To choose the best mechanical keyboard you’ll want to pick one with the feature set you need for work, gaming, and typing, and make sure it suits your preferences when it comes to the typing experience. If you prefer tactile and clicky switches with noticeable effort and feedback, a mechanical keyboard is definitely the way to go. We recommend looking for a keyboard with durable materials and good build quality. Other than these basic qualities, the most important features will depend on individual users’ needs. The best mechanical keyboard for programming may be a keyboard that allows easy key remapping and supports Dvorak as well as Qwerty layouts. If you’re looking for the best mechanical keyboard for gaming, you might insist on minimal input lag, anti-ghosting, and N-key rollover. If you spend long hours typing on mechanical keyboards for work, consider an ergonomic keyboard.

After analyzing hundreds of reviews amongst a large array of products with different prices and feature sets, we’ve found that the Varmilo VA87M is our top choice. Keep reading about this and our other top picks to learn more about the top keyboards on the market.

Top 11 Best Mechanical Keyboards

 #1  Varmilo VA87M Mechanical Keyboard

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: This high-quality mechanical keyboard uses Cherry MX switches for a great tactile feel, plus it features beautiful RGBY keycaps with dye-sub printing so that the legends will never wear out.

Pros
  • Durability rated for 50 million keystrokes
  • Adjustable LED backlighting
  • Sturdy frame with ergonomic concave shape
Cons
  • May require some key remapping for Mac OS applications
  • Lacks wireless option

This Varmilo tenkeyless mechanical keyboard benefits from its sturdy frame, making the most of the great tactile feel from its Cherry MX switches. It has a compact layout but still includes arrow keys and 12 F keys. It has a slight curvature to the keys, letting you type at a more comfortable angle. The keycaps are oil and smudge-resistant and the switches give a satisfying, tactile click while providing a rated 50 million key press lifespan.

A great mechanical keyboard for gaming and typing alike, this model comes with a micro USB to USB cable and is plug-and-play for most systems, though Mac users may want to avail themselves of the key remapping feature this keyboard offers. Aesthetics is another strong suit; it features unique, multicolored ABS keycaps. It also has adjustable white LED backlighting. Much like the adjustable white LED backlighting found on the best mechanical keyboard for typing.

 #2  Corsair K95 Gaming Keyboard

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: Responsive Cherry MX switches, individual key backlighting, and an ergonomic wrist rest help make this full-sized model one of the top mechanical keyboards on the market, while advanced features such as N-key rollover and anti-ghosting make it great for gaming.

Pros
  • Durability rated for 100 million keystrokes
  • Programmable macro keys
  • Sturdy frame with ergonomic concave shape
Cons
  • While fast, the switches may be too sensitive for some users
  • Lacks wireless option

A solid choice for those seeking the best mechanical keyboard for gaming, this Corsair K95 RGB Platinum keyboard features a full-size layout including dedicated media controls, a number pad, and programmable macro keys. It also comes with a detachable leatherette palm rest to reduce fatigue and help improve ergonomics.

Cherry MX speed switches offer fast response and an ultra-short 1.2 mm actuation for high-speed complex commands, though they may be too “hair-trigger” for non-gaming users. This keyboard also features 100% anti-ghosting and N-key rollover, plus some lighting effects such as true individual key RGB backlighting. You may want to compare this to the best gaming keyboard that offers full N-key rollover, 100% anti-ghosting, and true individual key RGB backlighting.

 #3  Leopold FC980C Mechanical Keyboard

Award: BEST TYPING FEEL

WHY WE LIKE IT: This mechanical keyboard has outstanding build quality along with smooth and tactile Topre switches with a rated 50 million click lifespan. Its convenient 98-key layout includes a full numeric keypad.

Pros
  • Programmable key functions
  • Topre capacitive switches
  • Smudge-resistant dye-sub printed PBT keycaps
Cons
  • Can be challenging to set up for Mac OS
  • Doesn’t allow hot swapping

This Japanese-made Leopold mechanical keyboard is an excellent choice for enthusiasts looking for the best mechanical keyboard for typing. It has an excellent build quality and provides a solid, low-vibration platform for its exceptionally smooth Topre switches. Compared to most mechanical switch types, these electro capacitive switches offer a unique and unmistakable refined typing feel, with a distinct tactile bump.

Dye-sublimation printed PBT keycaps help with durability, and the key switches are rated for 50 million keypresses. A linear feel and precise actuation point with a 45-gram actuation force makes them great for productivity and fast, accurate typing. This keyboard also offers a full number pad, while remaining relatively compact. Another compact option is the best chiclet keyboard that allows for accurate and fast typing while saving desk space.

