The 9 Best Keyboards of 2021

It's time to invest in a quality keyboard

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

The Rundown
This keyboard offers the support your hands and wrists need throughout the workday.
Anyone looking for a well-built mechanical keyboard for work or gaming will find something to love in this premium product.
Best for Creatives:
Logitech Craft at Amazon
This elegant wireless keyboard features a dial that can be customized to work with your favorite creative software.
Best Budget:
NPET K10 at Amazon
Well-suited to gaming on a budget or general use.
Best for Portability:
Logitech K780 at Amazon
This wireless keyboard is capable of connecting to three devices including computers, tablets, and smartphones.
Best Wireless:
Logitech G915 at Amazon
You can count on ultra-fast one-millisecond connectivity between two devices.
The leatherette wrist pad is cushioned to support hours of comfortable gameplay.
It reduces noise output without sacrificing all of the hallmarks of a top-notch gaming keyboard.
This keyboard blends mechanical switches and gaming customization with an ergonomic design.

The best keyboards, just like the best wireless mice or best ergonomic mice, supply the right amount of comfort, control, and responsiveness for your typing needs. Some models are great workday companions with ergonomic builds and dedicated number pads. You can also find these desirable features on gaming or mechanical keyboards with tactile switches and RGB lighting. Top keyboards come with some level of customization power and extras to simplify the way you work or play, whether that’s programming keybinds, dials that perform your most often-used shortcuts, or media controls. Any keyboard you consider should fit nicely on your desk, which could mean a wireless design if you like to keep it free of clutter. It should also be compatible with your devices and main operating system—or offer cross-compatibility if that’s what you need. 

Our top pick, the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard, is more for the workday than gaming, but it delivers ample comfort, customization, and a convenient wireless build that will keep your desk clean. While it’s great for most people with PCs who need a comfortable keyboard for long hours of typing, Mac users can get in on the fun, too. Whether you type all day or you need a double-duty productivity and gaming keyboard, we’ve tested and rounded up a list of other first-rate contenders that can meet your professional, creative, and gaming needs.

Best Overall: Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard

Microsoft Sculpt Keyboard
What We Like
  • Comfortable ergonomic design

  • Customization options

  • Wireless

  • Long battery life

What We Don't Like
  • Lacks backlighting

  • No back and next media buttons

If you spend long hours typing, the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard can offer the support your hands and wrists need throughout the workday. The split key build, generous wrist pad, and domed design with reverse tilt mimic the natural curve of the fingers and encourage neutral hand positioning for strain-free use. The Sculpt also comes with a magnetic riser that attaches to the wrist pad for added lift as well as a separate number pad you can position where it’s most convenient and comfortable to your setup. 

While this keyboard lacks backlighting and other favorites such as forward and back multimedia controls, it does come with a handy function key switch that provides quick one-stroke access to shortcuts when toggled on. In the off position, function keys operate as they normally do. For added convenience, the Sculpt is completely wireless with the help of a unifying receiver and keystrokes are protected with AES 128-bit encryption. You can also expect up to three years of use before you’ll need to replace the AAA batteries.

Type: Membrane | Connectivity: Wireless receiver | RGB: None | Tenkeys: Yes (detachable)| Palm Rest: Yes | Dedicated Media Controls: No

"Encrypted keystrokes, wireless technology, a detached numpad, a magnetic riser, and an ergonomic design make this keyboard a surefire winner." Emily Isaacs, Product Tester

Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard

 Lifewire / Emily Isaacs

Best Design: Das Keyboard 4 Professional

What We Like
  • First-rate mechanical switches

  • Premium design

  • Media controls

  • Two USB passthrough ports

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

  • Heavy

The Das Keyboard 4 Professional isn’t the newest keyboard on the market, but it more than stands up against more recent options. This mechanical keyboard boasts an upscale build with heavy-duty anodized aluminum cover and gold-plated mechanical switches in very-clicky Cherry MX Blue and less-clicky Cherry MX Brown versions rated for up to 50 million clicks. Typists will love the responsive and tactile feel but gamers can also get on board with the n-key rollover (NKRO) functionality.

