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 210 monitors, and below are our picks for the best monitors for photo editing, video editing, or graphic design available for purchase. See 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 that we've tested is the Dell S2721QS. It's a 27 inch IPS model with a 4k resolution, which means you get plenty of space to work comfortably, and the image is incredibly sharp. It has a simple but sleek design, good build quality, and it comes with a stand that allows for a good amount of ergonomic adjustments. It handles reflections well and gets bright enough to combat glare in most settings.
It's best suited for those working in the sRGB color space as it has full coverage. Its Adobe RGB coverage is good, but it might not be good enough for photography professionals. Color accuracy is just okay out of the box, so you may need to calibrate it before doing any color-critical work. It has a pretty good response time for a 60Hz panel if you want to game on it, and it also supports VRR to reduce screen tearing.
Unfortunately, there are no USB ports, but you do get built-in speakers. In addition, it has a Picture-in-Picture/Picture-by-Picture mode that lets you display two input signals at once, which is great for those working on two computers. Overall, while its lack of USB-C input might be disappointing for some, it's a great monitor that most people should be happy with.
If you want a monitor with USB-C input, then check out the Dell UltraSharp U2720Q. Like the Dell S2721QS, it's also a 27 inch IPS monitor with a 4k resolution. It's quite a bit more expensive, and for that price increase, you get a USB hub with three USB 3.0 ports, a USB-C with DisplayPort Alt Mode and 90W of power delivery, and a second USB-C on the side of the monitor that you can use for charging even when the monitor is off. It also has better ergonomics and a wider color gamut. Unfortunately, there are some compromises, too, as it has worse reflection handling and doesn't get as bright to combat glare.
Overall, if you don't need USB-C input, go with the S2721QS because it's much cheaper, and while its color gamut isn't as wide, the difference is extremely small. Also, its higher screen brightness means you don't have to worry about glare. However, if you need USB-C input and don't mind a higher price tag, go with the U2720Q.
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 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 and Picture-by-Picture modes.
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 bring out highlights in HDR content.
Unfortunately, the contrast ratio is mediocre, resulting in grayish-looking blacks. It has a BGR subpixel layout, which can affect text clarity in certain programs, but we don't expect this to be an issue for most people. Luckily, you should have no problems working in a bright environment, as it has decent reflection handling and gets bright enough to overcome glare. Overall, this is the best monitor we've tested for editing content in the Adobe RGB color space.
The best monitor for video editing and photo editing that we've tested in a 32 inch size is the Gigabyte M32U. It's an impressive 32 inch, 4k monitor with a fast 144Hz refresh rate. The large, high-resolution screen makes it much easier to see more of your work at once, and the high pixel density delivers sharp images and clear text without having to zoom in. It has wide viewing angles and okay ergonomics, so you can easily share your screen with someone else.
It has great accuracy out of the box, with excellent color accuracy and great white balance. It has an excellent SDR color gamut, with complete coverage of the sRGB color space, but its coverage of the wider Adobe RGB color space might disappoint some users. It also supports HDR if you choose to master in DCI P3 and Rec. 2020. It can display a wide color gamut, but overall, its coverage of HDR color spaces is just decent.
Unfortunately, like all IPS monitors, it has low contrast, and the local dimming feature is terrible, so it's not a good choice for a dark room. Despite these flaws, it's an impressive monitor overall that should please most users, and it's the best 32 inch monitor for photo editing and video editing that we've tested.
The best monitor for photo editing with an ultrawide screen that we've tested is the ASUS TUF Gaming VG34VQL1B. It's a great monitor for media creators, with a large, high-resolution screen, good text clarity, and great accuracy out of the box. Its VA panel delivers excellent contrast, and the unit we bought has okay black uniformity. It has outstanding gray uniformity and superb gradient handling, so you don't have to worry about dirty screen effect or banding.
It has an outstanding SDR color gamut, with nearly perfect coverage of the sRGB color space and excellent coverage of the wider Adobe RGB color space. It's also good for HDR content, with outstanding coverage of the DCI P3 color space used by most current HDR content. Visibility in bright rooms isn't an issue, as it has great peak brightness in SDR and good reflection handling.
Unfortunately, curved ultrawide monitors like this one aren't perfect for everyone, as the curve makes it difficult to judge straight lines. It also has narrow viewing angles and limited ergonomics, so it's not ideal if you often share your screen. If that doesn't matter to you, this is a great monitor for media creators.
Oct 26, 2021: Replaced the Dell U3219Q with the Gigabyte M32U, as the Dell is older and difficult to find. Replaced the LG 34GP83A-B with the ASUS TUF Gaming VG34VQL1B, as it's cheaper and a bit better overall for media creation.
Aug 27, 2021: Verified accuracy of picks. Replaced LG 38WN95C-W with LG 34GP83A-B and removed 'Cheaper Alternative' category. Replaced the LG 32UD99-W with the Dell U3219Q because it's discontinued.
Jun 28, 2021: Replaced Dell UltraSharp U2720Q with Dell S2721QS. Removed ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV and added Dell UltraSharp U2720Q as 'Alternative with USB-C'. Replaced Dell S3221QS with LG 32UD99-W. Replaced LG 34GN850-B with LG 34GP83A-B because it's hard to find.
Apr 29, 2021: Replaced the ASUS ProArt PA278QV with the ASUS ProArt PA278CV and renamed it to '1440p Alternative'; added the LG 38WN95C-W as 'Best Ultrawide' and moved the LG 35GN850-B to 'Cheaper Alternative'; moved the Acer Nitro XV340CK to Notable Mentions.
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.
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.