Matte Vs Glossy Display for Gaming and photo editing

Screen is the main part of the laptop, tablet, phone and TV. This is something that visually conveys information to us, that we look at and work with.

A question that often comes up in purchasing a laptop, tablet or monitor is what’s the difference between a glossy and matte screen? Which is better?

In this article we will tell you about the basic types of screens and the differences between them. Then help you make the best decision.

What is a display and how does it work?

A monitor display comprises different layers influencing the image and user experience. The backlight layer is responsible for illuminating the screen; the LCD layer is accountable for producing the image.

The top glass or plastic layer protects the panel from its environment. It also dramatically influences reflections and color performance.

So when people mention matte monitors or glossy monitors, they often refer to the top layer of the screen.

What are a matte screen and a glossy screen?

Glossy Display vs Matte Display

The modern monitors with two display options: a matte screen and a glossy screen! The main difference between them is the coating applied to the display itself.

The matte screen surface consists of an outer “polarizing layer” that has been roughened using additional mechanical and sometimes chemical treatments.

This is to achieve a matte finish on the surface of the screen that diffuses ambient light instead of reflecting it back directly to the viewer.

Glossy screens are comprised of reflective glass or polymers. and are often treated using an anti-reflective coating like magnesium fluoride or similar polymers to help with absorption of ambient light.

The transparency of the material allows for almost all of the display’s backlight to show through. Smooth surface acts like a mirror.

The pros and cons of matte and glossy displays

Image Quality

Matte Screen make the picture appear a bit fuzzy and due to the fact that matte finish also blocks some of the screen light output, you might also notice a drop in image illumination, details, contrast and colors may not be as lively as compared to glossy screen.

The glossy coating adds extra crispiness, saturation and pop to the monitor’s colors (Especially blacks!). Higher contrast, Less haze. Clearer pictures. Crispier text.

Glare and Reflections

The matte screen has a rough surface, so when the light hits it, diffuse reflection occurs. It will not be dazzling from any angle, they’re much better at preventing reflections.

It’s easier to see a matte screen in a bright room, whether you’re dealing with sunlight or just intense light from overhead fluorescent light bulbs in an office.

As a matter of fact, the minimization of glare is one of the primary reasons people end up choosing matte displays.

Screens that have a glossy finish are quite reflective, which means if you own such a display, you will have to adjust the lights in your surroundings in order to terminate or at least minimize reflections.

Eye Strain

Lots of light reflections and glare are the main reason why users who own glossy displays suffer more from eye strain and irritation, in comparison to matte screen owners.

So glossy displays are not as liked and as preferred as their matte counterparts by many people looking at screens for longer periods. (gamers, office workers, etc.)

Fingerprint and Dust

The display is easy left fingerprint and have dust when using it. The glossy surface makes these issues more apparent, especially when the screen is off.

Matte screen is more resistant to fingerprints, dust, and scratches than glossy screen, making them easier to maintain.


In all other aspects, these two monitor types are extremely similar. The coating used to create a matte or glossy display will not impact performance in any way, so the refresh rates, response times, and input lag amount will be the same across both categories.


Glossy screen is the most common and popular type of display in th market, like apple products. Matte screen can be more expensive and harder to find than glossy screen.

How do you know if you have a matte screen or a glossy screen?

When a display is advertised as being anti-glare, it is usually a matte display. you can’t see your face when turn off the display.

For a glossy screen, When you do not use the device, you will find the display can be as be as mirror and can see your face on it.

Matte vs Glossy Screen – Which Should I Choose?

When you are buying a computer, you need to decide between a glossy or a matte screen.

If you work in an environment where you constantly find yourself battling reflections, then get the matte screen.

Matte screens have less reflectivity and are easier on the eyes. They are best for devices mainly used in brighter locations such as offices, classrooms or outside.

If you can control ambient lighting, or at least live with a few minimal reflections, not only will the glossy display save you money, but it will look a little better as well.

Glossy screens have a reflective finish with brighter and more vivid colors and are best suited for multimedia such as viewing photos and videos.

Finally, there’s a personal preference. At the end of the day, even if all the pros and cons are laid out, your preference will always win.

Is glossy or matte better for digital art?

For the digital art such as drawing and photo editing, While some argue that it is better to have a bright and highly contrasted version of your artwork, this is not always better.

In fact, glossy screens can artificially deepen the colour, making it look like it’s already vibrant. And when you transfer that to a matte screen, you realize that they’re really not that vibrant.

Most artists would recommend having a matte screen, so you see the true contrast and colour of your artwork.

In addition, when drawing on the screen with a stylus, like use huion kamvas, Wacom Cintiq or xp-pen artist tablet.The matte screen offer a special rough textured surface, giving you a more “real” drawing experience, just like pen on paper feel.

Is glossy or matte better for gaming?

This depends on what you enjoy more from your gaming experience.

Gaming monitors generaly use matte finishes because they’re much better at reducing glare and eye strain.

If you’re into visuals and graphics, glossy gaming monitors would be better in some ways, as they can give the perception of deeper blacks and more vivid color.

Is there a way to reduce the glare on glossy screen?

You can reduce glare on your device’s glossy screen by using a matte screen protector. Certain matte screen protectors have an anti-glare feature.

Final Words

matte and glossy screens offer distinct pros and cons, as with everything in life. There’s no end to this back-and-forth weighing of positives and negatives.

Which is better? Depending on your preferences and usage, one might be better than the other.

Many developers prefer matte screens because it makes text easier to read and puts less stress on the eyes. Many designers and gamers on the other hand prefer glossy screens as they look more vivid.

Truth is, nobody can recommend the perfect monitor to anyone else but themselves, but it’s good to know that there are and will always be alternatives and solutions to possible issues along the way.

About the author : Clinton Kane

A technical content writer, passionate about sharing high-quality knowledge of pc technology, software, and creative workflows.