While it’s slightly pricey, the many extra flourishes provide ample justification. In addition to an excellent design and feel, the 4 Professional comes with a number pad, dedicated media controls with an oversized volume dial, two USB passthrough ports, an extra-long 6.5-foot USB connecting cable, and a footboard that doubles as a ruler. Anyone looking for a well-built mechanical keyboard for work or gaming will find something to love in this premium product.

Type: Mechanical (Cherry MX Blue/Brown) | Connectivity: Wired USB | RGB: None | Tenkeys: Yes | Palm Rest: No | Dedicated Media Controls: Yes

The Das Keyboard 4 Professional strikes an appealing balance for serious typers, Mac users, and occasional gamers looking to venture into the world of mechanical keyboard.” – Yoona Wagener, Product Tester

Das Keyboard 4 Professional

Lifewire / Yoona Wagener

Best for Creatives: Logitech Craft

What We Like
  • Multifunctional, customizable dial

  • Wireless connectivity

  • Backlighting

  • Comfortable, premium build

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

Creatives who spend a lot of time in programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom will love the Logitech Craft’s approach to shortcuts. This elegant wireless keyboard features a dial that can be customized to work with your favorite creative and productivity software as well as web browsers and Spotify. That means you can easily set the dial to perform your most frequent tasks such as zooming in and out, adjusting brightness and brushstroke size, tweaking exposure and tone, or changing font size and layout. All of this customization lives in the user-friendly Logitech Options software.

The Craft also smartly adapts with backlighting when it detects movement, and offers seamless switching between three connected devices with a tap of a button. You’re not limited to one operating system, either: The Craft works with both Windows and Macs. If you have other Logitech accessories that use a Logitech unifying receiver, such as a compatible mouse, you can enjoy the added benefit of customizing buttons based on the device and operating system.

Type: Membrane | Connectivity: Wireless receiver | RGB: None | Tenkeys: Yes | Palm Rest: No | Dedicated Media Controls: Single context dial

The Logitech Craft is a premium wireless keyboard that offers a unique set of features you won’t find elsewhere in one single product.” – Yoona Wagener, Product Tester

Logitech Craft

Lifewire / Yoona Wagener

Best Budget: NPET K10 Wired Gaming Keyboard

What We Like
  • Very affordable

  • Comes with backlighting

  • Dedicated number keypad

  • Sturdy, responsive feel

What We Don't Like
  • Backlighting isn't customizable

  • No keybind customization

If you’re looking for fun gaming features such as colorful backlighting, anti-ghosting, and floating keys without paying a fortune, the NPET K10 Wired Gaming Keyboard is a quality, budget-friendly option. This keyboard is extremely easy to set up and use with a plug-and-play design that works well with Windows or macOS and requires no driver or additional software. The drawback is that there’s no opportunity to program custom keybinds, but you do have four LED backlighting modes (including breathing/pulsing settings) to work with and a solid stainless steel and ABS, waterproof build that can hold up to the accidental spill. It’s also rated for up to 60 million clicks.

While the K10 isn’t a mechanical keyboard, the dome switches and medium key height offer a satisfyingly tactile and overall ergonomic feel that you won’t find in most membrane-style keyboards. The rear feet are also adjustable for better angle positioning and the floating keys can be removed with the provided key puller for easy cleaning. This inexpensive but comfortable keyboard is well-suited to gaming on a budget or general use.

