Should You Buy A Keyboard Protector For Your MacBook?

best macbook keyboard covers

Keyboard protectors are a commonly bought accessory for laptops - especially among MacBook users, who are often keen to take measures to protect their expensive computers from both cosmetic and functional damage. This article will explain some of the pros and cons of buying a keyboard protector for your MacBook, provide links to some quality, affordable protectors, as well as set straight a common misconception about the rubber accessories. Below is a quick list of quality MacBook keyboard covers that we recommend:

What Are Keyboard Protectors?

The main reason people buy keyboard protectors for their laptops is to protect the computer from spilled drinks and food.

In the case of MacBooks, the keyboard is pretty much the only place on the top of the computer where liquid can get inside the machine and into the internal components, as well as being the main place where food can get stuck. Once food or dirt gets into the gaps between and under the keys, getting it out can be a challenge!

best macbook keyboard cover

A keyboard protector would, therefore, be a good investment if you frequently eat and drink over your Mac, work in a dirty environment, are a clumsy person or if young children use the computer. It will ensure that your MacBook's keyboard stays spotless and that nothing gets inside the machine that could cause damage to components.

When the protector gets dirty all you need to do is take it off and clean it under a tap. Since keyboard protectors are generally made out of rubber, you can clean them using water and then hang them out on the line to dry... unlike your Mac's keyboard!

Which Kind Do I Buy?

The main downside to keyboard protectors is that the soft rubber isn't good in terms of tactile feedback. By itself the MacBook keyboard is crisp and responsive, however, with a keyboard protector covering it, the keyboard responds more sluggishly to keystrokes, which can lead to mistakes and an overall poorer typing experience.

UPPERCASE GhostCover Premium Ultra Thin Keyboard Protector, Compatible with MacBook Pro with Touch Bar 13' and 15' (2016 2017 2018 2019, Apple Model Number A1706, A1707, A1989, A1990, A2159)
6,636 Reviews
UPPERCASE GhostCover Premium Ultra Thin Keyboard Protector, Compatible with MacBook Pro with Touch Bar 13" and 15" (2016 2017 2018 2019, Apple Model Number A1706, A1707, A1989, A1990, A2159)
  • Does NOT fit M1 MacBook Pro. Engineered to fit precisely to the keyboard of your 2016 2017 2018 2019 Macbook Pro with Touch Bar (Apple Model Number A1706, A1707, A1989, A1990) US Keyboard Layout Only
  • Tested for not interfering with Touch Bar operation. This keyboard protector does NOT cover the touch bar area, and does NOT come with a Touch bar protector.
  • NEW! Industry Leading 0.12mm (0.005 in.) thickness to minimize typing interference.
  • Made with premium engineering grade TPU material (compare to our standard TPU keyboard protector)
  • High transparency to preserve the elegance of your Macbook, and allows keyboard backlight to shine through. Completely washable and reusable

It is therefore important to buy a quality keyboard protector - one that is tight and fits your MacBook well (doing so will minimize the problem). Depending on your personal preferences, you might also find a keyboard protector unsightly. However, you also might find it to be an attractive accessory, as they come in a range of colours and styles, from transparent to blue to pink to rainbow.

The Downsides Of A Keyboard Cover

One common concern people having about keyboard protectors is that the raised rubber will leave marks on their MacBook's screen when the lid is closed.  Many keyboard protectors don't sit high enough to reach the screen, and for those that do, it's still not really an issue, as any marks that it leaves on the screen can simply be wiped off like any other smudge.

Another thing people worry about when it comes to keyboard protectors is ventilation - many people think that MacBooks vent heat via the keyboard (through gaps under the keys), and thus that using a keyboard protector will interfere with the flow of air and cause the computer to overheat. Fortunately, though, MacBooks do not vent or intake air via the keyboard - no model ever has, and it is very doubtful that Apple will make one that will.

So where do MacBooks have vents?  In the hinge, with the exception of the Retina MacBook Pro, which also has vents on the sides (if your Mac is overheating or you wish to know more about this, click here). Therefore you are safe to use a keyboard protector with any model of MacBook.

Conclusion: Do You Need a Protector?

Well honestly, if you're like me and eat with the Mac on your laps and a Netflix show on, then I would recommend getting a cover. It's an inexpensive accessory, saving you potentially hundreds of dollars, or even thousands, in extreme cases, such as spilling a drink (Macbooks are not Waterproof!) While these covers don't guarantee water guarding, it is definitely advisable to have them on. And even if not for these extreme scenarios, the potential advantages outweigh the potential disadvantage!

Mike Roberts

Hi, my name is Mike and I made this site to document all the helpful tips and tricks that I've discovered using various Apple Macs and other Apple products over the years, as well as to provide more general guides in relation to using the internet. I've been obsessed with Apple products ever since I could afford my first iPod, and am somewhat of a fanboy (you might have guessed). For me, the simply work without any fuss, issues or errors. I can rely on their products. The build quality is excellent and I even have several, several-year-old Macbooks in my wardrobe that are still humming along fine (just a bit slower). You can contact me personally using the form on this page.


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    1. Yep. I've got a Mosiso keyboard cover and it works flawlessly. It's also almost flush with the chassis of the MacBook.

  1. I'm one of those people that take extra precautions with any new piece of tech; especially since this MacBook Pro that I bought was approaching the $2000.00 mark. I'm using a case, screen protector and keyboard cover on this bad boy; even though it is ironic I'm protecting an expensive computer with fairly cheap plastic.

  2. I say you definitely should. When you consider that you can buy them for as low as $10 and a keyboard replacement from Apple costs around $150, it’s worth it. I’ve had a keyboard protector for a couple of months now and my keys will be staying in perfect condition which will also help me sell it for more if I ever choose to do that.

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  4. I wish I bought a keyboard protector for my MacBook! I take it everywhere with me and never bothered with one and now my keyboard and the outer shell is all beat up. My advice to everyone buying a MacBook is to get a keyboard protector and a case. You’re already paying a lot for the device so protect it!

  5. I bought a keyboard cover the same day I bought a MacBook and I’m very glad I did. My keyboard is still in immaculate condition which will only help the resale value if I ever chose to sell. My cover does leave the smudges you mention but I use a screen cleaner with a microfiber cloth so it’s really not an issue.

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