Mechanical vs Membrane Keyboard – Which One Should I Choose?

Choosing a new keyboard? Not sure if you should get a mechanical or membrane keyboard? Here's the ultimate guide to help you make the right decision!


If you’re looking for a new keyboard that will make typing and gaming more exciting and add more feel to it, mechanical keyboards really are a breath of fresh air as opposed to the standard membrane keyboards.

However, not every mechanical keyboard is the same; they differ by the mechanical switches that determine whether the keyboard is more suited for typing, gaming, or both.

Have you finally decided to get rid of your old membrane keyboard with rubber domes and replace it with a new fancy and shiny mechanical keyboard?

Then you might be confused with all the different types of mechanical keyboards. Nowadays, you can get a high-quality mechanical keyboard for an affordable price, which is why we recommend them over the standard ones.

The crucial thing about choosing the best mechanical keyboard is the type of mechanical switches it uses. Some are more suited for gaming, which makes them impractical for typing, others are great for typing but not as good for gaming, and so on.

membrane keyboard gaming

Membrane vs. Mechanical Keyboard

Unlike the standard membrane keyboards with rubber domes that need to be pressed all the way down for the button to be registered, mechanical keyboards have specific switches that allow for quicker actuation, among other things.

However, some mechanical keyboards require lesser actuation force for the key to be pressed, which can make gaming more responsive, but it also may cause you to misspell when typing fast.

The last thing you need to consider when purchasing a mechanical keyboard is whether it’s ‘clicky.’ Some keyboards can be very loud, which makes them unsuitable for office use. Moreover, some users find the clicky sound satisfying while others cannot stand it.

There are many different mechanical keyboard switches and manufacturers – we’ll break down the most popular ones.

Types Of Mechanical Switches

SwitchTypeClickyActuation ForceActuation Distance
Cherry MX BlueTactileYes50g-60g2mm
Cherry MX GreenTactileYes80g2mm
Cherry MX BrownTactileNo45g-55g2mm
Cherry MX BlackLinearNo40g-80g2mm
Cherry MX RedLinearNo45g2mm
Cherry MX ClearTactileNo55g-65g2mm
Cherry MX Speed (Silver)LinearNo45g1.2mm
Razer OrangeTactileNo45g1.9mm
Razer GreenTactileYes50g-55g1.9mm
Razer YellowLinearNo45g1.2mm
Logitech Romer-GTactileNo45g1.5mm

Best Mechanical Switches For Everyday Use

mecha membrane vs mechanical

The most widespread, as well as the most affordable mechanical keyboards feature blue switches. Although their price may be tempting, you should avoid these for gaming as they require heavy actuation force, meaning that they are great for typing in general, but they’re not preferable for gaming by most users.

Best Mechanical Switches For Gaming

mechanical membrane keyboard

Moving on to the Cherry MX Red and Black.

These are linear switches meaning that you won’t feel the tactile bump that lets you know the keypress has been registered.

Instead, the actuation point and the release point are in the same position allowing for instant and fast feedback – perfect for gaming.

The only difference between the two is that the MX Red is lighter than the MX Black.

The Cherry MX Speed is similar but with a shorter actuation distance, allowing for the fastest response to your commands.

Notice that Razer’s Yellow switch is their variant of the Cherry MX Speed, while the Razer Orange and Green correspond to the MX Brown and MX Blue, respectively.

The downside of these fast linear switches is that, as much as they are suitable for gaming, they are bad for everything else as they can cause you to misspell while typing quickly.

Unless you plan on using your keyboard mostly for gaming, we advise you to avoid these as chances are, you aren’t going to love them.

Best Mechanical Switches For Office Use

If you are looking for a mechanical keyboard for your office, make sure it’s not clicky as it will drive your co-workers mad!

We’ve found the MX Brown and MX Black (Silent) to be the most suited for prolonged typing.

mechanical keyboard definition

Best Mechanical Switches Overall

The Cherry MX Brown, Razer Orange, and Romer-G tactile switches are the perfect middle-ground for most people as they offer balanced performance.

The reset and the actuation points are close together while the keys are light, allowing for responsive gameplay, as well as a delightful typing experience.

mechanical vs membrane keyboard gaming


Mechanical keyboards are simply better for gaming and typing in general; plus, they are more durable and versatile as opposed to the standard membrane keyboards, and nowadays, there are many affordable budget models available.

Just make sure that you get the right type of mechanical switches for your needs.

You Might Love These Too

USB Type C
USB Type-C Explained – Everything You Need To Know
Rob Shafer

Rob is a software engineer with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver. He now works full-time managing DisplayNinja while coding his own projects on the side.