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The best monitors for reducing eye-strain: for work, movies and gaming

We are constantly staring at screens all day. When you take a break from working on your pc, probably the first thing you do is grab your phone. For this reason, a lot of people suffer from eye strain, causing you sore eyes, dryness, eyebags, tiredness and headaches. This may greatly impact your productivity and long-term health. That’s why having screens that are purposely made to reduce eye strain while working, gaming or just browsing is important.

A good eye-friendly monitor could do you a lot of good and you’ll definitely feel it. More and more manufacturers are making screens with technology such as flicker-free and low blue light to protect your eyes from eye strain. And now, a number of them are able to do this whilst retaining color accuracy and contrast so it doesn’t affect your viewing experience, whether you are a graphic designer or just watching your favorite movie. After doing some research trying to find the best monitors in the market for you, here’s what I’ve found.

Note: Manufacturers tend to name their monitors like newly discovered planets. So kindly bear with the confusing mess of letters and numerals. Why can’t they name them like smartphones? Anyway, onto the article.

Best 24-inch monitor to reduce eye strain

BenQ GW2480T 24-inch

The best monitor for reducing eye-strain in the 24-inch category is the BenQ 24 Inch IPS monitor. This monitor ticks every box in what you need for a monitor that protects your eyes. BenQ is truly at the forefront of Eye-care technology and was one of the first brands to specifically design their monitors with eye-care as a priority.

The most innovative feature that puts BenQ firmly ahead of the game is the adaptive brightness. The monitor features a light sensor that detects the light in your room and adjusts the brightness of the screen accordingly. This works similarly to the auto-brightness on your smartphone.

Eye strain often occurs when you use your monitor at a brightness level that is much higher than the ambient light in your room. The vice-versa is also true, that is, when your screen brightness is really low but you are in a brightly lit room. Often when I’m really concentrating on my work, I lose track of time and it gets dark in my room but my screen brightness is high, and you’ve probably had a similar experience. BenQ takes care of this with this clever feature that you’d think every monitor should have by now. If you want to turn this feature off, there is the option to customize your screen brightness. But that’s not the only great feature it has.

The BenQ 24 Inch features low blue light technology that reduces harsh screen light that would otherwise cause eye strain and also affect your sleep patterns. The screen is made with anti-flicker technology. Flickering causes headaches as your eyes try to constantly adjust to the dipping and spiking brightness. With this monitor, you won’t encounter this problem.

An important eye-care feature that many brands overlook to cut on product costs is an adjustable stand. A good monitor should allow you to adjust the tilt, height, swivel and pivot. BenQ takes care of this with their ergonomic stand the BenQ GW2480T comes with. It’s flexible and easy to adjust to get your most comfortable viewing angle. In addition to reducing eye-strain and color distortion, an adjustable stand reduces the risk of back and neck pain from long hours of using your monitor.

Most monitors surprisingly don’t come with an ergonomic stand, and you’d have to get a mount to get these features. This monitor comes with an ergonomic stand but also has mounting screws in the back if you would like to get an arm mount for your setup. Trust me, you will search far and wide to find a screen with these options in the same class as the BenQ GW2480T.

The BenQ GW2480T is a Full HD 1080P IPS panel monitor. This means you get great color accuracy, which is important if you are using the monitor for photo-editing, video editing, animation, making renders, etc. The viewing angle is also great at 178°. The refresh rate is 60Hz and the Grey to Grey response time is 5ms, which isn’t necessarily the best you can get but it’s generally the baseline for IPS panels and it’s sufficient for normal video editing and gaming. It’s a sensitive topic in the gaming world on whether the differences in response time in milliseconds between monitors is even humanly noticeable. I don’t think so, as long as it’s not a medieval monitor, you’ll be fine. But if you care about that, 8ms is likely sufficient for your work and play, considering most monitors in this class are at 14ms or more.

Another great addition to the list of specs is the built-in speaker system. Another rarity in monitors these days. It’s not a subwoofer or anything so don’t expect better than average sound. No one buys monitors for their speakers anymore, but it could save you if you don’t have a sound system for your set up yet.

The overall design of the monitor is simple and understated. The display is matte, so you won’t have any reflection problems, but make sure you confirm if it’s matte or glossy on the product page if you mind. The monitor is well-built, nothing shaky or flimsy about it. The bezel is slim and elegant. The back of the monitor bulges out a bit. It still maintains an elegance and sturdiness to it, but the profile is certainly not as thin as can be, compared to other monitors like the ViewSonic VX2476-SMHD. However, the Viewsonic does not have the built-in speakers or adjustable mount that allows it to have a sleeker frame.

