Best 20 Custom Keycap Sets: Buyer’s Guide with a TON of Pictures


Getting a new set of keycaps is the best way to upgrade your mechanical keyboard. To help you pick out a keycap set (or more), we put together a massive keycap collection and buyer’s guide with lots of pictures so you can pick out the perfect set.

The keycaps are organized by price, so the further down the list you go, the more expensive the keycap sets will get.

Best 20 Custom Keycap Sets:

The best custom keycap sets are by GMK, since they have the most unique design and colorways. GMK keycaps are quite expensive, so we also recommend cheaper custom keycap sets by Drop and YMDK as they are a better deal for the price.

1. HK Gaming Dye Sublimation Keycaps

Photo by u/skinny_fats

Price: $
Keycap Material:
Dye-Sublimation PBT
Keycap Profile:
Cherry
Description:
If you’re looking for a Cherry profile keycap set on a budget, this is one of the keycap sets you can find for a lower price. Other Cherry profile sets tend to cost more in the $100-200 range. The HK gaming keycaps have some nice bold, basic colors that work well with the complimentary cream colored keycaps. We find the think PBT plastic on these keycaps makes a really nice sound when typing and make you keyboard feel like it’s a whole new board. You can find the HK Gaming keycaps on Amazon through this link for a really good price.

2. New Arrial XDA Lotus Keycaps

Price: $
Keycap Material:
Dye-Sublimated PBT
Keycap Profile:
XDA
Description:
The New Arrial Lotus keycaps are a cool pale blue and white design with red color accent. The XDA profile is fun and enjoyable to type on, although it takes a small adjustment period to get used to. The arrow keys have a very simple minimalistic design, that really bring the entire set together. The keycaps only come in different sizes depending on the layout, including tenkeyless and 65%. You can find the New Arrial XDA Lotus on Amazon for a super affordable price through this link.

3. YMDK White Gray Black Keycaps

Price: $
Keycap Material:
Laser-Etched PBT
Keycap Profile:
OEM
Description:
The YMDK White Gray Black keycap set, is a simple yet aesthetic design that can really bring a cheap keyboard to the next level. The keycaps feature the legends on the front side of the keycap, instead of the normal position. This design may be tough to use if you have trouble finding the correct keys when typing, but overall the set super affordable, stylish, and great for someone looking to upgrade their poor ABS keycap set. You can find the YMDK White Gray Black keycaps on Amazon through this link for a super affordable price.

4. YMDK Doubleshot Rainbow Keycaps

Price: $
Keycap Material:
Doubleshot PBT
Keycap Profile:
OEM
Description:
The YMDK Doubleshot Rainbow is another cool design that lets you taste the rainbow (Skittles-don’t sue us, please). The keycaps feature a multitude of colors that make you feel peaceful and relaxed, like you’re looking at rainbow after a rainy day. The doubleshot design lets your RGB lighting really shine through, so you can add even more color to the mix if you’re feeling it. The keycap set is actually quite cheap, you can find it on Amazon through this link for an affordable price. YMDK is known to make great budget keycaps for someone looking to amp up their keyboard.

5. YMDK Gray Beige YMD96 Keycaps

Photo by u/Angry_ITguy

Price: $
Keycap Material:
Dye-Sublimation PBT
Keycap Profile:
OEM
Description:
The Gray Beige design by YMDK is another set of affordable keycaps with an OEM profile and PBT keycap design. These keycaps are made to feel comfortable and stylish with big legends that are easy to read and with good contrast. The keycaps are beige color offset by a a lightish gray. We find these work really on most keyboard designs and are a safe bet if working in office or around other people as they are not too flashy. You can find this keycap set on Amazon through this link.

6. YMDK Carbon 108 Cherry Keycaps

Price: $
Keycap Material:
Laser-Etched PBT
Keycap Profile:
Cherry
Description:
The YMDK Carbon Cherry keycaps have been my daily driver for the past few weeks and they are awesome. The keycaps themselves are quite affordable and the Cherry profile is ultra comfortable for typing and gaming. The keycaps themselves have a nice Halloween-esque feel to them with the black, orange, and white colors. The legends are located on the front of the keycaps, so it may be a little difficult to type on if you’re not comfortable with touch typing.

