Yes, a mechanical keyboard will upgrade your typing & gaming experience…but are they sometimes a little too loud and clacky? Also yes.
Today I’m sharing my best silent mechanical keyboard option based on what you’ll use it for!
I’ve taken these into coffee shops and NOT gotten dirty looks–so they must be legit 😉
Here are our recommended quiet mechanical keyboards:
BUT ALSO…there are easy modifications you can do for ANY mechanical keyboard to make it quieter!
I’ll share those below, too. 😎
What makes a keyboard silent? (Important Note)
While some keyboards are NATURALLY louder than others, there are several factors that go into keyboard noise:
The mechanical switches underneath the keys. There are 3 broad types of keyboard switches:
- Linear: These are the softest! Nice and smooth.
- Tactile: These are slightly louder and clackier, and have a tactile “bump” when you press the key down
- Clicky: This is the loudest of all! You can also feel a slight “bump,” but this time with a small audible “click” noise.
If you’re looking for quiet mechanical keyboard, find a keyboard with linear switches (Cherry MX reds, Cherry MX Blacks, Gateron Milky Yellows, etc).
Also, they make “silent switches” as well. These are constructed differently and are intentionally even MORE quiet.
Even if your keyboard is uber-loud, there are some simple mods you can do to soften the sound.
|Stabilizers||Metal rods underneath your space bar, shift key, enter key, and backspace key (the large keys that need stabilizing). These make additional noise, but there are some simple modifications you can do to stabilizers (discussed below)|
|Keyboard case||Some keyboards are more hollow, and therefore more resonant (and louder). Others come with some foam lining already inside of the case, muting the sound.|
Foam in the case = softer
Gasket mounted = softer
|Your desk||Yes, even your desk can make your keyboard louder. If you’re looking for a keyboard to use at work, and want to be extra discreet, consider using a desk mat (or extra-large mouse pad). These can easily be found on Amazon, and they’ll reduce the overall noise when typing on your mechanical keyboard.|
We’ll talk about these at the end of this post, but you can check out our full guide to keyboard mods here.
The Best Silent Mechanical Keyboards
Now that you know a bit more about what to look for in a keyboard, and what affects the sound, let’s dive into my personal recommendations based on what you’ll be using it for:
Best Overall: Corsair Strafe RGB MK.2
- CHERRY MX RGB mechanical key switches with gold contacts deliver the ultimate performance and competitive advantage of mechanical keys
- 8MB Onboard profile storage with lighting and hardware macro playback to take your gaming profiles with you
- Per-key RGB backlighting deliver dynamic and vibrant lighting effects with virtually unlimited customization
Corsair has long been a trusted brand for gaming and peripherals–and their keyboards are fantastic, too!
- 100% full-sized keyboard
- Cherry MX Silent switches
- USB-pass through (meaning there are USB ports on the actual keyboard!)
- Dedicated multimedia keys and volume control
- Great RGB
In general, linear switches (including Cherry MX reds, Gateron reds, blacks, yellows, etc) are going to be quite soft–they’re 30% softer, apparently.
And while there aren’t any more specific “silent” features for this keyboard, it’s THE best quiet mechanical keyboard for a reason: FEATURES.
It’s heavy and built like a truck (which almost always means less resonance and a softer, more muted typing experience).
You can also save up to three profiles on this keyboard, and it has a detachable wrist rest!
- It’s a tad more expensive (over $120ish)
- It definitely looks like a gaming keyboard, so it might not be as office-friendly.
If you like the RGB looks and want the numpad, the Strafe RGB Mk.2 is a great choice.
Runner Up: Corsair K68
- Connectivity Technology: Usb 2.0 Type-A
Here’s another great option from Corsair. In fact, these keyboards are almost identical.
They both feature genuine Cherry MX red linear switches (smooth and softer), as well as a few different media keys, etc.
However, the K68 is also dust and spill-resistant (IP32 rated). It also features a slightly different design (but not by much). It does NOT have USB pass-throughs, though, and it seems to be lighter than the MK.2 above.
