Best Projector Screen

Best Projector Screen

Why buy a projector screen? It’s a question we’re asked often. Many people mistakenly believe that a simple painted white wall or a plain white bed sheet will do the job as well. While you will see a picture of sorts with either of these options it will be one where detail, contrast and colour fidelity are heavily compromised.

Conventional paint on a wall isn’t designed to reflect light in an even way and, no matter how smooth the plaster on the surface, the light will be scattered. A sheet is just as bad, adding a lack of flatness to that sorry list of failings. There’s no two ways about it, if you want a genuine cinema experience you’ll need a proper projector screen, and that goes for when you use an outdoor projector too!

The best projector screen can make an amazing difference to enhance your home cinema. If you’re using a wall or even a hung up sheet, then they are a must buy – they really will improve the picture quality that much, making it similar to a TV screen in quality in some cases. There are a huge range of options, and don’t just buy the biggest – it really depends on your projector and the space.


Perhaps you are a teacher looking for a screen to show slides and educational videos to your students. Or maybe you are a business professional who will be using their projector more for PowerPoint and Excel presentations. Or maybe you are a movie aficionado looking to blow your friends’ minds at your next party.

Depending on your needs, we are confident we can find the perfect projector screen for you! The people who need large projection surfaces typically fall under a few categories:

  • Home theater – A home theater projection screen is perfect for individuals who want a dedicated cinema room, backyard movie nights and those who want a movie theater experience right in their living room.
  • Large venues – Large venues such as conventional halls are the ideal setting for a large movie screen.
  • Business conference rooms – When it comes to presenting multimedia data nothing conveys the point better than a large projection screen.
  • Classrooms – From elementary to college, schools can benefit from large screen projectors to help students learn.
  • Churches and houses of worship – Whether it’s a projector for church services or a fundraising movie night, church projector screens are the way to go.

What to consider when buying the best projector screen

From inflatable versions to wall-mounted units, the best projectors are made in many different ways. As a result, there is a lot to consider when shopping for the best projector screen—perhaps more than meets the eye.

Is it your type?

Considering that projector screens, at their most basic level, are essentially blank surfaces, it might be surprising to realize there are an array of types, from pull-down screens to inflatable models that work well as an outdoor screen. Here are popular varieties:

  • Wall-mounted projector screens: Wall-mounted models are affixed permanently to your wall, much like a flat-screen TV.
  • Motorized projector screen: A motorized unit features an electric system that allows the screen to retract into its casing, which can be built directly into the ceiling, meaning it’s only visible when you want to watch something. This creates versatility and can be a helpful feature when setting up a home theater in a room that has to accommodate multiple uses.
  • Pull-down projector screen: Similar to a motorized screen, a manual pull-down screen all but disappears when you aren’t using it. It works much like a window shade, spooling at the top when you want to put it away.
  • Projector screen with stand: Perhaps intuitively, a unit with stand features a foldable screen or a collapsible option that can stand on legs. The stand could be a tripod setup or could feature feet on each side. Many portable screens have this type of build because the stand allows you to set up the machine in different locations. This is a good option if you’re looking to set up an outdoor movie screen, or if you’re a traveling professional who makes presentations.
  • Inflatable screen: Like a bouncy house or an air mattress, an inflatable screen features a framework that’s filled with air. This is a fun option if you and friends can’t make it to the stadium but still want to watch the game on an outdoor screen. Inflatable models also work for indoor home theaters, especially when you’re setting that theater up in a less formal rec room. Inflatable options don’t offer as uniform of a picture as a fixed mounted option, but they certainly make for quite the spectacle.

Screens vs. Screen Material

Most screen characteristics fall into one of two categories, related either to the screen material or to whatever frame or mechanism it’s attached to, which for lack of a better term I’ll call the “screen model.” Optical characteristics, including factors that affect image brightness and contrast, fall in the first category. Physical characteristics (such as size, shape, and whether the material is stretched over a frame or rolled up in a pull-down or pull-up format) are in the second.

Note that specific screen models often let you choose from a variety of materials. Elite Screens’ entry-level Sable Frame Series, for example, is available with a variety of materials including acoustically transparent and ambient light rejection options, and high-gain materials that boost image brightness. (More on gain in a moment.) It works the other way, too—the same screen material is often available for different screen models.


