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 as they don't get as bright and usually don't have good local dimming. 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 160 monitors, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best HDR gaming monitors for a variety of needs and budgets. Also, see our recommendations for the best curved gaming monitors, best gaming monitors for PS4, and the best gaming monitors for Xbox One.
The Samsung Odyssey G7 is the best HDR gaming monitor that we've tested. It's available in both a 27 and 32 inch size, and we tested the larger model. It offers great overall performance, and it's packed with gaming features, like a 240Hz refresh rate, native FreeSync support, and G-SYNC compatibility. It's well-built with okay ergonomics as you can even rotate it into portrait mode, which is rare for a curved screen.
It supports HDR10, and with its VA panel, it delivers a good HDR gaming experience. It displays a wide color gamut and has okay HDR brightness; it may not be enough for a true HDR cinematic experience, but it should be good enough for most games. It has a great native contrast ratio that displays deep blacks and has edge-lit local dimming, but it doesn't perform well, and there's visible blooming around bright objects. In terms of gaming, it has a simply remarkable response time that results in smooth motion.
Sadly, it has narrow viewing angles, which is expected from a VA panel. The 1440p resolution also isn't good enough for 4k HDR games, but it still delivers an immersive overall gaming experience. On the plus side, if you want to use it in a well-lit room, it gets bright enough to combat glare and has very good reflection handling. All things considered, this is one of the best HDR gaming monitors that we've tested.
If you want something even bigger with a 4k screen, then check out the LG 48 CX OLED. This is a TV that we tested as a monitor, and even though it doesn't have an ergonomic stand like the Samsung Odyssey G7, it delivers a much better HDR experience. Its OLED panel allows it to turn off individual pixels, resulting in a perfect contrast ratio and no blooming around bright objects. It also has decent HDR peak brightness and displays a wide color gamut. It has a 120Hz panel with a near-instant response time and variable refresh rate (VRR) support. Sadly, OLED panels are prone to permanent burn-in from constant exposure to static elements, so we suggest watching varied content if you're going to use it as a monitor.
If you want the best monitor for HDR gaming, then go for the Samsung, but if you're willing to spend a bit more money on a larger display, check out 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. The overall HDR gaming experience is pretty decent thanks to its wide color gamut and high peak brightness. It can get over 1000 cd/m² in some scenes, making highlights stand out the way they should.
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. 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 to make highlights truly stand out. 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 G27Q is the best monitor for HDR gaming in the budget category that we've tested. It has a 27 inch screen with a 1440p resolution to deliver an immersive HDR gaming experience. Like most IPS panels, it has wide viewing angles so that images remain accurate when viewed from the side, making it a great choice for sharing content. However, it does come at the expense of a lower contrast ratio, so it isn't ideal for dark rooms as blacks appear closer to gray.
It performs well gaming-wise. It has exceptionally low input lag, excellent response time, and a 144Hz refresh rate, resulting in smooth and responsive gameplay. It has both FreeSync support and G-SYNC compatibility to reduce screen tearing, although the latter only works over a DisplayPort connection. It has a good color gamut with excellent DCI P3 coverage, which is the color space used in most HDR content, and it gets decently bright in HDR, enough to make some highlights pop.
Sadly, the stand only allows for height and tilt adjustments; however, you can VESA-mount it if you need swivel adjustment and rotation to portrait mode. There are two USB ports to charge your mobile devices and a pair of integrated speakers. You can display your computer's info, like CPU and memory usage, as well as temperature and current frame rate. It may cost slightly more than other budget monitors, but given its great performance, it's worth spending a few extra dollars, and you can surely find it on sale for less.
Mar 22, 2021: Updated text for clarity; added the LG 27GN950-B, Dell Alienware AW2721D, Philips Momentum 436M6VBPAB, and Gigabyte G27QC to Notable Mentions.
Jan 25, 2021: Replaced Gigabyte G27QC with Gigabyte G27Q.
Nov 26, 2020: Added Samsung Odyssey G7, LG 48 CX OLED, Samsung Odyssey G9. Removed Philips 436M6VBPAB, Acer Predator X27, Samsung C27HG70, Gigabyte Aorus FI27Q.
Sep 29, 2020: Replaced the LG 27GL83A-B with the Gigabyte G27QC; added the LG 34GN850-B as 'Best Ultrawide'.
Jul 31, 2020: Replaced Dell U2518D with LG 27GL83A-B.
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.