Best 40 inch TV: our pick of the top TVs for smaller spaces

The best 40 inch TVs for the bedroom, kids rooms or anywhere else from Sony, LG, Samsung and more

Included in this guide:

best 40 inch tv: Samsung 43" The Frame Smart 4K QLED TV
(Image credit: Samsung)

When shopping for a new television, it's always very tempting to go bigger, but the best 40 inch TVs are ideal additions to the home, whether as a secondary screen or a smaller one for the bedroom or study.

And choosing a smaller model doesn't mean you need to compromise on quality, with most 40 inch TVs sporting 4K resolution, surround sound, and OLED or QLED panels that match bigger models from the top brands.

Many also have built-in smart assistants such as Alexa or Google Home, allowing you to control your TV using just your voice. In short, the only difference between a 40 inch TV and something bigger is the size. 

Below we rank the best 40 inch TVs around right now, from older 2020 models that still hold up to brand new sets that offer the absolute best visuals and smart features. Read on to see what we thought.

The best 40 inch TVs in 2021

Sony 48" A9S Smart 4K OLED TV

(Image credit: Sony)

1. Sony 48" A9S Smart 4K OLED TV

Best 4K OLED 40 inch TV

Specifications
Display: OLED
Resolution: 4K
HDR: HDR 10, HLG, Dolby Vision
Surround sound: DTS Digital Surround
Refresh rate: 120Hz
Smart TV: Android TV
Dimensions (without stand): 42.1 x 24.6 x 2.3in
Reasons to buy
+Sony's Picture Processor X1 Ultimate offers brilliant depth and clarity+Alexa and Google Assistant built-in+120Hz refresh rate and X-Motion Clarity
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey-Less than impressive sound

Probably the best small TV amongst the 2021 crop, the A9S features the best of Sony's tech along with a gorgeous 4K OLED panel, Google and Alexa smarts built-in, and Android TV for all of your streaming needs.

Sony is the leader of the pack when it comes to visuals and sound, and that hasn't been compromised for a smaller model. Instead, the Picture Processor X1 Ultimate is responsible for the dazzling picture quality, and 4K X-Reality PRO and Object-Based Super Resolution helps to upscale older and lower-resolution content.

Acoustic Surface Audio is another excellent feature, creating the illusion that all sounds come from different parts of the TV for greater immersion. Ambient Optimization also promises to adjust everything to match the environment in which you're watching. Overall, our pick for the best 40 inch TV around right now.

LG 48" CX Smart 4K OLED TV

(Image credit: LG)

2. LG 48" CX Smart 4K OLED TV

Best 40 inch TV for gaming

Specifications
Display: OLED
Resolution: 4K
HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR 10, HLG
Surround sound: DTS-HD, Dolby Atmos, OLED Surround
Refresh rate: 120Hz
Smart TV: webOS
Dimensions (without stand): 30.5 x 50.3 x 7.7in
Reasons to buy
+Alexa and Google Assistant built-in (works with Apple HomeKit)+Dolby Atmos sound+Good specs for gamers
Reasons to avoid
-Older (2020) model

An older model hailing from 2020, the LG CX still earns its place on this list due to its future-looking-for-the-time specs, a bevy of visual and audio-boosting features, and gamer-friendly design.

The a9 Gen 3 AI processor works away in the background to provide stunning and detailed visuals, using AI Picture Pro, AI Sound Pro, and AI 4K Upscaling to ensure everything you watch looks its best. Dolby Vision IQ also adjusts the picture based on ambient conditions and the genre of what you're watching.

Similarly, Dolby Atmos sound is a welcome presence. You can use the CX's AI Acoustic Tuning, which uses TV and remote signals to map surroundings to adjust audio to the room's dynamics. 

Gamers are catered for by NVIDIA G-SYNC and AMD FreeSync compatibility to keep stuttering and tearing to a minimum which, along with the other features, sets the LG CX apart.