Determining which screen size is right for your space is important before getting too deep into your search. Consider the guidelines below when measuring for indoor and outdoor projectors:

  • Measure the area where the screen will be placed to see the amount of space that is available.
  • Keep in mind that the base of the screen is usually 3 to 4 feet off the ground so those sitting in a back row will still be able to see the entire picture.
  • For indoor spaces, the top of the screen should be at least 1 foot down from the ceiling to keep individuals from straining to look up too high to see the images.
  • Aim to have the first row about twice as far from the screen as its height and the last row up to eight times as far as the screen’s height. For example, if a screen is 10 feet high, the front row should be located about 20 feet from the screen, and the last row as far as 80 feet away.
  • Find out which screen sizes are compatible with the projector. Some projectors won’t be able to project a clear image onto a large screen and a smaller image will end up on a large screen, which could look out of place.

Screen Color and Resolution

The color and resolution of a projector screen affect how the images display. Projector screens are available in three color options: white, gray, and black.

  • White: White projector screens are the best choice for displaying more vivid colors. However, if a room isn’t fully dark and has ambient light, it can be challenging to view the image on a white screen. White screens generally cost less than gray or black screens. They usually are a better choice for an office environment or other uses where slides and other text will be displayed.
  • Gray: Gray screens offer a better option for rooms where more ambient light is present. Unlike white screens, they are able to reject ambient light, which makes it easier to see images in rooms that aren’t completely dark. However, compared to white screens, the viewing cone of a gray screen is often narrower than that of a white screen. Gray screens are often the best choice for an outdoor projector screen since it will absorb more light than white screens but still allow other colors to be displayed properly.
  • Black: Black projector screens are also able to reject ambient light. Dark colors and blacks appear really deep on a black screen, but whites and lighter colors may not look as accurate.

Resolution also is important to consider when shopping for the best projector screen. If using a 4K or high-resolution projector, a high-resolution projector screen will help get the benefits of the projector. Without the ultrasmooth surface of a 4K screen, the images from the 4K projector won’t reach their full potential.

Pay close attention to the aspect ratio of each screen as well. A 16:9 aspect ratio, also referred to as HDTV format, is the best choice for watching television or streaming videos from streaming services. A 16:10 aspect ratio is best for projecting information from a computer for office applications, conference rooms, or trade shows. A 2.34:1 aspect ratio is ideal for enjoying a vintage movie-viewing experience, while a 2.40:1 aspect ratio would offer a more contemporary movie-viewing experience.

Our Top Picks

Keep reading to explore some of the best projector screen options on the market. These products, which were selected using the aforementioned criteria, come from a variety of manufacturers and satisfy a range of budgets.

1. Elite Screens 135-Inch ezFrame

Elite Screens 135-Inch ezFrame

It’s one of the best overall choices, for good reason—the Elite Screens 135-Inch ezFrame has a huge screen and a 16:9 widescreen ratio for that full move experience. The ezFrame is easy to set up in minutes, with a toolkit conveniently included. When watching films, the color reproduction is accurate and vibrant, thanks to the white matte surface of the screen. When it comes to design, a black velvet frame around the mount gives it an upscale and glamorous look.

Of course, a good movie is about visuals as well as audio, and the ezFrame delivers when it comes to sound as well. The ezFrame has a transparent screen, designed for use with a hidden speaker or a rear-speaker, as the screen’s fabric allows for more sound to come through, creating a more realistic theater experience.

It’s hard to fault this projector screen, other than the high price tag. If your budget allows, it’s one of the best permanent mount screens for any home. However, if you’re not a perfectionist with an unlimited bank balance, we think the Silver Ticket is a better buy.

  • Easy installation, with kit included
  • Beautiful video quality
  • You can mount speakers behind it
  • Expensive

2. Best affordable: Silver Ticket STR-169100 100-Inch Screen

Silver Ticket STR-169100 100-Inch Screen

If you’re looking for the best possible projector screen for your money, you can’t go wrong with the Silver Ticket 100-Inch. Made from a solid and durable aluminum frame, it has the look and feel of a premium product at a budget-friendly price. Thanks to its contoured and wrapped frame, you get the best possible home movie viewing, since the wrapping helps avoid shadows and the contouring absorbs extra light, useful if your projector isn’t positioned at the best angle (it also looks pretty good with the black frame).

