Best Smart TVs for Seniors

Features to Look For | Best TVs for Seniors | TV Displays & Definitions | Other Considerations (Mounting, Subtitles etc)

According to Quartz, the average 65+ American in 2017 spent roughly four hours and 20 minutes watching TV every day! For better or for worse, seniors tend to spend a lot of their free time watching television.

With that in mind, buying a clear, bright, and high-quality TV can dramatically improve a senior’s viewing experience, allowing them to better enjoy the programs and movies that they love.

This article will cover what features to look for in a good television for seniors, with a focus on smart TVs that have built-in streaming options, an easy-to-use design, and large screens that are clearly visible, even for older eyes!

There’s a lot of confusing terminology around modern TVs, but we’ll break it all down for you to ensure you choose the best senior-friendly television.

What to Look For in a Senior-Friendly TV

Large Screen

large screen TV

Most seniors will appreciate a fairly large screen that they can see easily even with visual impairments. Usually 42 – 65 inches is best, although it largely depends how far the individual will be sitting from the TV.

Simple Controls

TV menu and controls

Simplicity is best for seniors, so you’ll want to make sure that the television’s menu screen is easy to navigate and control. This applies for the TV’s remote as well, although the good news is that it’s easy to install a simple senior-friendly TV remote to most modern televisions.

Traditional Design

traditional TV

For seniors with dementia, or for those who are unfamiliar with more modern TVs, traditionally-designed televisions may be best, but of course these are very uncommon.

Manufacturers don’t make old school TVs anymore!

However, if a senior really struggles to use a modern TV, you may want to consider shopping at a local thrift store for a familiar, classic design. This can be especially beneficial for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s if they struggle with modern TVs.

Some seniors will have a much easier time navigating TVs with knobs and easy-to-press buttons, with controls that resemble the television sets they grew up with.

However, pretty much all modern televisions feature streamlined designs with no external controls – a remote must be used to control the TV. The upside is that modern TVs tend to have fantastic visual and sound quality.

To Choose a Smart TV or Not a Smart TV?

Smart TVs are a bit of a blessing and a curse for seniors. On one hand, smart TVs make it easy for seniors to access a wide array of streaming options like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime TV, allowing for tons of entertainment access.

Some smart TVs even have built-in voice controls that some seniors may find easier to use than a remote.

TV voice controls for seniors

The downside is that all the extra features and streaming service options can feel very overwhelming to some elderly individuals. Smart TVs usually come with more options, more buttons, and – as a result – more headaches!

For most seniors, the benefits of a smart TV outweigh the drawbacks, once the individual gets the hang of how to use a smart TV.

For seniors who are struggling, it might be beneficial to have someone record how they use the screen selection and navigation to access the user’s favorite streaming channels or programs so that the individual can go back and follow the steps in the recording when necessary.

Best Smart TVs for Seniors

1. TCL 50-inch Class 4-Series 4K UHD Smart Roku LED TV

Best Value Smart LED TV
TCL 50-inch Class 4-Series 4K UHD Smart Roku LED TV - 50S435, 2021 Model

TCL 50-inch 4K UHD Smart Roku LED TV

Affordable 50-inch smart TV that won’t cost a fortune

Impressive 50-inch LED Smart TV provides a great viewing experience, with Roku built-in.

T.C.L 50-inch 4K UHD Smart Roku TV is a great quality television with amazing picture quality that won’t break the bank. Featuring built-in Roku TV, this TV offers access to thousands streaming channels including popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, Spotify, Amazon Instant Video, among others.

With 4k resolution, this TV offers great picture quality with clear resolution and bright colors to make for a truly immersive viewing experience.

This high-quality television includes 3 HDMI ports and 1 USB (media player) port to connect all of your video sources like Blu Ray players, DVD players, gaming consoles, etc.

You also have the option to enable voice search through the Roku app – but not that this does require you to download the Roku app onto your phone. You won’t be able to use voice search directly from the TV or the remote control.

While we think the 50-inch is perfect for most seniors, this TV actually is available in six different sizes from 43″ – 85″.

