Although 4k TVs are becoming very common, 4k monitors are just starting to grow in popularity. Whether you're looking for a better multitasking experience for work or want a more immersive gaming experience, 4k monitors have a lot to offer. Although they used to be very expensive, they have recently started to drop in price as 4k becomes more popular and more devices support it.
We've tested over 145 monitors, and below are our recommendations for the best 4k monitors that are available for purchase. Also, check out our recommendations for the best 4k gaming monitors and the best 1080p and 1440p monitors.
The best 4k monitor that we've tested is the Dell S2721QS. It's a versatile model designed for office use with enough gaming performance to satisfy most casual gamers. It sports a large 27 inch screen that provides plenty of space to have multiple windows opened side-by-side, mounted on a stand that allows for a good amount of ergonomic adjustments so that you can get the best viewing position. It has wide viewing angles, and it gets bright enough to overcome glare easily.
If you're a content creator, you should know that it has an outstanding SDR color gamut with full sRGB coverage. Its Adobe RGB coverage is good, but it might not be enough for some professionals. Gradient handling is superb, which means that you shouldn't see any banding, and there are no signs of color bleed at all. Accuracy is just okay out of the box, so it might be worth calibrating if you plan on doing color work. It has good motion handling, low input lag, and it supports VRR to reduce screen tearing if you want to use it for some gaming on the side.
There are only a few additional features, which is expected for a monitor in its price range. It has a pair of speakers built-in, and it has a Picture-in-Picture mode that lets you display two input signals simultaneously. It supports HDR and has a decent wide color gamut, but sadly, it doesn't get bright enough to make HDR content look much different from SDR. On the upside, it has a clean and simple design that fits well in nearly any setting.
If you want a more gaming-oriented 4k monitor, then check out the LG 27GN950-B. Like the Dell S2721QS, it has a 27 inch IPS panel with wide viewing angles. However, it has a much higher 144Hz refresh rate, quicker response time, and lower input lag to deliver a significantly more responsive gaming experience. It has much better accuracy out of the box and gets a lot brighter in HDR, enough to deliver a pretty decent experience. Unfortunately, it doesn't allow for any swivel adjustments, and it doesn't handle reflections all that well. Also, it requires a graphics card that supports Display Stream Compression to achieve its full 144Hz refresh rate.
If you only plan on using the monitor for work, the Dell is a better choice as it has better ergonomics and is significantly cheaper. However, if you want the best gaming experience, then go with the LG.
The best 4k monitor for watching HDR content we've tested is the Acer Predator X27. It's a 27 inch gaming model that can deliver a pretty decent HDR experience. It's impressively well-built, although the ergonomics are only mediocre because it can't pivot to portrait mode at all. It has an IPS panel with good viewing angles, so you don't lose much image accuracy if you aren't sitting directly in front of the screen, great for sharing content or playing co-op games.
It has an impressive wide color gamut to produce rich and vibrant colors in HDR content. One surprising aspect is that while its SDR peak brightness is only decent, it gets significantly brighter in HDR, enough to make highlights pop in HDR movies. However, it has a low contrast ratio that makes blacks look gray in the dark, and even though it has a local dimming feature, it performs poorly and can be quite distracting. Black uniformity is bad on our unit; however, your experience may vary.
For gaming, it has excellent response time, a 144Hz refresh rate, and low input lag. It supports G-SYNC, but it isn't compatible with FreeSync, so those with an AMD graphics card are out of luck. There are four USB ports, a pair of integrated speakers, and even some RGB lighting that you can customize to set the mood. Overall, it's a feature-rich monitor that should please most people.
If you want a bigger monitor to get an even more immersive viewing experience in HDR content, then you should consider a TV like the LG 48 CX OLED. Its OLED panel makes it a much better choice for dark rooms, as its emissive technology allows it to produce perfect blacks with no blooming around bright objects in dark scenes. It has a better DCI P3 color gamut, but it doesn't get as bright. Motion handling is much better due to its near-instantaneous response time and Black Frame Insertion feature. Unfortunately, there are some compromises. Since it's a TV, there aren't any ergonomic adjustments, so it may be hard to get the best viewing position if space is tight. Also, OLED panels are susceptible to permanent burn-in, which happens when static elements like a user interface remain on the screen for a long time.
Choosing between the two monitors depends on your needs and what you think is more important. The Acer gets brighter in HDR, and its superior ergonomics allow you to get a better viewing position. However, the LG has better picture quality due to its infinite contrast ratio and superb motion handling, and its 48 inch screen is much more immersive.
The best 4k monitor with a 32 inch screen we've tested is the LG 32UD99-W. It has a standard 16:9 aspect ratio that makes it a good choice for those who want more real screen estate but don't necessarily want an ultrawide. There's plenty of space to place multiple windows side-by-side, and the pixel density is still high enough to deliver sharp images and text. It has an IPS panel with wide viewing angles, allowing you to share work or content easily, and it gets bright enough to provide good visibility in most lighting conditions.
Content creators should be happy to know that it has an outstanding SDR color gamut. It covers the entire sRGB color space and has great coverage of Adobe RGB. However, even though it has a decent contrast ratio for an IPS panel, it has trouble displaying dark colors, and blacks look grayish in dark rooms. You shouldn't see any banding thanks to its 10-bit panel's superb gradient handling, and there are no signs of color bleed whatsoever. It can display a wide color gamut for HDR content, but unfortunately, it doesn't get bright enough to deliver a true HDR experience.
The response time is good, good enough for some casual gaming, and it supports FreeSync variable refresh rate to reduce screen tearing. In addition to its two USB 3.0 ports, it has a USB-C port that supports DisplayPort Alt Mode, which allows you to display an image from a compatible device and charge it simultaneously. It also has a Picture-in-Picture/Picture-by-Picture mode that lets you display two input signals at once. All in all, it's a versatile and great monitor that most people should be happy with.
If you want a monitor that's better suited for dark rooms, then check out the BenQ EW3270U. Unlike the LG 32UD99-W, it uses a VA panel with a much higher contrast ratio, allowing it to produce deep blacks for a great dark room viewing experience. That said, there are some tradeoffs. It doesn't get as bright and may struggle to overcome intense glare, and its narrower viewing angles make images look washed out when viewed from the side. Also, it has terrible ergonomics as it only allows for tilt adjustment, and it doesn't have any USB ports. On the upside, it has a better SDR color gamut with wider Adobe RGB coverage, and its accuracy is better out of the box.
Overall, the LG is a better choice due to its superior ergonomics, wider viewing angles, and higher peak brightness. However, if dark room performance is important to you, then go with the BenQ.
01/15/2021: Minor text and structure changes; no change in recommendations.
12/17/2020: Removed LG 27UK650-W, LG 27UD58-B, LG 32UD59-B. Added Dell S2721QS, LG 27GN950-B, Acer Predator X27.
10/23/2020: Replaced Acer Predator X27 with LG 48 CX OLED.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best 4k 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 4k 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.