The Best Low-Profile Mechanical Keyboards in 2021

Mechanical keyboards are the best way to maximize your typing speed and comfort and make your time at work that much less unpleasant. Of course, mechanical keyboards are also big and bulky, which can be a discouraging feature for a lot of customers. Or at least, that used to be the case. Recently low-profile mechanical keyboards have been much more readily available, so you can get all of the advantages of mechanical keyboards without any of the former disadvantages. If you’re constantly typing, whether for work or for pleasure, you’re going to need a good low-profile mechanical keyboard, and we’re going to help you find it.

Carry on reading to see our full list of the top low-profile mechanical keyboards, followed by a recap breaking down what makes each product on our list stand out. Or jump straight to our number #1 pick on Amazon here.

What Are the Advantages of a Low-Profile Mechanical Keyboard?

Mechanical keyboards feature larger keys that are easier to access quickly, and they’re designed to put less strain on your wrists. Of course, the big problem with mechanical keyboards is that they’re big, noisy, and can take a frustrating amount of pressure and time just to get one key down. That’s where low-profile mechanical keyboards come in.

Low-profile keyboards feature keys that are much closer to their activation switch, which means that you don’t have to press as hard on them, and each keypress will register more quickly. This also means that the keyboards will make less noise, which is a big plus for the sanity of everyone involved.

Basically, low-profile mechanical keyboards are the best of both worlds. They were the next logical step after standard mechanical keyboards, and that’s why anyone who spends a lot of time in front of a computer should consider buying one to maximize their typing speed and comfort.

What Should You Look For in a Low Profile Mechanical Keyboard?

Most people usually just use the keyboard that came with their desktop, or the one that’s built into their laptop. This means that the typical customer hasn’t ever really had to think about what makes one keyboard better than the other. That’s obviously the first order of business when making a list like this, so we’re going to show you the criteria we used to evaluate all of our keyboards.

This will help you understand the thought process we used when making our list, and it’ll help you understand the market and conduct your own further research if it turns out that we couldn’t help you find the perfect mechanical keyboard. After reading our rubric, you’ll feel like an expert, and you’ll be ready to go.

Criteria #1: Actuation Travel Distance – Most of you are probably asking, “What in the world is actuation travel distance?” And I wouldn’t blame you. Actuation travel distance is the distance between a key and its activation switch. In short, it’s how far you need to press down before your key-press registers. The shorter that distance, the easier and smoother your entire typing experience will be. That’s why we’re looking for the low-profile mechanical keyboards that have the lowest actuation travel distance possible. This will help you type faster than ever so you can get more work done, code quicker, or game better than you thought possible.

Criteria #2: Extra Features – When you think about keyboards, your first thought is definitely not “extra features,” but that’s a rabbit hole that goes deeper than you might think. A keyboard can have an array of hotkeys for convenient shortcuts, extra USB ports to make connecting devices to your computer that much easier, backlit keys, and much more. We want to help you take advantage of all of these possibilities, and that’s why we’re going to look for the best keyboards that are loaded with all of those extra features. It’s nice to have all the bells and whistles.

Criteria #3: Size – This criterion will mostly come down to your personal preference, but that doesn’t make it any less important. We can’t tell you what size keyboard will be most comfortable for you, but we can make sure to share that information with every keyboard on our list so that you know what you’re buying. It’s worth pointing out that the larger the keyboard, the more room there is for extra hotkeys, ports, and setting dials. Of course, a keyboard that doesn’t take up your entire desk is also nice. The choice is yours, and we’ll make sure to give you the information.

Criteria #4: Price – We’re not here to make you spend a ton of money for no reason. Meeting this criterion is less about being cheap and more about justifying your price. We’d rather buy an expensive product that’s cheaper than it should be than waste money on a cheaper product that isn’t worth the money and that will just break on you or not perform well.

Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Low Profile Mechanical Keyboards

We measured the specs of the top products on the market against our listed criteria to see how they held up and if they’re worth buying. We then checked customer reviews, blog posts, and “best low-profile mechanical keyboards” articles to see if the products on our list performed as advertised. We’ll also make sure to include a wide variety of keyboards that fulfill different niches and price ranges so that everyone is absolutely guaranteed to find a keyboard that fits both their taste and their budget.  

And without further ado, here is our list – tailored to your specific needs – of the best low-profile mechanical keyboards. 

