Micro-/nano-electromechanical (M/NEM) switches have received significant attention as promising switching devices for a wide range of applications such as computing, radio frequency communication, and power gating devices. However, M/NEM switches still suffer from unacceptably low reliability because of irreversible degradation at the contacting interfaces, hindering adoption in practical applications and further development. Here, we evaluate and verify graphene as a contact material for reliability-enhanced M/NEM switching devices. Atomic force microscopy experiments and quantum mechanics calculations reveal that energy efficient mechanical contact separation characteristics are achieved when a few layers of graphene are used as a contact material on a nickel surface, reducing the energy dissipation by 96.6% relative to that of a bare nickel surface. Importantly, graphene displays almost elastic contact separation, indicating that little atomic-scale wear, including plastic deformation, fracture, and atomic attrition, is generated. We also develop a feasible fabrication method to demonstrate a MEM switch, which has high quality graphene as the contact material, and verify that the devices with graphene show mechanically stable and elastic-like contact properties, consistent with our nanoscale contact experiment. The graphene coating extends the switch lifetime >10(3) times under hot switching conditions.