These days, a huge number of people work in front of their computers. When you think about it, everyone who does any kind of office work or something related to bureaucracy needs to use a computer.
After all, no-one uses typewriters anymore. But while typing away on a computer keyboard is far more comfortable; someone who spends hours upon hours typing will realize that they’re not feeling as comfortable as they might.
In reality, the basic modern keyboard has a practically identical layout to the typewriters of old; meaning that they’re not exactly designed with ergonomics and comfort in mind.
At the end of the day, they’re great for someone who doesn’t have to spend too much time typing.
But if you’re someone whose job includes a lot of this activity; you will want something less rigid as your primary work tool. Let’s face it — regular keyboards don’t accommodate your hands and fingers nearly as well as they could.
And that’s where the best ergonomic keyboards for Mac become incredibly useful tools.
First of all, we should point out that an incredible number of people use Mac for their daily work. With that in mind, finding the best possible ergonomic keyboard for your computer is a great addition to your hardware set, for sure.
After all, this will allow you to lessen the chances of any strain or injuries by a lot. And make no mistake — people often develop issues with their hands or wrists if they don’t keep them in natural positions.
That’s why we recommend ergonomic keyboards; they’re specifically designed to make sure that there is no potential injury because their key positions are made in accordance with human anatomy.
In turn, this also helps you avoid any neck and back pains. On the other hand, choosing the right keyboard among the ergonomic models is not easy; especially if you’re picking out your first keyboard of this sort.
That’s because traditional keyboards remain the most popular type out there — so you may not know enough about ergonomic counterparts to make the right choice.
Don’t worry, though — we’ll give you a quick rundown of everything you need to know in order to make an informed choice.
The split keyboard design and the curved keys ensure that your wrists are placed as naturally as possible.
Interestingly enough, not everyone would point towards a Microsoft product as being one of the best ergonomic keyboards for Mac; let alone the best one.
However, once you go through the initial key setup — you will find that the Microsoft Sculpt is actually your ideal choice among all keyboards.
First of all, it’s incredibly well-sculpted. It solves any hand alignment problems, but crucially enough — it manages to deliver a high level of quality without being too expensive.
It’s precisely this balance between a great design, awesome performance, and an approachable price that makes it the best according to us.
To get into more detail — the keyboard comes with a useful palm resting cushion, meaning you won’t be straining your hands as you type.
Your fingers can comfortably achieve a vertical position without any strain; allow you to maintain productivity more easily than ever before.
We should also mention that the keyboard is aesthetically pleasing as well. Getting all of that in one neat package is incredible, considering its relatively low price.
And if you know anything about ergonomic keyboards, you’ll find that this one is definitely a cut above the rest by many metrics.
First of all, a majority of this type of keyboard do their job by positioning its keys in a way that allows your wrists to be more comfortable. However, the Microsoft Sculpt goes a mile further.
What’s so good about Microsoft Sculpt?
On top of everything else that this keyboard has, it also comes with one important feature that differentiates it from its peers; especially in its price range! And by that, we mean the wrist rotation feature.
The Sculpt from Microsoft doesn’t just let your wrists be positioned in an angle that’s more natural; it also has an overall domed shape which makes the keys slightly raised. In turn, this achieves the effect of your wrists going a bit outwards instead of just being flat on the keyboard.
The nerves in your wrists are relieved of a lot of pressure this way, ensuring long-term comfort. In turn, this also means that there won’t be any ulnar nerve deviations which otherwise happen when your wrists are contorted in angles that aren’t natural for extended time periods.
If you’re someone who works in data entry, you will also appreciate the fact that this keyboard has a separate num pad that you can easily move around and manipulate. That way, you can position it in a way that’s the most comfortable for you.
What’s no so good?
Naturally, there are a couple of quirks related to this winning keyboard. Namely, the fact that you don’t have it set for macOS usage by default.
While you can connect it wirelessly without additional drivers, you will need to make a switch between the Alt and Control keys via your computer.
However, this is a fix that doesn’t take more than a couple of minutes. And it doesn’t detract from the overall quality of the hardware.
How we chose the number one pick
Before we go on to presenting you with other picks on our list, we’ll take a look at the things we kept in mind while choosing the winner.
If you want to have the ability to pick the best possible keyboard for yourself — you’ll need to know the basics about ergonomic keyboard functionalities.
First of all, going from a traditional keyboard to an ergonomic one can feel like something of a huge leap. That’s because you simply may not be accustomed to the way these keyboards are arranged.
