Ryan Fiorenzi
February 17, 2022
Ryan Fiorenzi is one of the founders of Start Standing. After suffering from constant back pain for 8 years, he began researching, consulting with experts, and experimenting with different therapies which ended up getting rid of his pain. Ryan is a graduate of the University of Michigan, a published author, teaches at his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school in Michigan, and has been interviewed by several podcasts for his experience getting rid of his back pain.

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What are Monitor Arms?

Monitors are great ergonomic office accessories that give you an improved range of adjustment in positioning your screen for optimal comfort. They typically attach to the back of your desk and are commonly available for 1, 2, 3 monitors - and even sometimes for four monitors. Monitor arms make a great pairing with a standing desk where you are more likely to adjust your monitor position between sitting and standing.

Why get Monitor Arms for your desk?

Single or dual desktop monitor arms are one of the best ergonomic upgrades you can make to your desk. The primary benefits are directed towards posture and productivity. The four main functions include:

    1. Bringing your monitors eye-level whether you're sitting, standing, or leaning, reducing the strain on your upper back, neck, and eyes.
    2. Opening up space on your desktop.
    3. Saving you time by keeping multiple browser windows or items open at the same time.
    4. Keeping track of several items at once such as stock market charts, security cams, or games.

Our Process

As you will see, we arrived at our top choices through extensive testing and reviewing. All of the monitor arms that made it into our top choices have the following characteristics:

  • Sturdy (the monitors don't wobble as you type).
  • Move multi-directionally (up/down, forward/back, you can tilt the screen, and you can rotate the screens from vertical to horizontal).
  • Most of the brands offer single as well as dual monitor arms.
  • VESA compliant (the standard mounting surface for monitors, TVs, and other displays). It's important to make sure your monitors are VESA compliant before you make your purchase. Apple monitors aren't VESA compliant; you need to purchase an adapter (available on Amazon).

Best Monitor Arms

We understand that you may be looking for something particular with your monitor arm setup. While some may be concerned with looks, others may be more budget-conscious. Each shopper is different, so we've decided to choose monitor arms based on the following categories:

"Best Overall Value"

  • Great value for the price
  • Arms are made of aluminum with a matte black finish
  • Each arm will hold up to 20 lbs
  • Designed to be used with any desk up to 2.6" thick
  • Works with monitors 27" or smaller
  • One-year warranty
  • The wire management system is not great

"Best Budget Monitor Arm"

  • Half the price of the Amazon Basics and Varidesk models
  • Works with monitors 27" or smaller
  • Designed to be used with any desk up to 4.72" thick
  • Holds just over half the weight (up to 11 lbs) of Varidesk and Amazon Basics (which hold up to 20 lbs)
  • Maximum adjustable height of 15.7 inches (Varidesk and Amazon Basics are over 23)

"Best Dual Monitor Arm"

  • An innovative and high-end design
  • Holds up to 19.8 lbs on each arm
  • Great customer service
  • Great wire management hides cables
  • Designed to be used with any desk up to 2" thick
  • 30-day guarantee
  • The clamp to the desk and base arms are made of aluminum, the arms that connect to the monitors are part plastic

"Best Ergonomics and Range of Adjustment"

  • Excellent range of motion and great for tall people
  • Very similar in design to Amazon Basics
  • 10-year warranty
  • Can adjust up to 25" above the desktop (Varidesk and Amazon raise the monitor 23")
  • Works with monitors 24" or smaller
  • More expensive than Amazon Basics

#5 - Loctek Dual Stacking

Loctek Dual Stacking Arm - Best Monitor Arms

"Best For Stacking Monitors"

  • Same multidirectional movement options that you have with the other top models, but you can stack these directly on top of each other (the other models cannot do this)
  • Supports monitors up to 20 lbs.
  • Works with monitors 27" or smaller
  • Easy assembly
  • The most expensive of our top choices

Compare Monitor Arms

Use the table below to compare our top choices for monitor arms. The max arm height, outward extension, and arm capacity are the biggest things to consider when making a decision.

Dimension definitions and tips:

  • Max Arm Height (inches) - This is the max height that the arm will rise. This can be particularly important to you if you have a tall upper body, a desk that is lower than average, or a non-adjustable height office chair. If these apply to you, you should seek a monitor arm that has a high max arm height.
  • Max Outward Extension (inches) - This is the distance the monitor can extend forward from its base. If you have a very deep desk such as 40" or more, you will likely want an arm that extends forward far enough to compensate for the desk depth.
  • Max Arm Capacity (pounds) - This is the maximum the arm is designed to support with stability. Monitors' arms are sprung with an intended weight in mind, so consider the weight of your monitors when making a decision.
Arm Max
Amazon Basics 13" 25" 25 lbs $99
Fleximounts Arm 15.75" 20" 11 lbs $39
Varidesk Dual 12" 29" 19.8 lbs $195
Ergotron LX 13" 25" 25 lbs $200
Loctek Stacking 23.5" 17.7" 19.8 lbs $229

Use the following resources when setting up your monitor arms to ensure good ergonomics and to avoid back or neck pain mistakes:

  • Proper Workplace Ergonomics - when setting up your monitor arms, refer to this guide on how to properly position your body, your keyboard, and your monitor to minimize stress on your back, neck, and joints.
  • Preventing Back Pain - If you're looking for monitor arms, there is a chance you're suffering from back or neck pain. Here are 17 things you can do to prevent it.
  • Improving Your Posture - Monitor arms can help you improve or maintain a good posture. This resource has 31 ways you can improve it.
  • Understanding Back Pain and Sitting - Back pain is one of the most common complaints among Americans, especially those of us who spend considerable time at a desk. Learn how sitting can cause back pain and what you can do to correct it.

Monitor Arm Frequently Asked Questions

Here are our answers to the most frequently asked questions about monitor arms.

What is the best monitor arm?

Choose the best monitor arm by considering the maximum arm height, maximum outward extension, and maximum arm capacity. You'll want one that's sturdy, VESA compliant, and moves multi-directionally.

Should I get one monitor arm or two?

Using two monitors because it can double (or more) your screen space. It's also convenient for people who stand at their desk, as they can use the taller monitor when standing.

What is the best monitor arm for standing and sitting?

It's best that you get a monitor arm that moves unidirectionally. That way, you can move the monitor when you stand, or if you have two monitors, you can leave one higher and one lower.