The BenQ GW2480T is a steal for all the premium features it packs in its category. It’s my best pick among the 24 Inch monitors I’ve seen and best overall for the eye-care and ergonomic features it boasts. For a larger screen in the BenQ range with similar features, you can check out the 27 Inch BenQ with Height adjustment and the 32 Inch 4K monitors. Compare the BenQ GW2480T monitor’s specs to the ViewSonic VX2476-SMHD and other 24 inch monitors in the table below.

BenQ GW2480T

ViewSonic VX2457-MHD

ViewSonic VX2476-SMHD

ViewSonic VP2468

Asus VA24DQLB

Auto-brightness

Yes

No

No

No

No

Low blue light

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Anti-flicker

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Ergonomics

Tilt, swivel, height, pivot

Tilt only

Tilt, swivel, height, pivot

Tilt, swivel, height, pivot

Tilt, swivel, height, pivot

Response time (ms)

8

2

14

14

5

Refresh rate (Hz)

60

75

75

60

75

Panel type

IPS

TN

IPS

IPS

IPS

Resolution

1080p

1080p

1080p

1080p

1080p

Speakers

Yes

No

Yes

No

No

Mountable

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Amazon link

Runner Up: Asus VA24DQLB

The Asus VA24DQLB is my second choice for the best 24 inch monitor for eye-care. Well, 23.8 Inches to be exact. Unlike the BenQ GW2480T,  The Asus does not have auto-brightness nor does it have in-built speakers. But these aren’t entirely must-haves, considering most monitors in the industry don’t have them.

What the Asus does have is the anti-flicker, low blue light, and ergonomic adjustments. Yes, it has tilt, pivot, swivel, and height adjustments. The screen is a full HD 1080p IPS panel with sharp and accurate color display. It edges out the BenQ on speed, boasting a 5ms response time and 75Hz refresh rate, giving it the slight gaming advantage. However if you use your monitor mainly for work and editing, there’s barely a difference between the two.

The viewing angle on paper is on par with the BenQ at 178°, however in practice it falls a bit short. You will notice some brightness and color changes if you view it in an angled position.

The overall design of the monitor is quite similar to the BenQ right down to the stand. It is mountable with VESA screw in holes at the back. Overall, it’s a great monitor that’s easy on the eyes and the reading mode is one of the best out there.

Best 27-inch monitor to reduce eye strain

ASUS PB278Q

The best 27 Inch monitor to prevent eye-strain is the ASUS PB278Q. It comes packed with all the eye-care and ergonomic features you need in a good monitor; low-blue light filter, anti-flicker technology, adjustable stand with tilt, swivel, height and pivot. The display is a “Wide Quad High Definition (WQHD)” with a 2560px by 1440px  resolution. So 2K. It has a refresh rate of 75Hz. What IPS panels lack in refresh rate, they make up for in color quality and accuracy. The Asus has incredible color reproduction, boasting of 16.7million color palette. That makes it really well suited for graphic design, video-editing, photography, animation and watching your favourite Nolan movie as it’s meant to be seen.

It comes with 2 built-in 3-watt speakers that sound much better than those on most monitors but they aren’t going to compete with your subwoofer, or even your tv. I appreciate companies that still fit speakers onto their monitors, but don’t buy a monitor for the sound quality. Hooking your PC up to some good external speakers will always be the better option.

The preset modes help you quickly adjust your monitor for the task at hand. These modes include a picture mode, for viewing photos, theatre mode for your movies and tv shows, sRGB Mode, Game mode, Dark Room mode (night), and Standard mode. You can still adjust the color temperature brightness etc, with little to no fuss.

Competing monitors in the 27-inch category are the BenQ GW2765HT, BenQ EX2780Q, ASUS Designo MZ27AQ. The Asus PB278Q edges out the BenQ GW2765HT on refresh rate, while the rest of the bunch don’t have adjustable stands as standard. If you plan on mounting your monitor and the factory stand’s adjustable features aren’t a concern, then you can check out the rest, except the Asus Designo MZ27AQ (it’s not VESA mountable).

ASUS PB278Q

ViewSonic VX2757-MHD

BenQ GW2765HT

BenQ EX2780Q

ASUS Designo MZ27AQ

Auto-brightness

No

No

No

Yes

No

Low blue light

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Anti-flicker

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Ergonomics

Tilt, swivel, height, pivot

Tilt only

Tilt, swivel, height, pivot

None

Tilt only

Response time (ms)

5

2

4

5

5

Refresh rate (Hz)

75

75

60

144

76

Panel type

IPS

TN

IPS

IPS

IPS

Resolution

1440p

1080p

1440p

1440p

1080p

Speakers

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Mountable

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Amazon link

Best 28-inch monitor to reduce eye strain

Asus VP28UQG

If a 27 inch doesn’t do it for you, and you need an extra inch, the Asus VP28UQG is the best 28 inch to help you reduce eye-strain when working, browsing, gaming or watching videos. It features flicker-free backlighting and blue light filters to minimize harsh light that would otherwise cause eye fatigue.