Don’t worry — a lot of typing comes down to muscle memory, meaning that you need to give yourself some time to acquire one with the new keyboard. And that’s true regardless of what kind of model you buy.
Also, you need to know that, in almost every case, ergonomic keyboards are far costlier than traditional office models. This is only logical, seeing as they provide a much higher degree of quality.
And while the investment into one of these may feel more sizable than you’d like — it’s still worth it in the long run. If you buy a high-quality ergonomic keyboard, you’ll find that you haven’t just made a peripheral upgrade.
Instead, you’re basically investing in your future and your health. If your job will rely on a lot of typing in the future as well, the last thing you need is to do permanent damage to your shoulders, wrists, and hands.
And repeated daily use of the wrong keyboard over a long period of time will cause just that. The name for that is repeated stress injury; it happens when you do the same (in this case, hand) motions for a huge time period.
And let’s face it if you’re sitting in front of your keyboard and typing away each workday — you’re doing just that kind of damage.
But the good news is, this can be mitigated by using the right ergonomic keyboard. In practice, these keyboards do wonders for reducing the unnatural positions and hand movements that your hands undergo while working on a regular keyboard.
Better Hand Positions
If you want to know how to pick a great ergonomic keyboard, you need to know precisely how keyboards affect your hands. For instance, typing on traditional keyboards results in a series of movements that aren’t quite natural to your hands.
First of all, you tend to lay your arms flat on a surface besides the keyboard, which is far from their natural position. Second, lateral reaches that you make result in wrist-twisting and finger extending that you would never do otherwise; over and over again, in order to be able to find specific keys and hit them.
And if your wrists are on the table where your keyboard is, you will need to bend them upwards in order to reach any of the keys. Your shoulder muscles will also constantly be flexing in order to keep the rest of your arms in a position that’s good for typing.
All of this isn’t great if you’re doing it all the time — which is something that the modern workplace simply entails. And ergonomic keyboards want to fix these issues by reimagining the shape and key placement of the previous standard keyboard models.
First of all, the priority here is on minimizing or eliminating the straining bends and twists that you have to make with your arms and wrists.
That’s why a majority of ergonomic models tend to split all of the keys containing letters into two distinct halves. These halves are twisted and point towards the lower parts of the keyboard. And that kind of half-circle model lets your arms reach the keys from a position that’s far more comfortable and natural.
Also, there are split keyboards that come in two completely separate halves which you can further manipulate. This allows you to customize the angle of the rotation as much as you want.
There’s also a design technique called “tenting”. It’s intended to reshape a traditional keyboard design to place its center at a higher position, while the other keys are found on lower parts of the sides.
This is another kind of angled model that wants to reduce the strain on your wrists. Plenty of keyboards achieve this effect with a curved chassis, while others simply have folding feet that raise half of the keyboard upwards.
The best alternatives
You can easily create all kinds of shortcuts, macros, or perform remapping of keys. That’s another feature that allows your workflow to be better than ever before.
Now that we’ve established what we considered when picking the best ergonomic keyboard for Mac — now it’s time to take a look at the three other runner-up models. And there are no two ways about this — Kinesis KB600 Advantage2 represents one of the highest quality keyboards on this list.
However, apart from that — it’s also the most expensive one, and certainly not a purchase for everyone. That’s the lone aspect preventing it from becoming our top pick; the fact that it’s a luxury item that a middle-class individual may not want to invest in.
However, for people who can afford it — this is one of the best choices on our list for sure. First of all, anyone who wants a keyboard that enables high productivity without hand strain will be well satisfied with this model.
All kinds of programmers and software engineers make use of this. It has key wells in a concave shape and excellently designed mechanical switches; these types of keys ensure that you don’t have to exert too much force in order to achieve the desired effect.
There are a couple of other designs in here which are patented and all of them are there to make sure you’ve got all the comfort that you need in the workplace.
What’s good about Kinesis KB600?
Just like we’ve talked about above, this is one of those keyboard designs that works wonders to minimize your ulnar nerve deviation. Also, the concave keys are designed for ultimate comfort and the least possible finger extension
So, while you may need some time to get used to this design, which is not usual even among ergonomic keyboards; you can be certain that the Kinesis Advantage2 lives up to its name, for sure.
If you set aside enough money to purchase this baby, you will find that it provides you all of the comfort you need for any kind of extended typing session.
That’s one of the reasons it’s a favorite among data entry specialists and software engineers alike. Sure, it costs a lot more than even the average ergonomic keyboard; but it has a lot to make up for that price.
