finding the best folding piano

It’s hard to beat a full-size digital keyboard for sheer musical horsepower. They’re loaded with countless tonalities, practice tools, MIDI control, and the list goes on. But when it comes to convenience, they can struggle. They’re heavy, big, and often require an outside monitoring solution. 

That’s all changed. Whether you call them a folding keyboard piano, a folding piano keyboard, or a travel piano keyboard, the incredibly convenient instruments’ recent explosion in popularity has given pianists, synthesizer aficionados, and home studios a powerful and compact weapon in their sonic quiver.

Today, many models are available that serve up different platters of sounds, features, and tools. Some, designed for beginners, keep prices low while offering just what a newer player needs. Others boast weighted keys and great additions that experienced players demand.

Let’s take a look at three popular models. We’ll also answer your questions and help you find the best folding piano for you.

What is a folding piano?

Finding The Best Folding Piano 1

Folding pianos are just what they seem; a piano – or more accurately, a digital keyboard – that folds into an easy-to-transport size. 

Even with streamlined designs, many folding pianos are surprisingly full-featured. Depending on the model, you still get a library of onboard tones and instrument sounds, demo songs, metronomes, percussion rhythms, and even external MIDI control. Imagine having all of that in an 88-key keyboard that can fit in your backpack without weighing you down. 

Whether you’re a session ace who’s on the move or a young beginner without a lot of extra space in your bedroom, folding keyboards are definitely worth your attention.

Why would I use a folding piano?

Finding The Best Folding Piano 2

As you can tell, there are a million reasons to add a folding piano to your musical arsenal. But it really comes down to the world of musical options they offer while making travel and storage a breeze. Here are a few situations that prove my point.

At home

Having a piano at home is a tradition that goes back centuries. While having a grand piano in the parlor may be reserved for a fortunate few, thousands of us still have a keyboard around. Not only do they fill our homes with music, but they’re ideal for children and people just getting into the art form.

Unfortunately, if not used regularly, they can take up space in the house that you’d like to have back. Grab a foldable piano, and you’ll always have the ivories close at hand without sacrificing square footage.

In the studio

A sometimes hidden feature of many folding pianos is their USB connectivity. Many models use this to recharge their onboard lithium batteries. But did you know they can also be used for MIDI control of an external device? 

They can! You can hit the studio with nothing more than your folding piano and a laptop, pull up your favorite plugin sound engine, and track with top-shelf tones. 

Folding pianos with MIDI control are also great options for home studios. If that’s you, and you need an out-of-the-way controller for composing and adding textures to your projects, check out the three models below.

On the road | a travel piano

Hitting the road can be torture on musical equipment, even if you’re only driving around town. And while most folding keyboards aren’t built with extreme durability in mind, their affordability makes them easy to replace. They also make setup and teardown a breeze, they’ll fit in a cramped van, and they might be the best backup plan out there. Whether they carry the brand name, they all make fantastic carry on folding pianos when flying.

For traveling instructors

If you’re a traveling piano instructor, you’re often tied to whatever piano or keyboard your students have at home. And even if they have a stunning concert grand, you’ll find yourself cozying up to the student on the bench as you work through the lesson.

Or…

…you can solve all those issues by bringing your own folding piano. They’re easily portable, battery-powered, and plenty loud for lessons. You’ll also have your own instrument to demonstrate the lesson and play along.  

What is the best folding piano?

As with any musical equipment, there is no “best.” But there is “best for you.” So we’ll walk you through three of our favorite models currently available. You should have a good idea of what’s available by the end. You’ll also know what each offers and its strengths and weaknesses.

Carry-On Folding Piano 88

The Carry-On 88-key Folding Piano is a clear favorite, especially considering how compact its 88-key layout folds up. Though loaded with features, this Carry-On folds in quarters, measuring 13″ x 5″ x 3.4″ and weighing only 3.5 lbs. It will easily fit in a backpack or the included carrying tote for transport. 

