Best keyboard: the finest designs to elevate your WFH setup

The best keyboards will help you type faster and work both comfortably and efficiently. Here’s our pick of the best wireless, wired, and portable designs available

Logitech MX Keys Mini being used on large wooden desk in front of Mac
(Image credit: Logitech)

The best keyboard will make all the difference to your time at the desk whether you’re working from home or in a traditional office on a Mac, PC, Chromebook, or even tablet. A separate keyboard used with your laptop can, when used with a stand, greatly improve your comfort, and reduce neck aches and pains, while an upgraded desktop keyboard can simply make the task of typing all day so much more bearable.

Modern designs now come with clever features to help you interact more efficiently with popular software packages, not to mention fast, responsive keys, intuitive layouts, and enhanced comfort. And while some of our ‘best buys’ come with justifiably steep price tags; we’ve found a design many of you will love for just a few pounds. 

The best keyboards in 2022

Logitech Craft

(Image credit: Logitech)

1. Logitech Craft

Best keyboard for just about everyone

Specifications

Type: Chiclet
Special features: Adaptive backlight, intuitive control dial
Connections: Bluetooth low energy
Dimensions: 16.9 x 5.8 x 12.6in

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent key feel
+
Great for creatives
+
Premium styling

Reasons to avoid

-
Quality is expensive
-
More features than some might need

Designed for Mac and PC users who predominantly spend their days working with creative apps such as Photoshop and Premier, the Craft is a simply stunning keyboard design made with a mix of plastic and metal that gives it a premium look and a reassuringly solid feel.

The low-profile keys are delightful to type on and are quiet compared to many similar models, and in our tests, we found it easy to work out where our fingers were on the keyboard while concentrating on the screen. The keys are also backlit, and while this isn’t a new technology, we appreciate the fact the lights only come on when your hands get close to the keys. It’s a nice touch and one which will also save battery life.

But the headline feature here is the dial on the top left of the keyboard. Rather than simply performing one task, this dial’s function changes depending on which app you’re using. Cleverly, this is done automatically when you open popular apps, but can also be customized via the Logitech Options app. We found this especially useful for toggling between menus, opening different tabs, and even controlling brush size in illustrator.

Once you get the hang of using the dial it can be a great time-saver, which only adds to the appeal of this high-class keyboard.

Livingetc rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Logitech MX Keys Mini

(Image credit: Logitech)

2. Logitech MX Keys Mini

Best compact keyboard

Specifications

Type: Chiclet
Special features: Adaptive backlight, multi-device connectivity
Connections: Bluetooth 5.1
Dimensions: 11.6 x 5.1 x 0.8in

Reasons to buy

+
Exceptional build quality
+
Stylish
+
Beautiful to type on

Reasons to avoid

-
A little cramped
-
Costly

If the Logitech Craft seems a bit excessive for your keyboarding needs, we highly recommend its smaller cousin, the Logitech MX Keys Mini. This fantastic high-quality wireless keyboard is a joy to use and stylish with it.

Available in graphite, pale grey, or rose, the build quality is second to none, and while made from recycled plastic it feels great under the fingers with very little give, even if you hammer the keys. There’s no separate number pad, but most people won’t mind that, and due to a 40% reduction in overall size compared to a full-sized keyboard it can feel a little cramped, although we stopped noticing after a day or two. 

As well as being an extremely enjoyable keyboard to type on, we like the backlit design, which works the same as the Logitech Craft, and the clever extra keys such as screenshots and mic mute/unmute are handy. We also love the fact you can connect the keyboard to three different devices - tablet, Laptop, and smartphone for instance - and switch instantly between them.

If you use the backlight function the keyboard’s battery will last around 10 days but switch it off and it may not need recharging for five months.

