We're firmly in the world of the best 4K monitors now, and though 1080p and 1440p monitors are hardly obsolete, a whole new generation of 4K monitors have hit the market with better speeds and responsiveness, meaning having to sacrifice refresh rates for resolution are a thing of the past. You can now have both.
The best monitors with the most visual clarity, at least the ones that aren't reserved for royalty who can afford the best 5K and 8K monitors, will make your movies and video games pop off the screen, while the best monitors for photo editing and video editing don't just offer 4K resolutions, but they also have the widest possible color gamut coverage so you can feel confident that what you're editing on the screen is as close to the real thing as possible.
Ultra HD resolution may not be the current standard just yet, and the best 1440p monitors still continue to hit that sweet spot between high resolution and affordability. But, 4K is what you need in order to get the most out of the best gaming PCs or to maximize your creative workflows.
If you’re an esports gamer or you enjoy fast-paced, competitive games, you’ll also find one with a higher refresh rate like one of the best 4K 144Hz monitors. The best part is that 4K monitors, much like the best 4K TVs, are more affordable now, which means even budget-minded consumers can purchase a great quality one at a reasonable price.
We’ve tested quite a few 4K monitors now so we compiled our top UHD display picks of 2022 to help you research your options and find the best monitor for your needs and budget. 4K monitors come in a variety of shapes and prices, so we’ve made sure to include everything ranging from curved monitors to ultrawide displays. Looking to save even more with the best monitor deal available? We've also included our price comparison tool so it's easier for you to find the best price on the monitor you want.
With the second half of the year getting underway, many of the most exciting monitors we saw as previews earlier this year are starting to roll out in earnest, bringing with them the most exciting improvement for 4K monitors that pretty much everyone has been clamoring for: 144Hz refresh rates.
With these new, faster refresh rates, we no longer have to choose between speed and image resolution, and now our 4K visuals are buttery smooth. That is nowhere more apparent than with the newest entry on our list this month: the Gigabyte M32UC. A curved UHD display with 144Hz refresh (overclockable to 160Hz), 1ms pixel response, and more – and all for a fairly reasonable price – the Gigabyte M32UC was an easy addition to our top 4K monitors list this month, but there is more to come in August, for sure.
- John Loeffler, US Computing Editor
The best 4K monitors 2022 - Chosen by our experts
Dell’s 4K monitor is stunning inside and out. We love its woven arctic white design that lends to its unique elegant look, allowing it to stand out against the sea of black and gray monitors out there. Its display is impeccable as well. On top of that 4K resolution is a contrast ratio of 3,000:1, support for 1.07 billion colors, up to 4ms response time, and a 178/178 viewing angle that altogether produce stunning, crisp and vibrant visuals that are just as excellent for media consumption as they are for productivity.
Those who like to multitask will appreciate its extra features like Picture-in-Picture, Picture-by-Picture and USB 3.0 hub. The price of entry isn’t bad either, and considering what you’re getting, you’re getting great value. You can get something like the BenQ EW3270U at a similar price, you do miss out on the curved screen and Dell’s suite of multitasking features.
Read the full Dell 4K S3221QS Curved Monitor review
Pro-level displays are no longer the premium-priced, inaccessible purchase they started out to be. At least as far as the BenQ SW321C PhotoVue is concerned. This UHD display designed specifically for photo editing is not just the perfect combination of 4K resolution and 32-inch panel size. It’s also up a step or two in terms of both performance, usability and features.
It boasts an incredibly wide color gamut of 99% of the Adobe RGB color space and 95% of DCI-P3. That’s exactly what you need if you’re in the cinematography or photography sphere. And, that’s on top of all the other features like Delta E ≤ 2 color accuracy in Adobe RGB and sRGB as well as HDR10 and HLG support. We also found the SW321C has all the key elements for ensuring your prints look like the image you’re seeing on-screen. This is among the best 4K monitors for photo editing you’ll find, and the best part is you’re getting it for cheaper than all others.
Read the full BenQ SW321C PhotoVue review
Multiplatform gamers looking for a high-performance 32-inch gaming monitor for 4K @ 144Hz gaming will find a lot to appreciate here with the M32UC from Gigabyte.
The HDR400 support is alright, but nothing special, but with a respectable amount of ports and other useful features, along with snappy pixel response time and great color gamut coverage, this is a great looking monitor with satifying performance that recommend it on its own.