Product Specifications:

  • Dimensions (W x H x D): TV without stand: 44. 1 X 25. 7 X 3. 2 inches, TV with stand: 44. 1 X 28 X 8 inches
  • Weight: 15 lbs
  • Refresh Rate: 60 hertz
  • Resolution: 4k
  • HDMI Ports: 3
  • All Inputs: 3 HDMI, 1 USB (media player), RF, Composite, Headphone Jack, Optical Audio Out, Ethernet

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Great value, with quality visuals at an affordable price
  • Roku built-in smart TV

Cons

  • No built-in voice control from the remote

2. Insignia 32-inch Smart HD Fire TV

Best TV on a Budget
Insignia 32-inch Class F20 Series Smart HD 720p Fire TV (NS-32DF310NA19, 2018 Model)

Insignia 32-inch Smart HD TV

Budget-friendly 32-inch Fire TV

Great, smaller-sized smart TV as a value price that even includes an Alexa voice remote control.

The Insignia 32-inch Smart HD TV with FireTV is one of the best budget smart TVs out there! Not only does it offer solid picture quality in 720p, but it also allows seniors to access their favorite streaming services like Disney+, Netflix, YouTube, Prime Video and more!

This smart TV has a screen size of 31.5″ and 3 HDMI ports for connecting to other devices.

One feature seniors will especially adore is that this TV comes with a Alexa Voice Remote, allowing a senior to simply press a button, say what they want to watch, and have the smart TV quickly bring up matching options. It’s a great hands-free option!

Product Specifications:

  • Screen Size: 31.5″
  • Brand: Insignia
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): TV without stand: 28.9” x 17.3” x 3”, TV with stand: 28.9” x 19” x 8.2”
  • Weight: 11.2 lb
  • Refresh Rate: 60 hertz
  • Resolution: 720p
  • HDMI Ports: 3
  • All Inputs: 3 HDMI including 1 with ARC, USB, composite input, antenna/cable input, digital output (optical), audio output, Ethernet

Pros

  • Included Alexa Voice Remote allows for hands-free viewing and voice commands
  • Big enough for small living rooms and bedrooms

Cons

  • 720p might not be enough pixel quality for die-hard cinema buffs, but it’ll be more than enough for most seniors

3. Insignia 24-inch Smart HD 720p TV – Fire TV

All-New Insignia Smart HD 1080p TV - Fire TV Edition

Insignia 24-Inch Smart HD TV

Great bedroom smart TV

Solid 24-inch smart TV that’s perfect for smaller areas.

The Insignia NS-24DF310NA21 offers a great bedroom TV that’s the perfect size for smaller viewing areas. This 720p Amazon Fire TV is a smart television, providing access to over-the-air live TV as well as numerous popular streaming channels and apps like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and more.

This smart TV also comes with an Alexa voice remote, allowing you to control everything hands-free. Just press the voice command button and ask the TV to find your favorite shows, switch inputs, launch specific apps, and more!

Product Specifications:

  • Screen Size: 24″
  • Brand: Insignia
  • Dimensions: ‎7.1 x 21.7 x 14.4 inches
  • Weight: 6.4 lb
  • Refresh Rate: 60 hertz
  • Resolution: 720p
  • HDMI Ports: 3

Pros

  • Ultra affordable
  • Smart TV with access to streaming services and streaming live channels
  • Hands-free voice remote with Alexa included

Cons

  • May be too small for large living room areas

4. SAMSUNG 50-inch QLED Q60T Series 4K Smart TV with Alexa Built-in

Best QLED TV
SAMSUNG 50-inch Class QLED Q60T Series - 4K UHD Dual LED Quantum HDR Smart TV with Alexa Built-in (QN50Q60TAFXZA, 2020 Model)

Samsung 50-Inch QLED Smart TV

Boasts premium QLED for the most vivid display

Impressive 4k TV with QLED and dynamic tone mapping, plus Alexa built-in.

Have a serious cinefile senior who needs best-in-class viewing? This best-selling 50″ Samsung QLED 4K TV will impress even the most particular movie viewers!

This QLED TV uses the latest tech to deliver ultra vivid 4k picture quality through the use of HDR, dynamic tone mapping, and quantum dots, which produce over a billion shades of color. This allows the screen’s colors to stay true-to-life, even in bright scenes that might otherwise wash out.

This is one of the smarter smart TVs out there too – not only does it have Alexa built-in to change the channels, play music, and open Netflix handsfree, but it even has an intuitive smart TV interface that learns what you like!

The TV also includes an “ambient mode” that allows you to showcase a photo collage or photo slideshow when you’re not watching your favorite shows.

The 50″ inch large screen size is ideal for those who suffer from visual impairment or other age related vision issues. But, if that’s not big enough for you, this TV also comes in several other larger sizes between 55″ – 85″ (as well as a smaller 43″ version).