Best for Office: Durgod K320 and K310
- STURDY – Extra sturdy case with adjustable feet in two positions for a comfortable typing experience. Durable and fade resistant doubleshot PBT keycaps can be changed with the included keypuller.
- CHERRY MX RED SWITCHES - Linear feedback with a smooth feel and a light spring for a fast and light keystroke perfect for gaming. Light actuation force of 45 cN and 4.0 mm of total travel. Rated for...
- FULLY PROGRAMMABLE – Set up macros or rebind keys in the Durgod Zeus Engine Software. Independent profiles and practical features such as Windows key lock and multimedia controls. Full Anti Ghosting...
- Beautiful and perfect for work
- Cherry MX Silent switch options(!)
- Color options
- Not very customizable for mods later on (if you wanted to)
First off, the Durgod keyboards are simply fantastic for ANYBODY, office or home, gaming or typing, loud or soft.
They’re well-built, have LOADS of switch options to choose from, and even have different colors to choose from right off Amazon!
But it also looks like an office computer (specifically in the Space grey color).
AND not only can you grab the softer Cherry Red switches, but they also offer Cherry Silent Reds for a few bucks more.
The “silent” mechanical switches are made a bit differently, with a different “stem” design that actually absorbs more sound. These are going to be your best bet for an ultra-quiet typing experience on a mechanical keyboard. Period.
Life doesn’t get softer than silent switches on a Durgod.
The K320 is an 80% layout (meaning no numpad), while the K310 is a full-size with the numpad. I personally prefer the smaller 80% layout to save desk space, but if you need a numpad, go with the K310.
Runner Up: Das Keyboard 4 Professional
- 4 PROFESSIONAL MECHANICAL KEYBOARD - The thinnest mechanical keyboard in the world! The combination of tactile feel, the psycho-acoustic experience and incredible craftsmanship all deliver an...
- PREMIUM SOFT TACTILE EXPERIENCE - Best-in-class Cherry MX Brown mechanical key switches provide tactile and audio feedback so accurate it allows you to execute every keystroke with lightning-fast...
- UP TO 50 MILLION KEYSTROKES - Laser-etched keycaps for maximum durability are paired with Cherry MX Brown switches, giving your new mechanical keyboard life up to 50 million keystrokes....
- All black design for office or play
- Cool volume knob and media controls
- More Cherry MX switch options
- 2-port USB 3.0 hub
- Aluminum top
- Don’t offer linear switch options
- A bit bulky
The Das Keyboard 4 is another great keyboard with great features, but it’s not quite as silent (or office-friendly) as the Durgod keyboards.
We recommend grabbing the Cherry MX brown (which they call a “soft tactile” switch) version–as that’s going to be less noisy than the clicky blue option.
They also have Mac-specific keycap versions (and even some blank keycap versions).
Best Budget: iKBC CD108 (and smaller CD87)
- ▼ Mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX Brown Switches (Tactile, Light-Clicky): A lighter mechanical switch with subtle tactile and audible feedback. A good blend of typing and gaming, the switches are...
- ▼ CD108 v2 - Upgraded Version with Mistel Doubleshot Keycaps: MISTEL OEM PBT DOUBLE SHOT KEYCAP is created using Special two-shot molding process, ensuring more durability, more stability and...
- ▼ iKBC CD108 v2 Mechanical Keyboard Design: The case is very simplistic and streamlined and the ergonomic wide PBT keycap shapes are designed to provide a comfortable typing experience even during...
- Cherry MX Silent switch options!
- Great price point
- Double shot PBT keycaps
- Basically no fancier features
It’s not wireless or hot-swappable. There aren’t a ton of fancier media controls or volume knobs or USB pass-through ports…
But it’s budget-friendly and quiet.
The iKBC CD108 is the full-sized version with 108 keys, and the smaller tenkeyless version is the iKBC CD87.
Looks simple, sounds simple, feels great.
Budget quiet keyboard runner-up: Tecware Phantom 87
- RGB BACKLIGHTING - Enhance your gaming experience with 18 pre-set configurations on the mechanical keyboard, or create a unique one to match your setup
- OUTEMU SWITCHES - The gaming mechanical keyboard comes with Outemu mechanical switches for precise gaming and comfortable typing. Spare switches + keycap & switch remover tools are provided for easy...