Samsung 43" QN90A Smart 4K QLED TV

(Image credit: Samsung)

3. Samsung 43" QN90A Smart 4K QLED TV

Best 40 inch QLED TV

Specifications
Display: QLED
Resolution: 4K
HDR: HDR10+
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Smart TV: Tizen
Dimensions (without stand): 27 x 43.5 x 5.7in
Reasons to buy
+Under $1500+Object Tracking Sound Lite+Superior brightness with Neo QLED
Reasons to avoid
-No built-in Alexa or Google Assistant-No Dolby Vision or Dolby Atmos

Samsung's Neo QLED TVs are recommended for unmatched brightness, ensuring you're not reaching to close the curtains even on sunny days. With a Neo Quantum Processor 4K upscaling everything using AI and Quantum HDR 24X, keeping colors bright and vibrant, you'll enjoy stunning visuals no matter what.

Sound is also good, with the Samsung QN90A sporting OTS (Object Tracking Sound) Lite to create the effect of audio coming from different areas of the screen depending on what you're watching.

As a bonus - the QN90A looks good even when you've finished watching. Ambient mode displays everything from works of art to your family photos while using less power.

Samsung 43" The Frame Smart 4K QLED TV

(Image credit: Samsung)

4. Samsung 43" The Frame Smart 4K QLED TV

Best 40 inch lifestyle TV

Specifications
Display: QLED
Resolution: 4K
HDR:
Surround sound:
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Smart TV: Tizen
Dimensions (without stand): 26.3 x 42.5 x 6.3in
Reasons to buy
+Customizable frame-style bezel+Under $1500+Alexa built-in
Reasons to avoid
-No built-in Google Assistant-Sound and image could be better

A TV designed to be turned off as often as it is turned on. When not watching movies and TV, the Frame TV from Samsung looks just like a framed work of art, photo, or smart display with clock or weather reports. You can even customize the bezel to suit the rest of your home decor. 

The QLED 4K resolution is good on its own, of course, but it's the design where the Frame really puts its best foot forward. The separate box allows the set to sit flush to the wall like a picture would, and the Art Store includes a vast array of different options to choose from.

One of the best features is a power-saving motion sensor, which means the TV will only display your chosen images when someone is in the room, powering down when left alone.

Livingetc rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Sony 43" X800H Smart 4K LED TV

(Image credit: Sony)

5. Sony 43" X800H Smart 4K LED TV

Best 40 inch LED TV

Specifications
Display: LED
Resolution: 4K
HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR 10, HLG
Surround sound: Dolby Atmos
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Smart TV: Android TV
Dimensions (without stand): 26.8 x 42 x 5.4in
Reasons to buy
+Google Assistant built-in+Under $1000+Dolby Atmos support
Reasons to avoid
-No built-in Alexa-Older (2020) model

If you're looking for a good, solid 40-inch TV on a budget, and the latest specs aren't essential to you, then the Sony X800H 4K LED TV is a great choice. At $1000, you get Dolby Vision visuals and Dolby Atmos sound, with X-Reality PRO upscaling content to 4K.

The TV also has voice control through built-in Google Assistant, which you can access through a dedicated button on the remote. The X800H also works with Alexa and Apple HomeKit, but you need an existing speaker to connect. An older model, but still a good one for most households.

How to choose the best 40 inch TV for your home

best 40 inch tv: LG 48" CX Smart 4K OLED TV

(Image credit: LG)

Is a 40 inch TV big enough?

TVs in the range of 40-49 inches are on the smaller end of the scale, with only 24-inch and 32-inch sets below them, so you may be asking whether one would be big enough. This, of course, depends on where you plan to place the TV.

A 40 inch TV is perfect for a number of situations, including as a bedroom TV, a TV for the kids, or in a smaller space. Many choose a set in this size range as a secondary TV, but those who want to spend less and who don't particularly want their set to dominate the living space may also go smaller.

How much should I spend on a 40 inch TV?

The cost of the best 40 inch TVs can vary widely but, generally speaking, you won't pay more than $2000 even for the latest models with the most up-to-date specifications. For example, the most expensive entry on our list - the 48-inch Sony A9S - costs $1800 at the time of writing. 

Of course, if you don't need an OLED screen or top resolution, the price can drop significantly. Budget brands such as Vizio and TCL offer models for less than $300, while others range anywhere between these two price points.

Caroline Preece
Caroline Preece

Caroline has been a part of the Livingetc team since 2021, offering expert advice on the best smart tech for your home. Passionate about interiors and how technology can be integrated into daily living without sacrificing aesthetics, in her spare time she can be found shopping for the latest accent pieces for her own space.