Skip to Content

Should You Buy a 55-inch TV or a 65-inch TV?

There’s a lot to consider when buying a new TV. Each brand has its own pros and cons, but you also have to pick the right size for your room. 

The two most popular TV sizes are 55-inch and 65-inch TVs. But how do you choose between them?

How to Choose Between 55-inch & 65-inch TVs

More often than not, you hear people complaining that their TV is too small. Surprisingly though, there is such a thing as a TV that’s too big. 

Size might not seem like a big deal between a 55-inch and a 65-inch TV, aside from the difference in cost. Though it may seem like a minor difference in screen size, it can make a big difference in how you watch TV. 

This raises the question: how do you find the right size for your space?

Look at the room where you plan to put your TV and consider the following:

  • How big is the room you want your TV to be in?
  • How far away will you sit from the screen?
  • What kind of room do you want your TV to be in?
  • How many people are you expecting to have seated in front of your TV?
  • Are you mounting the TV on a wall or on a TV stand?
  • Will you be mainly watching sports, movies, or TV shows?

The best option is to measure your space and select a screen size that fits. 

You measure TV screens diagonally, from one corner to the opposite. This means the width of the screen is shorter than the measurement advertised. Sometimes, TV sellers purposefully exaggerate this size difference. 

A 55-inch screen is about 48 inches wide, whereas a 65-inch screen is approximately 57 inches wide. Using the actual dimensions of the TVs, you’re looking at will make measuring your space easier. 

Consider Room Size and Seating Arrangement

It’s safe to assume that a smaller space is ideal for a smaller screen, and a bigger space is perfect for a bigger screen. You have to sit closer to the screen in a smaller room, which can cause eye strain and hurt your neck. 

Sort of like sitting in the front row of a movie theater. 

Also, keep in mind how your furniture is arranged while measuring the room. Even marking off areas that the seats will occupy can help you get accurate measurements. It’s safest to go with a TV size that fits the measurements of your room.

According to Audio Video Unlimited, where you put your TV placement affects how you see images on the screen. Being too close or too far from the screen can cause significant eye strain, especially if you’re watching for long periods.

By sticking to an ideal viewing distance, your viewing experience will be enhanced. The recommended viewing distance will vary with both the size and resolution of your TV. 

Higher-resolution screens won’t put as much strain on your eyes while sitting close. In contrast, you’ll need to sit farther away from lower-resolution TVs.

As a general rule of thumb, it’s safe to go with a larger screen if you plan to sit further away.  

Here are the recommended viewing distances for 55 and 65-inch TVs:

  • 1080p 55″ TV should be 7 to 11.5 feet away from you.
  • 4K\UHD 55″ TV should be 4.5 to 7 feet away from you.
  • 1080p 65″ TV should be 8 to 13.5 feet away from you.
  • 4K\UHD 65″ TV should be 5.5 to 8 feet away from you.

Mounting your TV higher on the wall can put a little more distance between yourself and the screen. Depending on how many people you’ll have over, this also makes it easier for more people to see. 

Unless, of course, you can create tiered seating like a movie theater. But be careful not to set it so high that you have to stretch your neck to see.

How Will You Use It? [Gaming and Entertainment]

It makes sense for a dedicated TV or media room to have a larger screen (keeping in mind eye strain and visibility). 

Larger screens are more immersive and usually have better audio systems that provide a cinematic experience. If you like hosting a game or movie night with a group of friends, it’s better to go with a 65-inch TV rather than a 55-inch TV. 

Putting a smaller screen in your living room allows you more versatility. It’s far easier to have a program on in the background while doing chores when your eyes aren’t pulled to the TV. It can leave more room open to set up other toys and games or leave space to stretch out. 

Remember that it’s difficult to host guests around a smaller screen. Keep in mind that you might need to move your seating arrangement to accommodate.

How Many People are Watching At Once

While we’re on the topic, it’s good to consider how many people you expect to have sitting down to watch something. 

A smaller 55-inch TV is ideal if you expect a more intimate setting, while a 65-inch (or larger) TV is better for large groups of people. 

Remember that your seating arrangement needs to allow for bigger groups.

Try seeing how well you can view the screen from every seat in your room. This gives you an idea of how well everyone could see the action.

Where Will You Put The TV? [Wall Mount vs. TV Stand]

Before you buy either a 55-inch or 65-inch TV, consider whether you’ll be putting it on a TV stand or wall mounting it.

Weight capacity and margin space are essential for an entertainment center. If you’d like to keep what furniture you have, it’s best to select a TV size that your existing cabinet or table can hold.

If you’re buying new furniture, make sure to confirm that your selection is sturdy enough to support your new TV. It’s also recommended to keep the margin space around the TV at about 8 inches to better support the screen.

If you’re thinking about mounting your TV on your wall, there’s a different set of things to consider. 

The most important consideration is your ideal eye level, which depends on your furniture. 

To determine the optimal height, sit where you would usually watch TV. Then try to pinpoint the spot on the wall that is at eye level. 

The center of your TV should be slightly higher than this point, so it’s easier to take in the whole picture. 

Although you can mount your TV higher than this, avoid straining your neck with a very high viewing angle. 

How to Get a Feel For Your Space

With all this in mind, take another look at your space and revisit the questions from earlier. If you can, arrange the room how you’d like it to be set up around your TV. You can mark off areas with painter’s tape that you plan to have chairs in to get a sense of the space. With these measurements, you can also mark the area where your TV will be and compare it to the size of the setup.

Try to get a feel for how large the screen is compared to your field of vision. Are you straining to see the whole area you have marked off? Does it feel like you have to stretch forward to focus? 

Measure the distance from your TV setup to your seating. Compare that distance to the ideal measurements above. 

This could be a good indicator of what size would fit best for your room. Keep in mind family vs. media room dynamics too. Do the ideal measurements fit the dynamic of your room?

If you’re still unsure what to go with at the end of all this consideration, it never hurts to choose a larger option. Remember that most complaints are about TVs being too small, not too large. It’s easier to adjust to a larger screen, and no one wants to be constantly hunching forward to watch the big game.