If you work a lot on the computer and in front of the monitor, you can get problems with your eyes. If you have sat for long hours in front of the computer, you have probably noticed eye strain, dry eyes, and a feeling of discomfort in your eyes in general.
The good news is that not all monitors are not created equal and different monitors are designed in a way that it minimizes stress and strain on your eyes.
Which monitors are easy on the eyes? In this article, we take a closer look at some of the best and most popular monitors for eye strain. Further on, we also go through some of the most important things to take into consideration when making your pick.
Sitting in front of the PC monitor all day means an enormous strain on the eyes. Experts speak of “digital eye stress”. The consequences range from dry eyes, headaches and tiredness to blurred vision. If you then stare more and more tensely at the screen, you can also get problems with your neck and back. There are some simple antidotes that will reduce eye stress:
- A screen break at least every two hours
- Deliberately blinking more often
- eye drop
- Switch to a warmer display color
- If possible, no window or other light source directly behind the monitor.
One of the most important measures, however, is the purchase of a new, eye-friendly monitor.
Many manufacturers now advertise with eye-friendly and “stress-free” displays. One of the most important criteria is the highest possible resolution. Because the more pixels, the smaller the pixels are with the same monitor format – and the easier it is for the eyes. Full HD (i.e. 1,920 x 1,080 pixels) is therefore recommended up to a size of 24 inches.
With larger displays, the resolution should also be higher, for example QHD (Quad High Definition) with 2,560 x 1,440 pixels or the UHD (Ultra High Definition) with 3,840 x 2,160 pixels known from television.
Also important: A blue light filter – because the cold light in particular is a strain on the eyes. The refresh rate should be at least flicker-free 60 Hz, values of 100 Hz and more are even more pleasant. And a monitor without a high-gloss surface, but with a matt coating, also relieves the eyes.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best and most popular monitors for eye strain and tired eyes – as well as what you should take into consideration before making your purchase.
Best monitor for eye strain and tired eyes
The 28-inch Samsung also offers eye comfort at a reasonable price. At 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, the UHD resolution excellent, albeit at a slightly less smooth 60 Hz. On the other hand, the “Eye Saver” mode, which reduces blue light and flickering, among other things, can be activated with one click turn on and off. For example, if several family members use the screen, everyone can easily select their optimal setting.
- Two HDMI ports / Picture-in-Picture function / Brighten mode for gaming
- No height adjustment or rotation / No speakers built in
Acer Nitro XV273K
The 27-inch Acer is specially designed for gamers. But the eye-friendly features that allow for long gaming sessions are also ideal for hard-working office workers.
The refresh rate of the IPS monitor is a record-breaking 144 Hz with a response time of one millisecond – it is hard to imagine a smoother picture. The 4K display is coated with an anti-reflection surface, Acer speaks of the particularly comfortable “ComfyView” here. Protective screens on the sides keep out irritating light. And a blue light filter and flicker-free technology are also part of the equipment.
- High-contrast HDR images / particularly bright with 350 cd/m² / very precise color representation
- Backlight is annoying with dark images / 144Hz display requires two cables
MSI Pro MP271C, 27, 1920 x 1080 (FHD)
The MSI PRO MP271QP is a business monitor that was specially developed for use in the home office or homeschooling.
The MSI Pro MP271C measures a screen diagonal of 27 inches and has an unusual, but welcome WQHD screen resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels. This directly guarantees a higher pixel density and thus also a sharper image display than would be the case with 1080p (Full HD).
In one discipline, the MSI Pro MP271C did particularly well in our test: ergonomics. Almost all setting options and even a pivot function are available here, which can be a great advantage, especially at work at home. In addition, the screen also has flicker-free and low blue light (blue light filter function), which is intended to protect the user’s eyes.
The excellent color space coverage of the built-in IPS display is also worth mentioning. This provides the MSI Pro MP271C with powerful and colorful playback, e.g. films and videos are no problem.
