There are plenty of monitors you can get if you're looking for something on a budget. While you won't get the best performance and features as you would with high-end monitors, a few budget models still offer great performance, even better than some more expensive options. As the monitor market grows, you can find low-cost displays for various uses, from office work to gaming, and even with more features like Mini LED backlighting or high resolutions, including up to 4k.
As there are so many different options available, it's important to consider your personal preferences and how you'll use the monitor; you'll want something with sharp text clarity and good ergonomics for office work, or you'll want to get something with a high refresh rate for gaming. Regardless of what you need it for, it's important to consider the monitor's performance for your specific use, as you'll want to get the most bang for your buck.
We've bought and tested over 300 monitors, and below, you'll find our top picks for the best monitors available for purchase at a low cost. Also, check out our recommendations for the best monitors under $200, the best monitors under $500, and the best budget and cheap gaming monitors.
The AOC Q27G3XMN is the best monitor you can get for a budget-friendly price. It's a unique monitor that offers more features than most low-cost displays, mainly thanks to its Mini LED backlighting, which is a nice touch for a budget monitor. Thanks to this Mini LED backlighting, it has a good local dimming feature that helps it display deep blacks, making it a fantastic choice for gaming or sitting back and watching your favorite content in dark rooms. It also gets very bright in HDR, making highlights pop for a vivid viewing experience.
Besides that, it has a 1440p resolution with good text clarity, and it also gets bright enough to fight glare, making it a good choice if you want to use it in a well-lit room. It has some downsides, though, as it has narrow viewing angles, and some picture settings result in a red tint. If those are a concern for you, or you prefer a more simple budget monitor, then check out the Gigabyte M27Q P. It has a few extra productivity features, like a KVM switch, but it has worse picture quality than the AOC.
If you find that the AOC Q27G3XMN is out of your price range and you prefer something that's cheaper and simpler, there are a few options you can choose from. One of those monitors is the ASUS VG246H, a decent, cheap display with a smaller 24-inch screen and 1080p resolution than the AOC. Besides the worse picture quality, another difference is that it doesn't have a high refresh rate for gaming, so it's better to get this only if you need a simple monitor for work and you don't plan on gaming on it.
Despite its low cost, it still has perks like an sRGB picture mode with great accuracy before calibration, making images look life-like. It also has good reflection handling, which is useful if you want to use it in a well-lit room, but it doesn't get bright enough to fight intense glare. Lastly, it has remarkable ergonomics that make it easy to adjust, which is great if you constantly need to share your screen with someone else. However, as expected for a cheap display, it's limited in extra features, as it doesn't even have a USB hub.
If you want something mainly for working and don't mind spending more than on the entry-level ASUS VG246H, check out the Dell S2721QS. It has a larger screen and higher 4k resolution than the ASUS, so there's more screen real estate for multitasking, and it also delivers much better text clarity. It's a great choice if you want to use it in a well-lit room, as it gets bright enough to fight glare and has good reflection handling. It also has wide viewing angles and impressive ergonomics, making it easy to share your screen with someone next to you, as the image remains consistent from the sides.
Although it delivers good picture quality and excellent office performance, it's limited in extra features. It does have Picture-in-Picture and Picture-by-Picture modes, but it doesn't have a USB hub to connect to other devices. If you want something with a USB hub, including a USB-C port that supports DisplayPort Alt Mode, you can also check out the higher-end Dell S2722QC. It offers great value because of these extra features, and you can often find it on sale, but the S2721QS is available for cheaper most of the time.
If you don't need something for office work like the Dell S2721QS and prefer a smaller screen than the AOC Q27G3XMN, there are plenty of good, budget-friendly 24-inch monitors you can get. However, many monitors with this screen size focus on gaming, and that's the case with the ViewSonic XG2431, which has a high 240Hz refresh rate. However, with a low 1080p resolution, images aren't as detailed. Regardless, it's an impressive gaming monitor with a fast response time and VRR support to reduce screen tearing.
It has extra gaming perks, like a versatile backlight strobing feature that you can customize to improve the appearance of motion, which is something many budget monitors can't do. However, it doesn't work at the same time as VRR, which is typical of many gaming monitors. Besides that, it also has great ergonomics and wide viewing angles, so it's still versatile enough if you need a small display for productivity or even co-op gaming. It even has two USB-A ports to quickly connect your peripherals, like a keyboard and mouse.
If you want a bigger screen, a few budget-friendly 32-inch monitors are decent enough for everyday use, but low-cost monitors of this size aren't as good as smaller displays. Regardless, if that's what you want, the LG 32GN650-B is a decent choice, and you can also find it as the 32GN63T-B at different retailers. Both models perform the same, so you can get whichever you can find for cheaper. It has a higher resolution than the ViewSonic XG2431, but because of the large size, the pixel density is similar, so the text clarity is just okay.
The main downside is that this monitor has a lower 165Hz refresh rate than the ViewSonic and isn't as good for competitive gaming. It has worse motion handling with more smearing and inverse ghosting, but it's still decent enough if you're getting into PC gaming. It also has FreeSync VRR support with G-SYNC compatibility to reduce screen tearing. Additionally, it has a VA panel that looks good in dark rooms thanks to its high native contrast ratio, but it has narrow viewing angles, so the image looks washed out when viewing from the sides.
Nov 08, 2023: Replaced the ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV with the Dell S2721QS for consistency with other articles; in Notable Mentions, added the Dell G2724D and replaced the Gigabyte M34WQ with the Dell S3422DWG for consistency with other articles, as it costs less.
Sep 13, 2023: Replaced the Gigabyte M27Q and the Dell S2721QS with the Gigabyte M27Q P and the ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV for consistency with other articles; added the S2721QS and the HP OMEN 27qs to Notable Mentions; reordered the categories to reflect how people are looking for budget monitors.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best monitors you can get for a low cost. They are adapted to be valid for most people. Rating is based on our review, factoring in price and feedback from our visitors.
If you would prefer to make your own decision, here is the list of all of our monitor reviews that are currently under $350. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. Most monitors are good enough to please most people, and the things we fault monitors on are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.