You’ll find 128 sounds and rhythms onboard. Want a Carry On piano? It’s there. Need a Carry On bass? Done. It also has several metronome settings and 30 backing tracks. Then look around back and find the dual-purpose USB jack (charging, MIDI), a headphone output, and a connection for the included sustain pedal. So if you’re looking for a full-size travel keyboard piano, this is it.

Finding The Best Folding Piano 3

Features:

  • 88 keys
  • Folds to 13″ x 5″ x 3.4″, 3.5 lbs
  • 128 sounds
  • 128 percussion rhythms
  • 6 Metronome setting
  • USB jack for power and MIDI connectivity
  • Headphone output
  • Onboard stereo speakers
  • Included sustain pedal
  • Included carrying tote
  • Soft-touch keys
Blackstar, 88-Key Portable Keyboard (FOLDPIANO88)
958 Reviews
Blackstar, 88-Key Portable Keyboard (FOLDPIANO88)
  • LIGHTWEIGHT AND COMPACT 88 Key full-length folding portable digital piano keyboard that folds to...
  • 8 HOURS RECHARGABLE BATTERY LIFE WITH BUILT IN USB & Midi to provide efficiency and convenience to...
  • IDEAL FOR BEGINNER; KIDS; STUDENTS; PROFESSIONALS; who want to play, learn and perform piano with...

Carry-On Folding Piano 49

Don’t need an entire 88-key layout? Then the Carry-On 49 is for you. The same in nearly every way as its big brother, the 49-key model scales it back to a desk-friendly size. Many home studios and creators-on-the-go prefer this as it offers all the tools needed while being a massive space saver. 

Folding in half, the Carry-On 49 shrinks to a manageable 15.35″ x 4.96″ x 1.89″ in and 2.23 lbs. You still get all the sounds, control, and feel of the 88-key, just in an even more convenient package.

Finding The Best Folding Piano 4

Features:

  • 49 keys
  • Folds to 15.35″ x 4.96″ x 1.89″, 2.23 lbs
  • 128 sounds
  • 128 percussion rhythms
  • 6 Metronome setting
  • USB jack for power and MIDI connectivity
  • Headphone output
  • Onboard stereo speakers
  • Included sustain pedal
  • Soft-touch keys
Carry-On, 49-Key Portable Keyboard (FOLDPIANO49)
249 Reviews
Carry-On, 49-Key Portable Keyboard (FOLDPIANO49)
  • LIGHTWEIGHT AND COMPACT 49 Key folding PORTABLE PIANO keyboard & MIDI controller that folds to 39cm...
  • 8 HOURS RECHARGABLE BATTERY LIFE WITH BUILT IN USB & MIDI to provide efficiency and convenience to...
  • IDEAL FOR KIDS; STUDENTS; PROFESSIONALS; who want to play, learn and perform piano with full size...

FVEREY 88-key Foldable Piano

The FVEREY 88-key folding piano kicks things up a notch with semi-weighted keys. Ideal for experienced pianists and keyboard players, this folding piano’s action is much more like a real piano. On top of the feel, the keys are velocity-sensitive, meaning they respond dynamically to how hard you hit them. 

The cost of the FVEREY’s piano-like performance is a bit more heft. With folded dimensions of 24.8″ x 8″ x 4.7″ and 8.8 lbs, it’s definitely more substantial than the Carry-Ons. But, if you’ve ever traveled with a full-sized keyboard, you know that it’s still WAY smaller and lighter than that! 

As for features, the FVEREY 88 boasts 128 rhythms, 128 tones, and 20 demo songs. You also have multiple metronome and drum kit settings. 

But the FVEREY isn’t done. It also gives you Bluetooth connectivity, dual voice capabilities, and a transpose feature. Each half of the keyboard separates from the other, creating two independent 44-key platforms. Finally, it all comes with its own travel bag for easy transport.

