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The best ergonomic keyboards: Type the day away
Are you an aspiring writer? Or stuck at the office coding all week? Your wrists might thank you for switching to an ergonomic keyboard. Designed to reduce strain, these keyboards have unorthodox layouts but can be immensely comfortable once you get used to them. We have compiled a list of the best ergonomic keyboards you need to check out!
Should you buy an ergonomic keyboard?
Anyone with a job that requires a lot of typing can attest that long sessions can result in wrist pain. How can an ergonomic keyboard help with that? Some studies suggest that they promote a neutral wrist posture, which reduces the risk of developing musculoskeletal problems. Ergonomic keyboards are designed to reduce strain — the keys are usually positioned so that typing requires minimal movement. This is why the two most common designs you will see are split keyboards or keyboards with curved key layouts. Cushioned pads are also a common addition.
Studies suggest that ergonomic keyboards promote a neutral wrist posture.
The jury is still out on how beneficial ergonomic keyboards truly are, but even if they just feel better for you, they are worth investing in. A comfortable work environment always boosts productivity. So, without further ado, here are the best ergonomic keyboards we have found.
Best ergonomic keyboards:
Editor’s note: We will update this list regularly as new and exciting ergonomic keyboards hit the market.
Microsoft Surface Ergonomic
- Pros: Wireless, slim, number pad, quiet
- Cons: Pricey, only compatible with Windows 10 devices
If you are used to chiclet keyboards with flat keys but want to make the jump to ergonomic, this is one of the best choices on the market. Slim and expertly crafted, the Microsoft Surface ergonomic keyboard offers comfort in style.
It sports an arched shape designed to help your hands sit naturally when typing, with the added comfort of a double-cushioned palm rest and a split space bar. It doesn’t skip out on functionality either — there is a full number pad, as well as multiple media keys. The keys themselves are not only quiet but durable, with key life of up to 10 million actuations.
One thing that can be an upside or a downside depending on your preferences, is that the Microsoft Surface ergonomic keyboard is wireless. It comes with two pre-installed AAA batteries with a life of up to 12 months, and it’s Bluetooth Low Energy compatible 4.0/4.1. However, it has a major downside in its OS requirements — the Surface Keyboard is designed for and only compatible with Windows 10 devices. Sorry, Mac fans!
- Pros: Ultra-thin design, adjustable up to nine inches apart
- Cons: PC only, padding accessories separate
It’s easy to get comfortable when you can adjust your keyboard just how you want it. The Freestyle2 from Kinesis is one of our top picks because it consists of two halves connected by a nine-inch cable. You can angle them just right and change them as often as you need. The Freestyle2 also includes driverless hotkeys that double for common mouse functions.
To make typing even easier, Kinesis has equipped the Freestyle2 with custom membrane switches that require less force and respond with tactile feedback. You can also grab an accessory set to add a tenting feature. The tenting makes it possible to adjust your keyboard by up to 15 degrees for even greater comfort.
Another great addition is the detachable cushioned palm pads — they are designed to support your wrists and provide comfort during long gaming or typing sessions. Unfortunately, the Freestyle2 is laid out for PC use only, though there are Mac variants out there.
- Pros: Affordable, cushioned palm rest, great layout
- Cons: Separate number pad, no Fn key
The Microsoft Sculpt is a more affordable version of the Microsoft Surface Ergonomic keyboard. Although the Sculpt is less premium, the two keyboards share a lot of characteristics. That includes the domed design, which allows you to position your wrists at a better angle, as well as the so-called natural arc keyboard, which is meant to “mimic the curved shape of the fingertips.”
However, thanks to its smaller footprint, the Microsoft Sculpt doesn’t have a built-in number pad. There is a separate one that comes included with the keyboard as a compromise. There are no compromises when it comes to comfort, however. The Microsoft Sculpt sports a cushioned palm rest that your wrists will thank you for. The keyboard also offers reverse tilt angles, which ensure a natural typing posture. It also has a major advantage over the Microsoft Surface, since it works with more operating systems, including older Windows versions such as 8.1 and 7.
The Microsoft Sculpt uses Microsoft’s own wireless technology. It comes with a USB dongle, which you need to plug into your PC or laptop. You don’t have to worry about privacy issues either thanks to 128-Bit encryption, which encrypts all of your keystrokes. With all of this into consideration, the Microsoft Sculpt is without a doubt one of the best ergonomic keyboards you can currently buy.