7. YMDK DSA Retro Keycaps

Photo by u/VizieCSGO

Price: $
Keycap Material:
Dye-Sublimated PBT
Keycap Profile:
DSA
Description
: The YMDK DSA Retro keycaps are an updated take on the old classic style of keyboards. The keycaps are reminiscent of the IBM model M keyboard, but with a slighly more unique design and options to change out some of the colors, such as a green space bar, red enter key, or red escape key. If you really want that retro feel in a keycap set, the YMDK keycaps do that for you, but on a budget. These keycaps can be fun and satisfying to type on and comes with enough keycaps for a full-sized keyboard. You can find the YMDK DSA Retro keycaps on Amazon through this link.

8. Blank White Thick PBT Keycaps

Photo by u/LillaNissen

Price: $
Keycap Material:
Thick PBT
Keycap Profile:
OEM
Description
: With these blank keycaps, the only limit is your own creativity! Blank keycaps are really cool because you can dye them, put your own designs on them, or even mix and match different keycap sets. These blank keycaps come in the standard OEM profile, so they will feel like another other keycaps you get on the market, just made out of a better material. Keep in mind, these keycaps don’t have any legends so it may be a little confusing typing on them. You can find these keycaps on Amazon for a cheap price through this link.

9. HyperX Pudding PBT Doubleshot Keycaps

Price: $
Keycap Material:
Double Shot Pudding PBT
Keycap Profile:
OEM
Description:
The Hyperx pudding keycaps are an awesome affordable option for someone looking to up their RGB lighting and bring their keyboard to that next level. The pudding keycaps allow the light to shine through the sides to really show off your lighting effects. On top of the pudding design, these keycaps are made from PBT, so they’ll be more durable than whatever ABS keycaps come standard with your keyboard. The HyperX pudding keycaps come in either Black or White so you have a few options. You can find the HyperX pudding keycaps on Amazon for a super affordable price, we highly recommend these for a first keycap set if you don’t want to spend too much.

10. Matt30 Nerd DSA Keycaps

Photo by u/JamealTheSeal

Price: $
Keycap Material:
Dye-Sublimated PBT
Keycap Profile:
DSA
Description:
The Matt30 DSA keycaps are a custom keycap set that come with an Elvish or Russian style design. The Elvish design features purple and white keycaps with the legends in an Elvish language and an English backdrop so you can actually see what you’re typing. If you’re not a fan of Elvish, you can get the legends in Russian with a red and white keycap design instead of the purple. Both layouts you can choose between a dual-legend or mono-legend depending on if you want the option to have English letters or not. The keycaps come in a nice DSA profile and is available on Drop.com through this link.

11. Drop + Matt30/DEV/TTY MT3 Keycaps

Photo by u/timakudo

Price: $$
Keycap Material:
Dye-Sublimated PBT
Keycap Profile:
MT3
Description:
Grey, white and red colored keycaps with a profile developed to be similar to the IBM beamspring keycaps to give your keyboard that old school feel of quality and performance. Keycaps are compatible with several different layouts including tenkeyless, 65%, 1800 compact, and ortholinear. You can find these keycaps on Amazon for slighly above mid-range price. The bottom row is is slighly angled to improve the typing experience and improve comfort.

12. Hammerworks CRP Round 3 Keycaps

Photo by u/otanishock

Price: $$
Keycap Material:
Dye-Sublimated PBT
Keycap Profile:
Cherry
Description:
A clean beige-colored keycap set with a nice hint of red developed by HammerWorks. The keycaps are qutie thick, coming in at 1.4mm, so no worries about them breaking or wearing down over time. The keycaps have an old classic feel to them with Russian or Japanese legends with and English backdrop, depending on which you prefer. It can be hard to beat these sturdy and comfortable keycaps, the Cherry profile itself is high-desired in the mechanical keyboard community because it optimizes comfort for typing. You can find these keycaps on Drop.com through this link. You’ll have to sign up on Drop to view the price, but it’s free and quick to do.

