The Best Mechanical Keyboards To Instantly Reduce Carpal Tunnel Pain
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Life tends to get in the way when we attempt to address our body’s aches and pains.
We don’t intentionally avoid trying to fix the problem, but at the same time never really dig too deep to search for a perfect solution. Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is one of those aching conditions that it is possible to ignore for a little while, during the early stages of its onset, but if left unaddressed for too long can quickly escalate into a searing and occasionally chronic pain.
As many CTS sufferers will attest to, sitting in front of a computer typing away all day can become a bit of a physical and mental battle.
When your job means you can’t really entertain the idea of stopping typing altogether (or certainly not long enough to allow adequate rest and recovery), then opting for a better designed keyboard is one significant step towards reducing the severity of pain experienced.
This article is about the best keyboards to reduce carpal tunnel pain. If you want to learn which models are best suited to alleviate repetitive strain injury (RSI) check out our full guide here.
Here’s our rundown of the best keyboards for carpal tunnel syndrome and why…
Our Pick – Logitech G613 Lightspeed Wireless Mechanical Keyboard
- Lightspeed: Wireless technology for super-fast 1 ms report rate
- Romer G mechanical switches deliver quiet, precise mechanical performance and 70 million click life for incredible feel and durability
- 6 programmable G keys put custom macro sequences and in app commands at your fingertips. 1 Customize G key profiles individually for each app
- Bluetooth: Bluetooth enabled device with Windows 8 or later, Mac OS X 10.12 or later, Chrome OS, or Android 3.2 or later, iOS 10 or later
- G613 delivers up to 18 months of gaming on 2 x AA batteries. System requirements: Windows 7 or later, Mac OS X 10.10 or later, Chrome OS, Android 3.2 or later, USB port
The Logitech G613 has a number of features that make it especially useful for those suffering from the pain and discomfort brought on by carpal tunnel syndrome.
Firstly the raised mechanical keys have a smoother travel, and a less resistance than keys found on a common membrane keyboard. This means you don’t have to move your fingers as far, nor press down as hard to register a keystroke. Overall this puts less wear and tear on your wrists.
Six programmable ‘G-Keys’ allow multi-stage tasks to be programmed for completion with just single press of a button saving you time and wrist movements every day. With a little planning you can use this feature to effortlessly complete tasks that might otherwise require typing, scrolling and mouse movements.
The G613 is wireless thanks to Bluetooth pairing capabilities, and requires nothing more than 2 x AA batteries (supplied) to keep the board powered for up to 18 months! Being unrestricted by wires means it can be moved to your ideal positioning without any compromisation.
Unlike many other keyboards designed with gaming in mind, the switches beneath the G613 keys are deliberately quiet rather than clicky. Being tactile, you’ll still be able to feel the moment the key stroke registers, but you won’t have to worry about creating a nuisance at home or in the office.
Finally, not really CTS mitigation but worth a mention in any case. The moniker ‘lightspeed’ given to the G613 is certainly well deserved as it has only a 1ms delay between keystroke and registering on screen. This latency is even faster than many hard wired keyboards.
Overall, if you want a remedy to CTS but don’t want to settle for anything other than a high quality, great looking addition to your desk set-up then the Logitech G613 is certainly worth considering.
|Extremely quiet Romer g mechanical keys|
|Robust palm and wrist support|
|6 programmable G-Keys for macro functions|
|Wireless integration via Bluetooth|
|Required batteries are included in the box|
|We Don’t Like|
|The keys are not backlit|
|No built-in speakers|
Budget Pick – Logitech K350 Wave Wireless Mechanical Keyboard
- Wave design with Constant Curve layout: Curved layout guides hands into just the right position
- Ease and comfort: Cushioned palm rest makes work easier and fun more fun
- Longer battery time: This feature gives you up to three years of battery life. (Battery life based on a calculation of an estimated 2 million keystrokes per year in an office environment. User experience may vary.)
- Logitech Unifying receiver: The tiny Unifying receiver stays in your notebook, so there's no need to unplug it when you move around. And you can easily add compatible wireless mice and keyboards to the same wireless receiver
When you’re seeking relief from CTS pain, you would almost be happy to trade a certain amount of functionality to feel true comfort once again.
