When programming or coding for long periods, it's essential to have a comfortable monitor to keep eye-strain to a minimum. It's important to get a monitor that's the right size, with enough screen real estate to comfortably work with multiple windows open without squinting to look at the screen. A flicker-free monitor is also a must, as backlight flicker can cause headaches and eye strain with prolonged periods of use. Many programmers even prefer working with more than one monitor, as you can have your editor open on one and your specifications open on another.
We've reviewed more than 80 monitors and below are our recommendations for the best monitors for coding to purchase in 2019. See also our recommendations for the best ultrawide monitors, best monitors for dual setup, and our best 34 inch + monitors.
The LG 27UK650-W is the best monitor for programming that we've tested so far. The 27 inch, 4k screen is great for multitasking, so you can see more of your code at once. The backlight is flicker-free, so it's less likely to cause eye-strain when using it for long coding sessions.
This monitor delivers good overall picture quality. It has good viewing angles, great peak brightness, and good reflection handling, so glare shouldn't be an issue in a bright room and you can easily share your screen with someone else. The stand has a decent height adjustment, and it can switch to portrait orientation, making it a great choice for a multi-monitor setup.
Unfortunately, like most IPS monitors, it doesn't look as good in a completely dark room, as it has a low contrast ratio. Overall, it's a great monitor for almost any use, and is a great choice for programming.
If you want a larger screen than the LG 27UK650-W, check out the LG 32UD99-W instead. The larger screen is even better for multitasking, allowing you to see more of your code at once and spend less time scrolling. Other than that, this monitor performs nearly identically to the other LG, with similar picture quality and motion handling. It has a few useful additional features, including a built-in USB hub and USB-C port, which is great for keeping your devices charged while you work. The USB-C port also supports power delivery, which is great for MacBook owners.
The 32UD99-W is a lot more expensive, so the 27UK650-W is still the best monitor for coding for most people. If you want something larger, though, or are looking for a monitor with a USB hub, this monitor is a great alternative.
If you prefer the high-contrast look of dark mode or often work in a dark room, the LG 32UD59-B might be a better choice than the LG 27UK650-W. It has worse viewing angles than the other LG or the LG 32UD99-W, and it doesn't support HDR, but it has a much better contrast ratio. This results in deeper blacks, which is especially noticeable in a dark room.
Overall, the 27UK650-W is better for most people, but if you want better contrast and don't mind compromising on viewing angles, the LG 32UD59-B is a decent alternative.
The Dell U3818DW is the best ultrawide monitor for programming and coding that we've tested so far. The large, 38 inch display and 3840x1600 resolution are great for multitasking. It also has wide viewing angles and looks great out of the box, thanks to the excellent accuracy.
This monitor also has a unique set of connections at the back, allowing you to connect the built-in USB hub to multiple PCs. Combined with the monitor's picture-by-picture mode, this allows you to work on more than one computer at once, which is great if you have two different computers with different configurations or operating systems.
Unfortunately, this monitor isn't as well-suited if you enjoy playing games or watching movies, as there is noticeable motion smearing. It also doesn't look quite as good in a dark room. Overall, though, it's a great office monitor and a very good choice for programming and coding.
If you want the largest monitor possible, check out the Dell U4919DW. This massive 49 inch monitor is the equivalent of two 27 inch, 1440p monitors placed side-by-side. This delivers an incredible amount of screen real-estate, so you can easily work with your IDE open on one side of the screen and your specs on the other side. Unfortunately, due to the large size of this monitor, it might be a bit difficult to place it in an ideal position as the stand has a limited range of motion.
Overall, if you want the largest monitor possible, the Dell U4919DW is a great choice, but it isn't for everyone. If you prefer a multi-display setup or simply don't want something as big, the Dell U3818DW is a better choice for most people.
The Dell U2415 is the best compact monitor for coding and programming that we've tested so far. The smaller size is great for limited spaces, or if you prefer to work with multiple small monitors rather than one large one. This 24 inch monitor has a 1200p resolution, which is decent but isn't ideal for multitasking. The stand has great ergonomics and can easily be adjusted to an ideal viewing position.
This monitor has decent peak brightness and good reflection handling, so there shouldn't be any issues using it in a fairly bright room, as long as there aren't too many windows. It also has great wide viewing angles, which is great for a multi-monitor setup.
Unfortunately, like the majority of IPS monitors, it doesn't look as good in a dark room. Overall, though, it's a good monitor for programming and coding.
If you want something with a higher native resolution than the Dell U2415, check out the Dell U2518D. With a slightly larger, 1440p screen, this monitor delivers a more comfortable multitasking experience, and also delivers much better picture quality than the smaller model. Although not technically flicker-free, it has a very high flicker-frequency that shouldn't bother most people.
Overall, the U2415 is the best monitor for coding for most people, as it's completely flicker-free. If you want something with sharper text, though, the U2518D is a good alternative.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best monitors for coding and programming that are 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.