Best TVs Guide is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

What size TV should you buy?

Tom Power
  May 22, 2022 10:05 AM

As technology advances and picture quality gets better and better, TVs seem to get bigger and bigger. Most want the biggest possible TV they can fit in their living room. But the size of television has to be offset with the amount of viewing space you have at your disposal. 

If you're looking for a new TV, be sure to read our comprehensive guide to know What size TV should you buy.


Compare Products

1
  • SCORE
    9.4
    BTV Score

    BTV Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI Consumer Report tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites. Learn more

  • Brand
    TCL
2
  • SCORE
    9.4
    BTV Score

    BTV Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI Consumer Report tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites. Learn more

  • Brand
    SAMSUNG
3
  • SCORE
    9.2
    BTV Score

    BTV Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI Consumer Report tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites. Learn more

  • Brand
    TCL
4
  • SCORE
    9.2
    BTV Score

    BTV Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI Consumer Report tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites. Learn more

  • Brand
    TCL
5
  • SCORE
    9.2
    BTV Score

    BTV Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI Consumer Report tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites. Learn more

  • Brand
    INSIGNIA
6
  • SCORE
    9.2
    BTV Score

    BTV Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI Consumer Report tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites. Learn more

  • Brand
    SAMSUNG
7
  • SCORE
    9.2
    BTV Score

    BTV Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI Consumer Report tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites. Learn more

  • Brand
    RCA
8
  • SCORE
    9.2
    BTV Score

    BTV Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI Consumer Report tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites. Learn more

  • Brand
    INSIGNIA
9
  • SCORE
    9.0
    BTV Score

    BTV Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI Consumer Report tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites. Learn more

  • Brand
    Hisense
10
  • SCORE
    9.0
    BTV Score

    BTV Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI Consumer Report tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites. Learn more

  • Brand
    INSIGNIA

Last update on 2022-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API


How to choose the right size TV

Invest in a TV that's too big and you could start to see the pixels that make up the picture, which will ruin your viewing experience. Alternatively, you can buy a TV with a native resolution that is simply not enjoyable at the distance you are viewing it and isn't worth the money. 

Always remember that screen size is measured diagonally, not horizontally, so it is not an indicator of the overall width of the TV. 

Overall screen size also doesn't mean TV size, as nearly all TVs have a bezel that surrounds the screen. They're getting thinner and thinner as the internals of TVs become less and less cumbersome, but if you're hoping to fit the largest possible TV into a niche, you should definitely look at the size. 


With optimal viewing distance (read more on this), this is the ideal screen size for each native resolution currently on the market.

HD/1080p

Today's non-4K TVs are often just a wise investment if you're looking for a 32-inch or smaller TV - perhaps as an addition, for the bedroom or kitchen - and you want to keep your spending within the budget. At that size, any higher resolution will make a small difference.

4K

In the 50-inch to 55-inch range, a 4K quality TV really makes a difference. That said, you'll find many much smaller TVs with 4K, and they're also disproportionately more expensive than non-4K. Ultra HD is simply not the exclusive, high-priced technology it used to be.

8K

Thinking of buying an 8K TV? Good for you! Boasting a whopping 7680 x 4320 pixels resolution, 8K quality TVs are commercially available, but definitely premium. For example, the 65-inch Samsung QEQ800 8K TV costs more than £2,000 at Currys PC World. 

But don't be jealous: to really enjoy an 8K TV in an average living room, you need to buy one in at least 75 inches to really appreciate the difference with 4K. This makes the 8K set, for now, exclusive to venue and gig owners.


Your viewing distance should be about 1.5 times the size of your screen - but don't worry, there's some time in this. This certainly applies to 1080p HD TVs - any closer, and the picture will start to lose quality and look grainy. 

Fortunately, with the advancement of 4K, this rule has some spacing, and if you don't have a lot of space, you can use a 1:1 ratio between screen size and viewing distance. Incidentally, sitting too close to the TV can give you a headache from straining your eyes, but it won't cause long-term harm to your eyes.

Optimal viewing distance is not about eye health but about getting the most out of your TV's picture quality.


Final Thoughts

You'll find a dizzying array of TV sizes on the market, from small 32-inch countertop models to 85-inch mammoths. But before you go ahead and buy the biggest TV your budget allows, you should know some essentials about What size TV should you buy, viewing distances, and how they fit in the space you have.


3.7
3 ratings