Best Curved Monitors

Updated July 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
183 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best curved monitors

Last Updated July 2019

If you’re a serious PC gamer, you know how much immersion matters: Every game is more fun when the sights and sounds take over. And when it comes to monitors, there’s no better way to dive into a gaming world than with a curved monitor.

Curved monitors are just like standard widescreen monitors, but each side bends in slightly, effectively creating a curve that mirrors the curvature of your eyes. Curved monitors are designed to take advantage of your peripheral vision so that you can see more of the screen at once, and so that games feel more immersive.

If you’re ready to take the plunge and pick up a curved monitor, you’ve got a lot of decisions to make — so read on for our best advice on picking the ideal curved monitor.

Not all curved monitors have the same amount of curve. As you’re comparing different monitors, pay close attention to which models have too much curve for you and which have too little.

Curved vs. flat-screen monitors

Beyond their basic looks, curved monitors differ in some key ways from traditional flat-screen monitors. Here’s what you need to know.

Curved monitors are designed to match the shape of the human eye. If you’re sitting in the right spot, the curved sides can be useful for peripheral vision – a big bonus for serious gamers who need a better field of view in their favorite first-person shooters. Because curved monitors are more expensive to manufacture, they are definitely pricier than their flat-screen equivalents, but these often support high resolutions and can reduce glare in situations where lighting is problematic.

Flat-screen monitors are the gold standard of computer screens. Most are energy efficient and will last practically forever. Flat-screen monitors are more affordable than curved, but in theory, they require your eyes to move a lot more. Many flat-screen monitors only support up to 1920 x 1080 resolution (also known as 1080p), which is great for streaming TV but not sharp enough for serious work. High-resolution flat-screen monitors are some of the best options available.

Simple design, maximum features

LG’s 34” curved monitor is one of the most affordable models in its class, but the real story is the included features. Along with 1440p resolution, it boasts picture-in-picture functionality, as well as a USB hub that supports quick charging. If you’re looking for an affordable curved monitor, but you’re worried about having to cut corners, you can rest easy. This LG delivers a luxury experience at an incredibly modest price point.

Widescreen vs. ultra-widescreen monitors

To make things even more complicated, there are two different kinds of curved monitors available: widescreen and ultra-widescreen. Here are the key differences to know.

Widescreen monitors are mostly built with a 16 x 9 aspect ratio, also known as widescreen. Widescreen format is the accepted standard for broadcast television and streaming media. Widescreen models are common and the most affordable.

Ultra-widescreen monitors are built with a 21 x 9 aspect ratio, sometimes referred to as CinemaScope, and have more screen real estate than traditional widescreen monitors. Ultra-widescreen monitors are perfect for situations in which you need a wider landscape view. If you’re a gamer, or you work with multiple documents at once, the extra room is incredibly useful. Unfortunately, luxury doesn’t come cheap. Ultra-widescreen monitors are typically 30% to 40% more expensive than traditional monitors of a similar size.

DID YOU KNOW?

If you’re in a situation where there’s a lot of light, a curved monitor might reduce the glare. Also, where you sit and how the monitor is positioned are critical to glare reduction, so test different options before you settle on one.

Curved monitor features to consider

Confused by all of the technical jargon around curved monitors? Here are the specifications that matter most.

Screen size: The size of the monitor will have the biggest impact on your experience with it. Curved monitors range in size from 22 inches to 40 inches, measured diagonally. The size of the monitor’s screen also plays a major role in the price, so if you need a giant curved screen, be prepared to pay more.

Resolution: A monitor’s resolution is how many pixels it can display and is usually represented by a set of dimensions. For example, a standard high-definition monitor usually has a resolution of 1920 x 1080. Higher resolutions like 3840 x 2160 (also known as 4K) produce sharper, clearer images, so it pays to buy the monitor with the highest resolution you can afford.

Refresh rate: A monitor’s refresh rate is how often the screen itself displays a new image. This translates into how smoothly the computer handles input from your mouse and keyboard, as well as graphical changes on-screen. For most daily tasks, a refresh rate of 60Hz is fine, but if you’re an experienced gamer, you’ll want a monitor that supports a rate closer to 240Hz.

Connectivity: Some monitors include a suite of ports for connecting other devices. For example, some monitors include three- or four-port USB hubs to help you connect peripherals like a thumb drive, mouse, or keyboard. Others have built-in speakers that also include headphone jacks, so you can plug directly in to enjoy sound through headphones. Having extra ports around is always helpful, so be sure to make them part of your planned setup if possible.

