Best mechanical keyboards for Mac 2021

Best mechanical keyboards for Mac iMore 2021

When it comes to the best keyboard for Mac, it will be different for everyone, as keyboards are a very subjective topic. Many Mac users will just stick with the Apple Magic Keyboard or other alternatives like it. Still, others prefer to feel, and hear every keystroke. For those people, mechanical keyboards exist. A mechanical keyboard uses physical switches and even allows users to change the keycaps entirely to something else that better suits their personal tastes and preferences. Honestly, once you discover the magic of mechanical keyboards, it's tough to go back to the flat, chiclet-style laptop keyboards like the Magic Keyboard — plus you just feel so much more productive. Here are my favorite mechanical keyboards for Mac right now.

Keychron K2 V2 Product Render

Great introduction: Keychron K2 V2

Staff Favorite

The K2V2 from Keychron offers flat edges on the frame and slim bezels around the keys. It also features a 75% layout, making it a great choice for travelers or those who prefer minimalism. You can also choose between Gateron Red, Brown, or Blue switches, and there is a hot-swappable version as well, making this one of the best mechanical keyboards for beginners.

Womier K87 Rgb

RGB light show: Womier K87 Hot-Swappable Mechanical Keyboard

This mechanical keyboard features a transparent glass material for the case body, allowing a full-on RGB underglow light show at your desk. The Womier K87 is also a TKL board, giving you a lot of practicality, though there are 60% layouts available as well. It comes equipped with Gateron Red, Blue, Brown, or Yellow switches, but you can change them later if desired since it's hot-swappable.

From $86 at Amazon
Glorious Modular Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Gmmk Tkl

Fully modular: Glorious Modular Mechanical Gaming Keyboard GMMK TKL

Fully customizable

Glorious' GMMK comes in three sizes: Compact, TKL, and Full. These keyboards are also available as a barebones DIY kit (once you add in your own switches and keycaps, it could cost more than pre-built) or pre-built with Gateron Brown switches. You can customize pretty much everything about these, making them a great starting board.

Das keyboard

Professional clack: Das Keyboard 4 Professional for Mac

Das Keyboard 4 Professional gives you a choice between Cherry MX Brown or Blue, depending on how loud you like your keyboard, and it even has dedicated media controls, including an oversized volume knob, as well as a number pad. Two USB 3.0 ports make it perfect for ultra-productive folks.

Keychron K4 V2

Full but compact: Keychron K4 V2

If you need a 10-key numpad but still want something relatively compact, then the Keychron K4 is perfect. It is like the K2 V2 that I use daily, but it includes a 10-key on the right side. It offers 100 keys in a 96% format, so it maximizes space while still giving you all of the necessities. It also comes with Gateron Red, Brown, or Blue switches, white or RGB backlighting, and an optional aluminum frame, as well as a new hot-swappable option.

Logitech G915 Lightspeed Tkl White

Powerful gaming: Logitech G915 Lightspeed Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

When money isn't so much a concern, there's the G915 TKL, which uses an aircraft-grade aluminum alloy to deliver a thin but rigid and durable design. You can choose between GL Linear, Tactile, and Clicky low-profile switches. Experience up to 30 hours on a single charge, and you can customize your colorful RGB lighting and macros with the G-HUB software.

Drop Ctrl Mechanical Keyboard Tkl

Professional but cool: Drop CTRL TKL Mechanical Keyboard

Drop CTRL TKL is a good choice to consider if you want something that looks professional but cool at the same time. It also comes with your choice of Cherry MX Blue RGB, Brown RGB, Halo Clear, Halo True, Kaihua Box White, or Kaihua Speed Silver switches. The body is aluminum, there is an RGB strip for cool lighting effects, it's hot-swappable, and you can fully program it to your liking with QMK software.

$237 at Amazon
Macally Backlit Mechanical Keyboard Mac

Just the basics: Macally Backlit Mechanical Keyboard for Mac

This mechanical keyboard from Macally is full-size, so you get everything, including the number pad. It has a simple and clean aesthetic that will go perfectly with your Mac, and it features Kailh Brown switches (another Cherry MX clone) for a satisfying, tactile feel. It uses a USB wired connection and has four adjustable brightness levels for the backlights.

