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Best 43-inch TVs in 2021

Included in this guide:

Best 43-inch TVs
(Image credit: Vizio)

With today’s best 43-inch TVs, you don’t have to give up many features to find a TV that will fit your bedroom or studio apartment. A 43-incher can be a great fit where a 55- or 65-inch TV is simply too big. Our picks feature 4K resolution for incredible sharpness and 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. 

According to our guide What size TV should you buy?, 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 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

However, you won’t find all the features of flagship TVs on units this small; they won’t be quite as vivid or handle fast motion as well. But you’ll see some great prices on 43-inch TVs — they’re much more affordable than their larger brethren.

Best 43-inch TV Black Friday deals

Black Friday deals are on the way, and there's already a solid array of discounts available. Smaller smart TVs often get the biggest discounts, so be sure to check out our Black Friday TV deals page for all the latest sales to make sure you get a great TV in time for the holiday season. 

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 TCL 4 Series Roku TV. It 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 impressivly short lag times for great gaming performance, it's a great buy.

The best 43-inch TVs in 2021

TCL 4-Series Roku TV (S435)

(Image credit: TCL)

1. TCL 4 Series Roku TV 43S435

Best value 43-inch TV

Screen size: 43 inches
Screen type: LCD
Refresh rate: 60Hz
HDMI ports: 3 (1 ARC)
Size: 38.2 x 22.3 x 3.3 inches
Weight: 15.4 pounds
Reasons to buy
+Excellent value-priced 4K+Good color fidelity+Solid Roku skills
Reasons to avoid
-No Dolby Vision support-Minimal sound adjustments-Picture adjustments are difficult to find

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 provides one of the best smart TV experiences available and has plenty of apps to choose from. With a low lag time of 14 milliseconds, 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

Toshiba C350 Fire TV review

(Image credit: Toshiba)

2. Toshiba C350 Fire TV (2021 model)

A killer Amazon Fire TV

Screen Type: LCD
Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
HDR support: Dolby Vision, HDR10
HDMI ports: 4 HDMI (1 ARC)
Size: 37.9 x 22.0 x 2.9 inches
Weight: 15.0 pounds
Reasons to buy
+Responsive Fire TV+Good color in standard mode+Low lag time
Reasons to avoid
-Flat HDR-Inconsistent backlighting

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. It's 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, like 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. With even the largest 55-inch model selling for less than $500 (and likely much less during sales events), it's 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.

Vizio V-Series (2020 model) review

(Image credit: Vizio)

3. Vizio V-Series V435-H11

An ultra-affordable 4K smart TV

Screen size: 43 inches
Screen type: LCD
Refresh rate: 60Hz
HDMI ports: 3 (1 ARC)
Size: 38.2 x 22.3 x 3.3 inches
Weight: 15.4 pounds
Reasons to buy
+Super affordable price+Good connectivity+Good response for gamers
Reasons to avoid
-Low brightness-Weak audio

If low prices are what you're looking for, then the 43-inch Vizio V-Series (V435-H11) might be just the budget-friendly 4K smart TV you're after. With exceptional affordability, decent smarts from Vizio's SmartCast software and great gaming capabilities, it's a fantastic bargain, even when it's not on sale – and it frequently is, with steep discounts occurring throughout the year.

A trio of HDMI 2.1 ports deliver gaming-friendly features like auto low latency mode and impressively short lag times of just 13.1 milliseconds. If you want great gaming performance for less, this is definitely the budget gaming TV to get. But keep in mind that this is a 60Hz display, so variable refresh rates and high refresh rates are off the table. And general performance is decent enough, but the brightness isn't great and the audio would benefit from adding a soundbar.

Read our full Vizio V-Series (2020 model) review.