The Silver Ticket is a permanent mount, so it’s best for those looking for a screen that will stay in one place, such as in a basement or rec room. With its wide 160-degree viewing angle, you get a fantastic picture, no matter where you’re sitting.

Jeremy found the assembly confusing, as the instructions were unclear and it required a lot of floor space in his house for setup. That said, it’s a fantastic screen once it’s all set up. The quality features, impressive picture and video images, and reasonable price make it a crowd favorite.

  • Rock solid aluminum frame
  • Frame really improves picture
  • No wrinkles or seams in the screen
  • Matte white screen is great
  • Frame is a dust magnet
  • Unclear instructions make it tough to put together
  • Tension rods and pins are cheap plastic

3. Best for Small Rooms: Elite Screens Sable Frame B2 92-Inch

Elite Screens Sable Frame B2 92-Inch

If you’re shopping for a projector screen for a smaller space, the Elite Screens Sable Frame B2 92-inch 16:9 frame its slightly smaller than some of the other screens reviewed here, and won’t totally overwhelm a small room.

The screen is mildew-resistant and easy to clean with soap and water, and surrounded by a black velvet aluminum frame, which is both aesthetic and functional, as it helps absorb the projector light and keep the images on the screen, rather than the wall.

We also love the high-quality build and premium feel of this screen, which ensures the screen doesn’t crease or wrinkle over time. Give this screen a look if you’re after a top-notch, easy-to-use product that won’t overwhelm a smaller room.

  • The 92-inch screen won’t overwhelm smaller spaces
  • High-quality build keeps screen smooth and wrinkle-free
  • The hanging brackets can be tricky to hook onto the frame
  • Installation works best with two people

4. Homegear Electric Motorised Projector Screen: A great, affordable motorised screen

Homegear Electric Motorised Projector Screen

As someone who has precariously installed a pull-down screen and is afraid to try to make it retract in case the force pulls it away from the wall, I am very aware of the appeal of a motorized solution and option in the search for the best projector screen. No need to pull down, just hit the remote and wait for it to drop down while the projector loads.

This is a good value motorized screen with a solid black border and backing to aid image contrast and brightness, with good gain levels and viewing angle. It’s got a thick layer of black PVC at the back, with crease-resistant terylene and matt white PVC on top for the image. It is a slight drop off from the most expensive projector screens, but one which you’d have to nitpick to really notice. The remote does feel budget, but this isn’t a problem when you’re just using it twice per watch: at the beginning and end.

On the downside, it’ll need to be connected up to a power supply which does slightly take away from the idea of a screen being unobtrusive when it’s folded away and not in use. It also suffers from a frequent problem with projector hardware: looking slightly uninspiring and sterile: more office PowerPoint than comfortable home cinema. But with the lights out and a good film on, you won’t notice this, just the great picture on the screen.

  • Great value
  • Remote control included
  • Folds away simply and is non-obtrusive
  • Office-chic look
  • Requires power supply

5. VANKYO StayTrue Projector Screen: Great budget screen with added portability

VANKYO StayTrue Projector Screen

This is a great budget option for those who might want to take the projector into the garden for outdoor cinema, but don’t want to shell out for two screens. You can set this up inside or out and enjoy your favourite films or games gathered in the living room or outside (and there’s a great range of outdoor projectors available if you’re thinking of taking this further afield). The picture quality is good and you’d need to be a real videophile to spot big differences between this and more expensive surfaces, although if you’re using a top-end 4K projector you’re probably going to be spending more than this on the best projector screen for your setup. It’s more than good for casual viewing, however.

It supports back projection, which can be good for outside cinema-style viewing after dark, but this does mean that it lacks a black backing that blocks out light from behind. That means it really does need a dark environment to get the best out of it, especially when outside. You can buy specific material separately to attach to the back of screens to reduce this if you want, though.

The Vankyo StayTrue isn’t the most elegant unit, with the bungee cords connecting the outer frame to the screen. The lack of wall fixings means it’s more for those who have the projector as a novelty for big matches or movie night rather than a main everyday media source. But if you do want something for occasional use and don’t want to shell out for something which isn’t getting constant use then this more than fits the bill. Plus the ease and speed of set up, especially once you’ve done it a couple of times, means you can have the luxury of big-screen viewing without needing to have a permanent screen fixed to your wall.