- FIBERGLASS PCB - Built with SMD LEDs and FR-4 fiberglass printed circuit board, this Tecware mechanical keyboard is able to withstand extended periods of intensive and hardcore gaming sessions
I wrote up an entire review of the Tecware Phantom 87 (and 108) here, but it’s another REALLY cheap mechanical keyboard.
No, they don’t offer MX silent switches, but they do offer Outemu Red Switch options, which are still really quiet.
Check out my review YouTube video if you’d like to hear this one in action:
Best Topre Option: Realforce R2
- Topre capacitive switches provide best-in-class precision and efficiency, requiring only a gentle press to register a keystroke
- Full N-key roll over (NKRO) - Type as fast as you can! Topre real Force keyboards can keep up with any number of keystrokes and ensure you're always in control
- Contoured frame and key settings allow for smooth movement across keys, reducing hand and finger fatigue.
- Has topre capacitive switches
- Everything else
I’ll be really frank, I’ve never typed on the Realforce, and therefore can’t recommend it (I can’t bring myself to pay $250+ for a mechanical keyboard that ISN’T that customizable or have nice features.
The only real draw here are the topre switches (and rubber-dome elecro-capacitive switch that requires only a gentle keypress in order to activate).
You can type on these things quite soft–but they’re WAY more expensive.
You can also look into a Niz Plum keyboard, but they’re hard to find and also expensive.
Some keyboard hobbyists SWEAR by topre switches, but I’m more of a mechanical switch fan (and you can also get QUIET mechanical switches, so why not?).
Best for Gaming: SteelSeries Apex Pro
- OmniPoint adjustable switches allow for customization of actuation distance from 0.4 millimeter to 3.6 millimeter
- OLED smart display: An integrated command center for adjusting settings and tracking on the fly info straight from your game, Spotify, Discord, and more
- Aircraft grade aluminum alloy built for a lifetime of durability and stability
- a OLED smart display ON the keyboard
- adjustable actuation switches
- Great switch options
- Detachable (magnetic) wrist rest
- A tad pricey ($150ish)
- Hard to find!
There are lots of great SteelSeries mechanical keyboards, and while they’re mostly targeting gamers, anybody can enjoy these.
(Apex 3, Apex 7, Apex 570–all of these are worth searching for and are quite similar).
The Apex Pro has just a few extra features that gamers will love–mostly the volume and media control AND a OLED smart screen that can show Discord notifications and more!
That’s super cool.
And to make it quiet?
They offer a few switch options on the Apex Pro:
- Red (the standard linear that’s still soft)
- “Whisper Quiet,” a silent switch
- An “Omnipoint” adjustable switch
The Omnipoint switches allow you to adjust the distance required to activate the switch (from 0.4 mm to 3.6mm), and while this mostly affects speed, it can affect sound as well.
Best Compact: Ducky One 2
- It is designed and engineered in a way to provide the durability and typing experience.
- 60% compact layout
- One of the most popular mechanical keyboards, period
- LOTS of switch options
- 60% layout isn’t for everybody
The Ducky One 2 is a 60% compact mechanical keyboard that is smaller in size than a full-sized 100% keyboard.
These do not have…
- A function row
- Arrow keys
- A numpad
- A “home cluster” (delete, home, end, page up, etc)
As a result, 60% of keyboards are more streamlined and easier to transport. (ALSO, these keys ARE accessible, usually typed via a Function key shortcut, etc).
Ducky’s keyboards are all well-built and loved by the mechanical keyboard community (I’ve always like the simple design and shape of the case).
And switch options?
- Cherry Reds
- Cherry SILENT reds
- Kailh Box switches
- Gateron Yellows
- way more
You can head to YouTube and see PLENTY of examples of the Ducky One 2 in action, and make a switch decision too!
RELATED POST: The 10 Best 60% Keyboards (For 2022)
Runner Up: Ducky MIYA Pro
- Varmilo x MK x Ducky limited edition MIYA Pro collaboration
- Supports Bluetooth connectivity on up to 3 devices
- USB-C Cable and Interface
And if you really wanna step up your game, the Ducky MIYA pro is a premium pick with even more options (and some amazing colors)!
