Monitor Mounts That Work With Desks That Don’t Have A Lip

Monitor mounts give desks a big boost in aesthetics and a nice chunk of space too. They can make a huge difference if you have a small desk, or just want a more airy desk setup. 

With desks coming in many shapes and sizes, it’s not always straightforward to get a monitor mount up and running. Most of these mounts use a desk clamp method that highly relies on your desk having a lip.

And not any lip will do. Your desk has to have a lip between 1.5 to 3 inches thick for most desk clamp monitor mounts to work. 

So what do you do if your desk doesn’t have a lip at all? That’s exactly what we’ll be talking about in this article. 

Before we dive in, just make sure your monitor has VESA mounting holes. You can learn more about VESA mounts here, as well as how to mount non-VESA compatible monitors

There are a bunch of alternatives that are possible if you have a lip-less desk, so don’t lose hope just yet! Let’s get into it. 

Grommet Mount Monitor Arms

Most desk clamp monitor mounts actually are supplied with an alternative in the box. That alternative is a grommet mount.  

Grommet mounts are great for two reasons. First, you don’t have to have a lip on your desk. Second, many desks have a grommet hole already cut out of the desk. 

For those that already have a grommet hole drilled into their desk, this is a superb feature to mount a monitor. They are typically used for cable management, but monitors make this a dual use of routing cables and mounting a monitor arm. 

MOUNTUP Single Monitor Desk Mount, Adjustable Gas Spring Monitor Arm Support Max 32 Inch, 4.4-17.6lbs Screen, Computer Monitor Stand Holder with Clamp/Grommet Mounting Base, VESA Mount Bracket, MU0004

If you don’t have a grommet hole in your desk, this might not be a very attractive option for you. You will have to drill a large hole into your desk. Here’s what the process looks like:

Before you dismiss this drilling a grommet hole into your desk, consider all of the benefits.

  • The grommet hole is located towards the back of your desk where it’s not easily visible. 
  • It can route and hide cables that are on your desk (keyboard/mouse/stream deck).
  • You can put the hole in a far corner and use a monitor mount with a long arm. 
  • When a mount is used, the hole is not visible so the mount is cleanly integrated. 
  • You can cover up the hole easily with a plant or a picture frame. 

If you always plan to have your desk be a computer desk, a monitor mount would be a necessity anyways. Think about drilling a grommet hole as just a commitment to making your desk a “computer desk” permanently. 

Even if you don’t want to use that hole for a monitor mount in the future, here are other things you can do with a grommet hole:

I understand if you don’t want to drill your desk, but this might not be as bad of a modification as most people make it out to be. 

Here is a link to a grommet hole drilling kit and a grommet mount compatible monitor mount. 

2 Inch Desk Grommet and Hole Saw Kit

This desk grommet and hole saw set makes quick work of adding a grommet hole to your desk. The grommet cover has a soft texture and fits standard 2-inch holes. The hole saw comes with additional drill bits and a hex wrench.

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Best Overall Pick
WALI Heavy Duty Monitor Gas Spring Desk Mount

This monitor arm is compatible with monitors up to 35" and has a locking system that fits desks 0.39"~1.77" thick. The gas spring arm can be extended, tilted, swiveled, and rotated for adaptable positions very easily.

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Wall Mounted Monitor Mounts

What if you didn’t have to worry about any features on your desk at all to use a monitor mount? That’s exactly what a wall-mounted monitor mount will do for you. 

Wall-mounted monitor mounts are pretty underrated in my opinion. They make your monitor look like they are floating in mid-air when done properly! 

MOUNT PRO Dual Monitor Wall Mount for 13 to 32 Inch Computer Screens, Gas Spring Wall Monitor Arm for 2 Monitors, Each Holds Up to 17.6lbs, Full Motion Wall Monitor Mount with VESA 75x75/100x100

As long as you have a wall behind your desk, this is an option for you. If you rent a room or a house, this might not be the best solution. 

However, if you will have a long-term desk setup against a wall and you are comfortable drilling into the studs, I would highly recommend this method. 

