1080p monitors were the gold standard for a long time. In recent years, that torch has passed to 1440p resolutions, which deliver a sharper image with larger monitors. That said, new 1080p monitors with faster refresh rates have started hitting the market. They deliver outstanding gaming performance at affordable prices, and they put a lighter load on the graphics card, making them more accessible to those with lower-end hardware. The picks in this article are mainly for gaming as 1080p isn't well-suited for productivity due to blurrier text.
We've tested nearly 160 monitors and below are our recommendations for the best 1080p monitors to purchase. See our recommendations for the best 1440p monitors, the best 4k monitors, and the best monitors under $200.
The best 1080p gaming monitor we've tested is the ASUS VG279QM. It's one of the best gaming monitors we've tested, as it has a 240Hz refresh rate that can be overclocked up to 280Hz to provide an even smoother and more responsive gaming experience. It has a few extra features, including built-in speakers, so you may not need to get a dedicated setup if you don't want to.
It has an extremely quick response time at its max refresh rate, resulting in almost no motion blur. Even at 60Hz, the response time is outstanding, and even though there's a Black Frame Insertion feature to improve the appearance of motion, you likely won't need it. The monitor has native FreeSync support, and it's certified by NVIDIA to be G-SYNC compatible. The picture quality is great; it has great out-of-the-box color accuracy, it gets bright enough to combat glare, reflection handling is decent, and it has really wide viewing angles.
It has an extremely low input lag when playing at 280Hz, but sadly, it increases quite a bit at 60Hz. Like most IPS panels, it has a low contrast ratio, so blacks appear closer to gray when viewed in the dark. On the upside, it has outstanding ergonomics, and it's well-built, so you shouldn't have to worry about any build quality issues for a while. All in all, most people should be pleased with it, making it the best 1080p gaming monitor we've tested.
If your space is tight or prefer a smaller screen when gaming, then go with the ASUS VG279QM's little sibling, the ASUS TUF Gaming VG259QM. Although it doesn't feel as immersive as a larger screen, its smaller size means it has a higher pixel density to deliver sharper images and text. Also, it makes it easier to see the entire screen, giving you better environmental awareness in-game. It performs almost identically to its bigger brother, except that its response time at 60Hz is slower, and it doesn't get as bright overall. Its viewing angles are narrower but still good, and it has better reflection handling.
Overall, both ASUS monitors are excellent for gaming, so choosing between them depends entirely on your preference and budget. The VG279QM is a bit better overall, but the differences are fairly minor and shouldn't be noticeable.
The ASUS ROG Swift 360Hz PG259QN is the best 1080p gaming monitor with a 360Hz refresh rate that we've tested. It's a 24 inch native G-SYNC monitor that delivers incredibly responsive gameplay, making it an excellent option for serious esports players. It has an IPS panel with wide viewing angles, and it gets very bright to combat glare. The stand allows for all manner of adjustments so that you can place the screen at a comfortable viewing position.
Motion handling is outstanding as its 360Hz refresh rate and quick response time result in clear images with almost no blur trail. There's a fair amount of overshoot, though, which can cause some motion artifacts. Although it's a native G-SYNC monitor, it's compatible with FreeSync, so it works with AMD graphics cards. It has NVIDIA's backlight strobing technology, otherwise known as Black Frame Insertion, but it only works at 144Hz or 240Hz, and it isn't usable while VRR is active.
There are many extra features, like the ability to add a virtual crosshair, timer, or frame rate counter, and there's even some LED bias lighting on the back of the monitor. It supports HDR, but it can't display a wide color gamut, and enabling it limits the refresh rate to 300Hz over a DisplayPort connection. Nevertheless, If you want the highest refresh rate for the most responsive gaming experience, this is the one to get.
The best 1080p monitor that we've tested in the budget category is the Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx. It's fairly well-built and has excellent ergonomics thanks to its round stand that allows for a 360-degree rotation. It's good to use in a well-lit environment because it gets bright enough to combat glare and has good reflection handling, so visibility shouldn't be an issue. Also, it has wide viewing angles, making it easier to share your screen with others around you.
It has everything most gamers need, a native 144Hz refresh rate that can be overclocked to 165Hz, native FreeSync support to reduce screen tearing, and G-SYNC compatibility. The input lag is incredibly low whether you're gaming at its native resolution or 60Hz, and the remarkable response time results in minimal motion blur. It has a Black Frame Insertion feature; however, it isn't usable simultaneously with VRR and only works within a narrow frequency range.
It supports HDR10, but sadly, it doesn't deliver a true experience because it can't display a wide color gamut and doesn't get bright enough to make highlights pop. Also, it has a low contrast ratio that makes blacks appear gray when viewed in the dark, but that's typical of IPS panels. Besides these small issues, if you're on a budget, this is the best 1080p monitor that we've tested.
If you like gaming in the dark, then consider the Dell S2721HGF. Unlike the Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx, it has a VA panel with a much higher contrast ratio to produce deep blacks, making it a better option for dark rooms. It also has a larger 27 inch screen to provide better immersion. However, there are a few compromises. It has slower response times, especially at 60Hz, and it has a lower 144Hz refresh rate. That said, its motion handling is still excellent. It doesn't support HDR, but it isn't a big loss since the Acer can't display a wide color gamut anyway.
Overall, the Acer is better because it has a higher refresh rate and faster response times. However, if you want a monitor that's better suited for dark rooms, the Dell is a great alternative.
Mar 26, 2021: Removed Acer Nitro XV273 Xbmiiprzx and ASUS VG279Q. Added ASUS TUF Gaming VG259QM as 'Smaller Alternative' to the ASUS VG279QM. Added Dell S2721HGF as 'Dark Room Alternative' to the Acer Nitro XF243Y.
Jan 26, 2021: Replaced the Dell Alienware AW2521HF with the ASUS PG259QN and renamed category to '360Hz Alternative'; replaced the LG 27GL650F-B with the Acer Nitro XF243Y because it's better overall.
Nov 27, 2020: Minor text and structure changes, removed ViewSonic Elite XG270.
Sep 29, 2020: Added the ViewSonic Elite XG270 and moved the ASUS VG279Q to alternative; replaced the Dell P2417H with the Acer Nitro XV273X; removed the LG 34UC79G-B; added the LG 27GL650F-B as 'Best Budget'.
Jul 31, 2020: Removed the LG 29UM69G-B and the Dell P2217H; added the ASUS VG279QM and the Dell AW2521HF as gaming picks.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best 1080p monitors currently available. They are adapted to be valid for most people, in each price range. 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 1080p monitor reviews. 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.