How big should your TV be based on room size?

Dealing with a small space? We advise on how to choose the ideal TV size for your home

(Image credit: LG)

There are so many small choices and decisions that go into purchasing a new television or even just finding the best place for an existing set in a new room or layout. However, choosing the correct size TV might be the most important and most pondered over, and information on how to find the answer can be overwhelming.

The actual guidance boils down to something pretty simple, with a calculation based on the distance between your seating and the TV. We go over this in the guide below, as well as some other vital things you should be thinking about when choosing a TV for your home.

And you can find other guides on things like finding the ideal viewing angles for more, or head over to our rundown of the best TV brands around right now.

What size TV do you want?

Before looking at the science, it's important to think about your dream living room. Do you want a TV you can glance at occasionally while you're doing other things, or are you a gaming or movie fanatic who wants something as giant and immersive as possible? If it's the latter, then you'll probably want to go bigger.

How much of the room do you want to dedicate to TV watching? We're obviously big advocates of having your technology work in your space along with your furniture and decor at Livingetc, so you should assess how big of a presence you want your TV to have in a lounge or other room.

Of course, you don't actually have to have your television in the living room, as there are many people who enjoy watching in the bedroom more. Or perhaps you're wondering what size TV you would need for a kid's room or guest bedroom? Read on for advice on how to work it out.

Samsung TU7000

(Image credit: Samsung)

What resolution is your TV?

The TV size that would look best in your home will correspond somewhat with the resolution of your set. For example, if you want to buy the best 8K TV with all of the extras, you will want to go as big as possible to be able to enjoy every detail, but if you're on more of a budget and want to go for something 1080p Full HD, a smaller model like one of the best 40 inch TVs will be totally fine. 

The same goes for the kind of content you watch the most. If you're a keen gamer or enjoy a Friday movie night with the family, a larger set (65"+) is going to really elevate the experience. If you're a game show fanatic or soap opera addict, be aware that these shows are often broadcast in lower quality and so may look bad on a super-sized TV. 

LG NANO90 85-inch TV being viewed by father and son in lounge area

(Image credit: LG)

How far away will you be sitting?

Unlike a lot of other 'rules' when it comes to TV positioning, the size vs. distance calculation is actually based on specific data. As Samsung says in its guide, it's a starting point rather than a hard and fast answer, but those looking for guidance will find it helpful.

Start by measuring the distance between where you want your TV to go and where you will be sitting. Then, divide the distance in inches by two and match this to the closest TV size. For example:

If there are 7ft between the TV and the sofa, then this converts to 84in/2 = 42".

Working backward, here are the ideal distances based on the most common TV panels sizes:

  • 32" - there should be 5.3ft between the TV and seating
  • 40" - 6.6ft away
  • 50" - 8.3ft away
  • 65" - 10.8ft away
  • 75" - 12.5ft away
  • 85" - 14.1ft away

As said, this is for guidance and shouldn't be considered the law when choosing the layout of your home taking into account your TV.

The most important element in the process is how comfortable you and the rest of your household feel with a TV of a certain size in a certain place in relation to seating. Too close or too far away can both negatively impact the experience, but this is often down to personal preference.

Our pick of the best TVs at each size

Caroline Preece
Smart Homes Ecommerce Editor

Caroline is the smart home ecommerce editor for Livingetc, covering everything tech for the home, from smart speakers to air purifiers and everything in between. She is passionate about the role that technology and smart devices can play in daily life, enhancing the home without sacrificing personal style and carefully chosen interiors. In her spare time, she can be found tinkering with bulbs, soundbars, and video doorbells in an effort to automate every part of her small home. Previously, she lent her expertise to the likes of Expert Reviews, IT Pro, Coach, The Week, and more.