Which is the best keyboard layout for English typing?

This is a common but controversial question that almost everyone wants to know.

In this article we’ll compare three different popular keyboard layouts, QWERTY, Dvorak, and Colemak, to help you decide which layout might be best for you.

Complement to typewriters QWERTY was the first typing keyboard layout invented in the 1870s. It works very well with typewriters, however, it is actually a less efficient layout as comparing to modern day keyboard than the Dvorak and Colemak layouts.

The QWERTY layout was set long ago and people are so used to using it that not many people know about the more optimized layouts, Dvorak and Colemak.

Some Important Facts

  • QWERTY keyboard layout was invented by Christopher Latham Sholes in the year 1867.
  • Dvorak layout was developed by August Dvorak and William Dealey in the year 1936
  • Colemak keyboard layout was designed by Shai Coleman in the year 2006.

So you can see why QWERTY is most commonly used keyboard layout. It is popular because of its history and how widely distributed it has been for the past 150 years.

Which Layout Should I Choose?

To understand these layouts and choose the best one, we need to analyze them more scientifically. All the major keyboard layouts (Qwerty, Dvorak and Colemak) has three keys row where all the alphabets are placed.

The middle row of alphabet keys is called the home row. You can see in the image QWERTY layout has nine keys in the home row, while the other two keyboard layouts have ten keys. The home row is the initial position of fingers.

That’s mean the keys that present in the home row requires less finger movement and time. As the Dvorak and the Colemak layout have one key more than the QWERTY layout, these two indeed perform a little better than the QWERTY keyboard.

Further, an experiment conducted on over 6000 commonly used English words to find out the words we can type by the keys present in the home row of these three layouts.

The result is truly amazing; It was found that only 30 words could be typed using the home row keys of the QWERTY keyboard.

On the other hand, 282 words can be typed using the home row keys of the Dvorak keyboard layout. And when we examine the third, the result is fascinating; You can type 436 common English words using Home row keys of Colemak keyboard.


There are a few things to keep in mind when comparing the QWERTY layout with the Dvorak and Colemak layouts. Firstly, the QWERTY layout is much less efficient than the other two layouts and is only so popular because of its history and how widely distributed it has been for the past 150 years. Colemak Layout is arguably the best layout in terms of efficiency, ease of use when it comes to QWERTY keyboard.

Also Read Why are the keyboards “QWERTY” and not “ABCDE”?

Leave a Reply