If you're on the hunt for the best budget 4K monitor you can find, you're in the right place.
Ever since HDMI 2.1 monitors hit the scene, 'standard' 4K monitors are seemingly becoming more affordable than ever, meaning that you can bag yourself a decent display for less than you'd think, leaving you more cash to build up the rest of your setup, whether that be an excellent monitor arm to go with it or one of the best monitor light bars.
Of course, there are a few concessions you'll likely have to make, and those include skipping the 144hz/ 4K combo (which is best for next-gen gaming), potentially missing out on a higher HDR certification, and you'll probably not get RGB lighting...which may be a good thing, depending on how you see it!
But that's really it. If you're looking for a 4K monitor that you can use for basically everything, you should be able to find something for a reasonable price.
We've selected these monitors based on our own research, and which includes reading reviews, looking very closely at specs and features, and using our own knowledge of what makes a great display. These are monitors that we think really stand out from the crowd.
Best Budget 4K Monitor
- BenQ EL2870U 28" 4K Monitor
- LG 27UL500-W 27-Inch UHD
- Samsung 32 inch UJ59 4K
- AOC U2790VQ 27" 4K
- ASUS TUF Gaming VG289Q 28”
Best Budget 4K Monitor All-Rounder - BenQ EL2870U 4K Monitor
BenQ is a great brand to go to if you're sticking to a budget, but want something clean, high performing, and packed with features.
For gaming, this monitor is actually pretty good on paper. It has a 60hz refresh rate and 1ms response time, which when combined with AMD FreeSync should add up to smooth gameplay, even when the action gets intense.
AMD FreeSync is a form of VRR, or variable refresh rate, which can help to eliminate screen-tearing by syncing the frame rate of a display with that of your GPU. Whilst it may not be as integral for an affordable 4K monitor as any of the best gaming monitors under 200 for instance, it can still be a handy feature.
Read More: Best budget portable monitor
The display itself is a respectable 300 cd/m2, which is the go-to brightness for most monitors around this price range, and should be more than enough for most usages. It's also got decent colour coverage, 97% sRGB, which may not be as good as some of the best graphic design monitors, but is enough to get by.
Some of the added extras come in the form of BenQ's range of eye-care technology, designed to ease eye-strain if you find yourself using the monitor for extended periods of time.
Its Brightness Intelligence Plus feature is the standout though, as it adjusts the brightness and colour temperature depending on the ambient light in your room.
Overall, this monitor is well worth considering, and let's face it, it's also one of the best-looking monitors in this price range too!
Best Budget 4K Monitor With HDR - LG 27UL500-W 27-Inch UHD
LG are another massive brand that create some of the best monitors (and TVs) in the world, but with this one, they've managed to pack in some impressive specs and still keep it cost-effective. We'd go as far as to say also this is one of the best monitors for working from home, too.
This display is actually an IPS screen, which allows for a wider viewing angle and typically better colour and brightness too. In this case, that means 300 cd/m2 and 98% sRGB colour coverage - not too shabby if you ask us. You can read more about IPS panels right here.
Read More: Best triple monitor stand
Interestingly, it even has HDR 10, which can be a real plus if you're consuming content or playing HDR games. This should mean that blacks will look more 'inky' than on a non-HDR monitor, and that can make all the difference in making your content look a whole lot more realistic - and that goes for gaming especially.
As far as response times go, this isn't the fastest as it comes in at 5ms, but it does have FreeSync, which should mean for non-competitive gaming you should be all good. If you want lightning-fast response times, you'd be better off with any one of the best 360hz monitors or any monitor that isn't 4K anyway!
Overall, it's a minimal, great all-rounder monitor that we think packs a punch for the price.
Best Budget 4K Monitor Large Screen: Samsung 32 inch UJ59 4K
Samsung has created some of the best monitors around, including the upcoming epic Samsung Odyssey Ark showcased at CES 2022 and the Odyssey Neo G8, but it's not just the premium displays that deliver the goods - case in point, the UJ59.
