Mechanical vs. Membrane Keyboards: Which Is Better?

Last Updated: December 10, 2021By

Mechanical keyboard with light on gray surface

Let’s face it; keyboards are a part of our life. They’re an integral component of how we work, play, and interact with others. And while there have been advancements in the way we type on these devices over the years, most people still rely on a keyboard that is either membrane or mechanical.

So what exactly is the difference?

The Difference Between Membrane and Mechanical Keyboards

Membrane keyboards have been around for a long time. In the early days, they were considered the best option because of their price and durability.

However, this has changed as more people are switching from membrane keyboards to mechanical keyboards.

Here’s how these two types of keyboards compare:


Membrane keyboards require more force to press than mechanical keyboards. This can be a big deal for gamers and writers who need to type frequently throughout the day without causing too much strain on their hands and wrists.


A common complaint about most membrane keyboards is that they tend to wobble around when used. This can be very distracting while working or playing games.


Mechanical keyboards offer up to 50 million keystrokes, while membrane keyboards top out at ten million.

There is no doubt that mechanical keyboards offer greater durability than their membrane counterparts. Mechanical switches do eventually wear down and become unresponsive over time, but they will still offer more than five times a membrane board.


Membrane keyboards are cheaper than mechanical keyboards, sometimes by hundred dollars. This is one of their biggest selling points because not everyone can afford to spend more money on a keyboard.


Depending on the switches, mechanical keyboards make a lot of noise when they are being used. This can be a pro or con, depending on your preference. Some people like the clicky sound of a mechanical keyboard, while others hate it.


Mechanical keyboard's red switches on white surface

One of the best things about mechanical keyboards is their customizability. This means that you can change how they look and feel to make them perfect for your needs. You can change the type of switches and even the keycaps.

If you’re someone who likes to have a lot of control over the devices they use, then a mechanical keyboard is a perfect choice for you.

Key Rollover

Another advantage of mechanical keyboards is that they have a higher key rollover than membrane keyboards. This means that you can press more than several keys simultaneously, and they will all register.

This is perfect for gamers who need to hit multiple keys quickly to take down their opponents or someone who needs to type fast and accurately.


Membrane keyboards are notorious for their mushy feel. They use a rubber membrane to create a keystroke, which means that the force of your finger is not transferred directly to the switch underneath the key.

Instead, it has to be transmitted through this sheet of rubber and can’t provide feedback about how much pressure you’re applying or whether you’ve successfully activated the key.

Membrane keys also don’t have an obvious click when they activate, meaning it’s difficult for users to know if they’ve pressed down hard enough. The mushiness of these keys often makes them feel less responsive after extended use because there’s no tactile sensation when typing on them.

Keyboards with mechanical switches offer satisfying clackity-clack sounds when activated. Gamers, in particular, appreciate the feedback that mechanical switches provide, as it allows them to make split-second decisions about their next move.

Why Do People Use Mechanical Keyboards Despite Their Higher Price Tag?

People use mechanical keyboards because they offer many advantages over membrane keyboards. Mechanical keyboards are more resistant to wear and tear, have a higher key rollover, and come with customizable features that allow users to tailor them to their own needs.

They also provide tactile feedback and a satisfying sound when keys are activated. While mechanical keyboards have a higher price tag, many people still think they are worth the investment.

How To Choose Mechanical Keyboard For Your Needs

If you’re considering making the switch to a mechanical keyboard, there are many things you should keep in mind.


First of all, it’s essential to buy one with switches that match your typing style and preferences. There are plenty of switches available on the market, each offering its unique benefits and drawbacks.

For example, some switches are better for gaming, while others are better for typing. You’ll also want to consider how much noise the keyboard makes, a factor that can be important to some people and not so important to others.

Cherry MX Blue

Cherry MX Blue switches are the best choice for gamers because they’re tactile, which means that you’ll know exactly when a key has been pressed. They also offer clicky feedback so that you can feel confident about typing. You may find them too loud to use in an office environment or around other people who want to work quietly.

Cherry MX Brown

Brown switches are a good all-around choice because they offer tactile and auditory feedback. They’re not as loud as Blue switches, but they’re still more noticeable than Red switches. This makes them a good option for people who want to be able to hear when they’ve pressed a key, but don’t want the extra noise that Blue switches create.

Cherry MX Red

Cherry MX Red switches are less noisy than Cherry MX Blue switches and provide more resistance than Brown switch types. This makes them perfect for gaming or other situations where noise is distracting, but accuracy is still important. These switches are not as popular as the other two options on this list because they lack some of the benefits of either choice.


Another thing you’ll need to take into account is the keyboard’s layout. Not all mechanical keyboards are created equal, and some of them have different layouts that may not suit your needs.

Make sure to check out the keyboard’s dimensions and how many keys are on it before you buy. Some keyboards have extra buttons that can be useful, but others don’t, so having more or fewer keys might make the keyboard more or less usable for your purposes.


It’s also important to consider how much you’re willing to spend on a mechanical keyboard. While most of them will cost more than their membrane counterparts, there are some cheaper keyboards available if you’re on a tight budget.

Just be sure to read the reviews before you buy, as some of the cheaper keyboards are known for their poor build quality.


Mechanical keyboards are the better choice for most people. They provide more resistance, durability, and stability than membrane keyboards do. Although they are more expensive than membrane keyboards, the extra benefits make them well worth the investment.