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Are Mechanical Keyboards Better than Membranes?

If you’re a gamer, you’re likely familiar with the two main types of keyboards: membrane and mechanical. While membrane keyboards are considered lower-end models, mechanical keyboards are high-end and have a more professional appearance. 

Both types have advantages and disadvantages, but when it comes to gaming specifically, a mechanical keyboard will consistently provide an advantage over your opponents. The higher cost of mechanical keyboards is justified by their unique construction and design, which sets them apart from membrane keyboards.

So, are mechanical keyboards better than membrane? Let’s figure it out.

Mechanical Keyboards Better than Membranes

What is a Mechanical Keyboard?

Mechanical keyboards offer a unique typing experience with individual mechanical switches beneath each keycap, providing a satisfying bounce and spring-back sensation.

These switches activate after registering the keypress, often accompanied by a distinctive bounce, bump, or click sound.

The intricate design, modifications, and technical variations of mechanical keyboards make establishing a universal working mechanism challenging. The keyboard’s design influences the required force for key registration and the clarity of feedback received.

Mechanical keyboards feature mechanical switches, offering precise and swift typing experiences. There are three main switch types: clicky, tactile, and linear.

  • Clicky Switches: These switches produce an audible click sound upon actuation, providing feedback that the keypress is registered. Examples include the Kailh BOX V2 switch.
  • Tactile Switches: These switches offer tactile feedback with a small-to-medium bump sensation upon key press. Salmon tactile switches are an example of this type.
  • Linear Switches: Linear switches lack tactile feedback and require pressing the keycaps down for registration. Hippo linear switches are a popular choice.

Additionally, silent switches are available for quieter operation, primarily for linear and tactile switches. Clicky switches are generally not suitable for noise-sensitive environments due to their inherent clicking function.

What are Membrane Keyboards?

Membrane keyboards employ pressure-sensitive layers consisting of delicate mesh-like components beneath their keys. A key strikes these layers when pressed, reaching the metal end at the keyboard’s base to transmit the corresponding input to the computer.

Unlike mechanical, membrane keyboards lack tactile feedback and exhibit a squishy texture. Some models may offer a subtle bounce upon pressing, while others provide a pillowy or mushy effect.

These keyboards enjoy widespread popularity, being utilized in various devices such as microwaves, washing machines, and computer keyboards. The slightly raised dome switch membrane keypads are preferred for typing convenience compared to flat keypads.

Membrane keyboards possess distinctive features that set them apart:

3 Flexible Layers: Comprising the bed of a membrane keyboard is a conductive trace accompanied by three thin and flexible layers. The topmost layer, the membrane layer, is where your fingertips come into contact.

Rubbery Sensation: The combination of plastic keycaps and the underlying rubber membrane gives membrane keyboards a unique rubbery feel, often described as slightly mushy. This tactile characteristic can be bittersweet, captivating some users while potentially irritating others.

Are Mechanical Keyboards Better than Membrane?

For users seeking optimal precision and swiftness, mechanical keyboards are highly recommended. Whether you’re a gamer, programmer, or writer, mechanical keyboards offer unparalleled reliability in achieving these qualities.

While membrane keyboards can also provide precision, the thin inner layers are prone to uneven wear over time. The frequently used keys wear out first, leading to an inconsistency in key height.

This inconsistency, with some keys being flat while others slightly raised, can have a negative impact on both precision and speed when performing various functions.

It is crucial for gamers, writers, and programmers to achieve precision, as it directly impacts their performance. Inconsistencies in keyboards can lead to typing errors, omissions, and delayed feedback, causing frequent typographical mistakes.

Mechanical keyboards excel in registering keypresses even with the lightest touch. In contrast, membrane keyboards necessitate pressing down to engage the layers that trigger the circuit.

Furthermore, mechanical keyboards provide constant feedback, ensuring users know when a keypress is successfully registered. This immediate and reliable response enhances precision and user experience.

Key Rollover: Mechanical keyboards support key rollover, allowing simultaneous detection of multiple key presses with a swift response. This feature is absent in membrane keyboards, leading to omitted keystrokes when typing rapidly.

Customization Options: Mechanical keyboards provide extensive customization possibilities, making them highly appealing to computer users. Beyond their immersive feel, mechanical keyboards allow customization of even the smallest details.

From specifications like colour, shape, and production material to technical aspects such as switch type, keycap height, and programming, you can customize your mechanical keyboard to suit your preferences.

Additionally, keycap replacements enable further customization or the incorporation of new features.

Also, mechanical keyboards offer extensive modification options. You can enhance the sound of your keyboard to your liking by adding stabilizers, dampening the sound. With mechanical keyboards, your computer experience is far from dull.

Moreover, the ability to replace parts sets mechanical keyboards apart. It can be easily accomplished if you need to replace a single switch or a missing keycap.

Almost every component of a mechanical keyboard can be replaced, which is not common, if not impossible, feature with most membrane keyboards. If any component is damaged or unsatisfactory, you can replace it rather than invest in an entirely new keyboard.

A mechanical keyboard is an excellent choice if you enjoy experimenting with different components and seeking diverse feedback experiences.

If you get bored with the same keyboard features over time or take pride in your techy side, a mechanical keyboard is a perfect addition to your collection.

The opportunity to build and customize your keyboard from scratch using handpicked components is a compelling feature of mechanical keyboards.

If you love tinkering with computers and relish the role of a technician, a mechanical keyboard offers an exciting avenue for exploration.

Starting with just one keyboard, you can gradually acquire various components and build different keyboard variations that cater to distinct preferences and tastes.


Is a mechanical keyboard or membrane better for gaming?

Mechanical keyboards are generally considered better for gaming due to their precise and responsive key switches, faster actuation, and better durability. They offer a tactile and satisfying typing experience, ensuring accurate inputs during intense gaming sessions.

Does a membrane keyboard feel better than a mechanical one?

The preference for keyboard feel is subjective, but many users find mechanical keyboards offer a more satisfying and tactile typing experience than membrane keyboards. The mechanical switches provide distinct, responsive feedback that enhances typing accuracy and enjoyment.

Is a membrane or mechanical keyboard better for fast typing?

Mechanical keyboards are generally better for fast typing due to their precise key switches, faster actuation, and tactile feedback. The mechanical switches allow quicker and more accurate key presses, reducing the chances of missed keystrokes and enhancing typing speed and efficiency.

Why do people prefer mechanical keyboards over membranes?

People prefer mechanical keyboards over membrane keyboards because of the tactile feedback, precise key switches, faster actuation, and better typing experience. The customizable nature, durability, and ability to replace individual components also contribute to enthusiasts’ and professionals’ preference for mechanical keyboards.

Final Words

In a world of choices, we constantly seek the best options, especially regarding keyboards. To make an informed decision, it’s helpful to understand the differences between keyboard types.

While personal preference plays a significant role, this comprehensive review aims to guide you toward the keyboard that suits your needs.

Whether you opt for a mechanical keyboard’s techy and immersive experience or a membrane keyboard’s silent and soothing nature, what truly matters is that you enjoy the typing experience with your chosen keyboard.