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 90 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 is the SteelSeries Apex Pro. It 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, it 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. This is done through the SteelSeries Engine software, which you can get for Windows and macOS, and there's onboard memory to save profiles in case you need to move to another computer. On the whole, this is the best RGB keyboard we've tested.
If you play a lot of MMO games and need dedicated macro keys, check out the Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM XT. Although its actuation point isn't customizable like with the SteelSeries Apex Pro, it's available in a variety of switch types you can choose from to fit your preference and has six dedicated macro keys. Its PBT keycaps feel great to type on, plus it has a Windows key lock, so you can rest assured that your game won't be interrupted even if you accidentally hit the Windows key. The tactile switches on the Cherry MX Blue variant that we tested gave nice responsive feedback. However, the clicky switches do make it quite noisy, so it's not great for office or other quiet environments.
If you want a keyboard that has more features and customization options, get the SteelSeries, but if you need dedicated macro keys, go with the Corsair.
The best RGB mechanical keyboard available in a TKL size that we've tested is the SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL. It's a great overall keyboard with outstanding gaming performance, similar to the SteelSeries Apex Pro, but without the customizable actuation force needed on a per-key basis.
It's packed with features most gamers should enjoy. You can purchase it either with clicky, tactile, or linear switches, although our unit has the tactile switches. They're light to press and offer great typing quality, but the keys don't feel as responsive as typical tactile switches. It has full RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys, and you can set macros to any key. It's well-built and comes with a wrist rest that feels nice but is a dust magnet. There's also an OLED screen on the keyboard itself, where you can display anything you like.
Sadly, there's no Windows Key Lock to prevent you from accidentally minimizing your game. However, it's fully compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux, although the SteelSeries Engine software isn't available on Linux. You can set macros on a PC or Mac and use them on a Linux since it has onboard memory. Overall, if you're looking for a TKL, this is the best RGB keyboard we've tested in this size.
If you prefer an ergonomic keyboard that feels more comfortable during long typing or gaming sessions, check out the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB. It's not as well-built as the SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL, but it's a split keyboard, so you can place the two halves how you like. It doesn't have any incline settings, but you can buy a 'Lift Kit' separately if you like. The wrist rests are detachable and feel comfortable too. It's available with a few different Cherry MX switches, but our unit has Cherry MX Brown switches, which are fairly light to press and provide a great typing quality. It might take some time getting used to its unique design at first, but overall, this is a great keyboard with individually-lit keys.
If you want the best RGB keyboard available in a TKL size, check out the SteelSeries, but if you prefer an ergonomic one with a split design, look into the Kinesis.
The best membrane keyboard that we've tested is the SteelSeries Apex 3. It has nice zone RGB lighting, which can create a nice rainbow effect without seeing the zones' limitations. 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 keyboard is also compatible with the SteelSeries Engine Software, which gives you access to a few customization options like lighting, keybindings, and macro programming.
Unfortunately, it doesn't have onboard memory like the higher-end SteelSeries boards, but it has a cloud sync feature on the dedicated software if you need to switch computers. Overall, this is the best RGB keyboard with rubber dome switches that we've tested.
The best RGB keyboard in the budget category that we've tested is the Redragon K552-RGB. Its compact, TKL 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, so it might require buying a wrist rest for the best comfort. It offers full RGB individually backlit keys, but because there's no software that comes with the keyboard, all customizations can be made only through the keyboard's hotkeys.
The keyboard has blue clicky switches, with tactile feedback and an audible click when a key is registered. It also uses doubleshot ABS keycaps. However, typing on this keyboard is pretty loud, so it might not be good for a noise-sensitive environment. The actuation force is very low, so typing shouldn't feel fatiguing over time. Although Cherry MX Blue enthusiasts might find the tactile click is out of sync with the actuation, it should still feel satisfying to most people.
Unfortunately, it doesn't have any dedicated macro keys or many extra features. While the Redragon we tested is a TKL keyboard with blue switches, there are other models available in different sizes and switch types that we haven't tested yet but expect to be similar. Overall, this is a good option if you're looking for a wired RGB keyboard, but you still want to save some money.
10/02/2020: Minor text and structure changes; no change in recommendations.
08/04/2020: Replaced the Dygma Raise with the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB.
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.