While many professions require being on a computer all day, writers have a specific set of needs.
Because they type all day, every day, their keyboards need to be particularly functional, comfortable, and ergonomic, to avoid repetitive injury over time.
Since no two writers are the same, you should also be choosing a keyboard that fits with your writing goals and lifestyle.
We will be discussing some of the best keyboards for writers to help you find one the suits your needs and that prevents you from getting an RSI.
What is RSI?
RSI stands for repetitive strain injury, and is a broad term describing pain in the muscles, nerves, and tendons that arise from repetitive movements and overuse.
This pain is most frequently felt in the forearms and elbows, wrists and hands, and neck and shoulders.
Symptoms like stiffness, tingling or numbness, weakness, or cramping may appear only during the repetitive action, to begin with, but then often progress over time.
Treatment for RSI may be reducing pain with pain relievers and hot or cold treatments; using rehabilitative measures like physical therapy, massages, or yoga, or using supportive devices like splints or supports.
In severe cases, RSI may need to be treated with surgery, or the person may need to stop doing the repetitive activity altogether in order to protect their health.
Writers can protect themselves from repetitive strain injuries by practicing good posture at their desks, taking regular breaks, managing stress and emotions without tensing their muscles.
They should also use supportive equipment and technologies that reduce strain and support the body in a neutral position.
Having the right keyboard is absolutely essential.
4 of the Best Keyboards for Writers
A split keyboard allows a writer to separate the keyboard into two halves, so that the hands and wrists can be placed at a more natural angle while typing.
The split design allows the elbows to have a natural, straight forward position, and the wrists to work at a more comfortable angle over long periods.
The Kinesis Freestyle2 Ergonomic Keyboard is an ergonomic, split keyboard with lots of adjustability, so that writers can find the perfect placement and angle for their comfort and preferences.
You can move the two halves of the keyboard up to 9 inches apart, to reduce strain on the elbows.
It comes with the tenting accessory with adjustable “tenting,” where the keyboard can be placed at 5, 10, or 15-degree angles for perfect comfort in the hands and wrists.
Finally, this keyboard has adjustable key force switches, so that you can set the amount of pressure for every keystroke, to reduce force needed and reduce impact and fatigue on the fingers.
It has pre-installed palm supports and comes with cushioned palm pads for perfect comfort when typing.
In fact, this keyboard is so comfortable and effective, that 79% of users experienced a decrease in neck discomfort, 50% experienced a decrease in ulnar deviation, and 96% of users preferred the Freestyle 2 over their regular keyboard.
The Kinesis Freestyle2 Ergonomic Keyboard has a standard Windows layout, with all the convenient and expected hotkeys and functions.
It’s compact and lightweight, with a small desktop footprint that allows you to place a mouse or tablet at a more comfortable angle.
It connects with the included 6 foot USB cable, with no special software or drivers required. There is a Mac version of this keyboard available.
An ergonomic keyboard incorporates natural curves into the design, so that the body’s natural arc of motion isn’t compromised.
These curves allow natural positioning of the hands, wrists, arms, and fingers, so writers have incredible comfort and productivity over sustained periods of time.
These kinds of keyboards reduce repetitive strain injuries and reduce stress in the muscles, making computing and writing more comfortable.
The Perixx Periboard-512 Ergonomic Split Keyboard has curves on every angle, with a 3D curve design and maximum comfort.
The split keyboard design divides the keyboard in half, so that each arm is at a more natural angle.
The gentle slope down from the center keeps the wrists in a more natural, relaxed position when using the most commonly used keys.
And the keys themselves are on a curved plane, for natural positioning of the fingers as they span the keyboard.
It has responsive, tactile keys with full travel, to reduce both pressure and typos. It has an integrated palm rest that cushions the palms while typing.
The Perixx Periboard-512 Ergonomic Split Keyboard has all the standard Windows keyboard functions, including multimedia keys, arrow and function keys, and a dedicated 10-key keypad for speedy numeric inputs.
