Should you cover your mechanical keyboard?



Mechanical keyboards have gained immense popularity in recent years due to their durability, precise key movements, and satisfying typing experience. However, many keyboard enthusiasts wonder whether it is necessary to cover their mechanical keyboards to protect them from dust, spills, and other potential hazards. While some argue that keyboard covers are essential for preserving the longevity of these high-quality peripherals, others believe that covers may interfere with the keyboard's overall performance. In this article, we will delve into the pros and cons of covering your mechanical keyboard to help you make an informed decision.

The Importance of Keeping Your Mechanical Keyboard Clean

Before we dive into the debate of covering your mechanical keyboard, it's important to highlight the significance of maintaining a clean keyboard. Keyboards, regardless of their type, are notorious breeding grounds for bacteria, dust, and debris. Therefore, cleaning your mechanical keyboard regularly is crucial to ensure a hygienic and optimal typing experience. While some users opt to clean their keyboards thoroughly after each use, others struggle to maintain this level of hygiene due to time constraints or other reasons.

The Benefits of Using Keyboard Covers

Keyboard covers, often made of silicone or fabric, have become quite popular among mechanical keyboard enthusiasts. Here are some of the benefits associated with using keyboard covers:

1. Protection from Dust and Debris: One of the main advantages of using a keyboard cover is that it provides reliable protection against dust, dirt, and other debris that can accumulate within the keys over time. This is especially important if you work in a dusty environment or consume food and beverages near your keyboard.

2. Prevention of Liquid Damage: Accidental spills are a common nightmare for keyboard owners. Whether it's a cup of coffee or a glass of water, liquid spills can cause irreparable damage to your mechanical keyboard. Fortunately, with a good quality keyboard cover, you can minimize the risk of liquid seepage and protect your precious investment.

3. Extended Lifespan: Mechanical keyboards are known for their longevity, but they still require proper care to maintain their performance over time. By shielding your keyboard from external elements with a cover, you can significantly extend its lifespan and ensure it continues to function at its best for years to come.

4. Noise Reduction: Mechanical keyboards are loved for the satisfying clickety-clack sound they produce. However, this can be bothersome to those around you, particularly in shared workspaces. Keyboard covers can help dampen the noise produced by the keys, making typing quieter and more pleasant for those nearby.

5. Aesthetics and Customizability: Keyboard covers come in a variety of colors and styles, allowing you to personalize your setup and add a touch of flair to your workspace. Whether you prefer a sleek, minimalistic design or a vibrant, eye-catching one, there is a keyboard cover to suit your preferences.

While these benefits make a compelling case for using a keyboard cover, it's important to consider the potential drawbacks before making a decision.

The Drawbacks of Using Keyboard Covers

While keyboard covers offer several advantages, they are not without their drawbacks. Here are some considerations to keep in mind:

1. Interference with Typing Experience: Some users report that keyboard covers can affect the tactile feedback and overall typing experience of mechanical keyboards. The added layer of material may reduce the sensation of each keystroke, leading to a less satisfying feel while typing.

2. Increased Key Height: Keyboard covers, especially those made of silicone, can slightly raise the overall height of the keys. This alteration in key height may take some time to adjust to and may result in slightly slower typing speeds until you become accustomed to the change.

3. Trapping Heat: Mechanical keyboards are known for their durability and ability to withstand heavy usage without overheating. However, covering your keyboard may trap heat, potentially leading to increased heat buildup and affecting the performance of the keyboard over time.

4. Cover Maintenance: Keyboard covers, just like the keyboards themselves, require regular cleaning to ensure they do not become a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. Depending on the material used in the cover, cleaning may be as simple as wiping it down or involve more intricate steps to maintain its integrity.

While these drawbacks are worth considering, it's important to note that the extent to which they affect your typing experience will largely depend on personal preferences and habits.

Alternative Solutions to Protect Your Mechanical Keyboard

If you are unsure about using a keyboard cover or are hesitant due to the potential drawbacks, there are alternative measures you can take to protect your mechanical keyboard:

1. Regular Cleaning: Implementing a routine cleaning schedule can go a long way in keeping your mechanical keyboard in top condition. Use compressed air or a small brush to remove debris from between the keys, and gently clean the keycaps to remove any accumulated grime. Regular cleaning will help preserve the longevity of your keyboard without the need for a cover.

2. Workspace Organization: Maintaining a clean and clutter-free workspace can significantly reduce the amount of dust and debris that reaches your mechanical keyboard. Use desk organizers and regularly dust the area to minimize the presence of particles that could harm your keyboard.

3. Keyboard Skins: Keyboard skins are thin, adhesive films that adhere directly to the keycaps, offering protection from spills, dirt, and wear. Unlike keyboard covers, skins are transparent and do not interfere with the typing experience. They are highly customizable and can be easily removed and replaced.


The decision of whether to cover your mechanical keyboard ultimately boils down to personal preference, your environment, and your specific needs. If you work in a highly dust-prone environment or frequently consume food and drinks near your keyboard, a cover might be a wise investment to protect your keyboard from potential damage. However, if you prioritize the tactile feedback and typing experience of your mechanical keyboard, you may prefer to forgo a cover and instead opt for regular cleaning and other protective measures.

Remember, the key to maintaining a healthy and long-lasting mechanical keyboard lies in regular cleaning and a clean working environment. By implementing good hygiene practices and using alternative protective measures such as keyboard skins or workspace organization, you can keep your keyboard in top condition without compromising on performance. Ultimately, the choice is yours, and the best decision will be the one that aligns with your preferences and ensures the longevity of your beloved mechanical keyboard.


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