Insignia 4K Ultra HD Fire TV Edition NS-55DF710NA21 review

(Image credit: Insignia)

4. Insignia Fire TV Edition (2020 model)

A 4K bargain with Alexa built-in

Screen Type: LCD
Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
HDMI ports: 3 HDMI, 1 USB
Size: 38.2 x 22.5 x 3.2 inches
Weight: 19.6 pounds
Reasons to buy
+Responsive Fire TV OS+Alexa brings lots of tools and smart home integration+Wide sound
Reasons to avoid
-Less than accurate colors-Poor contrast

The Insignia 4K Fire TV Edition (2020 model) may grab your attention with super-low prices during sales events, but it's also the best 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, 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.   

Best 43-inch TVs: Sony XBR-43X800H

(Image credit: Sony)

5. Sony XBR-43X800H

Feature-rich 43-inch TV

Screen size: 43 inches
Screen type: LCD
Refresh rate: 60Hz
HDMI ports: 4 (1 ARC)
Size: 38.3 x 22.5 x 2.3 inches
Weight: 20.7 pounds
Reasons to buy
+Excellent brightness+Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support+Chromecast and AirPlay built in
Reasons to avoid
-Average HDR performance-Edge lit backlight

While most 43-inch TVs lack features of premium sets, the Sony X800H is an exception. The 4K TV includes HDR10 and also handles Dolby Vision for excellent contrast. It can also play Dolby Atmos for better sound — something that you’ll definitely want to consider as more content is available in the audio format. The TV features Android TV as its smart platform, and you can stream wirelessly from your mobile device via Chromecast or Apple AirPlay 2. It has four HDMI ports, where most 43-inch TVs have three. 

In addition to those extras, the X800H is very bright and its low lag time makes it a good set for gamers. But the 43-inch version of the X800H doesn’t share all the goodies that come in the larger models in this line. For example, it uses edge backlighting instead of direct backlighting. As a result, its contrast isn’t as dark as we’d like. 

Best 43-inch TVs: Samsung Q60T QLED TV (QN43Q60TAFXZA)

(Image credit: Samsung)

6. Samsung Q60T QLED TV (QN43Q60TAFXZA)

QLED tech in a 43-inch TV

Screen size: 43 inches
Screen type: QLED
Refresh rate: 60Hz
HDMI ports: 3 (1 ARC)
Size: 37.9 x 22 x 2.3 inches
Weight: 19.8 pounds
Reasons to buy
+Rich color and sharp details+Alexa and Bixby inside+Lots of apps
Reasons to avoid
-Blurring during fast action-Limited viewing angle-Dimming at edges of screen

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. 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. It’s 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, decide if you’re locked into a 43-inch model. 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. 

Expect to pay $200-$300 for most 43-inch TVs, although those with better features or an established brand name can cost $500 or more. 

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.

Best TVs | Best 4K TVs | Best smart TVs for streaming | Best TVs for gaming

The best TVs under $1000 | The best TVs under $500

Best TV brands | Best Samsung TVs | Best TCL TVs | Best LG TVs | Best Roku TVs | Best OLED TVs | Best QLED TVs | Best 8K TVs

The smallest smart TVs | Best 50-inch TVs | Best 55-inch TVs | Best 65-inch TVs | Best 70-inch TVs | Best 75-inch TVs | Best 85-inch TVs

And don't forget to watch out for the latest TV reviews.

How we test the best 43-inch TVs

Testing the best 43-inch TVs is a thorough process. We put every TV through our custom lab tests, measuring color gamut, color accuracy and brightness to objectively see which sets are the best for these key indicators. We also test for lag time, measuring to the millisecond how long it takes for content to travel from the original source to the screen. We use these results to make numbers-based comparisons about color and display quality.

We spend hours with each set to see how our lab results translate into anecdotal performance. We also compare competing sets using a range of content across several sources. With that information, we can tell you which TVs look best, sound best and offer the best viewing experience.

Of course, we also consider the smart TV functions and apps for each TV, looking at everything from the remote control design to the voice interaction. 

Michael Gowan

Michael Gowan covers soundbars, TVs, portable speakers and other audio- and video-related topics for Tom’s Guide. He’s written about music and technology for more than 20 years for a raft of publications including Wired, Men’s Journal, PC World and Macworld. When he’s not reviewing speakers, he’s probably listening to one anyway.