Monitor arms are a great way to improve your workspace setup. They free up valuable desk real estate, organize cords, and offer extended screen space when you combine multiple arms. But perhaps most importantly, they can improve the ergonomics of your workstation. With so many of us stuck at computers for big chunks of the day, neck problems abound. This is usually a result of looking down at a screen for long periods. The best monitor arms lift your monitors so that you can look straight ahead, reducing strain on your neck and shoulders.
- Best overall: Fully Jarvis Monitor Arm
- Best dual: VIVO Dual LCD LED 13 to 27 inch Monitor Desk Mount Stand
- Best for gaming: Ergotron – HX Single Ultrawide Monitor Arm
- Best long (tall): Ergotron – LX HD Sit-Stand Single Monitor Arm
- Best budget: HUANUO Single Monitor Mount
Things to consider before buying a monitor arm:
While monitor arms are mostly simple devices, there are some key things to pay attention to when buying one. Check out the most important ones below to ensure you are getting the right monitor arm for your needs.
Whether you already have a monitor and are looking to upgrade your display setup, or you are looking to buy both a monitor arm and monitor, be sure to pay close attention to the maximum monitor size the monitor arm can support. Monitor arms often provide limits on both the diagonal size of the screen as well as the weight of the entire panel. You don’t want to set up your monitor arm and attach the monitor only to have it sag down because it can’t support the weight. Similarly, you don’t want the arm’s movement and placement limited because the gigantic screen gets in the way.
Since one of the purposes of monitor arms is to make your workstation more ergonomic, you’ll want to figure out what height will be the most ideal for you and your desk setup. If you are vertically gifted, you may want to focus on monitor arms designed explicitly for extra height, as otherwise, you’ll still be craning your neck looking down at your screen. Many monitor arms offer more than a foot of adjustability, which provides a ton of flexibility.
Not all monitor arms are created equal when it comes to adjustability. For example, arms based around a center pole are usually more limited in how much you can adjust the positioning. If full customization and fine-tuning of the arrangement are important to you, look for a monitor arm that has articulation at just about every joint.
Advanced arms offer swiveling to turn your monitor around, rotation to switch between portrait and landscape mode, and tilt to lean the top of the display forward or backward. Not every arm will offer all of these movements, so pay careful attention to the range of motion when you’re comparing models.
Find a monitor arm with built-in cable management if you are like me and despise cord mess a silly amount. Some will allow you to feed the cords down through the arm’s interior for a fully hidden look, whereas others simply gather the cords into a bunch and run down the exterior.
The last pieces to consider are the mounting method both on the monitor itself (how the arm will connect to the monitor) and how the monitor arm will connect to your workspace. The back of your monitor will have a VESA pattern, which refers to the distance between screw holes. Be sure to double-check that the VESA pattern of your monitor is compatible with the monitor arm before hitting that purchase button. Numbers after the VESA name indicate how far apart the mounting holes are so be sure to choose the right orientation for your monitor or be prepared to use an adapter.
Most monitor arms will mount to your desk with either a clamp or a grommet mount. However, they are limited by how wide they can extend, so double-check the thickness of your desk before committing to a monitor arm. Some are as small as two inches, which may not fit on your workspace.
The best monitor arms in 2022: Our picks
Best overall: Fully Jarvis Monitor Mounting Arm
Why it made the cut: The 15-year warranty, availability in different colors and a dual arm, and slick cable integration makes the Fully Jarvis monitor arm stand out from the rest.
- Max monitor weight: 19.8 pounds
- Compatible monitor size: 13 to 32 inches
- Max height: 19.8 inches
- Color options: Black, silver, white
- Three color options
- Available in dual arm
- Very adjustable
- Integrated cable management
- A little pricey
The Fully Jarvis Monitor Mounting Arm stands out for a few reasons. First, it has a longer warranty–15-years–than any of the competition, even the most expensive options. That gives you some peace of mind should something go wrong. The arm is gas-activated, which results in super-smooth movements when you need to adjust it.
The Jarvis is adjustable in almost every way, so you can really fine-tune the positioning by rotating, tilting, and swiveling. It can even rotate 90 degrees to switch from vertical to horizontal orientation. Monitors from 13 to 32 inches and up to nearly 20 pounds are compatible, so you can go with a larger display and not worry about functionality.
Fully’s Jarvis monitor arm fits VESA 75mm & 100mm monitors. It’s available in three colors and comes as a dual arm or a dual arm with a laptop stand.
Best for dual monitors: Vivo Dual Desk Mount
Why it made the cut: The Vivo Dual Desk Mount is much more affordable than other dual monitor options but still has plenty of adjustments and is sturdy enough for larger monitors.
- Max monitor weight: 22 pounds per monitor
- Compatible monitor size: 13 to 27 inch screens
- Max height: 16 inches
- Color options: Black or white
- Vertical orientation possible
- Comes in black and white
- Single pole for minimal look
- Cable management could be better
- Requires assembly
The Vivo Dual Desk Mount is a great way to organize your monitors and free up loads of desk space for the dual display lovers out there. Though it does limit adjustability some, the single center pole is sleek looking for a less cluttered workspace. Though it still has plenty of articulation and can be turned for vertical or horizontal monitor orientation.
The base of the Vivo is small yet sturdy and can accommodate desks up to four inches thick. It supports monitors up to 27 inches and 22 pounds, so you can throw on heavier monitors and not worry. While there is some cable management, it doesn’t hide the cords from sight. And although it may lack some of the movements of other options, the price is extremely budget-friendly.