#1: Keychron K1 Bluetooth Mechanical Keyboard (Best Value – All-Purpose)

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Our list starts off with the Keychron K1 Bluetooth Mechanical Keyboard. This keyboard has all of the excellent features we want you to have but still manages to stay affordable. It’s also not loaded to the point that it’s overwhelming, which makes it a great introduction to the world of low-grade mechanical keyboards.

This keyboard comes in with an excellent actuation distance of just 1.5 millimeters so your fingers will be blazing across your keys, and you’ll be able to churn out entire documents and essays faster than you ever thought was possible. But that’s just the start of things. This keyboard features what is called a tenkeyless design, and as that name suggests, it’s missing the number pad that you can find on the right of a lot of keyboards. While this means that you won’t be able to type in long numbers very quickly, it also saves a lot of room on this keyboard, so it’s perfect for smaller workstations.

One of my favorite features of the Keychron K1 Bluetooth Mechanical Keyboard is that it has two input methods. You can either connect this keyboard to your computer with a UBS-C cable, or you can connect it to up to three different devices through Bluetooth – whichever one is easiest for you. The world is your oyster.

This keyboard is also compatible with both Mac OS and Windows, and all it takes is flipping a simple switch on the side of the keyboard to set it to the desired operating system. Next, the Keychron K1 Bluetooth Mechanical Keyboard features a slim frame of just 355 x 120 x 20 millimeters, and it has a beautiful LED backlight that can be customized to come in different colors, so you can have a keyboard that’s tailored to your tastes. This will liven up your typing and make it easier to see what you’re doing in a darker room, so you can work or game all through the night.

The Keychron K1 Bluetooth Mechanical Keyboard has earned positive reviews on Amazon and has been featured on blog posts of the best low-profile keyboards. It has all of the important features, a conveniently-sized frame, and an affordable price that beats most of the competition. That makes it just about the best value out there, and that’s why the Keychron K1 Bluetooth Mechanical Keyboard was an easy choice to be our number one low-profile mechanical keyboard.

#2: Corsair K70 Low-Profile Mechanical Keyboard (Best Overall Keyboard)

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To a lot of customers, spending a significant chunk of money on a keyboard may seem unfathomable. After all, a perfectly good keyboard comes with your desktop or attached to your laptop, why would you waste money on a new one? Of course, if you followed that school of thought, you probably wouldn’t be reading this article in the first place. You know what a difference a good mechanical keyboard can make, and you’re willing to spend top-dollar for the best product.

If the Keychron K1 Bluetooth Mechanical Keyboard wasn’t the right choice for you, then you may be more interested in the heavy-duty Corsair K70 Low-Profile Mechanical Keyboard. This dedicated gaming keyboard is a bit more expensive than our first overall keyboard from Keychron, but it justifies the price tag. Here are some of the features that might convince you to splurge and buy the Corsair K70 Low-Profile Mechanical Keyboard for your gaming rig.

Reason #1 to Choose This Product: Lower Actuation Distance

With an actuation distance of just 1 millimeter, the Corsair K70 Low-Profile Mechanical Keyboard will react to your fingers more quickly than just about any other keyboard out there. No more feeling like you lost a game because you were just a millisecond too slow. You’ll always be the first one to pull the trigger.

Plus, with an actuation force of just 45 grams, you’ll feel this keyboard react to the slightest twitch from your fingers, so you’ll be able to take some of the load off your typing fingers and game all through the night without getting tired. If you’re all about efficiency, efficiency, and efficiency, then the Corsair K70 Low-Profile Mechanical Keyboard is the only keyboard you’ll want to help you raise your ELO and climb that leaderboard.

Reason #2 to Choose This Product: Number Pad Included

Though the Corsair K70 Low-Profile Mechanical Keyboard is definitely a gamer keyboard, this next feature will benefit a lot of different customers who aren’t gamers, specifically anyone who works with numbers a lot. If you’re filling out spreadsheets or doing math all day, then you’ll definitely want the number pad that comes with the full size of our Corsair mechanical keyboard. Just working in the back of a restaurant, I can tell you how much easier the number pad made my life when I was inputting more phone numbers than I can count. If you need to make use of the full range of digits, using two hands to reach the upper number row is just too slow. Speed up your data entry with the Corsair K70 Low-Profile Mechanical Keyboard.