Product Specifications:

  • Screen Size: 50″
  • Brand: Samsung
  • Dimensions: ‎2.3 x 44 x 25.3 inches
  • Weight: 26.90 lbs
  • Refresh Rate: 60 hertz
  • Resolution: 4k UHD
  • HDMI Ports: 3

Pros

  • One of the better at-home viewing experiences you can have!
  • Smart TV allows for easy access to streaming services
  • Includes a built-in Alex remote
  • Inputs located on the side of the TV

Cons

  • Expensive
  • May be overkill for seniors who only occasionally watch TV

5. SAMSUNG 43-inch Crystal UHD TU-8000 Series with Alexa

Best 43-inch smart TV
SAMSUNG 43-Inch Class Crystal UHD AU8000 Series - 4K UHD HDR Smart TV with Alexa Built-in (UN43AU8000FXZA, 2021 Model)

Samsung 43-inch Smart TV

The Samsung 43-Inch Alexa Smart TV is a great middle-of-the-road option that provides great quality at a reasonable, mid-range price.

This television includes an ultra-fast processor for high-quality 4k visuals, along with HDR for better color experience. With built-in Alexa capabilities, you can just ask Alexa to find your favorite show via voice controls and start watching your favorite programs immediately!

From Disney+ and Netflix to Prime Video, you can stream all your favorite shows with ease.

Product Specifications:

  • Screen Size: 43″
  • Brand: Samsung
  • Dimensions: 7.7″ x 38″ x 23.6″
  • Weight: 8.9 lb
  • Refresh Rate: 60 hertz
  • Resolution: 4k
  • HDMI Ports: 3

Pros

  • Ultra-thin and light at under 10lbs
  • Impressive 4k resolution with true-to-life color

Cons

  • While most viewers will be fine with 60 hertz, gamers will want 120 hertz (but that’s unlikely to be an issue for seniors)

6. LG 75” Alexa Built-in 4K UHD Smart TV with Dolby Cinema

Best XL Smart TV for Seniors
LG 75UP8070PUR Alexa Built-In 75' 4K Smart UHD TV (2021)

LG Alexa Built-In 75″ 4K Smart UHD TV

Whopping 75-inch TV that’s ideal for seniors with vision issues

This XL smart TV boasts a 4k display and TruMotion that’s perfect for sports.

For seniors who live the mantra “go big, or go home” the LG 87 Series 75” Smart TV is the obvious choice! Boasting a huge and vivid 75″ screen, it’s perfect even for seniors with visual impairments who have a large-sized living room area where they watch TV.

The TV prides itself on its impressive 4K display with vivid and bright colors, high contrast, and insane mounts of detail along with its quad core processor for a smooth, crisp viewing experience.

This LG TV includes the webOS platform, which supports popular streaming apps like Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, Vudu, and YouTube. It also comes with the LG Magic Remote control, allowing seniors to easily navigate to their favorite programs through the remote’s simple navigation and intuitive voice commands.

LG UHD TVs work with “Hey Google,” Amazon Alexa, Apple Play2, and Apple Homekit, allowing you to use any smart assistant you’re already accustomed to.

Have a senior who loves to watch sports? This TV comes with TruMotion 120 technology, designed to reduce blur and sharpen details with up to 120 frames per second. This results in a smoother, cleaner display even for fast-moving sports action. You can watch your favorite team without missing a beat!

Product Specifications:

  • Screen Size: 75″
  • Brand: LG
  • Dimensions: ‎‎66.1 x 14.3 x 40.4 inches
  • Weight: 70.8 lbs
  • Refresh Rate: 60 hertz
  • Resolution: 4k
  • HDMI Ports: 3

Pros

  • Huge TV with incredible clarity and display quality
  • Smart TV allows for easy access to streaming apps
  • Intuitive remote
  • TruMotion is ideal for sports viewing

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavy, difficult for a senior to install without help
  • Inputs are on the back of the device, which will be difficult to access if the TV is mounted

7. Echo Show 8

Best Small Portable TV Screen
Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen, 2021 release) | HD smart display with Alexa and 13 MP camera | Charcoal

Echo Show 8

HD smart display with Alexa and 13 MP camera

All-in-one device that functions as a TV, music player, video phone, and more

The Echo Show is basically a smart tablet crossed with a portable television!

