The Best Ergonomic Keyboards for 2021
If you regularly spend extended periods of time typing away at your keyboard, you could be at risk of injury. Using a standard keyboard puts your wrists and hands at an unnatural position that can lead to chronic pain -- even in your back and neck. To save yourself the discomfort, make the switch to an ergonomic keyboard.
From creative two-piece designs to models with advanced Bluetooth technology, you'll find the perfect ergonomic keyboard for your workspace with this list of the best ergonomic keyboards. The Logitech Ergo K860 is our best pick because it has the most comfortable keyboard with its palm rest and curvy design.
The best ergonomic keyboards at a glance:
Logitech Ergo K860John Velasco/Digital Trends
The best ergonomic keyboard you can buy right now is the Logitech Ergo K860. Unlike other keyboards on this list, it sports what Logitech calls a "split curved keyframe." This means the keyboard isn't flat but is instead elevated on both the front and back ends.
This design provides more comfort by allowing your hands to rest in a natural position while typing. The wrist pad packs three layers of material to help reduce strain on your wrists. The Logitech Ergo K860 is wireless like most and works on multiple platforms.
Bluetooth connects the peripheral to three devices simultaneously, beating out the others on our list.
Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop
While the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard may not be the fanciest model around, it is easy on the hands and arms. Microsoft's peripheral has a domed, split layout and a reverse-tilt design that keeps wrists in a neutral position. The curved, cushioned palm rest provides plenty of support to reduce fatigue.
The keys are cleverly arranged to emulate the curvature of human fingers. Microsoft's keyboard lacks customization options but is straightforward and reliable. It includes an ergonomic mouse designed for maximum rodent-pushing comfort and a separate number pad to reduce your overall travel distance.
That's not a bad three-piece deal for the price.
If you want a keyboard with a few more bells and whistles, the Logitech K350 may be the right choice. This keyboard is wireless, eliminating at least one of the annoying wires that drape across your desktop's surface. It relies on a mere two AA batteries but promises an "extended" battery life span of up to three years.
The Logitech K350's cushioned palm rest and wavy keys gently cradle your hands. They're complemented by a solid construction, ensuring the keyboard survives frequent travel. The function keys are fully programmable, too, using Logitech's free software.
For those who desire even more comfort mixed with an extremely unique design, the Kinesis Freestyle2 is your ticket to ergonomic goodness.
Available for both Mac and Windows, it offers a two-piece design, allowing users to position both their hands and each half as they see fit. The Freestyle2 wirelessly connects to your PC, Android, or iOS device via Bluetooth. Although it doesn't have the nicest keys, the freedom to adjust the two halves is a great (and unique) feature.
A single cable measuring 9 inches connects these two halves by default, but Kinesis serves up a version with a 20-inch separation, too.
Adesso Tru-Form 150
Backlit keyboards are great for dimly-lit conditions, eliminating the painful key-hunting process for photo/video editors, gamers, and general cave dwellers. Some people find colorful keys a bit gaudy, but there's a big market for customers who find white illumination boring. If that's you, the Adesso Tru-Form 150 will make you feel right at home with a choice of green, red, or blue backlighting with adjustable brightness.
The Adesso Tru-Form 150 lacks a cushioned palm rest, but at least it's curved, keeping wrists in a neutral position. It also possesses special function keys for adjusting volume and such. It's not the most comfortable keyboard, but for those who must have lights, it should suffice.
Surface Ergonomic Keyboard
Yet another Microsoft ergonomic keyboard rounds out the list.
This wireless keyboard stands out with its modern design and affordable price. You can use this keyword with any device that runs Windows 10. It connects via USB or Bluetooth Low Energy (4.0/4.1 or later).
It requires two AAA batteries that should last up to a year with regular use. This Surface-branded keyboard sports a gently-sloping ergonomic arc that comes to rest at a stylish two-tone palm rest. The keyboard's slim design makes it an ideal option for those looking for a lightweight and portable accessory.
