The 15 Best Keycaps for Your Keyboard (for Every Budget)

best keycaps

Swapping your keycaps is probably the fastest and easiest way to get your keyboard looking sexy and sleek.

But choose the wrong keycaps–and you’ll find them warping, fading, or even causing wrist pain.

As a long-time mechanical keyboard nerd, I’ve put together a list of the best keycaps you can find in 2022–that are both affordable (mostly) and of the highest quality.

(and keep reading after the list to learn way more about keycaps 👍)

Let’s clack.

Keycap Buying Guide: What to Look For

As you go through the list of keycaps, you’ll want to pay attention to a few things:

Design

Obviously, you’ll want to get keycaps based on how they look! Aside from how they feel (see below), keycaps are 99% about design!

Material

99% of the keycaps you’ll see are one of two materials:

  • ABS Plastic – Lighter, feels very smooth, gets shiny with age
  • PBT Plastic – Feels textured, matte finish that ages well

Which one you buy should come down to preference! Personally, I LIKE the aged shiny look of ABS plastic.

RGB Shine-Through

Most keycaps will at least let some RGB backlighting shine through from the keyboard PCB, but some more than others.

If you see “Double-shot PBT” mentioned, these keycaps are made from two separate pieces of plastic (injection molded together). This allows RGB light to shine through the transparent keycap legends (letters on top of the keycaps, for example).

Pudding keycaps” are keycaps with a solid color on top, but with semi-transparent sides that let a LOT of RGB backlight through. It all comes down to personal preference!

Keycap Profile

Keycap “profiles” refer to different shapes & sizes, including flat, curved, sculpted, or uniform, etc. Keycap heights range from very short (like a laptop keyboard) to very tall.

some different keycap profiles

Profiles make a huge difference in how your keyboard will feel (and can even lead to a bad experience, i.e. purchasing tall keycaps that end up hurting your fingers or wrist).

Keyboard Compatibility

ANSI or ISO? Double-check your keyboard to make sure you’re buying keycaps for the correct layout!

(Different keyboards have different-sized space bars, shift keys, etc!)

Cost

You can pick up cheap PBT keycaps on Amazon these days, and they’re great! But some brands (*cough GMK) like to charge $150+ for a set of keycaps. You should set a budget and stick to it.

The Best Keycaps List:

These aren’t in a certain order! 

Just browse through and find some that you think look cool. 😎

Akko Black on White

Akko Black and White Keycaps (Bow),195-Key SAL Profile ABS Double Shot White Keycap Set with Mac Keys for...
  • WHITE & BLACK THEMED CUSTOM KEYCAPS – Black-on-White is a classic color combination that offers simplicity and optimal readability of text.
  • ULTIMATE CUSTOMIZATION FLEXIBILITY – Comes with Akko SAL profile, the 195-key keycap set with Mac keycaps, ISO enter, cute animal keycaps, as well as a range of keycaps for different layouts is...
CostMaterialProfileLink to buy
$$PBT DoubleshotSALAmazon

The “black on white” and “white on black” designs are classy & clean!

Akko is EASILY one of my favorite mechanical keyboard brands, and these PBT keycaps are FANTASTIC for the price.

TKL keyboard
I have the opposite, Akko White on Black!

POM Jelly (Rainbow or White or Pink)

CostMaterialProfileLink to buy
$$$ (60-90 USD)POMOEMAmazon or on Escape Keyboard

These keycaps are one of the rare NON-ABS or PBT plastic, they’re a POM material!

They’re sturdy and have a fun “soft marshmallow” look. They feel great too, even if they’re a bit pricey. I have the POM Jelly is rainbow!

pom jelly keycaps
my POM jelly keycaps! They’re fun 😉

Akko Macaw

Akko Macaw 199-Key ASA Profile Double-Shot PBT Keycap Set for Mechanical Keyboards with Collection Box
  • MACAW THEME – Akko now renders the color scheme of neotropical parrots with the brand new double shot keycaps, and overcomes the challenge to pigment the letters directly from raw material. This...
  • ULTIMATE CUSTOMIZATION FLEXIBILITY – Comes with Akko ASA profile, the 199-key keycap set is suitable for a variety of layouts including but not limited to 61-key(60%), 68-key (65%), 84-key (75%),...
CostMaterialProfileLink to buy
$$PBT DoubleshotASA (unique to Akko)Amazon

A few keycap sets from Akko will make my list here–because they’re AMAZING.

