If you've swapped the office for home in the last two years, you'll know the importance of a great remote working setup. To work effectively from home, most people need a large desk and comfortable chair, dedicated keyboard & mouse and multiple monitors.
However, one key accessory is often overlooked: a monitor stand. A single piece of wood, glass or metal can transform your remote working (or PC gaming) experience for the better, lifting your monitor/s to a more ergonomic height for video calls. Without having to hunch over or look up, it should improve your posture too.
There are plenty of great options out there, but we've been lucky enough to review some of the finest. Without further ado, here are our picks of the best monitor stands you can buy. All of the following are compatible with both Windows and Mac.
AmazonBasics Computer Riser Stand: Best value monitor stand
Amazon’s own dull but certainly inexpensive adjustable screen stand is your value-for-money, basic option.
This monitor stand has broad column-style stackable legs with non-skid feet, so you can choose the perfect height (from 4-8 inches) for you.
It is not pretty but has 11 inches of storage space underneath for laptops, keyboards, and game consoles, or maybe that essential packet of biscuits. And your neck will thank you very quickly.
It can handle monitors or computers weighing up to 10kg (22lb).
Satechi Aluminum Monitor Stand Hub: Best stand with built-in hub
The Satechi Type-C Aluminum Monitor Stand Hub has been created for Apple’s iMac (it’s built from a similar aluminium and pleasingly minimal Apple design aesthetic) but will work with just about any monitor, all-in-one PC or display.
It does a good job of raising the screen to a height where I'm not looking down at it and damaging my neck muscles and vertebrae.
Yet, it is more than just a monitor stand, as its front is bristling with USB ports (three USB-A and one USB-C) plus SD Card readers and an audio jack. Just plug it into the back of your PC or Mac with the neatly hidden built-in cable (USB-A or USB-C).
Use the SD Card readers to create inexpensive and super-fast backups, and never again have to fiddle around at the back of your computer trying to find the spare USB port.
Read our full Satechi Aluminum Monitor Stand Hub review
PWR+ Laptop Table Stand adjustable riser - Best adjustable stand
The PWR+ portable Laptop Table Stand is super versatile and adjustable to work as laptop or monitor stand, or anything you need a flat or angled surface for - say, a breakfast tray for your bed.
There are cooling fans on the base, which you can even power via a USB charger - a cable is included.
There’s no assembly required, except for an optional smaller stand that can be connected to the side, which I still haven’t worked out how to attach.
It takes a few tries to work out how to angle the legs, but it’s pretty easy when you get the hang of it. It’s all done with buttons at each leg’s adjustment point.
As soon as you see its versatility and sturdiness, you can dream up all sorts of uses, but as a monitor or laptop stand it works very well, and will free up space underneath for keyboard and mouse when not in use.
It’s foldable and weighs about 1.8kg.
Flexispot M7 AlcoveRiser Standing Desk Converter - Best standing desk converter
If you fancy a standing desk but don’t want the expense of an electric desk or trouble of having to get rid of your existing desk, a standing desk converter or monitor riser gives you the option to raise your screen and keyboard to a more ergonomic height, or change your humble static table into a standing desk.
It’s a lot more than just a monitor stand, and will get you off your seat, and standing in no time. When you want to sit down again, just squeeze the handle to return the converter to a lower position.
Unlike a full standing desk, a desk converter such as Flexispot’s M7 AlcoveRiser, requires very little construction. It doesn’t need external power as it has a smooth, easy-to-operate pneumatic lift system via a side handle.
It’s pretty massive, though, at 88cm by 59cm (35-x-23.2in), and will likely take up a lot of your available desk space. The surface could hold two small displays or one large monitor, with some space for your desk essentials - pens, paper, and a cup of coffee - that would otherwise be a foot or so lower on the table or desk.
A U-shaped desktop cut-out over the detachable keyboard tray will let you place up to a 17in laptop, attached to the higher external display, or just your keyboard.
Twelve South Curve Riser: Best for storing other devices
The Twelve South Curve Riser is a good-looking black aluminium monitor stand that raises the screen and includes a shelf that can handily hold a hub, drive or another device.
It fits monitor bases up to 25.5cm (10 inches) wide and 24.5cm (9.6in) deep, and is best for round or square-shaped monitor bases, but not for wide arc-shaped stands that will tend to be too wide.
The integrated shelf allows for a device 4.45cm high, 24.5cm deep and 25.5cm wide.
This is not a cheap computer monitor stand, but you are paying for the solid looks and handy shelf, and it’s a lot better looking than most of the plastic stands you’ll find online.
Read our full Twelve South Curve Riser review
Kensington Monitor Stand Plus: Basic riser
Another basic stand that comes with little in the way of features is the Kensington SmartFit Monitor Stand Plus, which costs more than the AmazonBasics stand but does look a little better.
It much safer than a pile of books, and is adjustable with three height settings (3 to 6 inches).
The wide platform design fits any monitor up to 24in and can hold up to 36kg (80lb).
There's just under 30cm of height beneath the stand for you to store a keyboard, mouse, etc.
It does seem a little expensive for what it is, but it will help you avoid neck strain, and that's probably worth any money.
FlexiSpot MonitorStand Workstation S6G/S6T: Best for storage
The FlexiSpot MonitorStand Workstation is a chunky multifunctional monitor stand that can declutter your desk, relieve neck strain via raising the height of your screen to ergonomic levels, charge your phone, and even UV sterilise your bacteria-covered keyboard and mouse in 10 minutes.
It may be a little too large (20.5-x-13.6-x-5.3 inches) for some desks, but it can also hide all your pens, paperclips, cables and memory sticks in its built-in drawer.
The UV disinfection feature is certainly topical, although don't be tempted to clean your hands using it!
It can handle anything from a laptop to a display, and right up to a hefty all-in-one computer. However, it's currently unavailable in the UK.
Read our full FlexiSpot MonitorStand Workstation S6G/S6T review
Why you need a monitor stand
Pain in the neck? Stiff back when you get up from your desk? It’s likely your computer screen is at the wrong height, and you’re damaging your vertebrae for hours every day.
Long-term bowing of the head can lead to cervical dislocation and spinal stenosis. This can compress blood vessels and displace nerves, which can cut off blood supply to the brain, causing dizziness as well as a sore neck and numbness in the elbow.
Headaches, insomnia, neck stiffness, sudden dizziness, or weakness in the arms – all can be caused by the way you sit at your desk and view your computer screen. A monitor stand is the first step to solving these symptoms.
Your monitor should be at a comfortable height that doesn't make you tilt your head up to see it or bend their neck down to see it. Your eyes should be in line with the screen about 2-3 inches below the top of the monitor.
Even a slight lift will relieve your neck muscles of some strain.
You can just put your screen on a pile of books, but just how stable does that look? You don’t want a screen - and certainly not an iMac or all-in-one PC – falling onto your keyboard or off the back of the desk.
Neck strain is no laughing matter, and difficult to recover from if you don’t address it quickly - so let’s get serious about this.
Also, consider how you look on video calls. Don't have others look up your nostrils if your webcam is too low. Try to have your camera at the same level as your eyes, if possible, so you are on the same level as your viewer.
There are plenty of inexpensive PC monitor stands available. There are many monitor stands on Amazon UK and Amazon US, made from wood, glass or metal, and fitting one or two displays. Some can take more than one display. Others have extra features you'll soon wonder how you lived without them.
While you are waiting for a professional stand from the options below, try using a sturdy shoebox, which is usually much more stable than a pile of wobbly books - although a heavy all-in-one PC or iMac might be too much weight.
These stands will work with laptops, too, but we've also rounded up our best laptop stands.