Many people don’t like listening to the clicking and clacking sound of mechanical keyboards. And it can be very unpleasant to hear the sound of someone clicking away on their keyboard, especially if you work in a shared office space. Membrane keyboards are quieter and more ergonomic than mechanical keyboards.
What else sets them apart?
The most significant difference is that they have one flat surface instead of separate parts, like the mechanical ones. Pressure pads, placed between the surface and the keys, are activated whenever you press a key. The keys don’t have a strong tactile feel, which is why most gamers prefer mechanical keyboards.
However, they require less pressure and are a lot smoother. But, there are plenty of good membrane keyboards for gamers as well.
We have tested seven of the best membrane keyboards, and you will probably recognize names like Logitech, Razer, and Microsoft. No matter if you are interested in ergonomics, great prices, or merely a quiet keyboard, we will help you find the perfect membrane board for your needs.
So, let’s go through them, starting with the…
- 1 Top 7 Best Membrane Keyboards In 2021 Review
- 1.1 1 Rii RK100 White Gaming Keyboard – Best Budget Membrane Keyboard
- 1.2 2 Kensington Slim Wired Keyboard – Best Low Cost Office Membrane Keyboard
- 1.3 3 Logitech G213 Keyboard – Best Logitech Membrane Keyboard
- 1.4 4 Typematrix 2030 Reach Keyboard – Most Interesting Membrane Keyboard
- 1.5 5 Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard – Best Mid Range Membrane Keyboard
- 1.6 6 Razer Cynosa Chroma Keyboard – Best Value for the Money Membrane Keyboard for Gamers
- 1.7 7 Razer Ornata Chroma Keyboard – Best Rated Membrane Keyboard
- 2 Best Membrane Keyboards Buyers Guide
- 3 Looking For More Excellent Keyboard And Ergonomic Options?
- 4 So, What Are The Best Membrane Keyboards?
Top 7 Best Membrane Keyboards In 2021 Review
1 Rii RK100 White Gaming Keyboard – Best Budget Membrane Keyboard
First up in our review is the Rii RK100. This has the usual set of 104 standard keys. To be honest, it feels a bit more like a semi-mechanical keyboard than a membrane one, but without the hefty price. It‘s still quieter than a mechanical keyboard, but the keys look and feel a lot more like mechanical keys.
Great RGB features…
The keys are nicely separated and backlit with RGB colors. The rainbow lit keys make it easy to use in any light setting. The lights turn off after ten min of being idle, which is excellent if you use the keyboard in your bedroom. To turn them on again, you simply press any key. To adjust the lights’ brightness levels, hold down the Fn key and use the up or down arrows.
Even though the RK100 is compatible with most systems, the backlights won’t work on Mac computers. Since it weighs a lot less than other keyboards, just under two pounds, it’s easy to carry with you and doesn’t take up much space.
The build quality is ok for the price you pay, but you still need to be careful with it. The value for money makes it one of the top keyboards in our review. It may not be as sturdy and dependable as the other keyboards we tested, but it feels comfortable and easy to use.
The level of the RGBs is adjustable, which is a huge plus. You never have to worry about bright lights dazzling your eyes when gaming late at night. It’s a keyboard for less money than most and will appeal to nearly anyone.
- RGB Backlit.
- Adjustable brightness levels.
- A little loud.
2 Kensington Slim Wired Keyboard – Best Low Cost Office Membrane Keyboard
If you are looking for a modern Apple keyboard, but you don’t want to spend a lot of money, the Slim Wired keyboard is a great option and a real workhorse. Its design is minimal, and it looks great too. It’s a full-size keyboard with 104 keys but weighs only 2.15 pounds and is 0.75 inches thick.
Laptop inspired keys…
The inspiration for the low-profile keyboard comes from laptops, and the keys actually remind you of them. They are incredibly quiet but still give you precise control, along with good accurate feedback. There are excellent features included in the Kensington Slim Wired, and the most commonly used keys like volume, mute, and sleep are easily accessible.
Rubber soles under the board stop it from moving around while using it. You can also use the kickstands to elevate it to a 30-degree angle.
