If you spend most of your day typing on a computer, you’ve likely experienced the pain of a sore wrist.
Typical keyboard designs force users to bend their wrists and strain their hand muscles, which can result in soreness or cramping. Luckily, designers have worked to create an ergonomic keyboard design that basically eliminates hand and wrist strain.
In this guide, we’ll talk about why ergonomic keyboards work, followed by our reviews for the top 10 best ergonomic keyboards of 2018.
Why Buy an Ergonomic Keyboard?
Image Source: Pixabay
The odd shape of an ergonomic keyboard may cause you to pause, but there’s a scientific reason behind the funky design. Ergonomic keyboards are designed to help reduce the amount of strain that builds on the hands and wrists during long periods of typing. Let’s take a quick look at how ergonomic keyboards work.
Good for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Typing on a keyboard is the leading cause of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), which can be incredibly painful. The design of an ergonomic keyboard is known to alleviate wrist strain and can prevent the development of CTS and tendonitis. It also minimizes the need to stretch your fingers, which can lead to cramping.
Natural Rest for Hands
The unique shape of an ergonomic keyboard is designed to accommodate a natural resting position for the hand and wrist. The keys are spread out to eliminate the need to move your fingers, effectively splitting the keys evenly between both hands. It also makes it easier to navigate the keys, which can help boost your productivity and efficiency.
How We Choose the Best Ergonomic Keyboards
Ergonomic keyboards are designed to help ease the strain of everyday typing and can be a lifesaver to those who spend long hours in front of a screen. The best ergonomic keyboards are designed to be comfortable without sacrificing efficiency.
We tested as many ergonomic keyboards as we could get our hands on in order to find the best models of 2018.
Here are a few of the factors we used to put these keyboards to the test:
- Comfort. Ergonomic keyboards should accommodate the natural shape of the hand. The best ergonomic keyboards will give support to your wrists, palms, and fingers. This helps alleviate tension and strain, which can cause damage over time.
- Design. Good ergonomic keyboards have intuitive designs that make it easier to type. The ideal design will prevent strain by eliminating the need to bend the wrists, which causes the nerves to tense.
- Individual Keys. The goal of an ergonomic keyboard is to make it easier to type, and the keys are a big part of that. Keys should be soft, easy to press, and within reach of the hand at all times.
- Customization. Many of the best ergonomic keyboards come with extra keys that allow you to customize a shortcut or frequently used keys. Others allow you to adjust keyboard illumination and even change the illumination color.
- Special Features. Each ergonomic keyboard design has its own set of special features that set them apart from the rest. Notable features include Bluetooth connectivity, adjustable height levels, and separated or detachable number pads.
- Price. Good ergonomic keyboards can be expensive, but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth the money. During our testing, we made sure to only include ergonomic keyboards that we believe gave the best bang for your buck.
Top 10 Best Ergonomic Keyboards of 2018
- Split keyset design helps to position wrists and forearms in a natural, relaxed position
- Cushioned palm rest provides support and promotes a neutral wrist position
- Domed keyboard design positions wrists at a natural, relaxed angle
There’s a reason the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop is widely received as the best ergonomic keyboard on the market. This unique split keyboard helps position your hands into a natural position, with a domed design that mimics the shape of your fingers. It also has a cushioned palm rest that cradles the wrist for long days in the office.
One of the best features of the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop is the separate number pad, which allows for greater flexibility in workplace setup. Both parts of the keyboard are wireless, so you don’t have to worry about tangled wires.
The only downsides to the Microsoft Ergonomic Desktop keyboard are that the function keys are very small, and there are very little options for customization.
- CONTOURED ERGONOMIC SHAPE PROVEN TO INCREASE COMFORT AND PRODUCTIVITY: Patented design features split keywells with...
- GENUINE CHERRY MECHANICAL SWITCHES FOR PREMIUM TYPING FEEL AND PERFORMANCE: Cherry MX Brown mechanical switches feature...
- Full onboard programmability with the Driverless Smart Set engine: Custom layouts in QWERTY or Dvorak, on-the-fly macro...