Drywall can be patched up pretty easily and repainted so the downside is pretty minimal. Just be sure to drill that monitor mount into the studs of your wall.  

Another benefit here is that some of the simpler models are very affordable, like this:

WALI Articulating Wall Monitor Mount

This heavy-duty wall mount is compatible with most 13 to 32-inch flat panel displays and is adjustable for viewing flexibility. It places the TV just 2 inches from the wall and extends up to 15 inches. The wall mount plate can be mounted on any vertical wood studs, brick, or concrete walls.

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Use Monitor Mounts For Thick Desks

If your desk doesn’t have a lip because of how thick it is, then we have a few options for you. We have a dedicated article on how to mount monitors to thick desks

In the above article, we walk through the following solutions:

  • Larger capacity monitor mount clamps
  • Extending small-capacity monitor clamps
  • C-clamp methods
  • Alternatives, like floor standing monitor mounts.

Check out the article liked above for more details on these solutions. 

Compromise With A Monitor Shelf

Now if neither of those ideas resonates with you, we put together two compromises that might be worth considering. These will work without a lip, no questions asked. 

The first alternative method here is using a monitor shelf (or monitor riser) instead of a monitor mount in the first place. 

ROCDEER Bamboo Dual Monitor Shelf for 2 Monitors, Monitor Stand Riser, Underneath Storage for Desk Office Supplies, and Supports for Computer Monitor, Heavy TV Riser up to 130 lbs, Natural

It’s difficult to call this one a “‘compromise” because this solution is packed with benefits. We had to put an entire article together talking about how monitor shelves are worth the cash

Here’s what is so great about monitor shelves. 

First, they work on any desk out there. Doesn’t matter if your desk has a lip or not, they simply sit on top of a desk. 

And instead of needing to remove your perfectly fine factory monitor mount, you place your monitor as is on top of your shelf. This serves the purpose of raising your screen to a more ergonomic height and gives you additional space under your monitor. 

It’s a win-win!

There are also some nice monitor shelves out there that can really boost the aesthetics of your desk. If you’re willing to spend big bucks, check out Grovemade and HumanCentric monitor shelves. 

Aothia Large Dual Monitor Desk Shelf
  • Comes in three wood grain colors
  • Made with real poplar wood
  • Supports up to 100 lbs.
  • 43 inch by 9.4 inch surface
  • Affordable compared to other wood desk shelves of the same size
  • Cork legs are not the prettiest
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Monitor shelves can help with cable management, house docking stations, frequently used items, and more! 

Compromise With A Freestanding Monitor Mount

The last “compromise” to a desk clamp monitor mount is a completely freestanding monitor mount. 

Similar to the monitor shelves we touched on above, these don’t require any specific type of desk, so your desk lip won’t matter. They just need a flat surface. I bet your desk has that! 

This basically swaps your existing factory monitor mount, with another that has some additional capabilities. If you only have a single monitor, then this might not introduce a ton of new functionality. 

If you have dual monitors or stacked monitors, you can use mounts like these:

Vertical Stacked Free-Standing Dual Monitor Mount

This vertical dual monitor mount holds two screens 13” to 34” in size and up to 44 lbs in weight (each) which is very impressive. Adjustable brackets offer swivel, tilt, and height adjustment so you can dial in the perfect setup. Integrated cable management keeps cords clean and organized.

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Mount-It! Freestanding Dual Monitor Mount

This freestanding dual monitor stand desk mount fits two monitors with adjustable articulating arms, integrated cable management clips, and interchangeable freestanding or grommet base mount for desktops.

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We talk a lot about the benefits of stacked monitor setups here if you want to explore that dual monitor setup. 

Freestanding monitor mounts can give you much more flexibility compared to your factory monitor mount, and they can also make multiple monitor setups look much more clean. 

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I'm a big time workspace enthusiast who is constantly experimenting with my setup. Sharing along the way to help people make their own desk setups more functional and inviting, whether it be for productivity or play!