It’s also slightly bigger, as it has dedicated arrow keys, the number row, and four “home cluster” buttons. This is generally regarded as a 65% size keyboard, and it’s my personal preference.
Best for Mac (and Best Wireless): Keychron K6
- A innovative 65% (68-key) compact RGB backlight compact Bluetooth mechanical keyboard. Aluminum frame.
- Connects with up to 3 devices via Bluetooth and switch among them easily. With high reliable and broad compatibility Broadcom Bluetooth chipset, the K6 is best to fit home, office and light gaming use...
- Our meticulously designed layout has differentiate the K6 to other compact keyboards by doing the job right. The K6 is compact while offering convenient accessibility to all the essential multimedia...
- Gateron G Pro Red switches available
- Hot-swap versions available for a few bucks more(!)
- Probably not the quietest keyboard on this list
As a long-time Mac user, I’m a HUGE fan of Keychron keyboards! (I own the K2, K6, K7, and K12 lol).
Windows though? No problem. There’s a physical toggle on the back of the keyboard that lets you easily switch between Mac and Windows (and also wired and wireless).
The Keychron K6 is the 65% layout, which is my favorite, but they have several other sizes too.
Just make sure to get the Gateron Pro Red switches, as the browns or blues are going to be noisier.
(and in general, I’ve noticed that the Keychron keyboards are a tad bit more resonant. It’s not a massive difference, but it’s there).
And if you want to easily try out different switches going forward, you can also grab a hot-swap version of the Keychrons! (it makes swapping out switches super fast and easy).
Best Ergonomic: Kinesis Freestyle Pro Quiet
- AWARD-WINNING SPLIT DESIGN: Advanced ergonomics for all body types and preferences via adjustable split, splay, and tent (tenting accessories sold separately). New cable storage compartment supports...
- GENUINE CHERRY MECHANICAL SWITCHES FOR PREMIUM TYPING FEEL AND PERFORMANCE WITH LESS NOISE: Cherry MX "Silent" red mechanical switches feature a low activation force, linear feel and are rated for 50M...
- FULL ONBOARD PROGRAMMABILITY WITH THE DRIVERLESS SMARTSET ENGINE: 9 custom layouts, 8 office hotkeys, on-the-fly macro recording, one-touch key remapping, pre-configured Mac and Dvorak layouts,...
- Split keyboard design for better ergonomics
- A decent price for that type of keyboard
- Silent Cherry switch options
- Still expensive
- Split ergonomics isn’t for everybody.
Out of all the “split” keyboards you can find, $150-180 is actually on the cheaper side.
And the Kinesis Freestyle is one of the more popular ergonomic mechs out there–complete with Cherry MX Silent switch options!
It’s completely programmable, has different user profiles, and even a 2 year manufacturer’s warranty (this isn’t normal for mechanical keyboards). So if something happens in 2 years, send it back!
Silent Mechanical Keyboard notable mentions:
While these don’t make my personally recommend keyboards, they’re still great and CAN be quiet enough (depends on the switches you put in, etc). They’re worth checking out!
Yes, it’s the same “Cherry” brand that makes Cherry switches! This is the full-sized G80.
These Cherry keyboards definitely have an old-school look, but I kinda like it. And did I mention that they come with different switch options, including Cherry Silent Blacks?
That thing will definitely be silent.
I wanted to recommend the EP84 for a few reasons.
- It’s an extremely popular keyboard in general. Sounds great feels great.
- Color options
- Several linear switch options.
You can pick this up with Gateron Reds, Blacks, or Yellows (all softer linear switches). Handy!
If you’re looking for a solid 80% TKL layout with a SIMPLE design (super minimal black), that offers Cherry MX Silent switch options, the Majestouch 2 is a great buy.
It’s a tad pricey ($130ish), but that old-school black boxy design looks slick.