The Kinesis Advantage2 Ergonomic Keyboard is one of the strangest looking keyboards we’ve ever tested, but the design actually makes sense. Each hand has its own separate area, allowing them to rest in the most natural position. Important keys are located within reach of the thumbs, including the space, enter, and control keys.
The Kinesis Advantage2 Ergonomic Keyboard is highly customizable, with a fully programmable layout that can easily be remapped to your personal preference. You can even add keys that aren’t already programmed on the keyboard.
Downsides of the Kinesis Advantage2 Ergonomic are that it’s pretty expensive, and can take some time to get used to.
- Wave design with Constant Curve layout: Curved layout guides hands into just the right position
- Ease and comfort: Cushioned palm rest makes work easier and fun more fun
- Longer battery time: This feature gives you up to three years of battery life. (Battery life based on a calculation of...
The Logitech K350 Wireless Keyboard is a professional keyboard with more than a few bells and whistles packed in. It has a natural wave design that fits the curve of the hand, with a large palm rest that keeps your wrist elevated to avoid strain. This wireless keyboard is said to last up to three years before the batteries need to be replaced.
Along with the fully programmable F keys, the Logitech K350 Wireless Keyboard also features Instant Media Access Keys that allow you to control various media options such as volume. There is also a zoom control on the left side of the keyboard, and a full number pad to the right.
The major downside to this keyboard is that it has limited customization options for those using a Mac OS.
- Compatible with Surface Pro 4, Surface Book, Surface Studio
- Natural arc and slope
- Double-cushioned palm rest covered in stunning Alcantara
This attractive keyboard puts Microsoft back on our list early on, and for good reason. The Microsoft Surface Ergonomic Keyboard is incredibly thin, making it perfect for travel or remote work. The double-cushioned palm rest is very comfortable and helps you find a natural position for your hands to rest.
The Microsoft Surface Ergonomic Keyboard works with any Windows 10 device and can be connected via a USB dongle or Bluetooth. The wireless connection is strong and can stay connected up to 32 feet away.
Downsides to the Microsoft Surface Ergonomic Keyboard are slightly ‘clicky’ keys, lack of keyboard riser, and some connection issues with Mac OS.
- Switch type: Cherry MX Blue
- Keycaps: Gray Laser Engraved PBT
- LED Backlighting: none
The Mistel Barocco Keyboard looks like a typical keyboard that has been broken in half, but it works like a dream. The split design allows you to customize your workspace to your personal level of comfort.
The Mistel Barocco Keyboard is great for gamers and programmers with its highly customizable layout, including blank keys that can be programmed to a specific function or shortcut. By springing for the RGB Series, you can light up your keyboard with a customizable spectrum of color.
While the design is attractive, the lack of number pad and arrow key leaves you with some limited functions.
- AWARD-WINNING SPLIT DESIGN: Unlike fixed ergonomic keyboards, the Freestyle2 Blue allows you to rotate and separate the...
- CONVENIENT BLUETOOTH WIRELESS CONNECTION: Multichannel Bluetooth technology allows you to pair the keyboard with up to 3...
- STANDARD MAC LAYOUT: The Freestyle2 for Mac features a standard Mac layout with Mac-specific hotkeys, shortcuts and...
Those who prefer Apple products will enjoy the Apple-specific shortcuts that come built in with the Kinesis Freestyle2 Blue. The split design of the keyboard allows you to adjust each half as needed. They’re also easy to store, making them great for someone who’s always on the go.
The Bluetooth multichannel technology allows you to keep your Kinesis Freestyle2 to up to three devices at once. Switching between devices is as easy as pressing a button. There are additional buttons best suited for Apple users, such as a shortcut for hiding and showing the dock.
The design of the Freestyle2 Blue is a bit clunky in our option, and we found the tethering cable to be a bit limiting.
- Microban antimicrobial protection keeps product cleaner
- Conforms to natural arm and hand positions for added comfort
- 16-character buffer for fast typists. Material Type:HPS
The Fellowes Microban Split Design Keyboard is a great option for those on a budget. The split design mimics the natural shape of the hand, while the raised palm rest prevents strain in the wrist. This keyboard can plug into any Windows OS without the need to download any software.