Durable laser printing on the keys ensures that they won’t wear away with daily use.
It connects with a simple USB plug-and-play design, with a 6 foot USB cable and no special drivers or software required, or upgrade to the wireless version and connect via Bluetooth.
It is made in Germany to the highest standards of quality and durability.
Microsoft has been making ergonomic keyboards for decades, and they are known for being high-quality and reliable.
For those who are comfortable with Windows keyboards and their familiar functions, this ergonomic keyboard has all the features writers expect.
The Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard has a split/spaced design, to keep wrists further apart and forearms and elbows at a more natural angle.
The sloped dome design keeps wrists at a comfortable angle, and places keys in a more natural position for the fingers, while reverse tilt angles the wrists into a straight, neutral line.
The natural arc key layout mimics the curved shape of the fingertips, for reduced stress, and the cushioned palm rest keeps the wrists in a neutral position with comfortable support.
The Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard comes with a separate, wireless 10-key number keypad that can be used as needed, or easily moved out of the work area to conserve space.
It is battery-powered, with a dedicated USB 2.0 dongle that wirelessly connects to the keyboard and the keypad. It comes with batteries for easy use right out of the box.
This keyboard is Mac compatible and requires no software or drivers. Using normal Windows keyboard controls, keys can be mapped or configured to your desired functions.
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Many writers prefer mechanical keyboards for their daily work.
Mechanical keyboards have physical, spring-activated switches beneath every key, for incredible durability and satisfying tactile response.
The Kinesis Advantage2 Ergonomic Keyboard is a unique keyboard with a curve design that perfectly positions your fingers over the home keys.
The split keyboard design keeps hands shoulder-width apart, for reduced stress.
The concave key wells keep both hands and fingers in a natural, relaxed position, with every key placed to reduce reaching and strain.
Integrated, cushioned palm supports keep the wrist supported in a neutral position without pressure.
Clustering frequently-used keys beneath the thumbs allows you to naturally use your thumbs, which are stronger and in a neutral position, rather than reaching with your weaker pinkie fingers.
It has 20 degrees of tenting for improved ergonomics and a patented design that is proven to improve comfort and productivity.
The Kinesis Advantage2 Ergonomic Keyboard has genuine mechanical keys for fantastic feel, and is rated to 50 million key presses for years of use.
You can choose the MX brown low force keys, or opt for the MX red silent keys. It has dual-layer QWERTY or Dvorak layouts, so you can choose which you prefer.
It is fully compatible with Windows, Mac, Chrome OS, and Linux computers with driverless installation and one-key Windows, Mac, and PC modes.
You can remap keys, map macros, and save your settings directly to the keyboard, so your settings stay the same no matter what computer you are using.
It also has onboard programming shortcuts, with a built-in SmartSet Programming App in the keyboard.
The Advantage2 is such a durable, powerful, high-quality keyboard that Kinesis backs it with a 3-year warranty.
Here’s our choice for the best keyboard for writers.
Writers often pay quite a bit of money to acquire the best PC or Mac – and monitor to go along with it – but often overlook one of their most important tools – the keyboard!
As a writer, you basically live at your keyboard. Whether you’re writing a web page, book or your next blog post, you probably spend hours at your desk each day typing away.
Whether it’s wireless, mechanical or Bluetooth, you need a keyboard that is ergonomic and provides you with maximum comfort.
All the options we mentioned here are among the best keyboards for writers but there is one that grabbed our attention and stands out from the rest – the Perixx Periboard keyboard.
We have chosen this as our top pick because of its unusual ergonomic design. The design offers you an integrated palm rest that contours to the position of your wrists and hands.
With the slight re-positioning of your hands, fingers and wrists, it increases the level of comfort and decreases the likelihood of developing repetitive strain, leaving you to type freely minus the pain.
Our list provides you some of the best options. But you should be making sure that anything you choose will support you in your writing goals.