13. Drop + Mito XDA Canvas Keycaps

Photo by u/radmedov

Price: $$
Keycap Material:
Dye-Sublimated
Keycap Profile:
XDA
Description:
The XDA canvas keycaps from Drop and Mito are one of my absolute favorite keycap sets available right now. These keycaps are a little bit on the pricey side, but man are they awesome. The XDA profile is definitely unique and blast to type on. The legends are quite aesthetic and come with several different colored keycaps to customize the layout to your preference. These keycaps come with different size keyboard layouts, including tenkeyless, 65%, othrolinear, or 1800 compact with the price varying by the size of the layout. You can find these keycaps on Drop.com and view the products once you sign up.

14. Drop DSA Astrolokeys Keycaps

Price: $$
Keycap Material:
Doubleshot ABS
Keycap Profile:
DSA
Description:
This bright and vibrant keycap set offers a unique color scheme that you can’t usually find on a keycap set. There is a bold balance of yellow, pink, purple, and white colors with super unique legends that are reminescent of a bedtime story you tell your kids before bed. The design is meant to be a culmination of all of the constellations of the Zodiac, which is quite cool. The nonstandard icon mods are what really set this keyboard apart, as you can customize almost all of the keys that are not the standard alphabet and numbers. You can find this set on Drop.com for decent price and the customization this set brings is definitely worth it.

15. Ducky Joker PBT Keycaps

Photo by u/crystalsyshi

Price: $$
Keycap Material:
Doubleshot PBT
Keycap Profile:
OEM
Description
: The Ducky Joker PBT keycaps come in a bright neon design with purple, blue, and pink colors that give the keycaps a 90’s bowling alley feel. These keycaps work great with a case that also has bold bright colors and a custom USB cable that matches the set as well. The keycaps feel thick and durable and have a doubleshot design so your RGB lighting can shine through the keycaps. You can find the Ducky Joker keycaps on mechanicalkeyboards.com for a mid-range price.

16. Ducky Frozen Llama PBT Keycaps

Photo by u/Zodspeed

Price: $$
Keycap Material:
Doubleshot PBT
Keycap Profile:
OEM
Description
: Another keycap set from Ducky is the Frozen Llama set. The keycaps are a bright neon color with bright blue, dark blue, and pink. The keycaps are in the classic OEM profile, so they feel very familiar to type on. Made from doubleshot PBT plastic, the keycaps have a nice RGB shinethrough that really boost the color and design of your keyboard. The keycaps are quite intense and bright, so they may not be suitable for an office environment, but would be great for a gaming or at-home keyboard. You can find the Ducky Frozen Llama keycaps on mechanicalkeyboards.com through this link.

17. Ducky Hardcap Horizon PBT Keycaps

Photo by u/suxxezz

Price: $$
Keycap Material:
Doubleshot PBT
Keycap Profile:
OEM
Description
: The Hardcap Horizon PBT keycaps are my personal favorite set from Ducky. The blue and yellow offset each other in an awesome way and make for a super aesthetic keyboard setup. You can’t really find a keycap set in this colorway from another company, and the doubleshot PBT works great with RGB backlighting. This keycap set is always going in and out of stock so you may need to place yours on pre-order depending on availability. You can find this keycap set on mechanicalkeyboards.com for a mid-range price.

18. Vortex Bi-Color Green Keycaps

Photo by u/nurupism

Price: $$
Keycap Material:
Doubleshot PBT
Keycap Profile:
OEM
Description
: The Vortex Bi-Color Green is a keycap set that features a balance between green and white colors that looks aesthetic and natury. Reminds me of a long walk down a trail in the middle of a forest. The keycap set is compatible with full-size keyboards and comes in the ANSI layout, does not support ISO. The keycap set also features doubleshot PBT so you can shine your RGB lights through the keycaps in a clean way. You can find the Vortex Bi-Green on mechanicalkeyboards.com for a decent price.

