If you look at your wrists and fingers on your keyboard right now, chances are your wrists are lifted, fingers flexed a little bit and all sorts of muscles in your hands are engaged. As you type, your carpals and metacarpals, the bones in your hands and fingers, make micro-movements as your brain triggers actions based on desired outcomes on your screen. After a long day at your desk job or a few hours of intense gaming, your hands, wrists and even elbows and shoulders may start to feel fatigued — decreasing your capabilities and causing pain.
How can you avoid this? Having the right equipment is key. Companies make all sorts of gadgets and electronics designed to help you ease muscle soreness and work more comfortably. One of those appliances is an ergonomic keyboard. “Ergonomic” means designed with human bodies in mind to maximize efficiency and comfort. Most of the time, ergonomic devices are shaped a little differently, more supportive, softer and more streamlined. Ergonomic keyboards are split in half to conform naturally to hand, wrist and arm movements and despite looking a little strange work quite well.
Here are our favorite ergonomic keyboards available right now.
1. Perixx Periboard Ergonomic Split Keyboard
This ergonomic split keyboard from Perixx conforms naturally to your hands and has integrated palm rests designed to support your wrists.
It has tactile keystroke designed to reduce pressure when typing and make pressing the keys more comfortable.
It’s a plug-and-play keyboard and works seamlessly with a USB interface with Windows 7, 8, or 10.
Pros: Split key 3-D design, conforms naturally to your hands, works on variety of Windows interfaces.
Cons: Keyboard does not integrate with Mac operating systems.
2. Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard
The Microsoft Sculpt ergonomic keyboard reduces pain and strain on your joints through positioning your wrists and forearms in a naturally relaxed position.
The cushioned palm rest provides support through putting hands at a neutral position and the natural arc layout mimics the natural shape of your finger tips.
It’s got the classic split-key design that relaxes your hands, wrists and forearms and the separate number pad gives you more flexibility in how you set up your workspace.
Pros: Domed keyboard, supportive wrist pads, split key design relaxes hands, wrists and forearms.
Cons: Rubber wrist pad is easily stained by naturally occurring oils in your hands.
3. Logitech K3350 Wireless Wave Keyboard
This Wireless Wave Keyboard from Logitech guides your hands into the optimal neutral position for ease and muscle relaxation.
It’s got a cushion for your palms that makes work easier on your joints, and this design gives you up to three years of battery life.
It’s got a Logitech Unifying receiver that stays in the machine so you can move it from device to device easily and pair it with your favorite wireless mice.
Pros: Three years of battery life, Constant Curve layout for optimal hand and wrist comfort, easily pairs with other wireless devices.
Cons: Keys can stick after a while and it can become a bit noisy.
4. Kinesis Freestyle2 Ergonomic Keyboard for PC
This Kinesis Freestyle2 keyboard is totally split down the middle, a design they’re known for. This allows you to rotate the keys up to 9” and achieve your version of optimal hand, wrist and forearm comfort and ease.
This keyboard features the standard Windows layout including multimedia keys and an embedded number pad for boosting productivity.
The Freestyle2 has a custom membrane key switch that includes low-activation force and tactile feedback so your fingers won’t feel as fatigued and will experience less impact and strain overall.
Pros: Customizable key rotation for comfort, membrane key switch that reduces fatigue, less impact and strain on fingers overall.
Cons: Easy to slide out of place.
5. PICTEK Gaming Keyboard with Rainbow LED Backlit
PICTEK’s gaming keyboard is backlit with six different rainbow colors and adjustable LED brightness so you can tailor it to your exact lighting needs.
It’s a full 104-key gaming keyboard with 26 non-conflict keys that can be held simultaneously without unexpected keys being pressed. It also has 12 easy-to-reach multimedia keys for controlling your entertainment, sounds and email without interruption.
This ergonomic keyboard is also spill-resistant and has two foldable stands for keeping your hands in the most comfortable typing position which improves typing speed and accuracy while relieving finger fatigue.
This keyboard also has an ultra-thin keyboard panel that’s durable, robust and sturdy enough to resist everyday scratches.
Pros: LED rainbow lights, full gaming set of keys and multimedia compatibility, durable and water resistant.
Cons: Accompanying mouse could be better.