Finding The Best Folding Piano 5

Features:

  • 88-key design
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Keybed separates to 2 x 44-key keyboards
  • Folds to 24.8″ x 8″ x 4.7″, 8.8 lbs
  • USB jack for power and MIDI connectivity
  • Semi-weighted keys
  • 128 sounds
  • 128 percussion rhythms
  • Multiple Metronome and drum kit settings
  • Headphone output
  • Onboard stereo speakers
  • Included sustain pedal
  • Included travel bag
Sale
Fverey Folding Piano Keyboard 88 Key Full Size Semi-Weighted Foldable Piano,Bluetooth Portable Electric Piano with Sheet Music Stand,Sustain Pedal,Handbag & Piano App-Portable for Beginners.
298 Reviews
Fverey Folding Piano Keyboard 88 Key Full Size Semi-Weighted Foldable Piano,Bluetooth Portable Electric Piano with Sheet Music Stand,Sustain Pedal,Handbag & Piano App-Portable for Beginners.
  • [ Foldable & Portable]:Fverey folding piano keyboard 88 key can achieve the same playing effect as...
  • [Full Size Semi-Weighted Key]:Portable piano despite its slim and compact design,the size of the...
  • [Good sound quality]:This electronic piano has built-in high-quality dual speakers, simulating real...

NikoMaku 88-key Foldable Piano

Not to be outdone, the NikoMaku 88-key Swan X folding piano puts many of the same features of the FVEREY into a slightly smaller package. It even throws in a few of its own tricks for good measure.

Though not a world of difference, the Swan X has folded dimensions of 24.1″ to the FVEREY’s 24.8″. It also bills itself as one of the lightest 88-key folding pianos on the market. Matching the FVEREY at 8.8 lbs, it’s not actually lighter than the competition but is still a feather considering what you’re getting.

Hit the NikoMaku’s power switch, and you’re greeted with many of the same sonic benefits you’d expect. Over 100 sounds, rhythms, metronomes, drum kits, and more. Headphone output? Check. USB power and control? Check. Onboard speakers? Check. You get the point.

But the Swan X does advertise one feature that sets it apart from the pack: headphone noise cancelation. If you’ve ever played piano alone in a great-sounding room, you know how intoxicating the experience can be. NikoMaku’s headphone noise cancelation attempts to re-create the experience by isolating you from the outside world while you enjoy your instrument’s pure, uninterrupted tone.

Finding The Best Folding Piano 6

Features:

  • 88-key design
  • Headphone noise cancelation
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Folds to 4.5″ x 24.1″, 8.8 lbs
  • USB jack for power and MIDI connectivity
  • Semi-weighted keys
  • 128 sounds
  • 128 percussion rhythms
  • Multiple Metronome and drum kit settings
  • Headphone output
  • Onboard stereo speakers
  • Included sustain pedal
  • Included travel bag
Sale
NikoMaku Digital Piano 88 Keys Foldable Portable Piano Keyboard Electric Keyboard Piano Foldable Midi Light Weight Touch Sensitive Keys Full Size Keys Touch Response 128 Rhythms 128 Tones Swan X White
79 Reviews
NikoMaku Digital Piano 88 Keys Foldable Portable Piano Keyboard Electric Keyboard Piano Foldable Midi Light Weight Touch Sensitive Keys Full Size Keys Touch Response 128 Rhythms 128 Tones Swan X White
  • [FOLDABLE and LIGHT] The SWAN-X 88 keys keyboard is foldable. Only 4.5’’* 24.1’’ long and...
  • [TOUCH-SENSITIVE KEYS] Play the keys heavily for louder tones, or softly to achieve quieter sounds,...
  • [NOISE CANCELLATION TECHNOLOGY] Noise can be effectively reduced when using earphone. Different from...

Alternatives to Folding Pianos

We live in an incredible world of music technology with insanely powerful pieces of gear that get smaller every year. So folding pianos aren’t the only convenient option for key players. You can also grab a pro-level, smaller keyboard without folding capabilities. And let’s not forget keyboards that you can actually roll up and go. 

