some programmers or MMO gamers. That said, it's an outstanding gaming keyboard that's also versatile enough for many types of uses, and it's the best full-size model we've tested with full RGB backlighting.
If you primarily play MMO games, you may want to consider the Corsair K100 RGB. You can't adjust the switches' pre-travel distance like the SteelSeries Apex Pro, but it has six dedicated macro keys and is available in two different switch types. The linear Cherry MX Speed switches on our unit feel light and responsive. They shouldn't cause much fatigue over time and provide an excellent typing experience. The keyboard is also available with Corsair's OPX optical switches, though we haven't tested them. The K100 feels very well-built and has full RGB backlighting, as well as many extra features. The companion software offers fantastic customization options on both Windows or macOS.
If you want a more versatile option with more customization options, get the SteelSeries, but if you want an MMO keyboard with dedicated macro keys, go with the Corsair.
The best RGB keyboard we've tested in a TenKeyLess size is the SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL. This exceptional gaming model has full RGB backlighting that you can customize on a per-key basis, great color mixing, and a variety of different effects. It also has a programmable OLED screen on which you can display GIFs, K/D ratios, or change profiles or settings without minimizing your game.
It feels excellently well-built, and it comes with a magnetically attachable wrist rest that has a soft finish; however, it attracts dust very easily. The SteelSeries Brown switches require very little force to get over the tactile bump, which results in a very light feel. Its latency is excellent, and the board should feel very responsive. All of its keys are macro-programmable through the SteelSeries Engine software compatible with both Windows and macOS.
Unfortunately, it has ABS keycaps instead of PBT keycaps, which are more prone to getting shiny from finger oils. Also, the pre-travel distance of our unit's switches are slightly longer than advertised, but it shouldn't be very noticeable. All in all, this is an incredible gaming option if you're looking for a TKL size packed with features.
The best wireless RGB keyboard we've tested is the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro. This full-size, mechanical keyboard has outstanding wireless capabilities, letting you pair it with three devices at once via Bluetooth and its proprietary receiver. It feels very well-built, as it's mainly made of plastic with an aluminum top that exhibits very little flex. It also comes with a detachable wrist rest and two incline settings for better comfort.
It has many extra features like dedicated media keys and a volume control wheel. It's compatible with the Razer Synapse 3 software, which lets you set macros, remap all the keys, and fully customize the RGB backlighting. Our unit uses clicky Razer Green switches, which don't require a lot of force to actuate and have a short pre-travel, making them feel light and responsive. That said, if you prefer something quieter, the keyboard is also available with linear Razer Yellow switches.
Unfortunately, there aren't any dedicated macro keys, which may disappoint some people. Also, the companion software is only available on Windows, so you can't customize your settings on macOS. On the plus side, it does have onboard memory, so you can save any changes made on a PC, and then keep them when switching computers. All in all, this is the best RGB mechanical keyboard if you want a wireless model that's outstanding for gaming.
The best RGB keyboard with non-mechanical switches that we've tested is the Razer Ornata V2. It's a full-size, wired gaming keyboard with individually backlit keys that can be customized through the Razer Synapse 3 software. It has good ergonomics thanks to its plushy detachable wrist rest and two incline settings.
It uses Razer Mecha-Membrane switches that feel like rubber domes switches but offer clicky feedback. They provide good typing quality, but they may not feel as responsive as some mechanical switches due to the fairly long pre-travel distance. All of its keys are macro-programmable, and it has dedicated media keys, a volume wheel, plus a Game Mode feature that locks the Windows key to prevent you from accidentally minimizing your game.
Unfortunately, it doesn't have onboard memory, so you can't save your settings to the board and keep them when you switch computers. Also, the plastic frame exhibits a lot of flex, and the spacebar rattles and wobbles. Since the customization software is available only on Windows, you can't make any customizations to key bindings or lighting on macOS. Nevertheless, this is an amazing gaming keyboard if you like the clicky feel but don't want a mechanical keyboard.
The best budget RGB keyboard we've tested is the Redragon K552-RGB. It's a TenKeyLess wired model that feels very well-built, thanks to its plastic and metal body that feels sturdy and doesn't flex. It has full RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys, and you can cycle between 18 different lighting effects.
It comes with clicky Outemu Blue switches, which provide tactile and audible feedback when a key is registered. They feel fairly light and responsive, although the clicks feel a little out of place with the actual actuation. It has media hotkeys and a Windows Key lock hotkey to prevent you from accidentally minimizing your game. It's compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux, although some keys don't work on macOS.
Unfortunately, its latency is high for a gaming keyboard, so some gamers may prefer a more responsive-feeling option. Also, it has a fairly tall profile, and it doesn't come with a wrist rest, so using the board may cause some wrist fatigue for some. Overall, if none of these are deal-breakers for you, then it's a good RGB choice.
Jul 27, 2021: Added the Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed to Notable Mentions; no change in main picks.
May 28, 2021: Updated text for clarity; added the Razer BlackWidow Elite, Corsair K65 RGB MINI, and Corsair RGB TKL to Notable Mentions.
Mar 30, 2021: Added the Razer Huntsman V2 Analog to Notable Mentions.
Jan 29, 2021: Replaced the SteelSeries Apex 3 with the Razer Ornata V2 for 'Best Non-Mechanical RGB Keyboard.' Renamed the 'Best Budget RGB Keyboard' category to 'Best Cheap RGB Keyboard,' but kept the Redragon K552-RGB as the pick. Moved the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB and the SteelSeries Apex 3 to Notable Mentions.
Dec 02, 2020: Made the Corsair K100 RGB 'MMO Alternative' and added the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro as 'Best Wireless RGB Keyboard'.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best RGB 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.