Monitor Arms: A Buying Guide

Many people neglect their monitor positioning when it is one of the most important components in creating an ergonomic workspace that is comfortable and beneficial to your health. You can fix this by using monitor arms or mounts.

There are more options for monitor mounts than you may think, so it helps to familiarize yourself with the types of features they all offer. Not all monitor mounts are equal, and you want to ensure you get the best one for you the first time.

What Are Monitor Arms?

Monitor arms are a separate piece of equipment that can hold up your computer monitor. The stands that monitors come with are often weak, low-quality, and non-adjustable. Adjusting your monitor position is crucial in optimizing your ergonomic working setup.

Workers constantly strain to look up or down at their monitor, hurting their neck, shoulders, and eyes. An excellent remedy for this common problem is to get adjustable monitor arms so you can move your monitor to the best spot.

What To Consider When Shopping

To give you an idea of what aspects are important when choosing monitor arms, we’ll discuss the main factors to consider and account for when shopping.

Weight Capacity

Most monitors can hold any size of a single screen. But to be sure, you should know the weight of your monitor or monitors, so you can double-check that the mount will safely and securely hold up your computer. Play it safe with this aspect. If your screen weighs 15 pounds and the mount is made for no more than 15 pounds, we advise you not to risk it.

Monitor Capacity

If you use multiple monitors to work or game, you’ll need a specific multi-monitor setup. Different monitor arms will come in multi-monitor options, but make sure you pay attention to the number of monitors it can hold.


Not the same as the weight capacity, but this refers to the physical size of the arms. If you have a smaller desk, some of the mounts may be too large for your space. You may want something compact because you like having free space on your desk. Whatever your preference is, consider this when choosing a mount.

VESA Compatible

Your monitor must be VESA compatible to use a separate monitor arm setup. VESA compatible means that the back of your monitor has holes where you can install a mount. Almost all modern monitors are VESA compatible, but you’ll need to double-check before you start shopping.

Types of Monitor Arms

There are a few different types of monitor arms to be aware of. Some are better than others, but they all have individual benefits ideal for certain people and office setups.


A freestanding monitor mount is a sturdy base that you can put right on your desk. These are the easiest ones to set up because they don’t require any screws or attachments, but can stand on your desktop freely, as the name implies.

These mounts can cost as little as $30, making them the perfect monitor mount for people on a budget. While these may seem the same as the mount your monitor came with, these are way better. They have more adjustability and options for customization, so you can set your

monitor up to be as ergonomic as possible.

Side Clamp

Side clamp monitor mounts are incredible space-savers. They attach to the side of your desk, so your monitor won’t take up any space on your desktop. Side clamp mounts also offer maximum adjustability, as you can theoretically move the monitor around your desk to different angles.

Some people don’t love the aesthetics of the side clamp mounts, but that is up to you. They tend to jut out from the desks, which some don’t like visually.


A grommet monitor mount goes through your desk. A grommet through-the-desk mount means you need to have a hole already in your desk or drill and cut out your own hole. So if you don’t own your work desk, this one likely isn’t an option.

The grommet mount is semi-permanent, but the hole is not, so you need to have some level of commitment to this setup. Many people enjoy these mounts because they are heavy-duty and offer maximum height adjustability.

Wall Mount

Wall mounts are one of the most popular types of monitor arms. They require the most installation, as you need to fix the mount to your wall by drilling holes and screwing in the mount. But these are the sleekest and most attractive styles, and very popular in home offices.

However, they are on the more expensive side, sometimes costing hundreds of dollars for a high-quality unit. But if you plan to keep your current desk setup for the foreseeable future, they’re a great investment.


businesswoman working on computer with male colleague standing by
Source: Shutterstock

Multi-monitor setups are obviously for people that use more than one monitor. These arms are super sturdy and can hold more weight than most monitor stands. Plus, they have extra arms to hold more monitors. Some can hold up to five monitors, while others only work for two.

Multi-monitor mounts can be pretty expensive but well worth it, as multi-monitor setups that use their original stands are often not ergonomic and can be quite uncomfortable to use.


Now that you’re familiar with monitor arms, you can stop using your old basic one and upgrade to something ergonomic and fancy. No matter which type of monitor you decide to use, it will make a massive difference in your comfort and productivity when working.


What is the most important ergonomic equipment?

Your chair is the most important aspect of your ergonomic office setup. Make sure your chair is comfortable and offers plenty of support.

Where should my monitor be?

Your monitor should be positioned so that the top third of the screen is at your eye line.

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