Positioning your monitor higher up can make for a more comfortable working environment, along with saving space on your desk. Plus, being able to properly and fully adjust your monitor’s position can make a world of difference to your ongoing health. Here are the main things to consider when choosing a monitor stand.
If you buy a a monitor it always comes with a stand of some kind, but you’re frequently stuck with a single position and single height point. If you’re very lucky, you might be able to mildly tilt your monitor to reduce neck strain or onscreen glare, but that’s often it when it comes to adjustments.
Now, if you do have a monitor with a fully adjustable arm for height and tilt considerations, then all you need to do is read up your product manual and adjust it on your desk when you’re working from home.
If your monitor doesn’t allow for that, you’ll need to get yourself a stand or a monitor arm to elevate and properly place your screen at an optimal viewing angle. Here’s what you should consider when buying:
- Monitor stand or monitor arm? The choice largely rests on how and where you’re actually placing your monitor, with most stands acting as simple risers – meaning that they’re easy to install or move around but lack flexibility – while monitor arms typically work off desk or wall clamps, which means more installation work but a wider range of position possibilities once they’re in place.
- Clamp or VESA? If you opt for a monitor arm, you’re generally better off with a VESA-compliant arm, but that presumes that your monitor also has VESA mounting ports. If it doesn’t you may need to look into a clamp style arrangement, or simply use a riser-style stand instead.
- Height adjustment, angle adjustment or both? Most people think of a monitor stand as being just a matter of raising your monitor upwards, but it’s also possible to adjust tilt with many monitor arms. This can make for even more comfortable viewing, especially if your working from home arrangement involves areas that get sun glare throughout the day.
- How many monitors do you need? If you’re used to working in a multi-monitor environment, you may need to look for multiple mounts, or a monitor stand that can clamp onto more than one screen. You’re going to lose a lot of the benefit of a monitor stand arrangement if you have to look down on your second or third monitors.
What about setup? While there’s a degree of personalisation depending on your monitor size, desk arrangement and needs, there’s some simple rules to follow to minimise the ergonomic impact of staring at a monitor all day:
- Chair first: Make sure you’re adjusting your viewing position relative to the normal position of your work chair. If it’s a fixed chair that’s set, but if you have a gas lift capable model you may want to adjust it to your normal working position. There’s no point adjusting your monitor view if it’s not relative to the way you typically sit to work.
- Work to your eye line: This isn’t a makeup tip, but a good rule of thumb for raising and placing your primary monitor. If your eyeline is sitting towards the top third of the screen, then you’re typically in the zone for best ergonomics. If you look over the top of your monitor it’s probably too low, but if you’re looking at the middle from your normal eyeline position, it’s too high.
- Primary monitor first: Adjust your secondary monitors to the same viewpoint as your primary monitors. While you may have to turn slightly to view them – preferably by turning your chair rather than twisting your neck – there’s no point in having one high monitor and then a much lower one if you use them all the time.
Monitor Stand and Arm options
North Bayou F160 Dual Monitor Full Motion Desk Mount $109.99 If your home working environment involves a multi-monitor setups, it makes sense to have the maximum adjustment possibilities to raise both monitors at once. The North Bayou F160 uses a gas spring mount for its two arms which can take up to 6.5kgs per arm, and it’s workable for displays between 17″ and 27″ in size.
FITUEYES Clear Computer Monitor Riser $33.99 If you’re just after a little raise in your monitor profile but don’t want a stand that makes a large visual impression because your work from home space is also your living space, the FITUEYES riser could be a good match. It’s a tempered glass riser-style mount with adjustable legs, so you’re not fixed to a single position. The claim is that it can take up to 25kg on the glass, which is more than enough for any monitor, or even most all-in-one computer styles.
Kensington 52785 Monitor Stand $27.30 Kensington’s simple monitor stand uses snap-in risers to enable optimal viewing angles for monitors up to 21 inches in size, although you might be able to enable a larger display if it’s got a smaller base in play.
FITUEYES DT204201WB 2 Tiers Monitor Stand $36.99 You don’t get adjustability with the FITUEYES DT204201WB, so it’s essentially just adding 14cm of height to your monitor experience. However, where other risers tend to leave blank space underneath, this one includes a distinct shelf, which means you can make the most of your desk space while using it, especially if you need somewhere to store paperwork or other gadgets and cables.
WELL WENG Bamboo Dual Monitor Riser MR1-TP $49.99 Making the most of your desk space is also a trick that the Well Weng MR1-TP should handle well, with a central shelf that places dual monitors on either side and enough space underneath the primary riser for a small laptop or desktop unit. For those of an environmental bent, the bamboo build could be an attractive point too.
Editor’s note: Descriptions and features are as taken from manufacturer/seller claims on Amazon.