Best TVs

Updated July 2021
Header Image
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
60 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best tvs

The TV is the center of many households – where family members gather to spend time together and unwind. Whether your tastes veer toward intellectual film or reality shows, a quality TV will help bring them to life in your home theater.

Now comes the hard part: which TV should you buy? Selecting the right model for you from the many competing TV brands on the market can be daunting, particularly if you're not especially tech-savvy. In this guide, we explore modern TVs and how you can find the best buy without feeling completely overwhelmed. Topics covered include the types of TVs now available, important aspects like screen resolution and smart features, and the pricing you can expect to encounter as you look around.

Get emails you’ll love.
Learn about the products you’re wondering if you should buy and get advice on using your latest purchases.
Content Image
Some TVs can be mounted on the wall, so you don't have to worry about a bulky TV table or storage unit taking up space in your living room.

Types of TVs

LCD

Liquid crystal display (LCD) TVs feature a matrix of tiny colored cells that display the images on the screen. Because they don't emit light on their own, LCDs require backlighting, which is provided by lamps set in the back of the TV.

  • Pros

LCD TV lighting is superior to edge lighting. If you can manage to find one, there are some bargains to be had.

  • Cons

These televisions utilize old technology – LED models do the same thing better – plus they're much bulkier than other types of TVs.

LED

Light-emitting diode (LED) TVs use the same matrix of LCD cells as LCD TVs, but they light the LCD screen using compact LEDs. These LEDs may only sit at the edge of the screen, but they best feature full-array backlighting or quantum dot technology.

  • Pros

They can display very vivid pictures, even in bright rooms. They tend to be much more affordable than OLED models. They're also very slim and energy-efficient.

  • Cons

The pixels can't go completely black, meaning the contrast isn't as impressive as on OLED options. There may also be some imperfections when displaying rapid motion.

OLED

Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) TV screens contain an organic carbon-based film between two conductors, which lights up when a current passes through it. This means every pixel of the screen is lit independently, giving total color control.

  • Pros

Since every pixel of an OLED screen emits its own light, each one can be turned off individually, meaning OLED televisions can display true black for impressive contrast. OLED screens also tend to have a faster refresh rate, so you don't get blur or imperfections when watching fast motion, such as sports.

  • Cons

The peak brightness is lower than that of LEDs. And, they tend to be quite expensive.

If you choose a TV with HDR, bear in mind that there isn’t a huge amount of HDR programming available now, although that’s likely to change soon.

STAFF
BestReviews

Features

Resolution

The resolution of a TV refers to the number of pixels it displays. TVs made with greater numbers of pixels are more colorful, feature greater levels of detail, and are worth the investment for dedicated movie, TV show, and video game enthusiasts.

HD and Full-HD: These TVs have a resolution of 720p and 1080p, respectively. Although they  are especially cheap, the few models available today are relatively small and far less crisp, colorful, and feature-packed than 4K TVs.

4K UHD: Considered to be the industry standard, 4K Ultra-High definition TVs are capable of delivering a lifelike range of color and deep levels of contrast between bright and dark images. They are loaded with a wide array of user-friendly features to enhance your viewing experience.

8K UHD: Although picture quality twice as detailed and colorful as 4K sounds magical, an 8K TV is not worth the investment just yet. Unfortunately, 8K TVs are extremely expensive, and there is a tiny amount of true 8K content available to enjoy in its native resolution. The best option for most consumers is to buy a 4K model now and keep an eye on 8K technologies for the future.

Size

From compact 20-inch models to 85-inch behemoths, TVs come in a wide range of sizes. We'd recommend considering a range of factors when deciding what size TV you require, including what room you intend to place it in, the size of the room, the distance from which you'll be viewing the TV, and how often you'll be watching it.

  • Screen size: If you're buying a main TV for the living room, you will probably want a larger screen than you would if you were buying for the bedroom or guest room, where TVs tend to get less use.
  • Room size: The size of the room is also an important factor. A giant TV can swamp a compact room, drawing attention away from the décor and any interesting design features.
  • Viewing distance: It's recommended that the distance you sit away from the screen be about three times the height of a standard high-definition (1080p) TV and around one and a half times the height of a UHD (4K) TV. If your chosen TV is too large for the room, you won't have enough space to position your seating the right distance from the screen.
  • TV size: We'd also recommend that you think about how much you'll watch the TV in general. If you only watch a few hours a week, it might not be worth splurging on a huge set.

HDR

High dynamic range (HDR) is a feature that the best UHD TVs offer. Essentially, it means that a TV set can deliver more levels of contrast, more colors, and increased brightness, offering a far superior picture quality.

The best HDR TVs utilize technologies such as Dolby Vision and HDR10+ to showcase HDR content with deep, inky black images alongside bright and vividly colored images within the same picture to highlight details you may have missed on lesser displays.

Smart features

In the past, smart TVs were in a category all their own. Today, the vast majority of new TVs have a range of smart features.

Platforms such as Android TV, Roku TV, and WebOS provide access to thousands of popular streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video.

Some newer models are also compatible with Alexa or Google Assistant, so you can use voice commands to switch them on, change channels, set a recording schedule, and so on.

