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The best monitor arms in 2021

Best monitor arms 2021
(Image credit: Vari)

The best monitor arms can be exactly what you need for office nirvana: they're designed to make it so that you can have your screen in the most ergonomically friendly position for working at your desk all day, but also have the benefit making more space on your desk, because your monitor doesn't need its feet any more.

You can find the best monitor arm for your setup no matter whether you're working in a commercial office or at home – our selection of arms below has options at all kinds of price points, and with some specialities. Either way, they're a great option to protect your back and neck from any on-going issues you could pick up from working at a screen otherwise.

The advantage of monitor arms is that they enable you to precisely position your screen without needing to think about what's actually on your desk. If the monitor you want to buy doesn't offer ergonomic adjustments, then a monitor arm effectively adds them. The current advice is that you should be able to just about touch the display with your fingertips, and that your eye-line should be level with the top of the screen. Tilt or swivel adjustments help you to keep your screen clear of reflections, so you're not straining your eyes trying to see what's going on.

Monitors can usually be mounted with VESA standard mounts (though double-check that's true of your monitor before buying an art), and all of the monitor arms on this list are VESA compatible. Most arms have no problem with the weight of an average screen, but if you've got a particularly large or heavy specialist monitor, check the that arm you're looking at can hold it. Even iMacs can be mounted on arms (including the new 24-inch iMac M1) – but you'll need to order it with especially for VESA mounting when you buy it, and in the case of the 27-inch version, you'll want to make sure that your arm can take the weight.

If you haven't found your ideal monitor yet, check out our roundups of best 4K monitors and the best monitors for MacBook Pro. Meanwhile, read on for our guide to the best monitor arms.

The best monitor arms in 2021

Best monitor arm: AmazonBasics Single Monitor Display Mounting Arm

(Image credit: Amazon Basics)

01. AmazonBasics Premium Single Monitor Stand

Best monitor arm overall

Weight: 3.54kg / 7.8lbs | Dimensions: 65 x 15.2 x 41.1cm / 25.6 x 6 x 16.2in | Max monitor size: 32in | Max monitor weight: 25lbs / 11.3kg

Sturdy
Lightweight
Flexible
Cable management system limited

If you just want a well-priced no-nonsense monitor arm that'll do a perfect job for the majority of setups, AmazonBasics' Premium Single Monitor Stand is what you need. It's affordable it's reliable, and it's quick and easy to set up. Once you've got your screen mounted, it only takes a light touch to move the display, but it's held solidly. The arm can move a monitor outward up to 25in (64cm), and it offers a 13in (33cm) height range.

One of the benefits of this option is the flexibility for where you can put it: it can connect to the edge of a desk or table between 0.4in and 2.5in thick, or it can be attached to the wall – the fittings for both are included. To clear the space over your desk when you're not using the computer, you can just push the arm back – it folds back over itself, tucking above the edge of the desk. It's fine for screens up to 32 inches in size, and it can take the weight of all but the most unusual and heavy options. You can tilt the screen between 70 degrees back and 5 degrees forward. The only slightly weak point is its basic cable management system, but that still works just fine really.

There have been stock issues during the work-from-home rush, and though it seems to have settled down now, if you're keen on this arm and it's in stock, maybe don't delay for too long before making the purchase.

Best monitor arm: NB North Bayou Monitor Desk Mount Stand Full Motion Swivel Monitor Arm

(Image credit: NB North Bayou)

02. NB North Bayou Monitor Desk Mount Stand

The best cheap monitor arm

Weight: 2.1kg / 4.6lbs | Dimensions: 38.5 x 28.5 x 9.5cm / 15.1 x 11.2 x 3.7in | Max monitor size: 30in | Max monitor weight: 19.8lbs / 8.9kg

Low price
Sturdy
Flexible
Can't rotate 90 degrees

If you're working to a struct budget, the NB North Bayou Monitor Desk Mount Stand might be your new extendable best friend. You can see from the picture where money is saved: it's chunkier than other options here, it looks like a robot that should be assembling a car door, and the cable management is very visible. It also can't take screens quite as big and heavy as some of the other arms here… but that's fine. It can still take the majority of monitors, and it does the job perfectly well, even if it's less elegant looking.

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, still. The arm attaches to your desk using a clamp or grommet – again there's no wall-mount option. This is all about the value, and it nails it.

Best monitor arm: Ergotron LX Desk Mount LCD Monitor Arm

(Image credit: Ergotron)

03. Ergotron LX Desk Mount LCD Arm

The best monitor arm for a neat look

Weight: 3.6kg / 8lbs | Dimensions: 45.72 x 26.92 x 17.6cm / 18 x 10.6 x 6.93in | Max monitor size: 32in | Max monitor weight: 25lbs / 11.3kg

Sturdy
Flexible
Good cable management
No wall-mount option

Compared to the arm above, this is all about streamlining. You'll pay a bit more for the Ergotron LX Desk Mount LCD Arm, but it provides an easier and smarter cable management system. Beyond that, it's also easy to set up and required minimal effort to move the screen, or fold it away when not in use. 

It has 25 inches of forward and backwards extension, you can adjust the height within a range of 13 inches (although if you're very tall, take a look at the variant of this model at number 7 on this list, which is made just for you). The design is fairly smart as products like this go, so with that extra-neat cable routing, it's definitely suited the office of an aesthete. Note that this arm can only be mounted to a desk (either with the clamp or a grommet) – you can't mount it on a wall. But that's the only real downside, and it won't be a problem for everyone.