Fortunately the trade off between comfort and functionality isn’t necessary with the Logitech K350.
It starts by getting down to desk level to see the undulating shape that inspired the ‘wave’ element in the name. The varying height of each key is designed to cater for different finger lengths thus minimise finger curl.
The full length cushioned palm rest help support the wrists and take the pressure off forearms.
The vast array of buttons (120 in total!) create added functionality including dedicated media buttons that even feature a zoom in/out switch.
Wireless connectivity is obtained by a reliable by a USB receiver, and with the in-built battery able to store enough charge to last 3 years(!) you’ll find none of the common complaints of wire free keyboards here.
Although the K350 isn’t the lowest price point amongst our budget units, the over 5,000 positive reviews on Amazon certainly justify its position as the best value for money.
|The unique wave design compliments the reach of individual fingers|
|Substantial ergonomic palm support|
|Wireless connectivity via USB receiver|
|Incredible battery life|
|5 year warranty|
|We Don’t Like|
|After heavy usage the white key markers begin to fade|
|The design is busy and would look out of place in set-ups that go for a clean, minimalist look|
Also Great – Cloud Nine C989 ErgoTKL Mechanical Keyboard
- Split Keyboard Design – Separates Up To 6.5 Inches (16.5 cm) to help eliminate wrist and shoulder pain while you type. Keeps hands and arms properly separated and helps provide pain-free typing for 8+ hours a day.
- Tented Palm Support – Includes built in side slope (7 degrees) keeping hands comfortable at their natural inward angle (no separate tenting kit required).
- Padded Palm Rests – Memory foam palm rests are wrapped in premium vegan leather to keep hands extra comfortable. They are easily removable for cleaning too.
- Aluminum Smart Wheel – Easily control volume, switch applications, scroll web pages, and more. Assign a custom function or color using the included app.
- Cherry MX RGB Switches – Professional grade mechanical switches provide a super-long life and satisfying typing experience. Switches are fully backlit and easy to read. Customize the backlight color or choose from a pre-programmed light flow.
Cloud Nine have opted for the C989 TKL to be entirely designed around providing a remedy to sore wrists.
The split keyboard design permits two tethered modules to separated by 6 inches, allowing forearms and wrists to return to being naturally straight. Two whole columns of keys on the left module are dedicated to macros to reduce the amount of movements needed to execute frequent commands.
The low resistance of the Cherry MX Brown switches is sumptuous to press, whilst each can be reached easily via the support of a full length palm rest and tenting (elevating the centremost keys to create an angle). MX Blue and MX Red switch options are also available.
The C989 bills itself as also being able to bridge the gap between business and gaming needs. RGB lighting, a USB pass through and a media dial front and center keeps gamers happy whilst rubber feet prevent the modules from slipping and sliding under rapid fire keystrokes.
The unit does operate on both Windows and Mac machines however the software that programs lighting and macros is only available for Windows. Pleasingly the CloudNine team have provided up to date (mid-2020) video tutorials on YouTube to show this is setup.
|Innovative split keyboard design|
|Cherry MX Brown switches|
|10 programmable macro keys|
|Built in tenting and palm rests|
|Full sized keyboard including separate numbers panel and multimedia dial|
|We Don’t Like|
|Limited integration with Macs|
|With all of these features the price point starts to creep up|
Also Great – Perixx Periboard 612 Wireless Ergonomic Split Keyboard
- ERGONOMIC SPLIT-KEY DESIGN: Integrated palm rest supports your wrists, releases median nerve pressure and reduces forearm tension; Natural arm and hand position while typing minimize chances of RSI, and carpal tunnel syndrome
- WIRELESS 2. 4 GHZ AND BLUETOOTH CONNECTION: Switch between two connection options at the bottom of the keyboard; nano receiver is stored safely in the compartment at the bottom of the keyboard
- DUAL OPERATING SYSTEM: Compatible with Mac and Windows including shortcuts and function keys; 4 additional switchable keys for Mac of Windows key layout and a key puller is also provided in the box
- TACTILE RESPONSIVE KEYS: with long travel distance that gives a satisfying typing feeling and decreases mistyping
The immediate standout feature of the Perixx Periboard 612 is the split keyboard and raised centre console.
