Does it ever feel like the space between the keys on your keyboard is comparable to the space between the couch cushions?
Stuff gets lost in there way too easily, it's near impossible to get out, and it can get pretty nasty.
It may seem like the only solution is to never eat within a ten-foot radius of your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, or to carefully dust and wipe the keys every evening with some sort of magic solution.
However, there's a much easier way to solve this problem — a keyboard cover (often called a keyboard skin). Keyboard skins lay flush over your keys and are usually made of silicone, allowing them to be removed and cleaned very easily.
In addition to protecting your keys from spills, drops, and dust, keyboard covers prevent overall wear and tear (such as the letters from rubbing off) by protecting the surface of the keys from typical use and any contaminants that make it unnoticed onto your fingers.
In this review article, we will show you the best keyboard covers/skins, and help you decide how to pick the right one.
For the minimalist simply looking for functionality, the Moshi ClearGuard offers a discreet covering for your keys without drawing any unnecessary attention.
If you're feeling a little bolder, try the silicone DHZ Unique Ultra Thin Keyboard Skin which is available in many bright colors and a bit more durable.
Headed for stylish? All-inside Ombre Color Keyboard Skin offers a sleek design that protects your keys from liquid and dust without sacrificing quality.
Using a 2016/2017 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar? Go get KEC Keyboard Cover Skin as it's made specifically for these new models.
Who Should Get This?
Almost everyone would be better off with a keyboard cover protecting his or her MacBook. A keyboard protector helps prevent the accumulation of grime on your keyboard, protect it from any accidents, and keep the real keyboard safe under a thin, often noticeable layer.
Also, keyboard skins are convenient and can be as stylish or invisible as you want. The only person we wouldn't recommend a keyboard cover is one perhaps allergic to silicone (which is what most are made of) or has some sort of other pressing concern — though it's hard to imagine any.
Buying a Keyboard Cover for MacBook: What to Look For?
Always make sure to check the model of keyboard cover you're interested in is sized correctly for your MacBook! Besides the obvious factors such as 15-inch models with numpads/additional keys, there is some variation in key spacing and key depth between some models so you'll want to make sure you have the right one. Additionally, make sure the cover matches the keyboard type you have, since Mac is available in many varieties besides a standard US keyboard, and these can have drastically different key layouts.
If you have super sensitive fingers or don't like the feel of silicone, you'll want to look for skins that are as thin as possible over the keys. Alternatively, if you know you're naturally clumsy and prone to spills, you might want something a bit sturdier that will give you more ease of mind. The thickness of the keyboard skin comes down to personal preference, but you should keep it in mind before you buy.
Obsessed with chroma and RGB? Prefer pandas? Want to match your hardshell case? Or would you rather leave your MacBook's keys appearing untouched? Due to their overall simplicity, keyboard skins offer a wide variety of customizations and give you space to really make your Mac your own. If you find a product that meets all your practical requirements, always check if the vendor offers multiple colors, patterns, or designs for you to choose from.
The Best Keyboard Cover for MacBook Pro & MacBook Air: Our Choices
Available in iterations for almost every MacBook model, the Moshi ClearGuard has you covered whether you have a touchpad, numpad, or standard keyboard for MacBooks from as long ago as 2012. The clear design is almost invisible on top of your Mac.
- Pros: Clear design is near unnoticeable on top of your keys and is available for a wide variety of MacBooks. Allows backlit keys to shine through the cover.
- Cons: Typing on thermoplastic urethane instead of classic keys can take some getting used to.
Coming in many prints and patterns, the DHZ skin is made with the bold in mind. The silicone skin is very thin, so you'll barely feel it while you type and you can still make a statement with the various available colors. Fits the keys nicely but be sure not to remove and replace it too much or it will stretch out and lose its snugness.
- Pros: Available in a plethora of designs, allowing you to personalize your MacBook with ease. Extremely thin and weighs only one-third of an ounce. Very easy to clean and fits the keys perfectly on a variety of MacBook models.
- Cons: Backlighting is easily blocked by the colored pattern.
If your MacBook was released before 2016 and you're looking for a cover that looks clean, this model from All-inside comes in a variety of peaceful ombres that add style without going overboard. Water and dust proof, it'll keep your keys safe underneath.
- Pros: Gorgeous design that will fit your MacBook snuggly and add style without clashing with the rest of the room. Protects effectively against liquid and dust.
- Cons: Silicone may leave an oily residue on keys if both the cover and the keyboard are not regularly cleaned.
This cover is specially designed to fit 2016/2017 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, 13-inch, and 15-inch. Note that this is a super slim cover that makes it easier for you to type, and you'll find the characters clearly printed on the keyboard skin.
- Pros: It does its job and you don't have too many options if you're using the latest MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. Also, it's durable and beautiful as you will find each key is specifically printed for better recognition.
- Cons: It may take you a little extra time getting used to the printed characters. A bit expensive than most other options.
Additional Tips & Resources
Once you have a keyboard cover, keeping your keys clean is a breeze. While you should still be removing the cover and cleaning both it and the keys themselves on a regular basis, it's definitely less pressure. Learn more from this step-by-step guide made by Apple.
Keep in mind that keyboard cover is taking the beating instead of your keys — not simply deflecting it. It needs to be cleaned gently as oils and crumbs build up. The process is super simple and shouldn't take you more than a few minutes.
For some general tips on keeping your whole computer in peak shape, use this guide for cleaning everything from the actual keyboard to the screen.
Keyboard covers are more than a neat decoration. They protect your powerful MacBook from falling victim to slips and spills and keep things clean all around. Do you have a favorite keyboard skin? Click on the Contact page above and tell us about it.
Published Mar 9, 2018.