Best monitor arm: 3M Dual-Swivel Monitor Arm

(Image credit: 3M)

04. 3M Dual-Swivel Monitor Arm

The best monitor arm for heavy screens

Weight: 3.38kg / 7.45lbs | Dimensions: 46.7 x 22.9 x 13.8cm / 18 x 10.6 x 6.93in | Max monitor size: 27in | Max monitor weight: 13.6kg / 30lbs

Superior weight capacity
Great cable management
Sturdy
Challenging to assemble
A tiny bit stiff to move

If you need to support a really hefty display, then the 3M Dual-Swivel Monitor Arm is the beefcake to turn to. 3M says that it can securely hold screens weighing up to 30lbs/13.6kg, which is a huge amount of weight when you bear in mind that a 27-inch iMac only weighs 20lbs total… and that has a whole computer built-in too.

As you might expect, then, it's an extremely sturdy and reliable monitor arm. It's desk-mounted only, either using a clamp for desks up to 4.25in thick or a grommet for desks up to 2.25in thick. You get a height adjustment range of 18.5 inches, which is larger than most thanks to poly adjustments as well as arm adjustments), and the arm extends up to 19.5in / 49.5cm from the base, which is a little lower than some of the other here, so make sure it's enough. It also offers rotation from landscape to portrait, as well as other angle tweaks.

This arm is hollow within, so for cable management you can just run them directly through it, which is certainly 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-weight options on our list, so it may be worth sticking to those if you don't need the extra strength offered here.

Best monitor arm: Vari Dual-Monitor Arm

(Image credit: Vari)

05. Vari Dual-Monitor Arm

The best monitor arm for dual monitors

Weight: 7kg / 15.4lbs | Dimensions: 4.25 x 14in / 10.8 x 35.5cm | Max monitor size: 24in per arm | Max monitor weight: 19.8lbs / 8.9kg per arm

Supports two monitors
Flexible
Challenging to assemble
Monitors are size-limited

If you have two monitors you need to hold side by side with one arm, then the Vari Dual-Monitor Arm is here to pull double duty. It provides all the ergonomic benefits of a monitor arm plus all the workspace benefits of dual-screening. Each of its two arms can support a monitor up to 24 inches and 19.8 lbs/8.9kg in weight. Now, in the current world where pro 4K monitors often come in sizes of 27 inches and up, you may find that limiting. But if the monitors you'll use can fit here, it's a great space-saving solution.

The height adjustment range of 12 inches and the maximum arm extension of 29 inches are both pretty good, 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 – again, that's 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, and there's a built-in cable management clip.

Best monitor arm: Ergotron LX Dual Stacking Arm

(Image credit: Ergotron)

06. Ergotron LX Dual Stacking Arm

The most flexible dual-monitor arm

Weight: 7.18kg | Dimensions: 48.7 x 38.7 x 22.9cm | Max monitor size: 24 inches | Max monitor weight : 20 lbs (9.1 kg) per arm

Stack multiple monitors
Tall option available 
Sturdy design
Not cheap
Monitors are size limited

If the dual-monitor arm above isn't flexible enough for your particular two-screen arrangement, perhaps the Ergotron LX Dual Stacking Arm is what you need. Its extra arm joints mean you can put your displays one above the other as well as side by side. And it'll hold steady and stable while doing it all, of course. Again, this comes with a limitation on the size and weight of the monitors you'll use: 24 inches and under, and no heavier than 20lbs/9kg. However, in terms of the sheer number of arms and the ways you can position them, this the most accommodating arm there.

It provides height adjustment of up to 13 inches for your screens, but there's also a 'tall' model available if you're a tall model yourself, which is great from an ergonomic standpoint, but also just gives you even more flexibility about how your positioning those screen if they're in the vertical configuration. And it still does useful things like fold everything away together to the back of your desk when you don't need the screen.

Best monitor arm: Ergotron LX Desk Mount LCD Monitor Arm, Tall Pole

(Image credit: Ergotron)

07. Ergotron LX Desk Mount LCD Monitor Arm, Tall Pole

The best monitor arm for tall people

Weight: 4.99kg / 11lbs | Dimensions: 58.4 x 18.4 x 28.6cm / 23 x 7.2 x 11.2in | Max monitor size: 34in | Max monitor weight: 25lbs / 11.3kg

Tall
Sturdy
Flexible
Expensive

If you're anywhere over six feet tall, a lot of the best monitor arms might not give quite the height adjustment range you need for perfect ergonomics, depending on factors like the size of your screen and the height of your desk/chair. The best way to guarantee you'll be able to get your screen in a neck-friendly position? The Ergotron LX Desk Mount LCD Monitor Arm Tall Pole model, which combines the features of one of our top picks with an extra pole for a height boost. 

The Tall Pole version of the LX Desk Mount LCD Arm (number 3 on our list) increases the height adjustment range by an extra 6.25in / 15.8cm in addition to the 13 inches of the original arm's range, which should be enough for anyone – even 6' 6" DJ Tall Paul would be catered for by the Tall Pole. Outside of the added height, everything is the same as its other version, including the neat design, easy setup and great cable management. You just have a pay a little more. Call it a pole tax. (Sorry).

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Tom May

Tom May is a freelance writer and editor specialising in design, photography and tech. He is author of Great TED Talks: Creativity, published by Pavilion Books. He has previously been editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine.