With the availability of different mods, keyboard enthusiasts are confused to choose one. Thus, getting confused between case foam and plate foam is very common.
So, which is better case foam vs plate foam?
The keypress feels free and quiet in case foam. But, plate foam completely eliminates the gap so keys feel more rigid and completely silent. Case foam is made of memory foam. On the other hand, plate foam is made of thick foam. Pre-cut is only available for plate foam.
These are just some basic factors. You need to dive deeper for more insights.
So, I will give my verdict for you to choose the appropriate one!
Every PC component has something more to offer. With the mechanical keyboard, PC users are trying to make their keyboard sound better.
With that aim, they want to mod the keyboard using either case foam or plate foam.
But do you need a keyboard foam?
Well, each foam factor offers different things. A keyboard foam eliminates the space of the board.
Many people hate the sound of hollow coming from space. So, it has become a trend to mod the keyboard with different foam factors.
However, choosing a mod option isn’t easy. Just like choosing between case fan and CPU fan.
So, let’s see some basic differences between case foam and plate foam:
|Differentiating Factors||Case Foam||Plate Foam|
|Placement||Keyboard’s bottom row||Between the plate and the PCB|
|Main Purpose||Decreases the pinging echo of typing||Quiets switches sound|
|Materials Used||Foam and silicone||Thick foam with no glue|
|Pre-Cut Availability||Not Available||Available|
The quick review table is very useful for insight. However, it’s not enough to choose a foaming factor. Because each mod will give you a different experience.
So, let’s jump into the in-depth analysis.
This is the section where you’ll get an elaborated comparison between the two foams. You can also choose one with which you find preferable after reading this segment.
A fair bit of warning. Doing any mod can cause some rare problems. For example, the spacebar of mechanical keyboard may malfunction. But, these problems have a very rare chance to occur.
Without delaying anymore, let’s start.
Let’s talk about the placement of each foam first. The placement is necessary to determine what they do or can do.
In the factor of keyboard case foam, it’s placed in the bottom row. Hence, it eliminates the space between the bottom case and PCB (Printed Circuit Board).
On the other hand, keyboard plate foam is placed between the plate and the PCB. So, it eliminates the space or gap between key switches and PCB.
Summary: Case foam eliminates the space in the bottom row. However, plate foam eliminates the gap between key switches and PCB.
Every mechanical keyboard user digs for a unique keypress feel. Hence, we covered the topic regarding each factor.
The keypress feel of case foam is free, soothing, and sounds quiet. Because the bottom foam absorbs the initial press sound.
Nevertheless, the keypress feel of plate foam is rigid and quieter than case foam. Because it fills in the gap of switches in the PCB. So, your keys may feel stiff.
Summary: Case foam aims to absorb sounds to make it quiet. The plate form eliminates the gap of switches to make it completely silent.
Now comes the ultimate question, why do we need a case or plate foam?
Well, the main purpose is to make the sound less hollow. However, both foam has more to offer. The case foam helps to make the keyboard give an air-tight advantage. This means your keyboard will feel much more compact than the stock one.
On the other hand, plate foam makes the key switches to be less clicky. The key switches will feel much more rigid. Hence, your typing will feel much better.
Summary: The case foam will give the keyboard a compact feel. But, the plate foam will make the key switches rigid for better typing.
Now comes the materials used in it. Although both are made out of foam, there are some significant differences.
Firstly, the case foam is made out of foam. Many case foams are also made out of memory foam. Also, one side has pre-installed adhesive.
However, plate foam is made of thick foam. But it doesn’t have any adhesive glue installed. But, case foam can turn yellow due to air. You won’t see this in plate foam.
Summary: Case foam is built with foam and silicone. On the other hand, plate foam is made out of thick foam.
Mechanical keyboards come in different sizes. For example, there is a 100% key layout, 60% key layout, etc. According to the key layout, keyboards’ sizes vary. So, pre-cut is necessary for both foam factors.
With that said, case foam doesn’t have pre-cuts available. All of the case foam comes with a full-size keyboard layout. According to your keyboard size, you need to cut it down.
On the other hand, plate foams have pre-cuts available. You can choose the pre-cuts according to the size of your keyboard.
Summary: Case foam doesn’t have pre-cuts but plate foam has pre-cuts available.
Now comes the installation. Each keyboard foam is placed below or between the PCB. So, it is a delicate matter and you need to be careful.
The installation of case foam is pretty straightforward. You need to unscrew the back of the keyboard and remove the base. Then, just put the case foam perfectly aligned with the case and screw it back. It takes around 10-15 minutes.
However, the installation of plate foam is much easier. Just remove the plate and align your plate foam with the PCB. Then add the plate and add it back. It shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes.
Summary: Case foam installation is easy but plate foam installation is easier.
Imagine a scenario. Your keyboard foam didn’t turn out to be what you like. So, you need to keep the dismantling procedure in mind.
Dismantling the case foam is hard. Because it uses pre-installed glue. So, you need to carefully remove it.
However, such hassle won’t be faced while dismantling plate foam. You can easily just remove it and assemble the keyboard again.
Summary: Dismantling case foam is hard but dismantling plate foam is easy.
Ok, you have gone through every bit of what matters in both foams. But, how much does each foam mod cost?
Well, case foam mods can cost from 10$-25$. However, there are many case foams available in the market. So, I narrowed down some of the best case foams for you.
|GOKA Keyboard Bottom Memory-Foam||Buy Now|
|Sponge Neoprene W/Adhesive 12in Wide X 1/16in Thick X 54in Long||Buy Now|
|SilverStone EPDM S Foam||Buy Now|
On the hand, plate foam can cost from 8$-20$. Take a look at some of our recommended plate foams for keyboards:.
|Universal Plate Positioning Board Plate||Buy Now|
|Keyboard Switch Sound Dampeners Sheet Silencer Foam||Buy Now|
|Switch Sound Dampeners Sheet Soft Landing Pads Dimple Foam||Buy Now|
Try them out!
Summary: Case foam is slightly more expensive than plate foam.
That’s all regarding the in-depth analysis of each keyboard foam. Choosing a keyboard foam will be very beneficial. On top of that, revamping keyboard case and plate is also fairly easy.
Which Foam Factor is the Best?
After going through the whole article, you can however be confused. So, I will give you my verdict.
So, is case foam any good? Absolutely yes. While having the same old keypress feel, you can reduce the noise. On top of that, your keyboard will feel more compact and solid.
But, is plate foam any good? Also yes, if you want your typing experience to be better. It makes the key switches more rigid and completely silent.
So, it totally depends on you what you should go for.
Is Putting Foam in a Keyboard Safe?
Yes, it is completely safe. Adding foam will give it more weight, making it less likely to slip when typing.
What Should the Thickness of Your Plate Foam Be?
Plate foam should be within 1-4mm thick. Because it goes between the plate and the PCB.
What Is the Thickness of a Case Foam Should Be?
The case foam can be as thick as 4mm. Regardless of the size, you can push it down as it uses memory foam.
That’s all regarding the topic of case foam vs plate foam.
Here’s a tip, never use water or any liquid around the foam of your keyboard. It may conduct electricity and cause damage.
Have a good day and game on!