Although HDR is extremely common on TVs, it's just starting to gain popularity on monitors. Unfortunately, most monitors are a few years behind TVs when it comes to HDR performance. Despite this, there are a few monitors that deliver a decent HDR gaming experience. As more and more games support HDR, we expect the demand for good HDR monitors to increase drastically over the next few years.
We've tested more than 135 monitors, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best HDR gaming monitors for a variety of needs and budgets. For the best console gaming monitors, see our articles about the best gaming monitors for PS4 and the best gaming monitors for Xbox One. Also, see our recommendations for the best curved gaming monitors and the best gaming monitors.
The best HDR gaming monitor we've tested is the Samsung Odyssey G7. It delivers incredibly smooth gameplay and a reasonably good HDR experience. It's available in a 27 inch and a 32 inch size, so you can choose the one that suits you best, although they both have the same 1440p resolution. Like most Samsung TVs and monitors, it has a VA panel that can produce deep blacks, making it a great choice for gaming in the dark. It has fairly decent ergonomics, especially for a screen with such an aggressive curvature.
Motion handling is exceptional due to its quick response time and 240Hz refresh rate, resulting in clear images in fast-moving scenes. It supports FreeSync natively to reduce screen tearing and is also certified by NVIDIA as G-SYNC compatible. It has a Black Frame Insertion feature that can improve motion clarity; however, it can't be used while VRR is enabled. Input lag is extremely low, and playing in HDR doesn't increase the latency by much, so it shouldn't be noticeable for most people.
As for the HDR experience, it's reasonable. It can display a wide color gamut, but it doesn't get quite bright enough to make highlights pop. Unfortunately, viewing angles are mediocre, so it isn't the best choice for co-op gaming. It has two USB 3.0 ports for charging and a Picture-in-Picture mode that lets you display images from two input sources simultaneously, which can be useful for streamers using a separate computer to stream. Overall, it's an excellent and feature-rich monitor that should satisfy most people.
If you want a bigger monitor with a 4k resolution for a better HDR gaming experience, then check out the LG 48 CX OLED. Unlike the Samsung Odyssey G7, this is technically a TV. However, monitors this size are rare, and TVs can often deliver a better HDR experience. It can produce perfect blacks due to its OLED panel's emissive technology, making it an excellent choice for dark room gaming. It has wide viewing angles to maintain image quality when viewing from the side, which is great for playing co-op games. It has near-instantaneous response time, a Black Frame Insertion feature, and a 120Hz refresh rate, resulting in smooth and clear motion in fast-moving scenes. It has a good wide color gamut and gets decently bright in HDR content. Unfortunately, there are risks of permanent burn-in with OLED panels, although it shouldn't be an issue for most people who watch varied content. Also, since it's a TV, there are no ergonomics to speak of, so you may have a harder time adjusting it to your optimal viewing position.
For most people, the Samsung is a better choice due to its higher refresh rate. However, if you want a big screen with a 4k resolution for the most immersive HDR gaming experience, then go with the LG.
The best HDR gaming monitor with an ultrawide screen that we've tested is the Samsung Odyssey G9. It has a 49 inch screen that spans nearly your entire field of view, with an aggressive 1000R curvature that further increases immersion. It has a 1440p resolution to deliver sharp images and text, making it a good choice for gaming, media consumption, or productivity. It has poor ergonomics, although it's somewhat expected for a model this size. It handles reflections well and gets bright enough to overcome glare.
It has exceptionally low input lag, quick response time, and a 240Hz refresh rate, resulting in an incredibly smooth and responsive gaming experience. It supports FreeSync and is compatible with G-SYNC as well. It doesn't have a Black Frame Insertion feature, but the backlight is flicker-free, which helps minimize motion duplication. Unfortunately, the 240Hz refresh rate is only achievable if you have a graphics card that supports Display Stream Compression technology, which means an NVIDIA RTX 20- series card or newer or an AMD 5300 graphics card or newer.
The overall HDR gaming experience is pretty decent thanks to its wide color gamut and high peak brightness. It can get well over 1000 cd/m² in some scenes, making highlights stand out the way they should. It has a local dimming feature; however, it performs poorly and is quite distracting. Nonetheless, this is the best HDR gaming monitor with an ultrawide screen we've tested, and one that most people should be happy with.
If you don't have enough space for the Samsung Odyssey G9 or prefer something smaller, then check out the LG 34GN850-B. It's a very different monitor, as it has a 21:9 aspect ratio and uses an IPS panel. This means it has much wider viewing angles, but it comes at the cost of a lower contrast ratio, which isn't ideal for gaming in the dark. Although it has a lower 160Hz refresh rate, its response time is significantly better, resulting in clearer images in fast-moving scenes. It has a better HDR color gamut, but sadly, it doesn't get bright enough. On the upside, it has great color accuracy out of the box, so you likely don't need to calibrate it to get accurate color reproduction.
For most people, the Samsung is a better choice because it has a much higher peak brightness to deliver a better HDR experience. However, if you want something smaller, the LG is a great alternative as long as you don't mind a few compromises.
The Gigabyte G27QC is the best monitor for HDR gaming in the budget category that we've tested. Despite its budget price, it offers great gaming performance, and it's packed with features that should please most people. It has a curved screen, and its stand doesn't offer much in terms of ergonomics, so it may be difficult to place in an ideal viewing position.
It has a native 165Hz refresh rate, and it has FreeSync support to reduce screen tearing. It has a great response time at its max refresh rate, and if you want to use it for HDR console gaming, the response time at 60Hz is also great. It doesn't have a Black Frame Insertion feature, so you may notice some motion blur in really fast-moving scenes. Input lag is remarkably low, and it stays low with VRR enabled, which is great. HDR content looks good because its VA panel provides a great contrast ratio, it displays a wide color gamut, and its peak brightness in HDR isn't bad, but it may not get bright enough to truly bring out highlights. Additionally, the 1440p screen offers an immersive gaming experience with crisp images.
Unfortunately, it has narrow viewing angles, which is expected from a VA panel, so it's not ideal for co-op gaming. It also has uniformity issues in dark scenes, but this may vary between units. It has nice extra features, especially for a monitor in this price range, such as built-in speakers, a USB hub, and Picture-in-Picture and Picture-by-Picture modes. If you're on a budget, you won't be disappointed with this.
11/26/2020: Minor text and structure changes. Added Samsung Odyssey G7, LG 48 CX OLED, Samsung Odyssey G9. Removed Philips 436M6VBPAB, Acer Predator X27, Samsung C27HG70, Gigabyte Aorus FI27Q.
09/29/2020: Replaced the LG 27GL83A-B with the Gigabyte G27QC; added the LG 34GN850-B as 'Best Ultrawide'.
07/31/2020: Replaced Dell U2518D with LG 27GL83A-B.
06/01/2020: Minor changes to text for clarity, updated Notable Mentions.
04/02/2020: Replaced Gigabyte Aorus AD27QD with Gigabyte Aorus FI27Q.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best HDR gaming 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.