This keyboard will suit anyone who wants a slim minimalistic design. It’s not the cheapest of boards but is not expensive either. However, it feels a little too thin at times, particularly if you are used to thicker keyboards. The Laptop-inspired keys are tremendous and give accurate feedback, but we wouldn’t recommend it for gamers. It’s more for everyday or office use. The quality is good but can feel a bit flimsy.
- Thin design.
- Good feedback from the keys.
- It can feel flimsy.
- Not the best quality.
3 Logitech G213 Keyboard – Best Logitech Membrane Keyboard
The third keyboard we tested in our Best Membrane Keyboards reviews was the Logitech G213. It’s in no regard a budget board, even though the price might make it seem so. It’s not as cheap as the two previous keyboards we reviewed, but it’s not far off. The quality is amazing, and it’s low-priced simply because it’s a membrane, nothing else.
Designed to be functional…
It was designed to be functional and not only to look good. Don’t get us wrong; it looks great. But if we talk about features and functions, it’s hard to find a superior keyboard. You will find several keys for different elements on the top of the keyboard. They are also programmable. The keys look and feel like a mechanical keyboard. They even tried to make them sound mechanical, which they do even though they are still relatively quiet.
The G213 uses anti-ghosting technology, which enables you to press several keys at once. Another advantage is that it’s spill-proof, so if you spill a cup of coffee on it, it won’t break. Just don’t put it in the shower since it’s not waterproof, but why would you?
The backlit RGB lighting is attractive with its rainbow colors but used in an office setting; you might want to use white backlights. You can customize the RGB-lights in 16.8 million ways, which seems slightly overkill, but some of the effects include color cycling and breathing. If you spend long periods at your computer, the attached palm rest will help your wrists relax.
The G213 is reasonably priced. The raised keys give you a feel of a mechanical keyboard. It also has a fair amount of accurate feedback. It’s louder than most membrane keyboards, which could be an issue if you are looking for a quiet keyboard. The palm rests are a great addition and make the keyboard more comfortable and ergonomic. It gives you great value for money, and the quality is top-notch.
- Nice design.
- High quality.
- Nicely priced.
- Palm rests.
- Louder than most membranes.
4 Typematrix 2030 Reach Keyboard – Most Interesting Membrane Keyboard
The Typematrix 2030 is one of the weirdest yet best keyboards we have ever tested. It’s an all-around keyboard with both interesting and unique features.
If we start with the keyboard layout, the keys are placed in vertical columns instead of the typical Qwerty layout. The unconventional layout helps you type both quicker and easier, even though it takes getting used to. The backspace and enter key sit in the middle of the board. The reason for this is that they are the most commonly used keys.
Comfortable and ergonomic…
Once you get used to the keyboard, it’s comfortable, and you don’t have to exhaust your pinky every time you want to hit the backspace. It’s ergonomic as well. The low-profile keys make it quicker and easier to type, and not much pressure is needed to push on the keys. It’s also extremely portable since it’s minimalistic and light, weighing under two pounds, 1.75 to be exact.
Even though it’s compact, it still has all the standard keys. But there is no room for extra buttons, like media, volume, and so on. You can get creative and customize the board, and there are several accessories available. One popular addition is the custom sleeve for improved ergonomics.
The Typematrix 2030 has a lot to offer. Even though you need to re-learn the keys’ layout, it’s a great alternative to the standard keyboard. The gap between the keys is smaller, and the entire design is a lot more convenient.
The price is affordable, not cheap, but pretty reasonable for the quality of keyboard you get. The keys are laptop-style keys, so if you are a fan of mechanical keyboards, this is not for you. Otherwise a great keyboard with many unique features, and if you want a change, this is the board for you.
- Light and slim.
- Different keyboard layout.
- It takes some getting used to.
5 Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard – Best Mid Range Membrane Keyboard
Our fifth keyboard is the Microsoft Sculpt. Chances are, you might already have heard about this keyboard. You might even have used it at some point if you work in an office. The keyboard has a split in the middle that forces your hands into a natural position. It might feel weird at first, but after a few sessions, you will find that it’s comfortable and relaxing for your wrists.
