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Like many MacBook accessories 10 Awesome Gifts for Mac Users 10 Awesome Gifts for Mac Users Christmas is coming! Fortunately there are a lot of awesome gifts out there for Apple fans. Read More , keyboard covers are a bit of an unknown: they seem like a good idea, but for less than $10, how good can they really be? Will they make your computer more useful, or just make typing terrible?

There are a lot of questions you might have about these covers, so we’ve done some research in an effort to answer them.

What Good is a Keyboard Cover?

There are a few obvious benefits to keyboard covers; for example, they help keep your MacBook’s case clean, and prevent dust and other contaminants from getting in under your keys, saving you the hassle of cleaning your laptop’s keyboard A Simple Trick for Cleaning Under Your Keyboard's Keys A Simple Trick for Cleaning Under Your Keyboard's Keys Cleaning the keys of a keyboard can be a nuisance, but this one trick makes it much easier and faster. Read More . Keyboard covers can easily be cleaned with soap and water.

washing-keyboard-cover

They can also give you limited protection against spills on your MacBook How To Deal With Spilled Coffee or Coke on Your Macbook How To Deal With Spilled Coffee or Coke on Your Macbook If you have spilled coffee or Coke on your MacBook the best you can do for it is be courageous. Read More , as they’ll keep any liquids from getting into your computer through the small spaces between the keys and the case. Of course, there are other entry points where liquids could cause problems, but a keyboard cover is an easy way to limit potential damage.

Beyond protecting your computer, keyboard covers can have a wide variety of useful markings, like this one that displays the keyboard shortcuts for Final Cut Pro X:

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final-cut-keyboard-cover

There are similar keyboard covers for a variety of programs, including Photoshop, Illustrator, Logic Pro X, Lightroom, and Pro Tools. If you’re looking for Excel keyboard shortcuts 35 Everyday Microsoft Excel Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows & Mac 35 Everyday Microsoft Excel Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows & Mac Keyboard shortcuts can save you a lot of time! Use these Microsoft Excel shortcuts to speed up working with spreadsheets on Windows and Mac. Read More , you can get those on a keyboard cover, too. You can even get a cover that displays the shortcuts for your operating system.

Of course, not all of the keyboard covers out there are designed to help you accomplish something. A lot of them simply let you customize the look of your laptop. Apple’s design is great, but it does lack a sense of individuality — the silver-and-black color scheme, while extremely sleek, isn’t exactly exciting.

That’s why keyboard covers come in a huge array of colors, from simple colors to rainbows to fades, from galaxies to Disney villains.

keyboard-cover-disney-villains

What’s It Like to Use One?

Because I’d never used one before, I bought a keyboard cover to test out for a while. I got the #1 seller in Amazon’s “Computer Keyboard Skins” category, the Kuzy Silicone Skin for MacBook Pro. It was only $8, so it seemed worth a try.

Kuzy - BLACK Keyboard Cover Silicone Skin for MacBook Pro 13" 15" 17" (with or w/out Retina Display) iMac and MacBook Air 13" - Black Kuzy - BLACK Keyboard Cover Silicone Skin for MacBook Pro 13" 15" 17" (with or w/out Retina Display) iMac and MacBook Air 13" - Black Perfect fit for the All Latest MacBook Pro 13, 15, 17 with or w/out Retina Display -- Release 2015 / 2014 / 2013 / 2012 and MacBook Air 13" and iMac Wireless Keyboard Buy Now At Amazon $3.99

I have to say, the first thing I noticed is that it does certainly make my computer stand out. I chose the sky blue color, and I absolutely love how it looks. It sits perfectly over the keys, and doesn’t cause any noticeable change in shape. My MacBook still closes fine, because the silicone is very thin.

kuzy-sky-blue-keyboard-cover

The biggest difference that the cover has made is in the feel of the keyboard. I generally use a pretty light touch to hit the keys on my laptop, but I’ve had to put significantly more pressure on the keys to get a consistent hit. I’ve been using it for about a week now, and I’ve gotten used to it, although my hands are notably tired after a day’s worth of typing. If I use a lighter touch, some of the keys don’t register, and I end up having to delete and retype words.

The feel of the silicone is nice, though: it’s a little tacky, and I feel like every press is a solid one. I’ve heard things about keyboard covers yellowing with age, and I can imagine that the feel changes over time, but I haven’t seen any signs of wear yet. Even so, at $8, it would be easy to replace if it the feel changed enough that it was unpleasant.

kuzy-sky-blue-cover2

I’m not likely to keep the keyboard cover on much longer, as it tires out my hands. If you generally have a heavier touch on your keyboard, though, you might not notice a difference in fatigue, and the light sound dampening might be of use to you.

Some people have voiced concerns that a keyboard cover would make it more difficult for the computer to manage heat MacBook Air Overheating? 5 Things You Can Do MacBook Air Overheating? 5 Things You Can Do You might think your MacBook is overheating if it sounds like a hairdryer and feels like a grill. Here are some things to try when you can no longer stand the heat. Read More , but I haven’t seen this happening, and there are very few reports of it being an issue. If your computer runs really hot, or you do a lot of very resource-intensive work all the time, it could have an effect, but I wouldn’t list it as a major concern.