The monitor has a slightly thick bezel and an elliptical base stand. The stand however only has tilt adjustment, with no height, pivot or swivel options. The tilt is the only reason I chose it over the  Samsung U28E590D which otherwise has pretty much the same features. If you’d like to mount your monitor so you get the position and angle adjustments, ASUS have thought of this and included standard vesa the mount holes on the back.

The display is a TN panel with 4K 3840 by 2160p resolution. The refresh rate is 60Hz, response time is a fast 1ms. These specs make it a great gaming monitor for it’s price. The viewing angle, 170° isn’t as good as the IPS panels that get upto 178°. However, that shouldn’t be too big of a problem for many people.

The Samsung on the other hand has better color display. Samsung claims it displays 1 Billion colors, giving you more detail and contrast. However the ASUS color quality isn’t bad at all either. It’s a close call for me.

Both the Asus and Samsung have the fastest response time in their class, at 1ms, which helps eliminate flicker, making your work and gaming sessions smooth and reduces the strain on your eyes. Read more detailed specs in their respective product pages linked in the comparison table below.

Asus VP28UQG

Samsung U28E590D

Auto-brightness

No

No

Low blue light

Yes

Yes

Anti-flicker

Yes

Yes

Ergonomics

Tilt only

None

Response time (ms)

1

1

Refresh rate (Hz)

60

60

Panel type

TN

TN

Resolution

2160p
2160p

Speakers

No

No

Mountable

Yes

Yes

Amazon link

Best 32-inch monitor to reduce eye strain

ViewSonic VX3276-2K-MHD

My choice for the best 32 Inch for reducing eye-strain is the ViewSonic VX3276-2K-MHD. This monitor, with a router password of a name, features great eye-care technology including blue light filters and anti-flicker technology. This ViewSonic has an incredibly striking design, with a thin bezel, as close to frameless as it probably gets in this category, and a thin profile too. The back where the stand holds it up bulges out, but then it radically slims down about halfway up the profile to the top. The triangular stand is just as elegant with a smooth chrome-like finish.

The display is a 2K 2560 by 1440px resolution although there are HD and 4K 32-inch options. It’s an IPS panel with a 60Hz refresh rate and 8ms response time. The colors are brilliant and accurate and the contrast is great, for both designing, reading and gaming. The screen has a glossy finish, which gives you even better color but reflections might be a problem. It features unique presets to quickly change to different color settings according to what you need. The presets are Game mode, Movie mode, Web mode, Text mode, and Mono.

The stand only comes with a tilt adjustment, but it does not feature height, pivot and swivel adjustments. If you’d like to mount your monitor, the monitor is vesa mountable.

It has 2×2-watt built-in speakers, that are…ok. As I have said in this article, don’t buy a monitor for the speakers but they are always a good feature if you don’t have an external sound system.

ViewSonic VX3276-2K-MHD

LG 32MA70HY-P

Auto-brightness

No

No

Low blue light

Yes

Yes

Anti-flicker

Yes

Yes

Ergonomics

Tilt only

Tilt only

Response time (ms)

8

5

Refresh rate (Hz)

60

60

Panel type

IPS

IPS

Resolution

1080p
1080p

Speakers

Yes

No

Mountable

Yes

Yes

Amazon link

Runner up: LG 32MA70HY-P

The LG 32MA70HY-P is a worthy opponent of the ViewSonic with similar specs from low-blue light, anti-flicker and mountability. The LG however only comes in a full HD 1080p resolution. Unlike the Viewsonic, it doesn’t have built-in speakers. On the other hand, the LG beats the ViewSonic on response rate, boasting a 5ms response compared to the ViewSonic’s 8ms. See more detailed specs and buying options in the Amazon links below.

Best curved monitor to reduce eye strain

Sceptre Curved 27”

If you want a curved, affordable monitor with low-blue light filters, the Sceptre Curved 27” is the best pick. It features “Blue Light Shift” that allows you to work, watch movies and game for long periods with reduced risk of eye-strain.

The display is a 27 inch full HD 1080p with a 75Hz refresh rate. The Ips panel is fantastic with rich accurate colors and deep blacks that rival higher-end gaming monitors. The screen curves beautifully at 1800R, which matches the human field of vision, immersing you into a virtual almost seamless world. The thin bezel gives it an edgeless feel and the profile isn’t too bulky. The stand is tilt-adjustable, but doesn’t have height, pivot and swivel adjustments. It allows mounting with VESA 75mm x 75mm mounting screws.

The Spectre is a good budget monitor built for immersive gaming and will handle your regular work and video watching with ease and comfort. Find out the price and more on Amazon below.

