Here are the very best budget-friendly keyboards suitable for programming.
As a programmer, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get the right gear for the job.
In areas like competitive coding, your choice of the keyboard will determine your success in the long haul. This is the reason why so many professionals are trying to get their hands on the best that the industry has to offer.
But choosing a perfect keyboard is kind of difficult these days.
As there are loads of variants in the keyboard industries. Like, you can pick a wireless keyboard for programming, and you may also want to know the difference between a membrane and vs mechanical keyboard.
Since membrane keyboards are somewhat comfortable and cheap, see our list of best membrane keyboards for programming.
And if you do gaming as well, fortunately, we have ranked the best CS: GO gaming keyboards for you.
So, whether you’re coding or studying, or doing any kind of keyboard-specific work, these products won’t let you down.
There are amazon links at the top, so make sure to check them out to learn more about them.
Best budget keyboards for programming- Highlights
- Comfortable keys: Logitech MX Keys
- Cheapest keyboard: Keychron K2 Wireless
- Mechanical keyboard: Ducky One 2 Mini
- Ergonomic keyboard: Logitech ERGO K860
- Apple or Mac keyboard: Apple Magic Keyboard
- Aluminum made keyboard: Das Keyboard
- For programming and gaming: Razer Huntsman
To make your final decision, I will suggest you scroll down and read the full reviews of the keyboards on our list.
- Award-winning keyboard from Logitech that is great for programmers on a budget
- The multi-device capability allows it to connect three computers at once
- Smart illumination with automatic backlighting for a more robust experience
- Precision-stroke MX keys offer remarkable feedback
- USB c Rechargeable & a limited 1year warranty
The first keyboard is going to come as no surprise to anybody because it’s the world-renowned Logitech MX Keys. It’s extremely thin, lightweight, and easy to be carried around in your bag pack.
On top of that, it’s a budget-friendly option for most programmers who want to get the most out of their projects. It’s also compatible with both Mac & Windows devices, so it will have you covered no matter what your preferences are.
Design-wise it’s mostly similar to Apple’s keyboard, but users prefer it the most due to its superior functionality.
The Logitech MX Keys can connect to up to three devices using Bluetooth or the built-in unifying receiver.
This is great for software developers who tend to work on multiple computers. It’s just nice to have not to switch between multiple keyboards and still get to have the job done.
The other thing that makes it the best wireless keyboard for coding is assigning specific keys to perform different tasks, both at the system and app levels.
Logitech recalls this feature as “key binding,” and it’s actually helpful if you have common workflows for heavy-duty apps like Visual Studio Code or Atom.
Also, the fact that this keyboard is wireless will keep your desk looking clean, which we know is extremely important for programmers and graphic designers.
Compared to most budget keyboards for programming, the Logitech MX Keys come in a full layout, which is not bulky. As far as the drawbacks go, it really doesn’t have that much on the surface.
Sure, the keys aren’t mechanical and give chicklet-style typing experience, but that’s just a preference.
Similarly, connecting through Bluetooth might take a while at first but that’s the fault of the given technology rather than the keyboard.
|Easily the best budget keyboard for programming||Its keys are hard to see in the dark (due to being flat)|
|Provided with a detachable wrist rest||Non-mechanical typing experience|
- A full-layout mechanical keyboard that comes in a robust aluminum frame
- RGB backlit keys to ensure that your work remains functional
- Pairs via Bluetooth 5.1 with the instant shift between 3 devices
- The Gateron Brown Switch makes your pre-travel distance optimal
- Wireless experience thanks to a 4000 mAh onboard battery
Sometimes a mechanical keyboard is what a programmer must acquire, and if that’s the case, then the next product on our list will definitely suit your needs.
Meet Keychron K2, a wireless full layout keyboard with a whole lot of bells and whistles to keep you hooked to your display screens. It’s got around 82keys which got the Gateron Brown Switches, which are a whole lot quieter than one would imagine.
They are also clicky but also tactile and will provide you with a pleasant typing experience. On top of that, its design is on part with some of the best keyboards for competitive programming.
If you’re sharing your space with someone, its compact layout will probably help you out in the long run. The colors are clean, and it will look great on any kind of setup.
I personally like the fact that it is out of a box mechanical keyboard that works from the get-go. There is a tiny incline at the bottom to keep everything ergonomic.
And if you’re wondering, no, it doesn’t have a separate wrist rest, so you have to buy from somewhere else. Additionally, the actuation force on its keys is not quite prominent so programmers might have a bit issue with it at first.
Nonetheless, it got RGB backlit support, which makes everything bright and intuitive. This is a plus for those who like to work in pitch-black conditions.
|A smooth mechanical typing experience||Unideal slot for USB C connector|
|Customizable RGB backlighting||Some might not like the Gateron switches|
|Tactile switches and awesome feedback|
- An ergonomic keyboard for programming and gaming with the superb build quality
- It uses Cherry MX Blue switches which are tactile & responsive
- Ducky Macro 2.0 support seamless key shortcuts
- Full key rollover and bright RGB illumination
- Detachable USB-C cable along with an adjustable foot
Now Ducky is a pretty well-known company, and I hope that you have heard about them by now. They have put up tons of keyboards in the past, and they are pretty well-known amongst the coding community.
