Which ergonomic gaming keyboards are best?
Your keyboard is an integral part of your PC gaming experience. Being your primary input device, your keyboard should be effortless to use and feel like a natural extension of your hands. Traditional, flat keyboards place your wrists in an awkward, unnatural position. To achieve maximum speed and comfort, you will need an ergonomic gaming keyboard.
The KINESIS Gaming Freestyle Edge RGB Split Mechanical Keyboard can change your game with its split design and customizable layout options. Thanks to its customizable LED lighting and snappy, mechanical keys, it’s the best ergonomic gaming keyboard on the market.
What to know before you buy an ergonomic gaming keyboard
Ergonomic gaming keyboards come in a variety of shapes and sizes. From models that feature sculpted keybeds made to allow your hands to rest in a more natural position to small keyboards that come in two separate pieces that allow for flexible placement, what works best for you will depend on both your personal comfort as well as the space available on your desk.
Mechanical switches vs. membrane switches
Traditional keyboards include a rubber membrane underneath their keys that produces a quiet, soft and familiar feel for most users. However, many gamers prefer mechanical keyboards that forgo the rubber membrane in favor of snappy, responsive switches. Mechanical keyboards can be more costly than membrane models, although they are more resilient, easier to clean and more customizable.
Your personal taste
PC gaming accessories have a reputation for packing in flashy features, like LED lights and edgy aesthetic choices, into their design. If this fits your particular style, there is no shortage of options for you to select from. Those looking for a more understated look should seek out ergonomic gaming keyboards that have a more traditional appearance or the ability to completely turn off their lightning features.
What to look for in a quality ergonomic gaming keyboard
The number one reason to select an ergonomic gaming keyboard is to avoid discomfort or soreness after long gaming sessions. Since everyone’s body and posture are different, it’s important to select a keyboard that is physically comfortable and does not require any awkward positioning or challenging stretches to use.
While strong opinions surround the use of LED lighting when it comes to gaming keyboards, being able to see your keys clearly while playing in a dark room can make the difference between a win or a loss. Select a keyboard that allows you to customize its lighting to your desired brightness and color. Many models allow you to light up specific keys to denote their function as well.
Select an ergonomic gaming keyboard that provides you with the keys you need to play your favorite games. A small keyboard may save you valuable desk room, but if it lacks directional arrows or other keys that you require, it won’t satisfy your needs.
Some keyboards feature Bluetooth or wireless USB connectivity. A wireless keyboard will allow you more flexibility for placement and won’t take up valuable real estate on your USB hub. While most gamers avoid wireless connections due to input delay, these are still viable options for gamers who play titles that don’t require lightning-fast reflexes.
Being able to customize your keyboard to fit your own personal comfort and taste can go a long way towards feeling fully connected to your game. Many mechanical keyboards allow you to customize their hardware right down to the USB cable or key switches. However, most gamers will be satisfied with a keyboard that they can customize in such a way that the keys they use most can be mapped to where they will be easiest to reach.
Select an ergonomic gaming keyboard that has a reputation for durability. A keyboard designed for gaming should be rugged enough to handle repetitive use for years to come without wearing out or developing dead or broken keys. Mechanical keyboard switches are known for their long-lasting usability.
Gaming comfort tips
Take breaks. While it can be tempting to game endlessly into the night, your body will thank you for allowing your wrist, arms and back to rest. Prolonged typing can result in serious health issues, such as arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Rest your eyes. Every thirty minutes or so, spend some time allowing your eyes to focus on a faraway object outside a window or across the room. Prolonged staring at a screen can cause headaches and eye strain.
- Stretch. While gaming is rarely referred to as athletic, any activity that requires you to use a part of your body in a repetitive manner can cause strain or injury. Stretch your back, fingers, wrists and arms before, after and during gaming sessions.
How much you can expect to spend on an ergonomic gaming keyboard
Inexpensive ergonomic keyboards can be purchased for as little as $20. While this will satisfy some users, high-quality options specifically designed for gaming fall in the $100-200 range. These models will allow for greater customization and include features that will improve your experience.
Ergonomic gaming keyboard FAQ
Will an ergonomic gaming keyboard prevent cramping?
A. Potentially, yes. If you experience pain or cramping while using a traditional keyboard, an ergonomic model will likely alleviate discomfort by allowing your hands to lay in a more natural position.
Will an ergonomic keyboard make me a better gamer?
A. Many factors contribute to video gaming success. While an ergonomic gaming keyboard will not guarantee better results, you will likely have a more comfortable, enjoyable experience as you continue to practice.
Are Bluetooth keyboards bad for gaming?
A. If the games you play require quick reflexes and immediate response time, you may be better served with a keyboard that connects via USB. While the input delay experienced when using a Bluetooth device may be imperceptible by some, gamers who require the ultimate edge will no doubt want to avoid it. However, if you are a casual gamer or enjoy games that aren’t speed- or time-based, a Bluetooth keyboard will likely keep you satisfied.
What’s the best ergonomic gaming keyboard to buy?
Top ergonomic gaming keyboard
KINESIS Gaming Freestyle Edge RGB Split Mechanical Keyboard
What you need to know: This split keyboard is fully customizable and features a cushioned palm rest.
What you’ll love: This keyboard can be configured in a variety of different ways to accommodate your personal comfort. Bright, per-key LED lighting allows you to feel and see your keys however you like, and mechanical switches provide a satisfying response.
What you should consider: Some users feel the build quality of this keyboard is a bit less than they would have hoped for, considering its price.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top ergonomic gaming keyboard for the money
What you need to know: While not designed with gamers in mind, this keyboard from Microsoft features ergonomic angles at a great price.
What you’ll love: Sculpted keybed allows for a more natural typing posture. A large wrist rest keeps your hands off the desk.
What you should consider: As this model is designed for general purposes, more expensive features that gamers desire, such as LED lighting and mechanical switches, aren’t present.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Lenovo
Worth checking out
Cloud Nine C989M Ergonomic Mechanical Keyboard
What you need to know: This ergonomic keyboard features a split design great for mouse and keyboard control schemes.
What you’ll love: Generously large wrist supports and a split design make this gaming keyboard a flexible, comfortable choice. Mechanical switches and a fully customizable keybed give gamers the ability to make this keyboard truly their own. LED lighting is also featured.
What you should consider: Some users wish this keyboard allowed for more customization with the angle of its wrist rests.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Derek Walborn writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.