Best portable monitor to reduce eye strain

Asus ZenScreen MB16AC

The Asus ZenScreen MB16AC is the best portable monitor with eye care technology in it’s class. The 15.6 Inch IPS display features low blue light filters and anti-flicker technology allowing you to work comfortably with minimized eye-strain. It connects to your laptop or other gadgets with a type-C USB cable. Work seamlessly on different apps on your laptop by extending to a double screen setup. You’ll find it much easier to multitask this way, rather than splitting your small laptop screen and squinting, straining your eyes more.

The display is a full HD 1080p screen with 60Hz refresh rate. The color display is good but the glossy screen is reflective like an Ipad. However, the screen is responsive and great overall.

 A good portable monitor has to be light-weight and the Asus ZenScreen is a class-leading 1.7 lbs or 0.7 kg. The sleek design is also thin but sturdy measuring at just 0.32 Inches or 8mm.

The monitor comes with a smart cover and a smart pen hole. It also has auto-rotation to easily switch from horizontal to landscape modes. The necessary buttons are to the bottom left and right of the screen making them easily accessible without having to stretch out your thumbs.

It’s a stylish modern monitor that’s comfortable for both home, school and office use without looking out of place. Find out the price and more on the Amazon link below.

Things to consider when buying a monitor for eye-strain

Flicker-free display

Flicker is the visible change in brightness between each frame on a screen. Screen displays work by cycling many frames to mimic motion. Between one frame and the next, the screens brightness may drop and if that drop lasts long enough, the eye detects it. This constant drop and rise in brightness strains your eyes as they battle to adjust. This results in eye-strain which may cause eye pain, headaches and long-term eye problems.

upset young black guy covering face with hand while working remotely on netbook
Photo by Alex Green on Pexels.com

Find out more about how flickering and anti-flicker technology in screens work on wiki. When looking for a monitor, make sure it features ‘anti-flicker” or “flicker-free” technology.

Brightness

The brightness of your display should be adjustable to the brightness of the room you are in to reduce eye-strain. Monitors with a wide range of adjustable brightness are best. To get the match to your rooms brightness, check out the simple paper test from.

Some monitors like the BenQ GW2480T and the BenQ EX2780Q have sensors that detect your ambient light and adjust the brightness of the screen accordingly so that you don’t have to constantly tinker with the brightness settings. It’s a wonder that the majority of the monitors in the market don’t have this feature.

Low blue light

Blue light is simply the blue wavelength of light. During the day it’s no problem since the sun produces it as much as other wavelengths. But at night, the human eye evolved to detect low blue light levels as a sign to sleep, in what is known as the circadian rhythm. Unfortunately, according to havard health low blue light produced by electronic screens and energy-saving lighting, affects our sleeping patterns.

woman sitting on chair while leaning on laptop
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Beyond affecting your sleep pattern, some studies suggest a link between exposure to low blue light at night to diabetes and heart disease. Don’t panic, there’s a solution. While you can download apps that mimic blue light filters, getting a monitor that’s built with low blue light technology and presets is a better option.

Ergonomic adjustable height and angle

It’s recommended that your monitor should be placed at least an arm’s length away so that the top of the screen is at or just below eye level. This could be a problem if you have a low desk, non-adjustable chair and your monitor doesn’t have ergonomic adjustments. A good monitor should have a tilt and height adjustment in it’s stand to help level your display to your point of view.

A swivel option will allow you to change angles which is helpful if you’re working with a multi-screen set-up and a pivot or rotation is a great addition if you want your screen in portrait view for coding or reading long text. If a monitor doesn’t have this, it should at least have VESA mounting holes at the back to allow you to mount the screen to a wall or adjustable arm as you see fit. Monitors like the BenQ GW2480T, ViewSonic VP2468, Asus VA24DQLB have these adjustable stands and mounting options.

Conclusion

A monitor that’s good for reducing eye-strain will have flicker-free screens, low blue light technology and preferably, an adjustable stand with tilt, pivot, swivel and hight adjustments. The BenQ GW2480T 24 inch is my pick for the best in it’s class and the best overall. It has all the necessary eye-care and ergonomic features plus good specs to work, watch and game in comfort.

The best 27 Inch is the ASUS PB278Q. The best 28 inch monitor for eye care is the Asus VP28UQG and the best 32 inch is the ViewSonic VX3276-2K-MHD. My pick for curved category was the Sceptre Curved 27” and the best portable was the Asus ZenScreen MB16AC.

My rankings are based on the specs I could find on the monitors and the conclusions drawn are my personal opinion. I would advise you to check out the monitors and read the product pages carefully to confirm the details and make sure you get the one that’s right for you. Thanks for the read.

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