In addition to the many positive functions and technical properties, the MSI Pro MP271C naturally also has some disadvantages that must always be taken into account. On the one hand, there is a high input lag of the monitor. Due to this and the too-high response time of 6 milliseconds, the screen is less suitable for users in the gaming area.
- WQHD resolution
- excellent ergonomics
- Blue light filter
- Very good color space coverage
- high input lag (not suitable for gaming)
- mediocre speakers
- disappointing OSD
The BenQ EL2870U is a great all-rounder monitor.
The TN panel built into the display enables a fast pixel response time of one millisecond. The input lag is correspondingly low.
Together with a refresh rate of 60Hz (at native resolution), the BenQ EL2870U is ideal for gaming, especially for console gaming.
In addition, the BenQ EL2870U also has useful, eye-friendly features such as flicker-free (low blue light, B.I.+, HDR, and AMD FreeSync. With regard to the HDR function, however, we found in our test that this offers practically no added value with the BenQ EL2870U and can hardly be distinguished from the SDR playback.
Although only a TN panel was used in the monitor, we were able to determine a fairly good sRGB color space coverage of 93% in our measurements. However, the BenQ EL2870U is very weak in terms of viewing angle stability.
Another disadvantage is the lack of ergonomics. The stand of the EL2870U cannot be adjusted except for a tilt, but fortunately, a 100 x 100 mm VESA hole is integrated.
For a price of just under 300 dollars, you can’t expect too much here. So overall, the BenQ EL2870U is a good eye-friendly monitor that can shine in every application.
- UHD/4K resolution
- excellent value for money
- blue light filter
- Very good input lag
- good color space coverage
- 1ms response time
- no height adjustment
- mediocre contrast (not suitable for photographers, but perfectly acceptable for normal use)
- HDR brings little benefit
- mediocre speakers
The Viewsonic XG270QC is one of the best eye-friendly gaming monitors on the market. It is a high-quality monitor in each and every single aspect and leaves nothing to be desired.
In addition to the WQHD resolution with a 27-inch screen diagonal, the Viewsonic XG270QC also offers an amazing refresh rate of 165Hz. This means that the display can update 165 times per second or a new image is shown every ~ 6 milliseconds. Incidentally, this also enables an extremely low input lag, which is primarily an advantage in the gaming sector.
Since the display of the Viewsonic XG270QC is “curved”, a VA panel was installed accordingly. The VA panel covers 100% of the sRGB color space and, according to our measurements, enables a maximum brightness of 550 cd/m² and a dimmability of 70 cd/m². – So you don’t have to do without color-intensive and high-contrast images.
A flicker-free backlight technology and a blue light filter have been integrated as standard to protect the eyes. In addition, the XG270QC also has numerous gaming features such as AMD FreeSync Premium Pro and Motion Blur Reduction.
Unfortunately, the Viewsonic XG270QC also has a disadvantage. Due to the fact that a VA panel was used, the viewing angle stability is correspondingly poor. However, this cannot be avoided with monitors with VA panels or curved displays anyway.
- WQHD resolution
- Flicker Free
- Low blue light
- low input lag
- excellent color space coverage
- very good ergonomics
- good speakers
- beautiful design
- lavish purchase price
- low viewing angle stability
Best monitor for eye strain and tired eyes – buyer’s guide
The market is full of monitors in all kinds of different shapes, forms, price ranges, and with countless different functions and features. That said, it can be difficult to know which to choose. Since you are looking for a monitor that is good for eye strain and tired eyes, you will naturally have other criteria than someone who is looking for, for example, just a great monitor for gaming. So which criteria should you look at when buying a monitor? Here are the most important things to consider:
Flicker Free – Technology
Normally, monitors run on AC power. The diodes of the backlight produce a barely perceptible flicker when the current direction changes.
In addition, many manufacturers use the inexpensive option of pulse width modulation (PWM) to regulate brightness. The signal for the backlight is switched on and off at certain intervals.
Since this flickering is too fast for our brain to consciously perceive, it appears to us as if the monitor is dimmed. At a brightness setting of 100%, the PWM shouldn’t really be used. Unfortunately, the screen light is usually too bright to use maximum brightness.
