The Best TV Wall Mounts for Your Flat Screen

Find out which features make a TV wall mount the best type for your viewing style.

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The Best TV Wall Mount, According to Reviewers

Photo: istockphoto.com

The popcorn is popped, the beverages are chilled, and you’re ready to binge-watch a favorite show. As you settle onto the sofa, it occurs to you—perhaps not for the first time—how much your viewing pleasure could be enhanced if the TV was off the console or media center and mounted up on the wall.

It’s been decades since flat screens took the place of bulky cathode-ray televisions. Not only will wall-mounting free up real estate on top of furniture, but you’ll also enjoy a more theater-style viewing experience.

For this goal, you’ll need a TV wall mount. While today’s TVs are certainly thin, their large screen sizes add considerable weight so you’ll need to factor in the size and weight of the television when shopping for a TV wall mount. Beyond weight, the functionality features of mounts can affect how it matches your room’s layout and viewing style.

Read on for details about the features to consider, and check out some of the best TV wall mount options for different situations below.

  1. BEST OVERALL: ECHOGEAR Full Motion TV Wall Mount
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Mount-It! TV Wall Mount
  3. BEST FIXED MOUNT: Mounting Dream TV Wall Mount
  4. BEST FULL MOTION MOUNT: Mounting Dream TV Mount with Swivel and Tilt
  5. BEST FOR SMALL TELEVISIONS: Pipishell Full Motion TV Monitor Wall Mount Bracket
  6. BEST FOR LARGE TELEVISIONS: USX MOUNT Full Motion TV Wall Mount
  7. BEST FOR HEAVY TELEVISIONS: Mount-It! Large Tilting TV Wall Mount Bracket
  8. BEST FOR BRICK WALLS: PERLESMITH Heavy Duty TV Wall Mount
  9. BEST FOR DRYWALL: AENTGIU Studless TV Wall Mount
The Best TV Wall Mount Options

Photo: amazon.com

Types of TV Wall Mounts

One of the first decisions to make when figuring out which TV wall mount is best is the type of mount. While there are many options on the market, there are three basic styles of TV wall mounts: fixed, tilting, and full-motion. The differences among the types are based mostly on their flexibility.

Fixed

Fixed TV wall mounts are the simplest and least expensive type. These wall mounts hold the TV nearly flush against the wall, lending a clean, contemporary look to a room. It also means, however, that the angle of the screen cannot be tilted or adjusted. The screen is parallel to the wall at all times.

If the wall space is available to mount the unit so the screen’s center is at eye-level while seated and the same spot is used every time to watch TV, a fixed mount can be a fine choice. Just be aware of potential glare coming through any nearby windows at different times of the day.

When the TV must be mounted near a window, closing the window shades or blinds can prevent glare from reflecting on the screen. Also, a fixed mount restricts access to the back of the TV. If the ports behind the TV need to be frequently reached, a fixed mount may not be preferred.

Tilting

Tilting TV wall mounts allow the adjustment of the angle of the screen up and down between 5 and 15 degrees. They do not enable side-to-side positioning. To allow enough room for tilting, expect the wall mount to hold the television around 2 inches away from the wall.

Tilting TV mounts are a good choice for those who always sit in the same spot facing the TV, but need to hang the television a little higher than eye level like over a fireplace. These types of wall mounts also provide a bit of flexibility to avoid glare from windows or room lights.

Full-Motion

Full-motion TV wall mounts, also called articulating mounts, allow almost complete freedom to position the TV. TV viewers can pull it several inches out from the wall, angle it from side to side, or adjust it up and down. For those who like to watch TV from various spots in the room, want to mount it in a corner, or need an adjustable screen to block glare, a full-motion mount can be ideal.

However, full-motion mounts do not provide a flush fit because they need space to allow for full movement. Most create a gap of several inches between the mount and the wall. It’s also important to ensure that all cords and cables have adequate room to remain in place even when the television is pulled out as far as the mount allows. Additionally, full-motion TV mounts are among the priciest options.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best TV Wall Mount

There is a lot to think about when searching for a new TV wall mount. The viewer’s personal preferences and the details of a particular situation can factor into making an appropriate choice. Among these details, consider the TV dimensions, mounting location, wall type, and viewing angle.