As we’ve said, it has concave keys. This means that the keys you use for typing are split across the middle and then spread down into something of a concave shape. In turn, your thumb sides will be higher by 20 degrees, ensuring less stress.
While this may seem weird at first, you will understand it better once you see it in practice. This design does wonders for helping with finger extension reductions.
Overall, your wrist muscles, fingers, and your entire hands will be far more relaxed. In turn, this means that you will have far less fatigue by the time you’re done with your work.
And the split design also helps reduce ulnar nerve deviation to the bare minimum, while also reducing the pressure that your shoulders bear by letting you comfortably hold your arms in the right position.
The ergonomic features of the KB600 don’t end there either. This keyboard comes with incredible built-in support for your wrists. That arrives in the form of two separate adhesive pads which you can easily move around and plant firmly where you like.
As a result, you will be able to stylize the position of the entire keyboard according to the most natural movement for your hands.
Also, the keys are arranged into thumb clusters on the side; these correspond to the keys you most often hit with your thumbs on this sort of keyboard. While the new position of the Backspace, Space, and Enter keys might take some getting used to, you will find that it becomes far easier to hit them with your thumbs in this position.
Let’s remember that this is a premium-level mechanical model, and that means one thing; programmable keys. This is especially useful on a Mac because you might want to arrange the keys differently than you would on a Windows OS machine.
What’s not so good?
Of course, the fact that this keyboard isn’t in the top spot means that it’s not exactly perfect; though few keyboards are. The biggest flaws pertaining to this model are spearheaded with its skyrocketing price. All of that quality definitely does not come at a bargain in this case; unlike the Microsoft Sculpt that we mentioned first.
And besides that — this keyboard doesn’t come with a separate num pad, somewhat lessening its versatility. Apart from that, the design doesn’t just require a period of adaptation from any user; but it’s also bulkier than some people would like.
The wrist pillowing on this keyboard goes a cut above the rest when it comes to the quality and comfort it provides.
Our third pick is the Logitech Ergo K860. This is a no-nonsense keyboard that definitely earns its place among the best ergonomic keyboards for Mac.
It has plenty of features that make it a worthwhile investment, and anyone who does a lot of typing will be quite happy with this device.
In fact, plenty of people who use standing desks to improve their health in the workplace swear by this ergonomic keyboard as their go-to typing hardware.
What’s good about Ergo K860?
For starters, we’ve already said that there are more than a few things to like about this Logitech model. And at the very top of this list, we’d have to name its awesome versatility.
Not only is this one of the greatest ergonomic keyboards for Mac, but it’s fully usable on a Windows operating system as well. Plenty of professionals who use Mac for their day to day work find themselves switching to a Windows machine for casual usage; this keyboard fits that bill as well.
You can easily switch across multiple devices and connect them with several Mac and PC units. But when we mentioned that this was a versatile keyboard, we didn’t mean just that. On the other hand, it’s practically adjustable as well.
For instance, it comes with tilt legs that can be adjusted across different degrees or entirely collapsed; contrary to most tilt legs that only come with two modes of operation.
This is the main reason why users who stand at their desks prefer this Logitech model — its adjustable legs are perfect for standing desks.
The excellent ergonomics aren’t done just yet. Just like most of the keyboards on this list, it has a design that includes split keys, pillows for your wrists, and a convex curve. All of this means that forearm and nerve deviation issues can be completely avoided.
Just like you’d expect out of a real-life pillow for your head, the wrist pillows are designed with several different layers. Three different materials are used in conjunction to provide the best possible support and comfort.
And when pillowed, your wrists will be in a position that’s slightly above the rest of the keyboard — meaning you have support for your wrists even if you lay down the keyboard in a flat position.
This wireless keyboard comes with AAA batteries that can last for an insane amount of time; you won’t have to switch them out for around two years. There are several remappable keys, though not all.
What’s not so good?
Apart from most of the keys not being remappable, there’s also the issue that the above $100 price range is a bit too steep for a keyboard product that’s manufactured out of plastic.
However, that’s not a big drawback considering everything else that the model offers.
It has the classic ergonomic split keys and round shape that allows your wrists and hands to remain in a constantly correct position from an anatomic point of view.
Our final choice on this list is a particularly contemporary one — seeing as it’s called the Fellowes Microban. This is a great ergonomic keyboard that has all of the split key designs and the great aesthetic that you’d want.
However, apart from that — it also has a rich coating that wards off any kind of bacteria and germs. In the age of COVID-19, this has become a more important feature than anyone could have dreamed of.