Livingetc rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Razer Huntsman V2

(Image credit: Razer)

3. Razer Huntsman V2

Best keyboard for marathon gaming sessions (and some work)

Specifications

Type: Optical switch
Special features: Programmable keys, RGB customizable backlighting, onboard memory
Connections: Wired
Dimensions: 27.5 x 190.9 x 74.8in

Reasons to buy

+
Fast
+
Fully customizable
+
Comfortable to use

Reasons to avoid

-
Overkill if you don't play PC games
-
Undeniably expensive

Razer is the most popular PC gaming accessory brand, and the Huntsman V2 is quite possibly the best gaming keyboard you can currently buy. If you’re into PC gaming - or someone at home is - you’ll not find a faster or more customizable design.

And when it comes to gaming, speed is everything, so this keyboard has an 8,000Hz polling rate. What this means in practice is that it scans for keypresses 8,000 times a second, so every keystroke you make gets an instant response. It won’t make a difference when tackling a spreadsheet, but for fast-paced games it’s crucial.

The keyboard is very nice to type on, however, with superlight and responsive keys. You’ll be able to do a full day’s work in comfort too thanks to the squidgy wrist pad. It’s also not the most outlandish gaming keyboard design we’ve seen - no, really! - and will blend into your home office. 

As well as fast speeds, this keyboard is fully customizable - you can assign any one of 1.8million colors to individual keys to add personality, and aid complex gaming controls, and you can tweak all the important settings by downloading the Razer Synapse software. You can even sync the keyboard illuminations with Philips Hue lights, which are brilliantly bonkers.

Livingetc rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Apple iPad Pro Magic Keyboard

(Image credit: Apple)

4. Apple iPad Pro Magic Keyboard

Best keyboard for iPad users

Specifications

Type: Scissor switch
Special features: Built-in trackpad, multi-device connectivity
Connections: Fixed
Dimensions: 10.1 x 7.9 x 0.8in

Reasons to buy

+
Built-in trackpad
+
Converts your iPad into a laptop
+
Wonderful keyboard

Reasons to avoid

-
Prohibitively expensive
-
Heavy

Available for the 11” and 12.9” iPad Pro and iPad Air (3rd and 5th generation) no other tablet keyboard case comes close. Yes, it costs more than some tablet computers, but the iPad Pro Magic Keyboard gives your iPad full laptop functionality, while also protecting it from damage.

The pivoting keyboard case connects magnetically and lifts the iPad up to a very comfortable viewing angle, something laptop designers should take notice of. The hinge is deliberately stiff, which keeps the iPad steady when typing, but it can’t be folded fully back as many cases can. It’s a minor niggle, and means you need to pop it out of the case when using it just as a tablet. 

Back to the keyboard. It is exceptional - quick, responsive and a delight to type on - and more impressive given the fact Apple has made room for a generous-sized multi-gesture trackpad. This makes all the difference when using the iPad as a laptop.

All this functionality does make for a heavy case and combined with the iPad, it’s easily as hefty as a standard laptop, but that doesn’t stop it from being an extremely classy, and unavoidably expensive choice.

Livingetc rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard

(Image credit: Microsoft)

5. Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard

Best ergonomic keyboard

Specifications

Special features: Soft cushioning, customizable keys
Connections: Wired
Dimensions: 19.2 × 10.3 × 2.3in

Reasons to buy

+
Supremely comfortable
+
Dedicated number pad
+
Full media controls

Reasons to avoid

-
Functional, not fashionable
-
Ergonomic layout takes practice

With its large, squishy but supportive wrist pad, this ergonomic keyboard is exceptionally comfortable, and ideal for those people who type for hours on end. The split-ergonomic layout suits people who are fluent touch typists, and once you’re familiar with the layout you’ll be able to concentrate on the screen, not the keys. There’s also a kickstand supplied if you prefer your keyboard tilted.

The Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard is big compared to most and will dominate your desk, but the extra real estate means there’s space for a full-sized number pad, media controls, and a selection of customizable favorite keys that will enhance your productivity further.

You’re investing in a comfortable, wrist-easing design rather than hi-tech features, which means it is wired and therefore feels a bit dated. That said, it means you get a lot of keyboard for not much investment and all you need to do is plug into the nearest USB port and it works instantly… and never needs charging.

