The 8 Best Ergonomic Keyboards to Buy in 2017

Typing solutions for carpal tunnel, bad wrists and more

Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard
Courtesy of Amazon.com

When you’re looking to upgrade your desktop computer, there are multiple factors to consider such as hardware performance and memory, but it’s unlikely you’re giving much thought to the keyboard. Aside from the likelihood that most keyboards you buy will outlive your computer, a good ergonomic keyboard can make the difference between a full day’s worth of comfort on the computer or a morning spent at the doctor treating you for wrist problems. So whether you’re Team Windows or Team Mac, wireless or wired, there’s an ergonomic keyboard for everyone.

Widely recognized as the best ergonomic keyboard on the market, Microsoft's Sculpt for Windows computers is a standout choice for all-day comfort. The split keyboard design immediately assists in positioning your wrists into a more natural position rather than the straight-on approach most keyboards favor. The domed design helps maintain positioning throughout the day, keeping your wrists at a more relaxed angle, which helps to eliminates the discomforts that come from other models. Beyond its split design, the natural arc keys mimic the curved shape of your fingertips to create a more natural look and feel, which increases overall comfort. Rounding out its ergonomic design is a cushioned palm rest that allows your wrists to relax and form a completely natural feel from your fingertips to your wrists. A separate number pad allows you to choose its position for an ideal comfort level beside the Sculpt keyboard.

Ideally suited for Microsoft’s Surface line of computers, this ergonomic keyboard is designed with comfort in mind and is a great choice for finding a natural arc. Powered by Bluetooth 4.0/4.1 and three AAA batteries with a 12-month lifespan, the Surface keyboard is wirelessly compatible up to 32 feet away from the Surface lineup. When you’re in front of the computer, you’ll find that the double-cushioned palm rest, which is covered in a mix of polyester and polyurethane (better known as Alcantara), is both durable and stain resistant. Beyond its durability, the Surface keyboard excels at protecting your hands and wrists through its keycap geometry, split space bar and a more natural design that works to prevent wrist and hand strain. The expert build quality allows for a smooth typing experience that’s whisper quiet with excellent stability for use on nearly any surface.

Portable, but big on comfort, the JIMO is an excellent choice for on-the-go typing. With easy pairing to any Bluetooth-enabled device, the internal battery on the JIMO is powerful enough to last a solid 90 days before requiring a re-charge. Battery aside, it’s the portability that will win you over with a palm-sized design when folded in half, but a full-sized keyboard when open flat. The ergonomic design allows for a reduction in strain from a standard keyboard, thanks to a more natural typing position. Compatible with Windows, Android, iOS and Mac devices, the keyboard is equipped with a bevy of shortcuts, including playback control, copy, paste and more. The included protective case allows for easy transporting in a bag, but it also functions as a stand for portable devices such a tablets or phones.

Budget priced with premium comfort, the Fellowes Microban split design keyboard offers more natural comfort without breaking the piggy bank. Part of the Microban family of products, the antimicrobial protection will help keep your keyboard clean while still offering a more natural hand and arm position. Created with Windows machines in mind, the Fellowes includes seven hot keys dedicated to controlling multimedia playback,  as well as one-touch access to open a Web browser. The dedicated number pad on the side reduces the need for external hardware and having to look for the numerical numbers at the top of the keyboard. While there’s undoubtedly an adjustment period to any ergonomic keyboard, the immediate benefit of reduced pain and stress combined with Fellowes outstanding wrist support will quickly have you asking why you didn’t switch to an ergonomic keyboard sooner.

Apple computer users should look no further than the Kinesis Freestyle2 blue wireless ergonomic keyboard that comes with a bevy of Apple-specific keyboard shortcuts, including cut, copy, paste and undo. Connecting to your Apple machine via Bluetooth 3.0, a single battery charge on the Kinesis should last around 300 hours or six months (based on two hours per day of typing).

You’ll immediately discover that the negative slope design reduces the required extension of your wrist to hit each key. Available with three different channels, the Bluetooth-based functionality allows for a total of three devices to be synced at one time (switching between the devices requires the single press of a key). Additional buttons include a shortcut for hiding (and showing) the dock, advanced controls for multimedia playback and volume.

The Mistel Barocco is specifically designed for typing purists, gamers and programmers. While gamers will love the lighting fast key registering, typists will enjoy the compact, design-saving space on the desk and programmers will appreciate both Dvorak and Coleman (as well the common QWERTY) preset layouts along with three extra customizable layouts. The ergonomic design breaks the keyboard into two pieces for a split design that can be positioned for a natural feel on your wrists, thus increasing productivity and reducing pain and stress. Minimizing hand movement is a benefit of a split keyboard design and this is where Mistel delivers. The keyboard remains both durable and tough, thanks to a temperature-resistant build that’s resistant to friction and solvents (read: its lifespan is likely to outlast your existing computer).

Gaming fans who want a more comfortable keyboard feel combined with the features and looks of a mechanical one have found their answer with the Razer Ornata Chroma Revolutionary option. Gaming-centric features such as LED backlighting and in-game effects immerse you into the experience. For long-term gaming sessions, it’s the curved wrist rest that really appeals. Built specifically for the Razer Ornata, the curved wrist rest makes up for the lack of a split keyboard, allowing long-term gaming sessions to feel more comfortable and natural than a traditional gaming keyboard would allow. Adding to the ergonomic value is the mid-height keycap sizing that allows for easier keystrokes between each key depression, which minimizes the impact continuous finger movements will have on your wrists.

Quieter than the more traditional mechanical keyboard, the Matias Ergo Pro for Windows computers offers a tactical feel and reduces the impact that standard ones have from repetitious jarring of the hands and fingers. The split keyboard design immediately improves body posture, elbow placement and allows your wrists to be placed outward from your body for a more natural feel. Additionally, the compact design reduces the reach to a mouse, thereby lessening the impact on your neck and shoulders. A padded palm rest combines with a 4.5-degree of negative tilt for even more reduction of wrist strain. Its capable of being used flat and at a nine-degree angle courtesy of the built-in keyboard legs.

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