The introduction of flat-screen TVs made it possible to save tons of space by mounting your TV on a wall of your choice. Today, there are so many options for wall-mounting hardware for a TV that buying one can be a daunting task.
Fortunately, we did the research for you to narrow down the list to the five best TV wall mounts. They are:
- Sanus Systems Visionmount Tilt Mount
- Monoprice Full-Motion Wall Mount Bracket
- Cheetah Mounts TV Wall Mount
- Monoprice Fixed Wall Mount Bracket
- Cable Matters Tilt TV Wall Mount
Selecting the right one means you’ll be able to use it for years, even if you change your television. Knowing how to install it is also important, so we’ve provided some installation tips for you as well. Here are three features worth considering when choosing the best TV wall mount.
Ease of Installation and Adjustment
To best protect your TV and ensure years of use, a TV wall mount needs to be installed properly. This means that the mount should be screwed into a wall’s studs, which are the wood frame behind the drywall that are strong enough to hold the weight of a television.
Studs run vertically and are usually spaced 16 inches apart. The best way to find where the studs lie behind drywall is by using a magnetic or electronic stud finder that, when run along the wall, will signal when it finds wood. A less-accurate way to find the wall studs is to knock on the wall and listen for the sound of dense (versus hollow) spots.
A good TV wall mount is designed to not only be durable but also make installation simple. The best TV wall mounts will come with an installation kit that includes many of the following components:
- A wall stud finder
- Screws and anchors for various types of walls (drywall, brick, concrete, wood)
- A cable management system to hide and organize cables and wires
- A bubble level to make level installation easy
- Horizontal sliding bars or a rail design that make TV leveling (vertically and horizontally) possible once it is hung
A horizontal bar allows a mounted TV to slide several inches to the left or right from where the mount is hung. The bar feature is a great solution when the wall studs are not centered on the wall, but you want to center your TV.
If a stud finder or level are not part of the TV wall mount kit of your choice, avoid the guesswork by buying them. The CH Hanson 03040 Magnetic Stud Finder at amazon.com is less than $8 and works as a bubble level and stud finder all in one.
Most TV wall mounts today are “universal,” meaning they are capable of holding most flat screens ranging in size from 30 inches to more than 60 inches (measured diagonally). If your TV is smaller or larger, you’ll probably need a special mount designed for that size television.
The difference between universal mounts lies in the weight rating. The same size wall mount can be built for different TV weights. When choosing the best one for your space, go with a quality mount rated for the most weight possible. The materials used in a heavier-rated mount are better quality, designed to hold more weight. So you’ll be able to reuse it for future TVs, even if they’re bigger and heavier than your existing TV.
A swivel or articulating feature is essential, even if you don’t think you need it. Especially in smaller apartments or open lofts, it’s nice to be able to turn your flat-screen TV toward another room or living space. Even if you don’t expect to use it in this way, the ability to angle your TV even a few degrees may make all the difference in the world when there’s glare on your screen.
All swivel features are not built equally. Some articulating units, especially when using a larger TV, angle only a few degrees. Take a good look at the specs on a mount when making your choice. Also, consider that the greater the angle, the less of a profile the TV wall mount may be. The versatility of a full-motion TV wall mount may extend your TV several inches out from the wall.
We researched several TV wall mounts to select the best. The criteria that set our top five apart from their contenders were:
- Ease of installation
- Positive customer reviews
Here are the best TV wall mounts:
Sanus Systems Visionmount Tilt Mount
Sanus Systems’ VMPL50A ($77) is a tilting wall mount for 32- to 70-inch flat-panel TVs. This mount can be adjusted after hanging and offers the rail design detail that can be shifted left or right to make up for off-center mounting due to where the studs in the wall are.
A depth of 1.8 inches keeps the mount low-profile. The universal mounting pattern fits any flat-screen TV up to 130 pounds. The tilt angle tops out at just 10 degrees, making this model better for minor adjustments against glare.
