Best monitor stands 2021: Gain space and better viewing angles with these tried and tested risers

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(Pocket-lint) - The right stand for your monitor can help provide better viewing angles and free up some much-needed space on your workstation.

And since many monitors and all-in-one computers don't offer the ergonomic control required to keep the screen at optimal eye level, we've tested and compiled some of our favourite risers.

Each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, but, generally speaking, these stands are very handy additions. Considering the relatively small outlay, they can offer plenty - better posture, improved storage and a neater look.

There are many different styles to explore when trying to achieve these things, but the Pocket-lint team has focused its energy on dedicated stands in this guide - not the folding equivalents for laptops or arm-extending mounting clamps.

And though we'd be the first to admit this isn't a particularly difficult area to wrap your head around, there are still a few key considerations when looking into monitor stands. It's why we've also included some advice on how to choose a monitor stand below our picks.

Before you reach that section, though, have a gander at the monitor stands we recommend.


Our Top Pick is currently the Twelve South Curve Riser. However, we also recommend the Amazon Basics Adjustable Monitor Stand, Huanuo Monitor Stand, Amazon Basics Wood Monitor Stand and Amada Bamboo Monitor Stand


Our Top Pick

Twelve South

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Twelve South Curve Riser

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For

  • Effortlessly functional

Against

  • Very expensive

Twelve South has a quite justified reputation for producing incredibly well-made accessories for your favourite tech, and this sturdy but light stand is another such classic.

It's made from high-grade aluminium and can take far more weight than you might think, all while elevating your display by about 10cm. That's not a huge margin, but it makes a telling difference while you work. 

The Curve Riser is pretty expensive, which is our only real gripe, but you're paying for real quality and a minimalist look that's perfect for any desk. 

Monitor stands we also recommend

Not every pick we test can be our top recommendation, but that doesn't mean it's right for everybody. Below, you'll find some monitor stands we also think you should consider.

Amazon

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Amazon Basics Adjustable Monitor Stand

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For

  • Supremely affordable

Against

  • Not the best looking

We know that most people probably aren't expecting to pay too much for a monitor riser, so this Amazon Basics option is a great way to sidestep the cost. 

Plus, it has the benefit of being adjustable, with three different heights you can use it at, which is great for workstations multiple people might be using. It frees up a section in the middle for some basic storage, too, which is a nice bonus.

Obviously, it does feel a lot cheaper than many options we tested, with its plastic construction not quite as impressive. 

Huanuo

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Huanuo Monitor Stand

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For

  • Simple function and style

Against

  • Not the most polished

If you've got an all-in-one that gets pretty hot while you use it, or just want something that allows for more airflow for another reason, this stand from Huanuo could work nicely.

It's also adjustable, although the mechanism is slightly flimsy, and has a range of perforations to make sure that air gets through easily.

It's also pretty subtle, although nowhere near as nice to look at as Twelve South's. Think of this one as a nice midway point between budget and elite options.

Amada

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Amada Bamboo Monitor Stand

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For

  • Beautiful design and storage

Against

  • Quality not entirely premium

Perhaps you want a stand that blends a little more naturally into a wooden desk setup, or one that just isn't quite so office-looking. 

This bamboo stand from Amada could be perfect, with its nice light-grained wood finish and plenty of space underneath it for storage.

Slats at the top, meanwhile, make for good organization aids and can even stand your phone up. 

Amazon

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Amazon Basics Wood Monitor Stand

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For

  • Sleek and simple design

Against

  • Pricey for what you get

Amazon has its own wooden stand option, with this simple bench-like construction. It's actually really nice to look at, with a walnut countertop and those two metal loops standing it all up.

This is very sturdy, despite being a little smaller than we anticipated, with the gap underneath a great place to hide our controllers and the loops on either side providing a good opportunity to run cables through.

It's a little pricier than more basic stands, but, still, it's half the price of similar-looking picks while still providing a decent amount of class. 

Other products we considered

The Pocket-lint editorial team spends hours testing and researching hundreds of products before recommending our best picks for you. We consider a range of factors when it comes to putting together our best guides including physically testing the products ourselves, consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. Many of the devices we consider don’t make our final best guides.

These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top picks:

How to choose a monitor stand

As we've already alluded to, this isn't the most complex buying decision you'll ever have to make. However, there are still a few quick things to keep in mind before stumping up the cash for a monitor stand. Let's cover them.

Do I need a monitor stand or something else?

If you're in need of a monitor stand, there's actually a couple of other avenues you could take. If you're working from a laptop, or, at least, you're looking for something to rest a laptop on, then you'd be better served with a pop-up, folding-style stand. 

Also, if you're short on front-to-back space and your desk has the capacity to support a clamp on the rear, then you might be better off with an extendable arm that you can mount your monitor onto. 

For anything else, we'd recommend going with a monitor stand. As already mentioned, it offers a very good mix of viewing angles and storage while improving your overall desk aesthetic.

How much do I need to spend on a monitor stand?

For the most part, it's not entirely necessary to spend big on a monitor stand. If you just want something that can add some rise to your monitor, then, quite frankly, a stack of books will do that. 

However, you're likely here because you want something that's a bit more dedicated to the job. And, from our own experience, these stands roughly perform the same job with a higher price often correlating to better overall build quality.

How much that's worth to you, of course, is purely personal.

What features should I prioritise?

There really isn't much to the concept of a monitor stand, as discussed, but there are definitely things to prioritise.

Build quality is certainly the factor that varies the most, so those who require something a little more fancy should definitely keep this in mind - and perhaps plump for the wood or more premium metal options. 

Think about storage, too. It's possible you have drawers underneath your desk, but it's also very handy to have stationary, sticky notes and other bits and bobs to hand. 

Perhaps most importantly, consider the height you actually want your monitor to sit at. We'd recommend mimicking this with a stack of books or something similar, because the perfect viewing angle is different for everyone. And this is particularly true if you sit in a seat that can't be adjusted.

More about this story

Every monitor stand in this list has been tested in real-life situations, just as you would use it in your day-to-day life.

The Pocket-lint team has tested each from our home office and gaming desks, as this gave us the ability to test things like the stand's stability and optimal height, as well as develop an idea for how good the design actually functions. 

From here, we were able to make a judgement based on the stand's build quality, ease of use and overall look, while also factoring in the asking price.

In all our buyer's guides, including this one on monitor stands, we aren’t interested in providing unnecessary details - we just want to give you a simple review that gives you an idea of what it's going to be like to use.

Don’t for a second think that the products aren't tested fully because the reviews are concise, either. We’ve been covering tech since 2003, and, in many cases, have not only reviewed the product in question, but the previous generations, too - right back to the first model on the market.

As with all our guides, there are also plenty of models we've considered that didn't make the cut in each of our buyer's guides.

Writing by Conor Allison. Originally published on 29 September 2020.

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