19. GMK Red Samurai Custom Keycaps

Photo by u/Fatboychard

Price: $$$
Keycap Material:
Thick Doubleshot ABS
Keycap Profile:
Cherry
Description:
This keycap set comes in a striking red, black, and gold color to symbolize a Japanese Armor set. The legends come in English with a Japanese backdrop for easy translation. The GMK Red Samarai is made from a thick ABS plastic keycap design, so the colors can be bold and bright, while the keycaps are durable and make a deep sound on impact during the keystrokes. These are one of the most popular custom keycap sets currently on the market and the price is definitely on the more expensive side, but man are they cool. You can check the price of the GMK Samarai keycaps on Amazon, coming in several different keyboard layout sizes.

20. Drop + Mito GMK Pulse Custom Keycaps

u/hexennacht666

Price: $$$
Keycap Material:
Thick Doubleshot ABS
Keycap Profile:
Cherry or SA
Description:
In the mechanical keyboard community, GMK keycaps have a reputation for being awesome, but quite pricey. They are designed from a super thick doubleshot ABS plastic, so even though it’s not PBT, they are still extremely high quality. The design on these keycaps are unique with a nice blend of matte black and bright blue, with unique legends on a few of the keycaps (illuminati?). It’s hard to beat the love and custom design that went into these keycaps, but the price can be tough to overlook for some as these keycaps themselves are more expensive than a really good mid-range keyboard. You can find these keycaps on Drop.com, you’ll be able to view the price and description once you sign in (I know it’s a pain in the butt).

Wrapping Up the List

We looked at 20 different keycap sets and gave you our thoughts and descriptions of all three. We included links to Amazon, Drop, and Mechanicalkeyboards.com, because the keycaps sets can be difficult to find on one site due to limited availability. In general, the budget sets are available on Amazon, while the more custom sets you can find on the Drop and Mechanicalkeyboards.com for bit steeper of a price.

We’ll go over some of the different reasons for why you should get a new keycap set and explain the difference between the different material types and profiles.

Why Get a New Keycap Set?

With the exceptions of very expensive mechanical keyboards, most keyboards come with very cheap and mass-produced keycaps that make the keyboard dull and bland. The keycaps are what your going to be looking and typing on during the entire lifespan of your keyboard, so shouldn’t they be one of the nicest parts of the keyboard?  There are many benefits to getting new keycaps, and they can make a $50 keyboard feel like a $150 one for a relatively cheap price.

The main benefits are the aesthetics as you are able to choose the color and design of the keycaps which will allow the RGB lighting to flourish. The keycaps also are more durable, which means the legends won’t slowly disappear after some heavy use. In addition, by customizing the profile design you will have a keycap set that feels comfortable and efficient to type on. There are a lot of different styles of keycaps sets out there so let’s go over some of the different options and features.

What is the Best Keycap Material?

In the world of keycaps, there is really two main material types you can get; ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) and PBT (Polybutylene Terephthalate). You may be wondering, what the heck is ABS & PBT? Well, they are two different types of plastic with different property qualities.  Both types of plastic have a different feel, sound, and look to them. We’ll go over what the differences are, and which one is better.

ABS vs PBT Keycaps

ABS keycaps are the cheapest and most common plastic used for keycaps. ABS keycaps are mass produced because of how easily they are injection molded. PBT plastic is less common but is usually higher quality than ABS. ABS keycaps feel smooth and develop a greasy shine over time, while PBT keycaps feel textured and are more durable. PBT are considered superior to ABS since they are more durable and wear down less over time. That being said, there are some really nice ABS keycap sets available, and at the end of the day it comes down to user preference. Some people prefer the smooth feel of ABS while others like the textured feel of PBT.

If you’re looking more detail on the difference between ABS & PBT keycaps, we have a full write-up here. In the table below, we show the main differences based on the main differences between the two types of plastic.

