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Top five cordless phones for 2019

By Jon Barrow

These landline phones offer crystal-clear calls, great cordless range and are easy to set up and use. Even better, great budget options mean you don’t have to spend a fortune to get your hands on a Best Buy.

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If you need a replacement cordless phone for your home, you'll want to buy the best you can get for your budget. After all, who wants a landline phone that cuts out a few metres from the base station, or one which mangles conversations to the point that you struggle to understand what’s being said?

Our in-depth lab testing enables us to identify which cordless phones are easy to use, which produce outstandingly clear calls and which are ideal for large properties and homes with thick walls.

Which? members can log in to see the products behind the scores. If you’re not already a member, you can take out a Which? trial to unlock the tables below and get access to all our online reviews.

All pricing, recommendations and test scores correct as of October 2019.

Best overall cordless phones 

Sometimes you just want a good all-rounder – and, fortunately, we have some great contenders that don’t cost the earth.

Top cordless phones

88%
£34.99
Reviewed

Dialling is a doddle with this Best Buy phone thanks to its extra-large, tactile buttons and sizeable screen. It’s simple to set up, the ring volume is loud and this home phone is compatible with digital hearing aids. It’s also great at blocking nuisance calls and has a large internal phonebook. It's been around for a few years but is still an excellent choice, especially as its price has come down since newer models have been released.

82%
£49.99
Reviewed

This top-of-the-range phone is packed with features, from Bluetooth connectivity so you can easily add your mobile contacts, to fantastic call-blocking options. It does the basics well too. Calls are clear and the ringers, in both the base unit and the handset, are very loud. The phone’s signal strength is among the best we've seen, so you're unlikely to be cut off if you wander around the house while you're speaking.

82%
£59.99
Reviewed

This well-equipped Best Buy phone has sophisticated call-blocking features that can put a stop to nuisance calls. You can save up to 200 numbers in the phonebook – these will be put straight through to you – and block up to 1,000 that you don't want to hear from. The phone's range is excellent and the handset will sound an alarm if you start to wander too far, giving you the chance to return to an area of stronger coverage before you're cut off.

Not found the product for you? Browse all our cordless phone reviews.

Best cordless phones for large houses 

Manufacturers often claim that their phones will work over long distances, typically 50 metres indoors and up to 300 metres outdoors.

That may be true in perfect conditions, but it’s unlikely you’ll manage those distances in your home as walls and other obstacles block the signal.

If you live in a large house, you should give yourself the best chance of getting cordless coverage by choosing one of the three models highlighted below.

Best cordless phones for large houses

82%
£49.99
Reviewed

This top-of-the-range phone is packed with features, from Bluetooth connectivity so you can easily add your mobile contacts, to fantastic call-blocking options. It does the basics well too. Calls are clear and the ringers, in both the base unit and the handset, are very loud. The phone’s signal strength is among the best we've seen, so you're unlikely to be cut off if you wander around the house while you're speaking.

82%
£59.99
Reviewed

This well-equipped Best Buy phone has sophisticated call-blocking features that can put a stop to nuisance calls. You can save up to 200 numbers in the phonebook – these will be put straight through to you – and block up to 1,000 that you don't want to hear from. The phone's range is excellent and the handset will sound an alarm if you start to wander too far, giving you the chance to return to an area of stronger coverage before you're cut off.

73%
£35.00
Reviewed

This Best Buy is an impressive mid-price cordless phone with a built-in answering machine and some call-blocking features. Call quality is good and the phone's range is wide enough to cover most homes. Plus, if you need to extend it further, this device is compatible with coverage extenders, which you can buy from around £80.

Easy to use cordless phones 

Many of us use our home phones every day, chatting to friends or picking up messages left while we’re out of the house. Something that gets so much daily usage needs to be simple to operate, especially if you have dexterity issues or problems with your sight or hearing.

The three cordless phones we've highlighted below have a number of useful and practical features that make them particularly easy to use, including high-quality LCD screens, good size buttons and extra-loud ringtones.

