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Top five cordless phones for 2017

By Alison Potter

These 2017 landline phones excel in terms of sound quality, range and call blocking, and there's a cordless phone handset to suit every budget.

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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, or vice versa?

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 2017, 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, you can get instant access by taking a £1 Which? trial.

Top cordless phones 2017

Lowest price (in stock) £59.98
Which? score 80%
Reviewed Mar 2016
Sound quality:
4 out of 5
Ease of use:
5 out of 5
Call blocking:
3 out of 5
Type of device:
Member exclusive
Speed dial:
Member exclusive

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.

Typical price £80.00
Which? score 77%
Reviewed Mar 2017
Sound quality:
4 out of 5
Ease of use:
5 out of 5
Call blocking:
3 out of 5
Type of device:
Member exclusive
Speed dial:
Member exclusive

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.

Typical price £45.00
Which? score 76%
Reviewed Mar 2017
Sound quality:
4 out of 5
Ease of use:
5 out of 5
Call blocking:
3 out of 5
Type of device:
Member exclusive
Speed dial:
Member exclusive

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.

Lowest price (in stock) £32.99
Which? score 76%
Reviewed Oct 2016
Sound quality:
4 out of 5
Ease of use:
5 out of 5
Call blocking:
3 out of 5
Type of device:
Member exclusive
Speed dial:
Member exclusive

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.

Lowest price (in stock) £65.00
Which? score 74%
Reviewed Mar 2017
Sound quality:
4 out of 5
Ease of use:
5 out of 5
Call blocking:
2 out of 5
Type of device:
Member exclusive
Speed dial:
Member exclusive

This unusual-looking cordless phone is a mere test point away from being a Best Buy. Although it lacks in terms of call blocking, it's excellent with regards to sound quality, ease of use and range. If you don't get many nuisance calls and want an easy-to-use handset, this sleek phone is certainly one to consider.

Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct as of June 2017.

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

And here are three 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 for 2017

Lowest price (in stock) £19.98
Which? score 38%
Reviewed Mar 2017
Sound quality:
2 out of 5
Ease of use:
2 out of 5
Phone range:
3 out of 5
Call blocking:
3 out of 5
Type of device:
Member exclusive

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.

Lowest price (in stock) £44.99
Which? score 37%
Reviewed Mar 2016
Sound quality:
2 out of 5
Ease of use:
2 out of 5
Phone range:
3 out of 5
Type of device:
Member exclusive

This device fails at the most important hurdle for a cordless phone, which is sound quality. As well as being hard to hear and be heard, this cordless phone is also pretty tricky to use, the display is basic, and there's no speakerphone or call blocking either. It's a clear Don't Buy.

Lowest price (in stock) £26.49
Which? score 31%
Reviewed Oct 2016
Sound quality:
3 out of 5
Ease of use:
2 out of 5
Phone range:
3 out of 5
Call blocking:
1 out of 5
Type of device:
Member exclusive

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.

Make good use of your landline

In April 2017 we surveyed 4,135 Which? members to learn more about how landlines are being used. Although 19% admitted to having a landline only because it’s part of their broadband package, a much more sizeable 58% wouldn’t be without one. 

Over 82% have more than one handset in their home, and those surveyed used their cordless phone every day (40%) or most days (35%). Many agreed that a landline is often clearer and less prone to breaking up or dropping the call, as can be the case with mobile phones.

But if you rarely use your cordless phone in favour of your mobile, you could be missing a trick. Many call packages offer free or reduced-rate calls, either at certain times of the day or at weekends, and calls abroad and to mobiles can be significantly cheaper.

Finding the correct call package for you

To check whether you’ve got the best call package, examine your last few bills to see what type of calls you make, and if they’re included in your current contract. If you have itemised billing, it should be easy to see at a glance – scan down the list and work out why these calls cost you money. 

They could be premium-rate numbers, calls abroad, calls to mobiles or simply because you don’t have a call plan. And remember, if you have free calls included at certain times of the day, you will need to hang up after an hour and redial the number to avoid being charged.

If you make calls at times of day or to numbers not included in your package, talk to your provider about moving to a deal better suited to you. Before you do so, decide whether these sorts of calls represent your typical phone usage, so you can make sure the benefit of a new calling package outweighs these costs over the long term.

Consider a VoIP phone

Some cordless phones can wirelessly connect to your broadband using ‘voice over internet’ (VoIP) technology, enabling you to make free or very low-cost phone calls over the internet. If you make a large number of overseas calls from your landline, you might find your phone bill is cut in half by making these types of calls. 

The Gigaset CL705A Go Sculpture and the Gigaset S850A Go both wirelessly connect to your broadband so you can make VoIP calls. Or you can get an internet phone adapter which connects to your broadband router and cordless phone handset, enabling you to use your existing landline handset.

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