Best Coding Keyboard

As a software engineer, you write thousands of lines of code each day, so taking care of your hands is essential to a long and successful career.  It’s important to choose your peripherals wisely!

Kinesis keyboards combine proven ergonomic designs to maximize comfort and powerful productivity tools to increase efficiency when coding. All our ergonomics keyboards were engineered with developers in mind, and this guide is designed to help choose the right keyboard based on your specific body type, typing style, and workflow.

The original QWERTY keyboard was designed to type prose, not code. No matter which language you code in, JavaScript, Python, Java, Ruby, C/CPP, PHP or others, your syntax and character usage which be vastly different than a novelist or a transcriptionist. One of the most powerful tools a software developer can invest in is a programmable keyboard that can be customized to place the most commonly used characters, shortcuts, and combininations within easy reach based on your preferences.

What’s the best Kinesis coding keyboard for me?

Freestyle Pro

The Freestyle Pro is our newest keyboard and combines the most popular features of the Freestyle2 and Advantage2 keyboards.

The Pro uses our award-winning Freestyle split-adjustable design allowing you to split, splay and tent for the optimal typing positioning based on your body type.

The Pro utilizes our powerful SmartSet Programming Engine giving users the ability to create custom layouts, record macros, and configure custom keyboard settings to boost productivity. Plus the Pro has 8 extra “hotkeys” which can be customized for commonly used shortcuts or macros.

Choose the Freestyle Pro if the following features are important to you:

  • Mechanical key switches (Learn More)
  • Ergonomics: Adjustability & variety of optional accessories (Learn More)
  • Programmability & Customization (Macros, Key Remapping, Layouts) (Learn More)
  • Standard key layout (Learn More)
  • Conventional staggered keys
  • Windows & Mac switchability
  • Available in Dvorak & Colemak Layouts (Learn More)
  • Firmware upgrades (Learn More)
  • Switching between Mac & PC Operating Systems
  • Portability/Mobility
  • Full-size function keys
  • Extra programmable hotkeys
  • Low profile
  • Portability/mobility
  • Extended 20″ separation (for those with broader shoulders)


Shop Freestyle Pro


Because of its price-point and optional accessories, the Freestyle2 a great “entry-level” ergonomic keyboard for coding with adjustability that works for a wide range of individuals.

The Freestyle2 has a familiar layout for quick and easy acclimation. However, it’s not programmable so you don’t have the ability to customize which can be somewhat limiting as compared to our SmartSet-enabled programmable keyboards.

Choose the Freestyle2 if the following features are important to you:

  • Ergonomics: Adjustability & variety of optional accessories (Learn More)
  • USB wired & wireless Bluetooth versions
  • Conventional key layout (Learn More)
  • Available International Layouts (Learn More)
  • Sharing your workstation with others
  • Price (Starting at $99)
  • Extra hotkeys (non-programmable)
  • Low profile
  • Full-size function keys
  • Extended 20″ separation model available (for those with broader shoulders)
  • Portability/mobility
  • Pre-approved ergonomic keyboard at many F500 companies and more (Learn More)

Shop Freestyle2


The Advantage2 is our flagship ergonomic keyboard packed with “power-user” features in our new SmartSet Programming Engine that software developers love for coding. The contoured design can increase stamina, boost WPM, decrease mistakes, and even extend your career. And thanks to full onboard programmability, you can configure different layouts for coding and conventional keyboard use. And all settings are saved directly on the keyboard for plug-and-play use with different terminals and operating systems (Windows, macOS, Linux, & Chrome).

Because the Advantage2 uses a non-traditional layout, you may find you need to “remap” certain commonly used keys like brackets, braces, escape, the arrow cluster or leverage the embedded keypad layer.

If you’re willing to spend the time to learn a new layout and experiment with the full-suite of Advantage2 features, you’ll see why this keyboard is the choice of senior developers at Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple and many more. Don’t believe us? Check out this video of Google’s Garage back in 1998 where the original team was outfitted with one of earlier versions of the Kinesis contoured keyboard.

Choose the Advantage2 if the following features are important to you:

  • Mechanical key switches (Learn More)
  • Ergonomics: Concave key wells, thumb keys, fixed split, 20˚ tenting etc (Learn More)
  • Programmability & Customization (Macros, Key Remapping, Layouts) (Learn More)
  • Optimized key layout (Learn More)
  • Columnar/Vertical keys
  • Windows & Mac switchability
  • Different colors and styles (See Options)
  • Available in Dvorak & Colemak Layouts (Learn More)
  • Firmware upgrades (Learn More)
  • Optional Foot Pedals (Learn More)
  • Optional International Layouts (Learn More)
  • Made in America


Shop Advantage2

Freestyle Edge RGB

Spend lots of time coding in low-light environments, or just like the look of a backlit keyboard? Then the award-winning Freestyle Edge RGB is your best bet. It packs the same great ergonomic features and programmability of the Freestyle Pro, coupled with fully programmable per-key backlighting, an included cushioned palm support, and heavy-duty braided cables. The Edge is the perfect blend of form and function for the discerning developer.

Shop Freestyle Edge RGB

Software Engineer Testimonials

Kinesis keyboards have been the choice of senior developers for going on 30 years now, but don’t take our word for it.

“Why does keyboard comfort matter? Because if you are a programmer like me, or work any kind of computer-centric office job, you’re going to spend a huge chunk of your life using a keyboard. And the traditional keyboard style is not designed for comfort…A lot of keyboards offer at least some of the ergonomic features I’ve listed above. I don’t know of any that put them all together in one unit the way the Advantage2 does.” Read More Avdi G | Advantage2

“The Kinesis has several significant design features not found on other ergonomic keyboards. First, the keys are in vertical columns. This matches the natural motion of your fingers, as opposed to most keyboards which force you to make diagonal moves between key rows. Second, the key well is concave, matching the sweep of your fingers. Third, the essential space, backspace, and modifier keys are under your thumbs, always in reach. This is a huge bonus for programmer geeks who constantly use keyboard shortcuts.” Read More Josh C | Advantage2

“I primarily use the Freestyle 2 for programming and gaming. It has great key travel, doesn’t need the actuating force of a piston to press buttons, and nearly unlimited configuration options. The Freestyle2 was perfect because it is close to mechanical and also ergonomic. It’s awesome!” Dallas T | Freestyle2

“I use my Freestyle2 for programming and writing (documentation, email, etc). I sought out an ergonomic keyboard because I was suffering from chronic wrist & neck pain, and I knew that an ergonomic keyboard was better for my health. It took about a week to get acclimated to the Freestyle 2 and after approximately 3 days my wrist and neck pain began to improve. With the extra separation, I can keep my shoulders in a more natural position and working feels comfortable. The Freestyle2 is a well-built keyboard with a good layout and the VIP accessory gives you a lot of flexibility to adjust to what feels good.” Brad M | Freestyle2



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