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 2019. 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 is also a 32" variant that's limited to a 720p resolution. This TV's the replacement of the TCL S Series/S305 2018 in 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, this is a mediocre TV better suited for rooms where picture quality isn't the primary concern.
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. 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 already have a TV box and only need a display, the TCL D100 will do the job; otherwise, go with the TCL S325.
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 TV with a 1080p resolution is the Samsung UN32N5300. It has similar performance to last year's M5300 which has become hard to find. This TV has a decent picture quality, but can't display deep blacks in a dark room due to its low contrast ratio. Its IPS panel allows the TV to maintain an accurate image when viewed from the side, which is great if you often walk around the room while you watch TV. Fast-moving content has a little more blur trail, but nothing too serious. Finally, it has a low input lag, but not low enough for serious gaming.
Although this TV supports HDR, there's not much benefit to using it in this mode, as it can't display a wide color gamut or get very bright, so it can't deliver HDR content the way it should be.
Overall, this is a basic TV which can serve you well as a secondary TV in a room that isn't too bright.
If you want a cheaper TV than the Samsung N5300, then get the Vizio D Series 1080p 2017 D32F-E1. This TV can't get as bright or handle reflections as well as the Samsung. On the upside, this TV can remove 24p judder from older content and has a low input lag, which makes it a decent choice for those who enjoy video games.
If you want a better TV and need the reflection handling, get the Samsung; otherwise, if you want something cheaper, get the Vizio, one of the best budget 1080p TVs.
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.
10/30/2019: Updated picks and made changes to text for clarity.