The Echo Show offers a unique media experience that’s not possible with standard televisions. This all-in-one device can do anything a senior might want it to including show your photos while functioning as a virtual photo frame, make video calls to the grandkids before bedtime, play music, and even answer questions through Alexa.

The Echo Show features an 8″ touchscreen with adaptive color, meaning it can change based on lighting conditions for better visibility (a true lifesaver for seniors with poor eyesight).

There are also built-in stereo speakers offering great sound quality, whether you’re doing video calls or watching soap dramas.

The best part of this device is how adaptable it is. The screen rotates with auto-framing, ensuring that you’re always visible on screen when doing a video call. Friends and family members will be able to see you with crystal clear clarity thanks to the Echo’s 13MP camera.

While the Echo Show’s 8″ screen won’t work for living room viewing, it’s the perfect TV size to use in a kitchen, on an over-the-bed table, or on a wheelchair tray. It’s just the right size to be clear for those who are visually impaired without sacrificing portability or quality!

The Echo Show offers HD viewing for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, as well as music that can be streamed via Amazon Music, Apple Music, or Spotify.

The best part about the Echo Show is that it can be controlled by voice recognition software. If you’re having trouble seeing to the remote control, simply ask Alexa for what you’d like and your wishes will be granted!

The Echo is also a handy at-home organizer, offering a built-in calendar and reminder system. Use voice commands to set up timers, update lists, or listen to the news. You can use the Echo to provide medication reminders, or even have it function as a large-sized digital clock when you’re not using it for other things!

While it may be too tech-advanced for most seniors, you can even use the Echo Show to manage your smart home remotely, accessing the camera while you’re away to monitor the home, control lights, and more. This might be a handy feature for caregivers who want to keep an eye on an elderly loved one!

Pros

  • Can be controlled with Alexa
  • All-in-one device that functions as a TV, music player, video phone, and more
  • Ultra-portable
  • May be handy for caregivers who want to monitor elderly relatives

Cons

  • Smaller sized screen
  • May be more tech than some seniors want

TV Displays & Definitions

TVs come in several display options and picture definitions, which relates to the number of pixels on screen. Generally, the more pixels, the better the picture quality.

Let’s break down the main TV display and definition options:

Displays:

  • LED. LED TVs, also referred to as LCD TVs, are the most common and popular type of TV today. LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display, and while newer, fancier-sounding variations like QLED and mini-LED exist, the core technology is the same. The best newer LED TVs feature additional tech like quantum dots for a more vibrant HDR display.
  • OLED. OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode. OLED TVs don’t require any backlighting, which allows the to be thinner than other television, keeping them lightweight and easier to install. OLEDs have superior picture quality, but usually cost a fair bit more than LCD TVs, which still provide great picture quality that should be plenty good for most seniors.

Definitions:

  • 720p. Televisions with 720p displays are becoming obsolete, as 1080p becomes the new standard. We generally suggest going with a 1080p since the quality is so much better and they are nearly the same price. However, 720p TVs can still get the job done for a senior who wants a cheap TV for a small space where prime picture quality isn’t essential.
  • 1080p / Full HD. This is generally the most common resolution for modern TVs, with 1920 x 1080 pixels. However, 4k is increasingly becoming the new standard.
  • 4k / Ultra HD. Televisions for 4k have 4x more pixels than 1080p, with 3840 x 2160 pixels.
  • 8k. Televisions with 8k displays have 16 times more resolution than standard HDTV. However, this massive amount of pixels won’t make a noticeable difference unless you have a very large television.

If you want to know more about the ins and outs of TV definitions, we refer you to the Tom’s Guide TV Buying Guide.

Other Features to Consider When Choosing a TV for an Elderly Senior

Mounting vs Using a TV Stand

TV mounting

Many individuals prefer mounting their TV over using a stand. However, mounting one’s TV comes with a few major drawbacks – for one, it’s tough to do on your own. Most seniors will want to hire a handyman to come in and mount the TV.

The other issue is that accessing the TV’s inputs and HDMI points can be more tricky when the TV is mounted. Even TVs with input on the sides may be a bit of a nuisance for seniors to access. This is doubly true when inputs are on the back of the TV!

Using a TV stand allows a senior to fully and easily access all of a TV’s panels and ports without any crazy acrobatics.

Subtitles

The good news is that regardless of which type of TV you use, all smart TVs should have subtitle features included, as streaming services always provide the option to turn on subtitles within the streaming app’s settings section.