Size and Weight Capacity

The packaging of every TV wall mount indicates which television sizes and how much weight the mount can safely support. The best TV wall mounts are UL-certified, indicating they have passed rigorous testing to prove they can hold the weight they claim.

It’s important not to skimp by buying a mount suited to a smaller or a lighter television than the one that’s planned to hang. At best, an undersized mount might sag under the load, and, at worst, a television could come crashing to the ground if the mount breaks or detaches from the wall.

When the TV weight is unknown, check the manufacturer’s website under the specifications for that model. As for size, remember that television screen sizes aren’t measured horizontally or vertically across the screen; they are measured diagonally from corner to corner.

Material

A wall mount’s construction and material contributes to its durability and strength, which are essential to safely hanging a television on a wall. The material affects the cost, and some materials are better suited for supporting larger televisions. Most TV wall mounts are made of either iron or alloy steel.

  • Iron is inexpensive, strong, and functional, but pound for pound it is not as strong as steel. It works well for all but the largest and heaviest TVs.
  • Alloy steel is strong, stiff, and relatively lightweight. Steel makes it possible to use a lighter frame for mounting large and heavy TVs.

Wall Type

An appropriate anchoring system depends on the construction of the wall. Masonry walls, including poured concrete, concrete block, brick, and stone, require masonry anchors. For wooden walls, or walls with regularly spaced studs, simply screw directly into the studs. Hollow walls, like drywall and paneling where studs are not available, require specialty anchors.

  • Concrete wall: Predrill holes and fasten with concrete anchor screws.
  • Brick wall: Predrill holes in the brick or mortar joints and fasten with concrete anchor screws.
  • Drywall: Predrill holes and fasten with a drywall screw and anchor system.
  • Stone wall: Predrill holes in the stone or mortar joints and fasten with stone anchor screws.
  • Wooden wall: Predrill (optional) and screw directly into the studs.

Mounting Interface

Another factor to keep in mind is the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) mounting interface, which is basically a rectangular or square pattern of mounting holes found on the back of just about every modern television.

These mounting holes must match up to the corresponding screw holes on the wall mount. Many TV wall mounts accommodate a wide range of VESA sizes, but as a general rule, the most common VESA sizes are the following:

  • 200 x 200 mm for televisions up to 32 inches.
  • 400 x 400 mm for televisions up to 60 inches.
  • 600 x 400 mm for televisions 70 inches or more.

A TV’s VESA size is usually in the owner’s manual or on the manufacturer’s website. If not, follow this method to determine the size. First, measure the horizontal distance from center to center of the upper holes. Next, measure the vertical distance from the center of an upper hole to the center of the lower hole.

These two figures, in millimeters, are the VESA size of the TV. They’re indicated on mounting brackets by the horizontal measurement followed by the vertical measurement.

Level Adjustment

While TV wall mounts are fairly simple, a few extra features might be beneficial. One extra may be a level adjustment, which allows for tweaking the mounted television slightly to ensure that it’s completely level.

Another feature is a precision height adjustment, which provides an inch or so of wiggle room to move a mounted TV up or down once installed.

Other wall mounts have clips or channels to keep cords and wires neatly aligned, although some prefer covering the cords with a cable concealer or running them through a cavity wall.

Installing the Best TV Wall Mount at Home

Photo: istockphoto.com

Mounting a TV to the Wall

Most TV wall mounts are fairly easy for the average person to install, although it’s wise to ask someone to help move and install a heavy television. Mounting a TV to the wall typically involves the following steps, plus a screwdriver.

  • First, screw mounting channels to the back of the television.
  • Then, screw the mount’s base to the wall. The method of safely attaching to the wall depends on the type of wall (see Wall Type section).
  • Finally, slide the television onto the mount.

Our Top Picks

Installing a flat panel TV on the wall does not have to feel like a trust exercise. The best TV mounts are well built to create a secure connection that can be trusted. To help with the search for a new mount, below are some of the best options on the market, organized by type.

