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 120 monitors so far, and below are our picks for the best monitors for photo editing, video editing, or graphic design available for purchase. See also our recommendations for the best 4k monitors, the best ultrawide monitors, and the best monitors overall.
The best monitor for photo editing or video editing is the LG 27UK650-W. It's a very good, well-rounded 4k monitor that's a great choice for content creators. You get accurate colors without even calibrating it as it has great out-of-the-box color accuracy.
It has near-perfect coverage of the sRGB color space used in most general content and good coverage when used for photo editing. It also has an outstanding color volume so that it can display a wide range of shades. It has superb gradient handling with no visible banding or signs of color bleed. It has an IPS panel, giving you wide viewing angles, which is ideal if you need to share your screen with a coworker or a customer. Lastly, with its high resolution and great pixel density, text looks exceptionally clear on this screen.
Unfortunately, it can't display deep blacks, which is normal for an IPS panel, and it has disappointing ergonomics. On the upside, it gets bright enough to combat glare, and it has decent reflection handling, ideal if you work in a bright office environment. Overall, this is the best monitor for video editing and photo editing that we've tested so far.
If you want a monitor with some extra features, then the LG 32UD99-W is a great alternative. It's very similar to the LG 27UK650-W, except it doesn't have as good out-of-the-box color accuracy. Instead, it comes with built-in speakers and a Picture-by-Picture feature, which allows you to display images from two sources at once. It also has impressive coverage of the Adobe RGB color space and even better color volume than the 27UK650-W. Unfortunately, it has disappointing reflection handling as it struggles in really bright rooms.
Fortunately, it also has no color bleed and outstanding gradient handling, ideal for photo editing. If you're looking for the best monitor for photo editing, check out the 27UK650-W, but if you want something with more features and a bigger screen, consider the 32UD99-W.
The Acer Predator X27 is the best Adobe RGB monitor for photo editing or video editing. This is a great 27 inch model that delivers an impressive overall picture quality, with wide viewing angles and outstanding peak brightness in HDR.
It's the best choice if you work with the Adobe RGB color space, as it has nearly-perfect coverage of the entire Adobe RGB gamut, which is the best we've seen on a monitor so far. If you work with HDR content, this monitor won't disappoint, as it has one of the widest HDR color gamuts that we've tested so far on a monitor, and it gets bright enough to bring out highlights. If you do your photo and video editing in a bright environment, it has decent reflection handling, and it comes with two blinders to help reduce glare.
Unfortunately, it has disappointing out-of-the-box color accuracy and it doesn't look as good in a dark room, as it has bad black uniformity and a mediocre contrast ratio. On the upside, it has a USB hub, and it comes with built-in speakers. Overall, this is the best monitor for photo editing and video editing, with outstanding coverage of the Adobe RGB color space.
The best monitor for photo editing with a widescreen is the LG 34GN850-B. The 21:9 aspect ratio allows you to open multiple windows at once, and the 3440x1440 resolution is great for seeing images clearly. It's a fairly well-built monitor, but you can't switch it into portrait mode because of its size, and the stand doesn't allow for swivel adjustments.
The LG has excellent coverage of the Adobe RGB color space and near-perfect coverage of the commonly-used sRGB color space. Its out-of-the-box color accuracy is great, but you may still need to get it calibrated if you need extremely accurate colors. It has a 10-bit panel with superb gradient handling, and there's no color bleed. If you work in bright environments, it gets bright enough to combat glare, and it has decent reflection handling. Additionally, the IPS panel provides wide viewing angles, great for sharing your work with others.
Sadly, this isn't an ideal monitor if you work in dark environments. It has a low contrast ratio, so blacks appear closer to gray, and the black uniformity is just okay. On the upside, if you want to watch HDR, it displays a wide color gamut, and it has decent peak brightness in that mode, enough to bring out some highlights. Overall, most people should be happy with this, making it the best monitor for photo editing in the ultrawide category that we've tested.
The best monitor for video editing in the budget category is the AOC CQ27G1. It's a low-cost model designed mainly for gaming, but it has extra features and a performance that most photo and video editors should enjoy.
This monitor has impressive out-of-the-box color accuracy, great coverage of the Adobe RGB color space, great gradient handling, and no color bleed. It has a 1440p resolution, great for multitasking, but text clarity is just okay if you don't enable ClearType. This model works best in dark rooms because its VA panel allows it to display deep blacks, but there's some noticeable backlight bleed in dark scenes. You can also use it in moderately-lit rooms because it doesn't get extremely bright, but its reflection handling with just a bit of light present is outstanding.
Unfortunately, it doesn't support HDR, and it doesn't have wide viewing angles, so you get the most accurate image when sitting directly in front of it. The screen has a slight curve to it, which helps improve the image accuracy at the edges. However, because of its curved screen, you can't switch it into portrait mode. Overall, this is the best monitor for photo editing if you're on a budget.
If you prefer a monitor with wide viewing angles, then check out the LG 27GL650F-B. It can't display deep blacks like the AOC CQ27G1, but instead, with an IPS panel, you get an accurate image when viewing from the side. That's great for sharing your work with a coworker or client. It has good coverage of the Adobe RGB color space, enough for casual photo editors, and it has great out-of-the-box color accuracy. Even though it supports HDR and it has alright peak brightness in that mode, it can't display a wide color gamut, so HDR content won't look that much different from SDR content. It also has limited ergonomics, so it may be difficult to place it in an ideal position. On the upside, it performs well in bright rooms because it has great peak brightness, and it has decent reflection handling.
If you want the best monitor for video editing in a dark room and you're on a budget, you should be pleased with the AOC, but if you prefer something with wide viewing angles, then check out the LG.
08/28/2020: Replaced the LG 34GK950F-B with the LG 34GN850-B; replaced the Dell U2518D with the AOC CQ27G1; changed the LG 27GL650F-B to 'Wide Angle Alternative' from 'Larger Alternative'.
06/30/2020: Removed the Dell Alienware AW3418DW.
05/01/2020: Minor text and structure changes, no change in recommendations.
01/06/2020: Added the LG 27GL650F-B as a larger budget alternative.
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.