The Akko Macaw are one of my favorite looks, and I also love Akko’s proprietary ASA profile. They’re sculpted (read: more rounded), but not nearly as tall as traditional SA keycaps. More friendly on your fingers!

Domikey SA keycaps

CostMaterialProfileLink to buy
$$$$ABS or PBT depending on which you getSAAmazon

Domikey keycaps are some of the most popular with the SA profile. They’re rounded and tall!

Check out the Domikey SA

  • Gas Attack
  • Astronaut
  • Cyberpunk
  • Miami Nights

Also note that most of Domikey’s keycaps are ABS plastic, so they’ll get shinier with use.

Here’s my Gas Attacks 👇

I have the purple Domikey Gas Attacks and love them

Artifact Bloom Keycaps

DROP Artifact Bloom Series Keycap Set - Compatible with Full-Size, Tenkeyless, Compact 1800, HHKB, 75%, 67%, and...
  • RETROFUTURISM AT ITS FINEST: New from Artifact, the Futures keycap set takes cues from the past to paint a picture of what’s to come. Part of the new Bloom Series, this retro-futuristic set infuses...
  • DURABLE PBT MATERIAL: Made from durable PBT material, these caps are outfitted with dye-sublimated legends, which are non-textured and highly resistant to wear.
CostMaterialProfileLink to buy
$$Dye-sub PBTCherryAmazon

There are a few different designs of the DROP Artifact bloom series, all of which are amazing.

Pro Tip: What are Dye-sub keycaps?

Unlike Doubleshot PBT, where two molds are put together, “dye sub” keycaps use one mold (usually PBT plastic), and “print” on the designs using high heat! This allows for fancier designs sometimes, but they don’t have transparent keycap legends for RGB to shine through.

The Artifact Bloom keycaps are fantastic in general, but ESPECIALLY when you consider that they usually cost less than $50-60. That’s a steal.

YMDK Carbon

YMDK Double Shot 108 Dyed PBT Shine Through OEM Profile Rainbow Carbon Sunset Keycap for MX Switches Mechanical...
  • Package Information:1x 108 OEM Keycap Keyset (A extra win presented)
  • Only keycaps in package,no mechanical keyboard included.This keycap is better for north leds,south facing led can choose another side lit keycaps in our store
CostMaterialProfileLink to buy
$PBT DoubleshotOEMAmazon

It’s time to look at some more budget-friendly keycaps, starting with the YMDK brand on Amazon.

They have a few styles to choose from (see below), but they’re cheap and still high quality!

You’ll definitely need to check your keyboard layout for compatibility though, these budget keycaps don’t come with tons of extra keys in various sizes (i.e. they’re not compatible with some keyboard sizes or layouts).

Click here to view our guide on keyboard sizes.

YMDK Botanical

YMDK Double Shot 108 Dyed PBT Shine Through OEM Profile Rainbow Carbon Sunset Keycap for MX Switches Mechanical...
  • Package Information:1x 108 OEM Keycap Keyset (A extra win presented)
  • Only keycaps in package,no mechanical keyboard included.This keycap is better for north leds,south facing led can choose another side lit keycaps in our store
CostMaterialProfileLink to buy
$PBT DoubleshotOEMAmazon

You’ll see a lot of keycaps nicknamed “botanical,” which usually means a nice green + off-white hue.

The YMDK botanicals are easily the cheapest, and they look great! Again, check your layout for compatibility first.

YMDK DSA profile keycaps

YMDK DSA Profile 9009 Dye Sub 61 64 68 ANSI Keycap Thick PBT Keycap Set for MX Mechanical Keyboard GH60 XD64 GK64...
  • Package included: 75 key keyset which is specially used for Standard 61 64 68 GK64 YD64 Tada68
  • The keycap is made of PBT material,the thickness is around 1.35mm
CostMaterialProfileLink to buy
$PBT DoubleshotDSAAmazon

Here’s another budget-friendly set with a different keycap profile.

