The best monitor arms let you position your monitor at exactly the right height. That's crucial if you're to avoid the eye strain and bad posture that so many modern workers suffer from. So it really is worth investing in a quality model.
In our list below, we've selected the best monitor arms for a range of uses. So whether you use a lightweight monitor, a heavy one, or multiple screens, you'll find the right choice for your specific needs.
Some of these models can be stood on a desk, while others can attach to one. All of them, though, use standard VESA mounts, which your monitor will almost certainly support. (If you're not sure, just check the back for a square arrangement of four screw holes). And all of them allow you to adjust your screen to the ideal position for your body.
That means that when you're in your normal sitting position, your eyeline should be level with the top of the display, and you should be able to touch the screen with your fingertips. This the key to avoiding poor posture and eye strain, although if you're already struggling with back problems, you might also want to peruse the best office chairs for back pain.
If you need a monitor too, check out our guide to the best 4K monitors, as well as the best monitors for photo editing and the best monitors for MacBook Pro. Otherwise, read on to discover the best monitor arms you can buy right now.
The best monitor arms available now
The 'Basics' title here is a bit misleading. The AmazonBasics Premium Single Monitor Stand is actually a premium product, which just happens to be sold at a great price. And for most people's needs, it's the best monitor mount out there.
It supports monitors up to 32 inches and 11.3kg, and as long as your desk is between 0.4 and 2.5 inches thick you'll be able to clamp it to your desk. (There's also a slightly cheaper wall-mountable version available, but that'll need more work to set up). Adjusting your monitor's position once mounted requires only a light touch, and it'll stay firmly in place afterwards.
The arm can move a monitor outward up to 25in (64cm), it offers a 13in (33cm) height range and you can tilt the screen between 70 degrees back and 5 degrees forward. The cable management system is a bit basic, but it still works fine.
Want something robust and durable? The Ergotron LX Desk Mount LCD Arm offers exceptional build quality, and whether you're pulling or pushing the monitor or arm, there's a sturdiness to it that's comforting. The action of movement is also smooth and feels effortless; exactly what you want when a monitor arm is holding an expensive monitor in place.
And for creatives with one of the best drawing tablets, like Wacom's Cintiq 27QHD, you'll be pleased to know that the Ergotron LX Desk Mount LCD arm can hold such a heavy tablet with ease... while costing less than the official Wacom monitor arm.
If you're looking for a monitor arm that supports more than two monitors, the Mount-It! Full Motion Dual Monitor Desk Mount is a solid choice. And we do mean solid – the steel construction is impressively sturdy.
Once it's all fixed in place, you can rig up dual monitors of up to 27 inches in size and 9.97kg in weight. The rig requires a reasonable amount of desk space, but that's always going to be the case with dual monitors.
For another dual-monitor option, you can also consider the Vari Dual-Monitor Arm (number six on our list). It's designed for slightly smaller monitors, so if yours are 24 inches in diameter or smaller, it's a good option.
Have a monitor that's on the heavier side, and need a bit of extra strength? We recommend the 3M Dual-Swivel Monitor Arm. It's capable of supporting screens up to 30lbs/13.6kg, and it's pretty unlikely that your current monitor even comes close to that.
It's nicely adjustable, too, with 18.6 inches of vertical adjustment and horizontal extension up to 19.5 inches. It allows angle tweaks for perfect positioning, and gives you the option to rotate from landscape to portrait. And if your desk is as heavyweight as your monitor, you'll be pleased to know this monitor arm clamps to desks up to 4.25 inches thick.
This arm is hollow so that you can run cables inside it, which makes everything neat and tidy. It's a bit more awkward to set up than some of the others here, and some find it stiffer to move than the lighter options on our list, so it may be worth sticking to those if you don't need the extra strength offered here.
While the AmazonBasics option (number one on our list) is pretty cheap, you may be looking for something cheaper still. In which case, check out the NB North Bayou Monitor Desk Mount Stand. It's a little basic, with chunky build quality and a paucity of cable management options, and it's no good for anyone with a larger, heavier display. But if you just need something to hold a standard monitor in place, you should get on fine with it.
It uses a gаs spring system to hold your screen steady, which makes it easy to tweak. It enables you to tilt your monitor between +35 and -50 degrees and to rotate it from -30 to +85 degrees, which means you can't quite go fully portrait, but it can still be useful. The swivel makes it easy to show your screen to others. The arm attaches to your desk using a clamp or grommet; again there's no wall-mount option. Overall, this is all about the value, and it nails it.
If you have two monitors but they're both on the smaller side, the Vari Dual-Monitor Arm could be just what you need. It's capable of holding monitors up to 19.8 lbs/8.9kg, which should be plenty for most people. However, the maximum monitor size it can cope with is 24 inches, so if you prefer a bigger display then this is a no-go.
It offers a height adjustment range of 12 inches and the maximum arm extension of 29 inches, and you can rotate both monitors from landscape to portrait as needed. Just be careful you don't knock them around while rotating.
This arm can only be mounted using a desk clamp, and it's only good for desks up to two inches thick, which is more limiting than some of the other options here. It's also harder to put together, unsurprisingly, given that it's more complex. It comes with all the tools you need, though, and there's a built-in cable management clip.
If you have dual monitors but don't necessarily want them side-by-side, the Ergotron LX Dual Stacking Arm gives you lots of versatility. You can have them next to each other if you want, but you can also stack them vertically, or in some completely different arrangement.
Just like the Vari above, the maximum monitor size is 24 inches, so this model is no good for larger monitors. There's height adjustment of up to 13 inches for your screens (if you require more, there's also a 'tall' model, which is the next on our list). Plus it does useful things like fold everything away together to the back of your desk when you don't need the screen.
If you're well over six feet tall you'll find most monitor arms don't go high enough for you, leaving you with the choice of putting your seat as low as possible or simply hunching over your desk all day. A better option is to invest in the LX Desk Mount LCD Monitor Arm Tall Pole. It's a loftier version of the Ergotron LX Dual Stacking Arm (number 7 on our list) which increases the height adjustment range by an extra 6.25in / 15.8cm in addition to the 13 inches of the original arm's range.
Beyond the enhanced verticality and a slightly higher price, everything is the same as its other version, including the neat design, easy setup and great cable management.
How should I choose the best monitor arm?
There are several things we look for when choosing the best monitor arm – all factors that we've considered when making our selection above. Firstly you want a monitor arm that's going to be solid and sturdy enough to support your monitor and allow you to move it without it feeling unstable (always check the max monitor weight, which we've listed for each item). This is even more the case if you use a touchscreen monitor.
A good monitor arm should also be adjustable in terms of height, swivel and tilt in order to allow you to position it in exactly the right angle for where you'll be sitting. Finally, although not essential, it's worth looking for monitor arms with cable management systems, which help keep those cables in order and avoid clutter at the back of your desk.
How do you set up a monitor arm?
Most monitor arms are fairly simple to setup, but make sure you check the instructions that come with them. In most cases, they'll attach to to the back of your monitor with a VESA mount, which is a square arrangement of four screw holes. Different arms have different bases and mechanisms for attaching to your desk (or a wall), but in most cases the options we've chosen attach to your desk using a clamp system that doesn't require any work on the desk itself.