Content Image
Expert Tip
Some TVs sound much better than others. If you value sound quality, look for models with premium audio features like Dolby Atmos, or a soundbar if you prefer a budget TV.
STAFF
BestReviews

Accessories

Home theater seating: Flash Furniture Eclipse Theater Seating
If you’re thinking of upscaling your home theater setup, consider this handsome trio of attached reclining chairs from Flash Furniture. Although not as fancy as some pricier units in the same product category, you get storage consoles, cupholders, and perhaps best of all, the ability to kick back and relax in front of the screen with friends and family.

TV mount: VideoSecu Full-Motion Articulating Wall Mount
If you’ve decided to mount your new TV, this sturdy wall mount from VideoSecu comes in several sizes and weight limits to accommodate your needs. TV wall mounts have grown in popularity since people discovered that by using one, they can save a lot of floor space and enjoy a more comfortable viewing angle at the same time.

TV stand: Simplihome Acadian Solid Wood Rustic Cabinet
If wall-mounting isn’t your style, check out this rustic solid wood cabinet with shelves, two storage cabinets, and two drawers. If you decide at a later time to mount your TV, this piece of furniture can still be used in multiple areas of the home for storing and displaying items.

Mobile TV cart: North Bayou Mobile TV Cart
A mobile TV cart has a more utilitarian look to it than a TV stand, but in some situations, it’s exactly the aesthetic you need. For example, if you are looking for a workplace TV stand that can be moved from room to room, a wheeled cart like this sturdy offering from North Bayou is a practical and professional-looking choice.

Popcorn maker: Cuisinart EasyPop Hot Air
Getting a new TV is exciting. Enjoying some hot buttered popcorn while you watch your favorite movies and TV shows can make your new addition even more special. This bright red popcorn maker from Cuisinart makes a nice gift to yourself or someone you care about.

Some of the newest LED TVs use quantum dot technology to light up the screen, resulting in a brighter picture and better contrast.

STAFF
BestReviews

TV prices

You can spend a little or a lot on a TV, from $200 to $5,000, depending on what you want from it. Here's what you should expect to get for your money.

  • Inexpensive: You can find some decent Full-HD TVs for under $200, with sizes up to around 45 inches. These options tend to come from lesser-known TV brands such as TCL or Hisense and can't compete with their more expensive counterparts when it comes to picture quality. However, you can find a few small sets from premium TV brands at lower prices.
  • Mid-range: In the $200 to $500 price range, you start to find many UHD options, including some from premium TV brands. You can even find some 55- to 65-inch models from lesser-known brands. Most feature LED rather than OLED screens.
  • Expensive: If you want a larger 4K TV, you'll find what you're looking for in the $500 to $1,000 price range. You can even find large sets (65-inch tvs and bigger) from premium manufacturers.
  • Premium: Those looking for the latest, largest modern TVs will have to venture into the $1,000 to $5,000 price range. It might be a lot to pay, but you're getting an exceptional TV with immersive and convenient technology that will stay relevant for years to come.

If the idea of adopting an energy-efficient and high-contrast OLED TV sounds good, the LG CX lineup of OLED displays are worth looking into.

STAFF
BestReviews

Tips

  • Think about what kind of connection ports you need on your TV. If you opt for a 4K TV, make sure it supports multiple HDMI 2.1 ports.These additional HDMI ports will allow your TV to accommodate other, similar sources such as game consoles and streaming devices, essentially future-proofing your purchase.
  • Make sure your chosen spot is big enough for your TV. If it might be a tight squeeze, measure the space before ordering a set, and remember to look at the full dimensions of the set and not just the screen measurement. There are several inches of frame to factor in, too.
  • Pick a TV that's easy to use. TVs are getting more complex, but the interface on modern TVs should help, not hinder, you. If you feel like you need to take an in-depth training course to find the app you want, look for a model that's easier to use.
  • Consider where the wires will go. Wires running in and out of your TV can end up looking very messy, especially if you have a range of connected devices, such as a Blu-ray player and game console. Some TVs have special channels for the wires to keep things looking tidy.

 

Content Image
The size of a TV screen is measured diagonally, not horizontally.

FAQ

Q. What do I need to know about TV refresh rates?

A. This rate is measured in hertz (Hz) and expresses the amount of times per second the image is refreshed on the screen. All you really need to know about refresh rates is that a higher one is preferable. Although 60 Hz is standard, it can produce some blur when there's a lot of fast motion on the screen, such as when watching sports or fast-paced fight scenes. Ideally, we'd recommend a TV with a minimum rate of 120 Hz.

Q. What can I do to find the best budget friendly TV for my entertainment needs?

A. While it may not have the latest next-gen features, you can save quite a bit if you can buy a TV that was released last year.

Q. Is there anything I should consider if I play a lot of console games on my TV?

A. Whether your video game platform  of choice is the Xbox Series X or Nintendo Switch, console gamers should keep an eye out for a 4K resolution TV with a high refresh rate, low input lag, a dedicated game mode, and multiple HDMI ports for connecting multiple consoles at once.

 

Other Products We Considered
The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
See more
Our Top Picks