DSA keycaps are uniform, not sculpted, which means that each row of keys will roughly be the same height. It’s also fairly low-profile.

keycap profiles

HyperX Pudding Keycaps

On Sale
HyperX Pudding Keycaps - Double Shot PBT Keycap Set with Translucent Layer, for Mechanical Keyboards, Full 104 Key...
  • Translucent design: The dual-layer design of these keycaps is designed to let more light through, making your keyboard’s RGB lighting even more stunning.
  • Durable double shot PBT material: These PBT keycaps are made with thick walls and are resistant to wear, friction, and solvents.
CostMaterialProfileLink to buy
$PBT DoubleshotOEMAmazon

Pudding keycaps feature a solid plastic TOP, but a transparent middle layer that lets soft RGB light shine through!

HyperX pudding keycaps are widely available (you can even find them in Wal-Mart sometimes, and definitely in Best Buy), and they’re super affordable.

You can grab the HyperX pudding keycaps in either black, white, or pink!

Keebmonkey Transparent MDA keycaps

keebmonkey mda transparent keycaps
I have the transparent MDA keycaps and LOVE THEM
CostMaterialProfileLink to buy
$Polycarbonate (PC)MDAKeebMonkey’s website

The KeebMonkey keycaps were released in the fall of 2022, and are really different!

The polycarbonate material feels great, although they tend to show fingerprints (but it’s really easy to wipe off).

And I love the transparent design (I prefer to keep RGB off so I can see my switches underneath!), and the MDA profile is a nice “medium height” feel.

Ducky Rubber Keycaps (partial set)

Ducky Keycaps 31 Set of Rubber Double Shot Backlit for Ducky Keyboards or MX Compatible - 31 Keycap Set - Blue
  • 【Official】 Ducky Rubberized DoubleShot Diamond Textured 31 Set Keycaps
  • 【Compatibility】Ducky rubberized double-shot keycaps are compatible with all Ducky Keyboards and Cherry MX Switch Type mechanical keyboards.
CostMaterialProfileLink to buy
$$RubberNot sure, probably Cherry or OEMAmazon

Ducky is a well-known brand in the mechanical keyboard space, and they have great keycaps as well.

Note: This is not a full set of keycaps! The rubber keycaps are supposed to compliment your normal keycaps, only on certain keys (you can choose as many or as few as you like).

Also, these may be some kind of rubber–but there may be some issues with durability and longevity (at least according to Amazon reviews).

Still, it’s a cool idea.

Ducky SA Cotton Candy

On Sale
Ducky Cotton Candy SA Keycaps 108 ABS Doubleshot Set for Ducky Keyboards or MX Compatible Standard Layout - 108 SA...
  • 【Official】 Ducky Cotton Candy SA Profile Seamless Doubleshot Keycaps -108 Set SA Profile Keycaps
  • 【Compatibility】Ducky ABS Seamless double-shot keycaps are compatible with all Ducky Keyboards and MX Switch Type standard mechanical keyboards layout.
CostMaterialProfileLink to buy
$$ABS DoubleshotSAAmazon

Similar to the Domikey keycaps above, these have the tall-and-sculpted SA profile, as well as the awesome ABS plastic.

And the cotton candy design certainly isn’t for everybody, but they also make some similar designs like the Azure and Afterglow (like a sunset)!

Drop + GMK Redsuns

On Sale
Drop + Redsuns GMK Red Samurai Keycap Set for Tenkeyless Keyboards - Compatible with Cherry MX Switches and Clones...
  • Fierce keycaps with an edge — Strap on some armor, unsheath your katana, and prepare to defend your desktop: GMK Red Samurai, the first keycap set from designer RedSuns, features a striking colorway...
  • Thick & compatible doubleshot ABS — Made in Germany using custom Cherry tooling, this GMK Red Samurai kit's keycaps are made from 1. 5-millimeter-thick doubleshot ABS for longevity and strength
CostMaterialProfileLink to buy
$$$ABS DoubleshotCherryAmazon

GMK is probably the most famous “premium” keycap brand.

