So, you got your first (or fourth, I don’t know!) mechanical keyboard and have become bored of typing on the same old low-quality OEM profile black-and-white keycaps that came with the keyboard. And now you are looking for the best keycap sets that are available in the market to snag for your mechanical keyboard.
Well, fret not, as we come bearing great news! In this listicle, we have compiled a list of some of the best keycap sets that you can buy to upgrade your custom or pre-built mechanical keyboards. Check out the following section right now!
10 Best Keycap Sets to Buy for Your Mechanical Keyboard
Now, if you are completely new to the mechanical keyboard scene, you should know that, unlike membrane keyboards that usually come with assembled PCs, on mechanical keyboards, you can take off the keycaps (the top part of the keyboard switch with the letter, symbol, or numerical legends) and replace them with new ones.
So, users often tend to replace their boring-old black or white shine-through keycaps that come with their pre-built keyboards to match their desk setup and aesthetic. Hence, you can find keycap sets of various colors and designs or even made with different materials, like ceramic or aluminum. However, it is also worth mentioning that some keycap sets are more expensive than your pre-built keyboards and are really difficult to even buy.
Hence, we have categorized this article into two categories – Budget and Premium. In the budget category, you will find some of the best keycap sets that are available to buy right now for under $50. In the premium category, on the other hand, the listed keycap sets could go as high as $445! Insane, right?
With that said, let’s check out the best keycap sets that you can buy for your mechanical keyboard(s).
Best Budget Keycap Sets (Under $50)
Now, you can get various keycap sets on platforms like Amazon, Aliexpress, and Etsy for as low as $8. However, in this list, we have tried to list only those sets that come from a reputed brand and are not just clone sets of original designs.
We believe that there are many budget-friendly options for keycap sets out there and getting a clone set is simply disrespecting the artist of the original design. So, if you have a budget constraint, check out the below keycaps instead of getting clones, more or less at the same price.
1) Tai-Hao White Rose BOBO Profile Keycaps (Backlit)
If you are looking for quality keycap sets at budget prices, you really cannot miss Tai-Hao in this category. This Taiwanese company is quite popular in the mechanical keyboard hobby and produces quality keycap sets at low prices.
The Tai-Hao White Rose keycap set is one such set that comes with quality legending, shine-through keycaps, and a unique profile. It is a 110-key set and can cover most keyboard layouts, including TKL (Tenkeyless), 75%, 65%, and 60%. However, do keep in mind that there are no Number-Pad keys included in the set. Nonetheless, you will get two orange-colored, marble-textured accent keys for the Enter and the Esc keys to add an oomph factor to your mechanical keyboard.
As for the material, these are made with ABS plastic using the double-shot technique, the same as GMK sets, although expect a much inferior quality than GMK sets, of course. Coming to the profile, the keycaps come in a uniform profile, much like XDA profile keycaps. So, if you are used to OEM profile keycaps or other profiles, it might take a bit of time to get used to these.
However, coming in only at ~$32 (NT$1,000), the Tai-Hao White Rose set could great choice for those looking for a unique keycap set with shine-through legends at a budget price. If you want to try out other designs, you can check out other keycap sets from Tai-Hao that come in a similar price range.
2) Ducky Cotton Candy SA Profile Keycaps (Non-Backlit)
Ducky has been quite prevalent in the pre-built mechanical keyboard market since the popularity of the Ducky One2 mini keyboard amongst gamers. However, other than making pre-builts, Ducky also produces quality keycap sets to pump up mechanical keyboards, whether they are pre-built or custom.
One such keycap set is the Cotton Candy set from Ducky which, we think, is one of the best budget keycap sets that you can get. It is a non-backlit set and comes in pastel-themed colors like yellow, sky blue, pink, and orange. The Cotton Candy set has 108 keys and covers most layouts, even those with a Number-pad.
As for the profile, the keycap set comes in Ducky’s version of the SA profile, which is a taller profile than most. The material used for this keycap set is ABS and the legends are made with the double-shot process. Hence, the legends will not fade over time.
