Even though 55" and 65" have become the most popular TV sizes, smaller TVs are still very important to a lot of 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 reviewed more than 70 TVs in the last 2 years; some are available in smaller sizes, and below you'll find our picks for the best small TVs available for purchase. See also our recommendations for the best 32 inch TVs, the best smart TVs, and the best 40-42-43 inch TVs.
Note: Since many new TVs aren't available in smaller sizes, you'll notice that some older models remain as picks in our recommendations.
The best 43 inch TV we've tested so far is the Samsung QN43Q60TAFXZA. It offers decent performance for its price and most casual gamers should be happy with its performance. If you have space, this TV is also available in a 50 inch variant.
This is an entry-level model in Samsung's QLED lineup, so it has good overall picture quality but lacks extra features. It has an excellent contrast ratio and one of the best black uniformity we've seen on a LED TV, but it doesn't have a local dimming feature to further deepen any blacks. The out-of-the-box color accuracy is impressive, it can get very bright, and it has decent reflection handling. The input lag is low, but the refresh rate is limited to 60Hz with no VRR and its response time is mediocre.
Unfortunately, it doesn't have wide viewing angles and even though it's able to display a wide color gamut for HDR, but it doesn't get bright enough to truly bring out highlights in that mode. It doesn't have many extra features but it's able to interpolate motion up to 60Hz and it supports eARC, which allows you to send high-quality audio over HDMI. Overall, this is one of the best small TVs we've tested so far.
If you want a TV with better viewing angles for a wide seating arrangement, then the Sony XBR43X800H is a good choice. It can't produce deep blacks like the Samsung Q60T QLED, but instead, the image remains accurate when viewing from the side, and it has a much better response time, resulting in less motion blur. Besides their panel differences, it performs very similarly to the Samsung as it has excellent out-of-the-box color accuracy, decent reflection handling, and great peak brightness, but it doesn't get bright enough in HDR to make highlights pop. It has a low input lag but there's no VRR support, and luckily it can remove judder from 24p sources like cable boxes or native apps.
If you're looking for the best 43 inch TV we've tested, consider the Samsung, but if you want one with wider viewing angles, consider the Sony.
The best 32 inch TV that we've tested so far is the Samsung QN32Q50RAFXZA. This is a decent model that offers similar performance to larger 55 inch TVs, and it'sone of the first 4k 32 inch TVs available. It's a good choice for video games thanks to its outstanding low input lag and good response time, though unfortunately, it doesn't sport any advanced gaming features like FreeSync.
The picture quality is quite good overall thanks to its excellent contrast ratio and good, deep blacks, despite not having a local dimming feature. It supports HDR10 and HDR10+ and while its HDR peak brightness is disappointing, resulting in HDR content not popping quite as it should, its SDR peak brightness is decent, and it should be able to combat glare and reflections in moderately bright rooms. Thanks to its size and ability to properly display chroma 4:4:4, it's even a great choice to double as a computer monitor, great for tight spaces like a dorm room.
Unfortunately, like most TVs with a VA panel, the image degrades quite a bit when viewed at an angle, so it's best for setups where you'll be sitting directly in front. There are also some noticeable motion artifacts, which may bother fans of sports or action movies. Overall, this is a good all-around model that finally brings higher-end features to a smaller size TV.
The best small smart TV we've tested so far is the TCL 5 Series/43S525 2019. Although the other models on this list have smart operating systems too, this one has built-in Roku TV, which is easy to use and the menus are extremely smooth to navigate. This one that delivers decent overall performance and it won't cost you much either.
It's ideal to place in a dark room as its VA panel delivers exceptionally dark blacks, and it has great black uniformity. It doesn't have a local dimming feature, which is normal for a budget-friendly model. It has great out-of-the-box color accuracy, it displays a wide color gamut for HDR content, and it handles gradients really well. It's also a good choice for gaming because it has a fast response time and really low input lag, but it's limited to a 60Hz refresh rate and it doesn't support any VRR.
Sadly, it doesn't have wide viewing angles, which is expected from a VA panel, and it doesn't get very bright. That means it can't combat glare and it doesn't truly bring out highlights in HDR either. Fortunately, it upscales lower-resolution content well, like from DVDs or cable boxes. Overall, this is the best small TV with smart features we've tested so far.
If you want to save more money, then check out the TCL 43S425. It's a step down from the TCL 5 Series/S525 2019 as it has much worse out-of-the-box color accuracy and it doesn't display a wide color gamut for HDR content. However, it has a quicker response time, resulting in smoother motion, and it also has a really low input lag, great for gaming. You get the same built-in Roku TV with this model with a ton of apps to download, it displays really deep blacks, and it upscales content without any issues. Sadly, it has some uniformity issues, so you may notice dirty screen effect in the center, which is distracting during sports. It also has narrow viewing angles, so it's not ideal for a wide seating arrangement. On the upside, it displays chroma 4:4:4, which is important for reading text if you want to use it as a computer monitor.
All in all, the 5 Series is the best small smart TV we've tested so far, but if you don't mind losing some quality to save some money, check out the 4 Series.
08/11/2020: Only minor updates to the text and verification for accuracy; no changes in product picks.
06/12/2020: Replaced the Vizio M7 with the Samsung Q60T and the LG UM7300 with the Sony X800H; removed the 28 inch category from the article.
12/18/2019: Replaced the Samsung Q60R with the Vizio M7 Series Quantum 2019.
10/21/2019: Selected the Samsung QN32Q50R as the best 32 inch 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 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.