The Best Keyboards for Programming in 2021
Programmers spend a lot of time typing, and most people don’t realize the importance of having the right medium to do so.
Choosing a wrong keyboard and using it for a long time can affect your efficiency, speed, and health.
That is why investing in the best keyboard for programming is more important than you think.
And how do you do that? We did the research so you don’t have to.
How to choose the best keyboard for programming
Interestingly enough, gamers and programmers have similar requirements when it comes to the right keyboard.
There are a lot of different options out there, and in the end, it all boils down to a couple of rules and your personal preference.
First, your keyboard should be comfortable, especially if you work long hours. Ideally, the keyboard should fit your hands comfortably and make you move them around as less as possible. Ergonomically designed keyboards have various forms that will help your wrists, and you can get an ergonomically designed mouse to go with it.
The big part of that is also the size. This is something that you should choose based on what you’re comfortable with. While full-sized keyboards have all the keys, they make your hand move around too much, which is not good for your wrists.
Next, mechanical keyboards are better than membranes because switches are more responsive. Switches can be clicky, tactile and linear, and most programmers prefer the first two, but choosing a quieter one is better if you work with other people. Your keyboard should also have an n-key rollover.
Choosing a wired or wireless keyboard is also subjective. Wired keyboards make clutter and aren’t that portable, but they also don’t have limited battery life. The best keyboards can be both.
Other than that, it could have some extra features like the programmable keys, media buttons, backlight, or onboard memory, but these are also the things that are based on your personal preference.
Last but not least, it should be made out of high-quality material and built sturdy so that it can last you a long time.
Best Keyboards for Programming
Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT
The Best Keyboard for Programming and Gaming
Also listed as one of the best gaming keyboards, this one has a lot of features that are essential to programmers.
This wired keyboard sports keycaps are made from double-shot PBT, making them more durable than regular keys, so this keyboard is made to be used for a long time.
Putting the Cherry MX switches on this mechanical Corsair model makes typing ultra-fast and easy, and they can be Silver, Black, Blue, or Brown, depending on your preference, making it the best keyboard for programming and gaming.
Additionally, it has a 2.0 USB port at the back, keys for sound control, and a column of 6 programmable keys on the left. The latter can easily be programmed with the Corsair’s software called iCue, along with adjusting the RGB backlight.
The problem with full-sized keyboards is that you move your hand too much when you use them, but the problem of comfort is made easier here by the addition of a demountable wrist rest.
Unfortunately, the compatibility with macOS is incomplete and not all keys can be used, and the iCue software can’t operate on Linux which makes it impossible to reprogram the keys. The good news is that the latter can be solved with the help of a separate Windows-operated machine and the Corsair’s memory.
- Cherry MX switches (Silver, Black, Blue, or Brown)
- 6 programmable keys
- Demountable wrist rest
- Lasting PBT keycaps
- USB 2.0 port
- macOS not completely compatible
- iCue can’t operate on Linux
Das Keyboard 4 Professional
The Best Mac Keyboard for Programming
The top panel of the wired Das keyboard is made of aluminum, with the claim that it can handle 50 million clicks. Also, the key inscriptions are laser-etched, so they won’t fade away as fast.
It comes with a 6.5ft long cable, so you can move it around.
This mechanical keyboard can come with tactile Brown or Blue Cherry MX switches, depending on whether you want something more quiet or not, respectively.
Controlling your music is made convenient with an oversized volume knob and keys that you can use to skip tracks easily.
Other additional features are the two USB 3.0 with super-fast 5GB per second upload speed, and the instant sleep button.
The removable footboard can be used to adjust the inline and the height of the keyboard, but the downside is that it doesn’t come with any form of wrist support. All of these things make it the best mac keyboard for programming.
- The option to choose between two Cherry MX switches (Brown or Blue)
- N-key rollover
- Separate keys for volume and track manipulation
- Two USB 3.0
- Instant sleep button
- No wrist support
Razer BlackWidow Elite
The Best Mechanical Keyboard for Programming
Here’s another one designed for gamers that can also fit programmers.
The top plate of this wired keyboard is made out of high-quality metal and the keys are made to withstand 80 million clicks.
Opting for this mechanical keyboard also means choosing between Orange, Green, or Yellow switches, depending on whether you prefer your keys to be tactile or linear, and silent or not. All of the switches are ultra-fast and responsive, and that’s why it’s the best mechanical keyboard for programming.
Additionally, there are supplementary keys that you can use for manipulating tracks and their volume, but they’re a bit further than comfortable for the hand.