Coming to the price, the Ducky Cotton Candy set comes for $49 and is available on various platforms and vendors. It is an in-stock keycap set, which means that you will not have to wait for long for the set to arrive in hand.
3) Artifact Bloom Ocean Wave Keycaps (Non-Backlit)
Do you love the blue of the oceans, the calming sound of the waves, and also keyboards? Well, if you answered yes to that question and are looking for a Cherry-profile keycap set under $50 to decorate your pre-built or custom mechanical keyboard, behold the Ocean Wave from the Artifact Bloom Series Keycaps.
The Ocean Wave keycap set is a 129-key set, covering the most popular keyboard layouts out there, including 1800 and HHKB. Unlike the previous two options, this one is made with PBT plastic, with the legending done using the dye-sublimation process. Moreover, the keycaps are non-shine-through, meaning that RGB lights will not show up on the legends.
However, if you do not care about RGB and just want a beautiful, blue-and-white keycap set to go with your room theme and match your desk aesthetic, you can definitely snag the Ocean Wave set from Drop. And at $45, this would surely be a steal!
4) Drop + MiTo Keysterine Keycaps (Transparent)
Want something unique and eye-catching for your full RGB-backed gaming mechanical keyboard? The Drop + MiTo Keysterine keycap set is one of the best budget keycaps that you can get for the price and the best part is, they are transparent!
MiTo is a renowned designer in the mechanical keyboard community who has designed many keycap sets over the years. For this set, MiTo partnered with Drop.com to release the Keysterin set as an in-stock product for customers.
The keycaps are essentially transparent to showcase the mechanical switches and the RGB of your mechanical keyboard. The set comes in various colors, including Grape, Raspberry, Smoke, Cyanide, and Arctic. All the variants are made with transparent, colorized ABS plastic and have a kind of fresh vibe to them. After all, the set is named after a mouthwash, if you did not get the hint already! (Keysterine – Listerine, c’mon!)
As for the profile and layout support, the Keysterine keycap set from Drop and MiTo comes in the popular Cherry profile and supports all popular keyboard layouts, ranging from 60% to full-size. Coming to the price, the set costs just a buck below the $50 mark, coming in at $49. At this price, you will get a great keycap set if you have a preference for transparent designs in tech gadgets, much like how Nothing is doing with their products.
5) IDOBAO Blue Cat MA Profile Keycaps (Non-Backlit, Above $50)
Although this keycap set is a tad bit higher than our pre-set budget ($50), the Idobao Blue Cat keycap set is surely a unique set that could make your mechanical keyboard look, what they call, CUTE. These are MA profile keycaps, meaning they have uniform heights and a distinctive spherical shape, which is Idobao’s in-house keycap profile like Akko’s ASA. However, they are taller than XDA or DSA profile keycaps and are 1.4mm thick.
The Blue Cat keycap set has a blue and bronze theme to it. While the alphas come with a deeper shade of blue, the modifiers are light-blue-colored. You will also get certain bronze keys that you can use as accent keys such as the Enter key and the Esc key to add a bit of character to your board.
As for the material, these keycaps are made of PBT plastic and the legends are done using the dye-sublimation process. The set comes with 146 keys, which is more than enough to cover most keyboard layouts. However, you can also get it as a 72-key set to cover 60% and 65%.
Coming to the price, the cost of the base kit, which comes with 146 keycaps to cover all traditional keyboard layouts, is $59. Even though that is higher than our set budget for this category, if you are taking it for a 60% or a 65% board, you can easily get the 68-key set, which excludes the Numpad, F-row, and certain modifier keys, for just $47 from Idobao’s official website.
Best Premium Keycap Sets
Moving on to the premium category of keycap sets for mechanical keyboards, things get a little bumpy here. The premium keycaps for mechanical keyboards are nothing like your usual keycap sets that you can order from Amazon or sellers for a few bucks and get the next day with Prime delivery or similar services. They are catered more toward mechanical keyboard enthusiasts and hobbyists who often play a significant role in deciding the design and colors of the keycap sets.
