When it comes to picking out the best keyboard for your Mac, it's going to be different for everyone. Most Mac users stick with the Apple Magic Keyboard or something similar, but others like to feel and hear every keystroke. This is why mechanical keyboards still exist. With mechanical keyboards, you get physical switches that provide more tactile feedback when you type, and it also gives you a world of customization possibilities, from the switches themselves to the keycaps. Here are my current favorite mechanical keyboards for Mac right now.
The best mechanical keyboards for Mac if you like tactile feedback when you type
When we reviewed the Keychron K2V2, it quickly became one of our favorite mechanical keyboards for beginners. It's quite lightweight because of the plastic body, has a 75% layout, is hot-swappable so you can change out the switches, and has wireless Bluetooth connectivity with up to three devices. And since it uses standard MX stem switches, it's also compatible with pretty much every keycap set out there.
RGB light show
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.
When we checked out the Das Keyboard 4 Professional, we liked it because of the dedicated media controls, which include an oversized volume knob and a number pad. There are also two USB 3.0 ports, allowing you to plug in accessories right into your keyboard. Das Keyboard also g ives you the option of Cherry MX Brown or Blue switches.
When I reviewed the Keychron Q3, we found it to be a true premium TKL mechanical keyboard. It has an all-metal body that gives it serious heft and a double gasket mount design that makes typing feel incredible. It's also hot-swappable and you can remap keys with QMK/VIA software. It's perfect if you want a higher-end board that has almost all of the keys (no number pad). Plus, even the RGB lights are customizable!
Our colleagues at Windows Central are fans of 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. It delivers up to 30 hours on a single charge, and you can customize your colorful RGB lighting and macros with the G-HUB software.
Full but compact
The Keychron K4V2 that I tried out is a great fit for those who need something that is compact but offers the full keyboard experience, including number pad. It's like the K2V2 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.
A solid but hefty choice
The Keychron Q1 that I reviewed has become my daily driver. I love the compact 75% size because it gives me just what I need to do my work, while also retaining a small size. Since it's part of the Q-series, it's Keychron's premium board with an all-metal body, double gasket mount design, hot-swappable PCB, south-facing RGB lights, and customizable through QMK/VIA software. You can also choose between an optional rotary knob, which is also remappable.
Built from scratch
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.
Premium, compact, customizable
While the 65% layout isn't personally for me, the Keychron Q2 is another excellent board from Keychron that I tried out. It's the most compact option so far with the 65% layout, and it has everything else of the Q-series boards: all metal body, double gasket mount design, hot-swap, south-facing RGB lights, and customizable through QMK/VIA software. If you want the most compact premium mechanical keyboard here, then this is the way to go.
How to choose the best mechanical keyboard for you
If you want some recommendations for mechanical keyboards, I've tried quite a few here. My first mechanical keyboard choice is the Keychron K2 V2, which is a great starting board if you want to get your feet wet that also includes Bluetooth wireless connectivity. The Keychron K2 V2 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, the Keychron K4 V2 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 K1 V4, 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, which isn't standard.
Since Keychron is a fairly established brand for mechanical keyboards, especially for Mac users, 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, and it is hefty; 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. To top things off, it does have a rotary knob version and you're able to fully customize the programming for every key (including the knob) with VIA or QMK software. However, the Q1 does not currently have Bluetooth wireless connectivity. If the Q1's 75% size doesn't suit your needs, there is also the Keychron Q2 with smaller 65% layout, or the Keychron Q3 with larger TKL (everything except the number pad) size.
Type better with the best mechanical keyboards
The 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, 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 a mechanical keyboard. In fact, I would say mechanicals are the best keyboards for Mac (or any computer), period. 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.
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.
Christine Romero-Chan has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently the iMore lead on all things iPhone, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. Wh