When you haven’t got lots of space to play with, the best 43-inch TVs are ideal for delivering many of the features you’ll find on bigger sets but with the convenience of a smaller size that’s perfect for apartments and bedrooms.
In terms of features, 43-inch TVs almost always feature 4K resolution for incredible sharpness and even high-dynamic range (HDR) for great contrast. They also all come with smart features such as apps that let you stream movies and shows without the need for a separate streaming device.
We also like 43-inch TVs because they are some of the best budget TVs as well. They offer great value for the price, and can often be found for under $300.
That said, you’ll get more choice and arguably a better picture from one of the best 55-inch TVs or above, so if you can go bigger, you should. However, if you just don't have space for a set of that size, or are on a really strict budget, one of the best 43-inch TVs is still a great option. Read on and we'll help you choose the best 43-inch TV set that's right for you.
- If size doesn't matter, check out the best 4K TVs we've reviewed
- Still shopping? Our TV buying guide has the 9 things you need to know
Best 43-inch TVs: New in 2022
You might find that the TVs currently in our best 43-inch TVs for 2022 list are from a year ago, but that's because we're still waiting to get our hands on many 2022 models for a proper review. We've seen a few of the newer screens at press events, but we haven't been able to put them through our extensive tests yet. Until that happens, we don't feel comfortable recommending them to our readers.
While we wait for review units to hit our testing rooms, here's a brief overview of what we know you can expect coming from the big manufacturers this year.
With Samsung's 2022 TV lineup, there'll almost certainly be a 43-inch model of The Frame 2022, now with new tech that makes it look even more like a work of art when not in use. Samsung didn't reveal the exact sizes of its 2022 models, but we know the Frame will be available in sizes ranging from 32 to 85 inches, and there was a 43-inch Frame TV in 2021; it stands to reason that there will be one this year.
LG has also announced its 2022 TVs, and while there won't be a 43-inch model of the C2 OLED, the new version of last year's brilliant C1, there will be a 42-incher — which we think is close enough to warrant a mention here.
What are the best 43-inch TVs?
We test some 43-inch TVs specifically, but more often focus on the 55- and 65-inch versions that have the same features and performance. When a manufacturer makes a great 55- or 65-inch TV, we expect the smaller model will be just as good, so we've based some of our picks for 43-inch TVs on our experience with the larger versions.
Our top pick is the Samsung QN90A, Samsung's flagship QLED TV from 2021. Yes, this is a bit of a cop out considering how expensive it is, but its performance blows away every other 43-inch TV on the market.
If you want something more affordable, the TCL 4 Series Roku TV is often one of the cheapest models you can find, but you don’t give up much in terms of features or quality. It runs Roku’s operating system, so you get all the benefits of a Roku streaming device — including a ton of apps and an easy to use interface — without having to sacrifice an HDMI port. And gamers will love its low lag time, which translates to better game play.
For a real steal, the Toshiba C350 Fire TV (2021 model) is a killer bargain, even when it's not selling at a discount — but it usually is. With an Amazon-powered smart TV experience that includes built-in Alexa capability and impressively short lag times for great gaming performance, it's a great buy.
The best 43-inch TVs in 2022
Although it's the most expensive 43-inch TV on this list by a country mile, there's no denying that the Samsung QN90A is technically the best 43-inch TV money can buy.
The Samsung QN90A Neo QLED TV combines Samsung's highly refined quantum dot technology with the tight control of mini-LED backlighting, resulting in one of the best TV displays we've ever tested. To take brightness as an example, the QN90A achieved 1813.83 nits in our testing — more than four times the LG G1's 412.05 nits. Color reproduction, meanwhile, was 99.51% — on a par with other excellent non-OLED sets, though below what you get on the best OLEDs. Samsung pairs that image quality with a bounty of smart TV functions and genuinely intelligent features, like a solar-powered remote control that eliminates the need to swap out batteries — delivering eco-friendly design and unbeaten convenience at the same time.
The whole thing is packed into a gorgeous 1-inch-thick design that contains a huge array of smart features, potent Dolby Atmos sound and some of the best performance we've ever seen. HDMI 2.1 connectivity comes as standard, and it's also a great option for gamers thanks to plenty of dedicated features and an impressive 12.6-millisecond lag time in our testing. One slight negative is that it only supports HD10+ and not Dolby Vision as well, which means it's not quite as versatile as some sets, but overall it's the best TV we've seen in the past 12 months.
Read our full Samsung QN90A Neo QLED TV review.
Our pick for the best overall 43-inch TV, the TCL 4 Series Roku TV, is also the best value you’ll find in this size. This 4K TV oftens sells for less than you’ll find bargain 1080p TVs. It has good color accuracy and supports HDR10 — but not Dolby Vision — for improved contrast. It uses Roku’s system software, which we think provides one of the best smart TV experiences available and has plenty of apps to choose from. We found it had a low lag time of 14 milliseconds during testing too, so this set also will handle fast-paced gaming well.
In exchange for the great price, the TCL 4 Series is missing a few features that more expensive TVs deliver. It lacks local dimming, so the HDR performance isn’t as good as it could be. It also has weak speakers, with little bass and limited power. If this is going to be your main TV, consider adding a soundbar to overcome the sound issues.
Read our full TCL 4-Series Roku TV (S435) review.