The key switch life ranges from 500,000 to 10 million presses, so it's a durable investment, too. Additional features include multimedia keys and 128-bit AES encryption.
ErgoDox EZ Ergonomic Keyboard
. One difficulty with many ergonomic keyboards -- especially when buying online -- is that it's difficult to tell exactly how they will affect your comfort levels and pain management until you actually try them for an extended period.
If that's been a problem for you in the past, ErgoDox has the solution: A modular, fully customizable keyboard that you can continue to experiment with over time. The keyboard comes with ABS plastic printed keycaps, mechanical Cherry MX Brown switches, and a fully split design for maximum spacing, which helps your shoulders and posture when working throughout the day. The keys are also placed in a linear pattern to help ease the stress on tired fingers, and the added wrist support helps keep you at the right angles all day.
Speaking of angles, one of the best parts of the ErgoDox EZ Ergonomic Keyboard is the adjustable stands, which allow you to experiment with various angles and positions until you find the setup that feels the best for you. While the keyboard may be one of the most expensive around, the two-year warranty means you do have some coverage if things go wrong during your experimentation.
Research and buying FAQ
Do ergonomic keyboards really help?
They aren't a blanket solution for preventing wrist problems, but they can help reduce strain for some users. Don't buy an ergonomic keyboard expecting it to be the perfect answer -- instead, talk to your doctor if you have long-term typing pain, and always try out an ergonomic design before you buy it.
If it makes your wrists feel better, it's a good purchase.
How do I choose a good ergonomic keyboard?
In addition to trying out ergonomic designs to see if they physically help, it's important to look for a keyboard that has durable, responsive keys that feel good when you type. Membrane keyboards, for example, may offer more protection from spills and dust, but the squishy keys may not be the best for ergonomic. We picked our keyboards based on reviews of how they actually perform and how they can help reduce pain.
They also pair well with an ergonomic mouse. If your ergonomic keyboard doesn't come with a wrist pad, consider adding one -- like Razer's Wrist Rest -- to your desk setup to help alleviate wrist strain. If you're working in environments with dimmer ambient lighting, you may also want to choose a keyboard with adjustable keyboard backlighting to help reduce eye strain while typing, especially if you're not used to the positioning of key placement on a split design. Additionally, if you're investing in an ergonomic keyboard, be sure to evaluate your overall workspace.
Is your monitor at the proper height for the keyboard placement? If it's too low, consider getting risers to raise your monitor or mount your display to an adjustable stand. A standing desk can also help improve ergonomics in your workspace.
What makes a good ergonomic keyboard?
Good ergonomic keyboards also have grips to stay firmly planted on your desk, tilting options to adjust (including reverse tilting to help your wrists find a more natural position), and optional wrist pads for the front of the keyboard.
Keymapping and easily-replaceable keys also are great features. Mechanical keyboards are popular for their responsive, fully mechanical switches, but not everyone likes them. The keyboard we prefer has shallow keys that require little movement to reach, which will reduce typing pain over time.
Numeric keyboards also are important if your job requires one.
Do Microsoft ergonomic keyboards work with Mac?
Yes and no. You'll be able to pair the keyboard and use it for typing. Since you're not using the proprietary software, you might lose some additional features like keymapping or the ability to change settings (most gaming keyboards come with that as standard).
If you can remap keys, you'll have to remap the Option, Control, and Alt keys to match the Command key setup that MacOS keyboards use.
Are split keyboards more ergonomic?
They're not necessarily more ergonomic, but they're worth a try if it feels comfortable to you. The split keyboard with a wavy design is popular because many people find it works for the way they hold their wrists. Your mileage may vary, but it's a good place to start.
How long does it take to get used to an ergonomic keyboard?
It shouldn't take long, but make sure you give it a good try before deciding to keep it or get rid of it.
An ergonomic keyboard isn't as big of a change as it may seem at first glance, and you can adjust with practice, but it usually takes a week or two of slow going.