See how the top options stack up, feature by feature
Actors have their stage. Musicians have their instruments. Athletes have their field of play. Every profession has its medium of expression, and programming is no different. For these digital artists and architects, the keyboard is the conduit of their genius — which makes finding the right one essential.
To help you direct your search, this article explores five of the best mechanical keyboards for programming (in our opinion) available today.
For more expert advice, check out The Ultimate Guide to the Best Keyboards for Programming, a comprehensive resource for programmers.
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HHKB keyboards were built from the ground up to suit the needs of programmers, and many experts consider them to be the best mechanical keyboards for programming. Here’s why:
Efficiency: One of HHKB’s original innovations was its specialized layout, which repositions the control key so you can execute commands without your fingers leaving the home row. This adjustment is a massive time-saver for programmers, especially those who use hotkeys regularly.
Ergonomics: The HHKB Professional HYBRID has a unique curved keycap surface arrangement that supports natural typing positions and minimizes fatigue during extended use. Also — unlike any other keyboard on this list — the HHKB Professional uses best-in-class Topre switches, famous for their accuracy, tactility, and comfort.
Features: The HHKB Professional HYBRID supports…
- Fully customizable keymap.
- Bluetooth and USB Type-C connectivity that supports up to 4 devices seamlessly.
- Long-term use with ultra-durable key labels and keycaps.
Fun: While it doesn’t have some of the lighting bells and whistles as other keyboards on this list, the HHKB Professional Hybrid is still a stunner. Its minimal design and matte color scheme have real class, especially the black-on-black colorway.
Did You Know? Handy HHKB accessories such as a keyboard lid and adjustable mobile device stand help make the most of your board. Click here to learn more.
While primarily known as a gaming keyboard, the Logitech G915 TKL is also great for programming. Here’s how the keyboard breaks down.
Ergonomics: This sleek, low-profile mechanical programming keyboard stays tight to whatever surface it's resting on, making it easy on the wrists and fingers over long coding intervals. But if you’d like the keyboard to sit at an angle, the G915 TKL features 4° and 8° feet on its underside to give it a more standard incline.
Efficiency: The G915 TKL uses unique, low-profile gaming switches that significantly reduce the actuation point (1.5 mm) and total travel (2.7 mm). This compact design delivers the great feedback of a mechanical switch in more efficient keystrokes.
Features: The G915 TKL boasts…
- Per key RBG lighting with adjustable color and brightness.
- Wired (2.5GHz dongle) and wireless (Bluetooth) connectivity.
- An edgeless volume wheel and dedicated media keys.
- Multiple energy usage settings for wireless use.
- F-key customizability.
Fun: As for the fun factor, the Logitech G915 TKL slim design is just plain nice to look at, and its low-profile switches offer a distinct and enjoyable typing experience.
No list of the best mechanical keyboards for programming is complete without mentioning the Corsair K95 Platinum XT. This rock-solid keyboard is ideal for performance-obsessed enthusiasts:
Ergonomics: The K95 Platinum XT’s plush leatherette rest ensures your hands and wrists are adequately supported during extended typing sessions. Corsair must be doing something special with these cushions because user reviews frequently mention it as a top feature. And don’t worry if wrist rests aren’t for you: It’s detachable.
Efficiency: The K95 Platinum XT uses Cherry MX RGB Blue switches with a hyper-tight 1.2 mm actuation point, allowing you to hit your type speed ceiling.
Features: K95 Platinum XT has a deep set of features, including…
- Almost infinitely customizable per-key RGB lighting.
- Six dedicated programmable keys.
- A USB passthrough.
- A volume wheel and media keys.
Fun: This keyboard has incredible lighting. Just incredible. To see for yourself, check out the product page and flip through the examples. Many mechanical keyboards have lighting functionality — but very few give users this level of creative license.
The EVGA Z15 is a full-sized mechanical keyboard that’s making a name for itself among programmers. Here’s how it stacks up:
Ergonomics: This keyboard is one for the comfort-minded among us. Its luxurious wrist rest cradles your hands wonderfully as you work, and its multiple incline options allow you to find the optimal typing angle according to your preference.
Efficiency: The EVGA Z15 has super-low latency, which is one of the reasons it's considered an excellent gaming keyboard. But this characteristic also makes the keyboard perfect for programmers with top-end typing speeds.
Features: The EVGA Z15 has many of the features you look for in a premium device:
- Full programmatically, customizable RGB lighting.
- Hot-swappable switches.
- Solid construction.
But what truly sets this keyboard apart is the price point. Listed at $60 or less on many sites, it’s probably one of the best mechanical keyboards for programming you can get on a budget.
Fun: Keyboard enthusiasts and programmers are usually detail-oriented, so you’ll be happy to know that the devil of what makes the EVGA Z15 fun is certainly in its details. One notable feature is the black backside patterning, which helps give the keyboard its premium feel. Another is its unusually high profile keycaps, which help each key jump off the board.
If you’re a programmer looking for a show stopper, your search may be over. The Drop ALT (formerly MassDrop ALT) might just be the mechanical programming keyboard of your dreams.
Ergonomics: The keyboard gets high marks on the sturdiness scale. Its aluminum build and magnetic feet ensure your hands won’t be chasing the keyboard across the table as you feverishly type away.
Efficiency: The Drop ALT is hot-swappable, meaning that you can easily design the ideal combination of switches that support fast, consistent, and accurate typing. While you could do this on a non-hot-swappable mechanical keyboard, the process is four or five times as long and considerably more difficult, involving complete keyboard disassembly, soldering, and reassembly.
Features: The Drop ALT supports…
- Complete key function customizability via QMK.
- Robust connectivity via dual USB-C connectors.
- Small workspaces with a tight 67 key count.
Fun: When it comes to flair, this keyboard lacks for nothing. The Drop ALT’s floating key design, fully customizable lighting, and slick case cause it to pop on whatever surface it’s on. It’s also audibly arresting, as the keyboard’s Cherry MX Blue switches ensure it's one of the loudest keyboards around.
Although every keyboard on this list will serve you well, the HHKB Professional HYBRID is considered the best mechanical keyboard for programming by many enthusiasts. From its ergonomic curvature to its specialized layout, this keyboard was built to help programmers perform at the highest level. Click here to check out the HHKB Professional HYBRID or any of our other high-quality keyboards.