Perfect for: Most applications and rooms, thanks to its flat profile and versatility in size options, angles and adjustments. It’s a great option if you want to center your TV on the wall but the studs are off center, thanks to the sliding rail design. Minor adjustments can still be made to level the TV after mounting. If full sun/glare is an issue, this model’s tilt angle may not be sufficient.
Monoprice Full-Motion Wall Mount Bracket
Monoprice offers a large selection of TV wall mounts for every style and budget. Most models have a useful installation video on the website’s purchase page. This versatile, full-motion model ($48) has good reviews for its heavy-duty quality and will hold a 32- to 60-inch TV weighing up to 175 pounds.
It can be swiveled up to 60 degrees, tilted up to 15 degrees and rotated up to 3 degrees for final leveling adjustments. The bracket extends up to 20 inches from the wall. A built-in level and mounting hardware are included.
Perfect for: Easy installation, sunny rooms and larger TVs. Installation videos are available on the website, and this model is designed to adjust even after the TV is mounted. It offers a full range of movement to combat glare, and it extends 20 inches from the wall, allowing plenty of clearance for angling larger TVs toward other spaces.
Cheetah TV Wall Mount
Amazon’s best-selling wall mount, the Cheetah APTMM2B ($26) comes with a level, an HDMI cable and a cord management system. The mount is inexpensive, easy to install, and capable of holding a TV weighing up to 160 pounds and measuring 32 inches to 55 inches. The mounting profile is less than 2 inches, and it can tilt the TV 15 to 25 degrees depending on the size of the TV.
Perfect for: Most scenarios; this model is a jack of all trades. It’s easy to install, offers cable management and is solidly constructed to hold a large or heavy TV securely. The mount comes with a lifetime guarantee. A decent range of movement combined with a low-profile look that doesn’t protrude too far from the wall means every design and convenience feature is accounted for.
Monoprice Fixed Wall Mount Bracket
If you’re looking for a low-profile TV wall mount with a flat profile, this model ($27) is the perfect solution. The fixed-mount system isn’t bulky because it doesn’t tilt or swivel. The hardware is strong enough to hold a 37- to 63-inch TV weighing up to 200 pounds. Be sure to drill the hardware into the wall studs if you’re mounting a heavy television.
Perfect for: The heaviest TVs. This model would be best in a bedroom or low-light room where glare isn’t an issue (or can be controlled with curtains or shutters), since the mount doesn’t offer any movement or angling. It’s built with two security brackets, to which you can add padlocks to for theft prevention.
Cable Matters Tilt TV Wall Mount
This affordable, tilt-only TV wall mount ($20) comes with two 6-foot HDMI cables, saving you some money on those fairly expensive accessories. Made for 37- to 70-inch TVs, the mount comes with cable management clips to keep wires tidy.
The mounting kit also includes a bubble level and concrete anchors for mounting on an industrial or loft concrete wall. The low-profile design offers a tilting feature that has up to 14 degrees of adjustment to find the best viewing angle, especially handy when glare is a problem.
Perfect for: A minimalist, single-room TV display where not much angling to view the screen is required. This model is the best value when you consider the inclusion of HDMI cables and the fact that it can hold large TVs. Of the five mounts, this one is the easiest to install on concrete or brick walls, thanks to the included anchors.
An Important Design Consideration: TV Cable Management
Hiding cables is as important to the look of the wall as the wall mount itself. While many of the systems come with clips or other ways to contain the cables behind the TV, the cables still could show from below the wall mount.
The good news is that you can hide your cables in covers that you can cut to size, stick to the wall and paint to camouflage. They finish off your installation professionally without having to rewire or cut drywall. One to try: Legrand Wiremold CMK50 Cord Mate II Kit at amazon.com ($17).
Ready to get your TV off the furniture and out of the way? Our selection of best TV wall mounts have features for every viewing goal. When your new mount arrives, grab a power screwdriver, invite a friend over to help and hang up your TV. Within a couple of hours you’ll be reclaiming your space and making a cool design statement!