Even though 55 inch and 65 inch have become the most popular TV sizes, smaller TVs are still important to many people. These sizes are great for a secondary TV, like in student dorm rooms or a guest room, and if you have the space, even in a kitchen. Although you usually won't get the most advanced features or the best picture quality, there are still many decent TVs available in smaller sizes.
We've tested more than 90 TVs under the latest test bench; some are available in smaller sizes, and below you'll find our picks for the best small TVs available for purchase. See our recommendations for the best 32 inch TVs, the best smart TVs, and the best 40-42-43 inch TVs.
The best 43 inch TV is the Sony KD-43X85J. It's a well-rounded mid-range model that has a few extra features, especially for gaming. It's a good choice for both dark and bright environments, and the built-in Google TV has a ton of apps available to download if you want to stream content directly from the TV. Although we tested the 55 inch size, our results are also valid for the 43 inch model.
If you tend to watch movies in the dark, its VA panel has a high native contrast ratio for deep blacks. On the other hand, visibility won't be an issue in bright rooms because it has impressive peak brightness and decent reflection handling. It has a 120Hz panel with two HDMI 2.1 inputs, so you can easily play 4k games up to 120fps from either the Xbox Series X or PS5. It doesn't have any variable refresh rate support at the time of writing, but that should come in a future firmware update. Input lag at 120Hz is low, and even though it increases a bit with 60Hz content, it's still low enough for competitive gamers.
Unfortunately, it doesn't have a local dimming feature to improve the contrast. Also, while its HDR brightness is decent, and enough to deliver a satisfying HDR experience, really small highlights don't pop the way the creator intended. It also has narrow viewing angles, so the image looks washed out from the sides. Regardless, it's the best small TV available in a 43 inch size.
If you have a wide seating arrangement, then look into the Sony KD-43X80J. Although it sits just below the Sony X85J in Sony's 2021 lineup, it's a very different TV as it lacks HDMI 2.1 inputs and a 120Hz panel, so it's not as good of a choice for gaming. However, with an IPS panel, the image looks accurate no matter where you're viewing it from, and you still get the same great Google TV interface as the higher-end model. It even has decent speakers, so you can easily move the TV around and stream your favorite content. Unfortunately, it's not an ideal choice for well-lit rooms because its reflection handling and peak brightness are both just decent, so glare will be an issue if you have a ton of light on it.
If you're in the market for the best small smart TV, the X85J offers good all-around performance, but if you need wide viewing angles, then check out the X80J.
The Samsung QN43Q60AAFXZA is the best small TV available in a 32 inch size. It's an entry-level QLED TV with decent overall performance. 32 inch TVs are uncommon these days, especially with a 4k resolution. However, this is one of the few that's available in a variety of sizes, including 32 inches, and we expect it to perform like the 55 inch model we tested. This TV is fairly well-built and has a nice style that should look good in any setup.
It comes with Samsung's Tizen OS as its smart system, which is user-friendly, and menu navigation feels very smooth. You also get many apps available to download, and the remote comes with a mic for voice control. Our unit has impressive out-of-the-box accuracy, so you may not need to get it calibrated to enjoy it to the fullest, but this can also vary between units. Visibility shouldn't be an issue in most well-lit rooms because it gets bright enough to fight glare and has decent reflection handling. It also has a VA panel with a high native contrast and excellent black uniformity if you want to use it in a well-lit room.
Unfortunately, even though it supports HDR10+, HDR content doesn't look special because its peak brightness is just okay, and it lacks a local dimming feature to further deepen any blacks. It also has narrow viewing angles, so the image looks washed out and inaccurate from the sides. If that doesn't bother you, it's one of the best small TVs.
The best small smart TV that you can get on a budget is the Hisense 43A6G. It's a basic entry-level model with Android TV as its smart platform, which offers many apps through the Google Play Store and is fairly easy to use. The included remote is great and has a built-in mic that gives you access to voice control for Google Assistant and Alexa.
It's available in a variety of sizes, but not all of them perform the same. The 43 inch model has an IPS panel like the 65 inch model we tested, but other sizes have VA panels, so they perform differently. The IPS panel offers wide viewing angles, and even though it doesn't get very bright, it has decent reflection handling if you want to use it in a room with a couple of dim lights around. It doesn't have any trouble upscaling lower-resolution content, which is great if you watch cable TV or old DVDs. If you want to use it as a PC monitor, it displays chroma 4:4:4, which helps make text clear.
Unfortunately, the IPS panel models have a low contrast ratio and sub-par black uniformity, so they're not great for dark room viewing. However, if you want something a bit bigger, the 50 inch variant's VA panel should have much higher contrast. HDR content also doesn't look much better than SDR because it can't display a wide color gamut. If you need something simple and cheap, the A6G is one of the best small TVs available.
If you want a TV to use in a dark room, then look into the Vizio V435-J01. The Vizio SmartCast system isn't as good as the Android TV on the Hisense A6G because it feels laggier and doesn't have an app store, so you can't download extra apps besides the pre-installed ones. However, it has a different panel with a much better contrast to display deeper blacks, and the black uniformity is incredible. It doesn't get bright, so it struggles in really bright environments, but it at least has decent reflection handling. It's a good choice for watching shows and movies in 1080p or 4k, but unfortunately, it doesn't upscale 480p or 720p content as well as other 4k TVs.
If you're on a budget and want one of the best small smart TVs, then you should be happy with the Hisense, but if you prefer a better contrast, then look into the Vizio.
Nov 30, 2021: Restructuring of article to reflect test results and user needs; moved the Sony X85J to 'Best 43 Inch' category, and moved the Samsung Q60A to 'Best 32 Inch' category; moved the Vizio V5 Series to 'Dark Room Alternative' to the Hisense A6G, and renamed category to 'Best Budget'; updated Notable Mentions based on changes.
Oct 01, 2021: Updated text for clarity; added the Samsung QN90A and Toshiba C350 Fire TV to Notable Mentions.
Aug 03, 2021: Replaced the Samsung AU8000 with the Sony X85J because it has HDMI 2.1 inputs; replaced the Vizio V Series 2020 and the Hisense R6090G with the newer Vizio V5 Series 2021 and the Hisense A6G; updated Notable Mentions.
Jun 04, 2021: Replaced the Samsung Q60T, Sony X800H, and Samsung TU8000 with their replacements, the Samsung Q60A, Sony X80J, and Samsung AU8000; updated Notable Mentions based on market availability.
Apr 06, 2021: Reviewed accuracy of picks with minor updates to text. No change in recommendations.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best small 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 reviews of TVs that are available in 43 inch sizes and smaller. 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.