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Mechanical vs Membrane Keyboard:Differences(What’s Better?)

If you are looking for a comparison of Mechanical vs Membrane keyboards, then this is the right post.

I already have used a mechanical keyboard for at least 3.5+years and membrane keyboards for more than 8+ years. From my experience I will discuss the differences here.

In short: Mechanical keyboards work with individual mechanical switches behind each keys whereas membrane keyboards work by registering key impression on a membrane layer within keys. The membrane keyboards does not have individual switches. In lifespan mechanical keyboards last longer than a membrane keyboard. Overall, in typing and gaming, though a mechanical keyboard is costlier than membrane ones, they perform really well with their experience, better durability.

Mechanical VS Membrane keyboard

Why Should you Trust Me? Hi, I am Anirban Saha, an Engineer with a Specialization in Electronics and Communication Engineering. I have experience in Smart TVs, Electronics circuits, and Computer peripherals.

So, let’s get started!

Difference Between a Mechanical Keyboard and a Membrane Keyboard

Mechanical KeyboardMembrane Keyboard
Lifespan10-15 years1.5-3 years
Repairing costLowHigh
Key TravelMoreLess
Noise during typingHigh with Blue Switch, Moderate with Brown Switch, Silent/ Low with Red SwitchLow
DurabilityVery DurableLess Durable
Keypress DelayVery LessComparatively more
Gaming ExperienceGreatAverage
Intended UsersProfessionals and GamersAny Common User

What is a Mechanical Keyboard?

mechanical keyboard
My Mechanical Keyboard Skyloong GK75

Mechanical Keyboards are the type of keyboards specially built with custom mechanical switches providing excellent durability.

For each switch, there is a unique mechanism of mechanical control that registers your click. These switches pass your click information to the circuit layer beneath it. 

Mechanical keyboards are durable and long-lasting. An average mechanical keyboard can last for about 10-15 years on moderate to heavy usage.

Mechanical keyboards are used by professional gamers, programmers, content creators, and heavy keyboard involvement in daily work.

Advantages of Mechanical Keyboard

So, let’s see now if there are any advantages or disadvantages of the mechanical keyboard to explore further:

  • Mechanical keyboards are very durable and can withstand any workload.
  • A mechanical keyboard has a long lifespan of 10-15 years
  • Mechanical keyboards have good clicky or tactile feedback from their switches
  • This keyboard gives feedback while typing, which improves typing speed and accuracy.
  • Has special features like N Key rollover and Anti Ghosting.

Disadvantages of Mechanical Keyboard

Though there are a lot of advantages, still mechanical keyboards have the following disadvantages:

  • Mechanical keyboards are loud (especially the mechanical keyboards with blue switches).
  • Mechanical keyboards are bulky and not at all suitable to carry for traveling.
  • Mechanical keyboards are expensive as compared to membrane keyboards.

What is a Membrane Keyboard?

Membrane Keyboard

Membrane keyboards are keyboards that are built with a membrane below the keys. The keys are attached and are not separated. 

Mechanical keyboards are commonly available and are available at budget rates. Mechanical keyboards are great for general uses.

Membrane keyboards are typical among most hobbyists, casual users, students, and even casual gamers.

Advantages of Membrane Keyboard

There are several advantages of the membrane type of keyboards such as:

  • The membrane types of keyboards are available at a very budget rate and are suitable for everyday use.
  • Membrane keyboards are comparatively silent.
  • Membrane keyboards have all the essential features required and hence are cost-effective
  • The input gets slowly registered in the membrane keyboards as the impression happens on the membrane layer before it gets registered on the keyboard.

Disadvantages of Membrane Keyboard

Though there are advantages, there are several disadvantages that membrane keyboards have:

Find here the comparison of mechanical keyboards and membrane types of keyboards side by side


Mechanical keyboards are known for their durability. Membrane keyboards, on the other hand, are not as durable.

This is because the individual switches in a mechanical keyboard are more durable than the rubber domes in a membrane keyboard.

In Years, the average lifespan is:

Usage CriteriaMechanical Keyboard Estimated Life SpanMembrane Keyboard Estimated  Life Span
Low Usage 18-20 Years4-5 Years
Moderate to Heavy Usage10-15 Years1-1.5 Years

So, do mechanical keyboards last longer? Mechanical Keyboards last 6 to 14 times as compared membrane keyboards. 