Exceptionally well built and high-quality…
The keyboard is a little pricey but well built. It’s not the most expensive keyboard on our list today, but it’s more costly than both the Rii RK100 and the Kensington Slim. But honestly, this keyboard is well worth every dime. The Numpad comes separated from the keyboard, which is unique. But it provides greater flexibility when you are setting up a workspace. And yes, this keyboard is mainly for offices.
The cushioned palm rest is comfortable. It provides good support and forces your wrists into a natural position. It has a domed shape, meaning that the keyboard’s middle is raised, helping your wrists and hands to relax. The dongle connects the board to your computer, keeping your desk nice and tidy since there aren’t any cables. It isn’t the lightest board weighing 2.8 pounds, but it’s still reasonably easy to take with you.
The Microsoft Sculpt is most definitely one of the best ergonomic membrane keyboards we tested. It’s an excellent keyboard for offices and workspaces. Considering the value for money, the cost of the keyboard is nothing. The overall quality is high, and it feels great to type on. You will have to spend some time getting used to the layout of the keys and the board’s angles, but once you do, it’s a genuinely fantastic keyboard.
- Excellent quality.
- Palm rest.
- Very reliable.
- Programmable keys.
- It takes some getting used to.
- A little pricey.
6 Razer Cynosa Chroma Keyboard – Best Value for the Money Membrane Keyboard for Gamers
The last two keyboards that we are testing today are both from Razer, which is known for its high-end gaming gear. The first of the two is the Cynosa Chroma.
Praised by gamers and office workers…
The Cynosa Chroma is one of the top membrane keyboards you can buy. Gamers and office workers alike praise it because of the high quality and low pricing. The board is spill-proof, and the keys are rubber domed. It can feel awkward at first, but it feels great after you get used to it. The Chroma was clearly, like most Razer keyboards, designed for gaming. It works well in offices too, but, to be honest, Razer equals gaming.
It has a few helpful keys like media, recording, LED indicators, etc. You can customize the RGB backlights in 16.8 million ways using the Razer Synapse 3 software.
Comfortable during long gaming sessions…
It doesn’t have any palm rests or wrist pads but has two adjustable feet that raise or lower the keyboard. The keys are quiet but lack the same accurate feedback as a mechanical board. The domed rubber membrane makes it comfortable to use, especially during long sessions. And typing doesn’t require a lot of finger pressure. Anti-ghosting is just one of the many features that come with the Cynosa Chroma.
One great thing about Razer is that they will repair or replace anything if it needs fixing. Sure, you pay a little extra for the name, but they provide outstanding customer service.
What makes it one of the Best Membrane Keyboards?
A tremendous all-around keyboard, even though it’s designed for gaming. You get a high-quality keyboard for a relatively low price. It’s not the most ergonomic of keyboards, but the adjustable feet help make it more comfortable—all in all, an excellent keyboard, especially for gamers.
- Low price.
- Adjustable feet.
- RGB backlit.
- Not the best feedback.
7 Razer Ornata Chroma Keyboard – Best Rated Membrane Keyboard
The second keyboard from Razer is the Ornata Chroma Mecha-membrane. This board has been called the best membrane keyboard on the market. And who are we to disagree? Even though it’s a membrane keyboard, it has the accuracy and feedback of a mechanical board because of the Mecha-membrane technology. This is also one of the reasons it’s so popular with gamers.
Individual key backlights…
The RGB backlighting is also customizable, and since the Razer Chroma powers it, each key can be backlit with a single color. Many gamers like to highlight the keys they use most often and blackout the rest. Just like the Cynosa Chroma, the keys are mid-height and easy to use. But unlike the Cynosa, the Ornata has an ergonomic wrist rest attached by a magnet, making it easy to remove if you want to clean it.
Another reason why it’s so popular with gamers is the 10-key anti-ghosting technology. It costs more than the Cynosa Chroma but delivers so much more.
Probably the best membrane keyboard available. The Mecha-membrane takes this keyboard to new heights. Low finger-pressure and the short keycap are two reasons why we love this keyboard. If you don’t like a keyboard’s mechanical sound but still want the same accuracy and feedback from the keys, then the Ornata Chroma is a keyboard you should buy.
