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 195 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 you 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 best 1080p gaming monitor with a 360Hz refresh rate that we've tested is the Dell Alienware AW2521H. Its compact screen size isn't the most immersive, although it does help to see the entire screen at once for better awareness in games. It feels very well-built, with a gamer-oriented but clean design, and it includes a stand that allows for a good amount of ergonomic adjustments. It has wide viewing angles, good reflection handling, and gets bright enough to fight glare.
The standout feature is, of course, its 360Hz refresh rate. It feels incredibly responsive, and fast motion looks clear with almost no ghosting thanks to its exceptional response time. It has a black frame insertion feature, otherwise known as backlight strobing, but it only works within a narrow frequency range and isn't usable simultaneously with variable refresh rate. Speaking of VRR, this is a native G-SYNC monitor that doesn't support FreeSync, which means you can only use it with an NVIDIA graphics card.
There are quite a few extra features available. NVIDIA's Reflex lets you measure the input lag and find ways to improve it, and like most gaming monitors, you can add a virtual crosshair, timer, or frame rate indicator on the screen. There are four USB 3.0 ports so that you can plug your peripherals or dongles into the monitor for a cleaner setup. Overall, it's an excellent gaming monitor for casual and esports gamers.
The Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx is the best 1080p gaming monitor that we've tested in the budget monitor. It's an excellent gaming monitor that, despite its low price, offers performance that rivals more expensive, featured-packed options. It has excellent ergonomics because you can rotate it 360 degrees on its round base, making it easy to place the screen in an ideal viewing position.
It has an IPS panel with wide viewing angles, so it's a great choice for co-op gaming. What makes this monitor stand out versus the competition is how quick its response times are. It's fantastic whether you're gaming at 60Hz or its max refresh rate 165Hz, so motion looks crispy smooth. Input lag is extremely low, and it has VRR support in terms of native FreeSync and G-SYNC compatibility. Even if you need to use it for office work, it has excellent out-of-the-box accuracy and an excellent SDR color gamut, making it a great choice for content creators.
Unfortunately, it's not a good choice for dark room gaming because it has a low contrast ratio that results in grayish-looking blacks. However, it's good for use in well-lit rooms as it has great peak brightness, enough to combat glare, and has good reflection handling. Also, it has a few extra features, like built-in speakers, so you don't have to worry about getting a dedicated setup if you don't want to. Overall, it's the best 1080p budget monitor we've tested.
If you find the Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx, then consider the ASUS VG279Q. It's also an IPS gaming monitor with wide viewing angles, but it has a larger 27 inch size. It gets brighter to combat glare, and its color accuracy is excellent out of the box. It has a lower refresh rate of 144Hz, but the difference is pretty minimal and shouldn't be noticeable to most people. Likewise, its response time is slower but still excellent, resulting in only a slightly longer blur trail behind fast-moving objects. Its larger screen size does mean that it has a lower pixel density, which means that images and text don't look as sharp. Lastly, it doesn't support HDR.
Overall, the Acer is a better choice because it has a slightly higher refresh rate and a better response time. However, if you want a larger screen for a more immersive gaming experience, then go with the ASUS.
Jul 23, 2021: Replaced ASUS ROG Swift 360Hz PG259QN with Dell Alienware AW2521H. Replaced Dell S2721HGF with ASUS VG279Q.
May 25, 2021: Updated text for clarity; added the LG 27GN650-B, Acer Predator X25, and MSI Optix MAG273R to Notable Mentions.
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.
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.