Keypress Experience

Mechanical keyboards offer more responsive and tactile feedback than membrane keyboards. Membrane keyboards are the most common type of keyboard that use a rubber or silicone dome beneath membrane switches to create the key presses.

The downside to membrane keyboards is that a membrane switch can be less responsive and have a shorter life span than mechanical keyboard switches.

There are many different types of mechanical keyboard switches, but the most popular are Cherry MX Keys like Cherry MX Blue, MX Browns, and MX Blacks. Another type of switch is Optical switches which you will find in several keyboards including Razer. Those work great.

Keyboard Customization

The main thing that makes a mechanical board different from a membrane one is its customization.

Mechanical keyboards are great for keyboard enthusiasts as they can be customized the most. Also, there are several DIY keyboard kits coming for a mechanical keyboard where you can customize each component of the keyboard from the base to the keycaps.

With a mechanical keyboard, you can change the keycaps to match your favorite color or style, or you can add custom keycaps with symbols or designs.

You can add any custom mechanical board base to your keyboard. Many Mechanical keyboard enthusiasts customize their Keyboard look and take it to the next level.

You can also choose between different switch types, depending on how much resistance you want each keystroke to provide.

Mechanical keyboards also offer backlighting options, so you can see the keys in the dark.

Membrane keyboards only offer a limited number of customization options.

Keyboard Cost

Mechanical keyboards typically cost more than membrane keyboards.

This is because mechanical keyboards have individual switches for each key, while membrane keyboards have one large rubber dome that depresses when a key is pressed.

The individual switches in a mechanical keyboard make for a more durable and precise typing experience.

Response Time

One of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a new keyboard is the response time. Response time is the amount of time it takes for a keystroke to be registered by the computer.

Mechanical keyboards are known for their fast response time. It is more noticeable during gaming.

Mechanical keyboards offer a faster response time because they use a physical switch to register a keystroke.

Membrane keyboards use a rubber dome to register a keystroke, which leads to a slower response time.

Mechanical or Membrane Keyboard for Programming

Mechanical vs Membrane Keyboard for Programming

Membrane keyboards would give you a good typing experience as the clicks would be silent. Overall, it would be a good experience. 

If you use a mechanical keyboard for programming, you would feel the clickiness feel of the keyboard that I like very much. The sound of the mechanical switches helps me to know that I have pressed the key.

I used both the mechanical keyboard and the membrane keyboard for programming. Initially, it was a good experience with a membrane type of keyboard. But once I used the mechanical type of keyboard and get used to it. 

Mechanical or Membrane Keyboard For Gaming

Mechanical vs Membrane Keyboard For Gaming

I play racing games, primarily adventure-based games, and a few FPS games. While gaming, you will notice a huge difference.

With the mechanical keyboard, the clicks get registered better when you click fast due to the anti-ghosting present in the mechanical keyboard. The mechanical keyboard felt much more responsive when I clicked during the game.

Also, the RGB lighting on the mechanical keyboard set up my gaming mood. 

Overall, you would love playing games more on a mechanical keyboard.

Which One Should You Choose Between Mechanical and Membrane Keyboards?

Mechanical keyboards are often considered to be of higher quality but come with a higher price tag. Membrane keyboards, while not as high quality, are much cheaper.

So, Which One is the Better Value for Money?

Mechanical keyboards are often seen as a more premium option when it comes to typing and gaming as they offer a more tactile and responsive experience. However, membrane keyboards are cheaper to produce, and as such can be found at lower prices.

I use a mechanical keyboard with clicky switches for regular work and gaming.

Ultimately, the decision between a mechanical or membrane keyboard comes down to personal preference.

If you want the best possible typing experience, go for a mechanical keyboard. You can check these awesome mechanical keyboards available on Amazon.

Last update on 2023-02-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

However, if you’re looking for something that’s more affordable, a membrane keyboard is the way to go. You can check these awesome membrane keyboards available on Amazon.

Last update on 2023-02-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Let’s conclude the post on the Mechanical vs Membrane Keyboard!

The membrane keyboard satisfies cost-effectiveness with balanced performance, whereas the mechanical keyboard, though expensive but performs the best.

I hope you liked the comparison between a mechanical keyboard and a membrane keyboard. Feel free to share this post.