Whether it’s wired, wireless, or low profile, here are our picks for the best readily available boards
It’s hard to beat the tactility, durability, or good looks of a mechanical keyboard, but if you’re looking for one, it can be hard to know where to start. Here are our top picks, including both wired and wireless models, ranging from compact keyboards with laptop-style layouts to full-size keyboards complete with numpads, from budget to… not so budget.
While there’s nothing wrong with more typical membrane keyboards like Apple’s popular Magic-branded devices, many prefer mechanical keyboards for their more tactile typing feel and superior durability. There’s also a sizable enthusiast community of people who like to modify and customize them to get their look and feel just right, which means they can be a fun hobby as well as a simple PC accessory.
For this list, we limited our recommendations to readily available, fully-assembled keyboards. That rules out any that you need to assemble yourself or which are only available in group buys or limited edition runs. With one exception, we prioritized keyboards that offer hot-swappable switches, so you can easily replace them if they break or you just fancy a change.
We tested each keyboard’s typing feel and sound (obviously), the quality of its chassis, keycaps, and stabilizers, how customizable the keymapping and lighting are, and the ability to use it across Mac and Windows computers (such as by offering keycap legends for either OS or being able to easily swap layouts with a switch or shortcut). We also noted whether switches are north- or south-facing since this impacts backlighting and keycap compatibility.
Most of the keyboards below use a 75 percent layout, which is a compact form factor that maintains a function row and arrow key cluster, like most laptop keyboards. It’s the best place to start unless you really want an attached number pad or know you prefer a different layout. Nearly all of our recommendations also come in other layouts, which we’ve linked where possible.
Finally, while any keyboard can be used for gaming, this guide focuses on the best keyboards for typing and general office work, so input latency and responsiveness weren’t major deciding factors. If you’re after a keyboard specifically for gaming, then stay tuned for our upcoming dedicated guide.