Although we are not usually aware of flickering, it can cause epilepsy, eye pain, headaches, and nausea. This is because the pupil has to constantly readjust to the changed brightness. A PWM with a high frequency causes fewer problems than a low one.
However, sensitive people can still perceive flickering at a frequency of 500 Hz. Stroboscopic effects (flickering effects) can still occur up to a frequency of 2,500 Hz.
Direct Current (DC) technology
As an alternative to the usual technology, there is the option of operating the backlight with a constant-voltage direct current. Here, alternating current is converted into direct current, in which no flickering occurs.
On the notebook.com site, some monitors were tested for PWM. You can find the results in the PWM ranking.
Blue light filter
Diodes that emit light in different color spectra are used for the backlighting of monitors. Blue light is the light with the highest energy. It lies in the wavelength range between 380 and 500 nanometers and is close to UV light. Due to the high energy density, this light is very stressful and even damaging for the eyes.
To protect yourself from too much blue light, you can use a blue light filter. With eye-friendly monitors, you can set the blue light filter in different modes depending on your needs.
TCO Seal of Approval
The TCO seal of approval is awarded by the umbrella organization of the Swedish employees’ and civil servants’ union.
It is the world’s most comprehensive sustainability certification for IT products. The strict TCO seal of approval goes far beyond industry standards and legal requirements. The criteria relate to social and ecological sustainability in production, use, and disposal.
The latest seal of approval is TCO ’06. It guarantees, among other things, the following properties:
- Good quality even when playing back moving images thanks to a short image build-up time, a good black scale, and higher grayscale requirements.
- High visual ergonomic requirements for the screen image, which guarantee high image quality and color reproduction.
- Significant reduction of magnetic and electric fields
- Low energy consumption in standby mode
- The screen is prepared for recycling, which facilitates material recovery.
- The manufacturer must be ISO 14001 or EMAS certified
- Reduced emission of brominated and chlorinated flame retardants and heavy metals to nature (also complies with the RoHS directive of July 1, 2006).
Screen resolution indicates the size and number of pixels displayed on the screen. It is an important factor for good graphics. Screen resolution is always related to screen size and format.
A large screen should also have a high resolution, but a small screen should still have a good picture even with a lower resolution.
Full HD with 1920 x 1080 pixels is sufficient for monitors up to 27 inches. The new 4K resolution (Ultra High Definition) with 4096 x 2160 pixels is recommended for larger monitors.
Note: A high-performance graphics card is also required for a high resolution.
a matte display
The surface of the display has a very decisive influence on good legibility and eye-friendly viewing pleasure. Although smooth surfaces offer a strong color brilliance, the weakest light beam is reflected and the eye has to strain more. Especially when working outdoors, the reflected sunlight can spoil the nicest weather.
Therefore, your monitor should have a matte display. This is achieved by a surface coating that is rough and thereby scatters the incoming rays of light in many directions. In this way, reflections and gloss effects are greatly reduced.
Another benefit is that the matte screen is also less prone to fingerprints. This is particularly important with a touch screen.
Incidentally, the anti-reflective coating of monitors is tested by the “tested safety” GS seal of quality and measured according to the DIN EN ISO 9241-307 standard.
But the case materials should also be as matte as possible. Because shiny edges can be annoying when working on the screen. Light colors are also preferable to dark ones.
The contrast ratio
A good contrast ratio is important for legible text and rich colors. The greater the contrast ratio between maximum brightness and maximum darkness, the more varied the colors and the more visible the texts.
The panel used is decisive for the contrast and the image quality. If you value a good contrast ratio, you should opt for an IPS panel. Because they offer good contrast values, even at different viewing angles. The disadvantages, however, are the higher power consumption and a lower response time than, for example, TN panels.
So the higher the contrast ratio, the better. But beware! The actually measured, static contrast ratio is decisive.