  • Portability and outdoor use too
  • Supports back projection
  • Great for occasional usage
  • Needs dark environment
  • Connections on side

6. Elite Screens Manual B Projector Screen: Best value pulldown projector screen

Elite Screens Manual B Projector Screen

If you just want a low-fuss pull-down projector screen from a reliable manufacturer, this is your option. Especially if the price is a factor; it’s great value. This is one of the top reviewed contenders for best projector screen, in this price range, on Amazon with thousands giving it five stars – and that goes a long way to telling you how happy people are with it. The material of the casing is a little thin, which helps with the price, but also means it’s lightweight. If you’ve got any concerns about your wall supporting a heavy projector screen this could be a good way to go. It’s a simple unit – no bells and whistles, just a good quality screen at a reasonable price.

There is an issue with short-throw projectors: there may be slight ripples or creases from when it moves into the housing which won’t be notable from a standard throw projector but very short throw projectors will reveal. However, since most of the extremely short throw projectors are at high price points, you’re more likely to be looking at a pricier screen to compliment it. Some users have reported adding small weights to the bar to stretch out any minor blemishes, which is great if your wall can support it!

  • Simple to use
  • Low price means good value
  • Not good for extreme short throw

7. FDW Diagonal White Portable Projector Screen

FDW Diagonal White Portable Projector Screen

FDW TS-100 is a front projection portable screen that follows pull-down mechanism and the screen stuffed into two sturdy frames. The overall package weighs around 23.2 pounds, but actual screen weight is 18pounds so you won’t face any difficulty in carrying them anywhere. This one can be in your list if you want to buy the right portable projector screen.

The installation process is entirely breezed with this model as you will just have to fully stretch the screen and place it on the tripod that comes in the package. Even though it is a budget model, but you comfortably use it office boardroom, classrooms or home for entertainment purpose. You will be delighted to know that it also grabs a one-year complete warranty.

The manufacturer hasn’t compromised on its visual performance, and its light-absorbing black border on the screen serves as the proof. Despite its low price, the longevity of this model is quite extensive, and the entire screen is free from any wrinkle or rough area.

  • Top of the line matte white screen material
  • Praiseworthy HD visuals without any fading
  • Admirable screen gain of reflectivity between 1.1 and 2
  • The visual angle range is wide and clear
  • The overall weight could have been lower
  • The tripod is not very stable

8. Owlenz Portable Projection Screen

Owlenz foldable projector screen is an easy-to-install screen that has many holes on the side, and you just need ropes, brackets or double-sided tape just to mount them. Interestingly, unlike other models, you can easily fold the screen into a small size and dump in your backpack without causing any crease.

It only weighs 2.5lbs so carrying them in your bag won’t be any hassle. The manufacturer has also provided two bag hooks and two bundle ropes in the package which is quite handy in various situations. Lastly, the light-absorbing black border is quiet, and it allows the resolution to stay intact on the screen.

The versatility offered by Owlenz foldable projector screen is impressive, and you can use it for education, presentation, business purpose and home entertainment. So, you are trying to find a top portable projector screen for your business presentation, you may check this out. However, the manufacturer hasn’t mentioned any warranty service or return policy with this model.

  • Adequate viewing angle without any resolution fade
  • Availability of six holes for installation
  • Lucid image quality
  • It is extremely lightweight
  • The absence of any mounting stand
  • Not at all suitable for small rooms

9. Vamvo Outdoor Indoor

Vamvo Outdoor Indoor

Up until recently, we’ve recommended Silver Ticket as the go-to brand for affordable projector screens. They recently discontinued many of their products, and are no longer widely available. Fortunately, there are several other excellent options, and one of them is the Vamvo Outdoor Indoor screen. It’s basic and functional, but it has several key advantages to other screens from the likes of Mdebeddron. For starters, it’s exceptionally easy to put together, and we think the picture is comparable to some of the more expensive screens mentioned here, like the Elite Screens Spectrum 2.

However, despite the Vamvo Outdoor Indoor claiming that it can be used, well, both indoors and outdoors, the reality is a little more complex. Without a very dark environment, such as a basement with blackout curtains, there is a noticeable degradation and picture quality. And while the screen is easy to build (it will be up and running in minutes) it’s also easy to tip over. Fortunately, a few sturdy weights. This from happening, and we think the great picture quality is enough to mitigate these issues. Vamvo have big shoes to fill, but they’ve done well here. This is an ideal screen if you’re on a budget.

