Playing the latest HDR games is fun if you have the right display to deliver a proper HDR experience. There are a few factors that make a monitor great for HDR, most notably its contrast ratio. A monitor with a high contrast ratio displays deep blacks in dark rooms, and if it's combined with an effective local dimming feature and high peak brightness, it can also make highlights pop against the rest of the image. You'll also want something that displays a wide range of colors in HDR so that images are life-like and realistic.
Although monitors are still behind the best HDR TVs regarding overall image quality and processing, there are some high-end monitors with Mini LED backlighting or OLED panels that help result in an excellent HDR experience. There's a big difference in HDR performance with budget monitors, though, so you need a high-end monitor for the best picture quality. However, even cost-friendly monitors offer an advantage over TVs if you want to save space. Besides its HDR performance, consider the monitor's response time and extra features if you want good gaming performance.
We've bought and tested more than 285 monitors, and below, you'll find our recommendations for the monitors for gaming in HDR. Also, see our recommendations for the best gaming monitors, the best 4k HDR monitors, and the best 4k gaming monitors.
The best HDR gaming monitor we've tested is the Dell Alienware AW3423DW. It's a 34-inch ultrawide monitor that offers a near-infinite contrast ratio thanks to its QD-OLED panel and displays extremely bright highlights. There isn't any blooming around bright objects against dark backgrounds, either. It even displays an incredibly wide color gamut with a remarkable color volume, so your favorite games look stunningly vivid and life-like.
Another advantage of this monitor is its near-instantaneous response time, resulting in crystal-clear motion in games, with no distracting blur trail. It also natively supports NVIDIA's G-SYNC variable refresh rate (VRR) technology, which helps reduce tearing. It allows you to take full advantage of your NVIDIA graphics card, but if you have an AMD graphics card, the Dell Alienware AW3423DWF and the MSI MEG 342C QD-OLED are other great options that use the same QD-OLED panel but don't get as bright in HDR. You can even consider the Samsung Odyssey OLED G9/G95SC S49CG95 if you want a super ultrawide display with a 49-inch screen that delivers the same outstanding picture quality. While any QD-OLED monitor is a fantastic choice for HDR gaming, the AW3423DW is the best option for most gamers.
If you still want an OLED monitor but don't want to spend much money, check out the ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM. It's different from the Dell Alienware AW3423DW in a few ways because it doesn't display the same bright and vivid colors as the QD-OLED panel on the Dell. It also has a smaller screen, so you see less of your game at once. Regardless, it's still fantastic for HDR gaming because it displays perfect blacks without any blooming, and it gets very bright, enough for highlights to pop.
In terms of its gaming performance, the 240Hz refresh rate lets you play games at a higher max refresh rate than the Dell, and it has a near-instantaneous response time that results in minimal motion blur. Unlike the Dell monitor, it has G-SYNC compatibility instead of native G-SYNC support, but it still works with NVIDIA graphics cards to reduce screen tearing. There are a few things to note about this monitor, though, as you need to update it to the latest firmware for the lowest input lag and best HDR performance, so if you want something that performs better out of the box, consider the LG 27GR95QE-B, but it doesn't get as bright.
If you don't want a 1440p monitor like the ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM and prefer a display for 4k HDR gaming, then check out the Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 S32BG85. It's different from the ASUS because it doesn't have an OLED panel with perfect black levels. Instead, it uses an LCD panel with Mini LED backlighting. This lets small highlights get very bright, and its full-array local dimming feature helps it display deep blacks in dark rooms with minimal blooming. It even displays a wide range of colors in HDR for a realistic image.
Its main advantage over the ASUS is that it uses HDMI 2.1 bandwidth, which lets it fully use gaming consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S. This means you can play 4k games at high refresh rates, even in HDR, and the high resolution also results in sharp and detailed images. Even if you want to connect a gaming PC, it has a high 240Hz refresh rate like the ASUS, which is ideal for competitive gaming. However, if you don't need such a high refresh rate, you can also consider the Samsung Odyssey Neo G7 S32BG75, a very similar monitor with a lower 165Hz refresh rate that tends to cost less.
