What TV Size is Best? (Explained)

Before you start shopping for a new TV you need to start at square one: decide what size TV is best for your room. Making this determination is the first step in narrowing down the options.

The best TV size for most rooms can be determined by measuring the distance in inches between the seating and screen and dividing by 1.6. This equation should be adjusted on a room-by-room basis depending on the purpose of the room. For dedicated Media Rooms divide by 1.4 and for home theaters divide by 1.2.

The most important thing to consider is room type. Let’s face it: your bedroom and home theatre have different demands. Make sure you take these differences into account.

Viewing Distance
Feet = Inches
Living Room
Best TV Size
Media Room
Max TV Size
Home Theater
Max TV Size
7 Feet = 84 inches52.5 inches60 inches70 inches
8 Feet = 96 inches60 inches70 inches80 inches
9 Feet = 108 inches67.5 inches78 inches90 inches
10 Feet = 120 inches75 inches86 inches100 inches
11 Feet = 132 inches82.5 inches95 inches110 inches
12 Feet = 144 inches90 inches103 inches120 inches
13 Feet = 156 inches97.5 inches112 inches130 inches

Don’t skip the 4 Things You Shouldn’t Forget at the bottom of this article and find a whole lot more in our complete TV Buying Guide.

Best TV Size: Living Room

When choosing the best size TV for Living Rooms, Family Rooms, and other Multi-Purpose rooms it feels especially important that we don’t choose too big or too small: these rooms depend on balance.

The TV needs to feel comfortable. It needs to fit, and feel like home. Too big and it’s overbearing, too small and you’ve got buyer’s remorse. This calculation for living room TV size takes that delicate balance into consideration:

To find the perfect TV size for your living room:

  1. Measure the viewing distance from your couch to the TV
  2. Divide the viewing distance (in inches) by 1.6
  3. The result is the best size TV (in inches, measured diagonally)
  4. When in doubt, round up

Suggested Living Room TV Sizes

VIEWING DISTANCEINCHESBEST TV SIZE
13 feet156 inches104 inch TV
12 feet144 inches96 inch TV
11 feet132 inches88 inch TV
10 feet120 inches80 inch TV
9 feet108 inches67.5 inch TV
8 feet96 inches60 inch TV
7 feet84 inches52.5 inch TV
BELOW 7 FEETTOO CLOSENOT A BIG SCREEN TV

Example:

  • Your couch is 7 feet from the TV
  • 7 feet = 84 inches
  • 84 divided by 1.6 = 52.5
  • Round up and get a 55-inch TV

Your size options will depend on the specific TV Brands and Models that you’re shopping, of which there is an overwhelming variety.

When choosing between two sizes, personal preference will sway you back and forth. Let yourself be guided by the purpose of the room. Imagine yourself in the space and visualize how you’ll use the room, with and without the TV.

Most people end up deciding between a 55-inch TV or 65-inch TV, with 65-inch TVs being the most popular choice.

If you truly can’t decide, bigger is typically better: rarely do people complain that their TV is too big whereas buying a TV that’s too small is a bummer that you’ll relive each time you turn it on.

If your primary concern is that it will look disproportionately large with the other design elements in your room, go smaller. It won’t be the best TV size for viewing but it will be the best TV size for balance, and deep down that’s what you’re seeking. This is a matter of taste and preference- you cannot choose wrong.

Don’t forget the worst seats in the house. If your room has additional seating either very far, very close, or at wide angles, you may want to consider erring in favor of a bigger TV or smaller TV (in that order).

To be sure you’re making the right decision, consider using painter’s tape or cardboard cutouts to create an outline of the TV sizes on your wall. This will give you a more true representation of the decision at hand.

Best TV Size: Home Theater

If you’re designing a Home Theatre, Movie Room, or an area where the TV is the only focal point, your goal should be to create the most immersive experience possible.

That’s achieved by increasing the TV size until it comfortably fills your entire view- but no larger. You should be able to see all of the action, as large as possible, without having to turn your head, crane your neck, or dart your eyes back and forth.

To calculate the best size TV for home theaters:

  1. Measure the viewing distance from the closest seats to the TV
  2. Divide the viewing distance (in inches) by 1.2
  3. The result is the maximum TV size (in inches, measured diagonally)
  4. When in doubt, round down

Our TV size formula for home theaters lists the maximum TV size: bigger is always better until this point.

After surpassing the maximum suggested size, your immersive entertainment experience will become an irritation. The TV will be too big to see at once, your neck will get sore from moving it all around, and you’re likely to experience dizziness over sustained periods of time.

Get as close to the “Maximum TV Size” as your room and budget allows, but don’t go over.

Best TV Size for Home Theaters

Viewing Distancein InchesTV Size (Maximum)
13 feet156 inches130 inch TV
12 feet144 inches144 inch TV
11 feet132 inches132 inch TV
10 feet120 inches120 inch TV
9 feet108 inches108 inch TV
8 feet96 inches96 inch TV
7 feet84 inches84 inch TV
6 feet72 inches72 inch TV
5 feet60 inches60- inch TV
4 FEETTOO SMALLNOT A BIG SCREEN TV

This equation’s ratio between Viewing Distance and TV size allows your screen to fill 40 degrees of your total field of view, which is the amount recommended by the Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers (which composes the basis of our recommendation).

Best TV Size: Gaming & Media Rooms

Don’t make the mistake of thinking “bigger is better” when choosing TV sizes for your Gaming Room: that’s rarely the case.