$110 at Amazon
Keychron Q1 Navy Blue Render

Have it your way: Keychron Q1

A solid and hefty choice

The Q1 from Keychron has a 75% layout and is also gasket-mounted like the GMMK Pro. It has an all-aluminum body that feels hefty and premium, and you can choose from several different color bodies while choosing your own switches, keycaps, and more. It also comes with a premium coiled cable, and you can customize it with VIA and QMK software.

From $149 at Keychron
Glorious Gmmk Pro White Ice Barebones Render

Built from scratch: Glorious GMMK Pro

Glorious GMMK Pro is making waves in the mechanical keyboard community. This is a highly affordable gasket-mounted 75% layout keyboard with a built-in rotary knob. You pick either Black Slate or White Ice for the body; choose your own switches, keycaps, plates, and more. This is a mass-produced mechanical keyboard that allows you to dive into the world of building from scratch with a reasonable price tag.

From $170 at Glorious

Type better with the best mechanical keyboards

The dissatisfying Magic Keyboards that come with Macs aren't enough for some people, though there are some good alternatives. But if you prefer real key feedback and the satisfying click or thock sound, or just want the ability to fully customize your keyboard the way you want, you really ought to consider one of the best mechanical keyboards for your Mac.

If you need a little more guidance on this (expensive) hobby, don't miss out on our Mechanical Keyboards 101: Beginner's Guide for a deep dive into mechanical keyboards as a whole.

Choosing the right keyboard for you

If you want some recommendations for mechanical keyboards, I've personally tried a few here. My first mechanical keyboard is the Keychron K2V2, and it's a great starting board if you want to get your toes wet and includes Bluetooth wireless connectivity. The Keychron K2V2 is comfortable to type with (though a wrist rest may be needed due to the case height), its compact layout gives me everything I need in a small footprint, and there is a hot-swappable version, so you can change out the switches if desired. Since it uses standard Cherry MX stems on the switches, you can customize the keycaps to anything that can fit on a traditional Cherry MX stem.

For those who want a Keychron, but need a number pad, then the Keychron K4V2 is a great option — the 96% layout means you get a full number pad for data entry, and it still has a slightly smaller footprint than a full-size keyboard. Those who want a hybrid between a Magic Keyboard and a mechanical could try the Keychron K1V4, which comes in either tenkeyless (TKL) or full size. However, this one won't be hot-swappable, and you can't change the keycaps due to the low profile.

Since Keychron is a fairly established brand for mechanical keyboards, especially for Mac users, the most recent release, the 75% layout Keychron Q1, is a great choice if you want a higher-end mechanical keyboard. It has a full aluminum body that comes in several different colors, so it is hefty and definitely feels premium. It also is gasket-mounted, so it has a bit more flex and is comfortable as you type. You can choose to have it fully assembled, but you can also go barebones for slightly less and use your own switches, keycaps, and other accessories with it. It also comes with a coiled cable that matches your keyboard's case color, which is a nice touch. To top things off, you're able to fully customize the programming for every key with VIA or QMK software. However, the Q1 does not currently have Bluetooth wireless connectivity, and a rotary knob version is coming later.

Another good alternative to consider is Glorious' GMMK, which comes in three sizes: Compact, TKL, and Full, allowing you to pick the one that best suits your needs. These are also available fully assembled or barebones, where you can bring your own switches and keycaps for it. You could also go for the GMMK Pro, Glorious' 75% layout premium keyboard that is all about customization, and it includes a rotary knob that you can program. This one has been highly popular in the mechanical keyboard community because it's a great board for the price. It is considered a good introductory point for custom keyboards, at least until the Q1 came along.

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.

You May Like Also

  • magic of mechanical keyboards
  • Mechanical Keyboards 101: Beginner's Guide
  • Looking for a new controller for your Switch? Look no further!
  • MagSafe has simplified the way we use iPhone in the car
  • Combine your wallet and iPhone with a handy wallet accessory
  • External Links Disclosure
  • External Links Disclosure