Choosing one of the best ultrawide monitors can be a good move if you find yourself struggling for space with your current monitor or if you use multiple displays to give you the desktop space you need. One of the best ultrawide monitors will often take up less space on your desk and leave fewer cables trailing around, and it can also look a lot better. But on top of that, it will often be an improvement for your workflow too, since it's usually easier to work across multiple windows and drag items around a single screen than two or three.
The best ultrawide monitors allow you to keep several apps, tools and panes visible side by side – a clear benefit for productivity since it can cut down on the frustration of having to look for the window you need. This is especially true for creatives such as designers who need to view different windows at once in different areas of the display. But ultrawide monitors can also make sense for anyone working across different apps or browser windows. And it certainly makes good sense to be able to have things like chats open in the corner of an ultrawide display rather than on a whole separate monitor.
You do still need the space to accommodate an ultrawide monitor of course (see our guides to the best desks and best L-shaped desks if you need to sort that out first, but always make sure you check the measurements carefully before buying an ultrawide screen). Scroll down to the bottom of the guide for more tips on what to look out for. If you're not convinced that ultrawide is the way to go, you might also want to browse our guides to the best 4K monitors or best curved monitors, and if you need a screen you can take with you on the move, see our selection of the best portable monitors.
The best ultrawide monitors available now
Out top choice as the best ultrawide monitor is the BenQ EX3501R, which strikes the sweet spot between great specs, including HDR support, and a reasonable price. This UWQHD monitor boasts a huge 2,500:1 contrast ratio and support for AMD FreeSync, which means it can serve as a gaming monitor too. The slight curve won't be to everyone's tastes, but it allows the screen to envelope you and reduces neck tension. The monitor also has a 6cm height adjustment in case you find it sits too low. USB-C offers excellent single-cable connectivity for data transfer and video delivery, though it isn't a Thunderbolt cable, unfortunately.
Out top choice as the best ultrawide monitor is the fine display has something special up its sleeve - HDR support, though you do pay for the privilege. There's a slight curve to this UWQHD resolution BenQ which won't be to all tastes, but you do feel nicely enveloped by what is a huge display that also boasts a 6cm height adjustment in case it sits too low.
The BenQ EX3501R also has a huge 2,500:1 contrast ratio plus support for AMD FreeSync – so while it's a terrific monitor for screen real estate, it also has a gaming side, too. A USB-C cable offers excellent single-cable connectivity with data transfer and video delivery, though it isn't a Thunderbolt cable, unfortunately.
4K has become the norm, but if you want more than that, the MSI Prestige PS341WU offers a massive 5K2K native resolution with a 21:9 ultrawide aspect ratio. It boasts a stunning 34-inch IPS screen and has a host of features that justify its rather hefty price tag, including a Nano IPS panel with DCI-P3 colour gamut, HDR support (although it's not the best) and great connectivity options with USB-C and 2 HDMI ports. It looks the part too, making this one of the best ultrawide monitors available.
There's ultrawide, and then there are monitors like the Dell U4919DW (and the Samsung CRG9 and Philips 499P9H below). Most of the screens here are 21:9, and a standard monitor is 16:9. This trio of stunning screens are each 32:9, effectively giving you the space of two 16:9 monitors side by side, but with less of a footprint on your desk.
The screen size is a whopping 49in – enormous for those who use a single standard monitor, but again a much tidier option for those who use two monitors side by side. Such a huge amount of space is great for speeding up your workflow since you can keep several windows and tool panes visible. Like many of the screens here, you can also connect two different computers to the screen and view them side by side, and the monitor also functions as a KVM switch, too, so you can use one keyboard and mouse across the two devices.
The U4919DW offers excellent image quality with an enormous IPS panel, which is superior to many ultrawide monitors that use VA panel technology. Offering 99 per cent sRGB coverage, 350-nit brightness and a 1000:1 contrast ratio, it has a 32:9 aspect ratio and a 5,120 x 1,440 resolution, an absolutely huge desktop area that can accommodate two full-screen applications side by side, although some might prefer the screen to have a bigger curve. It also has a fairly good 5ms (fast mode) response time, which makes it a decent ultrawide monitor for gaming too, so well worth the additional expenditure, although it doesn’t support adaptive-sync like some displays.
