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.
1. Microsoft Surface Ergonomic
- Price: $110
- 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!
2. Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB
- Price: $200
- Pros: mechanical switches, 1ms response time, macros, Mac compatible
- Cons: expensive
Ergonomic gaming keyboards are few and far between, but this Kinesis is an excellent choice for any enthusiast. The Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB is a split-style keyboard with a key layout designed to reduce strain. As its name implies, it comes with per-key RGB backlighting for that gamer aesthetic. There are ten lighting effects that you can customize to your liking, including the typical Wave, Pulse and Breathe patterns.
The Freestyle Edge RGB has a 1ms response time and comes with Cherry MX mechanical switches that guarantee great performance and speed. You can choose between Cherry MX Brown, Silver, Blue and Red. Unfortunately, the keyboard doesn’t have a number pad, but it compensates for that with a row of nine game keys on the left-hand side. They are fully programmable, allowing you to create powerful macros with custom or random delays. You don’t have to worry about losing your settings either, thanks to 4MB of onboard memory.
Another great addition are the detachable cushioned palm pads — they are designed to support your wrists and provide comfort during long gaming or typing sessions. But the best part is that the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB works with both PC and Mac. You can even upgrade your keyboard with keycaps for standard Mac modifiers like Command. The only downside of the Freestyle Edge RGB is that it’s expensive. However, $200 is a price worth paying for the best gaming ergonomic keyboard on the market.
3. Microsoft Sculpt
- Price: $60
- 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.
4. Logitech K350 Wireless Keyboard
- Price: $36.99
- Pros: cheap, number pad, wireless
- Cons: dated design, awkward media key placement
If you don’t need a portable ergonomic keyboard but still want an affordable and wireless one, the Logitech K350 is your best choice. Its wave-style keyboard and wide palm rest make it comfortable and easy to use.
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.
5. ErgoDox EZ
- Price: $270 standalone, $325 with extras
- Pros: extremely customizable, mechanical
- Cons: expensive, wrist rest and tilt kit sold separately
Dubbed “a keyboard for the pros”, the ErgoDox EZ is the most customizable ergonomic keyboard on our list, and probably on the market. Just like the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB, it is a mechanical split design keyboard. What makes it different is its unorthodox key layout — its linear key columns are designed to reduce finger fatigue and travel.
But it’s selling point is undeniably choice. You can choose between 12 different switches — quiet or clicky, soft or firm. You can even change them yourself without voiding the warranty. The extra tilt/tent kit also allows you to control the angle of your keyboard and position it in the most optimal way for comfortable typing.
The ErgoDox EZ is amazing but not suited for beginners.
The open-source software, on the other hand, gives you the opportunity to remap the keys in any way you see fit. You can even tinker with the backlight. It truly is a keyboard enthusiast’s dream. However, the ErgoDox EZ is by no means cheap with a price tag of $270 for the standalone keyboard and $325 with the Tilt/Tent Kit and Wrist Rest included. You shouldn’t underestimate the steep learning curve of using this key layout either if all you’ve used so far are standard keyboards. The ErgoDox EZ is amazing, but we don’t recommend it for ergonomic keyboard first-timers.
6. Perixx Periboard-512 Classic
- Price: $33
- Pros: number pad, multimedia buttons, affordable
- Cons: Windows only, no programmable keys
If you are looking for a wired ergonomic keyboard that’s not split into two separate parts, the Perixx Periboard-512 Classic is one of your best choices.
This affordable keyboard has a contoured 3D build, as well as a split space bar. It is designed to conform to natural hand positions and reduce strain. The Periboard-512 Classic also features tactile keystrokes for maximum comfort. However, the palm rest is not cushioned, which might be a downside for some users. On the bright side, nothing is missing key wise — there is a full number pad, as well as seven multimedia hotkeys, which allow you to control the volume, put your PC to sleep, and more. The keys are not programmable, but considering the Periboard-512 Classic’s price, it’s an easy thing to overlook.
Also read: 10 best standing desk options available
However, if you are a Mac user, you’ll want to skip the Periboard keyboard. It is only compatible with Windows (7/8/10). Yet, it is a Perixx best seller for a reason. It’s cheap and comfortable and if you are using a Windows PC, it is one of the best wired ergonomic keyboards you can currently buy.
7. MoKo Universal Foldable Keyboard
- Price: $26.99
- Pros: affordable, portable, thin
- Cons: not very sturdy, no number pad
Want an ergonomic keyboard you can easily bring with you to the office every day? Then the MoKo Universal Foldable Keyboard is the right choice for you.
Weighing in at only 6.2 ounces and just half an inch thick, this ergonomic keyboard is the most portable on this list. It can fit even into the smallest handbags! Just like the Surface, it’s a wireless keyboard. However, it’s not only much cheaper, but it’s also compatible with more operating systems – Windows, iOS and Android, to be exact.
The MoKo Universal Foldable Keyboard connects via Bluetooth and has a 110mAh rechargeable battery, which will see you through more than a day (40 hours) of intense typing. Charging it back to full, on the other hand, only takes two hours. Turning it on and off is also quite intuitive – all you need to do is open and close the keyboard. The only considerable downside of the MoKo Universal Foldable Keyboard is that it’s not very sturdy. However, when factoring in its price, it’s still an excellent ergonomic keyboard.
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, as are the Fellowes Microban and Adesso Tru-Form 150 keyboards. If you are a gamer that spends hours playing and clacking away at your keyboard, we also recommend checking out the recently announced 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.
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