Although most manufacturers and buyers are focusing on larger TVs, there's still a lot of interest in smaller models. You likely won't find the most advanced, high-end options in 40-43 inch sizes, but there are still some very good TVs to choose from. If you're looking for the best 40 inch TV or the best 40 inch smart TV, it's easier to look for the best 43 inch TV because it's a more common size, and it's simply hard to find the best 42 inch TV.
Note: While the TVs we test are mainly large sizes, like 55 or 65 inches, these recommendations are based on 43 inch TVs that we expect to perform like the larger sizes. We'll mention if there are notable differences between the 43 inch model and the one we tested, and we won't recommend the TV at all if it's a significant difference.
We've tested more than 100 TVs on our latest test bench, and below are our recommendations for the best TVs available in 40-42-43 inch sizes available for purchase. See our picks for the best gaming TVs, the best TVs, and the best 55 inch TVs.
The Sony KD-43X85J is the best 43 inch 4k TV. It's a well-rounded mid-range model that performs well for most uses, and although it lacks some of the features you find on more expensive models, most people should be happy with it. We tested the 55 inch version, but the 43 inch model should perform the same.
It has a VA panel with a high native contrast ratio for deep blacks and excellent black uniformity, but it lacks a local dimming feature to improve the picture quality in dark scenes. It easily gets bright enough to fight glare and has decent reflection handling. It delivers a decent HDR performance because it has fantastic out-of-the-box accuracy, displays a wide color gamut, and has decent HDR peak brightness. It's one of the few TVs available in this size that comes with HDMI 2.1 inputs, meaning you can play 4k games up to 120 fps, and even though it currently doesn't have variable refresh rate (VRR) support, it should come in a future firmware update.
Unfortunately, it has narrow viewing angles, so the image looks washed out from the sides, and it's not a good choice for wide seating arrangements. It also has some issues displaying proper chroma 4:4:4 with 4k @ 120Hz signals because text looks blurry, so you're going to need to drop the refresh rate down to 60Hz if you want to use it as a PC monitor. Regardless, it's still the best 43 inch TV.
If you prefer something cheaper, then check out the Samsung UN43AU8000FXZA. It doesn't have HDMI 2.1 inputs and doesn't get as bright as the Sony X85J, but that's what you expect from a cheaper, entry-level model. However, it has better reflection handling, and the Tizen OS interface is easier to use than the Google TV platform on the Sony. It doesn't have any issues upscaling lower-resolution content, making it a good choice for watching cable TV, but it also has narrow viewing angles. The 43 inch model should perform like the 55 inch variant we tested, which has a great native contrast ratio and excellent black uniformity but lacks a local dimming feature.
If you're in the market for the bench 43 inch TV, you can't go wrong with the Sony because it has gaming features and gets bright, but if you prefer something cheaper, check out the Samsung.
The Sony KD-43X80J is the best 43 inch TV if you need something to use as a PC monitor. It's a great choice to use as a PC monitor mainly due to its panel type that provides wide viewing angles, so the image remains accurate at the edges if you sit close, and it stays the same if you need to share your screen with someone else next to you. While a TV doesn't provide the same ergonomics as a monitor for PC use, the high 4k resolution delivers crisp images.
Like many Sony TVs, the unit we tested has excellent out-of-the-box accuracy, which is great if you need something for photo editing. Although we tested the 55 inch version of this TV, our results are also valid for the 43 inch model. It performs fairly well in bright rooms because it has decent peak brightness and decent reflection handling, but we don't suggest using it in really bright rooms. It doesn't have any trouble displaying chroma 4:4:4 signals with 4k @ 60Hz content, which helps display clear text.
Sadly, our unit shows signs of temporary image retention after displaying a high-contrast static image. This can be annoying while using it as a PC monitor because elements stay on the screen for a short period after they've disappeared, but it may vary between units. If that isn't an issue for you, it's one of the best small monitors for PC use.
The Hisense 43A6G is the best 43 inch TV you can get on a budget. It's a simple, entry-level TV that has good smart features. It comes with Android TV built-in, which has a fairly user-friendly smart interface, and menu navigation between apps feels smooth. You can find lots of apps through the app store, and even if you don't, you can cast nearly anything you want from your phone thanks to the Google Chromecast support.
The IPS panel on the 43 inch model helps provide wide viewing angles, making it a great choice for a wide seating arrangement as the image remains accurate from the sides. It has an IPS panel like the 65 inch version we tested, so our results are valid for the smaller model. Although it doesn't get bright enough to fight glare, it also has decent reflection handling, so it's fine for a room with a few lights around. Whether you're streaming lower-resolution content or watching from a cable box, it doesn't have any upscaling issues either, which is great.
Sadly, the main downside to IPS panels is their low contrast ratio, and without a local dimming feature, blacks look gray when viewed in the dark. It also has uniformity issues with clouding throughout the screen, so it's not a good choice for watching movies in dark rooms. If you only plan on using it in a room with a few lights, then it's one of the best 43 inch TVs we've tested.
If you tend to use your TV in a dark room, check out the Vizio V435-J01. Its smart features aren't as good as those on the Hisense A6G, and the SmartCast system doesn't have an app store, but it still comes with a bunch of pre-installed apps, and you can cast content from your phone. Instead, it has a VA panel with a high native contrast ratio, so blacks look deep and inky, even without a local dimming feature, and the black uniformity is incredible. Our unit also has excellent out-of-the-box accuracy, so you may not need to calibrate it to enjoy content to the fullest, but this varies between units. Sadly, it doesn't upscale 480p and 720p as well as other 4k TVs, so it's not ideal for watching DVDs and cable TV.
If you're on a budget and want the best 43 inch TV with good smart features, the Hisense is a good choice, but if you prefer something with better contrast, then check out the Vizio. We tested the 65 inch version of the Vizio, and our results are valid for the 43 inch model.
Jan 13, 2022: Updated text for clarity and verified picks for availability.
Dec 10, 2021: Switched the Hisense A6G and the Vizio V5 Series 2021 around as the main and alternate picks in the budget category to be consistent with other recommendation articles; added the TCL 4 Series/S446 2021, Amazon Fire TV 4-Series, and the LG C1 OLED to Notable Mentions.
Nov 11, 2021: Verified picks for availability and updated text for accuracy; added the Vizio D3 Series 2021 to Notable Mentions.
Oct 15, 2021: Updated text for clarity; added the Vizio M6 Series 2021 and the LG NANO75 2021 to Notable Mentions.
Sep 17, 2021: Updated text for clarity; added the Samsung QN90A and Toshiba C350 Fire TV 2021 to Notable Mentions.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the 40-42-43 inch TVs to buy for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (a cheaper TV wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't 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 40-42-43 inch TV reviews. 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.