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 reviewed more than 60 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 full-size RGB keyboard we've tested so far is the SteelSeries Apex Pro. This keyboard features unique, proprietary Omnipoint switches that let you customize the actuation point to suit your taste. This means that you can set a shorter actuation for better responsiveness when gaming, and a higher one when doing productivity tasks, as it can help reduce the number of unintended keystrokes. These switches are linear, so they don't provide any tactile feedback, and they require very little force to actuate, resulting in a light typing experience that isn't fatiguing.
Aside from its great typing quality, this keyboard comes with an abundance of excellent features. It has dedicated media controls, full RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys, and it has an OLED screen that you can customize to show virtually anything you want. There's also a USB passthrough and it comes with a very comfortable wrist rest that attaches magnetically. Its rigid aluminum body feels extremely sturdy and its doubleshot keycaps ensure that the key legends won't fade or chip over time.
Unfortunately, there aren't any dedicated macro keys for MMO games, but you can reprogram or set a macro to any key on the keyboard. This is done through SteelSeries' Engine software, which you can get for Windows and macOS. There's onboard memory to save profiles in case you need to move to another computer, and there's a cloud sync option as well, although it requires an account. On the whole, if you're looking for a no-compromise, feature-rich keyboard, this is the one to get.
If you need dedicated macro keys for MMO games, then check out the Corsair K95 PLATINUM XT. It doesn't have a customizable actuation point like the SteelSeries Apex Pro, but you can get it in a variety of genuine Cherry MX switches. The Cherry MX Blue variant that we tested offers an excellent typing experience, with great tactile feedback and audible clicks, so you can be certain that the key press was registered. It does produce quite a bit of noise, though, so it's not recommended for use in a quiet office environment. The keyboard is incredibly well-built and its doubleshot PBT keycaps feel amazing to type on. All keys are macro-programmable through Corsair's iCUE software, and of course, it has a fully customizable RGB backlighting.
Overall, the SteelSeries is a better choice, as it offers more features and customization options, but if you really need dedicated macro keys, then the Corsair is an excellent alternative.
The best tenkeyless (TKL) keyboard with RGB backlighting that we've tested so far is the SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL. This keyboard's smaller footprint is great for small desks or for anyone who needs more room to move their mice. Like the SteelSeries Apex Pro, it has an excellent build quality, doubleshot keycaps, and it comes with a magnetic wrist rest if you need the extra support. SteelSeries' proprietary switches aim to provide a similar typing experience as Cherry MX Brown switches; however, they feel a bit mushy and their tactile bump isn't as pronounced. Typing noise is fairly quiet, though, so you shouldn't have any issues using it in a quiet office environment.
This keyboard has plenty of features to satisfy even hardcore gamers. It has individually-lit RGB backlighting, dedicated media controls, and a USB passthrough to plug another peripheral or to charge your mobile devices. Every key can be reprogrammed or set to macro, and the keyboard has onboard memory to store profiles if you want to use the keyboard with another computer. SteelSeries' Engine software is where most customizations are done, and it's fully compatible with Windows and macOS. Linux users won't be able to fully customize the keyboard, though all keys function as intended.
The keyboard is a bit of a dust magnet, so it may require regular cleaning. Nevertheless, if you're a fan of TKL keyboards, this one is a great choice.
If you find the SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL still a bit too large, check out the more compact Dygma Raise. It might not have dedicated arrow keys like the SteelSeries, but it has a unique fully split design with an underglow backlighting on top of having individually-lit RGB keys. You can position both halves however you like in a position that's comfortable for you, and both have their own wrist rests for optimal comfort. It lacks macro programmability as the software is still in development, but on the upside, all keys can still be reprogrammed and the board is hot-swappable, meaning you can easily change the mechanical switches to the ones you prefer, without soldering.
If you want a more traditional keyboard with a TKL design, go for the SteelSeries, but if you want an ergonomic board with a lot of customization options and bright RGB, get the Dygma instead.
The best budget RGB gaming keyboard we've reviewed so far is the Redragon K552-RGB. This wired TKL keyboard has very good build quality for its price and it offers great full RGB backlighting. However, you'll need to customize it via the board as it doesn't have dedicated software to do so.
This board features clicky tactile blue switches that actuate quickly but can be too noisy for some. The doubleshot ABS keycaps feel solid and stable and offer an overall decent typing quality. The board's frame is made out of metal and feels very sturdy as well.
Unfortunately, you can't create macros or save profiles on this keyboard, which might be disappointing for some. It's also not the best option to use in the office due to its clicky switches, which might bother people around you. On the upside, it's fully compatible with Windows and Linux, and only a few non-alphanumerical keys don't work on macOS. Overall, the Redragon is one of the best RGB keyboards and comes at a very affordable price.
The best membrane keyboard we've tested so far is the SteelSeries Apex 3. This keyboard has nice zone RGB lighting which can create a nice rainbow effect without seeing the zones' delimitations. It's a very solid keyboard that comes with a nice wrist rest, which is identical to the one found on the higher-end SteelSeries Apex Pro.
It features rubber dome switches that are fairly easy to press, although they have a significant bump to get to the actuation point. It has a nice overall typing quality and is great for people who don't like the feeling of mechanical switches. This SteelSeries keyboard is also compatible with the SteelSeries Engine Software, which gives you access to a few customization options like lighting, keybindings, and macro programming.
This keyboard is one of the best options if you're not into mechanical switches, and it offers a better typing experience than the mushy-feeling Razer Cynosa Chroma.
05/04/2020: Minor text and structure changes; no change in recommendations.
04/13/2020: Switched the Obinslab Anne Pro 2 for the Dygma Raise.
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.