Best 40 inch TV: Our pick of the best smaller TVs for your home

In the market for a new entertainment centerpiece? Here's our pick of the best 40 inch TVs from top brands available right now

best 40 inch TV: Samsung 43" Class Serif Series LED 4K UHD Smart Tizen TV
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(Image credit: Samsung)

Something that we've learned from being stuck in our homes watching TV for so long is that, if we can't go out as much as we want to, we should at least have the best viewing experience possible.

That’s just not the case for those still settling for their old or sub-par television, and if that frustration sounds familiar then it may be time to bite the bullet and invest in a brand new set.

For most of us the dream would be to get the largest screen possible to enjoy our next Netflix binge, but a 40 inch TV can be the perfect combination of function and appearance - not overwhelming your space but still capable of offering a theater-worthy experience. Usually measuring in at between 40-43in, it’s a solid option if you want to upgrade.

The other features you need to consider will depend on your priorities. Image quality needs to be measured by color intensity, the depths of blacks and whether your set has 4K resolution, among other things.

Then there’s design, with Samsung recently winning our vote with The Frame Art Print that literally fades into the rest of your décor. Scroll down to see what we thought.

And if you’re not totally sure about which size to go for, then check out our ranking of the best TVs for a guide on the best screen, size and features.  

 The best 40 inch TVs in 2021

Sony 48" Class BRAVIA A9S Series OLED 4K UHD Smart Android TV

(Image credit: Sony)

1. Sony 48" Class BRAVIA A9S Series OLED 4K UHD Smart Android TV

Best 40 inch Sony TV

Specifications
Display: OLED
Resolution: 4K
HDR: HDR 10, HLG, Dolby Vision
Surround sound: DTS Digital Surround
Smart TV: Android TV
Release: 2021
Dimensions: 24.6 x 2.3 x 42.1in
Weight: 30.7lbs
Reasons to buy
+Google Assistant and Alexa built in
Reasons to avoid
-Empty List

Brand new for 2021 and with a price tag that signifies that freshness, the Sony Bravia A9S is a gorgeous TV that will seriously upgrade your viewing even in this smaller size. The A9S boasts an OLED display Picture Processor X1 Ultimate processing tech, and 4K resolution that promises to upscale pretty much everything.

As for smarts, it's got both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa built-in and works with Apple AirPlay 2 if you want to stream from an iOS device. It will also fit nicely into your home set-up, with a super-slim design and thin bezel meaning it can hang pretty flush to the wall.

This is definitely one of the best 40-inch TVs with an OLED panel, and also gets our vote for the top overall.

LG 48" Class CX Series OLED 4K UHD Smart webOS TV

(Image credit: LG)

2. LG 48" Class CX Series OLED 4K UHD Smart webOS TV

Best 40 inch LG TV

Specifications
Display: OLED
Resolution: 4K
Smart TV: webOS
HDR: HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision IQ
Surround sound: DTS-HD, Dolby Atmos, OLED Surround
Release: 2020
Dimensions: 48.1 x 29.5 x 8.1in
Weight: 41.6lbs
Reasons to buy
+Beautiful image quality+Good audio performance+Excellent viewing angles+Alexa and Google Assistant built in
Reasons to avoid
-Older (2020) model

This smaller LG unit doesn’t compromise on picture display and quality, with the 4K UHD reproducing even sharper picture quality. This makes the LG TV perfect for movie nights with your family or even by yourself, and the Filmmaker Mode, Auto Genre Selection, Dolby Vision IQ, upgraded video processor and HDMI 2.1 help create the ultimate at-home viewing experience.

We also love the magic remote that comes with this set, for gesture controls and how well it fits into the modern smart home. In-built Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa makes it so you can simply ask your remote to do things without having to attach an Echo or Home hub.