When you factor in the excellent price for this kind of curved display, you get one of the best gaming monitors by value on the market. Just don't expect much from the built-in speakers here, they barely get the job done.
Read the full Gigabyte M32UC review
With the Asus TUF Gaming VG289Q, you’re getting a lot of value for your money – especially considering the small price of entry. One of the most affordable 4K gaming monitors right now, this 28-inch display can swivel, pivot and tilt practically whichever way you need (within reason, naturally) to serve your purpose. In fact, this is among the ergonomic monitors we've ever tested.
Of course, it takes more than great ergonomics to be a great monitor. It also has deliciously thin bezels and a nifty cable management solution, as well as a few display settings to boost your viewing experience and Adaptive-Sync for a smoother gaming experience. Thanks to its rich vibrant colors, super sharp image quality and a design that is only subtly gaming-centric, this is among the best 4K monitors not only for gamers but for regular users who consume a lot of visual media as well.
Read the full Asus TUF Gaming VG289Q review
4K fans will find a lot to love in the LG Ultrafine 24MD4KL-B, especially if they’re photographers or videographers who need all that prime real estate and high resolution. It boasts a 98% DCI-P3 color gamut, 540 nits of typical brightness, and a height-and-tilt adjustable stand that makes it easy to find a comfortable workflow that will let you focus on your creative process. That’s besides its Thunderbolt 3 port that supports 4K Daisy Chain so you can have a setup with multiple monitors. Of course, its color accuracy is incredible as well.
From its 4K resolution to its plethora of ports and buttonless design, this 4K display is the perfect match for your Mac, MacBook or Ultrabook. And, despite those bizarrely thick bezels and mid-range price tag, this display might be hard to resist. We would recommend this to fledgling photo and video editors.
Read the full LG Ultrafine 24MD4KL review
If you’re on the market for one of the best 4K monitors without all the fancy bells and whistles, you’ll want the BenQ PD2700U. Still, it remains to be an impressive 27-inch 4K display. We found its IPS panel to be color accurate and of high quality. It boasts 100% Rec.709 and sRGB color spaces, which makes it great for photographers and graphic designers. It comes with different modes – Darkroom, CAD/CAM and Animation Mode – for different workloads. It has DualView and KVM Switch for the ultimate multitasking. And, it features BenQ’s AQCOLOR technology, which means every unit is individually pre-calibrated out of the box.
But, when you get the BenQ PD2700U, you are getting a lot of pixels, which is all you really need. It’s not the cheapest 4K monitor on this list, but it’s more than affordable for professional photographers and graphic designers.
Read the full BenQ PD2700U review
While 4K monitors are becoming more and more common, even without particularly powerful hardware, we still run into the kind of monitor that changes everything. The Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ is one of these. Asus has managed to craft a 4K gaming monitor with HDR, 1,000 nits of brightness and the kind of color support you see in professional displays – 97% DCI-P3 and 130% sRGB color coverage. And, it renders that all at 144Hz with G-Sync no less.
There are only a few monitors out there that pack as many features as this Asus screen, and that’s why it’s one of the best 4K monitors. Keep in mind that you’re going to have to pay quite a bit for something this advanced. However, we found this to be a phenomenal gaming monitor, and one worth paying that price for.
Read the full Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ review
The LG 32UN880 UltraFine Display Ergo has done something cool. Instead of going for the same homogeneous mount and stand that all monitors have, it has opted for a C-Clamp, One-Click Mount that allows it to extend, retract, go high, go low, tilt and pivot like no other. Plus, as it clamps down on the edge of the desk, it reduces the monitor’s footprint somewhat. That’s versatility turned up to 11. In fact, we can safely say that this is the most ergonomic monitor we’ve tested.
But wait, there’s more. It also boasts incredible color accuracy and beautiful picture quality. The best part is that you’re getting all that without burning a massive hole in your pocket. Admittedly, the 350 nits of brightness and the HDR10 compatibility are a tad disappointing. However, for us, this is still an easy recommendation for creatives as well as gamers.
Read the full LG 32UN880 UltraFine Display Ergo review
4K monitors aren't going to be as cheap as their TV counterparts, but some of them do try. Take a look at this offering from AOC whose 28-inch TN panel boasts some terrific extras that add even more value to its already affordable price. We found the AOC U2879VF to deliver a punchy performance with superb color accuracy.
