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. It's easier to look for a 43 inch TV because it's a more common size instead of looking for the best 40 inch smart TV, but there are some 42 inch OLEDs coming out if you want 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 110 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 TV. It's a good TV with features that should please people looking for a TV for various uses, from gaming to watching movies. It comes with Google TV as its smart platform, which is easy to use and has a ton of apps available to download, and the built-in mic gives you access to Google Assistant. We tested the 55 inch model, and the results are valid for this 43 inch version.
Despite being a mid-range TV, it has a few features for gamers. It has HDMI 2.1 bandwidth that lets you play 4k games up to 120 fps, but there are some issues with resolution halving, affecting text clarity. It also has low input lag for a responsive gaming experience, and motion looks smooth thanks to its quick response time. There's even an optional backlight strobing feature to reduce persistence blur, but it only flickers at 120Hz, so it's not ideal for 60 fps content.
It performs well in dark rooms, thanks to the high native contrast ratio for deep blacks, but sadly there's no local dimming feature to improve it. Also, while it displays a wide color gamut and has decent HDR brightness, it doesn't get bright enough to deliver a true cinematic HDR experience. Besides that, it's one of the best 43 inch TVs.
If you want to spend less money on the best 43 inch 4k TV, consider the Samsung UN43AU8000FXZA. It's an entry-level TV with fewer features than the Sony X85J, meaning you won't get HDMI 2.1 bandwidth or VRR support. In terms of picture quality, it performs well in dark rooms as its VA panel has great contrast, but there's no local dimming feature. It's good for well-lit rooms thanks to its impressive reflection handling, but it doesn't get bright enough to fight a ton of glare, nor does it make highlights pop in HDR. The included Tizen OS is also a more basic version of the software than higher-end models, but it's easy to use to stream your favorite content.
If you want the best TV in this size range, the Sony has many features and is good overall. If you prefer something cheaper and don't mind compromising a bit, then the Samsung TV is a good alternative. Although we tested the 65 inch version of the Samsung, the results are also valid for the 43 inch model.
If you want a 43 inch TV to use as a PC monitor, the best 43 inch TV for your needs is the Sony KD-43X80J. It doesn't have as many features as the higher-end Sony X85J, but it's better to use as a PC monitor because it has a wider viewing angle. It means that you see the same accurate image if you're viewing from the sides, and the edges of the screen don't look washed out if you sit too close. We tested the 55 inch variant, and the results also apply to the 43 inch variant.
It has decent peak brightness in SDR and decent reflection handling, so it's fine if you want to use it in a room with a few lights around. You won't notice any delay with your mouse movements because it has very low input lag, and scrolling through long documents feels smooth, thanks to the quick response time. It also doesn't have any issues displaying chroma 4:4:4 with 4k @ 60Hz signals, which results in clear text when using it as a PC monitor.
Unfortunately, it's not good for HDR content because it has low HDR peak brightness, and it also has a low contrast ratio, so blacks look gray in the dark. Also, it has some signs of temporary image retention, but it's minor. All in all, it's the best small TV to use as a PC monitor.
The best budget 43 inch TV so far is the Amazon 4K43N400A. It's an okay overall TV with a simple design and while it doesn't have as many features as higher-end TVs, it's still fine for everyday use. It comes with the Fire TV smart platform, which has a user-friendly interface that's easy to use and there are a ton of apps you can download. The included remote has a built-in mic that you can use with Alexa voice assistant.
The 4-Series is a good choice for dark rooms because it has an excellent native contrast ratio and okay overall black uniformity, so blacks look deep and there isn't much blooming around bright objects. It's okay for well-lit rooms with a few lights around too as it has decent reflection handling, but it doesn't get bright enough to fight a ton of glare. It upscales 1080p and 4k content well if you're streaming movies, and while it's not as good with 480p and 720p content, it's still decent at upscaling.
Unfortunately, it has some uniformity issues that can get distracting while watching sports. Also, it has terrible out-of-the-box accuracy, and even calibrating it doesn't do much to fix the issues. If this isn't a concern for you, then it's an okay overall budget TV available in a 43 inch size, which should perform like the 55 inch model we tested.
The budget 43 inch budget TV for wide seating areas is the Hisense 43A6G. It's different from the Amazon Fire TV 4-Series because it has a different panel type with a wider viewing angle, so the image remains accurate from the sides, making it a great choice for wide seating arrangements. Keep in mind that we tested the 65 inch model, and the results are also valid for the 43 inch variant.
The A6G has great smart features as it comes with Android TV built-in, which is similar to the Google TV on the Sony X85J and has a massive selection of apps available to download. Like other smart TVs, the remote has a mic that you can use to ask it to change inputs or search for content. If you have older devices like an old gaming console or DVD player, it has a composite input to connect those devices, and it comes with an adapter for it.
Unfortunately, the overall picture quality on this TV isn't the best. Blacks look gray in the dark due to the low contrast, and it doesn't have a local dimming feature either. Also, it has low HDR peak brightness so highlights don't pop, and even in SDR, it doesn't get bright enough to fight glare in a bright room. Regardless of these issues, it's an okay smart TV that's available in a small size.
May 12, 2022: Replaced the Vizio V5 Series with the Amazon 4 Series because it has better smart features and made the Hisense A6G its own category as 'Best For Wide Seating Areas' to reflect user needs; updated Notable Mentions based on changes.
Apr 07, 2022: Verified picks for availability and updated text for clarity.
Mar 10, 2022: Swapped the Hisense A6G and the Vizio V5 Series picks because the Vizio is better overall and renamed the Hisense to 'Wide Viewing Angle Alternative'; added the Amazon Fire TV Omni Series to Notable Mentions.
Feb 11, 2022: Verified picks for availability and updated text for clarity.
Jan 13, 2022: Updated text for clarity and verified picks for availability.
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.