The best monitor mounts (VESA), stands & arms: buying guide

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Each year that goes by brings us more and better screens and monitors for our computers, but while improvements in the panels and energy consumption are welcome, we should also look at the ergonomics. Keep reading to know why you should look into buying a monitor mount, monitor arm or monitor stand (single or multiple).

If you sit in front of a computer for a long enough period of time, chances are that you will develop some sort of physical problems on some parts of your body, due to bad posture.

Improving the flexibility of your workstation (or battlestation, if you are an avid gamer) helps with the health of the final user. More productivity ensues and less physical and mental strain.

What is a VESA monitor mount? What does VESA stand for?

VESA stands for Video Electronics Standards Association. This body is dedicated to the establishment of computer display standards, and as such, they developed what has come to be known as the Flat Display Mounting Interface Standard (FDMI) that eventually came to be known VESA Mounting Interface Standard.

For any modern flat monitor or television, if you look at its back, you might be able to see four (4) holes drilled in it. Each of these holes within distance of one another, vertically and horizontally.

The VESA standard defines the distance in millimeters between the four mounting holes on the back of your television/monitor (horizontally x vertically). It is an standard used for most modern manufacturers of television and monitors, as well as wall mounting systems.

Depending on the size and aspect ration of your display, some common VESA sizes are 200×200, 400×400 and 600 x 400.

For educative purposes, we will show an example with one of the most in-demand computer monitors available, the Dell U2715H.

Dell U2715H from the back, before highlighting the VESA monitor mount holes.
This is the back of the Dell U2715H monitor. Notice something?

At the back of the monitor, just below the Dell logo, there are four (4) holes to which the mount is to be screwed .

Dell U2715H from the back, highlighting the VESA monitor mount holes.
VESA mounting interface standard, as can be seen on the Dell U2715H monitor.

The distance between the mounting holes adheres to the VESA standard, providing strong support for the screen to be mounted onto an arm (usually then attached to the desktop or table) or onto a wall (in the case of televisions).

Why “VESA-mounting” is the biggest dealbreaker when creating a workspace

Monitor mounts help decluttering your desk and free up space.

Lifting up your monitors allows for a cleaner desk and better cable management.

If you don’t have the desk space to spare, mounting your monitors will give you a boost to your desktop and bring you peace of mind.

By raising the monitor up off your desktop, the mounting arm quickly cuts down on unnecessary clutter and increases valuable surface space.

You can rotate and reposition the monitor with ease, only requiring a light touch up, down, left or right. You can also push the monitor away or bring it closer to you. 

A cleaner workspace and setup makes you more productive

It’s a proven fact that the less useless stuff you have lying around, and the more tidy your personal space is, the more productive and proficient you will become at whatever the task at hand is.

Subconsciously, we associate clean surroundings with a clearer and more peaceful state of mind, allowing us to sharpen our focus and become better at what we put our minds to.

Improved ergonomics: better posture and less physical strain.

According to an 1988 study from the results of the Anthropometric Survey of the U.S. Army Personnel, the optimal distances for working in front of a computer screen should be about 50-75cm of distance from screen to eyeball.

The screen should be at eye-level (or above shoulder level at the bare minimum) and the keyboard or input devices should sit at waist level or above.

You can adjusting the mounting arm as needed to ensure comfortable viewing of your monitor. This will help reduce shoulder, neck, and eye strain.

Images below show the recommended distances for a 180cm or 5’11” individual (source: computingcomfort.org)

Recommended distances and heights for a 180cm / 5'11" individual (metric units)
Recommended distances and heights for a 180cm / 5’11” individual (metric units)
Recommended distances and heights for a 180cm / 5'11" individual (imperial units)
Recommended distances and heights for a 180cm / 5’11” individual (imperial units)

Types of monitor mounts

  • Single mount: a mount with only one arm that can be attached to a monitor.
Single arm monitor mount
Single arm monitor mount
  • Dual mount: a mount with two arms. This is particularly useful for those in need of a second monitor (usually developers and programmers that own a PC instead of a laptop
Dual Monitor Arm
Dual Monitor Arm
Dual Monitor Arm in Use with Two Monitors
Dual Monitor Arm in Use with Two Monitors
  • Multiple mount (more than 2 monitors): this many screens are usually seen with traders and people who devote themselves to the financial markets, thus needing to keep track of many markets/variables/prices at the same time, and a single screen doesn’t cut it
Multiple Monitor Arm
Multiple Monitor Arm
Multiple Monitor Arm Desk
Multiple Monitor Arm Desk

