What is membrane keyboard

Despite the popularity of mechanical keyboards, membrane keyboards remain widely used.

You may have observed that membrane keyboards are readily available, which means these keyboards are in demand.

If you’re unsure about what a membrane keyboard is and whether it’s suitable for gaming and typing, we’ve tried to address your concerns in the most straightforward manner possible.

What is a membrane keyboard?

What is membrane keyboard inside

Membrane keyboards use a single rubber membrane beneath the keys, each featuring a raised dome.

When a key is pressed, it makes contact with the raised dome, which in turn touches the circuit board and registers a keystroke.

If you’ve ever disassembled an old TV remote, you may have noticed a flexible white rubber membrane beneath the keys; this is the same type of rubber used in membrane keyboards.

In a membrane keyboard, there are no springs or additional components beneath the keys. All keys rest on the membrane, resulting in a somewhat mushy feedback sensation due to the rubber dome.

Since most rubber membranes are similar, the feedback across all membrane keyboards is generally consistent.

However, there have been advancements. Some companies now use a plastic frame above the membrane to hold all the keys. These keys are raised from the keyboard’s surface, mimicking the feel of a mechanical keyboard.

When keys are pressed on these keyboards, they make contact with the plastic frame above the membrane, providing the illusion of pressing keys on a mechanical keyboard.

However, the feedback experienced is nowhere near that of an actual mechanical keyboard.

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Are membrane keyboards good for typing?

Membrane keyboards used to be the go-to choice for typing before mechanical keyboards entered the market.

Once mechanical keyboards became available, they quickly gained popularity and became people’s preferred option.

However, does this mean that membrane keyboards are entirely unsuitable for typing?

Having used both membrane and mechanical keyboards ourselves, we must admit that once you experience a mechanical keyboard, it’s hard to go back. The tactile and auditory feedback of mechanical switches is highly satisfying.

That said, if you’ve never used a mechanical keyboard, you will still find a membrane keyboard decent for typing.

It’s worth noting that feedback from membrane keyboards is often minimal, sometimes making it difficult to sense whether a key has been pressed due to the light touch required.

Yet, in modern membrane keyboards, efforts are being made to mimic the feel of mechanical keyboards by incorporating raised keys and altering some components under the keys.

While keys on traditional membrane keyboards may feel mushy and lack satisfactory feedback, modern membrane keyboards can provide a decent level of feedback satisfaction.

Overall, membrane keyboards are adequate for typing, but they will not offer the same level of satisfaction as mechanical keyboards.

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Are membrane keyboards good for gaming?


We played some games using a modern membrane keyboard, and the experience was satisfactory.

We found that 2D games like LIMBO were playable, but modern 3D games didn’t perform as well.

While you can technically play 3D games on a membrane keyboard, the overall experience may not be optimal.

So, is it advisable to purchase a membrane keyboard for gaming?

Honestly, if you only play games occasionally, a membrane keyboard could suffice.

However, there are dedicated membrane gaming keyboards, sometimes referred to as semi-mechanical keyboards, which incorporate a spring mechanism to simulate the feedback of a mechanical keyboard. These keyboards are budget-friendly and could be a viable option for gaming enthusiasts.

That said, if gaming is a significant part of your daily routine, it’s best to avoid standard membrane keyboards and opt for mechanical keyboards that are best suited for gaming.

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Who should buy a membrane keyboard?

You should consider purchasing a membrane keyboard if you:

  • Prefer a mostly silent keyboard.
  • Favor soft key presses.
  • Have a limited budget.
  • Do not engage in extensive typing.
  • Do not play many games.
  • Are learning typing.

For these specific use cases, a membrane keyboard is a suitable option.

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Who should not buy a membrane keyboard?

You should avoid purchasing a membrane keyboard if you:

  • Prefer tactile feedback when pressing keys.
  • Enjoy a clicky and satisfying sound while typing.
  • Are a writer and engage in extensive typing sessions.
  • Play modern 3D games that require precise input.
  • Prefer keyboards with RGB lighting for better visibility in the dark.