EXPERT TIP

If you need even more screen real estate than an ultra-widescreen monitor can provide, consider a dual-monitor setup. Two curved monitors together create a giant landscape that’s perfect for working with large, high-resolution files or PC games designed to use every pixel possible.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

If you want to use a curved monitor for anything besides streaming, get one that supports a resolution of at least 2560 x 1440 (or 1440p). It’s clear enough to read and large enough to enable you to open multiple files next to each other without any window overlap.


Staff  | BestReviews

Curved monitor prices

You can expect to pay between $180 and $1,000 for a curved monitor. Not sure how much to spend? Here’s what you get for your money.

Inexpensive: Between $180 and $349, you’ll find low-resolution curved monitors that are great for streaming video but not much else. Curved monitors in this price range are usually small and sometimes include luxury features like higher frame rates for gaming, but if you’re serious about getting all of the benefit you can from a curved monitor, you’ll probably want to spend a little more.

Mid-range: Between $350 and $699 is where you’ll find the best values: curved monitors that come in hefty sizes, high resolutions, and, in some cases, ultra-widescreen form factors. Whether you’re buying a new monitor for your home office or as the centerpiece to your high-end gaming rig, you’ll find the right one in this range.

Expensive: Between $700 and $1,000, you’ll encounter curved monitors with giant screens. Screen size is really the only thing that can drive a price this high, but it can be worth it in some applications. Most people have a hard time justifying a 40-inch computer monitor, but if you’re a digital artist, serious gamer, or devoted movie buff, paying top dollar might be worth it.

Budget gaming looks better than ever

Sceptre’s 32” curved gaming monitor is a behemoth screen that’s surprisingly affordable. While the 1080p resolution can be a tough sell for some gamers, the above-average refresh rate and 5 ms response times make sure that every game is silky smooth. If you’re looking for a good starter model, you’ve found it.

Tips

  • Never use chemical spray cleaners to clean your curved monitor. All monitor screens are delicate and susceptible to damage if they come into contact with too much liquid. What’s worse, many spray cleaners use intense chemicals like ammonia, which can permanently damage a screen, Start with a dry microfiber cloth to remove dust and smudges. For further cleaning, spray a small amount of water mixed with vinegar to the microfiber cloth, and gently wipe down the screen. Never spray any liquids directly on a monitor, and avoid harsh cleaning chemicals at all costs!

  • Adjust the height of your monitor to avoid a sore back. For ideal ergonomics, your monitor should be situated so that your eyes line up with the center of the screen without you having to tilt your neck upward or downward. A monitor at the wrong height can cause back pain in the short term and posture problems over the long term. Take the time to set up your monitor at the proper height.

  • Spend some time adjusting the color settings when you first set up your monitor. All monitors have built-in settings that allow you to change things like brightness, tint, or color saturation. While most monitors look pretty good out of the box, fine-tuning the settings will deliver a much better picture – one that’s adjusted for the light conditions of your room. As soon as your monitor is in place, take the time to change the settings to your liking.
The benefits of curved monitors – like reduced glare and improved field of view – are best experienced on larger, more immersive screens. You’ll want to buy the biggest curved monitor you can afford – or the biggest one your setup can tolerate.

FAQ

Q. Can I use a curved monitor as a TV?

A. Yes, but you’ll need a solution for sound. Most curved monitors have HDMI inputs, which are the standard for connecting cable boxes, Blu-ray players, streaming boxes, and just about any other content source you can think of. However, most monitors don’t include built-in speakers – and built-in monitor speakers don’t typically sound amazing anyway. If you’re planning on using a curved monitor for watching TV and movies, make a plan for the audio, whether that’s by connecting a soundbar or a quality set of computer speakers.

Q. Do curved monitors require any special cables or software to use?

A. No. Like most monitors, curved monitors are designed to be “plug and play,” so you can start using one as soon as you’ve plugged it into your computer and an AC outlet.

Q. Can I mount a curved monitor to a wall or to a monitor stand?

A. Yes. Most curved monitors are VESA compatible, which means they adhere to the same mounting standards that traditional models use. When you’re comparing different curved monitors, pay attention to which VESA size each one uses, and if you’re planning on mounting yours, buy a VESA mount that supports that monitor’s VESA dimensions.

The team that worked on this review
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