Samsung 43" Class Serif Series LED 4K UHD Smart Tizen TVReal Homes Rated Silver Badge

(Image credit: Samsung)

3. Samsung 43" Class Serif Series LED 4K UHD Smart Tizen TV

Best quirky 40 inch TV

Specifications
Display: QLED
Resolution: 4K
Smart TV: Tizen
HDR: HDR10+, HLG
Surround sound: Dolby Digital Plus
Release: 2020
Dimensions: 40.6 x 38.9 x 16.5in
Weight: 36.1lbs
Reasons to buy
+Great looks+Flexible form factor+Higher-end Samsung technology+Google Assistant built in
Reasons to avoid
-Low specced QLED TV-Alexa not included-Older (2020) model

The Serif and the Frame, which you'll find below, are going to offer very similar performance to each other.

Representing the lower end of Samsung’s excellent QLED range, Samsung scores them very similarly on its PQI (Picture Quality Index) rating. The major differences instead are aesthetic and that’s really down to what you’re looking for in your home.

What you get with the Serif is a set designed to sit on tall, freestanding legs anywhere in a room, independent of any other furniture. The other approach is to balance it on its frame on any flat surface — such as a sideboard — without its legs. 

The Serif looks great but you definitely pay for the privilege. It comes in a 43in size and features an Ambient mode to turn the panel into a series of attractive images instead of just a black rectangle and you can connect your phone to it using NFC by resting your device on its top edge.

Real Homes rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Samsung 43" Class The Frame Series LED 4K UHD Smart Tizen TVReal Homes Rated Silver Badge

(Image credit: Samsung)

4. Samsung 43" Class The Frame Series LED 4K UHD Smart Tizen TV

Best 40 inch TV for style

Specifications
Display: QLED
Resolution: 4K
Smart TV: Tizen
HDR: HDR10+, HDR10, HLG
Release: 2021
Dimensions: 38.2 x 22 x 1in
Weight: 19lbs
Reasons to buy
+Looks gorgeous in any space+Great viewing angles+Hangs flush to wall+Alexa and Bixby built in
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey

A TV for true design enthusiasts, The Frame from Samsung hides your set in plain sight with its Art Mode displaying photos and artwork that fit in seamlessly with the rest of the room. Basically, it’s a smart picture frame that you can use as a 4K television whenever you want!

Another of The Frame’s key selling points is its no gap wall mounting, which basically means that the TV sits absolutely flush to your wall with only enough space for a tiny near-invisible cable to run discreetly down to the One Connect box.

This box is where you’ll plug in all of your other devices - like a set top box, Blu-ray player or external speakers - and can easily be tucked away in a cupboard.

Real Homes rating: 4 out of 5 stars

VIZIO 40" Class V-Series LED 4K UHD SmartCast TV

(Image credit: Vizio)

5. VIZIO 40" Class V-Series LED 4K UHD SmartCast TV

Best 40 inch TV on a budget

Specifications
Display: LED
Resolution: 4K
Smart TV: SmartCast
HDR support: HDR10+, HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG
Surround sound: DTS Virtual:X
Release: 2020
Dimensions: 20.5 x 2.5 x 35.5in
Weight: 14.9lbs
Reasons to buy
+Supports Amazon Alexa and Google assistant+Full array backlighting+Great value+Access to Vizio Watch Free
Reasons to avoid
-Blacks could be better-No smart assistants built in-Older (2020) release

This may be a value-priced TV but this set still boasts some savory tech and plenty of great features. It offers full HDR support including HLG and Dolby Vision, and is compatible with every type of smart home whether you use Amazon Alexa, Google Home or Apple HomeKit.

The Vizio V-Series also incorporates a number of features typically reserved for higher-end models, like Dolby Vision, hands-free voice control, Ultra-Bright 400, and Octa-core processor, and Clear Action 180 which supports fast-moving scenes.

