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 110 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. It doesn’t let you adjust the 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, which are advertised as having a shorter pre-travel, 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. However, the Pause Break, Scroll Lock, and Print Screen buttons don’t work when using the keyboard on 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 mechanical keyboard available in a TenKeyLess size that we've tested is the SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL. This wired-only keyboard feels very well-built and durable thanks to the aluminum top plate that provides rigidity. It has a detachable wrist-rest and one incline setting for more comfort, and all of its keys have full RGB backlighting.
Despite its compact size, it has an outstanding set of features. There are dedicated media keys as well as macro keys, which can be programmed within the companion software. Also, it has a fully customizable OLED screen. Typing quality is great overall and shouldn't cause any fatigue over time, and the keyboard is available in three different switch types to better suit your own preferences.
Unfortunately, while it's fully compatible with Windows and macOS, the SteelSeries Engine software isn't available on Linux. That said, you can save your preferred settings to the onboard memory and use them on another computer without the software installed. Overall, if you're looking for a TenKeyLess keyboard, this is the best one we've tested with full RGB backlighting.
The best wireless RGB keyboard we've tested is the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro. This full-sized, 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 keep them when switching computer. 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-sized, 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 cheap RGB keyboard that we've tested is the Redragon K552-RGB. Its TenKeyLess design feels sturdy and well-built for its price, and the keys have very little wobble to them. It has a fairly tall profile and one incline setting but no wrist rest. It also offers full RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys, but because there's no companion software, all customizations have to be made through the hotkeys.
It uses clicky Outemu Blue switches, with tactile feedback and an audible click when a key is registered. Typing on it feels light and shouldn't be fatiguing over time. However, it's pretty loud so it might not be the best option for a noise-sensitive environment. It also comes with a few extra features like hotkeys for media control and a Windows key lock to prevent you from accidentally minimizing your game.
Unfortunately, it doesn't have any dedicated macro keys, and you can't remap any key either, due to the lack of customization software. Also, Cherry MX Blue enthusiasts might find the tactile click to be out of sync with the actuation, though it should still feel satisfying to most people. Overall, this is a good option if you're looking for a wired RGB keyboard, but you still want to save some money.
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'.
Oct 02, 2020: Minor text and structure changes; no change in recommendations.
Aug 04, 2020: Replaced the Dygma Raise with the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB.
Apr 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.