 #4  Obinslab Anne Pro 2 Mechanical Keyboard

Award: BEST BLUETOOTH

WHY WE LIKE IT: Responsive mechanical switches and a compact 60 percent layout along with solid battery life offer an excellent overall typing experience, while advanced features such as N-key rollover and anti-ghosting make this one of the highest performance Bluetooth keyboards available..

Pros
  • Convenient USB-C connectivity
  • Programmable RGB backlight
  • Keycap puller and extra keycaps included
Cons
  • Setup software more complex than some
  • Lacks dedicated media buttons and function keys

This compact 60% wireless mechanical keyboard offers a satisfying typing experience with Gateron or Kailh mechanical switch options, plus the portability and convenience of Bluetooth or USB-C wired modes. It also has an aesthetic minimalist look that pairs well with most devices and saves desk space.

Programmable key functions and advanced features like N-key rollover and anti-ghosting make this a good choice also if you’re looking for a mechanical keyboard for games as well as work tasks. It offers true RGB backlighting, selectable macros, and the ability to pair with up to 4 devices over Bluetooth. A 1900 mAh battery provides up to 8 hours of continuous use. Solid battery life is also important if you need to seamlessly cross over multiple devices, which is where the best keyboards for designers come in handy.

 #5  Happy Hacking Professional2 Mechanical Keyboard

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Award: BEST FOR PROGRAMMING

WHY WE LIKE IT: This compact keyboard has a nearly symmetrical design with perfectly angled keys for efficient typing and coding. It uses linear Topre capacitive switches which provide a great mix of precision and tactile feel.

Pros
  • Concave design reduces fatigue
  • Dip switches allow you to manually assign key functions
  • 45-gram Topre switches deliver excellent typing feel
Cons
  • Lacks number pad
  • Doesn’t have backlight
  • Not splash-proof

This keyboard takes up much less space than most but offers great functionality thanks to clever programming. It’s also one of the most aesthetically pleasing keyboards on the market, with its nearly symmetrical layout and subtle concave design mixing form with function. Topre switches offer satisfying feedback and excellent precision for fast, efficient work.

This mechanical keyboard comes with dip switches so you can manually assign key functions, helping it deliver the utility of a full-sized keyboard in a smaller and more convenient form. It supports both QWERTY and Dvorak layouts. Dye-sublimated double-shot keycaps help boost durability and add to its aesthetic appeal. Compare that with the best quiet keyboard that is another truly refined and aesthetically pleasing model.

 #6  Razer BlackWidow Elite Mechanical Keyboard

Award: BEST FOR ENTERTAINMENT

WHY WE LIKE IT: This Razer mechanical gaming keyboard comes with dedicated multimedia controls, plenty of user-programmable lighting options, plus an integrated wrist rest for ergonomics. Fast and durable clicky switches add to the appeal for dedicated gamers.

Pros
  • Hypershift program allows full remapping
  • RGB backlighting with up to 16.8 million colors
  • Detachable magnetic wrist rest
Cons
  • Takes up more space than compact keyboards
  • No wireless option

This makes a great mechanical keyboard for gamers and people who also want to be able to configure their peripherals easily for different functions. It has programmable media keys and a volume knob, plus a full-sized number pad and function keys. A USB pass-through adds convenience, while a detachable leatherette padded palm rest helps with ergonomics.

Thanks to the Razer Synapse program, users may easily change settings and assign macros and function keys, making this one of the most versatile gaming keyboards on the market. Chroma RGB backlighting can synch with gameplay and allows for choosing among millions of color combinations. Try and compare that to the best membrane keyboard that has chroma RGB lighting that also syncs with gameplay, and has a fully integrated ergonomic wrist rest.

 #7  Drop Alt Mechanical Keyboard for Typing

Award: BEST CUSTOMIZABLE DESIGN

WHY WE LIKE IT: This mechanical keyboard has a compact 67-key layout that looks great and saves space, and it has the additional benefit of a hot-swappable board that lets users swap out switches for a custom, unique typing experience.

Pros
  • Space-saving compact layout
  • Hot-swappable switches, no soldering required
  • Removable magnetic feet
Cons
  • Some people may prefer a full-sized keyboard with number pad
  • Not as easy to assign key functions as with some other mechanical keyboards

This mechanical keyboard uses a convenient 67-key layout, saving desk space while still having arrow keys and a full set of numerals. It comes standard in this version with Halo True switches, but its hot-swappable switch sockets make it easy to swap out individual key switches to your liking. A lightweight but strong aluminum frame and magnetic detachable feet help add comfort and stability for a consistent, precise, and ergonomic typing experience.