Sony 43" Class X800H Series LED 4K UHD Smart Android TV

(Image credit: Sony)

6. Sony 43" Class X800H Series LED 4K UHD Smart Android TV

Best 40 inch Sony TV (runner-up)

Specifications
Display: LED
Resolution: 4K
Smart TV: Android TV
HDR support: HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision
Surround sound: Dolby Atmos
Release: 2020
Dimensions: 38.2 x 22.4 x 2.2in
Weight: 20.7lbs
Reasons to buy
+Punchy picture+Brilliant colours+Superior motion handling+Google Assistant built in
Reasons to avoid
-Relatively pricey-Older (2020) model

This Sony TV gets our vote for the best premium TV, although they sit about midway through the company’s TV range.

It’s an edge-lit LED model but one of the better performing sets of this type you’ll find. There’s no patchy backlight issues and the picture is is nice and strong thanks to Sony’s X1 processor which runs the show.

Ever noticed any judder when you’re watching TV and the camera pans across a scene? Well, one of the things Sony does particularly well is motion processing. So, you can guarantee that the action on this 4K HDR set will be the smoothest you’ll find on this list.

SAMSUNG 43" Class 8000 Series LED 4K UHD Smart Tizen TV

(Image credit: Samsung)

7. Samsung 43" Class 8000 Series LED 4K UHD Smart Tizen TV

Best 40 inch Samsung TV

Specifications
Display: LED
Resolution: 4K
Smart TV: Tizen
Release: 2021
Dimensions: 28 x 22 x 1in
Weight: 18.5lbs
Reasons to buy
+Good upscaling and targeted sound+Built-in voice assistants+Affordable+Google Assistant and Bixby built in
Reasons to avoid
-Cheaper design-Lack of HDMI inputs

A great TV with a smaller price tag, the Samsung TU8000 benefits from its top image and sound quality that wouldn’t be out of place in a higher-end model. The 2021 model has rectified one of the biggest complaints about the set, adjusting the stand so that it doesn't lift the TV too far off its surface.

Samsung's Tizen platform has a great reputation for ease-of-use and navigation, and the TU8000 makes it super-easy to find your favorite content across services like Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime and countless others.

The TV is also one of the lightest on our list, so it’s perfect if you want a set that can be moved around with ease. While some may still complain about the bulkiness of the stand, it can easily be wall-mounted if you’re short on space.

LG 48" Class CX Series OLED 4K UHD Smart webOS TV

(Image credit: LG)

How can I get the best possible image quality?

Make sure whatever you choose has 4K resolution for the best possible resolution. Look out for 40-inch TVs which are HDR-compatible to get the best from dark and light areas of the image on your screen. If possible, those which support HDR10+ and/or Dolby Vision are also preferable to just HDR10.

OLED or LED?

Even though you’re not likely to find an OLED panel at this size, LCD TVs still come in enough different flavors to make it worth knowing what you’ve got on your wish list. Those that are edge-lit by LEDs can be much thinner and often more esthetically pleasing, but their direct or back-lit LED counterparts can produce a more subtle and nuanced picture even if their frames aren’t quite as easy on the eye.

Does my TV need to be smart?

Anything you buy these days should be a Wi-Fi enabled smart TV with at least three HDMI sockets around the back. You should also be sure that your favorite streaming services are available on its app platform. Very few TVs cover all of the bases, but remember that you can always add an Amazon Fire TV Stick, Google Chromecast or NOW TV Smart Stick etc. To plug those missing gaps.

How much should I spend on a 40 inch TV?

Even though all of the televisions on our list are of a similar size, you’ll notice that the prices vary wildly. This could be for a number of reasons including image quality, extra features or even just the brand, so it’s important to ensure you’re getting all the features you want for the best price. In general, you probably won’t be able to go any cheaper than $400-ish, but our top-rated choice will set you back close to $1,500.

Caroline Preece
Caroline Preece

Caroline has been part of the Real Homes ecommerce team in the UK since the start of 2021, after working for the last decade as a journalist across publications in technology, entertainment and more. In her spare time she's usually obsessing about space-saving and DIY hacks for small spaces, and how to affordably make a rental feel like a home.