The best ultrawide monitors can improve productivity for professional creatives, and offer a more immersive experience for gaming and media. More screen space can allow more comfortable working across multiple panels, making for a faster workflow and less frustration when switching between windows.
As for gaming and media, widescreen monitors, especially curved ones that surround more of your field of vision, can make you feel more immersed in what you're doing. The best widescreen monitors can also be useful for those who need to make regular Zoom calls or use collaborative workspaces, letting you to view the video window along with your work, notes or spreadsheets side by side.
If you have the space, there's always the option of a multi-monitor setup, but going for the best ultrawide monitor could be cheaper and easier, and it might look neater on your desk. Our selection of the best ultrawide monitors below is based on our own reviews and recommendations from our regulator contributors. We've compared the advantages and disadvantages of each display, analysing specs such as resolution, brightness, response time and colour accuracy.
The definition of ultrawide is fairly broad, ranging from 34in right up to a 49in. We've aimed to select the best ultrawide monitors at different sizes, recognising that not everyone has the space for the largest. We've also considered different needs and budgets, picking out options for creative work such as graphic design, photo and video editing but also gaming and general productivity.
Make sure you've taken some measurements before you buy so you know you have the space you need (see our guides to the best desks and best L-shaped desks if you need new furniture). For more advice on how to choose the best ultrawide monitor for you, scroll down to the question section at the bottom of this guide.
If you decide that an ultrawide monitor isn't for you, take a look at our guides to the best 4K monitors and the best curved monitors. If you do a lot of Zoom calls, you might also want to take a look at our guide to the best monitors with webcam.
If you need a screen that can travel, see our choices for the best portable monitors. We also have a guide to the best monitors for Mac mini. In the meantime, here's our pick of the best ultrawide monitors available now.
The best ultrawide monitors available now
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The BenQ EW3880R is a great general all-round ultrawide display both for work and watching media (the built-in 2.1 sound system is surprisingly impressive, and can save you a pair of speakers). At 37.5in, the screen offers a lot of screen real estate for flexible working, and it has a subtle curve for added immersion and eye-comfort features. This monitor is expensive, and with a 60Hz refresh rate, it doesn't have the best specs for fast gaming, but it does make a great premium screen for comfortable multitasking and enjoyment of media.
The LG UltraGear 38GN950 is a 38in ultrawide monitor with a QHD+ (3840 x 1600) resolution Nano IPS panel that offers vibrant colours. We found the HDR image quality to be very impressive, and it boasts a quick response time and a very decent 144Hz refresh rate, which, together with G-Sync support, make it a great ultrawide monitor for gaming. The 3840 x 1600 resolution isn't quite 4K (3840 x 2160), but it’s not far away, and we find that actually has the benefit of allowing better gaming performance with lower-end cards.
And does it serve as non-gaming monitor? Absolutely. While the speed for high-paced gaming is its main selling point, we reckon its 21:9 aspect ratio and 98% DCI-P3 support make it a great choice for productivity too if you have the money to spend. If you don't game at all, however, you really won't need a lot of the features, in which case it's an unnecessary expense, and you might be better looking at the BenQ monitor above, or the superb MSI screen below if you need higher resolution.
4K has become the norm, but if you want more than that, the LG 34WK95U offers a massive 5K2K native resolution with a 21:9 ultrawide aspect ratio. It boasts a stunning 34-inch nano IPS LED screen and has a host of features that justify its rather hefty price tag, including DCI-P3 98% colour gamut, HDR support (although that's not the best we've seen) and great connectivity options with Thunderbolt 3 USB-C and 2 HDMI ports. It looks the part too, with a nice minimalist design. Note that with a 60Hz refresh rate, this isn't a monitor to choose if you're specifically interested in gaming, but it's a great screen for content creators working with high resolutions.
There's ultrawide, and then there are monitors like the Samsung G9 (and the Dell U4919DW and Philips 499P9H further down on our list) with whopping 49in screens. A standard monitor has an aspect ratio of 16:9, and most of the monitors in our pick of the best ultrawides are 21:9. But this trio of stunning screens are all 32:9, effectively giving you the space of two 16:9 monitors side by side, but with less of a footprint on your desk.