Designed to prevent torquing your arms into an unnatural position and thus causing forearm tension, the split board design is rimmed with a full length fixed palm rest support your wrists.
Tactile keys help reduce the pressure required to register a keystroke whilst decreasing typing inaccuracies usual experienced by a membrane keypad.
Also available in a slightly less expensive wired version, the wireless connectivity of our model is provided by a choice of either a micro-USB receiver or Bluetooth.
Handily, the Periboard 612 is designed to integrate with both Windows and Mac, and has spare keys included to allow the changeover to a Mac keyboard layout if desired.
|A split keyboard design, including the space bar|
|A raised centre caters to different finger lengths|
|Full length integrated palm rest|
|Wireless connectivity via USB receiver or Bluetooth|
|We Don’t Like|
|To accommodate the features, the board takes up a large amount of desk real estate|
|Being universally popular there are many variations in keyboard layout. Be sure to check you have your own country specific model before pressing ‘Buy Now’.|
Also Great – Kinesis Freestyle 2 Ergonomic Split Keyboard
- AWARD-WINNING SPLIT DESIGN: Unlike fixed ergonomic keyboards, the Freestyle2 allows you to rotate and separate the key modules up to 9" to achieve natural hand, wrist and forearm positions for your specific body type and preferences.
- STANDARD WINDOWS LAYOUT: The Freestyle2 for PC features a standard Windows layout with hotkeys like Cut, Copy, Paste, multimedia keys, and an embedded numeric 10-key to boost your productivity. No software or special drivers required.
- LOW-FORCE KEY SWITCHES: The Freestyle2 uses a custom membrane key switch that features a low-activation force and tactile feedback to reduce finger fatigue, impact and strain.
- WHAT'S IN THE BOX: Freestyle2 USB Wired keyboard with a standard Windows Layout, detachable pivot tether for adjustable splay, and Quick Start Guide. Plug-and-Play for Windows 7-10.
- PLUG-AND-PLAY: Windows 7-10, Linux, and Chrome. No software or special drivers required.
The Kinesis Freestyle2 has almost a cult following of CTS and RSI sufferers who swear by the instant benefits that this board can provide.
Like the CloudNine C989, the key design feature is a board that is divided into two equally sized modules and connected by a flexible tether. This allows the ability to create up to 9″ of separation between the keys operated by the left and right hand. This helps CTS sufferers as it allows the forearms to be placed straight out in front of the body, shoulder width apart as opposed to being angled inwards to a single board.
The connecting wire is fixed and not interchangeable so keep this in mind if the 9″ separation is something you feel like stretching to a longer length.
The low profile means there’s no wrist extension required to reach the upper keys and as a result the design forgoes the need for a wrist support.
Even the tactile keys have been considered in the Freestyle2 with an actuation force of only 45g needed to register a keystroke. This is one of the lowest forces of all the units that made it onto our shortlist.
An angle inducing kit (VIP3 tenting) is available as an extra option to tilt the keyboard to point keys outwards to further improve ergonomics, but unfortunately this small add-on costs almost as much as the board itself.
To create the unique design two columns of keys have been added to the left edge of the left module. This outer key placement means the positioning of your hands for usual no-look functions performed by shortcut keys (Ctrl + C etc) will have to be re-learned.
|Low profile that minimises wrist tilt|
|Increase the board length by up to 9″ separation to match shoulder width|
|Minimal pressure required to register keystrokes|
|We Don’t Like|
|Not suitable for Mac users|
|To create tilt requires the purchase of an expensive add-on|
|Additional keys on the left edge become distractions when using shortcut keys|
Also Great – Razer BlackWidow Elite Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
- The NPD Group, Inc., U.S. Retail Tracking Service, Gaming Designed: Keyboards, Mice, PC Headsets, and PC Microphones
- Signature Mechanical Switch for Gaming: Razer Green switch technology provides a satisfying clicky sound with 50 G of actuation force, ideal for typing and gaming requiring the highest accuracy
- Ultimate Personalization & Gaming Immersion with Razer Chroma: Fully syncs with popular games, Razer hardware, Philips Hue, and gear from 30+ partners, supports 16.8 million colors on individually backlit keys
- Fully Programmable Macros: Razer Hypershift allows for all keys and keypress combinations to be remapped to execute complex commands
- Ergonomic, Magnetic Wrist Rest: Made of plush leatherette to maximize comfort over extended gaming sessions
When CTS is at its worst, minimising the number of repetitive actions that you undertake, even by just a few keystrokes, is worth aiming for.