It also features fully programmable RGB backlighting, with the option of setting up complex effects. It lets you program macros and remap keys as well. The shine-through double shot PBT keycaps have nice-looking, classic legends and users can adjust the lighting for each key. Why not compare this to the best keyboard for programming that also features individual key backlighting and an ergonomic wrist rest that offers an excellent overall typing experience.

 #8  Kinesis Freestyle Edge Mechanical Keyboard

Award: BEST ERGONOMICS

WHY WE LIKE IT: This mechanical gaming keyboard features a unique split layout for superior ergonomics; high-performance Cherry MX brown switches, customizable effect lighting, and fully programmable keys add to the appeal.

Pros
  • Fully programmable key remapping
  • Unique split design leaves space for streaming mic or camera set up
  • Light, yet tactile Cherry MX Brown switches for a great typing feel
Cons
  • Setup is somewhat complicated
  • No wireless option

This split keyboard is designed so users can independently angle and position either half. Offering up to a 17-inch split, it allows for a more natural hand and finger position when typing, and it also allows you to choose the best gaming mouse position for intense gaming and eSports tournaments. This ergonomic gaming keyboard supports N-key rollover and full key remapping, and its RGB lighting provides 10 customizable effects modes.

A plug-and-play keyboard for nearly all common operating systems, it provides desktop versatility as well as an enhanced gaming and live-streaming experience. It uses Cherry MX Brown switches, which offer low actuation force but just the right amount of rebound to optimize typing speed. And for a truly excellent typing experience, try the best typewriter keyboard with function keys that are fully programmable and includes software that supports full key remapping and complex macros.

 #9  Logitech G915 LightSpeed Keyboard for Programming

Award: BEST LOW-PROFILE

WHY WE LIKE IT: This wireless keyboard has low-profile mechanical switches that provide ultra-fast performance. It also offers a rugged aluminum alloy frame for durability and works using either Bluetooth or USB, offering seamless multi-device integration with the ability to pair up to three devices.

Pros
  • Light but sturdy aluminum frame
  • Tactile and clicky switches
  • RGB backlighting
Cons
  • Takes up more desk space than many mechanical keyboards
  • Many features require Logitech G suite software

This model stands out for its sturdy build quality and low-profile mechanical switches. These GL Tactile switches take 50 grams of actuation force but with about half the travel of a typical mechanical switch. Some gamers and typists, especially those coming from a rubber dome switch keyboard, may find this easy, while others may find the low-profile switches more challenging to use.

This mechanical keyboard comes with RGB backlighting and programmable function keys along with dedicated media buttons. It has a lightweight and strong aluminum frame, and comes with a USB dongle wireless receiver, boasting a super low input lag of around 1 ms over 2.4GHz, comparable to the best mechanical keyboard wireless systems on the market. The battery lasts up to 30 hours on a full charge. Class-leading battery life can also be found on the best wireless keyboard on the market today.

 #10  SteelSeries Apex Pro Mechanical Keyboard

Award: BEST ADVANCED FEATURES

WHY WE LIKE IT: This high-end mechanical gaming keyboard comes with Omnipoint adjustable actuation switches, which let users customize both the actuation distance and the force needed to trigger the switch. It also features an OLED smart display and an aircraft-grade aluminum alloy chassis for outstanding durability.

Pros
  • Premium magnetic wrist rest
  • Adjustable feet for ideal positioning
  • 100 million key-press durability rating
Cons
  • Takes up more desk space than many mechanical keyboards
  • Somewhat polarizing aesthetics

For users with very particular preferences, this keyboard affords the freedom to adjust the key switch travel and actuation force. Its Omnipoint mechanical switches offer up to five times quicker actuation than a regular keyboard and are rated for an outstanding 100 million keypresses. These innovative switches can accommodate anything from feather-light high-speed gaming to bouncy, tactile typing.

Like many of the best high-end mechanical gaming keyboards, this model offers RGB backlighting with up to 16.8 million colors. It features a USB passthrough and comes with a sturdy USB cable included. A textured magnetic wrist rest that adds comfort for long work or gaming sessions. Compare this to the best ergonomic keyboard that features concave key wells at an optimal angle, letting your wrists and shoulders maintain a natural position when working long hours.

 #11  Logitech G413 Mechanical Keyboard

Award: BEST ON A BUDGET

WHY WE LIKE IT: Using responsive Romer G switches, this model is a great value, offering ultra-fast response and adjustable backlighting, along with a convenient USB pass through with its own data and power channel.