The key programming and RGB backlight can easily be managed by the usage of Razor’s Synapse 3 software, with the ability to use the keyboard memory to keep the set profiles.
Even though it’s full-sized and not as comfortable, it comes with demountable wrist support. It also has a USB port and a 3.5mm jack for your headphones.
Unfortunately, the Synapse 3 software can only be used on devices operated by Windows.
- Orange, Green, or Yellow switches
- 3.5mm jack for your headphones
- Full RBG backlight
- Separate tracks and volume manipulation keys
- Demountable wrist support
- The Synapse 3 is made to be used only on Windows-operated devices
Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional2
The Best Laptop Keyboard for Programming
This compact keyboard is made for coders and writers who prefer a minimalistic design.
Like the ones before, HHKP is wired and mechanical, but it’s extremely compact. That makes it lightweight and portable, but the durability is secured by PBT plastic for the keycaps.
Because it only has 60 keys it has to rely on key combos to make everything work. There are no separate numbers pad and arrow keys, but they’re integrated into others and customizable.
It’s also possible to get a variant with clean keycaps because all operating systems have different key placements. All of these things make HHKP ergonomically great, but it’s hard to get used to.
It uses Topre switches with 45g responsiveness, which are comfortable and quiet.
Additional features are two USB ports and a three-level adjustable height, and it can easily be attached to your laptop and that’s why it’s the best laptop keyboard for programming.
- Comfortable design
- Portable and lightweight
- Compatible with, macOS, Linux, and Windows
- Two USB ports
- The layout is not for everybody and it’s hard to get used to
Code V3 87-Key Illuminated Mechanical Keyboard
The Best Compact Mechanical Keyboard for Programming
This one is not as compact as the HHKP, but it’s still a tenkeyless keyboard. It comes with a USB cable, but it can be conveniently taken out.
Code uses Cherry MX Brown switches great for programming because they’re very responsive and precise. The 45cN actuation force accompanied by the tactile bump without the click makes for a great typing experience, made from long-lasting, high-quality components, but the keycaps aren’t made from such strong material.
Everything can be programmed without a software, and it sports onboard memory so that you can save all of your preferences. Also, it has a white LED backlight, great for typing in the dark, with seven brightness levels.
Additionally, it has multimedia shortcuts and comes with a detachable 5.9ft long USB cable.
- Cherry MX Brown switches
- Detachable USB cable
- Keycaps aren’t made from high-quality materials
The Best Membrane Ergonomic Keyboard for Programming
This keyboard is a bit different than the ones we covered until now, mainly because it’s wireless, uses a membrane, and is made to be extremely ergonomic.
Even though it’s not one of the best wireless keyboards out there, the Microsoft Sculpt is the best one for programmers. The wireless keyboard is non-rechargeable and works on two AAA batteries and a CR2430 for the separate numbers pad.
Also unlike the others on this list, it’s based on a highly responsive membrane, but that can never replace the quality of switches.
The best part about Microsoft Sculpt is its ergonomic shape that’s made to lower the wrist strain of users. Split keyboards are proven to be the best for your wrist health. Besides the separate number pad, the keyboard is partly split into two with a negative tilt towards the middle. It also comes with a palm rest and the tilt of the keyboard can be adjusted.
Interestingly enough, the keys aren’t made to be smaller to fit the ergonomic aspect, making it easier to type on them. The biggest downside of this keyboard is that its shape makes it harder to get used to.
- It takes time to adapt to it
Kinesis Advantage2 Ergonomic Keyboard
The Best Ergonomic Keyboard for Programming
This brand is a known when it comes to making ergonomically designed keyboards, and this one is no exception.
This wired, mechanical, tenkeyless keyboard might seem bulky and hard to type on, but you just need an adaption period.
It uses Cherry MX Brown switches that are highly responsive, with a 45cN actuation force, but that are also quiet. These switches are needed because of the keyboard’s interesting design, and they do the job well.
Ergonomically, the shape of the keyboard makes it so that you don’t have to move your wrist at all while typing. The alphanumerical and dedicated keys are split into two concave sections, and the rest are put into thumb clusters.
Even though it’s hard to get used to, the keys are fully programmable and can be changed in 100 different ways, and also from QWERTY to Dvorak if that’s your preference. You can save any new sequences that you create and switch between them just by clicking an alphanumerical hotkey that you assigned to it.
The keyboard is fully compatible with Windows and macOS computers, and you won’t need to install any special drivers to use it.
- Ergonomic design
- Cherry MX Brown switches
- Programmable key sequences
- Onboard memory
- Hard to get used to