7 Things you must know before buying a monitor arm

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7 Things you must know before buying a monitor arm

If you’re reading this, you’re probably shopping around for monitor arms, or are just about to buy one. That’s great! With so many options out there, you may be worried that your choice won’t be the best, or even worse, that it will make your workspace look terrible. Don’t worry! We have you covered with 7 things you must know before buying a monitor arm.

1. How much space do I need to have?

One of the first things to determine is how much desk space you actually have. Measure your desktop—both length and width—to figure out how much room you really have to fit everything on it. This will help eliminate some poor choices and lead to a more streamlined purchase that is tailored to what you really need.

2. Do I want an arm, a stand, or both?

There are three main types of products: stands, arms, and stand/arms. Stands tend to be cheaper but less functional. Arms give your monitor more flexibility in terms of positioning but can be more expensive.

Many people use both. Think about whether you need to keep your desk or table as close to its original shape or whether additional space might be useful for other purposes.

3. What kind of desk do I have?

Before purchasing a monitor arm, you’ll want to determine what kind of desk it will be on. Is it made of wood or metal? What is its thickness? Does it have side supports? All these factors play into what type of mount you need and how much weight it can hold. Monitors are often heavier than they look—an extra-long LCD screen can weigh between 40 and 60 pounds! 

4. Do I want to mount my monitor vertically or horizontally?

It is crucial to have your screen in an optimal position for your viewing preferences and ergonomics. If you notice that your neck is straining or that eye fatigue and headaches occur when working on a computer, then positioning your screen horizontally might be preferable.

On the other hand, if you spend most of your time looking at spreadsheets or documents with small text, then mounting your screen vertically might be ideal for reducing eye strain.

5. Should I go with hydraulic or spring technology?

Hydraulic arms are best for desks that are almost as wide as they are deep, but spring arms offer more adjustability and can be set up in desks of just about any depth. Because they take up more space than hydraulic arms, spring arms may be less suited to people who don’t have much room on their desks or work in small spaces. It depends on how big your desk really is.

6. How do I protect my desk from the monitor mount?

You might have the question in your mind: will attaching a monitor arm damage my table? To protect your desk and make sure that it lasts; select a mounting solution that can be easily removed. There are many types of mounts available that allow you to quickly remove and then reattach your display as needed.

These are great for people who frequently change their setup around or who frequently share their workspace with others. If you choose to permanently mount your display, select one with solid construction so that there is no unnecessary movement while working. Be sure to anchor it safely into place as well!

7. Where can I get service when it breaks?

Monitor’s arms are surprisingly durable, but they’re also complex and have lots of moving parts. That means things can and will break—especially if you don’t take care of them. Check to see what kind of warranty your manufacturer offers and how long it lasts.

Know that monitor arms aren’t simple enough to be self-serviced like a desktop PC or laptop might be. The best thing is to get an extended warranty with every product you buy so that in case something does go wrong, you won’t end up losing out on work due to delays in getting your arm repaired.

So there you have it, seven little-known facts about monitor arms. Armed with these bits of knowledge, make sure your next decision is informed and healthy. Monitor’s arms are great tools that can help your productivity skyrocket by giving you more space to work, but they’re not right for everyone. If you decide that a monitor arm is right for you, be sure to consider all the options available on the market so that you can find one that fits within your specific budget and needs. Monitor’s arms are great additions to any office setting, but they’re not always necessary or appropriate—to do some research first! Good luck!


Featured photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash

Jake is an ergonomic specialist who works with workers/employees to conduct office ergonomic assessments and solve ergonomic issues.

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