  • Eyelets allow this to be suspended in a garden or on a wall
  • Budget price
  • Permanent fixture, not a temporary screen

10. Khomo Gear Inflatable Movie Screen: Best large projection screen for outdoor use

Khomo Gear Inflatable Movie Screen

If your movie choices have been derided by the rest of the family as a load of hot air, or you’re a fan of the film ‘Blow Up’, then this inflatable 20ft wonder with the desired 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio could have your home audience going wild in the aisles.

Allowing for either front or rear projection, the full jumbo-sized kit includes not just the screen but also an electric blower to inflate it, plus six 30cm ropes and plastic stakes, with a storage bag to keep it all in. Though it looks like something of a monster, its manufacturer suggests that you can have it all set up to watch the latest Godzilla movie in around five minutes. To deflate it, just open the provided zipper.

  • Huge 20-foot screen
  • Simple inflatable design
  • Requires power supply

Projector Screen Setup Explained

Each screen will come with full instructions. If not, have a quiet word with the manufacturer, and tell them to stop being ridiculous. Many screens are free-standing. Some can be inflated, which is often the easiest option. Others will need to be bolted to the wall, which will require the use of a screwdriver and a cable detector. Please use a cable detector. Don’t go drilling into walls that may hide an electric shock.

If you’re setting up a theater room, you’ll have seats spread across a wide area and you’ll want to get the same picture everywhere. If you’re getting a screen for a theater room, you may want to dip below 1.0 screen gain – gain is explained below). Some grey screens claim a 0.8 measurement, which would help in wider rooms. However, if you’re setting up a conference room, or putting a projector in your living room, getting a higher-gain screen means you’ll be able to project with some lights on or when the sun is out.

In general, a high gain is more helpful in a wider range of environments while a low gain is better at accurate color recreation and producing wide viewing angles. If this is super important to you, and all you want is a screen that is easy to set up, then we strongly recommend the Elite Screens, which balances terrific picture quality with very simple setup.


Black projector screen vs. white: what’s better?

A black screen will give you a sharper image with better black levels than a white screen, especially in rooms with a lot of ambient light. If you plan to use a projector as a replacement for your living room television, a black screen could be a great solution.

The main disadvantage of black screens for most people will be the cost. Most people don’t budget to spend as much on their screen as they do on their projector. If your budget is limited, you’ll probably be better off spending the bulk of it on the projector itself and buying a cheaper white screen. If you’re going for the ultimate projector set-up, though, most people agree a black screen looks better. Whether or not it’s a big enough difference to justify the extra expense is a question only you can answer.

How much should I spend on a projector screen?

You can find screens for under $100 and others that cost thousands of dollars. Motorized screens tend to cost more since you’re also paying for the electrical system and housing that’ll help hide your screen when you don’t want to see it. Still, that doesn’t mean spending thousands is worth it for average viewers––even those who expect to watch movies in 4K. Some of the best screens, like those made by Elite Screens, sell for hundreds, not thousands.

How much should I spend on a projector screen?

You can find screens for under $100 and others that cost thousands of dollars. Motorized screens tend to cost more since you’re also paying for the electrical system and housing that’ll help hide your screen when you don’t want to see it. Still, that doesn’t mean spending thousands is worth it for average viewers––even those who expect to watch movies in 4K. Some of the best screens, like those made by Elite Screens, sell for hundreds, not thousands.

Final Word

There are other issues you’ll want to consider. If you plan to use your screen for backyard movie nights, for example, you’ll need one you can either set up and break down quickly or safely leave outside and later clean easily. (They’re not famed for their image quality, but you can even buy inflatable outdoor screens that come with an air blower like a bouncy house.) Similarly, there are other choices not discussed here for indoor screens, such as screens for rear projection that let you put the projector behind instead of in front of the screen.

All that said, if you factor the issues covered here into your buying decision, you should wind up with a screen that takes both your projector and issues like ambient light levels into account. And if you didn’t already realize how important the right screen can be to image quality, you should at least have some idea now of how much difference your screen can make.

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