The Toshiba C350 Fire TV is the 2021 addition to the small family of Amazon-powered smart TVs, offering good features and decent performance for its extremely affordable price. Our testing found it to be a decent example of the Fire TV template, combining good-enough 4K picture quality, impressively short lag times, and Amazon's great Fire TV smart features. This includes built-in Alexa voice control, a pretty big app store and (of course) an interface that puts Amazon's Prime Video service front and center. The 43-inch version is the smallest of the range of screen sizes and also the cheapest — expect to pay around $280 (and likely less during sales events) making it one of the smartest affordable TVs you can get.
The C350 doesn’t come with the latest bells and whistles, such as HDMI 2.1 or Dolby Atmos support, but it does Dolby Vision and HDR10 — though not very well. But with excellent color accuracy, low lag time and a good looking design, it's still a solid TV for the price, and better than many Fire TV models we've seen in the past.
Read our full Toshiba C350 Fire TV review.
The Insignia 4K Fire TV Edition (2020 model) may grab your attention with super-low prices during sales events, but it's also a great smart TV around for people who want the convenience of Alexa and streaming services in a single package. With 4K resolution, HDR support with Dolby Vision and Amazon's huge library of apps and content, our testing found the real selling point of the Insignia Fire TV isn't any one feature, but the total package of smart capabilities that are offered in this ultra-affordable TV.
It's a great TV for casual viewing, but the mediocre performance and middling gaming support make it clear that (at least in this case) you get what you pay for – even if it does beat the competing 2020 Toshiba 4K Fire TV Edition. Fire TV is great for the Amazon faithful, but new-comers may find it a little too Amazon-centric. But it's hard to beat the price on a regular day, nevermind the low prices offered in every big sales event.
Read our full Insignia 4K Ultra HD Fire TV Edition (2020 Model) review.
Going with a small TV doesn’t mean you have to miss out on one of the best panel technologies if you choose the Samsung Q60T. It features a QLED screen, or quantum-dot LED, which produces more intense colors than a regular LED and competes with an OLED screen for vividness and deep blacks. Our tests found the Q60T delivers a very sharp picture, and thanks to that QLED screen, good colors. It handles HDR well, producing excellent contrast. It also is packed with Samsung’s rich array of apps thanks to the Tizen smart operating system.
But you’ll pay for the privilege of that fancy screen, with the Q60T costing several hundred more than the TCL 4 Series. And while it has a good picture, there are some flaws. This year’s model has a slower processor and lower refresh rate, which resulted in some blurring during fast motion scenes. Its color accuracy was also below other QLED sets. But if you want one of the best screens in a 43-inch TV, the Q60T is the one for you.
Read our full Samsung Q60T review.
How to choose the best 43-inch TV for you
When looking for a 43-inch TV, follow our TV Buying Guide tips. If you put some thought into what you need from a TV, you’ll be able to enjoy your purchase for years to come.
First, check that a 43-inch TV makes sense for your space. According to our What size TV should you buy? guide, a 43-inch TV is ideal for viewers seated 3.5 to 4 feet away from the screen. That size makes them the perfect second TV for a bedroom, an inexpensive kids TV or a dedicated TV for gaming.
If your space will allow for a larger unit, we recommend you go bigger — even if you think you’ll be happy with a smaller screen, a bigger one helps make the experience of watching more engaging.
Finally, consider which ports you need and how many. The number of HDMI ports you need depends on how many devices you plan to plug in — a streaming stick, game console or cable box, for example. Most of these TVs have three HDMI inputs, but some have four. If you plan to use a sound bar, you may need an optical digital audio or a 3.5 mm auxiliary output. You may also want a TV that supports Bluetooth so you can listen on your headphones without disturbing people around you.
If you've narrowed down your TV shopping by brand, price range or screen size, check out our picks for the best TVs in each.
And don't forget to watch out for the latest TV reviews.
How we test the best 43-inch TVs
When it comes to evaluating the best 43-inch TVs, we're serious about getting it right. That's why every TV we review is put through a rigorous testing process that measures key standards of picture quality and performance.
Our lab tests involve testing for color accuracy and color gamut using an X-Rite i1 Pro spectrophotometer, an AccuPel DVG-5000 video test pattern generator and SpectraCal CalMAN Ultimate calibration software. These tools are relied on by professional calibrators throughout the industry, and we've paired them with custom workflows to gather the information needed for our reviews. These measurements are taken first in standard mode to simulate the average watching experience, and then taken again in other display modes to find the top color and brightness performance offered by each set.
Our testing measures contrast and maximum brightness, as well as lag time. Using a Leo Bodnar Video Signal Input Lag Tester to test video signal delay, we time how long it takes for content to travel from the original video source to the screen, measured to the millisecond. Shorter response times equate with faster gaming performance, letting us objectively know which TVs are better for gaming.
We use all of these objective test results to make comparisons about quality and performance between different TVs, but our evaluation doesn't end there. We also spend hours with each set, watching shows and movies, and using carefully selected video samples to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each set and help us tell you which TVs look and sound the best in a real home viewing environment.
And there's more to today's TVs than just viewing, so we also check out the smart TV functions and evaluate everything from the interface to the remote control design. This lets our reviews speak to the technical capabilities of today's smart TVs and how they fit into your connected home.