Their latest innovation, i.,e the Ducky One 2 Mini, is a performance-driven 60% keyboard that keeps the footprint minimal and the desktop clean. Unfortunately, it’s not a wireless accessory, so you have to rely on the traditional USB cable.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t get a decent programming experience out of the box. One thing that is definitely worth mentioning about this product is its 61-key design followed by a dual-tone contrast color shell.
This makes everything look professional and makes you stand out from the rest.
Other than that, it uses some PBT double-shot keycaps, which are quite durable for the price and can get you up and running 24/7. You will also love that the Ducky One 2 Mini is accompanied by the Cherry MX Blue Switches.
Now for beginners, let me tell you that these switches are known for their rapid succession and tactile bump.
This greatly reduces the actuation force meaning your fingers will feel less fatigued during long hours of coding. It has the ability to customize macros through its intuitive software.
You can also set the RGB spectrum thanks to the ten unique lightning modes, which work wonders with the shine-through keycaps.
At the bottom of the board, you will find two adjustable feet. They can be arranged for extra elevation without any setbacks. Overall, the Ducky One 2 Mini might not be the perfect keyboard for programming and gaming, but it sure isn’t inferior either.
|60% keyboard with a slim layout||Lack of a wireless functionality|
|Configurable macros, LED & short cuts||Not a whole lot of options in terms of switches|
|Engineered for durability|
- Great keyboard from Logitech with thousands of reviews across Reddit
- Type in a natural posture thanks to its split keyframe design
- Engineered with scoped keys for greater precision
- Pillowed wrist rest ensures that your palm remains less fatigued
- Customizable Fn keys and a wireless functionality
Moving on to an ergonomic keyboard on the list, we have the Logitech ERGO K860. This keyboard has many similarities with the MX keys from a functionality standpoint. You can connect up to three devices via Bluetooth, it’s wireless, and the keys are fully customizable.
However, what makes it different is its curved or split keyframe design which, if you ask me, does a pretty good job in maintaining a great desktop experience.
Other than that, it’s not bulky at all, so it will feel out of this world for programmers. As far as the build goes, the K860 ERGO is just okay.
The body is made up of decent plastic material, so you might face durability issues; however, with that said, it does help with the typing, especially when your wrists are sore.
This keyboard, by the way, is a perfect choice if your wrists are sensitive or if you know you’ll be at your desk all day and don’t want to develop the carpal syndrome.
It even comes with a pillowed wrist rest to make you feel comfortable and boost your productivity. There is also the ability to customize shortcuts and Fn keys and brand your coding a bit professionally.
In terms of drawbacks, this keyboard takes a bit of time to get used to. The split-keyframe design is not beginner-friendly, and you may find it overwhelming, especially if you don’t tend to use it over an extended period.
|Curved keyboard wrist experience||A bit more expensive than the MX Keys|
|Accompanied for any typing frenzy.||There is no backlit feature|
|Palm tilt and key customization|
- A sleek and minimalistic designed keyboard from Apple which has a lot to offer
- Its extended layout makes typing fun and enjoyable
- Smooth key transitions thanks to the built-in scissor mechanism
- Quite a portable option that works with any type of Mac device
- An incredibly long battery timing
The best keyboards for programming are the ones without any strings attached. They should be ergonomic, portable, and can be used without a wired connection.
This is the case with Apple Magic Keyboard, in which precision meets performance. It’s a stylish addition to portable keyboards and offers a solid battery backup.
No matter your typing preferences, this device will have you coding for hours. This is the reason why leading software engineers at Google choose the Magic Keyboard over others.
One of the things which I find fascinating about Apple Magic is its scissor switches. They are quiet and have a decent travel distance. No matter how long you type on them, they will feel comfortable to the touch.
Similarly, it weighs just under seven pounds and does not take-away much space as compared to some of the other keyboards.
Sure, getting the Apple Magic Keyboard is definitely worth it if you want a clean-looking wireless setup. The pre-packaged lithium battery is, of course, rechargeable which will be lasting days if not weeks.
Sadly, the keys aren’t programmable, not it has backlighting. However, for the given price tag, you can’t complain much.
You will also find the keys well-spaced throughout the keyboard. There is a little flex on typing, and overall, it’s an exceptional product from Apple.
|Low-profile ergonomics||Limited features under budget|
|Precise scissor key mechanics||Lack of a tactile feedback|
|Ideal for Mac users|
- It offers the best keyboard size for programming and a superior craftmanship
- Full-mechanical keyboard with unmatched tactile feedback and travel
- Precise typing experience through the built-in N-key rollover functionality
- Supports dual USB 3.0 ports for an added convenience
- A large volume knob and easy to access media keys
Das keyboards were always an eye-candy for programmers and streamers alike, and this particular model is no exception to that. From design to durability, it’s truly one of the best keyboards in the business.
