Are you stuck debating with yourself on the subject of monitor arm vs monitor stand? Of course you are, that’s why you’re here.
When it comes to setting up your home office, workspace, or gaming station, choosing the right monitor mount is an important decision. There are two main types of mounts to consider: monitor arms and monitor stands.
Both of them offer ergonomic benefits, but when it comes to choosing a monitor arm vs a monitor stand, which one is better for your needs?
In this article, we’ll discuss each and help you decide which one is best for you.
Monitor Arm VS Monitor Stand: TL;DR
Should You Get a Monitor Arm?
Before we answer that question, what is a monitor arm?
A monitor arm is a device that attaches to a desk or wall, typically using a clamp, grommet mount, or wall plate, that allows you to adjust the position of your computer’s display.
Monitor arms usually consist of a series of articulating joints that give you a wide array of adjustments.
But is it the best option for you?
What are the benefits of monitor arms?
The biggest reason you would want to use a monitor arm is that it provides a wider range of adjustability than a traditional monitor stand.
With a monitor arm, you can easily adjust the height, angle, and position of your monitor to find your optimal viewing angle. When you have your monitor at the right angle and height it can help reduce eye strain and neck pain while working long hours.
Monitor arms are also a go-to solution for people with multiple displays. If your desk is rather small, but you need two or more monitors, you can mount them to a dual-arm mount. This way, your monitors can both fit comfortably on your desk and won’t be squeezed awkwardly onto the small surface.
If the reason you’re looking to get an arm is that you’re planning on buying a secondary display, check out our guide on how to buy a secondary monitor.
Another major benefit of monitor arms is that they can help save desk space. By attaching the monitor to an arm that can be adjusted, it can be articulated in a way that maximizes desk space, rather than taking it up.
This is especially true if you mount it to a wall behind or beside your desk. Additionally, monitor arms almost always come with cable management options, allowing you to hide all those cables and keep things looking neat.
With a monitor arm, you have a wide range of adjustability that will help you find the viewing angle best for you. That makes it perfect for those of you who share PCs or find yourself constantly turning or adjusting your monitor.
What are the disadvantages of monitor arms?
Sadly, monitor arms won’t fit on just any monitor. All monitor arms require a VESA mount to be present on the back of the monitor itself.
Furthermore, you should be wary of mounting large heavy monitors to an arm. Make sure you check the weight rating of your monitor arm before mounting to avoid damaging the arm, or worse, your monitor.
If you’re unfamiliar with what a VESA mount is, here is a good explanation from How-to Geek on the subject.
Because monitor arms are more complex and need to be extra robust, they tend to cost more than a normal monitor stand. But there are multiple budget-friendly options available.
Just make sure your monitor has the required VESA mount and that it’s within the weight rating of your monitor arm.
- Most ergonomic
- Saves desk space
- Better cable management
- More expensive
- More assembly is required
- May not be suitable for heavy monitors
Should You Get a Monitor Stand?
Now let’s discuss monitor stands. A monitor stand is like the foot of your display, holding it all up. It is typically made of metal or plastic and basically replaces the stand that comes stock on your monitor.
Only now, depending on the model, you can raise or lower the display for optimal viewing. Though, some are non-adjustable.
Should you get one?
What are the benefits of monitor stands?
One of the benefits of using a monitor stand is that it helps elevate the monitor to a comfortable viewing height, which will help reduce eye strain and neck pain from long sessions in front of the screen.
With the monitor positioned at the correct height, it can also improve your posture by allowing you to sit up straight instead of hunching over to see the screen better.
In addition to the ergonomic benefits, monitor stands can also help you free up more desk space. By lifting the monitor off the desk surface, a stand can help clear up valuable room on your desk and make it feel less cluttered.
If more space is a concern to you, then make sure you get a stand with a small mountable base so as to not take up a lot of room.
Some monitor stands even offer additional features such as built-in cable management and USB ports. These features can help keep your cables out of sight and your desk nice and tidy.
Usually, attaching a new monitor stand is as simple as unscrewing a few screws to remove the old stand and attaching the new one. Typically, your monitor will need a VESA mount that’s built-in to the back of the monitor.
So make sure to double-check before clicking buy whether or not your monitor is compatible. Sometimes, the manufacturer sells compatible stands for their monitors without VESA mounts, so don’t forget to check there if you need to.
Due to the relatively simple nature of monitor stands, they usually cost less than monitor arms. Which makes sense as they offer a much more limited range of motion.
If you’re the type of person who sits directly in front of their computer and doesn’t have a need for a swivel or pivot function, then a monitor stand might be the better choice. Why spend your money on features you won’t ever use?
What are the disadvantages of monitor stands?
When it comes to the disadvantages of monitor stands, there aren’t many to note, except a big one – Ergonomics.
As we mentioned before, monitor stands commonly only offer height adjustments, which can be limiting to certain users, such as photo editors and other creatives.
So before you make the final decision, make sure to ask yourself if you really need the extra ergonomics offered by monitor arms.
If not, you’re not going to run into any trouble with a standard monitor stand.
- Little to no assembly of the stand itself
- Limited ergonomics
Final Verdict – Which is Better?
The answer to that question is not as straightforward as you might expect. There are some things you need to consider:
Do you feel as if you’re constantly looking down at the screen when you’re at your PC? Does your desk feel too small due to the large stand holding up your monitor? Do you have room for an articulating arm? What is your budget?
When it comes down to which one is better, it can be very subjective as each person has their own individual needs. But at the end of the day, we would have to give the title to the monitor arm.
The monitor arm can do everything a stand can do and more. Hell, it does what the monitor stand does but better.
Arms typically have a much wider range of vertical adjustment. And just to rub it in the monitor stand’s face, the arm can tilt, swivel, and pivot.
The only real downside of monitor arms is that they can be a bit expensive for some and can prove cumbersome or bulky in tight areas.
So if you’re dealing with tight spaces around your desk and not just ON the desk, then maybe a compact stand might work better for you. But in the end, the monitor arm receives our recommendation.
We hope that we were able to help you figure out whether a monitor arm or stand is right for you. If you found our article helpful, please take a moment and share it on social media.
And if you have any questions or feedback, feel free to leave a comment down below, we love hearing from you!