55-inch TVs were once the most popular TV size, but larger TVs like 65-inch and 75-inch models are becoming more popular. Still, a 55-inch TV is good if you have a smaller living room, and finding the best 55-inch 4k TV for your needs depends on your usage, viewing conditions, and budget. High-end TVs tend to be great for a variety of uses and both in bright and dark rooms, while budget TVs are better if you need something simple and don't want premium performance. There's no perfect solution as everyone has different needs.
The best 55-inch TV is the LG OLED55C2PUA. It's a premium TV with an OLED panel that delivers stunning picture quality, especially in dark rooms. OLEDs are unique because they can turn individual pixels off, resulting in a near-infinite contrast ratio for perfect blacks in dark rooms, and there isn't any blooming around bright objects either. It also has a wide viewing angle that makes the image remain consistent from the side, which is ideal if you have a wide seating area as everyone sees the same image.
Its fantastic reflection handling and good SDR peak brightness make it a good choice if you want to use it in a well-lit room. It has decent HDR peak brightness that makes small highlights stand out. However, you can also get LED TVs for the same price that get significantly brighter, like the Samsung QN90B QLED, so if you care about peak brightness for watching HDR content, it's better to go for that TV. However, if you want better all-around performance, the LG is still the better choice.
If you want high-end performance but don't want to spend high-end prices, check out the Hisense U8H. It's significantly cheaper than the LG C2 OLED but still delivers impressive picture quality. It has a great Mini LED backlight, letting it deliver incredibly bright highlights and deep blacks simultaneously, with barely any blooming around bright objects in dark scenes.
Blacks aren't quite as deep and inky as the LG C2 OLED, and it has a much worse viewing angle, so it's not as versatile as the C2. It runs the Google TV smart interface, which is fast and easy to use, and it has a great selection of streaming features, so you're sure to find your favorite shows. It's great for gaming, too, thanks to its two HDMI 2.1 bandwidth ports, which is great for 4k @ 120Hz gaming on the Xbox Series X or PS5 consoles.
If you're looking for something on a budget, then the Hisense 55U6H is a great choice. It's a lower-end version of the Hisense U8H, so you lose out on a few features, mainly for gaming, but if you aren't a gamer, it doesn't make much of a difference. It also offers great value compared to similarly-priced and more expensive options, as it's very good for a variety of uses. It has a high native contrast ratio, and while its local dimming isn't as good as the U8H, it's still decent, and the picture quality in dark scenes is good.
Even if you want to use it in a well-lit room, it gets bright enough to fight glare, and the reflection handling is good. Despite being a low-cost TV, it displays a wide range of colors in HDR and has fantastic out-of-the-box accuracy, so you won't have to get it calibrated for the best image possible. Lastly, it doesn't have any issues upscaling lower-resolution content, which is good if you watch cable TV or DVDs.
If you need a simple TV and don't want to spend a lot on it, some cheap TVs are decent enough for everyday use. In that case, the Insignia NS-55F501NA22 is a good choice as a cheap, entry-level 4k TV. It isn't as good overall as the Hisense U6H, which is normal if you want to save a bit, but you're still getting good value for its price. Like the higher-end TVs, it uses quantum dot technology to display a wide range of colors, but despite its great out-of-the-box accuracy, some of those colors are over-saturated.
It comes with the user-friendly Fire TV interface, which has a ton of apps available to download and is easy to use. It's ideal if you often stream your favorite content and don't want to spend extra on a streaming box. In terms of picture quality, it displays deep blacks, but it doesn't have a local dimming feature to further improve the contrast, which is normal for entry-level TVs.
If you aren't under a particular budget and want the best of the best for a home theater setup, look into the Sony XR-55A95K. It's a premium TV that uses new QD-OLED technology, which combines the perfect black levels of an OLED with the wide range of colors of a quantum dot display. It means it's remarkable for HDR content because blacks look deep and inky, and it also gets bright enough to make highlights pop in HDR, particularly with Dolby Vision content. It displays an incredibly wide HDR color gamut, and its tone mapping is nearly perfect, meaning images look life-like without any lost details.
It performs best in dark rooms like a home theater environment, but if you want to use it in a bright room, it's better to stick with the LG C2 OLED. It's because ambient lighting causes the black levels to raise on the Sony, so blacks look closer to purple in a bright room. Besides that, if you're going to use it in a dark room and don't mind spending more than the LG, it's a fantastic TV.
Sep 26, 2022: Replaced the Hisense U8G with the new model, the Hisense U8H, as it's a noticeable upgrade over last year's model.
Sep 07, 2022: Replaced the LG C1 and the Hisense U6G with the newer LG C2 and the Hisense U6H because they're newer and easier to find; added the Insignia F50 QLED as the 'Best Cheap TV' and the Sony A95K as the 'Best For Home Theaters'; updated Notable Mentions based on changes.
Jun 30, 2022: Restructured the article, moving many of our picks around to better match user expectations. Removed many out-of-date Notable Mentions.
Apr 15, 2022: Moved the Sony A90J OLED to its own category as the 'Best OLED For Movies' to reflect user needs.
Mar 18, 2022: Updated text for accuracy.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best 55-inch 4k TVs currently available. They are adapted to be valid for most people, in each price range. Rating is based on our review, factoring in price and feedback from our visitors.
If you would prefer the make your own decision, here is the list of all of our 55-inch TV reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. Most TVs are good enough to please most people, and the things we fault TVs on are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.