Glossy Vs Matte Screen: Which One is Better?

Glossy Vs Matte Screen

When you face your PC toward the sun, you will get to see one of two things: a reflection of your surroundings on your PC screen, or the dull black screen of your PC. These differences are caused due to two different kinds of screens- glossy vs matte screen.

The type of screen present in a monitor plays a big role in whether you want to invest in it or not. Image quality is perhaps the most major factor affected by the screen surface. The type of screen you choose and the kind of lighting provided by the PC can either make PC viewing a pleasurable experience or give you innumerable headaches.

Glossy vs Matte Monitor

Screens that are glossy have brighter, more vibrant colors with much better contrast, therefore giving you a better viewing experience in relatively darker surroundings. However, when you work in the sun (or any room lighting that is too bright), you can’t see your screen thanks to the reflections of your surroundings being cast on it. In matte screens, there are no reflection issues because of the anti-glare treatment. However, the improved screen visibility comes at a cost. The image quality of matte screens is much lower as compared to glossy screens.

So when you are getting a new monitor, it is essential to find the difference between glossy and matte screen. Let us look more deeply into those differences below:

Glossy Screen

Like its name suggests- a glossy screen is smooth to touch, with better color contrast. The outer surface of a glossy screen has a smooth layer known as the “outer polarising layer.” The function of this layer is to send back the ambient light that falls on it. A better color contrast means that bright colors appear brighter and dark colors appear deeper. The image quality increases when viewed on a glossy screen. These days, glossy screens are mostly treated to give an anti-reflective coating so that the amount of ambient light that is sent back is lesser than that of an untreated glossy screen.

Glossy MonitorMatte Screen

A matte screen is the best option for anyone who works outdoors or in strongly lit areas every day. The “outer polarising layer” for such screens is made coarse using mechanical and other forms of processing. What a matte finish does to the screen is- it makes the screen diffuse ambient light instead of sending it back directly. The processing it undergoes makes it less like a mirror, reducing reflections in well-lit areas. The diffusion of ambient light may seem like a great solution, but it has its faults as well. Since the screen is processed, the light that emits from the monitor is also affected, giving you poor image quality. Moreover, the ambient light which is diffused and the light that is emitted from the monitor interferes with each other quite frequently, which makes the image appear hazy and not very sharply defined.

Matt MonitorDifference Between Glossy and Matte Screen

AOC E1649FWUASUS MB MB168B+Lilliput – UM70
Display16″ (15.6″ viewable)15.6-inch7-inch
Resolution1366 x 7681920 x 1080800 x 480
Response rate16ms14ms5ms
Scan frequency (Hz)60Hz60Hz60-72Hz
Product Dimensions1.4 x 14.8 x 9.3 inches9.3 x 14.9 x 0.3 inches7.8 x 1 x 4.8 inches
Weight2.3 pounds1.8 pounds1 pounds
No of USB Ports211
Contrast Ratio500:1600:1250:1
Aspect Ratio16:916:916:9
Brightness200 cd/m²250 cd/m²300 cd/m²

Also, the glossy screens are easier to clean since dirt is more visible and does not penetrate the screen.

With all these advantages of glossy screens come a few disadvantages.

  • When direct light is shone on these screens, it makes them pretty much unusable because of the strong reflections that are cast on the screen.
  • When you work in strong light conditions, your eyes face a greater amount of strain, leading to headaches and bad eyesight later.
  • Frequent cleaning is required for such screens since dirt is much more visible.

Just like every coin has two sides, matte screens also have a few disadvantages.

  • It has a sharp decline in color contrast and color vibrancy when compared with glossy screens.
  • The sharpness in such monitors is also very less due to the diffusion of ambient light.
  • When showing light colors (especially white), these screens often have a grainy or hazy texture, thereby reducing image quality.

Which One is Better?

When everything’s said and discussed, it is still a tough decision to make when you’re choosing among glossy vs matte screen. The pros and cons go on and on, and ultimately it is simply a matter of personal preference and surrounding circumstances.

People also ask

Now, we shall answer a few FAQs on this topic.

1) Is a matte screen better than glossy?

Yes, they are better because they prevent reflections.

2) Is matte screen better for eyes?

Yes, matte screens are better for the eyes.

3) Is glossy screen bad?

If they cause glares in different angles, they can be bad for your eyes. 

4) Which is better screen protector – matte or clear?

Matte protectors are better.

5) Is matte screen good for reading?

A glossy screen is more suitable for reading.

Neither of the two kinds of screens is perfect, and so these days we see many manufacturers coming up with hybrid options such as semi-glossy and light matte screen finish to achieve the perfect balance between image quality and eye-friendly. If you are looking for a gaming monitor, you will do very well with a matte screen monitor. However, if you are using your monitor just for everyday purposes, then the choice is entirely yours.

Howard Tavares

About Howard Tavares

Hi, Howard here. I love the computer displays, and I enjoy working on my dual monitor setup. After a lot of experiments, failures, successes, and reviews, I started Best Monitor Hz to helpmates like me who want to talk about a screen that can fulfil their working or gaming needs.

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One thought on “Glossy Vs Matte Screen: Which One is Better?

  1. Avatar Rabeeb Ibrat says:

    The writer of the article seems biased and seems to advocate for glossy screens. However, as a user of matte screen, I find the quality not so less as mentioned. (It gets better with brightness.) Glossy screens of course have better vibrant colors, but comes at the cost of higher eye strain (not emphasized properly in the article.) Anyone preferring a prolonged screen time must definitely use matte screen, or will have eye dryness problems later on.

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