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 these sizes, but there are still some very good TVs to choose from. If you're looking for the best 40 inch TV, it may be easier to look for the best 43 inch TV since it's a more common size, and it's simply hard to find the best 42 inch TV.
We've tested more than 80 TVs in the last two years, and below are our recommendations for the best TVs available in 40-42-43 inch sizes available for purchase. See our recommendations for the best 32 inch TVs, the best TVs, and the best 55 inch TVs.
The best 43 inch TV that we've tested is the Samsung QN43Q60TAFXZA. It's an entry-level 4k QLED that performs decently overall. It's especially well-suited to watching movies in dark rooms thanks to its outstanding contrast ratio and remarkable black uniformity. Even though it lacks a local dimming feature, it still produces deep, inky blacks. On top of that, it feels fairly well-built with a sleek design and a user-friendly interface.
Despite being best suited for dark room viewing, the Samsung also has decent reflection handling and still gets bright enough to combat glare in most well-lit rooms. While it doesn't have variable refresh rate (VRR) support like higher-end Samsung QLEDs, it's still a good TV that should please most gamers. It's limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, but it has an incredibly low input lag and a passable response time. It also includes a Black Frame Insertion feature to try to reduce motion blur.
Unfortunately, it has poor viewing angles, so the image looks washed out when viewed from the side, but this is typical of VA panels. On the upside, HDR content looks decent thanks to its high contrast ratio and wide color gamut, despite not getting quite bright enough to make highlights in HDR truly pop. Finally, the unit we tested has impressive out-of-the-box accuracy, so picture quality looks good even without having to calibrate it. All things considered, this is still the best 43 inch smart TV that we've tested.
If you're looking for a cheaper alternative, check out the Samsung UN43TU8000FXZA. While it doesn't get nearly as bright as the Samsung Q60/Q60T QLED, and it doesn't have a wide color gamut, it's cheaper and has a faster response time. It has a VA panel with an outstanding contrast ratio and remarkable black uniformity, so it's great for watching movies in a dark room. Unfortunately, it has mediocre brightness, so it struggles to combat glare in well-lit rooms, and like the Q60T, it has sub-par viewing angles, so the image loses accuracy when viewed at an angle. That said, it has a decent response time that, along with its incredibly low input lag, makes for a responsive gaming experience.
If you want the best 43 inch 4k TV, get the Q60T, but if you're looking to save some money, consider the TU8000.
The Sony XBR43X800H is the best 43 inch TV for use as a PC monitor that we've tested. It has an IPS panel with impressive viewing angles, so images remain accurate at the edges of the screen when you sit up close, as well as when viewing from the side, making it ideal for sharing content and playing co-op games. It handles reflections decently well and gets pretty bright, enough that you shouldn't need to worry about visibility even in the brightest lighting conditions.
Except for 1440p, it supports most common resolutions and can display chroma 4:4:4 properly, which is great for text clarity. Input lag is exceptionally low, although you have to be in 'Game' mode to get the lowest latency. It has a good response time but a basic 60Hz refresh rate and no VRR support. The backlight is entirely flicker-free, which helps reduce eye strain and eliminate image duplication in fast-moving scenes.
If you don't have enough space on your desk for dedicated speakers, the built-in ones sound pretty decent. They're reasonably well-balanced, although they don't have enough bass extension to produce a deep, rumbling sound. Its Android TV operating system runs very smoothly, plus, it has Google Assistant built-in, which you can use to ask for general info like the weather and time. Overall, while the lack of 1440p support might disappoint some, it's a great choice that should satisfy most people.
The Hisense 43R6090G is the best 43 inch TV we've tested in the budget category. It's an okay TV that performs best in dark rooms thanks to its VA panel. It has a high contrast ratio and outstanding black uniformity, although uniformity can vary between units, producing deep blacks that look great in the dark. Unlike other Hisense models that run on Android TV, it comes with Roku TV built-in, which has a user-friendly interface with a wide selection of apps.
It's not as well-suited to well-lit environments because of its disappointing peak brightness, but on the upside, it has good reflection handling, so direct lights are diffused well. It has a decent response time, so there's not too much motion blur, but there's no Black Frame Insertion feature to further reduce blur. On the upside, gaming feels responsive thanks to its extremely low input lag. That said, it doesn't support VRR technology, which may disappoint more competitive gamers.
Unfortunately, because it uses a VA panel, it has poor viewing angles that make the image look washed out when viewed from the side. That means it's not the best option for wide seating arrangements. Its HDR experience is also disappointing since it doesn't have a wide color gamut and can't get bright enough to bring out highlights in HDR content. Still, this is the best budget-friendly 43 inch TV we've tested, and most people should be happy with it.
If you need a TV that can accommodate a wide seating arrangement, then consider the LG 43UN7300PUF. Unlike the Hisense R6090G, it uses an IPS panel, so it doesn't have the same high contrast ratio and black uniformity, but it has wider viewing angles. It has a decent response time and an exceptionally low input lag, making it alright for gaming. However, like the Hisense, it doesn't have any VRR support. Also, its brightness is mediocre, so it can struggle a bit in well-lit rooms, despite having excellent reflection handling. The low brightness in HDR and the limited color gamut mean you probably won't get the most out of HDR content using this TV. That said, there's not much stuttering with low frame rate content, and LG's WebOS is smooth and easy to use.
If you're looking for a 43 inch budget TV with a high contrast ratio, get the Hisense, but if you want a budget TV with wider viewing angles, go with the LG.
Mar 31, 2021: Removed Vizio V Series 2020. Added Sony X800H as 'Best For Use As A PC Monitor' because it does work properly in chroma 4:4:4.
Mar 01, 2021: Removed the Sony X800H as 'Best for PC' because of reports of 4:4:4 issues; added the Vizio V Series 2020 as 'Best for Gaming'; updated Notable Mentions.
Feb 12, 2021: Reviewed picks for relevance and updated text for clarity.
Jan 15, 2021: Confirmed picks are still accurate and updated text for clarity.
Dec 18, 2020: Removed Toshiba Fire TV 2020, added Hisense R6090G.
Sep 25, 2020: Removed the TCL 5 Series and 4 Series 2019 and added the LG UN7300 and Toshiba Fire TV 2020.
Jul 22, 2020: Replaced the LG UM7300 with the Sony X800H as 'Best 40-42-43 Inch TV With Wide Viewing Angles' and removed the 'Android TV Alternative' category.
Jun 22, 2020: Added the LG UM7300 to 'Wide Angle Alternative' and moved the Sony X800H to 'Android TV Alternative' to replace the Sony X800G.
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.