Using the much loved and free iCUE software, the Razer BlackWidow keyboard allows you to do this by assigning macros (automated sequences) to absolutely any button on the board.
The same software allows up to 5 different profiles to be saved and stored on the onboard memory so that switching between users or work/play can be accommodated easily.
The mechanical keys have been designed to meet the incredibly demanding needs of gamers, so you know the durability and stability of each key, as well as the travel motion will be to the highest standard. Just be mindful that gamers like to have the choice of ‘clicky’ switches beneath the keys so opt for the linear or tactile switches if noisy keyboards aren’t your thing.
A full length palm rest is also fixed into this board (be careful when shopping around as the same model is available without the palm rest) to support wrists.
Bonus features of the BlackWidow include dedicated media buttons on the top right of the board including a scroll wheel to control volume, and impressive RGB backlighting should you wish to use color to your advantage whilst working.
|Extremely high quality keys|
|iCUE software to assign macros and RGB lighting sequence|
|Full length palm rest|
|Fully customisable keyboard layout|
|We Don’t Like|
|It’s expensive, the priciest keyboard on our list|
|Does not support wireless connectivity|
Also Great – Keychron K2 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard
- ✅【Tenkeyless Compact Mechanical Keyboard】: Unlike bulky full-sized layout, this 75% layout 84 keys tkl gaming keyboard saves more desk space for your mouse. Classic Retro Grey-White Matching, we designed this keyboard and choose this color scheme, hope to get the keyboard back to its original shape, and hope it can also take you to find the original intention.
- ✅【Bluetooth 5.1 Wireless & USB-C Wired】: The Keychron K2 PC Keyboard provides a variety of connection methods, including wireless mode, Bluetooth 5.1 and USB-C wired mode. It can connect to up to 3 devices between your laptop, PC, tablet and phone seamlessly at the same time and switch between them easily, A great computer typing keyboard for home, office, outdoor and casual games.
- ✅【Keychron Mechanical Brown Switch】: Double-shot keycaps for maximum durability, and paired with Keychron mechanical brown switches, offer precise Tactile Click feedback for keypresses, and giving your mechanical keyboard life up to 50 million keystrokes.
- ✅【Ergonomic Typing Keyboard】: The design of this mechanical gaming keyboard is based on ergonomics, the two keyboard stands provide comfortable angle for typing and effectively reduces the burden on the wrist. The Body is sturdy and ensures longer life.
- ✅【Wide Compatibility & Rechargeable Battery】: Compatible for both macOS and Windows. With a unique Mac layout, the K2 has all the necessary Mac multimedia keys while still being compatible with Windows. Extra keycaps for both Windows and Mac operating systems are included. Built-in 4000 mAh rechargeable li-polymer battery. Up to 570 Hours (Backlit off) working time for your outdoor working.
As a TKL design (ten keyless design) the Keychron K2 is far more compact than a full size keyboard.
Arguably this feature alone make it not great for CTS sufferers as your wrists and arms are forced into adopting a less than perfect angle to reach the keys.
Although it’s fairly low profile, it stands just tall enough to warrant the consideration of a wrist pad. Without one, straight out of the box the K2 might induce a lot of pivoting and wrist movement to reach each all of the keys.
So not great so far for carpalites. In fact, knowing this, the sole reason the Keychron K2 is included here is to give an honorable mention to the exceptional quality of its key switches.
Firmly fixed and without wobble the smoothness of the key travel is almost unmatched. The tactile keys (although on the loud side) offer exactly the resistance and feel that makes mechanical keyboards great to help with CTS.
Other features include a full metal body, backlighting and up to 80hrs of charge time coming from inbuilt batteries.
|Individual keys are stable and smooth|
|Wireless thanks to Bluetooth integration|
|Mac and Windows Integration|
|Beautiful minimalist design|
|We Don’t Like|
|Compact keyboard forces arms into an unnatural position|
|No wrist or palm support|