The Samsung G9's massive screen can offer a great boost to productivity if your desk can hold it. We've rated this higher than the Philips below mainly for value as it's significantly cheaper, while still having great specs for creatives and gamers. Like our other choices of monitors of this size, it offers multiple inputs and a picture-in-picture mode so you can connect two devices and use them together. We find it offers superb image quality, with 108 pixels per inch providing lots of screen space and vivid details without scaling, while the backlight's quantum dot enhanced film layer enhances the colour gamut to 95% DCI-P3 (equal to 125% sRGB) for more vibrant, lifelike colours. The refresh rate and response time are also reasonably fast for gaming.
The BenQ EX3410R monitor is designed for gaming with a fast refresh rate, Adaptive-Sync and blur reduction features. The curved design offers an immersive field of view and colours are beautiful and saturated. When we reviewed this screen we were particularly impressed with the built-in speakers and we found the monitor can serve for a lot more than gaming, offering a great value screen for multi-tasking, media consumption and video game designers. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the colour accuracy that many creatives will be looking for if working in photography or visual design.
See our full BenQ EX3410R review for more details.
The LG 34WN750 UltraWide QHD IPS Monitor is a solid ultrawide monitor that finds a balance between great features, brilliant pricing and fantastic quality. With HDMI and DisplayPort, it's ideal for creatives and it's compatible with HDR10. too. We found it to be nice and bright, while colours really punch. Tilt adjustment is welcome – the only negatives being that it doesn't include other connectivity options like USB-C, and it doesn't pivot, but that won't really matter if you're in the market for an ultrawide.
Samsung may have started the trend for 32:9 monitors, but this curved ultrawide gaming monitor from AOC is a very solid contender. The superb display panel offers vibrant, accurate colours and rich detail for gaming and desktop applications alike. It doesn't support HDR as well as some more expensive ultrawide monitors, but the AOC Agon AG493UCX has everything else you'd want for a fantastic ultrawide gaming experience.
It boasts a premium build with a firm height, tilt and swivel adjustable cast aluminium stand. As for ports, it carries two DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.0 plus USB-C, USB 3.2 upstream port and a 3.5mm headphone jack. With a smooth 120Hz refresh rate, this is beautiful curved screen. Just make sure you have space on your desk because this is wide and with that curve also fairly deep.
The Philips 499P9H is another massive 49in, 32:9 monitor. It doesn't offer quite the speed of the Samsung option above, and it's not as bright, but it's still a great display for creative work, supporting 94 per cent of P3 and 91 per cent Adobe RGB. The brightness of 450 nits is still fairly decent although not spectacular, and the monitor can be adjusted for height, tilt and swivel for an ergonomic setup. t's a great connection hub too, with dual HDMI ports, DisplayPort, and USB-C to transfer power, video and data over a single connection. There are also three regular USB ports for accessories and a handy Gigabit Ethernet port. All in all, this is one monster display.
Like the Samsung, Philips and AOC 49in screens higher up in our list, this screen will seem enormous for anyone who uses a single standard monitor, but again we think this is a much tidier option for those who use two monitors side by side. The huge desktop area can accommodate two full-screen applications side by side, which we find is a real boon for speeding up productivity, since there's no need to switch between windows or tool panes.
Like many of the best ultrawide monitors, the Dell U4919DW allows you to connect two different inputs to the screen, so you could also use all that space to view the screens of two different devices, which can be handy if you work across say a computer and a tablet. There's a KVM switch, too, so you can use one keyboard and mouse across the two devices.
There's no HDR on this one, and it's been designed more with general office multitasking functionalist in mind rather than creative working, so the refresh rate is a rather paltry 60hz. That said, the U4919DW offers excellent image quality with an enormous IPS panel, superior to many ultrawide monitors that use VA panel technology. It offers 99 per cent sRGB coverage, 350-nit brightness and a 1000:1 contrast ratio. The decent 5ms (fast mode) response time, means we wouldn't completely rule this out for gaming, though it certainly isn't a monitor we'd choose specifically as a gaming display, – it doesn’t support adaptive-sync like some displays. Also, some might prefer the screen to have a bigger curve to help keep all that display in vision.