Best easy-to-use cordless phones

88%
£34.99
Reviewed

Dialling is a doddle with this cordless phone, due to its extra-large, tactile buttons and sizeable screen, which has a good contrast between the black text and orange background. It’s simple to set up, the ring volume is loud and this home phone is compatible with digital hearing aids. Calls sound clear, but it also has an amplify button to boost the volume when you need it.

75%
£34.99
Reviewed

This Best Buy phone may not include an answering machine but gets full marks for how easy it is to use. It's simple to get it up and running and it comes with a clear instruction manual (plus a useful wizard to help you set the time and add contacts). It also has large buttons to help prevent misdialling and a backlit 1.8-inch screen displaying a big, easy-to-read font.

68%
£24.99
Reviewed

Although not a Best Buy, this is one of the best-value phones you can buy. Despite its budget price, it still produces great call quality, decent cordless coverage and even some call-blocking features. It’s true that it doesn’t have the range of features available on more advanced models, but its basic nature ensures that it’s extremely simple to set up and to use, with easy-to-navigate menus and well-defined buttons.

Best cheap cordless phones 

To ensure you get the biggest bang for your buck, we’ve rounded up the three best-value cordless phones, which all cost under £30 for a pack with a single handset.

Best cheap cordless home phones

68%
£24.99
Reviewed

Although not a Best Buy, this is one of the best-value phones you can buy. Despite its budget price, it still produces great call quality, decent cordless coverage and even some call-blocking features. It’s true that it doesn’t have the range of features available on more advanced models, but its basic nature ensures that it’s extremely simple to set up and to use, with easy-to-navigate menus and well-defined buttons.

68%
£27.99
Reviewed

This phone may be getting a little long in the tooth, but it’s a good-value, simple device that has a built-in answering machine, a speed dial and some call-blocking capabilities. The phone’s memory is limited, so there’s only space to store 50 contacts and up to 18 minutes of answering machine messages, but it’s simple to operate and calls are clear and easy to understand.

64%
£19.98
Reviewed

This is a simple cordless home phone that's available in single, twin and triple packs. It’s one of the cheapest phones you can buy. You won't find too many features on this basic cordless phone – there’s no answering machine, for example – but you'll be able to hear conversations clearly, and its loud ringtone should mean you can hear it ringing over the noise of the TV. Its call-blocking abilities aren't bad either.

Cordless phones to avoid 

Our testing has shown that price and brand are no indicators of whether a cordless phone is going to be excellent or not. Almost every brand with a top-scoring cordless phone also has the odd dud, whether it's a big brand such as BT, Panasonic, Philips or Gigaset, or a smaller manufacturer like Binatone or iDect.

Make sure you steer clear of the models below. You can pick a much better cordless phone that will last for years, rather than something you'll soon want to replace.

Cordless phones to avoid

55%
£15.00
Reviewed

This is an average cordless home phone. If you just need a basic device for making calls and don’t want to spend too much, it’s not the worst choice. But it’s very limited, lacking the call-blocking features that many other phones have, and only the handset rings when you get a call (typically the base does too).

53%
£19.98
Reviewed

This mediocre phone isn't a Don't Buy, but it's not far off it. Although the range is ample and it has some call-blocking features, it lacks an answering machine and speed dial. The sound quality isn't great, and it's fairly fiddly to use. It’s not that well designed either.

44%
£18.00
Reviewed

It may be cheap, but this home phone didn't impress in our tests. Sadly, it isn't that easy to use. It’s very quiet when it rings and lacks even the most basic features, such as call blocking options, an answering machine or a speakerphone.

How we test cordless phones 

At first glance, most cordless phones look the same. But our years of testing has shown huge differences between the best and worst.

To uncover which you should buy, we put every phone we review through a wide variety of tough lab tests. We make a series of calls from each phone while an expert checks the sound quality at both ends of the line before going on to rate the clarity of messages left on the answering machine.

We measure the cordless range by checking call quality on different floors within our laboratory and through steel and brick walls. Plus, ergonomic experts assess how easy it is to set up the phone and answering machine and to use them every day, looking at everything from adding new contacts to reading the display in a dimly lit room.

And because we know that nuisance calls are a massive problem, we also check how effective each phone is at blocking them.

To find out more about our tough lab tests, head over to our guide explaining how we test cordless phones.

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