Hence, these keycap sets are often produced in batches and sold with an MOQ (minimum order quantity). Although now you can get various premium sets as in-stock items from certain sellers like Drop, group buys for keycap sets are still relevant for community-focused companies like GMK or Osume. You can check out my in-depth guide on mechanical keyboards for more details on what group-buy and in-stock items are.
So, with that in mind, let’s check some of the best premium category keycaps to buy for your mechanical keyboard listed right below. Furthermore, almost none of the premium category keycap sets have shine-through legends. So, keep that in mind when getting these sets.
Also, it is worth mentioning that the below keycap sets are listed in ascending order according to their prices. So, we will go from the cheapest premium keycap set to the most expensive keycap set.
1) Osume Winterglow Cherry Profile Keycaps
Starting with one of the most underrated keycap sets, the Osume Winterglow set is one of the best premium keycap sets that you can get for your mechanical keyboard. Osume is a fairly new player in the keycap scene and has gained a lot of traction in the community for the exquisite packaging of their keycap sets and the soothing, pastel-y colors of their keycaps.
The Canada-based company started producing high-quality PBT keycap sets in the uber-popular Cherry profile for the mechanical keyboard community. And their Winterglow keycap set is not any different.
The set has a cozy winter vibe to it as the alphas come in a pastel blue colorway with white modifier keys. You also get a few accent keys in peach and pastel-yellow colors, along with some cute novelty keys to deck up your mechanical keyboard.
Now, as for the price, it is the least expensive premium keycap set on this list, coming in at only $85 (without shipping) for the base kit. However, the problem with this set is that Osume is a community-focused company and only produces keycaps in batches. So, if you want to snag one of these sets, you’d have to keep an eye on Osume’s official Discord channel and the website to remain informed when they will come in stock again.
As of writing this article, the Winterglow keycap set from Osume is sold out on the website and is expected to be available in limited quantities again in Q4 2023, sometime around December this year.
2) MW Sogurt Cherry Profile Keycaps
Named after the popular Singapore-based frozen yogurt firm, the Sogurt keycap set from MilkyWay Keys is another under-rated keycap set that, we think, is a great option if you are into cozy colors and frozen yogurts (apparently!).
As the name suggests, the MW Sogurt Keycap set comes with a frozen yogurt theme. The keycaps are made with high-quality PBT plastic and the legends are imprinted on the caps using dye-sublimation and reverse dye-sub processes. The set comes with enough keys to support every traditional keyboard layout, ranging from 60% to full-size and 1800. With this set, you can also get an aluminum artisan keycap for an additional cost.
As for the price and availability, the MW Sogurt keycap set is priced at $109 (without shipping) for the base kit. For the metal artisan, you would have to pay an additional $67. The Sogurt keycap set is available to buy from various vendors like iLumkb, Daily Clack, and Prototypist.
3) Drop + Booper Deep Space DCX Profile Keycaps
Next is one of Drop’s newest DCX profile keycap sets, the Drop + Booper Deep Space keycap set is one of the best premium keycap sets that you can buy for your mechanical keyboards. Booper is one of the popular keycap set designers who worked with Drop to develop the Deep Space set.
The keycap set, as its name, is themed around deep space and has a purple-blue-gray color scheme. While the alphas (the keycaps with alphabets) are gray-colored with the legends in a cool-toned purple, the modifiers have the same color tone as the legend color. Furthermore, there are blue accent keys, included in the base kit, that you can use on the arrow keys, the Enter key, and the Esc key.
Coming to the profile, the Drop Cylindrical X, aka the DCX profile, from Drop is one of the newest keycap profiles to arrive in the market. It is similar to the Cherry profile but has slight differences.
However, if you are used to Cherry profile keycaps, it should not take long for you to get used to them. Moreover, much like GMK keycaps, these are also made using high-quality ABS plastic and double-shot processing. As for layout support, the Deep Space set from Drop and Booper comes with a vast base kit that can cover every traditional layout, including TKL, 75%, 65%, 1800, and full-size keyboards.