Built with revolutionary features, it will feel like you have never used a mechanical keyboard before. If you want a professional gadget that doesn’t cost a fortune, then this might be the only option in 2022.
Its tactile feedback helps you type faster and become more productive as a mechanical keyboard. At the same time, Its N-key rollover provides an extra bit of precision to your use case.
Another cool feature of Das Keyboard 4 is its blank keycaps. Out of the box, it just looks phenomenal, and if you know how to touch type, this is probably a great investment.
For those worried about durability, they need to think again. Das Keyboard 4 is built like a tank, and thanks to its aluminum top panel, it will remain sturdy in the following years.
On top of that, it uses Cherry MX Blue switches which provide that natural feel to any mechanical keyboard. It’s clicky but not that loud, and as you compile long lines of code, it won’t feel hectic.
All the media buttons (play/pause, next/stop & mute) are carefully placed at the panel’s top-right corner.
There is an oversized volume knob, which is quite handy if you love listening to music side by side. The keyboard also uses USB 3.0 cable, so you don’t have to worry about charging the batteries.
|Rugged aluminum panel layout||Not the most budget-friendly mechanical keyboard|
|It uses Cherry MX Blue switches||Angling up the keyboard can take a while|
|Access to Media Control in Real-Time|
- The best keyboard for gaming and programming for the last three years
- 30% shorter actuation and light-speed key registration with Razer optical switches
- Completely programmable macros add a bit of customization to your use case
- A sturdy aluminum frame protects it from any kind of damages
- Syncs to other Razer hardware to provide colorful RGB effects
Finally, the Razer Huntsman Gaming comes in at number seven. It’s a classic mechanical keyboard, which has been a daily driver for quite a number of gamers and programmers over the past couple of years. It’s extremely fast to type on, and thanks to its ergonomic body, you won’t feel discontent.
As a gamer, one of the features I personally like about it is the fact that it lights up at night in stylish RGB colors and effects.
They’ll bring you that ambient vibe while you’re working late, which is something that keyboards like the Apple Magic don’t have.
Similarly, its keys are quite clicky and actuate around 50G. They are actually easier to press on, resulting in less strain on your fingers.
You won’t have to worry about developing a Carpel Tunnel while typing on this keyboard, even for long periods of time.
Additionally, the comfort of this keyboard also has to do with the travel height of each key, which is roughly about 3.4mm.
This means that your fingers will have that extra bit of cushioning or travel distance before they register.
Other features include onboard memory, a key stabilizer bar, and customizable macros. In terms of cons, I have to say that the Razer Huntsman can get a bit loud.
So, if you’re working in an office environment, I would not recommend it. Also, the Razer Huntsman tends to be pretty high, so you’re going to need a separate wrist rest.
|A feature-proof keyboard from Razer||The Razer Synapse 3 is a little tricky to set up.|
|Swift and responsive keys||Compatibility issues with Mac devices|
|Programmable RGB & macros|
How To Choose the Right Programming keyboard – Buyers Guide
Now moving forward, there are a couple of things that you need to look into before choosing the best budget keyboard for programming.
They are crucial to your end decision, so make sure to follow them completely to get the basic idea of what to expect. These are as fellow;
I think the first and foremost thing that you should be considerate about in a coding keyboard is its overall size.
Now keyboards themselves are available in many proportions; you could get the 65% to full layout sizes depending on your needs and goals.
So, unless you are one of those people who really likes using a Numpad, a 60% budget keyboard is more than enough. You don’t really need a Numpad and other added inputs for programming.
You’ll keep focused on the work at hand with these half-sized keys, and that’s how most software developers think.
2) Mechanical vs. non-Mechanical
This is a bit of debate in both the coding and gaming community that I am sure you have heard about.
So basically, it’s a matter of comparing loud and tactile vs. quiet and linear.
Mechanical keyboards tend to have that nice response or feedback, along with superb actuation and travel.
While non-mechanical or membrane keyboards like the Apple Magic Keyboard are soft to the touch and have that mushy feeling.
For the most part, they are quiet and can be brought at an affordable price. So, again it’s a matter of how loud you can stand and what feels easy to type on.
3) Key switches
If, somehow, you’re a fan of mechanical keyboards, then you have quite a number of options in the key switch department.
Each of the keys will have its own feel and sound, so the one that works for you might not be the same for others.
In general, I personally suggest Cherry MX Brown switches for coding as they are light tactile but still do not produce the same kind of loud, obnoxious sounds.
Just remember that there isn’t a perfect keyboard that’s going to fit everyone’s needs. People like what they find useful, and your preference might be different than mine.
As a general rule of thumb, look for honest opinions on the best budget keyboard for programming on Reddit and other forums.
Also, check out the online typing tests for the model you prefer.
It will give you a basic idea of what you can expect performance-wise as you code.