ABS KeycapsPBT Keycaps
Usually CheaperMore Expensive
Shiny/GreasyMatte
SmoothTextured
Thinner (Not always)Thicker
Quieter when typingLouder when typing
FlexibleBrittle
Wears Over TimeMore Durable
ABS vs PBT Keycaps

Getting Keycaps for RGB Backlit Keyboards

If your keyboard doesn’t have RGB lighting, you don’t need to worry about purchasing double-shot or pudding keycaps, since these styles of keycaps let the backlighting shine through. But if you do have RGB, it’s definitely worth considering one of these keycap designs. Without RGB, a simple single-shot keycap will work perfectly well for you. In fact, some keycaps with the coolest designs are single-shot, because they are made for hobbyist keyboards which tend to not have RGB backlighting.

Doubleshot Keycaps

Double shot keycaps are made from a more complicated manufacturing process where two separate plastics are injection molded to make the keycap. Doubleshot keycaps are produced this way so that lighting can shine through the legends. If your keyboard has lighting for each individual key, these styles of keycaps are used so the backlighting can illuminate the legends and make them easier to read. Double shot keycaps are available in both PBT and ABS plastics. You can get these keycaps in many different colors such as the Pink Razer double-shot PBT keycaps.

Pudding Keycaps

Pudding keycaps are a way to really show off your keyboards lighting. These are also doubleshot, but instead of just illuminating the legends, the light can also shine through the sides of the keycaps as well. This makes for some awesome looking keyboard set-ups. Some of our favorite pudding keycaps are by HyperX, they are quite affordable and are a nice upgrade for any mechanical keyboard. There are many other pudding keycaps available in different and from different brands, so you can pick out the kind your really want.

Choosing the Right Keycap Profile

The keycap profile is where things start to get a little complicated. The keycap profile refers to the overall shape of the keycap, some keycaps are flat, some are rounded, with many different shapes as well. There are certain styles in which each row of keys has a different height to allow for a concave or sloped shape over the entire keycap set. By changing the shape of your keycaps, it lets you take the style and feel of your keyboard to a whole new level.

Side View of Different Profile Types

As you can see in the image above, there are several different profiles and shapes of keycaps to select from. There are many more profiles as well, they are just more uncommon are harder to get ahold of. You can see more variations in the picture below. We’ll go over all of the differences and help you pick out the best profile based on what you are using your keyboard for.

Keycap ProfileDescriptionWhere to Buy
OEMThe keycap profile you’ll find on most keyboards. Mass produced, considered standard. Angled top.YMDK OEM PBT Keycaps
CherryVery similar to OEM profile, but shorter. Very popular layout.Qisan Cherry PBT Keycaps
DSASlightly shorter profile with spherical top.YMDK DSA PBT Keycaps
XDAMedium height profile with spherical topDrop XDA Keycaps
SATall height profile with slightly spherical and angled top.Doomhammer SA PBT Keycaps
Photo by u/jacobolus

Uniform vs Sculpted Keycap Profile

Keychron K6 with DSA Profile Keycaps

One of the biggest differences between keycap profiles is whether the keycaps are sculpted or uniform. A uniform keycap has a flat surface and is not angled at all. Sculpted keycaps on the other hand, have a slight angle to help with typing to make is so you don’t need to stretch your fingers quite as far.

Sculpted is usually preferred by most people, as it makes typing feel more fluid but others may find the uniform profile feels or looks better for them. The uniform profile it typically found on enthusiast keycap sets with unique designs.

The Best Keycap Profile for Gaming

Drop CTRL with Cherry Keycap Profile

If you’re looking for a keycap set to improve your gaming experience, you’re going to want to look for the keycap profile that feels the most comfortable for you so you don’t need to spend precious milliseconds looking for the next key. Generally, the best keycap style for gaming is the Cherry profile as they are sculpted to be efficient and comfortably pressed.

Overall, the keycap profile does not affect the gaming experience that much. If you really want to improve your competitive edge, we recommend that you look into a different switch instead. Low-profile or optical switches can decrease the travel distance and improve the response time when entering a keystroke. Keep in mind these switch types do make typing more uncomfortable in our experience, but they may be worth exploring.

