As the monitor market continues to grow, there are plenty of great monitors that you can find in any price range, including those under $500. Even high-end 4k monitors are becoming more available, which means you can find a variety of gaming and office monitors in this price range. Finding the best monitor depends on your needs and whether you want something with a high refresh rate focused on gaming, or a high resolution for office work.
We've bought and tested more than 250 monitors, and below are our recommendations for the best monitors to buy for under $500. Also see our recommendations for the best gaming monitors under $200, the best budget monitors, and the best work monitors.
The best monitor you can get for under $500 that we've tested is the Gigabyte M32Q. It's a good overall monitor that's versatile for different uses, which is why it's the best overall, especially if you need something for working during the day and gaming at night. It has a large 32-inch screen with a 1440p resolution, which provides enough screen space to open multiple windows, and the text clarity is also good. It even has outstanding accuracy before calibration, meaning you won't need to get it calibrated even if you're a photo editor, and it displays a wide range of colors in SDR. It's also a good choice if you use it in bright rooms, as it gets bright enough to fight glare, and the reflection handling is good.
If you want to use it for gaming, it has a max refresh rate of 170Hz, which is good enough for casual PC gaming, and it has variable refresh rate (VRR) support to reduce screen tearing. Motion looks smooth across its entire refresh rate range, and it has low input lag for a responsive feel. It also has wide viewing angles and good ergonomics that make it a great choice if you want to use it for co-op gaming.
While the Gigabyte M32Q is a great monitor for gaming, if you're a competitive gamer and want the best gaming monitor for under $500, you'll want something with a higher refresh rate, like the Gigabyte M27Q X. It can be a bit hard to find depending on its availability, but if you find it, you can get it for under $500, and it's excellent for gaming. It's a 1440p display with a high 240Hz refresh rate, but besides the higher refresh rate, it's very similar to the M32Q, but you get less screen space to multitask. It delivers great motion handling as it has a quick response time across its entire refresh rate range, so you won't notice any motion blur, and its input lag is low for a responsive feel.
On top of its excellent gaming performance, it also delivers great picture quality. The color accuracy is remarkable, and you won't have to worry about getting it calibrated if you care about accurate colors, and it displays a wide range of colors in HDR and SDR. It also gets bright and has good reflection handling if you use it in a bright room, but it doesn't look as good in the dark because of its low contrast, but that's normal for many monitors.
If you won't take advantage of the gaming features on the Gigabyte M27Q X and want a proper office monitor, there are plenty of options for under $500. While many are cheap and don't cost more than a few hundred dollars, you can get a 4k display close to the $500 price point if you want something with a higher resolution than the Gigabyte M32Q. A monitor like the Dell S2722QC is the best 4k monitor under $500 for the office we've tested. The 4k resolution is great for productivity because it delivers clear text, and the 27-inch screen is also big enough to open two windows side-by-side. It's a great monitor to use in a well-lit room because it gets bright enough to fight glare and has good reflection handling.
There are a few extra features like Picture-in-Picture and Picture-by-Picture modes that let you view images from two sources at once. It also has a USB-C input that supports DisplayPort Alt Mode with 65 W of power delivery, meaning you can charge your laptop and display an image from it at the same time. Lastly, it's ideal if you often need to share your screen with a coworker or client, as it has wide viewing angles and excellent ergonomics.
If you find the 27-inch screen size on the Dell S2722QC or even the Gigabyte M32Q too small, look into getting an ultrawide monitor. These types of monitors are the equivalent of 27-inch displays with extra horizontal screen space, which is ideal for multitasking if you want multiple windows open or want an immersive gaming experience. In that case, the Gigabyte M34WQ is a great choice for under $500 as it's versatile like the M32Q and has features for both productivity users and gamers. It has a high 144Hz refresh rate, making it great for gaming, and its motion handling is excellent with high-frame-rate signals, resulting in minimal motion blur.
If you want to use it for work purposes, it has a USB hub that easily lets you connect your devices. It has a USB-C port that supports DisplayPort Alt Mode, letting you display an image from a compatible device like a laptop and charge it at the same time, but it only supports 15 W of power delivery. It also has a KVM switch that lets you control two devices with the same keyboard and mouse, which is great for multitasking with different devices.
Oct 31, 2022: Removed the Gigabyte M28U because it's over $500 and renamed the Gigabyte M32Q as the 'Best Monitor Under $500'; replaced the Dell S3422DWG with the Gigabyte M34WQ because it's more versatile; updated Notable Mentions based on changes.
Aug 22, 2022: Completely restructured the article to reflect how users are looking for monitors and focused on monitors that are close to $500; added the Gigabyte M27Q X, Gigabyte M28U, and the Gigabyte M32Q to their respective categories. Removed the Acer Nitro XF243Y, ASUS ProArt PA278CV, and the Dell AW2521H because they have lower resolutions that the current picks; replaced the Gigabyte M34WQ with the Dell S3422DWG for consistency; updated Notable Mentions based on changes.
May 11, 2022: Restructured article to reflect user needs. Moved the Acer Nitro XF243Y from an alternative to a main pick as the 'Best 1080p Gaming Monitor', and replaced the ASUS VG279QM with the Dell Alienware AW2521H to name it the 'Best For Esports'; renamed the Dell S2722QC and the ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV as 'Best For Office' options; updated Notable Mentions based on changes.
Mar 08, 2022: Replaced the Dell S2721QS with the Dell S2722QC because it's better and moved the Gigabyte M34WQ to its own 'Best Ultrawide' category for consistency; updated Notable Mentions based on changes.
Jan 07, 2022: Renamed the ASUS VG279QM to 'Best 1080p Gaming Monitor' and replaced the Dell AW2521HF with the Acer Nitro XF243Y for consistency; replaced the Acer Nitro XV340CK with the Gigabyte M34WQ for consistency; updated Notable Mentions based on changes.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best monitors for less than $500 currently available. They're 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 our reviews of monitors under $500. 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.