Whether you're a professional in the print and marketing industry or an amateur photographer, your project has to look its best. The first step is to have a good monitor with accurate colors. There's nothing worse than printing your project or sending it to your clients only to find the colors are off because your monitor couldn't display them properly.
We've tested more than 85 monitors so far, and below are our picks for the best monitors for photo editing, graphic design, or media creation available for purchase in 2020. See also our recommendations for the best 4k monitors, the best ultrawide monitors, and the best monitors overall.
The best monitor for video editing we've tested so far is the LG 27UK650-W. It has a 4k resolution that can display every little detail of your work on its 27-inch screen, which can save you a lot of scrolling and zooming. It has great out-of-the-box color accuracy so the colors you see on the screen are very close to the colors someone with a calibrated screen will see. You can easily place it in a bright office thanks to its high peak brightness and good reflection handling. It has an almost full coverage of the s.RGB color gamut, but the coverage of the wider Adobe RGB color gamut, although still good, might not be enough for professional photo or video editing.
Unfortunately, if you often work with HDR content, this monitor might not be the best choice as it can't deliver bright highlights and lacks a wide color gamut to display the full richness of HDR colors. Also, this monitor can't deliver deep blacks in a dark room due to the low contrast ratio.
Overall, however, this is a versatile monitor that performs very well in most uses, including photo or video editing.
If you want something a bit bigger with better features than the LG 27UK650-W, check out the LG 32UD99-W. This 32 inch monitor delivers very similar overall performance to the other LG, but with a screen diameter of 32 inches, it's a bit easier to work with multiple windows open. It also has a few useful features, including a USB-C port which supports USB-C power delivery. This is great for MacBook owners especially, as the display can charge your laptop while you work, leaving your other USB-C ports free.
Due to the significant price difference, the LG 27UK650-W is still the best monitor for photo editing and video editing for most people. If you want more advanced features and a larger screen, though, the LG 32UD99-W is a great choice.
If you need the most accurate colors for professional photo and video editing, check out the Acer Predator X27. This is an impressive 27 inch monitor that delivers good overall picture quality, with wide viewing angles and excellent peak brightness in HDR. It also has two blinders on each side to help reduce glare.
This monitor is the best choice if you work with the Adobe RGB color space, as it has nearly perfect coverage of the entire Adobe RGB gamut. If you also work with HDR content, this monitor won't disappoint, as it has the widest HDR color gamut of any 2018 display we've tested with nearly perfect gradient handling.
Unfortunately, despite the local dimming feature, it doesn't look as good in a dark room, as it has bad black uniformity and a mediocre contrast ratio. Overall, though, this is one of the best monitors for graphic design, and one of the best monitors for photo editing.
The LG 34GK950F-B is the best widescreen monitor for photo and video editing that we've tested so far. The wide-format screen is great for multitasking, as you can easily work with multiple windows open at once. It's also great for editing, as you can see more of your timeline at once, and get a better idea of your overall workflow with less scrolling.
This monitor has an excellent SDR color gamut, with perfect coverage of the standard sRGB color space used for most content. It also has excellent coverage of the wider Adobe RGB color space, great for photo editing. The 10-bit panel has outstanding gradient performance, with almost no noticeable banding in any shade, and it has no significant color bleed.
Unfortunately, as expected, this monitor doesn't look as good in a dark room. Overall, though, it's a great monitor for almost any use, and a great choice for media creation.
If the LG 34GK950F-B is too expensive for you, check out the Dell Alienware AW3418DW instead. The Dell doesn't support HDR and it's a bit worse for gaming, but it has slightly better ergonomics and excellent sRGB coverage. Like the LG, this monitor has a 34", 3440x1440 screen, so there's a huge amount of screen real estate to work with, and it has similar wide viewing angles.
Overall, although the LG is the best widescreen monitor for photo and video editing, if you want something cheaper, the Dell is almost as good, but a bit cheaper.
If you're looking for a less expensive option, the best monitor for photo editing, graphic design, or media creation in the budget category is the Dell U2518D. It's a good 25-inch IPS monitor that delivers good picture quality, wide viewing angles, excellent sRGB coverage, and can display nearly perfect colors with minimal banding in gradients.
This monitor can display HDR content, but not with satisfactory results as it doesn't have a wide color gamut. Its HDR color volume is disappointing. It also has limited coverage of the Adobe RGB color space and might not be the best option if you're a professional in the print or media industry where the need for such color space coverage is more apparent.
Unfortunately, it doesn't look quite as good in a dark room. Just like most IPS monitors, blacks look gray in a dark room and black uniformity is disappointing with a lot of noticeable backlight bleed. Overall, though, this is a good monitor that delivers great value within its price range.
If you find that the 25-inch screen size and the high pixel density of the Dell U2518D are putting too much strain on your eyes, check out the LG 27GL650F-B. It has a lower resolution of 1080p, which isn't ideal when working on photo or video editing as you'll have to do a lot of zooming and scrolling to see most of your work. However, if you don't mind that this monitor is flicker-free, it delivers crisper motion and a very similar color gamut to the Dell. As for the budget price, it's a good value for the money.
Overall, if you want the best budget monitor for photo or video editing, get the Dell; otherwise, if you don't mind scrolling and zooming more often, the LG's 27 inches might be more suitable.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best monitors for graphic design, photo editing, and media creation 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.
01/06/2020: Added the LG 27GL350F-B as a larger budget alternative and made minor text changes for clarity.
10/24/2019: Minor text changes.