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. New 1080p monitors with faster refresh rates and larger panels have started hitting the market, though, and many of these deliver outstanding gaming performance at affordable prices.
We've tested nearly 135 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 monitor we've tested is the Acer Nitro XV273X. Although it's primarily designed for gaming, it's packed with great features, making it a good choice for productivity and media consumption. It has a simple design that fits into most settings, with thin bezels that are well-suited for multi-monitor setups. It has good ergonomics and wide viewing angles, allowing you to share work or content on your screen with others with ease. It has decent reflection handling and gets more than bright enough to overcome glare.
One surprising aspect is its exceptional out-of-the-box color accuracy. It has a dedicated sRGB mode with nearly perfect white balance, and the color inaccuracies are so minor that they shouldn't be noticeable. Its superb response time results in almost no motion blur in fast-moving scenes, and it has an optional Black Frame Insertion that can further improve clarity. It has a 240Hz refresh rate that provides an incredibly smooth desktop and gaming experience, and it has FreeSync support and G-SYNC compatibility to reduce screen tearing.
Unfortunately, although it supports HDR, it can't display a wide color gamut, so HDR content doesn't look all that different from SDR. Also, its IPS panel has a low contrast ratio that makes blacks look grayish, which isn't ideal for dark rooms. On the plus side, it has a flicker-free backlight and a blue light filter, great for helping reduce eye strain. It also has four USB 3.0 ports that you can use for charging and a pair of built-in speakers. Overall, it's a well-rounded monitor that should please most people.
If you find the Acer Nitro XV273X too expensive, then check out the ASUS VG279Q. It's also an IPS panel model, and it has even better ergonomics and wider viewing angles. However, it has a lower 144Hz refresh rate, and its response time is a tad slower. Also, it doesn't have any USB ports and doesn't support HDR. There's a fair amount of clouding throughout the screen, which can be distracting in dark scenes. That said, uniformity varies between units, so your experience may be different.
Overall, the Acer is a better choice for most people due to its faster response time, higher refresh rate, and HDR support. However, if your budget is tight and you don't mind a few compromises, the ASUS is a good alternative that's also easier on the wallet.
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 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 you prefer a smaller alternative to save some space on your desk, then check out the Dell Alienware AW2521HF. Its 240Hz refresh rate can't be overclocked to 280Hz like on the ASUS VG279QM, but it has a much lower input lag when playing at 60Hz. The response time on this monitor is once again exceptional, and even at 60Hz, motion is extremely smooth. It also supports FreeSync, and it's G-SYNC compatible. Sadly, it doesn't support HDR, and it has some uniformity issues when viewing dark scenes in a dark room. However, it has great reflection handling and great peak brightness if you plan to use it in a bright room, so glare shouldn't be an issue for you.
All in all, the ASUS is the best 1080p gaming monitor we've tested, but if you prefer a smaller screen, check out the Dell.
The best 1080p monitor in the budget category that we've tested is the LG 27GL650F-B. Despite its budget price, it offers good overall and great gaming performance that rivals some of the more expensive options on this list.
It has a native 144Hz refresh rate with FreeSync support, and it's also G-SYNC compatible. Input lag is really low, response time at its max refresh rate is excellent, and the response time at 60Hz is also good, resulting in clear motion. It has great out-of-the-box color accuracy, so you likely won't need to get it calibrated. The viewing angles are wide if you need to share your screen with others, which is typical of an IPS model. It gets bright enough to combat glare in a well-lit environment, and its reflection handling is decent.
Unfortunately, its stand doesn't offer much in terms of ergonomics, and it has a low contrast ratio, so blacks appear gray when viewed in the dark. It gets somewhat bright in HDR, but it doesn't display a wide color gamut in that mode, so HDR content doesn't look all that different from SDR content. Regardless of these issues, this is the best 1080p monitor available for less than $300 that we've tested.
11/27/2020: Minor text and structure changes, removed ViewSonic Elite XG270.
09/29/2020: 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'.
07/31/2020: 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 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.