Roll-up piano

Finding The Best Folding Piano 7

Though they’ve been around for several years, the idea of a full-featured keyboard that you can roll up and throw in a pack still seems crazy. But the design is incredibly popular and proves there’s way more to it than meets the eye.

Often made from silicone, roll-up pianos offer flexible construction that will conform to your usage. Their super-thin construction makes the playing experience more like pushing buttons than a traditional piano key, but it’s hard to beat the convenience. The ultimate travel piano, they’re even loaded with many of the same sounds, I/O, and teaching tools of a full-size keyboard.

Our recommendations:

  • iLearnMusic Roll Up Piano
  • Lujex Standard 88 Keys Portable Roll Up Piano
iLearnMusic Roll Up Piano | Portable Keyboard Piano | Hand Roll Electric Piano Keyboard | Premium Silicone & Built-In Speakers (88 Keys, White)
Lujex keyboard piano Standard 88 Keys Portable Roll Up Piano for kids adults (White, 88Keys)
iLearnMusic Roll Up Piano | Portable Keyboard Piano | Hand Roll Electric Piano Keyboard | Premium Silicone & Built-In Speakers (88 Keys, White)
Lujex keyboard piano Standard 88 Keys Portable Roll Up Piano for kids adults (White, 88Keys)
iLearnMusic Roll Up Piano | Portable Keyboard Piano | Hand Roll Electric Piano Keyboard | Premium Silicone & Built-In Speakers (88 Keys, White)
iLearnMusic Roll Up Piano | Portable Keyboard Piano | Hand Roll Electric Piano Keyboard | Premium Silicone & Built-In Speakers (88 Keys, White)
Lujex keyboard piano Standard 88 Keys Portable Roll Up Piano for kids adults (White, 88Keys)
Lujex keyboard piano Standard 88 Keys Portable Roll Up Piano for kids adults (White, 88Keys)

Small piano

Finding The Best Folding Piano 8

Sometimes nothing beats a straightforward, small keyboard. Precursors to the other two options, small, home keyboards have been around for decades giving students, composers, and everyone else access to their vast sound catalogs, easy learning tools, and effortless mobility. 

Because they’ve been around as long as they have, countless models and options are available. Whether you consider that a benefit or drawback, the fact remains there is one out there with the exact features and sounds you want.

Our recommendations:

  • Casio CT-S1 61-key Portable Keyboard
  • Alesis Harmony 61 MKII 61-Key Portable Arranger Keyboard
Casio, 61-Key Portable Keyboard (CT-S1BK)
Alesis Harmony 61 - 61 Key Ultra-Portable Keyboard With Velocity-Sensitive Keys, Built-in Speakers, 300+ In-Demand Sounds and 3-Month Skoove Premium Subscription
Casio, 61-Key Portable Keyboard (CT-S1BK)
Alesis Harmony 61 - 61 Key Ultra-Portable Keyboard With Velocity-Sensitive Keys, Built-in Speakers, 300+ In-Demand Sounds and 3-Month Skoove Premium Subscription
Casio, 61-Key Portable Keyboard (CT-S1BK)
Casio, 61-Key Portable Keyboard (CT-S1BK)
Alesis Harmony 61 - 61 Key Ultra-Portable Keyboard With Velocity-Sensitive Keys, Built-in Speakers, 300+ In-Demand Sounds and 3-Month Skoove Premium Subscription
Alesis Harmony 61 - 61 Key Ultra-Portable Keyboard With Velocity-Sensitive Keys, Built-in Speakers, 300+ In-Demand Sounds and 3-Month Skoove Premium Subscription

Key points

Technology’s influence on musical gear is immense. But, aside from a completely in-the-box plugin on your computer, folding pianos might be a keys player’s best bet. 

Whether you want the super-portable Carry-On options, the piano-like weighted keys of the FVEREY, or NikoMaku’s headphone noise-canceling feature, they all offer convenience that’s hard to match. Add in their extreme flexibility, and it’s hard to see why you wouldn’t want a foldable piano of your own.

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