Their keycaps are always well-made, but most of their design releases are “limited release,” hence the huge price tag (GMK keycaps can be $150+).

That said, the GMK Redsuns are almost always available and a bit cheaper (at least for GMKs)!

And, you can also select different sets based on different layouts, which is cool! Saves a few bucks if you have a smaller TKL keyboard.

Drop Godspeed

On Sale
Drop + MiTo GMK Godspeed Custom Keycap Set - Doubleshot Cherry Profile - Compatible with Cherry-MX Style Stems &...
  • GERMAN CRAFTSMANSHIP MEETS AMERICAN ACHIEVEMENT: Inspired by the iconic colorway on the original Apollo 11 Lunar Module Cockpit, the Godspeed custom keycap set is a true favorite of the mech keys...
  • CHERRY PROFILE: Experience this NASA-inspired color combination in GMK's legendary Cherry profile, one of the most sought-after profiles ever.
CostMaterialProfileLink to buy
$$$$ABS DoubleshotCherryAmazon

Here’s another GMK set that’s readily available (not limited run group buy).

Some GMK keycap sets (including this one) will routinely go on sale on Amazon, so I recommend saving it to one of your lists to monitor price changes! It will often go down to well under $100.

Matcha Keycaps (offbrand)

On Sale
Matcha keycaps PBT 124 Keys XDA Profile Dye Sublimation ANSI Layout Set Japanese keycaps for Gateron Kailh Cherry...
  • 【excellent to touch】High-quality PBT material, excellent hand feeling, not shiny after long-term use. XDA profile makes the finger contact area wider and more tactile.
  • 【Matcha keycaps】Matcha green gives people a natural feel. People love cakes and desserts. The whole design is very beautiful and elegant, dress up your keyboard.
CostMaterialProfileLink to buy
$PBT Dye subXDAAmazon

“Matcha” keycaps are generally have a color scheme like matcha tea, and many brands release a design like this, but I like this budget-friendly option.

For one, their cheap. For two, the XDA keycap profile is surprinsgly rare, but feels great to type on (it’s a uniform profile).

xda keycap profile

What Are Keycap “Group Buys?”

In the mechanical keyboard world, “group buys” basically just means “pre-order.”

Before keycap brands actually manufacture a new design, they’ll often make some digital mock-ups for an “interest check.” If that goes well, they will take pre-orders in the “group buy,” and the keycaps then get manufactured and delivered (sometimes it takes months or even years though)!

Personally, I hate group buys and don’t buy into them.

Why Get a New Keycap Set?

First, it’s fun!

I love trying to optimize the design of a new keyboard–searching around for the best keycaps that’ll match the case, etc.

Mechanical keyboards are all about style.

Second, if you suffer from carpal tunnel, wrist pain, or finger pain when typing or gaming–a new keycap set could be much more comfortable.

You’ll want to research keycap profiles (see below) and find a shape/height that might alleviate your pain.

What is the Best Keycap Material?

There’s no correct answer, as it depends on the look and feel that you’re going for!

Here are the materials you’ll see most often:

ABS PlasticThese are usually cheaper. They’re thinner plastic that’s smooth and can wear “shiny” with more use.
PBT PlasticMore expensive, but more durable and won’t change over time. They’re thicker and feel “textured” and with a matte finish.
Polycarbonate (PC):PC is used a lot in mechanical keyboards (from cases to switches to keycaps). Most transparent or translucent keycaps are likely made from PC!

My recommendation: Don’t make a purchasing decision based on materials! 99% of keycaps are either ABS or PBT, both of which will last a long time. (But if it’s ABS plastic, do a Google search to see how “shiny” they’ll look in the future).

Choosing the Right Keycap Profile

4 different escape keys

Keycap profiles are a VERY important part of buying keycaps.