The keycap profile that is best for gaming is whichever one feels the most familiar and comfortable. We definitely recommend checking out a set Cherry profile PBT keycaps, as we found they feel the best for gaming.

The Best Keycap Profile for Typing

Finding the best keycap profile for typing usually comes down to getting a keycap set that is efficient to type on and reduces the distance the fingers need to stretch to reach each key. Because of this, the Cherry profile is highly recommended for the purpose of typing. You also want to look at how familiar the keycap set feels. For example, a flat or uniform profile may feel strange if you’ve never used one before, so it may have an adverse effect on your typing speed. Use what feels familiar and what you have the muscle memory to type on.

If you’re looking to improve typing speed, try exploring other typing techniques or do regular speed tests to try and improve. There are many other ways to improve at typing regardless of the keycap profile. Another option would be to look at other keyboard maps such as COLEMAK or DVORAK.

At the end of the day, for the purpose of typing you cannot go wrong with Cherry keycap profile or the standard OEM profile. They are both sculpted, efficient, and comfortable to type on.

Are Ultra Custom Keycaps Worth It?

In case you didn’t know, it’s possible to find custom or even handmade keycaps for you keyboard. The easiest way to get a custom keycap is to have it printed onto a keycap, usually you can find a website online to make them for you. You simply upload an image and a few weeks later you’ll receive a keycap with that custom image on it.

If you’re looking to get a little extra fancy, you can purchase artisan keycaps through a group buy or have them individually made for your keyboard. This is the most expensive style of keycap, but it allows for the ultimate customization. There are some very cool and unique keycap designs out there. Most people will usually pick out and ultra custom keycap for their escape key and have the rest of their set be from a premade keycap set. This way you don’t need to spend a ridiculous amount customizing the entire set. Keep in mind these custom keycaps are not cheap and will set you back quite a bit.

Is your Keyboard Compatible with new Keycaps?

Some important things to consider to make sure your new keycap set will fit properly on your keyboard.

Check the Keyboard Size

Before purchasing your keycap set, it’s important to make sure it’s compatible with your keyboard’s layout and design. If you have a full-sized keyboard, you want to make sure you have a keycap set that enough keys for your entire layout, including the number pad. Some keycap sets are only for 65% or tenkeyless layouts, because the larger layouts will usually require more keys so they will cost more. If you’re confused about the different keyboard sizes, we have a guide hereMake sure your keycaps are for your keyboard size.

ANSI vs ISO Layout

Another thing to look out for is whether or not your keycap set is compatible with ANSI and ISO layouts. The main difference being the size and shape of the enter key. Most keycap sets will have the right keycap sizes for both layout types, but stay on the size of caution and confirm before you buy. It can be incredibly frustrating to order a keycap set and not have the right hand enter key fit properly.

Is your Keyboard a Standard Layout?

Some older keyboards, especially from companies such as Razer and Corsair, will have non-standard layouts so the keycap sizes will be different than what comes with a new keycap set, unless it’s made specifically for that keyboard model. Check that your keyboard has a standard layout to make sure the keycaps will be fully compatible.

There is one more thing you should look out for that is common sense, but you want to make sure the new keycaps you order are for your desired language and country layout. With many countries speaking different languages it’s important that the legends are correct (duh). Certain keycap sets come with two languages on them for easy translation which is pretty cool.

Conclusion

Getting a new keycap set for your keyboard is a very exciting first step and for many people is the push they need to fall into the rabbit hole of the mechanical keyboard hobby. Before you know it, you’ll have a box of keycaps stashed away for a rainy day. We hope we were able to help you figure out the differences between different keycap types and guide you in picking out your first keycap set.

If you’re interested in other mechanical keyboard content, make sure to check out the rest of the blog and our awesome YouTube channel that does weekly reviews of different mechanical keyboards.

Jake Harrington

Jake has been an avid mechanical keyboard user for the past six years. He has a background in Mechanical Engineering and wants to apply his expertise to break down how mechanical keyboards work and show the world all of the cool aspects of the mechanical keyboard hobby.

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