This larger screen 4K monitor is probably one of the best on the list when it comes to colour. It has a 100% sRGB and 95% DCI P3 colour coverage, which makes it a worthy consideration for the graphic designers out there.
Not only that, but it's pretty big too, giving you a ton of desktop real estate without completely dominating your desk space.
Read More: Best 75hz monitor
Interestingly, this isn't an IPS panel, and you can see the peak brightness is a little less than you'd expect, however, its contrast ratio is much higher than many of the other monitors on the list, coming in at 3000:1.
For design work, watching films, and gaming, this is a great all-rounder worth looking into. And, from what we've seen over the years, it often goes into the sales too...
Best Budget 4K Monitor For Brightness: AOC U2790VQ 27" 4K
AOC are another great brand when it comes to quality at a lower price point. This monitor has everything you would need, but where it delivers is its impressive brightness.
350 cd/m2 is bright enough to counter even strong sunlight, so if your setup is near a window or you work at home during the day, this is a good call.
As for colour coverage, you're getting over 99% sRGB and 90% NTSC (which is broader than sRGB), making it another solid pick for light design work.
Read More: Best 43-inch monitor
Another real win though is the small base of the monitor itself. AOC's gaming monitors tend to be a bit more angular in design and usually have quite wide bases. From experience, it ends up taking up a fair bit of desk space, even with a smaller monitor. This time they've addressed that and made something that'll make the most out of your space.
And can we talk about design? As far as more budget monitors go, we think the thin bezels here give it a premium look we haven't seen in any of the other picks on this list.
AOC is clearly A-OK, and one to certainly consider in your search.
Best Budget 4K Monitor For Gaming: ASUS TUF Gaming VG289Q 28”
ASUS is a brand which is a little more 'gamer-orientated', and their TUF line (vs their ROG line) is more about budget-friendly options, without losing out on performance.
This is a budget 4K gaming monitor through and through, but it also has features that make it great for everyday work too.
Take its 90% DCI-P3 coverage, HDR 10, and 350 cd/m2 brightness for instance, which all stack up to make for accurate, high contrast, and bright visuals.
Having high DCI-P3 coverage also means you could potentially use this monitor for a spot of video editing too, given the colour space is specifically designed with cinematic video in mind.
Read More: Best ultrawide monitor arm
It's also got an impressive stand, with a small base which essentially eliminates the need to go out and buy one. Add that to a smaller base, and it's another winning combo.
For gaming, it ticks all the right boxes for everything but competitive play (which again you should be looking at QHD/ FHD anyway). For 'general' gaming, thanks to it having HDR 10, this should add a nice finishing touch to the graphics, and with FreeSync movement should look pretty smooth too.
Overall, it's another winner from ASUS that despite the marketing, actually works well as a work-from-home monitor too.
Frequently Asked Questions About Budget 4K Monitors
We're here to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about 4K budget monitors, so you can make your choice with confidence. Let's take a look at some of the questions that pop up over and over again, and with good reason.
How much should I spend on a 4K monitor?
Good question, and one that's ultimately up to your own circumstances and needs, but here's what we think.
You can get a quality 4K monitor for way less than $500 from our experience, with anything higher typically being more for design professionals or higher-end gaming.
What you tend to find more in $500+ 4K monitors are much higher brightness and contrast. Sure, more is better, but it's not always needed. 300 cd/m2 - 350cd/m2 is actually pretty bright, and while it may not give colours as much of a 'pop' as the more premium models, to most people it won't make too much of a difference.
Is 4K the same as UHD?
It's quite confusing, but yes, essentially. Technically, they're not 'the same', but they are used as such when talking about monitors and TVs. Our friends at Gfinity Tech have all the details on the differences between 4K and UHD right here.
Is a 4K monitor worth it?
Yes, if you want something that will 'do it all'. They are more expensive than FHD and QHD monitors, but as you can see from this list they can still be very affordable.
We'd say if you're looking for an all-in-one solution, you can't go wrong with a 4K monitor, but if you want something for PS5 or Xbox Series X, we'd highly recommend that you get an HDMI 2.1 display for the best experience.