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Looking for a smaller set for a bedroom or kid's room? Here are our favorites.

David Katzmaier July 27, 2021 8:09 a.m. PT
  • Best 43-inch TV overall TCL 43S435 Jump to details $350 at Best Buy
  • Best 43-inch TV runner-up Vizio V435-J Jump to details $336 at Walmart
  • Best 43-inch TV with Alexa Toshiba 43C350 Jump to details $270 at Amazon
  • Best step-up 43-inch TV Samsung QN43Q60A Jump to details $578 at Crutchfield

Let me get this out of the way first: If you can afford it and have the space, you should get a bigger TV than one that's 43 inches. A 55-inch model isn't that much more expensive, and in the long run the bigger picture it's absolutely worth it. On the other hand, if you're limited by size and budget, a 43-inch TV screen is definitely a better option than 32- or 40-inch models -- you get more screen for just a little more money. 

A 43-inch screen will save you $100 or more compared to a 55-inch TV, and while I'd argue that's money well spent, 43 inches is still big enough that you'll have a good viewing experience. Also worth noting is that many 43-inch TVs do have excellent smart TV suites built-in, so you don't need to buy a separate streaming device. You can even control 43-inch models with a voice command.

Aside from a smaller size, another downside to a 43-inch TV is that they typically don't have the latest picture-enhancing extras such as full-array local dimming, 120Hz and advanced gaming features. As a result, picture quality on 43-inch sets isn't nearly as good as the best 55-inch models (and 48-inch, thanks to OLED TV technology). 

The list below represents the best TVs in the 43-inch screen size I can recommend, with a couple of things to keep in mind going in:

  • At this size, where 4K TV image quality isn't a priority for manufacturers, I prize smart TV functionality first. If all you're looking to do is watch your TV shows or hook up a gaming console, these definitely fit the bill.
  • Looking for another size? Check out: 32-inch TVs, 55-inch TVs, 65-inch TVs and 75-inch TVs.
  • Don't see what you're looking for below? Here are all of the TVs I've reviewed, with more coming soon.

Best 43-inch TV overall

TCL 43S435

Sarah Tew/CNET

Remember how I said smart TV functionality is king at this size? Roku is our favorite platform for live TV-streaming apps like Netflix, YouTube and the rest, and it's even better baked into the TV. Even though it has 4K resolution with HDR, its picture quality is no great shakes, but the same can be said for the other 43-inch TVs on this list. For most people this Ultra HD 4K TV with Roku smart features is the best 43-inch TV option for the price.

Read our TCL 4-series Roku TV (2021) review.

 

$350 at Best Buy $301 at Walmart $350 at eBay

Best 43-inch TV runner-up

Vizio V435-J

Sarah Tew/CNET

Vizio's latest 2021 version of the V-series features the company's all-new voice remote, an extra the TCL 4-Series lacks. It also has a few more options for adjusting picture settings than that TCL does. Image quality on the two was basically a wash in our tests, however, and we liked Roku's smart TV system better overall, but if you don't want the TCL for some reason -- or if it's more expensive at the time -- this Vizio is an excellent choice.

Read our Vizio V-Series (2021) review.

 

$336 at Walmart

Best 43-inch TV with Alexa

Toshiba 43C350

Sarah Tew/CNET

This Toshiba features Amazon's Fire TV system built-in, making it a direct competitor to the TCL's Roku system. In general we like Roku better than Fire TV, thanks to superior menus and search, but this Toshiba LED TV with smart features has one cool extra the TCL lacks: built-in Alexa, available by talking into the remote control. Its image quality isn't quite as good as the Vizio or TCL, but at this price that's not a major knock.

Read our Toshiba Amazon Fire TV Edition C350 series (2021) review.

 

$270 at Amazon

Best step-up 43-inch TV

Samsung QN43Q60A

Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The Samsung Q60A is more expensive than any of the other TVs on this list, but it's also better in pretty much every way. It's got a slimmer, sleeker design, more features including a solar-powered remote and slightly better picture quality. We compared it to the TCL 4-Series and Vizio V-series and the Q60A was brighter with better color for HDR, thanks to its QLED technology. The other sets on this list are better values, but if you want something nicer in this size the Q60A is a great choice.

Read our Samsung Q60A series (2021) review.

 

$578 at Crutchfield $578 at Amazon $580 at Best Buy

Other stuff to know about buying a 43-inch TV

  • As the year progresses I expect prices to drop on the TVs above, as well as many others. If you can wait, you'll probably get a better deal.
  • If you don't like the built-in smart TV system on your TV, you can always buy a media streamer instead of a whole new television. They're cheap and easy to use. See our picks of the best media streamers.
  • Most built-in speakers sound terrible, so it's worthwhile to pair your new set with a soundbar or other speaker system. Good ones start at around $100. See the best soundbars.

Looking for even more info? Here's everything to know about buying a new TV. 

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