The best 43-inch TVs deliver a great picture without taking up much room. When a 55- or 65-inch TV is too much, a 43-incher can be the right fit. Based on our What Size TV Should You Buy guide, you should sit about 3.5 to 4 feet away when watching a 4K TV this size. That makes them perfect for small spaces, such as bedrooms or studio apartments.
With today’s best 43-inch TVs, you don’t have to give up many features when you scale down the size. 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.
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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.
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. If you’re not a fan of the Roku OS or a gamer, you may prefer the Vizio V-Series — comparable in price to the TCL 4 Series and it has a slightly better overall picture quality.
If you’re looking for a well-known brand name in this size, your best bet is to go with the LG 43UM7300PUA. While not as impressive as LG’s bigger TVs, the 43UM7300PUA does include the same webOS smart platform as LG’s premium models and it’s much more affordable. You’ll also enjoy the brightness the TV can achieve along with wide viewing angles — something that not all 43-inch TVs can deliver. But the LG name will cost you, as the 43UM7300PUA usually sells for hundreds more than the TCL 4 Series or the Vizio V-Series.
The best 43-inch TVs in 2020
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 review.
Some things are worth paying for — the LG 43UM7300PUA fits that description if you want a 43-inch TV that comes with LG’s reputation and smarts. While it will cost you several hundred dollars more than the TCL 4 Series, the LG 43UM7300PUA is the least expensive LG TV you’ll find. It comes with LG’s excellent webOS platform, which offers plenty of apps and is easy to use, as well as direct backlighting instead of the edge lighting many cheaper TVs use. It also has a very low lag time, which makes it an excellent choice for gamers.
But you won’t get the performance of LG’s higher priced sets. It has limited HDR and its color quality wasn’t great. While its speakers handled dialog well, they couldn’t belt out much bass and didn’t get very loud.
The Vizio V-Series is similar to our top choice for a 43-inch TV in that it offers a great value while still delivering a quality picture. But the V-Series also has some advantages over the TCL 4 Series, including support for Dolby Vision for excellent contrast. Its full-array backlight helps it produce a bright and colorful picture. As an added bonus, it has Google Chromecast built in so you can stream directly from your mobile device. With Vizio’s SmartCast operating system, you have access to plenty of apps and the most recent version improves on its performance.
The V-Series had good color accuracy but its color range was lower than we like, and it can’t match the TCL 4 Series in terms of gameplay responsiveness. It also lacks Bluetooth so you can’t listen wirelessly on your headphone.
Read our full Vizio V-Series review.
If you’re enmeshed in Amazon’s ecosystem (or love your Alexa smart speaker), the Insignia 4K Fire TV Edition will fit perfectly into your life and is one of the best 43-inch TVs you can buy when you’re on a budget. With good color range and support for HDR, the Insignia Fire TV exceeds expectations. The unit also produces better sound than many small TVs. The Fire TV operating system brings all the benefits of Amazon’s familiar interface and, of course, it has Alexa built in so you can use your voice to navigate and play content — as well as control other smart devices in your home.
While the color was rich, it wasn’t as accurate as we would have liked and the unit has limited viewing angles — it looks best when you’re right in front of it. And unfortunately, the TV interface is full of ads. While this TV can’t beat the TCL 4 Series for overall experience, it’s a worthy choice if you like the Amazon experience.
Read our full Insignia 4K Fire TV Edition review.
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.
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.
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.