Some Highly Rated MacBook Keyboard Covers

If you’ve decided to invest in a keyboard cover, there are a few big names that you should probably know. The Kuzy keyboard cover that I have comes in over 20 colors, including a number of pretty cool fades and a rainbow design, all in the $7–8 range:

kuzy-keyboard-cover

These are for MacBook Pros in various sizes.

A company called All-inside makes a rather interesting series of flag keyboard covers, so you can show your national pride right on your computer for $7:

keyboard-cover-flags

Again, this particular model will fit MacBook Pros with or without Retina screens, as well as the 13″ MacBook Air.

DHZ offers the Chinese flag and a number of camo, wave, checkerboard, and fade patterns for around $7:

keyboard-cover-orange-fade

With over 30 different designs, you’ll be sure to find something you like. Ever wanted Spider-Man to break through your keyboard? DHZ has you covered:

keyboard-cover-spider-man

If you’re looking for something a bit more useful, the XSKN OS X shortcuts keyboard cover ($17) will help you manage your operating system more efficiently:

keyboard-cover-os-x

If you’re into photo editing or digital graphics, HRH’s Photoshop keyboard shortcuts cover ($6) will be helpful:

keyboard-cover-photoshop

If you’re not looking for Photoshop shortcuts, but Illustrator ones, the GMYLE Illustrator cover ($10) is one you might like:

keyboard-cover-illustrator

As I mentioned, there’s a huge variety of useful keyboard covers out there. If there’s a specific app that you use and need some help on shortcuts with, just run a search for “MacBook keyboard cover [your app]” and you’ll almost certainly come up with something.

One note on buying keyboard covers, though: the exact keyboard sizes on various types of MacBooks differ, so make sure that the cover you order will fit your computer. Every keyboard cover on Amazon says in the description which computer it’s meant for, so it’s easy to find out. Just make sure to double check.

Do You Use a Keyboard Cover?

Now we want to hear from you. I wasn’t a huge fan of the keyboard cover that I tried out, but how do you feel about them? Do you use one on a regular basis? Does it help you operate an app, or just protect your keyboard and look cool? How do you find the typing experience?

Would you recommend a MacBook keyboard cover others? Share your thoughts and experiences below!

  1. Aibek Esengulov
    February 29, 2016 at 11:53 am

    I have been using my Macbook for nearly 3 years now and all keys still look good. Why would someone get a keyboard cover is beyond me :)

    • Dann Albright
      March 10, 2016 at 10:47 pm

      Maybe you haven't been writing enough. :-)

  2. Rae
    February 29, 2016 at 3:33 am

    It's a Macbook Air- after about a year of use, the 'r' key fell off, then a few others. Now, six keys are constantly popping off. I would have thought it's from the constant use, but one of my friends has the same problem with their Macbook Air. They hardly use their mac. It's inconvenient, but I manage. I think I'll give one of these covers a try. It's a simple and cheap solution if it works out. If it doesn't... Well, at least I've got a stylish keyboard!

    • Dann Albright
      March 10, 2016 at 10:48 pm

      That's really weird . . . I've never had a key come off of one of my Macbooks, and I'm on my third one! Could just be a fluke, but that wouldn't really explain the fact that it's happening with six different keys. Very strange.

      But yeah, try a keyboard cover—that should hold them in place. And liked you said, if it doesn't, you'll look cool trying!

  3. Cheryl
    February 27, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    I've used keyboard covers for years and love them. I can't even tell it's there except that my fingers don't slip off the keys like they are prone to without the cover. I supposed it does take getting used to, but be sure to get the thinnest you can find. Well worth the money as it seals out dust and moisture prolonging the life of not only your keyboard, but also your Mac.

    • Dann Albright
      February 28, 2016 at 11:44 pm

      Yeah, I think going for a slightly more expensive one is the way to go. Like I said, the one that I tested out was the #1 seller in the category, so it seemed like a good one to test. But a thinner one would have been much better. And you're right—protecting your keyboard and your computer is worth the investment!

  4. Rae
    February 27, 2016 at 8:23 am

    I wonder if these would help keep the keys on my keyboard. The letter just pop off my keyboard sometimes, it gets very annoying.

    • Dann Albright
      February 28, 2016 at 11:44 pm

      I bet they would—I've never heard of that problem on a MacBook. Did something precipitate it, or has it always been an issue?

  5. rudi
    February 26, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    After having to replace the keyboard on my Mac twice within a few months (spills happen) I got the Moshi ClearGuard FS for Apple Keyboard on Amazon. Not the cheapest for sure, but its so thin (0.1mm) you can't tell its there without close inspection, and the thinness makes it mostly unnoticeable while typing.

    • Dann Albright
      February 28, 2016 at 11:43 pm

      Sounds like a good option! I definitely believe that a more expensive cover would feel nicer, and if it's meant as a spill guard, that's a plus. I bought the one I did because it was the #1 seller, but if I had thought about it more, I may have sprung for a more expensive one. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  6. chris cleeland
    February 26, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    When you're tire of yours, send it to me and I'll try it out.

    • Dann Albright
      February 28, 2016 at 11:42 pm

      Ha—I would, but my wife already claimed it. :-)

      • chris cleeland
        February 28, 2016 at 11:51 pm

        I suppose spouses should get priority. Good call.

        • Dann Albright
          March 10, 2016 at 10:49 pm

          Yeah, seemed like the right way to go in this situation.

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