What’s good about Fellowes Microban?
As you might know, there are all kinds of sizes and shapes when it comes to ergonomic keyboards. They’re far less uniformed than the traditional keyboards, which all tend to look alike.
Even the top picks among the best ergonomic keyboards for Mac on this list vary wildly.
However, the curved shape of the Microban keyboard is still the dominant model in the mainstream part of the industry. And that’s nothing bad — we’re simply stating that the Microban doesn’t opt to do anything revolutionary in terms of its design and aesthetic, but it’s still effective enough.
Plus, the anti-bacterial key coating makes it pretty unique from a health perspective.
This is a wired keyboard, unlike many other ergonomic keyboards of today. And that only brings more towards its somewhat dated aesthetic, seeing as you can’t find a wireless version of this model.
Also, while it is curved, it’s nowhere near as sleek as the Microsoft Sculpt model from an aesthetic standpoint.
So, why are we listing all of this under the “pros” section?
Because this is not a keyboard for people who care too much about peripheral aesthetics anyway. The crowd who thinks RGB backlighting is an important feature won’t find much to look forward to here.
However, people who value health, safety, and pure functionality will find this to be the most approachable model in terms of pricing as well.
The “don’t fix what isn’t broken” philosophy of design has served its manufacturers well here. While the design isn’t stellar, it gets you where you want to go in terms of comfort and ergonomic features. The keyboard has a learning curve that is less steep than some of its more expensive counterparts on our list.
The curvature doesn’t result in a palm rotation that’s as starkly visible as it is on the Microsoft Sculpt, but it’s still there and plays a minor role.
And the anti-bacterial coating is definitely a nice touch for people who aren’t working from home in the COVID-19 era. You want to be certain that your keyboard won’t be contaminated by anyone else using it while you’re not around.
What’s not so good?
The keys of this keyboard aren’t mappable, and the manufacturing isn’t as sturdy as it is with costlier mechanical models.
With that in mind, it’s less of a permanent investment.
Why should you opt for ergonomic keyboards
As we’ve already mentioned, people work in different ways than they did just 50 years ago. We spend far longer hours in front of our keyboards than ever before.
And many people work from home — especially today. This means that comfort is incredibly important; particularly if you’re not among the youngest in the workforce.
In the long term, your productivity levels will plummet if you allow yourself to continually have wrist and hand pains. If your regular keyboard is detrimental to your health, you should ditch it for an ergonomic one right away.
There are some keyboards that aren’t just purely ergonomic in their shape — but they’re also split keyboards. This means you can further adjust their position according to how it’s the most pleasurable to you specifically.
Having an ergonomic keyboard also usually results in lesser stress levels in the workplace; regardless of the kind of business you’re in.
After all, if you spend a lot of time typing on your computer, it doesn’t quite matter what you’re typing — you still want to be as comfortable as possible. And if you’re constantly in combat with chronic wrist pain as a result of bad keyboard designs; you’re not doing anyone any favors.
Finally, when you’re completely comfortable with your workplace peripherals — your productivity is bound to be higher than when you’re working on a lousy keyboard.
Of course, this is mostly true for people who spend the most time typing; but then again, that’s the target audience for this kind of product anyway.
Ergonomic keyboard for Mac – buying guide
Now that we’ve taken a look at all of the top contenders for the throne of the best ergonomic keyboard for Mac, there’s another question — what else should you think about while you select some of the other models that we haven’t listed here?
First of all, you need to think about the main design of the chassis.
Stay or Split
The designs of ergonomic keyboards can be differentiated by a number of different characteristics. There are plenty of different key configurations and shapes.
Plus, you can think about the time and financial investments you need to put in; the latter being the purchase price, while the former is the adjustment period before you’re fully comfortable with the design.
Obviously, each keyboard model tries to position itself as unique. Some switch around between the positions of the Control and Alt keys, for example. But when you take away the subtle details, there are two main categories by which we can differ ergonomic keyboards.
First, there’s the single-piece model — the K860 from Logitech is such a model, where all of the keys rotate around a single chassis that has no more than one unitary part.
Secondly, there are split-key models that are physically divided into two halves that you can adjust according to your needs.
“Stay” models have a bigger curvature because that’s the way they deal with wrist-twisting reduction. They also try to implement a unitary design that will lessen the negative strain on the muscles in your arms.
Such keyboards don’t have such a large learning curve, and they tend to be cheaper than split models. The reason for that is simple — while they’re definitely not the same as traditional flat models, the experience you have while using them is closer to that.