We recently reviewed the Philips 34E1C5600HE and found it to be a well-built ultrawide curved monitor for a very reasonable mid-range price. It falls short in a few areas, such as the webcam and speaker quality, and connectivity is fiddly – there's a fine array of ports, but they're hidden around the back.
Aside from that, though. We actually found it pleasant to use. The anti-glare coating was effective in reducing unwanted reflection and the matte frame looks nice. Gaming performance was surprisingly considering it's not pitched as a gaming product. For an ultrawide monitor for general work, programming and perhaps entry-level video-editing or photo-editing, it's not bad at all. It seems that there's no availability in the US at the moment, so this is only an option for those in Europe.
See our full Philips 34E1C5600HE review for more details.
Is an ultrawide monitor better than separate monitors?
The answer to this depends on what you want to use the monitors for, your style of working and also the physical setup of your workspace. Multi-monitor setups are popular and have the advantage that you can place the two (or more) screens where you want them, whether that's side by side, at an angle to each other, or even on separate desks or on each part of an L-shaped desk.
However, the best ultrawide monitors have the advantage of being a neater solution with fewer cables, and they can be used for watching media and or for gaming on one large immersive screen, without any division. Also, most people also find that dragging windows around one large screen feels smoother and more intuitive than working across one or more smaller screens.
How wide is an ultrawide monitor?
Ultrawide monitors start at around 34in, and this is the most common screen size for an ultrawide monitor, but there are plenty of ultrawide monitors that have even larger screen sizes, going up to a whopping 49 inches. While 34in is plenty big enough for most uses, a larger screen allows you to effectively replace a dual monitor setup retaining your screen real estate while tidying up your workspace in the process – you'll just need a large enough desk to accommodate it.
How close should I sit to an ultrawide monitor?
If you sit too close to a large screen, it'll be uncomfortable to use, as you'll be turning your head to view certain parts of the screen. Often the edges will be slightly outside your peripheral vision when sitting at a normal working distance so that's something you need to bear in mind. To solve the effect of this, most ultrawide monitors are just slightly curved at the edges.
What resolution should I look for in an ultrawide monitor?
In terms of resolution, look for at least WQHD (Wide Quad High Definition) – which gives you a pixel count of 2560x1440 – and a wide aspect ratio of 21:9. Usually the bigger the screen, the higher the resolution.
There are some ultrawide monitors that offer 2560×1080 resolutions. While this still gives you more workspace compared to a regular 1080p widescreen monitor, we feel it's still a little too low to get the full benefit of the ultrawide aspect ratio. They are quite a bit more affordable than ultrawide monitors with higher resolutions, so if you're on a budget, these could be a good choice. However, in our guide to the best ultrawide monitors above, we've restricted our choices to at least WQHD since we find this offers the best ultrawide experience.
Can I divide the screen on an ultrawide monitor?
Yes, most of the best ultrawide monitors offer features that allow you to divide the screen so you can connect two sources (like two computers, or a computer and tablet) to the same display. This feature is called picture-in-picture, or PBP, and can usually be turned on in the display settings.
A monitor that has PBP mode activated will display the screen from two inputs at the same time, side-by-side. you will be able to select the input you want to see and swap them left to right. A KVM (keyboard, video and mouse) switch will allow you to use one keyboard and mouse to control both devices, saving clutter on your desk. There is also software such as DisplayFusion that can help you set up and manage the inputs on an ultrawide screen.
What else should I look for to choose the best ultrawide monitor?
Ultrawide monitors also vary based on panel technology and features. Ultrawide screens generally look just fine with vertical alignment (VA) panels, but the sharper, brighter and considerably more expensive in-plane switching (IPS) panel technology will offer better image quality. While 21:9 is the most common ultrawide aspect ratio, there are even wider monitors with 32:9 aspect ratios. These offer even more workspace, but they are also more expensive, and they take up more room.