Silent Keyboard Buying Guide
Here are some of the top factors you want to consider when shopping around for a quiet keyboard:
|Switches||“Silent” switches will be best, but otherwise, just stick to linear switches. They’re smoother and generally less noisy.|
|Cost||Obviously, the more you pay, the better the build quality, materials, etc. Try to get a decent keyboard instead of a cheap one–but there are great keyboards under $100!|
|Layout/Size||Do you need your number keys? Then you probably want a full-size keyboard. If you don’t mind missing the numpad, then go for a TKL (tenkeyless) or smaller layout. (60% compacts are easy to find, as are 80% and 75% TKLs.)|
|Wireless/Wired||Personally, I don’t mind having cords (and you can even purchase pretty colored cables!). But you prefer wireless, check the keyboard for Bluetooth, etc.|
|Design – will it work, at your work?||If you plan on using your keyboard in your office, does it fit the design of your office? I.e. more subdued black or grey? Or can you hype all your coworkers with your RGB backlighting?|
|Comfort and ergonomics||If you suffer from wrist pain, you might want an ergonomic design. OR at least a low-profile mechanical keyboard (such as the Keychron K7 or Logitech G915).|
How to Make Your Keyboard Quieter:
You may have gathered this already, but there are SEVERAL factors that go into keyboard noise–and there are a few simple mods/hacks you can do to make your keyboard quieter.
1 – Swap to linear switches
There’s no tactile bump or click in linear switches, making them naturally softer.
My all-time favorite linear switches are:
2 – Swap to “silent” switches
Like the Cherry MX silent switches, these usually have an additional “dampener” attached to the switch stem–specifically to make it as quiet as possible!
3 – Pick up a desk mat
You can find plenty of cool desk mats (and extra large mouse pads) on Amazon for cheap, and they will actually make a HUGE difference in the overall sound of your mechanical keyboard!
They dampen everything (and they look cool to boot). Choose from simple colors or cool designs, felt or leather, etc, etc.
4 – Add some foam inside your case
This mod is more advanced, and we have an entire guide to foam modding your keyboard here.
But even some cheap foam can reduce the resonance of your keyboard, making it softer.
Here’s the basic process:
- Take your keyboard apart (carefully)
- Pick up your foam of choice (We like neoprene)
- Cut out the foam in the shape of your keyboard case (the bottom, below the PCB)
- Reassemble the keyboard and test that everything still works.
5 – Add some O-rings under your keycaps
Pick up some cheap o-rings on Amazon, and simply put them underneath the keycaps of your keyboard.
They make these in a few different colors (but you won’t really see them anyways–we recommend grabbing clear ones so any RGB backlighting will shine through to the fullest).
These will mute each keystroke right at the top of the stroke!
6 – Mod your stabilizers
This one is DEFINITELY more advanced.
Stabilizers reduce the wobble of the bigger keyboard keys (space bar, enter key, backspace key, etc), and they can often ADD to the volume (or make those keys sound scratchy or metallic).
There are several mods you can do to these:
- Lube your stabilizers
- Place a small piece of fabric (band-aids!) underneath them to mute their contact with the PCB
- Clip your stabilizers
But seriously, here’s the easiest way to silence your mechanical keyboard:
- Use linear switches (reds, blacks, or yellows)
- Use a desk mat underneath your keyboard
- Install cheap O-rings
That will get you 90% of the way to a REALLY quiet keyboard!
Final Verdict: Our Fave Quiet Keyboard:
Yes, ANY keyboard can be made quieter (with a few simple mods), but there are definitely some that come softer out of the box:
Happy clacking (but not TOO much clacking, obviously)
Silent Keyboard F.A.Q.s
Are there silent mechanical keyboards?
Yes. There are a number of keyboards that are quieter in nature (due to increased padding or other modifications). Also, mechanical keyboards with linear “silent” switches are especially quiet.
What is the quietest mechanical gaming keyboard?
Really, any mechanical keyboard with linear switches is going to be on the softer side (as opposed to tactile switches or clicky switches), but our top 3 quiet keyboards are the Corsair Strafe RGB MK.2, the Das Keyboard 4, SteelSeries Apex Pro. All of these keyboards come with Cherry MX Red switches (but have other silent switch options as well).