Simultaneously, there are certain problems with ergonomics that these keyboards aren’t as good at addressing. For instance, you may need to perform some reaching using your arms if you want to remain in a position that’s comfortable for typing.
Ideally, an ergonomic keyboard provides you with every key that you have to use without you having to reach for anything, curl down your shoulders, perform arm twisting, or wrist bending.
The level of customization required for such a feat is more widely found in a split keyboard. When you have two different halves in a keyboard, you can more freely control the shape and width between its parts and reposition them how it fits you the best.
Naturally, the very fact that unitary ergonomic keyboards exist means that it’s not all so black and white. At the end of the day, the type of model that you’ll choose depends more on your own needs and your intensity of daily typing.
Someone who doesn’t have to type for more than 4 hours each day is less likely to require a split keyboard; solely because their arms and wrists don’t experience the same amount of tension as with someone who types more.
So, if you feel like a unitary keyboard isn’t doing the job for you — that’s when you should opt for switching to a split keyboard. As you might assume, though — there are a couple of other factors too.
For one, people who are used to traditional mechanical keyboards will find themselves better accustomed to a split keyboard.
That’s because most split ergonomic keyboards are also mechanical; the more affordable unibody keyboards opt for scissor switches more often because they look to keep the manufacturing price as low as possible.
On the other hand, most unibody ergonomic keyboards are wireless models, meaning that you don’t have to fiddle around too much to set them up.
It all comes down to the individual characteristics and features you want — which is why you should do your best to research the different traits of every model. While split keyboards often sound like the best possible solution by default, that isn’t always so.
For instance, many of these models don’t have configuration software for Mac computers; though that’s not the case with the ones that we’ve recommended here. This is the reason why plenty of people who don’t experience physical pain or stress while typing often make the compromise of going with the unitary models.
The Learning Curve
We’ve already mentioned that pretty much every ergonomic keyboard has some sort of learning curve; at least if you’ve used traditional keyboards before it. But just how pronounced is this for individual models?
The answer pretty much depends on the person in question and the specific keyboard model. Some people have a hard time adapting, while others do it on the go; conversely, some keyboards are just objectively harder to get into because of more revolutionary designs.
If you ask us, it shouldn’t take the average person more than two weeks to reach their usual level of typing proficiency when it comes to unibody keyboards. And when it comes to split models, it can take a week or two more simply because most people have never typed on a two-part keyboard.
Should you have the need to type quickly at any point but you haven’t reached your required level of proficiency — you can always temporarily switch out for a traditional keyboard without any additional adjustment time. And when you start switching back and forth a bit more, you’ll find that it’s something that becomes easier to do each subsequent time.
If you’re having a bit of trouble with a split keyboard, you can always try a more gradual approach while training yourself for the new model. Just start out by keeping both sides pushed together, akin to a traditional keyboard.
As days go by, slowly widen the gap between them and you’ll gradually start getting more and more comfortable.
Consider These Factors As Well
We should point out that, while helpful, ergo keyboards won’t magically solve any issues you have with your wrists, arms, and hands. If you’re experiencing pain while typing, that may not necessarily be caused by the type of keyboard that you’re using or repetitive stress.
Instead, it could be some other underlying musculoskeletal injury or disorder that you simply don’t know about.
Still, most health guidelines for office workers recommend ergo keyboards as the safest possible way to type over extended time periods. Even if you’re experiencing numbness or pain for other reasons, these keyboards will still alleviate some of the stress; it’s just important to take other factors into consideration as well.
Plus, there are other paraphernalia and equipment that your office could benefit from in terms of ergonomics. For example, there are ergonomic mice like trackballs and vertical mice models that reduce the stress suffered by your mouse hand.
And the most obvious piece of equipment that you need to get is a good ergonomic chair; one that provides more than enough lumbar support. Spoiling your posture is something that happens to many office workers, and you should work to prevent that on time.
In the end, you may be wondering which keyboard is the best choice for you. In your search for the best ergonomic keyboard for Mac, we can tell you with utmost certainty that the Microsoft Sculpt is your all-around best option.
You will get great quality for a fraction of the price of some more expensive models.
However, each of the other models on our list has its pros and cons — depending on your needs, preferences, and budget, any one of them could be a great choice as well!
We hope you found this guide useful and that you now feel at least a bit more confident about finding your very own best ergonomic keyboard for Mac devices. Make sure that you are staying safe in these times we are going through and have a good one, folks!