Best Overall

The Best TV Wall Mount Option: ECHOGEAR Full Motion TV Wall Mount
Photo: amazon.com

The pick for the overall best tv mount supports TVs up to 90 inches and a maximum weight of 125 pounds. It extends from just 2.4 inches from the wall, all the way out to 22 inches. With 130 degrees of swivel and 20 degrees of tilt, the screen can be visible from anywhere in a room.

The mounting plate is designed to accommodate almost any VESA pattern, and is compatible with all major TV brands. Post-install leveling will ensure a straight-on screen view. The kit includes a drilling template and a hardware pack for mounting on 16-inch or 24-inch studs, poured concrete, or concrete block walls.

Best Budget

The Best TV Wall Mount Option: Mount-It! TV Wall Mount
Photo: amazon.com

The Mount-It! is built to offer a secure mount for smaller TVs at a budget price. The VESA 75 and 100 compatible mount supports up to 33 pounds. When fully retracted, it sits just 1.75 inches from the wall, and extends out to 15 inches to provide options for the best viewing angle. The mounting plate features a 15-degree tilt range, and a full 360-degree swivel. It works with TVs and monitors up to 40 inches, with 3- by 3-inch or 4- by 4-inch mounting holes.

This swing arm wall mount kit includes simple instructions and all the necessary hardware. The quick-release mounting head makes installation easy.

Best Fixed Mount

The Best TV Wall Mount Option: Mounting Dream Fixed TV Mount
Photo: amazon.com

At a bargain price, this sturdy fixed TV wall mount holds televisions weighing up to 100 pounds with screens between 32 and 55 inches. It works with all VESA sizes up to 400 by 400 millimeters, covering the majority of TVs within the mount’s size range.

From Mounting Dream, this mount has a nearly flush profile, leaving just more than an inch between the back of the television and the wall. This design gives the TV a clean, unintrusive appearance on the wall. Plus, the mount has two spring-loaded straps that make it a breeze to remove the TV when necessary.

Best Full Motion Mount

The Best TV Wall Mount Option: Mounting Dream Full-Motion TV Wall Mount
Photo: amazon.com

Among the best full-motion mounts, this model offers a great deal. This mount allows TV viewers to pull the TV up to 15.2 inches away from the wall, tilt it 5 degrees up or 15 degrees down, or swivel the screen up to 45 degrees left or right. The well-priced mount works with screens between 32 to 55 inches, is UL-rated for televisions weighing up to 99 pounds, and can handle all VESA sizes up to 400 by 400 millimeters.

Considering this functionality, the unit’s profile is relatively slim, leaving only 3 inches between the television and the wall when fully pushed back. Plus, the mounted TV can be adjusted up to 3 degrees to achieve a perfect level.

Best for Small Televisions

The Best TV Wall Mount Option: Pipishell Wall Mount for Most 13-42 Inch TVs
Photo: amazon.com

For small TV and computer monitor viewing, this wall mount can be a winner. Screens from 13 to 42 inches attach securely to the mounting base. The base is compatible with VESA mounting hole standards of 75 x 75, 100 x 100, 100 x 200, 200 x 100, and 200 x 200 millimeters. The articulating arm extends from 2.2 inches to 14.5 inches, to offer 20 degrees of tilt and 360 degrees of swivel.

This kit includes a step-by-step instruction guide, and all necessary hardware for easy, single stud installation. It mounts easily on wood, concrete, or brick. The removable wall plate allows one person to safely complete installation.

Best for Large Televisions

The Best TV Wall Mount Option: USX MOUNT TV Wall Mount for Most 47-84 inch TVs
Photo: amazon.com

This USX MOUNT offering boasts a full range of motion and secure attachment with two articulating arms. It fits most 47- to 84-inch TVs up to 132 pounds, with VESA sizes 200 by 100 to 600 by 400 millimeters. The screen can be tilted within a 20-degree range, and swivelled up to 45 degrees. The plus or minus 3 degrees post-installation adjustment makes leveling the picture a snap.

The kit includes detailed installation instructions and all the necessary hardware in labeled bags. Concrete anchors are available at no charge upon request. It also includes a 6-foot HDMI cable, A bubble level, and three cable ties.

