Not everyone enjoys the click-clack sound of a keyboard. Luckily, the best quiet keyboards can tackle typing or gaming without getting on your nerves. Quiet keyboards come in three main varieties — membrane-style, chiclet-style, and mechanical. All three can be quiet, but choosing between them requires an understanding of how you’d like your keyboard to feel and how hard you'd like to press the keys. The right keyboard for you will also be designed to fit your typing needs, whether you’re looking for a general-purpose keyboard, one that’s optimized for gaming, or one with an ergonomic design that’s comfortable to use for long periods of time.
If you prefer soft, rubber keys that don’t require a lot of pressure, a membrane-style keyboard could be for you. This common style contains a layer of rubber beneath the key caps, which are often slightly raised or domed and are usually pretty quiet. If you like really streamlined builds, you might prefer a chiclet-style keyboard (common on most laptops). The keys on a chiclet keyboard have an extremely low profile, so you won’t need to press them down very far. Some find them uncomfortable because there’s very little give to them, but they are typically fairly quiet. On the other end of the spectrum, mechanical keyboards have taller keys that require more pressure and feel springy with each tap. Normally, this causes pronounced clicking sounds, but if you like the bouncy feel of a mechanical keyboard, models with sound-dampening mechanical switches keep the noise to a minimum. That said, even quiet mechanical keyboards will likely be louder than other kinds.