Looking to maximize your use of limited space? Check out our top recommendations for compact 43-inch TVs, ideal for cozy living areas and smaller rooms.
Class 4 (4K UHD HDR)- 43S455
Best Budget-Friendly 43-Inch TV for 2023
VIZIO V435M-K04, 2023 Model
Best 43-Inch TV for Superior Quality 2023
Hisense A6 Series- 43A6H
Best budget 43-Inch TV for design
Best Budget-Friendly 43-Inch TV for 2023
Anyone who’s lived in a dorm room or a 100-square-foot apartment in New York City knows the struggles of decorating when you have limited space. But if you don’t have room for a 55-inch model, that doesn’t mean you have to settle for a bad TV. Shopping for TVs can be quite challenging, but the variety of choices for 43-inch TVs make it an overwhelming experience. There are plenty of great 43-inch TVs out there, and they’re 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 if you have space it’s worth spending that bit extra, 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 to enjoy your favorite streaming services. 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, finding a 43-inch TV set with a high-end, excellent picture is much more difficult than with 55-inch models. The exception is OLED TVs, which are available in 42-inch sizes (see below).
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 on cable or the streaming service of your choice or for a gaming TV to hook up a console, the best 43-inch TV models definitely fit the bill.
- Looking for another size? Check out: 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 TVs of 2023
Class 4 (4K UHD HDR)- 43S455
The picture quality of the TCL 4-Series Roku TV was a step behind the Vizio V-Series in our budget TV test, but the differences between the two are slight enough that you’d really have to have them set up side by side to notice anything at all. The 4-Series lacks the Dolby Vision, Bluetooth connectivity and AMD FreeSync with a variable refresh rate, all of which the Vizio offers.
2. VIZIO V435M-K04, 2023 Model
When we compared the best budget TVs side-by-side, the picture quality of Vizio’s V-Series clearly emerged as the leader of the pack. The Vizio offered the most balanced and accurate picture during our comparisons, and it comes with some useful extras such as Dolby Vision support, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth compatibility and variable refresh rate for potentially smoother gaming. The biggest downside of the Vizio is its smart TV platform, Vizio SmartCast. It’s crowded, slow and littered with ads for platforms such as Tubi and Kidoodle TV. Even when you factor in the cost of adding a new streaming device, however, the V-Series remains the best overall entry-level TV that we tested.
3. Hisense A6 Series- 43A6H
Sizes 55-, 65, 75-inchTV Technology LED with local dimmingSmart TV Yes (Android TV)Resolution 4KHDMI Ports4
The Hisense A6H Google TV, like the Vizio V-Series, offers some higher-end features at the entry-level price. This TV features a premium build quality and comes with Dolby Vision support, Bluetooth connectivity and DTS Virtual:X for simulated surround sound. The Hisense A6H comes preloaded with Google TV — which is our second favorite smart platform after Roku — but we found it ran slower than Google TV on higher-end TVs like the Sony X80K.
4. Samsung Q60B
Sizes 43-, 50-, 55-, 60-, 65-, 70-, 75-, 85-inch
TV -Yes (Tizen)
The Samsung Q60B is more expensive than the models above 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, with superior brightness, compared to the others. The TVs above are better values, but if you want something nicer in this size, and don’t want to break the bank on an OLED TV, the Q60B is a great choice.
5. LG C2
It’s technically an inch smaller than any of the other TVs on this list, but if you want the best TV in this size range and money isn’t a major concern, look no further than the LG C2. Its image quality and features run circles around any of the other TVs on this list — and the price is more than double. We’d recommend getting a larger version of the C2 (48-inch, 55-inch or more) if you could, but maybe your size is limited while your budget is not.
6. Amazon Fire TV 4
Sizes 43-, 50-, 55-inchTV Technology LEDSmart TV Yes (Fire TV)Resolution 4KHDMI Ports 4
The Fire TV 4 Series is one of the more basic TVs on this list. It doesn’t offer Dolby Vision or any perks for gamers, like AMD FreeSync. Instead, the Fire TV gives you a brighter image, an Alexa-powered voice remote and access to Amazon content.
How We test 43-inch TVs
Our TV reviews follow a rigorous, unbiased evaluation process honed over nearly two decades of TV reviews. Our primary TV test lab has specialized equipment for measuring light and color, including a Konica Minolta CS-2000 spectroradiometer, a Murideo Sig-G 4K HDR signal generator and an AVPro Connect 8×8 4K HDR distribution matrix. We use Portrait Displays CalMan Ultimate software to evaluate every TV we review. In every CNET TV review, three or more similar TVs are compared side by side in various lighting conditions playing different media, including movies, TV shows and games, across a variety of test categories, from color to video processing to gaming to HDR. Our reviews also account for design, features, smart TV performance, HDMI input and gaming compatibility, and other factors.
One important aspect of image quality we test is overall brightness. Here’s how it compares in nits across select TVs listed above.
Testing light output in nits
|TV||Brightest mode (HDR)||Accurate mode (HDR)||Brightest mode (SDR)||Accurate mode (SDR)|
|Roku TV Plus (65-inch)||514||455||579||404|
Check out our page on how we test TVs for more details.
How to choose the best 43-inch TV
With all of the TVs available today, and all of the technical terms and jargon associated with television technology, it can be tough to figure out what’s important. Here’s a quick guide to help cut through the confusion.
Price: TVs range in price from $100 to more than $2,000. Smaller screens are cheaper, well-known brands are more expensive and spending more money can also get you better image quality. Most entry-level TVs have a good enough picture for most people, but TVs last a long time, so it might be worth spending more to get a better picture. It’s also best to shop for a TV in the fall, when prices are lower.
Screen size: We know you’re looking for a 43-inch TV, but we have to say that bigger is better in our book. 43 inches is our minimum recommended size for a small bedroom. If you want a TV for a room that’s anything other than tiny, we advise going up to at least 55 inches — and 65 inches or larger is best. More than any other “feature,” stepping up in TV screen size is the best use of your money. One of the most common post-TV-purchase complaints we’ve heard is from people who didn’t go big enough. And we almost never hear people complain that their TV is too large.
Capability: Among entry-level TVs the most important feature is what kind of smart TV system the TV uses. Among midrange models, look for a feature including full-array local dimming, mini-LED and 120Hz refresh rate, which (unlike some other extras) do help improve the picture in our experience. And among high-end TVs, OLED technology is your best bet.
For more TV buying advice check out our guide on how to buy a TV.
Best 43-inch TV FAQs
Is a 43-inch TV big enough?
Yes, but only for a very small room. In our opinion bigger is better, and your money is best spent on large screen sizes rather than a slight upgrade in image quality. The answer also depends on room size and seating distance: If you have a big room and sit farther away, you’ll want a bigger TV.
Which is better for a 43-inch TV, OLED or LED?
In our reviews, OLED TVs, which use organic light-emitting diode technology, have always had better picture quality than LED TVs, which are basically LCD TVs that use LED backlights. The main reason is that OLED TVs can produce a perfectly dark shade of black with no stray illumination of blooming, which leads to better contrast and pop. LED TVs can get brighter, however, and usually cost less than OLED TVs. That said, there aren’t many OLED TVs in the 43-inch size range. Unless you want to spend tons of money, you’ll probably end up with an LED TV.
What is the best smart TV system for a 43-inch TV?
At CNET our favorite is Roku for its simplicity, but different systems like Google TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung and LG have different strengths, in particular for voice commands. In any case, we don’t consider the built-in smart TV system that important because you can always connect a streaming device to any TV.