Livingetc rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Trust 24374 Ymo Wireless Keyboard

(Image credit: Trust)

6. Trust 24374 Ymo Wireless Keyboard

Superb value full-size keyboard

Specifications

Special features: Linear switches, number pad
Connections: USB Receiver
Dimensions: ‎5.5 x 17.4 x 0.7in

Reasons to buy

+
Bargain price
+
Full-sized layout
+
Quiet keystrokes

Reasons to avoid

-
Get what you pay for

It’s remarkable that you can buy a full-size wireless keyboard for the price of a cocktail. What’s more impressive is the fact such a cheap keyboard is actually worth buying. 

We tend to keep well clear of bargain technology, and in truth, we’d rather spend a bit more to get something that feels a little more robust, but if you need a second keyboard with a number pad that’s also splash resistant and good to type on, the Trust Ymo is a good choice.

Compatible with Windows, Chrome, and macOS systems, it doesn’t use Bluetooth, instead, you plug a tiny USB receiver in your laptop’s USB, and it connects instantly. This does mean you can’t use it with a tablet computer, however. The keyboard also isn't rechargeable and required 2x AAA batteries, but they do include these in the box.

The keys have a nice amount of travel, and they’re impressively quiet, which is essential if you’re sharing office space. At 467g it is also quite light, but the non-slip feet do a good job keeping it from slipping around as you type.

Livingetc rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Choosing the best keyboard for you

Logitech Craft on wooden desk beside black mouse, laptop and vintage camera

(Image credit: Logitech)

What type of keyboard is right for me?

Only you know how you like to work, and which type of keyboard layout and style of keys will work best. This reviewer for instance prefers a chiclet-style modern keyboard compared to a traditional mechanical typewriter-style design and is left flabbergasted by spit-style ergonomic designs.

The best thing to do is try a few different options either around the office or in a computer store. As a rule, there are four main types to choose from: 

Traditional: These typically have old-fashioned typewriter-style mechanical keys. They have the most travel (the distance the key moved before working) and are popular with people who have been using classic PCs at work for years. The feel and action of the keys vary enormously.

Chiclet: Think Apple Macs and you’ll instantly know what a chiclet keyboard looks like. These low-profile keyboards have distinct gaps between the keys and have a much shorter travel than a traditional keyboard design. The keyboards themselves are often slim, with designer laptop-style looks and Bluetooth connectivity for wireless convenience.

Ergonomic: Designed to reduce wrist and finger fatigue when typing for long periods, Ergonomic keyboards have a split layout with keypads for left and right hands. They often come with large wrist pads for comfort too. They are an acquired taste, but many people who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome wouldn’t use anything else. 

Compact: Often 60% the size of a full-size design, with no separate keypad and marginally smaller keys, these compact options are ideal for adhoc desks, home working, and even travel. Folding compact keyboards are also available, which can bring enhanced functionality to smartphones and tablets, while dedicated keyboard cases can turn your tablet into a fully functioning laptop.

What features should you look for?

Again, just like the style of keyboard and type of keys, the features you need will depend greatly on how you work. Wireless connectivity is useful, but not essential, especially if the keyboard is for home working only.

If you love a shortcut, look for keyboards with customizable keys that allow you to assign specific tasks to them. And if you’re always listening to music or watching videos, dedicated media keys can be useful too. 

But the most important feature of any keyboard is comfort. Is the Shift key big enough, is the @ button in a practical position, and do your fingers have enough space to type quickly and efficiently?

And finally, remember that if you’re investing in a separate keyboard for your laptop, tablet, or desktop computer, you might well need to factor in the cost of buying a trackpad or mouse to complete the workstation.

Chris Haslam is a UK-based journalist who specialises in writing about tech, gadgets, audio, lifestyle and eco living. He regularly writes for Livingetc, and also contributes to WIRED, T3, Stuff, Ideal Home, House Beautiful, Your Home, Homes & Gardens, Grand Designs, Real Homes, Good Homes, Beautiful Kitchens, Country Homes & Interiors, Tesco Magazine, Style at Home and British Airways High Life Shopping