A growing number of companies have announced zero-deforestation commitments (ZDCs) to eliminate commodities produced at the expense of forests from their supply chains. Translating these aspirational goals into forest conservation requires forest mapping and monitoring (M&M) systems that are technically adequate and therefore credible, salient so that they address the needs of decision makers, legitimate in that they are fair and unbiased, and scalable over space and time. We identify 12 attributes of M&M that contribute to these goals and assess how two prominent ZDC programs, the Amazon Soy Moratorium and the High Carbon Stock Approach, integrate these attributes into their M&M systems. These programs prioritize different attributes, highlighting fundamental trade-offs in M&M design. Rather than prescribe a one-size-fits-all solution, we provide policymakers and practitioners with guidance on the design of ZDC M&M systems that fit their specific use case and that may contribute to more effective implementation of ZDCs.