HHKB "cushiony" topre-feel in a 75%, TKL, or Full-Sized keyboard

Hello! I’ve tried a bunch of keyboards and love the feel of the HHKB Professional Hybrid Type-S.
I’m looking to get a larger-sized keyboard that has a similar feel to it.

I bought a used full-sized Realforce R2 variable keyboard for the topre, but I found the keys way too stiff for my liking compared to the HHKB. I love the soft “fluffy” feel of the HHKB, while the Realforce feels “stiff” and “tight”.

Can anyone suggest a keyboard that could work?

I’m researching the Leopold FC660C and Niz Plums.
Also willing to try mechanical keyboards with switches that feel/sound similar.

Thanks for your help!

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Leopold may feel similar to the Realforce – they are both metal plate construction. You probably enjoy the integrated plate/plastic plate of the HHKB. Dome weight won’t change the fact that the plate material is stiff (stainless steel).

The Niz Plum is also metal plate afaik but their domes feel different from OEM Topre. Hoping someone else with Niz experience can chime in about that.

Ah, that makes sense. Thank you!

Can a keyboard with integrated plate/plastic plate that has mx switches have that “cushiony” feel that I like?

Actually, it looks like the HHKB is the only keyboard that has an integrated plastic plate.

Are there any keyboards that have both a plastic plate and plastic housing?
If this is combined with the right switch, could it duplicate the HHKB feel?

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I mean the HHKB (and Topre) in general is p cushiony for long term typing. I’ll let the MX veterans chime in on your planned build. I think there are softer plates in MX land + combined with maybe some kind of dampened switch. pinging @donpark @pixelpusher @mwb sorry for the alert but i’m totally not up to speed on mx.

I’m biased though. Topre is the cloud fluffy cushion experience I enjoy the most so I actually really like Leopold and Realforce. :laughing: And I like firm plates but brass is a nice way to soften the landing whilst still remaining firm enough for Topre switches

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I’m ok to stick with Topre if I can find one that works like the HHKB but bigger haha. :smiley:

Do you have both the Leopold and Realforce? If so, do they both have the same “tightnes” to you?

My R2 is a used R2-USV. Would newer generation (like R3s) feel less tight?

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The only switch I’ve found that is somewhat similar to Topre in feel is the Kailh silent. And it seems HHKB agrees, since that’s what they chose to put in their studio keyboard.

As far as sound, there are so many ways you can alter the sound that I have no doubt one could easily get something very similar to Topre sound in an MX switch.


Nice! This is helpful.
How much do the plastic case and plastic plate contribute to the feel?
Thinking of getting a keyboard to swap to the Kailh silent to try.
Got any suggestions?

The Deep Sea Silent and Midnight Pro are both good choices for similar to Topre. I prefer a light topre switch (35g) that is more linear. So I like the Deep Sea linears.


I love my HHKB but I definitely don’t think I’m a good reference in terms of feel. I just am not as sensitive as most so I tend to think pretty much any switch/board/etc feels good.

@ccl , I there really aren’t any larger boards available that would replicate the plastic plate feel of the HHKB but if you want to get deep into Topre modding there are ways (sounds like Palpatine tempting Anakin).

My only suggestion would be to see if you can get the HHKB to work in your workflow. When I first learned about mechs a while back I couldn’t believe that people were getting by with 60%s (there was a guy in a shared office space I used to go to who had a Pok3r and I’m certain that I gave him funny looks). However, years later and I mostly only use 60%s. There are just so many options for customizing a smaller board to fit your workflow that I’d say if you really like the feel of an HHKB it’s possible you could make it work for you.


I have models of all three main Topre OEM keyboards. I am not sure what you mean by tightness.

The newer generation or newer produced boards may feel lighter compared to an older R2 (2017-2018 release date) because the rubber domes are newer. But I am not sure what tight means to you.

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@mwb This is a good suggestion. I’ll incorporate the HHKB into my workflow and see how it goes.

Honestly, maybe I just kinda wanted to get something new for fun too haha :slight_smile:

@insolentpotato By “tightness”, I meant that when I press down on the R2 keys, it feels stiffer and less cushiony to me. Like it’s harder to press down. Whereas for the HHKB Hybrid-S, it feels lighter, bouncier, and softer. I know it’s difficult to describe the sensation, so hopefully this makes some sense!

I did get the R2 second-hand, and it’s an older R2-USV model. I can’t compare it to other Realforces, unfortunately, so not sure if this is the normal feel.

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MX Topre

Most Topre-like sounding switch I’ve tried is TTC Silent Bluish White. Its downstroke feel differs somewhat. Bottom out is and feels cushioned. That said, Topre-like is not Topre.

HHKB Cushiony

Given that availability and diversity of Topre market is a fraction of MX, there is no in-stock alternative to HHKB. Before you jump into custom modding rabbit hole, you need to decide if that special cushiony feel is worth all the troubles and expenses ahead.


hisssssss :laughing:


variable vs 45g
hybrid is silenced your R2-USV proibably isnt

R2S-USV would be a variable silenced model (sliders would be purple) in a realforce
in hhkb the silenced sliders are black but theyre longer

but homie its really the plastic plate = bouncy plus variable domes some of those keys are supposed to be heavier than the others idk i have to pull up a weighting chart forgot how they did it

theres also an unverified perception that newer hybrid hhkb 45g =/= 45g in other oem topre keyboards. you could probably compare with an r3 / r3s 45g see if that bears out but it probably wont bc plate and i think the rubber slightlly different. idk man. pfu got some goood good


Agree with most that’s been said, I haven’t really found an HHKB like experience outside of the stock HHKB lol, and because of that I don’t think it’s worthwhile to try and focus on replicating that 100% with a MX build. To me, Realforce and Leopold just doesn’t feel the same, even when swapped with HHKB domes, there’s really something unique about a stock HHKB. If you can get used to the layout, then it’s absolutely worth sticking with it rather than trying to find an MX alternative if you really enjoy what it has to offer. That being said I also understand the limits of the layout and the desire to try out new things lol.

If you already have a Realforce, the Leopold isn’t all that much different in feel and sound imo (although I personally prefer the Leopolds in terms of build). NiZ boards are a bit weird, I’ve got a lighter atom one and it’s softer and a bit mushy, but still closer to realforce experience than hhkb, personally wouldn’t pick one over a realforce though (and if you really want a lighter dome experience consider modding a realforce or leopold with aftermarket domes like 35g des carrots or similar). There’s other aftermarket topre mod options, although outside of Norbauer cases I haven’t really been all that impressed with some of the other offerings.

I’d agree that maybe silenced MX switches offer the potential to get close in sound, although personally most all MX switches are wildly different in feel compared to topre. You can get a softer more dampened feel and sound out of MX switches though if that’s you’re thing (it’s not mine, so I don’t feel like I can make too many recommendations there lol). I do think that trying out a nice MX board is worthwhile, but from personal experience you might find it more worthwhile to focus on just making a quality MX build rather than trying to replicate a Topre experience with MX.

If you wanted a quality full size rubber dome board, you might consider something like a vintage BTC or Qtronix dome slider board, I’d say those give a framiliar experience to topre, although topre in general feels softer than both to me if you’re after softer (both the BTC and Qtronix feel snappier)