It can be difficult to choose the best monitor for your needs, as they vary significantly in size, shape, and performance. There are different types of monitors depending on the desired use, and there's no catch-all monitor that is perfect for everyone. However, some monitors are more versatile than others. From ultrawide office monitors to high-performance gaming monitors, there's something for everyone on this list.
We've tested over 155 monitors, and below you'll find our picks for the best monitors available for purchase. You can also check our recommendations for the best gaming monitors, the best 4k monitors, and the best monitors for photo editors.
The best monitor for office use that we've tested is the Dell UltraSharp U2720Q. It's a 27 inch 4k monitor that delivers incredibly sharp text and provides plenty of space for multitasking. The stand allows for height, tilt, and swivel adjustments, and you can also rotate the screen to portrait mode. It has an IPS panel with wide viewing angles, ideal for sharing work and content with coworkers.
It has full sRGB and great Adobe RGB coverage, making it a good choice for content creators working in those color spaces. However, color accuracy is only decent out of the box, so you may have to calibrate it before doing any color work. Gradient handling is outstanding, and there's no color bleed. It has good peak brightness, but it doesn't handle reflections all that well, so it's best to avoid placing it opposite bright lights. It has good response times to deliver reasonably clear images in fast-moving scenes, fast enough for gaming casually, but the refresh rate is limited to 60Hz, and there's no variable refresh rate (VRR) support.
There aren't many extra features, but you do get a very generous port selection. It has three USB 3.0 and two USB-C inputs. One of the USB-C inputs supports DisplayPort Alt Mode, which lets you dock a laptop and charge it with a single cable, and the other is conveniently located on the side of the monitor for easy access. The backlight is flicker-free, and there's also a blue light filter to help reduce eye strain. Overall, this is a great office monitor that most people should be happy with.
If you find the Dell UltraSharp U2720Q too expensive, then check out the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV. It's also a 27 inch IPS monitor with wide viewing angles, but it has a lower 1440p resolution. That said, it might not look all that different to 4k if you sit a bit further back from the screen. Its ergonomics are significantly better as it has more height and tilt adjustments as well as a full 180-degree swivel range. It has better accuracy out of the box, but it doesn't have full sRGB coverage and doesn't support HDR. It has great response time, low input lag, and its 75Hz refresh rate provides a slightly more responsive desktop and gaming experience. It has four USB 3.0 ports and built-in speakers, but sadly, no USB-C.
Overall, the Dell is a better choice for most people due to its higher resolution, better color gamut, and wider connectivity options. However, if you're shopping on a smaller budget and don't mind compromising a bit, then go with the ASUS.
The Dell U3818DW is the best ultrawide office monitor that we've tested. Its 38 inch screen provides a ton of space for multitasking and having windows open side-by-side. It also includes some nice extra features like built-in speakers, Picture-in-Picture and Picture-by-Picture modes, and a USB Hub that lets you connect to two different computers with the same mouse and keyboard. Its curved screen makes for an immersive desktop experience.
As is typical of an IPS panel, its contrast ratio is unremarkable, so blacks tend to look more grayish, especially when viewed in the dark. The upside of having an IPS panel is that it has wide viewing angles, making it easy to share content with a coworker. It can also tilt and swivel to suit your ideal viewing position, although it can't rotate into portrait mode, understandably since it's a curved ultrawide monitor. It also has near-perfect coverage of the sRGB color space and fairly good coverage of the Adobe RGB color space, although it may not be enough for professional content creators.
Unfortunately, it doesn't have HDR support, which some may find disappointing for a high-end Dell monitor. It's also not the best monitor if you're using it at home and like to do some gaming on the side since it's limited to a 60Hz refresh rate and has bad response time that results in motion blur. There's also no VRR support, but on the upside, it has low input lag. All things considered, though, most people in need of an ultrawide office monitor should be happy with the Dell.
If you want an ultrawide monitor better suited for gaming than the Dell U3818DW, consider the LG 34GN850-B. It has a smaller 34 inch screen, but the pixel density is roughly the same as the Dell's, so images still look sharp. It has a significantly faster response time, a higher refresh rate, as well as FreeSync support and G-SYNC compatibility to reduce screen tearing. It can display a wide color gamut for HDR, but it doesn't get bright enough for a true cinematic HDR experience. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a USB-C port or Picture-in-Picture/Picture-by-Picture modes like the Dell does, and its ergonomics are worse because it doesn't allow for any swivel adjustment.