Here’s a breakdown of the most common keycap profiles:

Keycap ProfileHeightShapeTop of KeycapNotes
OEMMedium: 10mm-12mmSlightly sculptedCylindricalCommon on many keyboards. The center rows of keys are 10mm, the edges are 12mm
CherryMedium: 10 mmSlightly sculptedCylindricalAlso very popular. These are probably the most “normal” profiles
SATall: 16.5mmHeavily sculptedSlightly sphericalThey’re huge! And awesome. I own some Domikey SA keycaps and love them.
XDAMedium: 9mmUniformSphericalSimilar to DSA, but taller and have larger keytop typing area
DSAShort: 7.6mmUniformSphericalSimilar to XDA, but much shorter

My recommendation: Unless you have huge hands or use a wrist rest, avoid SA profile keycaps. They’re really tall!

Stick to either OEM or Cherry profile (the two most common ones you’ll see). They’re a great height and should be comfortable for anybody.

If you suffer from wrist pain, you might consider searching for low-profile keycaps (or a low-profile keyboard)!

Click here to learn everything there is to know about keycap profiles!

What are Artisan Keycaps?

“Artisan” keycaps are individual keycaps (not a full set) that are fancier, or even hand-made!

You can find thousands of different designs, from Star Wars keycaps to my vintage Mac computer keycap.

They are expensive but fun.

My recommendation: Try searching Etsy for artisan keycaps, and if you find one you really like, go for it! It might cost $15-50, but would be worth it for THE perfect keycap.

Keycap F.A.Q.s

What are pudding keycaps?

Pudding keycaps are mechanical keyboard keycaps that feature a solid-color top (where your finger touches), but a semi-transparent side that lets RGB backlighting shine through more. The translucent sides diffuse the backlighting, leading to a bright “glow” effect for your RGB light.

What are Doubleshot Keycaps?

Doubleshot keycaps are made from two separate pieces of plastic that are injection molded (stuck together) to create the keycap. This process makes the keycap legend transparent so that RGB backlighting can shine through. Doubleshot keycaps can be either ABS or PBT plastic, but PBT plastic is far more common.

Can any keycaps fit any keyboard?

No. You will need to check compatibility with your switch stems (Cherry MX style is the standard), as well as your keyboard layout (ANSI vs ISO, etc) to make sure that your keycaps will be compatible. Different keyboard layouts have different-sized keys (like the space bar, shift keyboard, etc).

Can you replace keyboard keycaps?

This depends on your keyboard. If you’re using a mechanical keyboard, then yes. There are thousands of different keycaps to purchase! If you’re using a “normal” keyboard (membrane keyboards, Apple magic keyboard, etc), you will need to check with your specific manufacturer. Maybe keycaps can be pulled off and replaced, but it might void the warranty or even damage your keyboard.

How do I choose good keycaps?

When replacing keycaps for your mechanical keyboard, you’ll want to consider design, cost, materials (PBT or ABS plastic), RGB shine-through, as well as keycap profiles (keycaps come in various heights and shapes, some which could be uncomfortable to your hands). You’ll also want to make sure your keycaps are compatible with your specific keyboard layout!

What keycaps are best for typing?

Cherry or OEM profiles are probably the best profiles for typing. These are on the short-to-medium end of the keycap height spectrum, and might make it easier for your fingers to move between keys, improving efficiency. You might also consider the materials: ABS plastic will feel smoother but fade over time, while PBT plastic is more durable but feels more textured. 

What keycaps are best for gaming?

Just about all keycaps will work great for gaming, so you should choose keycaps based on design, and perhaps the height of the keycap profile. If you suffer from wrist pain, you should choose a small keycap such as OEM or Cherry. If you play games where the left side of your keyboard sees more action than the right side, you might consider getting PBT plastic keycaps, to avoid the left side keycaps wearing out and getting “shiny,” which can happen with ABS plastic keycaps.

Why are keycaps so expensive?

First, the design, tooling, and manufacturing process for keycaps does cost more than you might think. Second, many of the more premium keycap sets are limited designs that might not be available in the future, and will naturally cost more.

Are GMK keycaps worth it?

GMK is a popular premium brand of mechanical keyboard keycaps, and their keycap sets often run $150 or more. These keycaps are not better from a technical standpoint; they’re generally the same materials, profiles, and layouts as other, cheaper sets. However, the designs are often one-time productions and are only available for a limited time. If you want those keycap sets, you’ll need to pay the premium price!

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