The best monitor arms are an excellent, pain-free way to get your home-working or office setup as smooth and efficient as possible. For one, they allow you to position your monitor at exactly the right height for your posture, warding off the risk of getting permanently stuck in the hunched goblin pose that characterises the modern worker. For two, they can help you bring a sense of order to a cluttered desk. Which, let's be honest, a lot of us sorely need.
Whether you use a huge monitor or a tiny one, and whether you use one or multiple screens, there are monitor arms out there for you. Some can be stood on a desk, while others can attach to a desk. We've selected a mixture for this list, though all of them use standard VESA mounts, which your monitor will almost certainly support (check the back for a square arrangement of four screw holes).
Just remember the golden rules when setting up your monitor arm – when you're in your ordinary sitting position, your eye-line should be level with the top of the display, and you should be able to touch the screen with your fingertips. That's the key to a long working life with a healthy back! Though if you've already spent a few too many working days in hunch mode, you might want to consider one of the best office chairs for back pain.
Looking for a new monitor as well as an arm? Check our our roundups of the best 4K monitors and the best monitors for MacBook Pro. Otherwise, read on as we count off our picks for the best monitor arms you can buy right now.
The best monitor arms available now
Don't let the 'Basics' title fool you. The AmazonBasics Premium Single Monitor Stand is most certainly a premium product, which just happens to be sold at a great price. And for the majority of people, it's the best monitor mount out there. It hits all the right notes for us; it's not outlandishly expensive or worryingly cheap. Monitors up to 23 inches and 11.3kg are supported, 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 only slightly weak point is its basic cable management system, but that still works just fine really.
We're big fans of the Ergotron LX Desk Mount LCD Arm, for a few reasons. Firstly, the build quality is exceptional, 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 a potentially expensive monitor in place!
And for creatives with a drawing tablet, like Wacom's Cintiq 27QHD, you'll be pleased to know that the Ergotron LX Desk Mount LCD arm can hold such a heavy drawing tablet with ease (and cost less than the official Wacom monitor arm).
Once you switch to a dual-monitor setup, you never go back, so a fair few of you may be looking for monitor arms that support more than one screen. 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 generally going to be the case with dual monitors.
For another dual-monitor option, you can also consider the Vari Dual-Monitor Arm further down in this list – it's designed for slightly smaller monitors (max 24 inch) so is a good choice for a slightly more compact setup.
Got a heavier monitor that you don't want to trust to an insubstantial monitor arm? You need 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, and on top of that, it allows angle tweaks for perfect positioning as well as giving you the option to rotate from landscape to portrait orientation. And if your desk is as heavyweight as your monitor, you'll be delighted to know that this monitor arm can clamp to desks up to 4.25 inches thick.
This arm is hollow so that you can run your cables inside 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.
While we love the AmazonBasics option in terms of price and functionality, if your idea of the best monitor arm is something a little cheaper, the NB North Bayou Monitor Desk Mount Stand could be what you're looking at. 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 want something to hold a standard monitor in place then 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, 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.
Another solid dual-monitor option, the Vari Dual-Monitor Arm could be just what you need for your setup. In terms of supported weight it's a winner, capable of holding monitors up to 19.8 lbs/8.9kg. The downside, though, is that the maximum monitor size it can cope with is 24 inches, so if you prefer a bigger display then this is sadly a no-go.
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.
Here's another dual monitor arm, and it's one for anyone who doesn't necessarily want to have their monitors side-by-side. The Ergotron LX Dual Stacking Arm gives you a lot more versatility in how you arrange your monitors; you can have them next to each other if you want, but you can also stack them vertically if you prefer, or have them in some completely different arrangement. Sadly, just like the Vari above, the maximum monitor size for 24 inches.
There's height adjustment of up to 13 inches for your screens, but if you require a bit more than that there's also a 'tall' model, which is great from an ergonomic standpoint and also just gives you even more flexibility if you prefer your screens in a portrait 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.
Being taller than average has all manner of advantages, but it also comes with its own drawbacks, from finding clothes to fit through to equipping yourself with the best monitor arm. Most solutions provide height adjustment ranges that'll do for the majority of people, but if you're well over six feet tall you may well find that they just 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, neither of which we'd recommend. Instead, take a look at the LX Desk Mount LCD Monitor Arm Tall Pole, which is designed to put your monitor in a position that's much more comfortable for you.
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 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.