Hi I’m David, I’m a professional ergonomist, and I obsess over monitors.
A good ergnomic monitor needs 3 important functions. It should be able to raise and lower, tilt, match the room lighting, and display resolution natively.
There are a lot of monitors and manufacturer that will raise, lower, tilt, and match room lighting, but there are only two monitors that will display resolution natively on the Mac.
For most people, the best ergonomic monitor for the Mac is the Apple 5k studio display with the tilt and height adjustable stand.
In this article, I talk about the best ergonomic monitors for the mac and what features can make your monitor setup more ergonomically friendly.
The best ergonomic monitor for the Mac
The best ergonomic monitor for most people is the apple studio display. I recommend going with the propriety apple mount with the tilt and adjustable height. This is the single best option if you want a monitor that won’t shake when you bump the desk.
Apple has seemed to have really improved upon this and it’s one of the few display manufacturers that have successfully made a monitor that doesn’t shake.
If cost is an issue, go for the model with the vesa mount and get an adjustable monitor stand like this one. You may still have issues with monitor shake, but you’ll save on the cost.
A much more affordable option would be to go with the 5K LG ultrafine display. This monitor works natively for the Mac via the included thunderbolt cable. This is the monitor I currently use, and I love it.
It does shake when my desk is bumped, but it’s not something I really notice. The only main reason to go for the apple studio display over LG is the USB-C ports on the back. You’ll get much faster speeds with the apple studio display.
Apple monitor alternatives with good ergonomics
Below are a list of apple monitor alternatives with great ergonomics and color accuracy that could also be used with the Mac. Note: the Pro Display XDR is listed below as a comparison. All other displays do not support Mac OS resolution natively unless viewed at 2560×1440.
|Monitor||Size||Resolution||Refresh Rate||Color Accuracy||Price|
|Apple Pro Display XDR||32-inch||6K (6016×3384 pixels)||60Hz||100% sRGB and near-perfect coverage of DCI-P3||$4999|
|BenQ SW271C||27-inch||4K (3840×2160 pixels)||60Hz||Excellent color accuracy, supports 10-bit color and 99% Adobe RGB coverage||$1599.99|
|Dell U2723QE||27-inch||4K (3840×2160 pixels)||60Hz||100% sRGB and near-perfect coverage of DCI-P3||$668.36|
|BenQ PD3420Q||34-inch||WQHD (3440×1440 pixels)||60Hz||100% sRGB and 98% DCI-P3 coverage||$799.99|
|Gigabyte M27Q||27-inch||QHD (2560×1440 pixels)||170Hz||Excellent color accuracy, supports 92% Adobe RGB and 140% sRGB coverage||$299.99|
|Acer Predator XB273U||27-inch||QHD (2560×1440 pixels)||240Hz||Good color accuracy, supports 95% DCI-P3 coverage||$249.99|
Why you should consider the tilt and adjustable height stand
The apple studio display with tilt and adjustable height is one of the best monitors stands you can buy for the price. This stand can be raised and lowered with a light press of the finger. It’s also the only monitor stand that won’t shake the monitor while typing on the keyboard or when you bump the desk.
It’s a masterpiece in it’s design and that’s why apple charged $1000 for these stands with the pro display XDR.
What’s the difference between the studio display height adjustable stand and the Pro display XDR pro mount? The only difference I’ve noticed is you can rotate the XDR pro mount 90 degrees. That’s hardly a reason to buy it, and it won’t make your display more ergonomic.
What makes a good ergonomic monitor
A good ergonomic monitor can be raised and lowered, has screen brightness that can match the ambient light in the room, has a screen resolution that renders sharp text, and proper viewing angles. Here are a few things to consider.
- Adjustable height
The ability to adjust the height of the monitor is important because it allows you to position the screen to match eye level to avoid neck strain. The top bar of the screen should always be at eye level, and that’s why you should avoid monitor risers.
- Tilt and swivel
The ability to tilt and swivel the monitor allows you to adjust the angle of the screen to your line of sight. This can be helpful for people with bifocals who may need the monitor slightly lower than eye level.
- Screen size and resolution
A larger screen with a higher resolution can reduce eye strain and provide a more comfortable viewing experience. Most Monitors with a screen resolution of 2560 x 1440 will support the Mac natively, but this will require downgrading the display quality for most monitors. That’s why it’s best to go with the sharpest screen resolution for the Mac that appears natively on the apple studio display.
Adjusting the brightness and contrast of the monitor to match the lighting conditions in the room can help reduce eye strain and prevent headaches. Apple has this built into all of their displays including the studio display and LG ultrafine displays.
- Blue light filter
Many monitors now include a blue light filter that reduces the amount of blue light emitted by the screen, which can help improve sleep quality. This is also a feature that is offered natively on the studio display and LG ultrafine.
- Anti-glare coating
An anti-glare coating can help reduce glare and reflections on the screen, making it easier to see and reducing eye strain. Apple sells an anti-glare glass display and call it their nano-texture display. It’s great for reducing glare, but it’s actually less sharp than their standard display.
Monitor size vs distance
A lot of people get hung up on monitor size, and that’s for good reason. Monitor size is important and after using a 5k 27″ iMac for 4 years and switching to a 4k 24″ iMac, I realized that size and distance both matter.
Ideally the monitor distance from the user should be one arm length away or about 18-20″. Having the monitor closer really makes a difference, but sometimes it’s not practical with mice, keyboards, harddrives, and other office equipment. I’ve just found that my eyes just feel better when the monitor is larger, and there’s a reason apple sells a 27” display.
27 inches is the sweet spot. It’s not too big or small. This is really the best monitor size for most people using a single monitor setup. When using dual displays, 27 inches is a little too large, but it will still work in most situations. Read more about how to make this setup work best in my other other here.
The 24 inch iMac vs the 27 inches for ergonomics
After using the 24 inch iMac for over a year, I have to say 27 inches is better for viewing at native resolution. The 24 inch iMac really is a great screen size, but I after switching to 27 inches, I really prefer the size of everything and it’s have the crisp detail of the larger text and images makes a huge difference.
By selecting a good ergonomic monitor you can improve your overall comfort, productivity, reduce eye strain, and prevent long-term health issues caused by poor posture and extended periods of computer use.
The Studio display or 5k LG ultrafine seem to be the best ergonomic displays for the Mac and either would make for an great investment for years to come.
I hope you enjoyed this article. Subscribe below to learn more ergonomic tips and be sure to visit my youtube channel.
David is the lead editor of OT Focus. He has been practicing as an Occupational Therapist since 2013. He specializes in acute care, hand therapy, and ergonomics.