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The best monitor arms in 2021

Best monitor arms 2021
(Image credit: Vari)

Having one of the best monitor arms can make a real difference to your workspace. They can make your desk more ergonomically friendly by enabling you to place your screen (or screens) exactly where they're most comfortable for you, and they'll also free up desk space that was previously occupied by dust-attracting monitor stands.

Finding the best monitor arm for you shouldn't be too difficult, whatever your requirements. However monitors you have of whatever size or weight, there should be a solution available that'll either clamp to your desk or fix to a wall (although bear in mind that you'll need power tools and DIY skills to take that route).

Once you've set your monitor arm up, you'll be able to position your display in just the right distance and height for ergonomic comfort; your eye-line should be level with the top of the screen so that you're not permanently looking upwards, and you should just be able to touch the display with your fingertips. And as an added bonus you should also be able to swivel and tilt your monitor to find your optimum viewing angle.

Your current monitor is almost certainly ready to mount on one of the best monitor arms. Check on the back for four screw holes in a square arrangement; they're for the standard VESA mount that you'll find on all monitor arms. You'll need to remove the existing stand and then you should be good to go, however you should check that your monitor's not too big or heavy for your chosen arm. Most monitor arms can cope with displays up to 27 or even 32 inches, but it pays to make absolutely sure before you order.

Read on for our selection of the best monitor arms, from great-value budget monitors to more extravagant options that'll cope with heavyweight monitors and multiple displays. If you haven't found your ideal monitor yet, check out our roundups of best 4K monitors and the best monitors for MacBook Pro. And if you find it hard to resist a bargain, keep an eye on our guide to this year's top Black Friday deals.

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

Specifications
Weight: 3.54kg / 7.8lbs
Max monitor size: 32in
Max monitor weight: 25lbs / 11.3kg
Reasons to buy
+Sturdy+Lightweight+Flexible
Reasons to avoid
-Cable management system limited

Unless you have particularly outsized and heavyweight monitors on your desk, the AmazonBasics Premium Single Monitor Stand is likely to be your best bet. It comes in at just the right price – neither wildly expensive nor suspiciously cheap – and it does the job perfectly well. It's good for monitors up to 32 inches and 11.3kg in weight, and it's easy to set up with a clamp that'll fit any desk or table between 0.4 and 2.5 inches thick. There's also a wall-mountable version at a slightly better price, although obviously it'll take a bit more work to set up.

Only a light touch is required to adjust your monitor's position, and it'll stay firmly in place once you've found the sweet spot. 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 only slightly weak point is its basic cable management system, but that still works just fine really.

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

Specifications
Weight: 2.1kg / 4.6lbs
Max monitor size: 30in
Max monitor weight: 19.8lbs / 8.9kg
Reasons to buy
+Low price+Sturdy and flexible
Reasons to avoid
-Can't rotate 90 degrees-Not especially elegant

We reckon AmazonBasics model is the best monitor arm in terms of price and functionality, but if you'd prefer a cheaper arm then the NB North Bayou Monitor Desk Mount Stand may be right for you. It's not as sleek-looking as the other options, there's not much in the way of cable management and it's a no-go if you have a big, heavy display, but it's a decent cost-effective option if you can live with its looks.

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

Specifications
Weight: 3.6kg / 8lbs
Max monitor size: 32in
Max monitor weight: 25lbs / 11.3kg
Reasons to buy
+Sturdy+Easy to adjust+Good cable management
Reasons to avoid
-No wall-mount option

If you value a streamlined look in the best monitor arm and don't mind paying a little extra for the privilege, the Ergotron LX Desk Mount LCD Arm makes for a mildly premium option. It looks fantastic and it's great at cable management, and it's a joy to set up and use. Once it's up and running you'll discover that it requires the lightest of touches to change your screen's position.

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

Specifications
Weight: 3.38kg / 7.45lbs
Max monitor size: 27in
Max monitor weight: 13.6kg / 30lbs
Reasons to buy
+Impressive weight capacity+Great cable management
Reasons to avoid
-Tricky to assemble-A tiny bit stiff to move

If you're the proud owner of a particularly hefty monitor you'll want to check out the 3M Dual-Swivel Monitor Arm. This sturdy beast can take displays up to 30lbs/13.6kg, so you'll have a hard time finding a monitor that it can't cope with. It's strong and reliable with 18.5 inches of height adjustment, extension up to 19.5 inches from the base, and perfect positioning with angle tweaks and rotation from landscape to portrait orientation. It'll clamp to desks up to 4.25 inches thick; for thinner desks up to 2.25 inches you can attach it using a grommet.

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

Specifications
Weight: 7kg / 15.4lbs
Max monitor size: 24in per arm
Max monitor weight: 19.8lbs / 8.9kg per arm
Reasons to buy
+Supports two monitors+Flexible
Reasons to avoid
-Challenging to assemble-Monitors are size-limited

Got more than one monitor? That's when finding the best monitor arm gets a little more difficult; you could of course buy a separate arm for each monitor, however that could prove expensive. The alternative is something like the Vari Dual-Monitor Arm, just so long as it fits your requirements.

Weight-wise the Vari's a strong contender, with support for monitors up to 19.8 lbs/8.9kg. However it can only cope with a monitors up to 24 inches, which could rule it out for many creatives.

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

Specifications
Weight: 7.18kg
Max monitor size: 24 inches
Max monitor weight : 20 lbs (9.1 kg) per arm
Reasons to buy
+Flexible screen arrangement+Sturdy design
Reasons to avoid
-Not cheap-Monitors are size limited

The obvious way to arrange a pair of monitors is to put them side-by-side, but if you don't want to be bound by convention then Ergotron LX Dual Stacking Arm is a versatile alternative. You can use it to put your displays next to each other, but you can also stack them on top of each other or find some other arrangement. Bear in mind though that like the Vari above, this Ergotron system can only cope with monitors up to 24 inches.

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

Specifications
Weight: 4.99kg / 11lbs
Max monitor size: 34in
Max monitor weight: 25lbs / 11.3kg
Reasons to buy
+Ideal for taller users+Sturdy+Flexible
Reasons to avoid
-Premium pricing

Finding the best monitor arm becomes a little more problematic if you're over six feet tall. While most monitor arms offer height adjustment ranges that'll satisfy most people, if you're extra-tall then you may find that they're just not going high enough for you, leaving you with the choice of hunching over all day (don't do that) or adjusting your seat to its lowest setting. if that's the case, the LX Desk Mount LCD Monitor Arm Tall Pole will help you set your display in a loftier position that'll suit you better.

It's a loftier version of the LX Desk Mount LCD Arm (number 3 on our list) that 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. Beyond the added height and a slightly larger price tag, everything is the same as its other version, including the neat design, easy setup and great cable management.

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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.