Many streaming services even offer the ability to change the size, style, and background of the caption text to ensure that the senior gets the best setup possible!

TV Hearing Aids

Keep in mind whether or not a senior’s new smart TV will be compatible with a hearing aid or wireless TV headphones, if they are used (hint: the vast majority of newer TVs will work just fine with wireless headphones or other television hearing aids).

Sound Quality

TV speakers

Good sound quality is essential for seniors, as they often struggle with hearing. Unfortunately, TVs are not typically designed with the best sound quality.

If you’re looking to purchase a TV for someone who struggles in their hearing, consider purchasing an external speaker or if your budget allows, a complete home theater system may be in order!

Even a cheap external speaker system can provide a much better audio experience than a TV’s built-in speakers. This is due in part to how thin modern TVs are. That thin, lightweight design is great in many ways, but it results in smaller, less substantial speakers that rarely sound great.

If you find a television that’s perfect except for sound quality, you can consider purchasing an external sound bar or speaker that will dramatically improve the TV’s audio.

Some sound bars can even be placed behind the senior’s couch or TV for better hearing.

Input/Output Connections

TV inputs

You’ll want to note what kind of input/output connections the television comes with. Common options include:

  • HDMI. This is the most common standard connection option, as it enables a television to be used with most modern tech devices.
  • Optical Audio Output / Coaxial Digital. Both of these outputs are not as commonly used, but they can be beneficial for hooking up the television to older audio equipment and speakers. Most will opt instead to use an HDMI port for hooking up a newer sound bar or other modern speaker system.
  • Component. The classic triad of colors of red, blue, and green make up the AV ports of the TV. While outdated now, this used to be the standard for video ports before HDMI. Some still look for TVs with component ports in addition to HDMI so that they can hook up older game systems, VCRs, etc.
  • Auxiliary Output. Also known as the aux or headphone jack, this ocnnection is for connecting your TV to headphones or an external sound system.
  • USB. A USB port on a TV allows one to connect a device like a USB flash drive to the TV and play content, such as photos, from a USB drive. Not usually a must-have, but a fun bonus!
  • Ethernet. An Ethernet connection allows you to directly connect a wired internet connection to a smart TV. Most people just use WIFI to connect their smart TV to the internet, but ethernet ports can allow for a faster, more reliable connection.

To get the full scoop on different TV input and output options, see this great TV port guide from CableTV.com.

Menu Navigation

TV menu

Seniors will want a television that’s easy and simple to navigate. The best TVs will have a basic remote control, minimal buttons, and an easy to follow menu.

In general, smart TVs will have a more streamlined interface than standard televisions, but some smart TVs have pretty comprehensive menus that may require a bit of help navigating, at least at first.

Look for smart TVs with simple, clean menu options that are easy to navigate, are straightforward, and have at least all the main functionality easy to access.

Icons should be large and easy to understand, and menu screens shouldn’t be too busy or overwhelming.

Stick With What’s Familiar

senior women watching TV

If a senior individual has used a specific streaming service in the past, try to stick to that version of compatible smart TV.

So, for example, if a senior has used a Roku streaming device before, try to choose a smart TV that has Roku built in. If the senior has used an Amazon Firestick in the past, or Alexa, opt for a smart TV with Amazon Firestick built in.

This is due to the fact that you will want to try to have the smart TV use a UX design that the individual is already accustomed to so the experience isn’t so overwhelming!

Voice Activation

Voice activation is quickly becoming the standard in all new smart TVs.

Using voice recognition technology, some smart TV’s can be activated with voice commands like ‘search’, ‘launch YouTube’ or even more complex commands like “open display menu” and “turn on bluetooth”.

This feature can definitely make using the television more simple, especially for seniors who don’t want to fumble around with remote controls, or have hand dexterity issues.

HDR

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range, and it’s a technique used that boosts the contrast between a display’s brightest whites and darkest blacks. HDR tends to look great, and it’s a staple in many newer TVs.


Choosing the best TV for seniors is a process that should be done carefully and with consideration. Seniors will likely want smart TVs that have built-in streaming options, voice activation for easy of use, and large HDR screens for the best visual clarity.

Considering that seniors spend much of their time watching TV, purchasing a high-quality television is a worthwhile investment!

We hope this guide has helped you narrow your options in searching for a great senior-friendly TV. Have you purchased a smart TV for an elderly relative or yourself? Let us know how you chose your TV in the comments!

Last update on 2022-01-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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