In addition to its amazing actuation distance and force and the number pad, the Corsair K70 also has a volume dial in the top right corner of the keyboard and media playback controls. Plus, you have an extra USB port in the back that will help you easily connect your mouse or headphones to your PC through the keyboard.

Our runner-up low-profile keyboard features measurements of 17.24 x 6.61 x 1.14 inches and a weight of just 2.3 pounds. It also features a dazzling RGB backlight that will really add some flair to your typing. As a full-sized keyboard, it definitely takes up more space than our number one keyboard, but even without the number pad, that extra size can be its own advantage in terms of comfort and not accidentally hitting the wrong key or typing two keys at once.

Honestly, there really isn’t any flaw to speak of with this keyboard other than its price. So if you’re ready to splurge for the absolute best product out there, then pull out your credit card and buy the Corsair K70 Low-Profile Mechanical Keyboard.

#3: Cooler Master SK621 60% Mechanical Keyboard (Best Compact Keyboard)

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After reading about our Corsair low-profile keyboard, it’s possible you learned that you definitely don’t want a bulky full-sized keyboard. And that’s okay. There are plenty of smaller low-profile keyboards out there, and one such amazing option for anyone who wants to save space is the Cooler Master SK621 60% Mechanical Keyboard.

So far we’ve shown you one tenkeyless keyboard, and one full-sized keyboard, and now we have the first 60% keyboard on our list. 60% keyboards earned their name because they’re 60% the size of a standard keyboard. This obviously means that you won’t have a number pad, and most of these smaller keyboards – like our Cooler Master SK621 60% Mechanical Keyboard – cram the function keys such as f1 and f2 onto the number row and allow you to switch between the key switch with one fn key. This obviously can be a lot slower in some cases, but it saves a lot of room. So if you hate a cluttered desk, then a 60% keyboard is the way to go for you.

As for the Cooler Master SK621 60% Mechanical Keyboard, this micro-sized keyboard weighs less than a pound and boasts a slim frame of 12.48 x 4.72 x 2.36 inches. It connects to your computer wirelessly through Bluetooth, so you won’t even have a pesky wire taking up space. This keyboard uses the Cherry MX Low Profile Switches to give you the lowest actuation distance yet. It lets you easily change the color of the backlight with one designated key, so you can quickly and simply add your taste to your keyboard.

One common complaint about this keyboard was that it’s not angled. Users complained that the flat-angled typing isn’t as comfortable. This can definitely be a deal-breaker for a lot of customers, but if it doesn’t bother you, and if you need something that won’t take up too much room, then the Cooler Master SK630 60% Mechanical Keyboard is perfect for you. And just in case you’re interested in this keyboard but don’t like the 60% design, it also comes in tenkeyless and full-size models.

#4: EagleTec KG050-BR Blue LED Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard (Best Low Cost)

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None of the keyboards on our list have exactly been cheap, so if you’re trying to stay within a budget, you might be starting to feel a little discouraged. Not to worry, I’ve been there and haven’t forgotten about you. The EagleTec KG050-BR Blue LED Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is perfect for anyone trying to save a couple of bucks. As one reviewer very adequately put it, “When you see the price of the…KG050-BR you’d think something’s wrong. But yeah, [it’s] that cheap.”

What makes this affordable low-profile keyboard even more amazing is that it manages to include a full-sized layout in spite of its cheap price. For almost nothing at all, you’re getting 104 keys in a 17.17 x 4.88 x 1.18 inch frame that weighs just 1.95 pounds. The EagleTec KG050-BR Blue LED Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard uses USB connectivity and comes with 8 preset gaming modes which include FPS, CF, COD, LOL, CAR, NAB, LOL, and 2 customizable modes. You also 18 different backlighting effects available, so this keyboard will always match your style and your mood.

On top of that, this keyboard comes equipped with adjustable rear feet for the perfect typing angle so you’ll never experience any discomfort in your wrists, and you get Cherry Brown switches that are sure to deliver a short actuation distance and low actuation pressure.

If you’re not sure what all the fuss is about with low-profile keyboards, this is the perfect way for you to see for yourself. You can get a taste without committing a lot of money, and once you see how much smoother the mechanical keyboard experience is, you won’t be able to go back. The EagleTec KG050-BR Blue LED Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is perfect for anyone on a budget or just anyone who’s not certain they need a mechanical low-profile keyboard.