Overall, if you mainly need a monitor for office use, the Dell is a better choice due to its wider viewing angles, better ergonomics, and wider connectivity options. However, if you mainly want to game, go with the LG, as it has much better gaming performance.
The best monitor for gaming that we've tested is the Samsung LC32G75TQSNXZA. It's an excellent gaming monitor with great overall performance that most people should be happy with. It's packed with gaming-oriented features, including a RGB lighting ring to set the mood in your gaming setup. It's available in both a 27 and 32 inch size, and we tested the 32 inch model; they each have a high 1440p resolution to deliver crisp images.
It has a high 240Hz refresh rate with native FreeSync support and G-SYNC compatibility. Motion looks smooth whether you're gaming at its max refresh rate or at 60Hz thanks to its outstanding response time. It also has a Black Frame Insertion feature, but you can't use it with VRR enabled. Input lag is incredibly low to deliver a responsive gaming experience. Thanks to its VA panel, it's a good choice for dark room gaming as it displays deep blacks and has okay black uniformity. If you want to use it for HDR gaming, it displays a wide color gamut and has alright HDR peak brightness.
Sadly, even though it has a local dimming feature, it performs terribly and doesn't actually improve the contrast. The VA panel has narrow viewing angles, so the image looks inaccurate if you want to share your screen with others or if you sit too close as the edges of the screen may look darker. On the plus side, it performs well in bright rooms thanks to its high peak brightness and very good reflection handling. All things considered, this is one of the best monitors we've tested.
If you prefer something with a 240Hz refresh rate that you can overclock to 280Hz, then check out the ASUS VG279QM. It has a lower 1080p resolution than the Samsung Odyssey G7 and can't display deep blacks, but instead, the ASUS has wider viewing angles if you want to use it for co-op gaming. The VG279QM has an exceptional response time that remains nearly as fast at 60Hz. Its input lag is extremely low, but it increases significantly at 60Hz, so it's not ideal for console gaming. It has outstanding ergonomics that allow you to place the screen how you like, and if you have it in a well-lit room, it has high peak brightness and decent reflection handling. It also supports HDR10, but sadly, it doesn't display a wide color gamut for HDR content.
If you simply want the best monitor for gaming that we've tested, you can't go wrong with the Samsung, but if having a higher refresh rate is important and you don't mind compromising on resolution, check out the ASUS.
The best monitor available in a large size that we've tested is the LG 48 CX OLED. Although this is a TV, we tested it as a monitor, and it delivers great all-around performance that most people should be happy with. It offers features most monitors don't have and maintains the standard 16:9 aspect ratio while offering a ton of real estate space to open multiple windows.
Unlike most monitors available in 2020, it has an OLED panel that displays perfect blacks and doesn't have any blooming around bright objects in dark scenes. It has very wide viewing angles so that the image remains accurate even if you sit extremely close to the screen. Gamers should appreciate the near-instant response time, low input lag, and variable refresh rate support. It displays proper chroma 4:4:4, and the 4k resolution delivers clear text, but we've received reports of people noticing red lines appear when it's in 'PC' mode. Lastly, it has features most monitors don't have, like a built-in smart system, good speakers, and it comes with a remote.
One major downside to having an OLED panel as a monitor is the risk of permanent burn-in. This may happen after constant exposure to static elements, like a computer's user interface, so we suggest watching varied content if you want to use it like this. Unlike most monitors, it doesn't have a DisplayPort input, but you can still achieve a 120Hz refresh rate with a 4k resolution thanks to the advertised HDMI 2.1 ports. It delivers exceptional picture quality, making it one of the best monitors we've tested.
Feb 26, 2021: Replaced the Dell S2721QS with the Dell U2720Q as 'Best Office' because the U2720Q is easier to find; replaced the Acer Nitro XV340CK with the LG 34GN850-B because the LG has a quicker response time.
Feb 12, 2021: Added the Dell Alienware AW2721D and the Gigabyte M27Q to Notable Mentions; updated text for clarity.
Jan 15, 2021: Verified accuracy of picks, minor text and structure changes.
Dec 18, 2020: Removed LG 27UK650-W, added Dell S2721QS.
Nov 20, 2020: Added Samsung Odyssey G7, removed ASUS TUF VG27AQ.
Oct 23, 2020: Replaced the LG 34GN850-B with the Acer Nitro XV340CK; added the LG CX.
Sep 23, 2020: Removed the ViewSonic XG2402; replaced the LG 32UD99-W with the Dell UltraSharp U2720Q.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best computer monitors 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.