Even though 55" and 65" 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 a guest room or kitchen, or even for student dorms. 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 60 TVs in the last two years; 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 Samsung QN43Q60AAFXZA. Although we tested the 55 inch model, we expect the 43 inch variant to perform the same. It's the entry-level model for Samsung's 2021 QLED lineup, so it features the same quantum dot technology as higher-end models, but it lacks features in many other areas. It performs decent overall and should be good enough for those looking to watch content in SDR. It's fairly well-built with thin bezels and a thin design, so it should look good in any setup.
It has a VA panel with an excellent native contrast ratio to display deep blacks in dark rooms, but it doesn't have a local dimming feature to improve it. If you want to use it in a well-lit room, it has great peak brightness and decent reflection handling, so visibility shouldn't be an issue in most bright environments. It doesn't have any trouble upscaling lower-resolution content, which is great for watching DVDs or cable TV. The built-in Tizen OS is easy to use and provides smooth navigation, plus there are a ton of apps available to download.
Sadly, even though it displays a wide color gamut for HDR content, it doesn't get bright enough to make highlights stand out. It also has narrow viewing angles, so the image looks inaccurate when viewing from the side. Gamers should appreciate its low input lag, but it has a 60Hz panel and has a slow response time, meaning motion looks a bit blurry. Overall, this is one of the best small TVs available in a 43 inch size.
If you have a wide seating arrangement, check out the Sony KD-43X80J. We tested the 55 inch model, but the 43 inch TV should perform the same. It has an IPS-like panel with a lower contrast ratio than the Samsung Q60/Q60A QLED, but that means it has wider viewing angles. The image remains accurate when viewing from the side or sitting close while using it as a PC monitor. It has a great response time for smooth motion while gaming, and it has low input lag. It has decent SDR peak brightness, but it doesn't get much brighter in HDR, so it's not enough to deliver a true HDR experience. Also, it has decent reflection handling, so while it may be fine for a room with a few lights around, it's not good if you have direct light sources on it.
If you want the best small smart TV, you can't go wrong with the Samsung. If you prefer something with wide viewing angles, check out the Sony.
The Samsung UN43AU8000FXZA is one of the best small TVs for gaming. It sits below the Samsung Q60/Q60A QLED in Samsung's 2021 lineup, and even though it doesn't display a wide color gamut for HDR content, it offers good value for its cost. It's a pretty simple model and doesn't have many features, but we expect this for TVs in this size range. Once again, we tested the 65 inch model, but we expect our results to be valid for the 43 inch model, too.
Despite having a 60Hz panel and not having any variable refresh rate (VRR) support, it's still decent for gaming. It has low input lag, but motion looks blurry, especially in darker scenes, due to its just okay response time. It has a Black Frame Insertion feature to reduce motion blur, but it doesn't work that well and creates image duplication. It's good for dark room gaming because it has a VA-like panel that helps produce deep blacks, but there's no local dimming feature either. It has great reflection handling if you want to use it in a well-lit room, and it has okay peak brightness, but it may not be enough to fight a ton of glare.
Sadly, like any VA panel, it has narrow viewing angles, so the image looks washed out when viewing from the side. As mentioned, it doesn't display a wide color gamut for HDR content, and it has low peak brightness in that mode, so HDR content doesn't look much different from SDR content anyways. Overall, this is one of the best small TVs we've tested.
If you prefer an even smaller TV that's available in a 40 inch size, then check out the Vizio V405-H19. It has a slower response time than the Samsung AU8000, so motion in fast-moving games may look blurry. Its backlight also flickers, but unlike the Samsung, it flickers at such a high frequency that you may not notice it. It also has incredibly low input lag and supports most common resolutions at 60Hz, including 1440p. However, it doesn't properly display chroma 4:4:4 with 1440p content as text looks stretched out and fuzzy, which is disappointing if you also want to use it as a PC. Sadly, it doesn't perform well in bright rooms due to its low peak brightness, but it's also a good choice for dark rooms, thanks to its excellent native contrast ratio.
If you want the best small smart TV for gaming, go for the Samsung, but if you're tight on space and prefer a 40 inch model, check out the Vizio.
The best small smart TV is the Hisense 43R6090G. The 43 inch model should perform the same as the 55 inch we tested. It's a simple, budget-friendly TV that's available in a wide range of sizes. The 43 inch model may be harder to find than some bigger sizes, but there are a few retailers that sell it. Unlike most Hisense TVs, it has built-in Roku TV instead of Android TV. Roku is easy to use, the menu navigation is very smooth, and there's a ton of apps you can download through the app store.
It has a VA panel and performs best in dark environments. It has an amazing native contrast ratio and outstanding black uniformity, but there's no local dimming feature to further improve the picture quality in dark scenes. It has good out-of-the-box color accuracy, so you likely won't need to get it calibrated if you don't want to, but this varies between units. It upscales lower-resolution content without any issues, removes judder from native 24p sources, and has excellent low input lag for gaming.
Sadly, even though it supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision, HDR content doesn't look all that different from SDR because it fails to display a wide color gamut and doesn't get bright enough to make highlights pop. It also has dirty screen effect in the center, which could be distracting during sports, but this varies between units. Luckily, it has good reflection handling, so it's a good choice for most moderately-lit rooms. All in all, if you want the best small TV with good smart features, you should be pleased with this one.
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.
Feb 05, 2021: Removed the Samsung Q50R because it's a 2019 model, and added the Vizio V Series 2020 as '40 Inch Alternative' to the TU8000.
Dec 08, 2020: Replaced the LG UN7300 with the Hisense R6090G.
Oct 09, 2020: Replaced the TCL 5 Series 2019 with the LG UN7300; removed the TCL 4 Series 2019; added the Samsung TU8000 as 'Best Small Gaming TV'.
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.