Frequently Asked Questions

You might still have a couple of questions left unanswered, and we wouldn’t be doing our job if you finished this article feeling uncertain about anything related to low-profile mechanical keyboards. That’s why we’re adding a quick FAQ section to clarify anything that’s still confusing you/ Hopefully, all of your questions will be answered and you’ll be ready to go in just a few short paragraphs.

Are Low-Profile Mechanical Keyboards Better?

The short answer is yes. While there are pros and cons to everything, low-profile keyboards are, for the most part, objectively better than their standard mechanical keyboard counterparts. We’ve gone over this in detail earlier in our article, but for a quick refresher, the reason for this is that the lower build gives these keyboards a shorter actuation distance. Imagine if you had to press down for three seconds before your keypresses registered on the computer. That’s an extreme example, but it highlights what the real experience can be with some standard mechanical keyboards, which is why a lot of users might even standard keyboards over non-low-profile products. But with low-profile keyboards, you’re getting the best of both worlds.

Are There Any Quiet Mechanical Keyboards?

Absolutely. While that signature “clicking” sound has become almost synonymous with mechanical keyboards, there are plenty of quieter options out there. While the “click” sound is actually preferred by a lot of customers – it’s particularly popular in the gaming community – it’s perfectly understandable that a lot of computer users won’t want their keyboards to make that much noise. I won’t give specific examples right now of quieter mechanical keyboards, but there are entire lists just like this one dedicated to said keyboards, so if the constant clicking noise isn’t appealing to you then I recommend you head in that direction. Of course, if you prefer the comforting ASMR-like noise, then most mechanical keyboards will suit you just fine.

Verdict: Your Best Low-Profile Mechanical Keyboards

We’re reaching the end of our list, and you’re hopefully starting to get a good idea of which of our products is best for you. But if you haven’t made up your mind yet, not to worry. We don’t want to rush, and we know how important it is to make sure you’re getting the keyboard that’s perfect for you. That’s why we’re going to recap all of our low-profile mechanical keyboards and focus on their standout features. This way, you’ll be able to see the highlights and really know what each product has to offer for you.

If you want the best value for your money, pick the Keychron K1 Bluetooth Mechanical Keyboard.

The industry standard in low-profile mechanical keyboards, with a low actuation distance of just 1.5 millimeters and a slim tenkeyless frame of 355 x 120 x 20 millimeters, this is the perfect mechanical keyboard for almost any user. It features customizable RGB backlights, and you can connect it either via USB-C or Bluetooth whichever suits your setup better. Plus, you can easily program this keyboard for either MacOS or Windows. And on top of everything, it’s pretty darn cheap. That’s why it was our number one pick, and that’s why the Keychron K1 Bluetooth Mechanical Keyboard is the best value on the market.

If you need the lowest actuation distance possible, pick the Corsair K70 Low-Profile Mechanical Keyboard.

The whole point of low-profile keyboards is the low actuation distance they boast over standard mechanical keyboards. So let’s stop messing around and go for the best keyboard out there that has the lowest actuation distance possible. The Corsair K70 Low-Profile Mechanical Keyboard boasts a microscopic actuation distance of just 1 millimeter, so you’ll be typing faster than ever before, and you’ll be amazed at the giant jump in your writing speed and your gaming efficiency. Plus, the actuation force is just 45 grams, so no more keyboard mashing. Throw in a bunch of features tailor-made with gamers in mind, and it’s no wonder the Corsair K70 Low-Profile Mechanical Keyboard is such a crowd favorite.

If you want to keep the spending cheap, pick the EagleTec KG061-BR Blue LED Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard.

Don’t spend more money for no reason. The EagleTec KG061-BR Blue LED Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard proves that low-profile mechanical keyboards don’t have to be expensive. With its responsive and ergonomic design and all of its dedicated gaming modes that will suit your personal favorite and help you climb the ranks, you’ll wonder why this keyboard is so cheap in the first place. I honestly couldn’t figure it out myself, so go buy the EagleTec KG061-BR Blue LED Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard before they wisen up.

That’s it for our list. If the keyboards highlighted above don’t quite fit what you’re looking for, you may be more interested in the incredibly compact Cooler Master SK-621 60% Mechanical Keyboard.

All of our keyboards offer something a little different, so it may help you to decide what feature is most important to you before you start trying to make your final decision.

That’s all for now. We hope we’ve helped you find the best keyboard, and we hope you enjoy the best gaming, coding, or writing sessions yet.

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