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). Generally, even when watching 1080p content, most 4k TVs have better overall picture quality, so unless there's a very specific reason you're looking for a 1080p model, upgrading to a 4k model may be more worth it.
That being said, we've tested more than 90 TVs in the last two years, and below are our recommendations for the best 1080p TVs you can buy. 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 inch variant that's limited to a 720p resolution. Given its low price point, this TV has a fairly cheap, plasticky build, and the built-in speakers are disappointing, so you'll probably want to look at a budget soundbar if you want the best sound possible.
While the picture quality of this TV is only mediocre overall, it can display deep blacks in a dark room thanks to its high native contrast ratio, and it has very accurate colors out-of-the-box. Unfortunately, it can't get very bright and will likely have a hard time overcoming glare in very well-lit environments, making it best-suited for watching movies in a dark room. It's also a good choice if you game on an older 1080p console, as its excellent low input lag and good response time make it the best 1080p tv for gaming that we've tested.
Unfortunately, it's not a great choice if you watch your TV with a large group of people, or while you're walking around the room, as the image deteriorates quickly when you watch from the side, though this is standard for TVs with a VA panel. On the upside, it runs the Roku TV smart platform, which gives you access to a large number of streaming channels and apps and is easy to use. Overall, if you need a secondary TV, this is an adequate choice.
If you watch your TV from the side and need something with better viewing angles, look into the LG LJ5500, if you can still find it. It doesn't have the deep blacks of the TCL 3 Series 2019 and the picture quality is worse, but it can get quite a bit brighter and has much better viewing angles thanks to its IPS panel. Unfortunately, the colors aren't nearly as accurate out-of-the-box as the TCL, and it isn't as good for gaming as its input lag is quite a bit higher. On the upside, it runs LG's WebOS smart interface, which feels a bit smoother than the Roku TV interface.
Overall, if you care more about picture quality and having deeper, more consistent blacks, check out the TCL. However, if you often watch your TV with a larger group of people, the better viewing angles on the LG will ensure an accurate image even from the side.
The best 1080p TV available in a 32 inch size that we've tested so far is the Samsung UN32N5300. Even though there's nothing that really stands out about this TV, it's a nice and simple TV that should suit most people looking for something of this size.
This TV has really wide viewing angles because of its IPS panel, so it's ideal to place either in a room with a wide seating arrangement or in a kitchen, where you'll be walking around a lot. If you want to use it as a computer monitor, it displays proper chroma 4:4:4, which is important for reading text, and it has good gray uniformity, so solid colors across the screen, such as on a web page, look great. Sadly, it has a high input lag, so you might notice the response delay when moving your mouse around. On the upside, this TV has built-in Tizen OS, which has an excellent selection of apps available to download. This is ideal if you don't want to buy an external box or you don't have space for it.
Unfortunately, this TV doesn't get very bright, it can't display deep blacks, and even though it supports HDR10, it can't display a wide color gamut for HDR content. However, if you place this TV in a fairly bright room, you shouldn't have many problems as it has decent reflection handling. All in all, for a 32 inch 1080p TV, it provides acceptable performance.
If you prefer something with better dark-room performance, check out the Samsung QN32LS03TBFXZA. It doesn't have wide viewing angles like the Samsung N5300, but instead, its VA panel has an outstanding contrast ratio and excellent black uniformity. Note that the 32 inch variant is 1080p, while the bigger models are 4k. This TV also performs well in bright rooms as it gets bright enough to combat glare and it has decent reflection handling. It displays a wide color gamut for HDR content and it also has decent out-of-the-box color accuracy. Unfortunately, this TV is limited to 60Hz and no variable refresh rate technology, which might disappoint some serious gamers.
If you're looking for the best 1080p TV available in a 32 inch size that we've tested so far, the N5300 is a good choice, but if you don't mind spending a bit more money and getting a TV with better dark-room performance, consider The Frame 2020.
07/14/2020: Replaced the Vizio D Series with The Frame 2020; removed the TCL D100.
05/12/2020: Minor text and structure changes; no change in recommendations.
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.