Stacked Monitors vs Side by Side?

From a chat in Discord, the topic of stacked monitors came up. I’ve used stacked monitors in the past and here’s my experience.

  • having stacked screens is nice as your neck stays neutral in left/right position. I deal with shoulder pain when i work with dual displays.
  • however, I have two 27" screens, and the top was a little too high and the bottom a little too low to comfortably use. I’d be too far out of neutral up or down depending on which screen I was using primarily
  • as a result I moved on from this setup.

I think if you were able to use smaller displays (24" or under) this might work well. What I’ve been doing instead is using one monitor centered in front of me as my primary display, and the other to the left in vertical orientation. This display is for reference only (tasks/chat/calendar).

Is anyone else using stacked monitors? What’s been your experience?

Over the years I went from 4 monitors (1 stacked, 2 to the side) to 1. I reduced from 2 * 27" (iMac + external) to just the iMac.

The last and most longing set up was also With 2 *27. The iMac centered with my position + external (because of the iMac awful bezel)

Turns out, I was just using half of the second monitor as the others half was way too far, causing neck ache.

Also, I caught myself more than once putting information on the second screen and then actively using it while I could just use it on the main minus the neck pain.

So i reduced to 1 screen with a greater window management hygiene and tons of shortcuts / + Alfred workflow.

Stacked monitors I feel like height is going to be quickly an issue. I have a 31 inch screen on another set up that I had to use punctually for work and height felt too high and the screen estate gain not huge since the resolution was only 1440p

My current preference these days leans toward a 49inch curved ultra wide screen which would have a great focus at the center and with 2half 27 inch on the sides. Curved and no bezels seems to reduce the width compared to 2 27inches. Height wise it is the height of a 27 inch so it seems rather the sweet spot there.

That’s very interesting! I think that would make for a nice screen, too. I’ve considered going larger than 27" and just going with one display (currently have an old 20" LCD in vertical orientation to the side. Having more screen real estate is nice but the strain on the body is not.

I know I lasted with two stacked monitors for maybe two weeks and then experienced exactly what you described: pain. Not great.