The Samsung CRG9 is the third 49in screen with a 32:9 aspect ratio in our list, Again, this is great if your desk can hold it. This one is cheaper, but significantly heavier than the Philips monitor above. Again offers multiple inputs and a picture-in-picture mode so you can connect two devices and use them together. This monitor also offers superb image quality, with 108 pixels per inch providing lots of screen space and vivid details without scaling, while the backlight's quantum dot enhanced film layer enhances the colour gamut to 95% DCI-P3 (equal to 125% sRGB) for more vibrant, lifelike colours.
The LG 34WN750 UltraWide QHD IPS Monitor is a solid ultrawide monitor that finds a balance between great features, brilliant pricing and fantastic quality. With HDMI and DisplayPort, it's ideal for creatives and it's compatible with HDR10. too. It's also nice and bright, while colours really punch. Tilt adjustment is welcome – the only negatives being that it doesn't include other connectivity options like USB-C and it also doesn't pivot, but that won't really matter if you're in the market for an ultrawide.
Samsung may have started the trend for 32:9 monitors, but this curved ultrawide gaming monitor from AOC is a very solid contender. The superb display panel offers vibrant, accurate colours and rich detail for gaming and desktop applications alike. It doesn't support HDR as well as some more expensive ultrawide monitors, but the AOC Agon AG493UCX has everything else you'd want for a fantastic ultrawide gaming experience.
It boasts a premium build with a firm height, tilt and swivel adjustable cast aluminium stand. As for ports, it carries two DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.0 plus USB-C, USB 3.2 upstream port and a 3.5mm headphone jack. With a smooth 120Hz refresh rate, this is beautiful curved screen. Just make sure you have space on your desk because this is wide and with that curve also fairly deep.
The Philips 499P9H is another massive 49in, 32:9 monitor. It's a great display for creative work, supporting 94 per cent of P3 and 91 per cent Adobe RGB. A brightness of 450 nits is good (although not spectacular), and the monitor can be adjusted for height, tilt and swivel for an ergonomic setup. t's a great connection hub too, with dual HDMI ports, DisplayPort, and USB-C to transfer power, video and data over a single connection. There are also three regular USB ports for accessories and a handy Gigabit Ethernet port. All in all, this is one monster display. No availability in the US at the time of writing.
What screen size should I choose for an ultrawide monitor?
The most common screen size of an ultrawide monitor is around 34 inches but there are plenty of options with larger screen sizes, going up to a whopping 49 inches wide. While 34in is plenty big enough for most uses, a larger screen allows you to effectively replace a dual monitor setup retaining your screen real estate while tidying up your workspace in the process – you'll just need a large enough desk to accommodate it.
How close should I sit to an ultrawide monitor?
If you sit too close to a large screen, it'll be uncomfortable to use, as you'll be turning your head to view certain parts of the screen. Often the edges will be slightly outside your peripheral vision when sitting at a normal working distance so that's something you need to bear in mind. To solve the effect of this, most ultrawide monitors are just slightly curved at the edges.
What resolution should I look for in an ultrawide monitor?
In terms of resolution, look for at least WQHD (Wide Quad High Definition) – which gives you a pixel count of 2560x1440 – and a wide aspect ratio of 21:9. Usually the bigger the screen, the higher the resolution.
There are some ultrawide monitors that offer 2560×1080 resolutions. While this still gives you more workspace compared to a regular 1080p widescreen monitor, we feel it's still a little too low to get the full benefit of the ultrawide aspect ratio. However, they are quite a bit more affordable than ultrawide monitors with higher resolutions, so if you're on a budget, these could be a good choice.
What else should I look out for in an ultrawide monitor?
Some of the best ultrawide monitors offer additional features such as picture-in-picture, so you can connect up a couple of sources (like two computers, or a computer and tablet) to the same display. A KVM (keyboard, video and mouse) switch will allow you to use one keyboard and mouse to control both devices.
Ultrawide monitors also vary based on panel technology and features. Ultrawide screens generally look just fine with vertical alignment (VA) panels, but the sharper, brighter and considerably more expensive in-plane switching (IPS) panel technology will offer better image quality. While 21:9 is the most common ultrawide aspect ratio, there are even wider monitors with 32:9 aspect ratios. These offer even more workspace, but they are also more expensive, and they take up more room.