For all these tasks, we advise you to skip a membrane keyboard and opt for a mechanical one. Alternatively, you can consider a semi-mechanical keyboard, which is essentially a membrane keyboard but features raised keys to mimic the feel of a mechanical keyboard.

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Pros and Cons of a membrane keyboard


  • Great for typing in a silent environment
  • Silent operation
  • Minimal force required to press keys
  • Budget-friendly
  • Slim, lightweight, and easily portable
  • Suitable for typing


  • Key presses feel mushy
  • Not ideal for gaming
  • Less suitable for prolonged typing
  • Lacks tactile feedback on key presses
  • Occasionally difficult to tell if a key press is registered successfully

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Maintenance and Care Tips for Membrane Keyboards

  • Clean Regularly: Use compressed air or a soft brush to remove dust and debris from between the keys.
  • Avoid Liquids: Keep drinks away from your keyboard to prevent spills. If a spill occurs, disconnect and dry the keyboard thoroughly.
  • Use Keyboard Cover: It will protect your keyboard from spills and dust.
  • Gentle Presses: Press keys gently to avoid unnecessary wear and tear.
  • Temperature Control: Keep your keyboard away from extreme temperatures to prevent damage.
  • Transport Carefully: Use a padded case when transporting your keyboard to prevent damage.

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We’re not saying that membrane keyboards are terrible, but they are typically average at best.

While some expensive membrane keyboards can provide a decent typing and gaming experience, those in the budget range, costing under $20, tend to offer only basic functionality.

You can expect them to perform adequately but don’t expect a premium typing experience with tactile feedback and a satisfying clicky sound.

If you’re on a very tight budget, it’s better to consider semi-mechanical keyboards. While they may not match the quality of a full mechanical keyboard, they are generally superior to standard membrane keyboards.

The good news is that semi-mechanical or mechanical keyboards are now available at starting prices of around $30.

So, instead of opting for a regular membrane keyboard, consider investing in a mechanical or at least a semi-mechanical keyboard for a better overall experience.

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1. How do I know if my keyboard is membranes?

To check if your keyboard is a membrane keyboard, try removing a key and inspecting if there’s a rubber material underneath. If you find rubber, then it’s likely a membrane keyboard.

Additionally, if your keyboard feels soft and produces minimal noise when you press the keys, this is another indication that it’s a membrane keyboard.

2. Are membrane keyboards durable?

Well, the durability of a membrane keyboard depends on the brand and the quality of the materials used. If you’re purchasing a membrane keyboard for under $10, it may feel cheap and be more prone to damage. However, investing in higher-quality ones can result in increased durability.

In general, membrane keyboards can be durable, but this also relies on the materials used in their construction. With proper care and usage, you can expect to use a membrane keyboard for years.

3. Are membrane keyboards easy to clean and maintain?

Yes, membrane keyboards are generally easy to clean and maintain. You can use compressed air or a soft brush to remove dust from between the keys. Avoiding spills and using a keyboard cover when not in use can also help keep it in good condition.

However, they are not as easy to clean as mechanical or semi-mechanical keyboards, as you can’t remove every single key for cleaning.

4. Do membrane keyboards offer customizable options?

Yes, some membrane keyboards offer customizable options such as programmable keys, backlighting, and multimedia controls. However, the extent of customization is very limited compared to mechanical keyboards.

5. Are there different types of membrane keyboards?

Yes, there are various types of membrane keyboards. One popular variation is the scissor-switch membrane keyboard, which utilizes a scissor-like mechanism to improve key stability and responsiveness.

Furthermore, there are hybrid membrane-mechanical keyboards that blend features of both membrane and mechanical keyboards to offer a unique typing experience.

So, what is a membrane keyboard, and should you buy one for gaming or typing? We are sure you know the answer now.

If you still have any doubts, feel free to ask us in the comment section.

Also, share your thoughts if you agree or disagree with the points mentioned above.

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