Now, moving on to the price and availability of the Deep Space keycap set, the base kit is priced at $139 and can be purchased from Drop’s official website. Another advantage of this set is that it is an in-stock item, which means that Drop will ship the product as soon as you order it. Unlike keycap sets sold in the form of group buys, you do not have to wait for a year or two for the set to arrive at your house.
4) Drop + MiTo GMK Belafonte Cherry Profile Keycaps
Next is of course a GMK keycap set that is available to buy as an in-stock item from Drop. The Drop + MiTo GMK Belafonte keycap set is one of the most vibrant GMK sets amongst the rest, coming with bright blue alphas with white legends and darker-toned modifiers. There are also two accent keys that come in a bright yellow color.
The GMK Belafonte is designed by MiTo, the same designer who came up with the Keysterine set from the budget category. This time, however, MiTo partnered with GMK to design this set in the original Cherry profile. The set is essentially themed to represent an ocean and is designed as an homage to sea fearers who explore the waters of this world. Hence, there are the aqua-colored alphas and the cyan mods that truly hold up the whole oceanic vibe.
As for the profile and material, much like any other GMK set, this one comes in the Cherry profile and is made with the highest-quality ABS plastic with double-shot legends.
Moreover, the base kit of the set, which costs $155 (without shipping), can cover almost any keyboard layout, although you can get the Decorations Kit for an additional $80 to get the novelty keys with ocean-based artwork. However, the good news is that as the Belafonte is an in-stock keycap, you will be able to get it within a few days after ordering, unlike group buy sets.
5) NK Aluvia Cherry Profile Keycaps
Last but not least, the NK Aluvia keycap set is one of the most unique keycap sets that are available in the market right now. This keycap set is produced by the popular company NovelKeys, also known as NK amongst enthusiasts, and their specialty is that they are completely made with CNCed aluminum.
Yes, you read that right! The entire keycap set is made using high-quality aluminum and is based on the uber-popular design of the GMK Olivia keycap set. So, aluminum + Olivia = Aluvia. Great job on the naming NK!
Now, this is neither a practical keycap set nor a cheap one to buy. You see, to use these keycaps, you might need switches with high-pressure springs to support the heavy, metal switches at their resting positions. Hence, it is better to get these keycaps for custom keyboards on which you can easily swap out the switches for new ones.
As for the price, the NK Aluvia keycap set is priced at approximately $450, without shipping. However, the bad news is that the set is sold out almost everywhere. However, NovelKeys, as of writing this article, is selling the B-stock of the Aluvia keycaps at a reduced price of $200. B-stock items, if you do not know, come with known imperfections in machining and designing. Hence, the lower cost.
Nonetheless, if you want to get the A-stock units of the NK Aluvia keycaps, you can keep an eye on the aftermarket platforms such as the r/mechmarket subreddit on Reddit to see if anyone wants to sell. With that said, you should also keep in mind that the cost of the Aluvia keycap set in the aftermarket could be much higher than its original price.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I change the keycaps of my mechanical keyboard?
Yes, you can swap out the keycaps of your mechanical keyboard for new ones. However, the keycaps you are using must support the stem of your mechanical key switches, which usually come with an MX-style stem like the Cherry MX switches.
Can I change the keycaps of my membrane keyboard?
No, you cannot change the keycaps of your membrane keyboards. In the case of mechanical-membrane keyboards such as the HP550 keyboard, you might be able to replace the keycaps.
Which are the best keycap manufacturers?
Some of the renowned keycap manufacturers in the market included GMK, EnjoyPBT or ePBT, MilkyWay Keys, Ducky, Akko, Drop, and many others.
So, there you have it! These are, in our opinion, the 10 best keycap sets that you can buy for your mechanical keyboard. Now, do keep in mind that the mechanical keyboard hobby is all about preference. So, what we like, might not be to your liking. In that case, use the comments section below to let us know your thoughts and opinions, and let’s have a healthy discussion.