Best for gaming: Ergotron – HX Single Ultrawide Monitor Arm
Why it made the cut: The Ergotron HX supports monitors up to 49 inches and 42 pounds, so you can stay fully immersed in your game.
- Max monitor weight: 42 pounds per monitor
- Compatible monitor size: Up to 49 inches
- Max height: 11.5 inches
- Color options: Matte black, polished aluminum, white
- Holds large and heavy monitors
- Three color options
- Very adjustable
- 10-year warranty
Ergotron has a great reputation in the world of ergonomic office tools, which includes monitor arms. The Ergotron – HX Single Ultrawide Monitor Arm is a premium option for those with large, ultrawide monitors, perfect for surrounding yourself with the action in your game. It can hold between 20 to 42 pounds and works with monitors up to a massive 49 inches.
The HX monitor arm is very adjustable, allowing you to really dial in how your display angle. It can extend 23.6 inches, the height is adjustable up to 11.5 inches, and it has up to 360-degree rotation with 75-degrees of tilt. It has a sleek-looking design and integrated cable management for a more organized appearance. It’s not a cheap monitor arm, but those large monitors aren’t cheap either, so you’ll want something that won’t buckle under the weight.
Best long (tall): Ergotron – LX HD Sit-Stand Single Monitor Arm
Why it made the cut: If you need extra height for your monitor, the Ergotron LX HD offers up to 20 inches of height extensions. It also supports monitors up to 47 inches and 30 pounds.
- Max monitor weight: 14 to 30 pounds
- Compatible monitor size: Up to 46 inches
- Max height: 20 inches
- Color options: Polished aluminum
- Lots of height extension
- Very adjustable
- Works in seated or standing position
- 10-year warranty
Sometimes, a little extra height comes in handy. Maybe you are exceptionally tall, or you enjoy the option of a standing desk. Ergotron’s LX HD Sit-Stand arm extends up to 20 inches, so you can have an ergonomic workstation no matter what the situation. When you want your screen out of the way, it can fold up to just inches at the back of your desk.
It’s not only a tall monitor arm, but it also is heavy duty and can support some seriously large monitors. You could attach a monitor up to 46 inches and 30 pounds. If you want to save a little bit of money and don’t need such a large monitor, a seven to 25 pound version is also available. It’s an expensive option, but it offers a lot of quality and has a 10-year warranty as well.
Best budget: HUANUO Single Monitor Mount
Why it made the cut: This is the cheapest monitor arm you can find, especially with such a full range of motion and sturdiness.
- Max monitor weight: 14.3 pounds
- Compatible monitor size: 13 to 30 inches
- Max height: 15.7 inches
- Color options: Black
- Very affordable
- Fully adjustable
- Smooth gas spring arm
- Comes assembled
- Can’t support very heavy monitors
Monitor arms can be quite expensive, especially if you want one with full articulation. The HUANUO, however, comes in cheaper than lots of more basic monitor arms and stands. It can tilt from -50 to +35 degrees, swivel up to 90 degrees, and rotate 360 degrees, so you can really hone in on your monitor’s positioning. It also extends 18.5 inches should you need some extra reach. And the arm moves smoothly, so it’s simple to adjust without jarring your display.
This monitor arm comes fully assembled, so all you need to do when it arrives is connect your VESA 75mm or 100mm monitor and mount it to your desk using the clamp. It supports monitors between 13 and 30 inches, though only up to 14.3 pounds so make sure your setup isn’t too heavy. There aren’t a ton of monitors at 30 inches that weigh less than 15 pounds, though, so you may have to do some searching.
Q: Are monitor arms worth it?
Monitor arms are worth it, especially if you are someone who is at a computer for extended periods. It will lift your computer, making your workspace more ergonomic and comfortable. It also makes it easier to share something on your screen with someone nearby, as you can simply turn or rotate. And, monitor arms do a great job of freeing up desk space, making them great for small desks.
Q: How much does a monitor arm cost?
The price of a monitor arm varies significantly depending on features and quality. They range from $30 to nearly $400. As with any product, it’s important to consider what features you actually need and will use before spending money so you’re not paying for bells and whistles just for the sake of it.
Q: Are all monitors VESA compatible?
Most monitors these days are VESA compatible. This makes it easy to mount them, just be sure to check the VESA measurements on the monitor arm you are considering. VESA stands for Video Electronics Standards Association, the name of the organization that developed the standards.
Q: Are monitor arms better than stands?
Whether monitor arms are better than stands is really a matter of personal preference, but arms are better than stands in most situations. A stand will come with your computer, so purchasing a monitor arm will be an additional cost, but they can make your workspace more ergonomic and free up significant desk space.
Methodology for choosing the best monitor arms
The writers and editors at Pop Photo spend loads of time at their desks staring at screens. We have experienced firsthand the importance of a good desk setup, including monitor arms. When compiling this list of monitor arms we looked at features like height extension, how far and in what direction the arm can bend and turn, and cord management. We also tried to include monitor arms that could hold different monitor sizes and weights for different display needs. Lastly, we focused on products that hit various price points to accommodate budgets of all sizes.
Final thoughts on the best monitor arms
The importance of good ergonomics if you are at a computer for long periods of time cannot be stressed enough. Monitor arms are game-changers for making sure your neck is at a better angle while working.