Suggesting a hard and fast rule for Gaming TVs is notoriously difficult due to the sheer variety of room shapes and sizes: gaming setups are as diverse as the games themselves. Are you in a small bedroom room playing Zelda from a bed? At a desk playing First Person Shooters? Or in a man cave playing Madden in recliners? Context matters.

Although you get tons of entertainment value from the more immersive experience of larger screens, seeing the entire screen without needing to scan all around is important for reaction time. If winning is fun, many would argue you’ll have a lot more fun with a smaller TV that encourages top gameplay.

That’s why we have 2 separate gaming calculations: one for casual gamers and one for competitive gamers. Most people fall into the casual gaming category (if you have to ask then you’re probably a casual gamer).

To calculate the best size TV for Gaming:

  1. Measure the viewing distance between your seating and the screen
  2. Divide the distance (in inches) by 1.4 for casual gamers
  3. Divide the distance (in inches) by 2.0 for competitive gamers
  4. The result is the Best Size TV for Gaming (measured diagonally)

This calculation results in a TV that is larger than the typical living room, providing the more immersive entertainment experience that casual gamers seek. It takes that “bigger is better” mantra halfway to “home theater” and then stops: the maximum suggested screen size is the point at which competitive gameplay will noticeably deteriorate due to the screen being too large.

Best TV Size for Gaming (by Distance)

VIEWING DISTANCE
INCHES
CASUAL
MAX TV SIZE
COMPETITVE
SMALLEST TV SIZE
156 inches130 inch TV65-inches
144 inches120 inch TV60-inches
132 inches110 inch TV55-inches
120 inches100 inch TV50-inches
108 inches90 inch TVNot a Big Screen
96 inches80 inch TVNot a Big Screen
84 inches70 inch TVNot a Big Screen
72 inches60 inch TVGaming Monitor
Too SmallNot a Big ScreenGaming Monitor

To calculate the best size TV for Competitive Gaming:

  • Measure the viewing distance between your seating and the screen
  • Divide the viewing distance (in inches) by 2
  • The result is the smallest suggested TV Size for Competitive Gaming (measured diagonally)
  • When in doubt, round up (or get a gaming monitor instead)

The bottom line is that a bigger screen will be more entertaining and that’s why the majority of gamers play games.

If you’re worried about less than peak performance, pick the balanced size of a Living Room TV instead (divide viewing distance by 1.6). If you’re worried about getting waxed in online multi-player and think an extra split second will make a world of difference, split the difference between Living Room size and Competitive Gaming size (divide viewing distance by 1.8). Truly competitive gamers might seek an even smaller setup, but at this point, it’s likely you should be buying a gaming monitor instead of a big screen.

4 Tips You Shouldn’t Forget

Don’t overlook these important issues when picking the proper TV Size:

  • 4K and 8K only: these calculations don’t apply to HD, Full HD, or 2K TVs (which we don’t recommend).
  • Don’t forget to consider how high you should mount your TV which may also impact whether or not it fits on the wall you are choosing.
  • Don’t forget that TV sizes are measured diagonally. Take the horizontal and vertical measurements of the TV and consider how it will look in your space or on your wall.
  • Don’t forget the TV Stand or Mount! If you don’t plan on mounting your TV on the wall, you need to make sure the TV stand that comes with the TV will fit on your furniture. Many of the stands are very wide so they can support the weight of today’s huge screens. Measure in advance to ensure it will fit (and can hold the weight)!

How to Spend Your Budget

At this point you’ve probably measured your room, narrowed it down to a few different TV sizes (likely 55-inch vs 65-inch), and started browsing TVs and comparing prices. Welcome to the next step of the TV buying process!

While a larger budget can guarantee a bigger screen and better picture with more bells and whistles, smart shoppers can get the biggest bang for their buck by understanding which features are worth spending money on and which are not.

Head on over to our TV Buying Guide for the rest.

Best TVs

Category
Best Overall
Best Value
Best Affordable
TV Name
LG GX
Samsung Q80
TCL 6-Series
TV Image
LG OLED GX Series 65” Alexa built-in 4k Smart TV (3840 x 2160), Gallery Design, 120Hz Refresh Rate, AI-Powered 4K, Dolby Cinema, WiSA Ready, Voice Control (OLED65GXPUA, 2020)
SAMSUNG QN65Q80RAFXZA Flat 65-Inch QLED 4K Q80 Series Ultra HD Smart TV with HDR and Alexa Compatibility (2019 Model)
TCL 65" Class 6-Series 4K UHD QLED Dolby Vision HDR Roku Smart TV - 65R625
TV Price
$2,199.00
$2,099.00
$1,177.00
Category
Best Overall
TV Name
LG GX
TV Image
LG OLED GX Series 65” Alexa built-in 4k Smart TV (3840 x 2160), Gallery Design, 120Hz Refresh Rate, AI-Powered 4K, Dolby Cinema, WiSA Ready, Voice Control (OLED65GXPUA, 2020)
TV Price
$2,199.00
Buy Button
Category
Best Value
TV Name
Samsung Q80
TV Image
SAMSUNG QN65Q80RAFXZA Flat 65-Inch QLED 4K Q80 Series Ultra HD Smart TV with HDR and Alexa Compatibility (2019 Model)
TV Price
$2,099.00
Buy Button
Category
Best Affordable
TV Name
TCL 6-Series
TV Image
TCL 65" Class 6-Series 4K UHD QLED Dolby Vision HDR Roku Smart TV - 65R625
TV Price
$1,177.00
Buy Button

Last updates on 2022-12-03 at 21:19

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