Installation of a monitor mount

Although each monitor arm has its own characteristics and installation instructions, they are usually similar at least in the first big steps. Follow the steps below for a proper understanding on the installation of a monitor mount:

1. Fixing the arm to the back of the monitor: this step should be taken first, as it will ensure that we don’t risk breaking the screen later on if we tried to attach it once the arm is fixed to the table. Always attach the arm first to the back of the monitor by screwing the end point of the arm to the back of the monitor. See picture below.

Monitor Arm Back Piece
Monitor Arm Back Piece

2. Once the monitor has been attached, lift the arm up and tighten the arm around the cylindrical pole using the pole clamp (you might have to use a screwdriver for this).

Monitor Arm Clamp Types
Monitor Arm Clamp Types

3. Finally, tighten the base to the table by using the clamp (see picture).

Monitor Arm Base Clamp

The best VESA monitor mounts (single monitor arm)

Monitor mounts, arms and stands
AmazonBasics Premium Single Monitor Stand

Perfect support and great build. For screens up to 27″.

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Monitor mounts, arms and stands
VIVO Single Monitor Articulating Desk Mount Stand

Includes cable management tools and has a great price. For screens up to 27″.

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Monitor mounts, arms and stands
VIVO Single Monitor Desk Mount Extra Tall

This is the extra-tall version, going up to 31″ tall due to the enlarged pole. This monitor arm supports screens up to 32″.

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Monitor mounts, arms and stands
VIVO Black Ultra Wide Screen TV

Use this if you plan to mount monitors greater than 27″. This one supports up to 42″ or 55″ (in the larger version).

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Product NameVeredictLink to Product
AmazonBasics Premium Single Monitor StandPerfect support and great build. For screens up to 27". Buy here
VIVO Single Monitor Articulating Desk Mount Stand with C-clamp and Grommet Mounting OptionsIncludes cable management tools and has a great price. For screens up to 27". Buy here
VIVO Black Ultra Wide Screen TV and Monitor Desk Mount Adjustable Height and Tilt StandUse this if you plan to mount monitors greater than 27". This one supports up to 42" or 55" (in the larger version). Buy here
VIVO Single Monitor Desk Mount Extra Tall Fully Adjustable StandThis is the extra-tall version, going up to 31" tall due to the enlarged pole. This monitor arm supports screens up to 32". Buy here

The best VESA monitor mounts (dual monitor arm)

Monitor mounts, arms and stands
AmazonBasics Premium Dual Monitor Stand

The AmazonBasics dual monitor arm is our best choice for dual monitors. Sturdy and flexible, also cheaper than most.

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Monitor mounts, arms and stands
VIVO Dual Monitor Desk Mount Stand

Includes cable management tools and has a great price. For screens up to 27″.

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Monitor mounts, arms and stands
VIVO Dual Monitor Free-standing Desk Stand

Same as the one above but with a different type of base (no need to fix it to the desk).

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Monitor mounts, arms and stands
VIVO Dual Monitor Desk Mount Stand Heavy Duty Stacked

The vertically stacked version of the dual monitor mount. Supports screens up to 32″.

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Product NameVeredictLink to Product
AmazonBasics Premium Dual Monitor Stand - Lift Engine Arm Mount, AluminumThe AmazonBasics dual monitor arm is our best choice for dual monitors. Sturdy and flexible, also cheaper than most. Buy here
VIVO Dual Monitor Desk Mount Stand with C-clamp and Bolt-through Grommet OptionsIncludes cable management tools and has a great price. For screens up to 27". Buy here
VIVO Dual Monitor Free-standing Desk Stand with Optional Bolt-through Grommet MountSame as the one above but with a different type of base (no need to fix it to the desk). Buy here
VIVO Dual Monitor Desk Mount Stand Heavy Duty StackedThe vertically stacked version of the dual monitor mount. Supports screens up to 32". Buy here

The best VESA monitor mounts (multiple monitor arm)

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