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 145 monitors, 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 Dell UltraSharp U2720Q is the best monitor for photo editing or video editing. It's a very good all-around model with a large 27 inch screen and 4k resolution, resulting in a high pixel density that makes images look crisp. It uses an IPS panel with wide horizontal viewing angles, so the image stays accurate when viewed from the sides. It gets quite bright, although it's best suited to moderately lit rooms since it only has passable reflection handling.
It has a fantastic SDR color gamut, including near-perfect coverage of the sRGB color space and great coverage of the Adobe RGB color space commonly used in professional photo editing. Its gradient handling is also incredible, and there are no signs of color bleed. It also supports HDR but doesn't get quite bright enough to make highlights pop, though it does have a wide HDR color gamut. While it's limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, it has a good response time for clear motion in fast-moving content, and if you game on the side, it has an amazing low input lag.
Unfortunately, like most IPS panels, it has a mediocre contrast ratio that makes blacks look grayish in the dark. Also, the color accuracy is only decent out of the box, so you may need to calibrate it if you need to do color work. On the upside, though, it has excellent ergonomics and feels well-built, and it includes two USB-C ports, one of which can charge devices even when the monitor is off. All in all, this is the best monitor we've tested for photo editing or video editing.
If you want a monitor with absolute ergonomic adjustability, check out the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV. While it doesn't have HDR support or a 4k resolution like the Dell UltraSharp U2720Q, it has a higher refresh rate of 75Hz and even better ergonomics. In fact, it has the best ergonomics of any monitor we've tested, with an exceptionally wide swivel range that lets you easily share content on your screen. Despite not having a 4k resolution, its 27 inch size and 1440p resolution still produce a high pixel density and clear image. It's intended for creative work, so it also has an excellent color gamut, although its coverage of the Adobe RGB color space isn't as good as the Dell's. That said, it gets very bright and has very good reflection handling, so it's well-suited to an office or any other bright room.
If you want the best monitor for photo editing with a 4k resolution and HDR support, go with the Dell, but if ergonomics are important to you, the ASUS is a great alternative.
The best monitor for photo editing in the Adobe RGB color space is the Gigabyte M27Q. It has full coverage of the common sRGB color space and is among the few monitors that we've tested with near-full coverage of the Adobe color space. Even though it's a gaming monitor, it offers versatility in a wide range of uses and comes with useful extra features like Picture-in-Picture/Picture-by-Picture mode.
It has a large 27 inch screen and a 1440p resolution that result in sharp text and images. It also has a high 170Hz refresh rate and a quick response time, so fast-moving content looks exceptionally clear. Color accuracy is fantastic right out of the box, so you may not need to get it calibrated to enjoy an accurate image. Gradient handling is also superb and there's no color bleed either. It also supports HDR10, which is great if you work with HDR content. That said, while it does have a wide color gamut for HDR, it doesn't get especially bright to really bring out highlights in HDR content.
Unfortunately, the contrast ratio is mediocre, resulting in grayish-looking blacks, but that's to be expected from an IPS panel. The upside is that it has wide viewing angles, which are great for sharing content with a friend or coworker. Finally, you should have no issues working in a bright environment, as it has decent reflection handling and gets bright enough to overcome glare. All things considered, this is the best monitor we've tested for editing content in the Adobe RGB color space.
If you're looking for a 32 inch screen, the best monitor for video editing and photo editing in that size is the Dell S3221QS. Its large screen provides plenty of space for multitasking and the screen is also curved to provide more immersion and reduce eye strain. Plus, it has a 4k resolution so the image looks sharp, despite the larger size.
Its color gamut is remarkable, with full coverage of the sRGB color space and great coverage of the Adobe RGB color space, and its color volume is exceptional. There's no color bleed and it has superb gradient handling with minimal banding. Since it uses a VA panel, it also has a great contrast ratio that produces deep blacks, especially in darker rooms. However, it has mediocre viewing angles, so the image loses accuracy from the side. Out of the box, the accuracy is decent, but you may want to calibrate it if you're going to be doing color work.
Unfortunately, it has poor ergonomics, with very few adjustment options aside from some tilt back and forth. Still, if you don't mind having a set viewing position, it's very sturdy and feels fairly well-built. It also comes with extras like a Picture-in-Picture/Picture-by-Picture feature and built-in speakers. It also supports HDR10, but it doesn't get bright enough to make HDR content pop as it should. Overall, though, this is the best 32 inch monitor we've tested for photo and video editing, and most people should be happy with it.
The best monitor for photo editing with an ultrawide screen 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 model, but you can't switch it into portrait mode because of its size, and the stand doesn't allow for swivel adjustments.
It 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 ideal 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.
If you find the LG 34GN850-B too expensive, then check out the Acer Nitro XV340CK Pbmiipphzx. It's a very similar ultrawide monitor with a 34 inch screen, 21:9 aspect ratio, and 1440p resolution. It has an excellent SDR color gamut, but it can't display a wide color gamut for HDR content, and you might want to calibrate it first as its out-of-the-box accuracy is just okay. On the upside, it has much better ergonomics because it can swivel a full 360 degrees, and it has a flat, non-curved panel, which some content creators prefer to curved screens.
Overall, the LG is a better choice for most people because it has a better color gamut and accuracy. However, if you're shopping on a smaller budget, the Acer is a good alternative.
Mar 02, 2021: Replaced the Dell S2721QS with the Dell UltraSharp U2720Q due to lack of availability with the S2721QS. Replaced the Acer Predator X27 with the Gigabyte M27Q because the Acer is older and harder to find. Replaced the Dell U3219Q with the Dell S3221QS because it's a newer model and less expensive.
Jan 14, 2021: Minor text and structure changes. Added Dell U3219Q.
Dec 18, 2020: Replaced LG 27UK650-W with Dell S2721QS, removed LG 32UD99-W and AOC CQ27G1, added Acer Nitro XV340CK.
Oct 27, 2020: Added ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV, removed LG 27GL650F-B.
Aug 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'.
Jun 30, 2020: Removed the Dell Alienware AW3418DW.
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.