Top five cordless phones for 2019
By Alison Potter
These landline phones excel in terms of sound quality, range and call blocking, and there's a cordless phone handset to suit every budget and every home.
If you're investing in a new 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 with a substandard range that cuts out a few metres from the base station, or one where you struggle to hear the voice at the other end of the line?
Our in-depth lab testing enables us to identify which cordless phones are easy to use, which ones excel in terms of sound quality and which have the best call-blocking features. We can also tell you which phones are ideal for large properties and homes with thick walls, or if they are compatible with a signal booster to extend the range.
As well as the best five cordless phones we recommend for 2018, we've also highlighted three of the worst. So not only can you compare the differences between them, but also make sure you don't accidentally waste your money one of these awful phones, which should be avoided no matter how cheap or discounted they are.
Only logged-in Which? members can view our recommendations in the table below. If you’re not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.
Top cordless phones
Uniquely, this phone has one cordless handset and the other is a corded, more traditional-looking phone with an answering machine. It's one of the highest-scoring phones on test because it's very easy to operate, the sound quality is first-rate, it has a decent range when using the cordless handset, and impressive call blocking features, too.
Well-designed and easy to use, this cordless phone is an excellent all-rounder. The colour screen is easy to read, it has illuminated buttons so you can easily see in poor light, as well as a generous range. It has useful call blocking capabilities and there were no problems hearing or being heard when calls were made to and from the phone.
This unusual-looking home phone is a Best Buy that makes clear calls, is incredibly easy-to-use and has a large signal coverage, so it’s suitable for large homes. It has a wide range of features, including call blocking to deal with pesky nuisance callers, plus the unique design means it takes up barely any space at all.
This cordless phone makes clear calls, it has a large range and it's very straightforward to use. It can save a mammoth 3,000 numbers and it can block 50 specific numbers. It also has Bluetooth so you can connect the handset to your smartphone to copy contacts and also use your landline to make and receive calls from your smartphone.
This cordless phone is ideal if you have eyesight problems or dexterity issues, or if you prioritise ease of use above anything else. It's clear-sounding, it has a large screen and big buttons, as well as an automatic call-blocking button to immediately cancel calls and add numbers to your blocked list. It's also our second cheapest Best Buy.
Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct as of August 2018.
Not found the product for you? Browse all our cordless phone reviews.
And here are three home 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, as you can pick a much better cordless phone that will last for years, rather than something you'll soon want to replace.
Don’t Buy cordless phones
The cheapest phone from this popular brand is also the lowest scoring. It's missing an answering machine and a loudspeaker, and it has no call blocking to protect you against pesky nuisance callers. Only the handset rings, not the base station, and it has a very quiet ring which means you'll struggle to hear when you have an incoming caller.
It might be cheap as chips, but it's not worth picking up this cordless phone no matter what the price is. The ring volume is low, the display is hard to read and the call sound quality is low. Although the manual states this phone can block 100 specific phone numbers, we couldn't add any more once we reached 20.
One point away from being the lowest-scoring cordless phone, this compact cordless phone has a poor calculator-style display, crackly voices when making and receiving calls and it doesn't have an answering machine, a loudspeaker or any call-blocking features. Not to mention a mediocre range, so you can't stray too far from the base.
Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct as of August 2018.
Stop nuisance calls by registering for the Telephone Preference Service (TPS)
If you’re getting nuisance calls, one way to prevent them is by registering for free with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). This can be done on their website tpsonline.org.uk or over the phone by calling 0345 070 0707.
It removes your consent to be called, so in theory it should stop unsolicited sales and marketing telephone calls. Once a number has been registered it will become effective in 28 days. But if you’ve previously given permission for a firm to contact you by phone, you may need to contact them in writing to remove your agreement to be called.
On the whole the TPS is very effective, and reputable organisations and businesses take it very seriously because it’s a legal requirement that companies do not make calls to numbers that are registered. But some still flout these rules, especially those trying to benefit from short term financial opportunities based on generating sales leads for things such as accident claims, PPI claims and solar energy installation.
Still getting nuisance calls after registering with TPS?
If a company ignores the law, then you can make a complaint against them on the TPS website. They will contact the company, warn them of their legal obligations and ask them to add you to their own Do Not Call list so that you do not receive any further calls.
Some companies and firms hide or disguise their identity by withholding the number they are calling from, or they display a fake number. Understandably, this makes contacting these companies or targeting them for enforcement extremely difficult or even impossible, which is why it also helps to have one of the following:
- A call blocking device, such as trueCall, CPR, Yuanj Pro Call Blocker.
- A cordless phone with call blocking technology. Panasonic, BT, Gigaset, Binatone, Philips and iDect all have call blocking handsets which we’ve tested and rated in terms of their effectiveness at blocking calls.
- A subscription to a network call blocking system offered by your landline provider, for example BT Call Protect, Sky Talk Shield or TalkTalk CallSafe.
You can also directly report companies making nuisances calls to the Information Commissioner’s Office, who can take direct action against those responsible. Visit ico.org.uk for more information and to fill out their form to report a concern.