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What is a Keyboard Cover?

By Brad Cole
Updated May 16, 2024
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A keyboard cover usually refers to something that covers a computer keyboard, but may also refer to something that covers a musical instrument keyboard. This article focuses primarily on computer keyboard covers. There are many different types of computer keyboard covers, but they can generally be grouped into the following categories: keyboard bags, keyboard protective covers, keyboard protective skins, and keyboard stickers.

A computer keyboard bag is a simple sack that is pulled over the keyboard when it is not in use. This type of keyboard cover's primary purpose is to keep dust from entering the keyboard. It is usually waterproof so as to resist rain and spills. Keyboard covers of this type have become less common as keyboard prices have gone down, newer keyboard designs have made dust less of a problem, and other styles of keyboard covers have become less obtrusive.

Another type of computer keyboard cover is the keyboard protective cover. Keyboard protective covers are made to resist wear and damage when the keyboard is in use. These covers are usually clear, and are molded so that they fit perfectly over a keyboard’s keys. These features allow the keyboard to be used while the keyboard cover is in place, protecting the keyboard at all times.

Keyboard protective skins are another common type of keyboard cover. Keyboard protective skins are long, transparent sheets that adhere to a keyboard. They protect the keyboard from dust and direct spills, but may not work on every part of the keyboard as they do not usually cover the entire device. Protective skins are often hard to use initially, as they make keys harder to press. Over time and use, the skin bends and molds itself to the keys, becoming easier to use.

Keyboard stickers are a type of computer keyboard cover that changes the aesthetics of a keyboard. They adhere to the surface of a keyboard, and are usually difficult to remove. Common reasons for using keyboard stickers include changing the color of a keyboard, making the letters bigger, and adding information on where new input functions can be found. Keyboard stickers generally do not protect keyboards, but can be used to restore old keyboards that have had their numbers and letters worn off.

Musical instrument keyboard covers come in styles similar to those of computer keyboard covers. Musical instrument keyboards, however, are also commonly stored in travel cases. These cases are both sturdy and padded, and protect the musical instrument from damage during transport.

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Discussion Comments
By animegal — On Jul 16, 2011

If you are buying a keyboard cover for your laptop it doesn't have to be ugly. I found a store online that sells oodles of stylish covers that can pretty much fit any theme you have in mind. The good thing is you can also match them to a cover that protect the shell of your laptop from scratches.

I really think that while keyboard covers aren't very comfortable to type on that they do serve their purpose. I love that my laptop still looks brand new underneath my covers. I think this will really help with the resale value of my laptop once I am finished with it.

By MrSmirnov — On Jul 16, 2011

Getting a waterproof keyboard cover for your computer is one of the best things you can do if you enjoy drinking your morning coffee while working. My wife bought me a keyboard cover made out of a very thin plastic last year and I always found it a bit uncomfortable to type on. I mostly kept it on to make her happy.

Last week I was unlucky and ended up splashing my keyboard with hot coffee. Lucky for me the keyboard cover bought me enough time that I was able to keep the spill from soaking in between the keys and ruining my keyboard. I am now perfectly content with keeping the keyboard cover on my computer.

By Saraq90 — On Jul 15, 2011

My husband had a laptop keyboard cover. It saved his keyboard one time when I spilled coffee on it, so I am especially thankful for it!

His cover was convenient because it was a keyboard cover for typing so he never had to take it off, remember to put it on, etc. So if you like to drink and type, I (and my husband) would highly suggest it.

By OeKc05 — On Jul 14, 2011

I have a large draping cloth that I use as a piano keyboard cover. After I got married and life got hectic, I stopped playing it as much, and when I did play it, I noticed how dusty it had gotten.

This cloth is a light sea-green color. I didn’t want to use a dark colored cover, because it would absorb more heat, and that might not be good for the instrument.

I dusted the keyboard thoroughly and put the cover on. It keeps it dust-free for weeks. Ironically, it seems that since I’ve started using the cover, I have had the urge to play it more frequently. Even though I try to play at least once a week now, I keep the cover on in between sessions.

By Perdido — On Jul 14, 2011

During the pleasant spring months, my boss likes to keep the windows and doors open in our office. We have several large trees out front, and since I work near a window, the pollen blows in and coats everything on my desk.

So, I got a clear yellow keyboard cover that I use just during these months. It keeps the pollen out of the cracks, and it also keeps it from showing up.

If only I could find transparent yellow covers for everything on my desk, then maybe I wouldn’t have to dust every day! I’m lucky I don’t have allergies, or I could not work here.

By orangey03 — On Jul 13, 2011

I have had the same old keyboard for decades. It is the style with large raised keys and plenty of space between each one for dust and debris to accumulate.

I have a keyboard dust cover that is as old as the keyboard itself. It is black with a soft lining, and I simply pull it over the keys when I leave for the day.

I also pull it over the keyboard during breaks. I often snack or drink at my desk, and if I’m drinking a soda, I need to protect it from sticky spills. As accident-prone as I am, I know it is necessary.

By Oceana — On Jul 12, 2011

I have a transparent pink keyboard protective cover for my work keyboard. The main reason I got this cover is because of my nail polish.

I like to wear brightly colored fingernail polish, and even when it is totally dry, it makes marks on my keyboard as I type. I'm afraid to use nail polish remover on it, so I just let it wear off over time. I have several shades of nail marks on different keys.

The transparent cover guards against polish marks. It also helps preserve the letters and numbers. Some of them looked like they were starting to wear off, but since I got the cover, they have stopped.

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