Pros
  • 70 million keypress durability
  • Romer G mechanical switches with up to 25 percent faster actuation
  • USB pass-through port
Cons
  • Backlight doesn’t change colors
  • Some features require Logitech G suite software

This Logitech mechanical keyboard has a great tactile feel and fast performance, all while coming in with a low price tag. With its use of advanced Romer G switches and sturdy magnesium-aluminum alloy chassis, it represents a great value for the money for those looking for a mechanical keyboard. It uses a full-size layout that includes 12 F keys along with arrow keys, media buttons, and a number pad.

A great choice for typists and gamers looking for the best mechanical keyboard under $100, this model makes it convenient to charge devices and connect other peripherals thanks to its integrated USB pass-through port with its own data channel. It does have backlighting but unlike on some pricier keyboards, it’s one-color only. Now just in case you may also require a keyboard that allows you to easily switch the mainboard, we recommend the best hot-swappable keyboard.

How We Decided

In order to pick the best mechanical keyboard, we looked for great performance and the kind of tactile feedback that makes mechanical keyboards the preferred choice of keyboard enthusiasts and gamers. We also looked for keyboards with excellent durability, only considering models that offered a rated lifetime of at least 50 million key presses. We only considered keyboards with a sturdy frame and true mechanical switches, as opposed to membrane or rubber dome switches.

In seeking the best all-around mechanical keyboard as well as the best budget mechanical keyboard, we looked for a mix of aesthetics and functionality. We favored keyboards with classic computer keyboard design along with high-quality keycaps and smudge-resistant finishes. RGB backlighting, while not required, earned extra points. We included both full-size keyboards and compact keyboards with 60% and 75% Tenkeyless layouts.

We took into consideration wired and wireless keyboards. For wireless keyboards, we looked for minimal input lag and easy, versatile multi-device connectivity using Bluetooth or 2.4 GHz wireless, as well as a battery life of at least 10 hours per charge. We took into account compatibility and ease of setup as well, preferring keyboards that functioned with Windows, Mac, Chrome, and Linux OS.

Mechanical Keyboard Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

Types of SwitchesMechanical keyboards can use a number of different switch types; designed for different qualities of feedback, actuation force, and clicky sound. If you’re looking for strong feedback and a noticeable bounce, you’ll likely want a spring-based switch such as the “clicky” Cherry MX blue switches. If speed is paramount, then optical or magnetic switches may be the way to go. Some switch types offer the best of both worlds, with the Topre switch providing rapid, positive responsiveness with a light touch and muted sound.

  1. Layout
    A full-size keyboard typically consists of about 104 keys, including 12 function keys and a numeric keypad. This can be helpful and extra convenient for the main desktop workstation or gaming keyboard, especially if you work on spreadsheets or do a lot of number crunching. Many mechanical keyboards are designed with a smaller 65-percent or 75-percent layout, omitting either the number pad and function keys or just the number pad. A smaller compact keyboard with the right thoughtful design can save desk space and be nearly as easy to use.
  2. Programmable Features
    Many mechanical gaming keyboards have programmable features such as macro shortcuts and key remapping, along with custom options for illumination such as RGB lighting intensity and effects. Some mechanical keyboards allow for even more customization, with hot-swappable switch sockets offering users the ability to swap out switches for a different typing feel.

FAQs

Which mechanical keyboard is the best?

Depending on your preferences and work needs, you might prefer a mechanical keyboard with a tactile feel and responsive switches, quality smudge-resistant keycaps, and a pleasing design. If customization is important, consider a mechanical keyboard that allows for programming different key functions. All of this also depends on personal preference, of course.

Are mechanical keyboards really better?

Mechanical keyboards generally offer a more involving typing experience, along with better typing speed for most typists. On a mechanical keyboard, key travel and actuation force can be optimized, and the key rebound helps reduce finger strain. Mechanical keyboards may even provide some options for customizing the feel, ranging from adjustable actuation points to hot-swappable switches.

What is the best 60% mechanical keyboard?

If you’re looking for a portable or space-saving mechanical keyboard but insist on the best performance and high-end feel, there are some great options among today’s 60% mechanical keyboards. These range from classic retro computer keyboard designs using high-quality Topre switches, to gaming keyboards designed for convenience and competition-level eSports play.

How long do mechanical keyboards last?

Compared to the common rubber dome or membrane keyboards, mechanical switch keyboards often have longer-lasting switches and more durable construction in general. Some of the most durable mechanical keyboards have optomechanical or capacitive switches rated for up to 100 million keypresses.

Ryan Mcbride

Ryan McBride is a writer based in Los Angeles. He has contributed work to magazines and sites including Gayot, Spy, Paper, Ladygunn, 3AM and the Crab Creek Review. He writes consumer reviews, essays, science and tech journalism as well as literary and art criticism.

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