- RGB backlighting.
- Chroma powered.
- High accuracy and feedback.
Best Membrane Keyboards Buyers Guide
At the beginning of this article, we mentioned that a membrane board is an all-in-one piece with pressure pads for each key. And these days, membrane boards are slowly becoming more popular for several reasons.
First, they are often cheaper than mechanical boards. Since there aren’t hundreds of individual pieces like on mechanical boards, it costs less to manufacture them. Despite the low price, membrane boards are an excellent choice, especially if you are on a tight budget, and you can buy some of the budget models for only a few bucks.
What Are Membrane Keyboards good for?
They are generally perfect for typing. Since far less effort is required for each keystroke, you can type faster than on the mechanical keyboards. We aren’t saying that typing on a mechanical keyboard is hard, but it’s far from deliberate. If your work requires fast typing, the membrane Keyboard is better for you and might be just what you need.
The accuracy with which you type is also an essential factor. However, when it comes to accuracy, the mechanical keyboard has a slight edge. Since mechanical keys are usually high-profile, you are less likely to strike the wrong key. But membrane boards are more accurate than the average laptop keyboard since the keys still have some height.
Are They Suitable For Gaming?
Most membrane keyboards are OK for gaming because of the accuracy, which plays a factor here. Mistakes are less common on the mechanical boards, but since membrane keyboards allow you to hit several keys faster, you are more likely to pull off a serious combo.
Like typing quickly, accuracy is something you can learn as well. You can become just as accurate as with a mechanical board. Membrane boards are usually more ergonomic than mechanical keyboards, making longer gaming sessions more comfortable, especially if your keyboard has a wrist or palm rest. And gamers just love the Razer Ornata.
Are They Any Good For Programming?
If you’re a programmer, the membrane keyboard is almost a must. Simply because of the ergonomic benefits. Programmers are more likely to develop Carpal tunnel syndrome since they use their keyboard so much. A programmer also uses the mouse far less than general office workers, making an excellent ergonomic keyboard even more critical. However, one problem for programmers is accuracy.
When writing a document, you can use the grammar and spell checker to correct any minor mistakes, which helps increase your accuracy. But as a programmer, those tools aren’t going to help. A simple spelling mistake or a comma in the wrong place, and your code won’t work at all. You might even find yourself spending hours trying to find the error. So, for programmers, accuracy is one of the most important aspects of a keyboard.
An ergonomic keyboard aims to be both comfortable and easy to use. An ergonomic board helps you avoid developing different injuries such as sore wrists or arthritis. If you already have an injury and still force yourself to work, an ergonomic keyboard is necessary. They will also prevent you from worsening the condition.
Looking For More Excellent Keyboard And Ergonomic Options?
Then check out our Best Quiet Mechanical Keyboard Reviews, our Best Ergonomic Keyboards Reviews, our Best Ergonomic Mouse Reviews, our Best Ergonomic Keyboard Tray Review, our Best Ergonomic Under Desk Footrest Reviews, and our review of the Best Ergonomic Backpacks currently on the market.
And for the gamers out there, check out our Best Gaming Monitor Under 100 Review, our Best Expensive Gaming Keyboards Review, our Best CPU for Gaming Reviews, our Best Gaming Chairs For Big And Tall Men Review, and our review of the Best Gaming Monitors Under 200 dollars you can buy in 2021.
So, What Are The Best Membrane Keyboards?
Your personal keyboard needs will determine which keyboard suits you best. For example, if you work in an office, we would highly recommend the Microsoft Sculpt ergonomic keyboard. It’s an excellent all-around keyboard with great ergonomic benefits.
If you are a gamer, the Razer Ornata is simply unbeatable. Everything about it screams winner. The Ornata is easily one of the best membrane boards on the market. It works well for programmers as well because of the accuracy. However, if you don’t want to spend too much money on a keyboard, the Rii RK100 or the Logitech G213 are both excellent choices. But the overall winner in our test is the…Razer Ornata Chroma Keyboard
It simply has everything most people need for a very good price, making it superb value for the money.