There are 7 extra hotkeys on the top of the keyboard that give you access to various additional functions. These functions include sleep, media control, and the ability to open a webpage, search page, or email account.
While this is a great budget option, we found the keys to be somewhat chunky and uncomfortable over time.
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This mechanical keyboard offers superior tactility and performance without the loud clack often found in other mechanical keyboard models. Users of this model will enjoy the satisfaction of pressing down on a firm key without having to worry about “bottoming-out,” which can add to the overall strain.
The unique layout of the Matias Ergo Pro Keyboard is easy to navigate and can be adjusted according to personal preference. It also features leg supports, which allow you to further customize your workspace through tilting and tending.
We praise the Matias Ergo Pro Keyboard for its great layout, but found that with had some issues with sticky keys and a lack of connection reliability.
- 3 Color (Red, Green, Blue) Illuminated Backlit Keyboard - The 3-color Illuminated Backlit keyboard lets you choose your...
- Ergonomic Design - The design of this keyboard with splitted key zones and gently sloped shape encourages natural...
- Large Print Keys - Makes the keys easier to see and easy on the eyes.
The Adesso Tru-Form 150 Illuminated Keyboard is the perfect balance between fun and function with the customizable backlit keys. Switch between red, green, blue, or multicolored illumination to help ease eyestrain in dim or dark environments. The split design has a gentle slope for maximum comfort and typing efficiency.
This keyboard comes with several hotkeys that allow you to bring up your email, explore the web, and control your media. It also features a full number pad and multiple Windows hotkeys.
There are a few downsides to this design, as it lacks a padded palm rest and the keys feel a bit clunky at times.
- Value Bundle Includes Jestik Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
- Goldtouch V2 Adjustable Comfort Keyboard -PC & Mac
- Compatible with the following operating systems: Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8, Mac OS 10.4, and...
At first glance, the Goldtouch V2 Adjustable Keyboard looks like any other normal keyboard on the market. This is not the case at all, as its clever design give you the freedom to bend the keyboard from 0-30 degrees on both horizontal and vertical planes. This allows you to make precise adjustments for those who have trouble finding the right angle.
This keyboard works with both Windows and Mac devices with a USB port, so it’s perfect for those who use both operating systems. To switch between PC and Mac mode, simply flip the switch on the back of your keyboard to the proper operating system.
We found that there were a few downsides to the Goldtouch V2 that knocked it to the bottom of our top 10 list. We were frustrated with a lack of number pad and awkward key placement and felt a bit of strain without a sloped palm rest.
Ergonomic Keyboard Buyer’s Guide
Image Source: Pexels
In our list, we talked about various types of ergonomic keyboards. Let’s take a quick look at the differences between these keyboards to help you narrow down which type is best for your needs.
Wired or Wireless
Wired keyboards are connected directly to your computer or mobile device. Using a wired keyboard eliminates the need to charge or switch out batteries, which can be frustrating with frequent use. Wired keyboards typically have a quicker response time, making them great for someone who types a lot.
A wireless keyboard connects to your computer or mobile device through a wireless connection such as Bluetooth. These keyboards are great for people who travel a lot, as they can be quickly connected on the go. Most wireless keyboards can last for days without needing a recharge.
Wave or Split
A wave keyboard looks similar to a traditional keyboard, with slight differences in key design and placement. These keyboards typically rise up slightly in the middle, lifting the keys up to the finger. Most wave keyboards also have a palm rest that helps guide your hands into a comfortable position.
Split keyboards are, as the name implies, split in half. These keyboards are typically broken into two separate adjustable pieces or connected in the middle via the space bar. Adjustable keyboards allow users to try different configurations for those who have difficulty finding the right angle.
Our Final Thoughts on 2019’s Best Ergonomic Keyboards
Ergonomic keyboards are specifically designed with the user’s comfort in mind and are a great way to prevent strain and cramping. After testing multiple models, we found that these 10 keyboards were the most comfortable and had the best built-in features for their price.
It’s important to keep in mind that no two typists are the same, so what might be comfortable for one user might feel awkward to another. When looking to purchase an ergonomic keyboard, we think it’s best to test out as many models as you can until you find the perfect match.