1080p TVs are no longer the norm and are becoming hard to find. Almost every new model that comes to the market is a 4k one, even for budget models (see our 4k vs. 1080p TV comparison). So, unless there's a very specific reason you're looking for a 1080p model, upgrading to a 4k model will allow you to choose from a wider selection of TVs.
We've tested more than 70 TVs in the last two years and below are our recommendations for the best 1080p TVs you can buy in 2020. See also our recommendations for the best cheap TVs and the best TVs under $300.
The best 1080p TV we've tested is the TCL 3 Series 2019 40S325, which is available in 40, 43, and 49 inch sizes. There's also a 32" variant that's limited to a 720p resolution. This TV's the replacement of the TCL S Series/S305 2018 in the TCL lineup and has a few improvements, although it remains very similar. It has a mediocre picture quality but can display deep blacks in a dark room thanks to its high native contrast ratio. It has an excellent low input lag, making it the best 1080p TV for gaming on older 1080p consoles. It runs the full Roku TV smart platform, which gives you access to a large number of streaming channels and apps that you can download.
Unfortunately, this TV can't get very bright, so it's not great for a bright room, and due to its VA panel the image deteriorates quickly when you watch from the side.
Overall, if you need a secondary TV and don't care about picture quality or having current features and capabilities, this is an adequate choice that offers a decent price-to-performance ratio.
If you want a TV for watching Free-to-Air channels and don't care about smart features, then the TCL 1 Series/40D100 is a good choice. Unlike the TCL 3 Series 2019, it's a simple TV with no smart features and just a plain TV tuner. It can play the role of a simple display if you already have an Android TV box or Apple TV. It displays deep blacks in a dark room, thanks to the high contrast ratio, but the overall picture quality is mediocre. As expected, this TV has no advanced motion processing features, and the low input lag isn't enough to make it attractive to gamers. Note that the 32" model is a 720p TV.
If you use your TV to stream content from services like Netflix and don't want to purchase an additional box like a Roku or Chromecast, go with the 3 Series 2019, but if you just need a screen and don't care about having smart features, get the D100.
If you need a TV with wider viewing angles than the ones found on the TCL 3 Series 2019, then get the LG LJ5500, if you can still find it. It doesn't have the deep blacks of the TCL, and the picture quality is worse. On the upside, the IPS panel on the LG makes it more suitable for wide seating arrangements, as the image remains accurate when viewed from the side.
Overall, the TCL is a better TV, but if wide angles are important and you don't need as good picture quality, then the LG is the way to go.
The best 32 inch 1080p TV we've tested so far is the Samsung UN32N5300. This basic TV has decent picture quality overall and is a great choice as a secondary TV. It has a wide viewing angle thanks to its IPS panel, making it a good option to use in a kitchen where you may walk around while looking at the TV. It gets decently bright, though it may have difficulties fighting glare in very bright environments, but on the upside, does a great job at handling reflections. Its grey uniformity is very good, especially in dark scenes where not much clouding is visible.
Unfortunately, this TV may not be the best option for gamers as its input lag is quite high. It also doesn't support a wide color gamut and can't get bright enough for HDR content to pop, though this is to be expected for a 32" 1080p TV at this price point. On the upside, it uses Samsung's Smart TV system which is easy to use and should be intuitive enough for new users, so you can stream from your favorite services without the need for an additional box like a Chromecast or Roku.
Overall, this is a decent 1080p, 32" TV that's a good choice for a bedroom or spare room thanks to its decent picture quality, easy to use smart features, and wide viewing angles.
If you want a basic 32 inch TV but don't want to spend as much as the Samsung N5300, get the Vizio D Series 1080p 2017. It can't get quite as bright as the Samsung, and its viewing angles aren't quite as wide, but it's cheaper and has a lower input lag. While this is still a smart TV, its interface is fairly basic and isn't as easy to use or intuitive as Samsung's.
If you want a 32" 1080p TV but still want something with decent picture quality and an easier to use smart interface, get the Samsung, but if you want to save a few extra bucks and still get something decent, get the Vizio.
Our recommendation above is what we think is currently the best 1080p TVs to buy for most people. We factor in the price (a cheaper TV wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't really worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no TVs that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our reviews of TVs that have a 1080p screen. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no TV is perfect, most TVs are great enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.
01/07/2020: Minor text and structure changes, no change in recommendations.
10/30/2019: Updated picks and made changes to text for clarity.