There are some compromises here. It doesn’t have speakers or a VESA mount. But, it makes up for those with a few extras as well, including FreeSync technology and a Picture-in-Picture feature. All that makes it a great proposition for mainstream users who like to dabble in different things, from gaming to photo editing. Of course, it also makes for a great business monitor – and you can't beat that price if you have to buy a few for the office.
Read the full AOC U2879 VF review
If you have an absolute beast of a gaming computer – think two Nvidia RTX 2080 Tis in SLI – then you need a monitor that can keep up. There are quite a few of them, but we recommend taking a look at the Acer Predator X27 first. Not only is it a 27-inch 4K monitor with HDR, but it also has a refresh rate of 144Hz, which makes it ideal for esports and fast-paced games. If you have the horsepower, you can play games in 4K competitively without losing an edge to the person playing in 1080p.
Of course, as you may expect from a spec sheet like this, it’s very expensive. But, you’re also getting a whole lot more here. Gamers will appreciate the Nvidia G-Sync support and pre-set game modes with video game designers will appreciate its 99% Adobe RGB. It also comes with a badass stand that has good ergonomics. If you need the tech for your powerful gaming PC, you’ll get it in the Acer Predator X27.
Read the full Acer Predator X27 review
How to choose the best 4K monitor for you
Knowing what to look for in the best 4K monitor is important when choosing the right one for you. You need to know what panel size is ideal for your setup – bear in mind that the best monitor size for 4K is 32-inch – and the panel type (VA, IPS or TN) that's ideal for your needs, as well as the type of connectivity you require.
Of course, if you plan on using yours for creative workflows, you should consider one with excellent color accuracy, the right color spaces for your work, higher brightness levels and a higher contrast ratio. If you plan on using it for gaming, you'll want to take a closer look at the refresh rate – some 4K monitors now offer 120Hz and 144Hz refresh rates, response time, and G-Sync or FreeSync support.
Other important things to consider are the aspect ratio, viewing angles and HDR capabilities.
Finally, take a look at the price. Many 4K displays are still pretty expensive, but there are also several excellent options out there that are affordable for most people. If you can afford to splurge, however, the kitted-out models are more than worth their steep price.
How we test 4K monitors
We test a 4K monitor like we test any other monitor. We start by setting it up and using it as our main monitor for a few days. We utilize it for our day-to-day workloads, streaming movies and shows, and, especially if it's a gaming monitor, playing our favorite AAA games. This is how we gauge its real-world performance.
We do more than that, however. We also test very specific features like color reproduction, refresh rates and response times. We make sure that the visuals are smooth, clean, and artifact-free. And, we check just how good its marquee features – HDR, adaptive sync technology, RGB lighting – are.
We then note its design, build and other physical features like bezels, ports and viewing angles.
Finally, we gather all that information and compare it to its price to see if it’s a great value to consumers overall.
Is a 4K monitor worth it?
The best 4K monitors are going to give you incredible visuals that pair well with your gaming PC, PS5, Xbox Series X, and the most recent movies and shows filmed with UHD. If you watch a lot of media or play a lot of the newest games, you should definitely consider getting the best 4K monitor so you can play and watch everything as it’s meant to be seen in high-definition.
If you’re not a frequent gamer and are just looking to get a new monitor, it might still be a good idea to upgrade to a 4K monitor. It seems high-definition is where the standard resolution is headed, so it might be best to be ahead of the curve with a 4K display. Even if you only watch the occasional YouTube video when working, a 4K monitor will definitely make a difference.
Is 4K good for office work?
One of the biggest advantages of 4K resolution is having more screen real estate, which means you'll have a lot more space to work with. That makes it great for multitasking – the more space you have, the more tabs, windows and applications you can open and make immediately accessible.
4K monitors are not necessary for office work. However, you might find it extremely advantageous to use one, especially if you tend to juggle different tasks at the same time.
What is the best monitor size for 4K?
Many say that 4K is great on 24-, 27-, and 32-inch panels while others love it on 43-inch ones. Of course, it all depends on how far you are from your display and how big your desk is.
Just bear in mind that on a 24-inch panel, that 4K resolution will make everything smaller, which in turn makes text harder to read. Display scaling helps improve your experience, but not all apps can be scaled to the ideal size.
Meanwhile, having a massive 43-inch screen is overkill for most people, especially if you're using your computer mostly for productivity tasks. It also requires a lot of desk space.
This is why most people think that a 32-inch panel is the sweet spot for 4K resolution. It's the ideal size for enjoying that incredibly sharp and detailed Ultra HD goodness.