Type: Mechancial (Proprietary Blue) | Connectivity: Wired | RGB: Zone | Tenkeys: Yes | Palm Rest: No | Dedicated Media Controls: No

Overall, this is a pretty resilient and capable keyboard at a very reasonable price.” – Yoona Wagener, Product Tester

NPET K10 Wired Gaming Keyboard

Lifewire / Yoona Wagener

Best for Portability: Logitech K780 Multi-Device Wireless Keyboard

What We Like
  • Two wireless connectivity modes

  • Supports fast switching between three devices

  • Built-in smartphone/tablet holder

What We Don't Like
  • Requires batteries

  • Round keys aren't for everyone

If you travel a lot or like to move around your office and work with multiple devices, the Logitech K-780 will be right up your alley. This wireless keyboard is capable of connecting to three devices including computers, tablets, and smartphones. It even comes with a built-in cradle for storing other connected devices and conveniently toggling between them with a hotkey shortcut. The K-780 works with the Logitech brand’s unifying receiver technology for connecting wirelessly to your devices of choice, but it also offers easy Bluetooth pairing. 

The K-780 is also a great bet for users who work across platforms, since it’s compatible with Windows, macOS (as well as iOS and iPadOS), and Chrome OS. Whichever devices or systems you use, this keyboard offers key mapping according to the platform for even easier workflows. While this wireless keyboard does require batteries to operate, you won’t have to worry about replacing them for up to 24 months. You can also use the on/off button to help make the most of battery life.

Type: Membrane | Connectivity: Wireless receiver, Bluetooth | RGB: None | Tenkeys: Yes | Palm Rest: No | Dedicated Media Controls: No

The Logitech K780 Multi-Device Wireless Keyboard is ideal for the user that likes to switch between devices.” – Yoona Wagener, Product Tester

Logitech K780 Multi-Device Wireless Keyboard

Lifewire / Yoona Wagener

Best Wireless: Logitech G915 Lightspeed Gaming Keyboard

Logitech G915 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
What We Like
  • Bluetooth connectivity to various devices

  • Slim and upscale design

  • RGB customization

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

  • Lacks a wrist pad

If you’re looking for a decked-out gaming keyboard with excellent wireless connectivity, the Logitech G915 is worth a closer look. This upscale model boasts two connectivity modes: Bluetooth or the brand’s LIGHTSPEED wireless mode via the proprietary unifying receiver. If you choose the latter, you can count on ultra-fast one-millisecond connectivity between two devices. Simply switch between the two with a button prompt or toggle back and forth between wireless options as you see fit.  

The G915 also sports a super-thin build made with premium materials including aluminum alloy and steel, brushed-metal keys. This keyboard also delivers high-end details including low-profile GL mechanical switches that are responsive and ergonomic, as well as a dedicated media scroll wheel. In true gaming keyboard fashion, the G915 also offers RGB customization—including animations and the option to sync up lighting effects across devices and based on the game. This keyboard comes with a steep price tag, but the ultra-fast wireless performance, 30-hour battery life, and premium details make a compelling case for investing.

Type: Mechanical (GL Tactile/Linear/Clicky) | Connectivity: Wireless receiver, Bluetooth | RGB: Per key | Tenkeys: Yes | Palm Rest: No | Dedicated Media Controls: Yes

This high-end option is super-slim and features low-profile keys that hit a sweet spot between traditional keyboards and laptop keys.” – Andrew Hayward, Product Tester

Logitech G915 Lightspeed Gaming Keyboard

Lifewire / Andrew Hayward

Best Gaming: Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

What We Like
  • Premium design

  • Cushioned leatherette wrist pad

  • Detailed customization

  • Elgato Stream Deck support

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

The Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT is a mechanical keyboard that offers everything gamers want in this important peripheral. Design-wise, it's built with premium materials and performance in mind. The leatherette wrist pad is cushioned to support hours of comfortable gameplay, the sturdy anodized aluminum Cherry MX Speed RGB Silver switches are clicky and tactile, and customization power is nearly limitless. Each key comes with its own RGB backlighting and there’s enough onboard memory for five different gaming profiles. Plus, the six dedicated macro keys also support Elgato Stream Deck commands.