The dynamic contrast ratio, which cannot be compared with this, achieves higher values and is therefore often emphasized by the manufacturers in an advertising campaign, but is only of secondary importance.
Brightness Intelligence Technology
Currently unique to BenQ, a pioneer in eye-friendly monitors. The Brightness Intelligence technology automatically regulates the brightness and color temperature of the display and adapts it to the ambient light.
The screen should be adjustable without much effort and use of force.
Ideally, it is rotatable, height-adjustable, and tiltable. In this way, it can be adapted to the individual body size as well as to the environmental conditions.
Screens that can be rotated by 90 degrees (pivot function) are practical for text editing, but the ergonomically appropriate monitor position should always be taken into account.
The viewing angle
The viewing angle plays a very important role in the representation of color and contrast. Ideally, there shouldn’t be any color distortion when you change your viewing angle.
A good lateral view is especially important when you are looking at the same screen with other people at the same time. So if you work in a team in your job, buy a device with a good vision class. Even if you use a second monitor at your workplace, a wide viewing angle is an advantage. The best results are currently achieved with PVA and ISP panels, with a horizontal/vertical viewing angle of 178° and a contrast ratio of 10:1.
Long work in front of the monitor creates problems
While working or playing computer games in front of the screen, our eyes work at their absolute best, which is especially true for computer gamers.
Experts speak of a “digital stress” that our eyes are exposed to. Visual disturbances, dry eyes, and tiredness are often the results.
It is therefore advisable to take regular and consistent breaks, even a 5-minute break every 2 hours can work wonders. Eye drops or blinking more often can help with dry eyes.
Fortunately, in contrast to these rather conservative methods of protecting the eyes, there is also another highly effective measure: an eye-friendly monitor.
Screen size and resolution
The right screen size is just as important. From our own experience, we recommend a size of at least 20 inches (50.8 centimeters) (screen diagonal).
Because if the screen is too small, the eyes are overstrained. 24 inches (60.96 cm) with a resolution of 1920 x 1080p (Full HD) would be ideal for normal office work. The eyes don’t have to wander too much here and the image appears pin sharp.
With larger screen sizes, it makes sense to aim for a higher resolution (or 3840 x 2160p UHD), otherwise, the image could appear blurry. Here we explain how to determine the optimal screen size for your monitor.
Solid refresh rate
In addition to the blue light filter, screen size, and resolution, the refresh rate is one of the decisive factors for a monitor that is easy on the eyes.
The refresh rate or refresh rate indicates in Hertz how many frames per second a monitor can display. (Example: If a monitor has 240Hz, it can display up to 240 frames per second.)
In general, the higher the refresh rate, the smoother the images appear, e.g. when playing a video. Most modern eye-friendly monitors have a refresh rate of at least 60 Hertz, so it is advisable to buy a monitor with at least 60Hz to protect the eyes.
Especially for gaming, however, we would like to recommend an eye-friendly monitor with 144Hz or 240Hz, as you want the gaming experience to be as smooth as possible. For office work, on the other hand, 60Hz is completely sufficient.
When is it worth buying an eye-friendly monitor?
The purchase of an eye-friendly monitor can be worthwhile immediately for everyone because the use of displays and monitors is anything but ideal for the human eye. The purchase is most worthwhile for people with sensitive or damaged eyes. Likewise, anyone who works on the computer or is busy playing games for a long time should think about an eye-friendly screen to prevent visual damage.
Today, on average, we spend far too long a day looking at monitors. It is therefore all the better if these devices are easy on the eyes. That is why it is indeed worthwhile for every user to think about buying an eye-friendly screen.
Can you do without some graphics qualities?
Admittedly, some of these models don’t have the most detailed graphics settings as they are in fact intended more for eye protection. So if you value high graphics options, you might be better off with a different type of monitor.
However, if you value eye protection, it is definitely advisable to do without the best graphics settings here and there and to get a screen that is easy on the eyes, which is able to avoid pain in the eyes even during longer PC times. This is especially useful for professional gamers or people who use the PC for other work activities and therefore sit in front of it for a long time.