Logitech K350 Wireless Keyboard
- Pros: Cheap, number pad, wireless
- Cons: Dated design, awkward media key placement
Unlike other ergonomic keyboards, it’s also suitable for experienced typists that don’t want to adapt to a radically different typing style. Functionality hasn’t been sacrificed either. The Logitech K350 has a number pad and a variety of media and customizable shortcut buttons. However, they might not be to everyone’s liking thanks to the awkward placement that leaves a lot to be desired.
Nevertheless, this ergonomic keyboard is durable and reliable. It uses a 2.4 GHz wireless connection via a Logitech Unifying receiver and promises a battery life of up to three years. If you don’t mind the slightly dated look and if you’d sacrifice style for comfort, it’s the best cheap ergonomic on the market.
Matias Ergo Low Force Pro
- Pros: Extendable cable, built-in wrist rest
- Cons: Expensive
Just like the Kinesis Freestyle2, the Matias Ergo Pro Low Force uses a split design to maximize comfort and flexibility. It’s decked out with low-force quiet linear switches so that you can type for hours on end without making too much noise. The Matias Ergo Pro even uses unique thumb rests to keep your hands comfortable between keystrokes.
Instead of skipping the navigational keys, the Matias Ergo Pro Low Force arranges them horizontally across the bottom row to help minimize your reach. The included cable extends up to 17 inches for plenty of positions and you can tent the keyboard up to 9.5 degrees. There are separate Mac and PC options, so at least nobody has to feel left out.
One of the best features of the Matias Ergo Pro Low Force is the key design. Each key is rounded to fit your fingers comfortably, and they’re laser-etched so the letters won’t wear off. The keyboard also utilizes anti-ghosting circuitry to keep up with your speed without missing a stroke or adding an extra letter.
Logitech Ergo K860
- Pros: Number pad, huge wrist rest
- Cons: Single-piece design
If you are looking for a wired ergonomic keyboard that’s not split into two separate parts, the Logitech Ergo K860 is one of your best options.
It’s not the cheapest option on the list, but it shows just how well Logitech has mastered the keyboard. The sloping build and split KeyFrame help to minimize the impact on your forearms and wrists. Whether you rely on Mac or PC, the Logitech Ergo K860 connects via Bluetooth for universal compatibility. All it takes is two AAA batteries and you’re in business for two years.
Also read: 10 best standing desk options available
The triple-layer palm rest is built with comfort in mind, and you can set the Logitech K860 to a negative slope that actually lifts your wrists above your fingers. It doesn’t sacrifice keys either, with a full Numpad and sculpted keys that fit your fingers.
- Pros: Affordable, seven hotkeys
- Cons: Plastic wrist rest, odd layout
If you’re looking to save some money on your ergonomic keyboard, the Fellowes Microban might be your best bet. The Microban name comes from a special antimicrobial coating that helps to eliminate germs — a must in the COVID-19 age.
Although it’s neither the lightest nor slimmest keyboard, the Microban is an easy plug-and-play option with USB connectivity. It has a full-size design with seven hotkeys that can save you time during your busy day. If you’re a speedy typist, the Microban relies on a 16-key buffer to prevent mistakes and extra strokes.
While the Microban does not appear to be easily adjustable, the thicker design helps to angle the keys comfortably for your fingers. It’s Windows compatible, though you’ll have to download the software directly from Fellowes for some older versions.
- Pros: Columnar keyboard design offers easier button access
- Cons: Highly expensive, PC only
The ZSA Moonlander may be the most unique looking ergonomic keyboard on this list. While it uses a split design like some of the other products on this list, each half also includes some buttons set up in a columnar design. This should allow fingers like a person’s thumb to more easily reach certain buttons. The left side of the keyboard can also be used on its own, with its USB-C connection. That means gamers can program the left side to serve as a smaller macro keyboard, while the right side can be used for more movement for a mouse.
The Moonlander also has 10 different keyswitches for its buttons. All of them can be swapped in and out quickly with an included tool. However, this keyboard is very expensive, and can only be used on a PC.
Not sure if any of the keyboards on our list fit your needs? The Microsoft Wireless Comfort is another great and affordable ergonomic keyboard you can add to your list. If you are a gamer that spends hours playing and clacking away at your keyboard, we also recommend checking out the Dygma Raise ergonomic keyboard.
This is our list of the best ergonomic keyboards. We’ll update this post with new models once they are released.
Read next: The best ergonomic wireless mouse