While this Corsair mechanical gaming keyboard does come with a relatively steep asking price, there are plenty of other details gamers and non-gamers can get behind—including the dedicated media controls and a volume scroll wheel, the USB passthrough port for accessories such as mice, and an attractive and durable build that can stand up to hours of gaming along with general use.

Type: Mechanical (Cherry MX Speed RGB Silver)| Connectivity: Wired USB | RGB: Per key | Tenkeys: Yes | Palm Rest: Yes | Dedicated Media Controls: Yes

Corsair’s K95 Platinum XT lives up to the hype: it’s a pricey, premium board with stellar, sturdy design, smooth and comfortable typing, and some great perks.” – Andrew Hayward, Product Tester

Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Lifewire / Andrew Hayward

Best Quiet: Corsair Strafe RGB MK.2 Mechanical Keyboard

What We Like
  • Quiet mechanical switches

  • USB passthrough port and media controls

  • Lighting and keybind customization

What We Don't Like
  • Keys aren't as tactile

  • Somewhat pricey

Whether you prefer mechanical switches but want less noise or you’re interested in a mechanical keyboard that won’t distract others in a shared workspace, the Corsair Strafe RGB MK.2 Gaming Keyboard could be a perfect compromise. This device is outfitted with Cherry MX Silent switches, which Corsair suggests produce 30 percent less noise than competing Cherry MX switches. While they’ll still deliver a pleasantly tactile feel, you might notice the difference if you’re accustomed to especially clicky switches.

This Corsair keyboard reduces noise output without sacrificing all the hallmarks of a top-notch gaming keyboard. It comes with full control of RGB lighting and macro programming, dedicated gaming memory profiles stored to the keyboard, and a USB passthrough port for a mouse or headset. You’ll also enjoy media controls, a volume scroll wheel, and a padded wrist pad that’s easy to remove and reattach as you need it. While it is somewhat pricey, this attractive gaming keyboard could be worth every penny for the quiet performance.

Type: Mechanical (Cherry MX Silent) | Connectivity: Wired USB| RGB: Per key | Tenkeys: Yes | Palm Rest: Yes | Dedicated Media Controls: Yes

From its vibrant, customizable lighting to its passthrough port and swappable genre-centric keycaps, there’s a lot to like about the Corsair Strafe RGB Mk.2 MX Silent Mechanical Gaming Keyboard.” – Andrew Hayward, Product Tester

Corsair Strafe RGB Mk.2 Gaming Keyboard

 Lifewire / Andrew Hayward

Best Split: Cloud Nine C989M Ergonomic Mechanical Keyboard

What We Like
  • Ergonomic design with a large wrist pad

  • Mechanical keys

  • Good for gaming and productivity

What We Don't Like
  • Requires a lot of desk space

  • No padding on wrist pad

The Cloud Nine C989M keyboard blends several sought-after feature sets: mechanical switches, gaming customization, and an ergonomic design. The keys are constructed with tactile but quiet Cherry MX Brown switches (but this model is also available with Cherry MX Red or Cherry MX Blue) and a bevy of programmable keys, including ten dedicated macro keys. The keyboard also comes with 15 different RGB lighting options, a media button/multifunction dial, number pad, and one USB passthrough. 

Ergonomics come from its split and tented design. Both parts of the keyboard are attached with a cord, but it does allow up to 8 inches of separation to avoid cramped wrists. And the 7-degree tented angle of the keys and wrist pad support more neutral wrist and hand positioning. The wrist pad lacks padding and the build is a bit large and could take time to adjust to, but if you find the right positioning, this keyboard could provide endless hours of comfort and precision.

