Top five cordless phones for 2020
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.
All pricing, recommendations and test scores correct as of December 2020.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.