Best for Heavy Televisions

The Best TV Wall Mount Option: Mount-It! Large Tilting TV Wall Mount
Photo: amazon.com

This tilting Mount-It! option is a secure solution for TVs from 42 to 80 inches. The 2-millimeter-thick heavy-duty steel frame supports up to 220 pounds. The mounting bracket is compatible with VESA sizes 200 x 200 to 850 x 450, and holds the TV 3 inches from the wall when flush. It also features a tool-free tilt option of up to 15 degrees to help reduce any glare and provide a better view.

This TV mount can be installed on a block wall, or on wood studs that are spaced up to 24 inches. It includes an integrated bubble level to make installation easier. The kit also includes all the necessary hardware and instructions.

Best for Brick Walls

The Best TV Wall Mount Option: PERLESMITH Heavy Duty TV Wall Mount
Photo: amazon.com

This heavy-duty, universal wall mount offers full motion mounting of 32- to 55-inch TVs weighing up to 88 pounds. It is compatible with a variety of VESA patterns from 100 by 100 to 400 by 400 millimeters. When retracted, it holds the back of the TV just 1.77 inches from the wall for a sleek look. The arm extends to 18.89 inches, with a tilt range of 14 degrees and a swivel range up to 90 degrees.

Post installation leveling adjustment of plus or minus 4 degrees makes it easier to find the perfect viewing angle. All hardware and easy-to-follow instructions are included for installation on either masonry or wood stud walls.

Best for Drywall

The Best TV Wall Mount Option: AENTGIU Studless TV Wall Mount
Photo: amazon.com

Save the hassle of finding a stud, or secure the TV on a wall space where no studs are conveniently located with this TV mount. The heavy-duty steel AENTGIU Studless TV Wall Mount holds 26- to 55-inch TVs weighing up to 80 pounds on drywall. Drywall thickness must be greater than 0.4-inch.

The low-profile wall bracket extends only 1 inch from the wall and can tilt up to 5 degrees. It is compatible with VESA patterns that are 100 by 100 millimeters to 600 by 600 millimeters. This unit can be installed with picture hanging nails that won’t damage walls. A built-in bubble and included hardware ensure easy installation.

FAQs About TV Wall Mount

After reading about some of the important features of TV wall mounts, you may still be unsure about which TV wall mount will work best in your home. Or, maybe you’ve made a tentative choice, but need more information. Read on to learn the answers to some popular questions about TV wall mounts.

Q. What is the best brand for a TV wall mount?

ECHOGEAR is the Best Overall pick on the Top Picks list. Mount-It! and Mounting Dream each offer multiple picks in the list, too. Depending on the situation, any of these may make a great choice.

Q. What height should a wall mounted TV be?

The best user experience comes when a TV is mounted with the center of the screen at eye level. So several variables are at play, including TV size, viewing angle (from a chair, barstool, bed, etc.), and personal preference. In a typical living room setting, a 42-inch TV is usually best hung at 56 inches from the floor, while a 70-inch TV is usually about 67 inches from the floor.

Q. Should a wall mounted TV be tilted?

Tilting the TV can help to reduce glare and improve the viewing angle, especially for high-mounted TVs. Too much of an angle can cause eye or neck strain.

Q. Is it safe to put TV wires behind a wall?

It is generally not safe to run TV wires behind a wall as they can create a fire hazard.

Q. How can I hide my TV wires without cutting the wall?

To hide the cords dangling from a mounted television, there are usually two options: Either corral the cords in a cable concealer or run them through the drywall. While some intrepid DIYers tackle this project on their own, building codes may restrict the types of electrical wires permitted behind drywall. It may be best to consult a pro.

Typically, installers cut a small window into the drywall behind the television, run the cords down behind the drywall, and then cut another small window near the electrical outlet at floor level where the cords emerge from the wall and plug into the outlet.

Final Thoughts

We ask a lot from this purely functional device. It must be strong, sleek, and easy to install. It has to secure our expensive equipment, reduce glare, and improve viewing comfort. A TV wall mount eliminates the need for a media stand, frees up floor space, and creates a clutter-free look. It could be one of your best buys this week.