If you find the Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 S32BG85 still too expensive and don't mind sacrificing a bit on performance to save some money, then a mid-range option like the Sony INZONE M9 can be a good choice. It's a 4k monitor like the Samsung and uses an LED-backlit LCD panel, but without the same Mini LED backlighting, it performs worse in dark rooms, and highlights don't pop as much. However, that's what you have to expect as you look for cheaper HDR monitors, and it still has 96 dimming zones for an alright local dimming feature that's effective enough at improving the contrast in dark scenes.
In terms of gaming, it has a lower 144Hz refresh rate than the Samsung monitor, but it's ideal for console gaming because its HDMI 2.1 bandwidth lets you play 4k games up to 120Hz from the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S without issue. It also has a quick response time for smooth motion handling. Another excellent gaming monitor is the INNOCN 27M2V, which gets brighter and has a better local dimming feature than the Sony. Still, it can be harder to find at times.
If you're looking for something cheaper in the lower mid-range price category, the Gigabyte M32UC is a good alternative to the Sony INZONE M9. As you start dropping in price categories, you have to make a few trade-offs, especially for HDR performance. While this monitor has a higher native contrast than the Sony, it lacks a local dimming feature to further improve the picture quality in dark scenes, so its dark room performance isn't as good. Fortunately, its black uniformity is decent with minimal blooming, and it also has decent HDR peak brightness, but it doesn't get as bright as the Sony.
Luckily, it also offers HDMI 2.1 bandwidth that lets you take full advantage of the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S, including in HDR. It has a quick response time at high refresh rates, but there's smearing with fast-moving objects in dark scenes. It has a larger 32-inch screen than the Sony, with a slight curve that brings the edges more within your field of vision. While it has narrow viewing angles, the curved screen means the image doesn't look too washed out if you sit close to it.
It can be tough to find good low-cost monitors if you're looking for the best HDR monitor for gaming on a budget, as most budget monitors are mediocre with HDR. However, something like the Dell S3422DWG is inexpensive if you buy it directly through Dell's website, and it's decent for HDR. It's different from the Gigabyte M32UC because it has a wider 34-inch screen with a lower 1440p resolution, so you don't get the same sharp and detailed images, but you can see more of your game at once, thanks to its ultrawide screen.
It delivers a decent HDR performance as it has a VA panel with a good native contrast ratio, and while it doesn't have a local dimming feature either, blacks look deep, and the black uniformity is excellent. One of its advantages is that it has good HDR peak brightness and displays a wide range of colors in HDR with great color volume. You can also use it for HDR gaming from consoles as it downscales a 4k image, but because consoles don't support ultrawide formats, you'll see black bars on the sides.
Aug 30, 2023: Added the Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 S32BG85 as 'Best 4k HDR Gaming Monitor' to give another option; replaced the LG 27GR95QE-B with the ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM for consistency with other articles; added the Corsair XENEON 27QHD240 to Notable Mentions.
Mar 13, 2023: Replaced the Samsung Odyssey Neo G7 S32BG75 with the newly-reviewed LG 27GR95QE-B because it's cheaper; added the Sony INZONE M9 as the 'Best Mid-Range Monitor' and renamed the Gigabyte M32UC and the Dell S3422DWG as the 'Best Lower Mid-Range' and 'Best Budget Monitor', respectively; removed the Gigabyte M27Q; updated Notable Mentions based on changes.
Dec 13, 2022: Restructured article to reflect overall HDR performance and not just focus on gaming; replaced the Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 with the cheaper Samsung Odyssey Neo G7; replaced the Sony INZONE M9 with the Gigabyte M32UC because it has better dark room performance; replaced the ASUS TUF Gaming VG259QM with the Gigabyte M27Q because it has better gaming performance; updated the Notable Mentions based on changes.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best HDR monitor for gaming 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.