Type: Mechanical (Cherry MX Brown) | Connectivity: Wired USB | RGB: None (LED backlit) | Tenkeys: Yes | Palm Rest: Yes | Dedicated Media Controls: No

The Cloud Nine C989M Ergonomic Mechanical Keyboard is a feature-rich computer peripheral aimed at gamers and office workers alike.” – Yoona Wagener, Product Tester

Cloud Nine C989M Ergonomic Mechanical Keyboard

Lifewire / Yoona Wagener

Final Verdict

All things considered, the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard (view at Amazon) our pick for the best keyboard for most people. The comfortable, ergonomic design encourages natural hand placement and motion, which can be tricky to maintain when typing all day. In addition to comfort, the Sculpt delivers convenient wireless connectivity and customization options, which make this keyboard a well-rounded pick that will appeal to most users.

The Das Keyboard 4 Professional (view at Amazon) is a superb option for fans of clicky mechanical switches. While typists and professionals can enjoy the accuracy the Keyboard 4 Professional delivers, there are many attributes gamers will appreciate too.

About Our Trusted Experts

Yoona Wagener is a technology writer and product reviewer. She has tested numerous wearables and peripherals for Lifewire, including several of the top picks presented here. The Das Keyboard 4 Professional is her go-to keyboard.

Emily Isaacs has been writing for Lifewire since 2019 With expertise in computer and peripherals, Emily built her own PC, has plenty of gaming accessories, and loves her mechanical keyboard. She reviewed the Microsoft Sculpt and enjoyed its ergonomic contours and solid wireless connectivity.

Andrew Hayward is a Chicago-based writer who has been covering technology and video games since 2006. His areas of expertise include smartphones, wearable gadgets, smart home devices, video games, and esports. 

How We Tested

Our expert reviewers and editors evaluate keyboards based on design, switch type (for mechanical decks), actuation distance, functionality, and features. We test their real-life performance in actual use cases, both for productivity tasks and in more specialized scenarios, like gaming. Our testers also consider each unit as a value proposition—whether or not a product justifies its price tag, and how it compares to competitive products. All of the models we reviewed were purchased by Lifewire; none of the review units were furnished by the manufacturer or retailer.

FAQs

What's the difference between a membrane and a mechanical switch?
Mechanical switches are featured in the majority of gaming keyboards and besides generally being more durable, provide a more haptic typing experience. Mechanical switches also come in several varieties that allow you to fine-tune your gaming experience. 


What size keyboard should you get?
There are a wide variety of layouts to choose from when it comes to gaming keyboards. If you need something with a number pad, a full-size keyboard is your only option. But if you want to slim down a bit, a tenkeyless or TKL keyboard ditches the number pad while keeping the function row. The most compact option, 60-percent keyboards, parses things down to the bare essentials by getting rid of the function row as well as the arrow keys and the six-pack of navigation buttons.

Ultimately the one you should spring for is the one you're most comfortable with, but it's important to be aware of your options.


What's RGB and why should you care?
RGB (red, green, blue) lighting, is a term that's become synonymous with gaming hardware and peripherals. This feature is either essential or annoying depending on who you ask, but generally has no impact on performance. It does, however, allow you to personalize the aesthetics of your gaming setup with the help of 3rd party software which can be crucial if you're concerned about adhering to a specific theme with your setup.  

What to Look For When Buying a Computer Keyboard

Compatibility

While some keyboards work well across platforms, others provide the best experience on one specific operating system. If you use both Windows and macOS, consider models that play nicely with both, whether they’re wired or wireless. If you primarily use one OS, it’s best to shop for a keyboard that is built with your platform in mind.

Ergonomics

Keyboards should make working, gaming, or general typing easier and more comfortable. Pay attention to what you like in terms of key feel and responsiveness. Do you like loud and clicky mechanical keys or do you prefer something responsive but less punchy? If comfort is a struggle, consider ergonomic touches such as a built-in wrist pad, tented design to mimic natural hand positioning, and a dedicated number pad—all of which can go a long way toward offering more comfort.

Connectivity

If you travel a lot or like to switch between multiple devices, wireless keyboards offer the most flexibility. Wired keyboards tend to need a dedicated desk or work space, but come with the benefit of never having to charge. For the best of both worlds, you might like a keyboard that works in wired and wireless modes.

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