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Best cordless phone 2024: Find the perfect landline phone for your home or office

A selection of cordless phones against a blue background

Fed up with nuisance calls and dodgy DECT connection? We test and recommend the best cordless phones

The landline isn’t dead. Many people prefer making and taking calls the old-fashioned way – and your landline phone might well be cheaper or more convenient than a mobile, particularly if your broadband service includes a phone package. Not all landline handsets are alike, however. The best cordless phones are easy to set up and easier to use, with great audio quality and smart features for handling voicemail, contacts and nuisance calls.

We’ve tested dozens of cordless phones to find the best handsets for comfort, features and call quality; below you’ll find our recommendations for the best cordless phones, along with our buyering guide that will help you choose the perfect DECT handset for you.

Best cordless phone: At a glance

Best everyday cordless phone:Gigaset CL390 Hello (~£36)Check price at Amazon
Best cordless phone with big buttons: Panasonic KX-TGE820EB (~£40)Check price at Amazon
Best phone for blocking spam calls:BT Premium Cordless Home Phone (~£53)Check price at Amazon

How we test cordless phones

We tested the cordless phones in, and around, a three-bedroom detached house, making calls to check the quality of the connection at different distances and looking for any sign of interference or poor range. We also took the phones outside, into a long back garden, to check whether the connection still held up over longer distances and through external walls.

Beyond this, we used the phones as a main landline phone over several days, looking for issues with call quality and checking the usability of any directory or answerphone features. We tried out different ringtones for clarity, volume and how likely they are to annoy. We also checked out any call-blocking features, to see whether these are effective and easy to use.

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The best cordless phones you can buy in 2024

1. BT Everyday Cordless Home Phone: Best cordless phone under £30

Price when reviewed: £20 single, £35 twin | Check price at Amazon

  • Great for… high-quality calls for a very low price
  • Not so great for… those wanting speakerphone and answerphone functions

BT’s Everyday Cordless is super-cheap, yet a joy to use. We found it very comfortable in the hand, and appreciated its good-sized buttons, simple menus and multi-function rocker that navigates options and controls the volume.

It’s also got built-in controls for 1,571 answerphone services and a 50-number contacts list that can sync between multiple handsets. Best of all, it offers call blocking for up to 20 numbers and a Do Not Disturb mode, where only numbers tagged as VIP contacts can get through.

We were more than satisfied by the call quality, but we found the default ring volume a touch on the quiet side – and there’s no speakerphone. If you want a cheap but very cheerful landline phone, this is the one to buy.

Key specs – Type: DECT phone with mono screen; Phonebook: 50 entries; Answerphone: No; Speakerphone: No; Nuisance call blocking: Yes; Talk time: 10 hours; Standby time: 100 hours

2. Gigaset A270A: Best entry-level phone with answering machine

Price when reviewed: £33 single, £40 twin | Check price at Amazon

  • Great for… a good set of features, including hearing-aid support
  • Not so great for… anyone plagued by nuisance calls

The Gigaset A270A keeps things simple, with a relatively basic set of features and a design that focuses on ease of use. There’s an 80-entry phonebook and basic intercom features if you have two or more handsets, plus a built-in answering machine – but otherwise very little else to think about.

That’s not a big drawback. We found it a well-built phone with responsive keys and a well-designed menu system and we particularly like the illuminated hands-free button, which is easy to pick out in a hurry. The answering machine controls on the base station are also nice and chunky, and while 25 minutes isn’t a huge amount of recording time, it should be enough for most people.

Another plus point of Gigaset is that it’s hearing-aid compatible and uses Gigaset’s Eco DECT technology to auto-adjust the power of the wireless signal to keep energy usage to a minimum. The manufacturer promises a lengthy 16 hours of talk time between charges. The one feature we miss is nuisance-call blocking, but all in all this is a good, solid cordless phone that just happens to be very affordable too.

Key specs – Type: DECT phone with mono screen; Phonebook: 80 entries; Answerphone: 25 minutes; Speakerphone: Yes; Nuisance call blocking: No; Talk time: 16 hours; Standby time: 200 hours

3. Gigaset CL390 Hello: Best everyday cordless phone

Price when reviewed: £36 single | Check price at Amazon

  • Great for… a wide range of features and excellent sound quality
  • Not so great for… small homes with limited power sockets

The Gigaset CL390 Hello is a simple, reasonably priced cordless phone that ticks all the important boxes. The handset is slim and light but we found its large illuminated display wonderfully easy to read. It pops up clear alerts for missed calls and new messages, and there’s a great set of features to explore too, including blocking anonymous calls (or up to 32 specific numbers), and a 150-contact phone book. We also appreciated the clock and alarm features, not to mention room- and baby-monitoring functions.

We tried the basic model that doesn’t include the answering-machine feature, but if that’s what you want, the answering-machine model costs just £6 more. Our only gripe is that the handset charger is separate from the base station, so the whole thing takes up two power sockets. However, this does mean you can keep the phone in a convenient place, rather than having to continually return it to the base. We were also more than happy with the excellent sound quality, both in standard and speakerphone modes, making this a great phone for everyday calling.

 Key specs – Type: DECT phone with mono screen; Phonebook: 150 entries; Answerphone: None/20 minutes; Speakerphone: Yes; Nuisance call blocking: Yes; Talk time: 12 hours; Standby time: 180 hours

4. Panasonic KX-TGE820EB: Best big-button phone

Price when reviewed: £40 single, £60 twin | Check price at Amazon

  • Great for… older callers who appreciate big buttons and a high-volume loudspeaker
  • Not so great for… premium call quality and clarity

With its big, clearly-labelled buttons and straightforward menus, the Panasonic KX-TGE820 is an easy-to-use and very practical handset, offering a long 18-hour talk time between charges and a big 200-entry phonebook.

We are particular fans of the way Panasonic handles nuisance calls. You can block whole groups of numbers by their prefix, or block a number at a press of the dedicated button, while unknown callers are prompted to enter an access code, so automated systems don’t get through.

The phone is well suited to those with impaired hearing. While the sound perhaps isn’t quite as sharp and clean as you’ll get from Gigaset, it’s louder than your average DECT handset when you’re holding it to your ear and talking on speakerphone, and it’s hearing-aid compatible. But with its highly accessible design and features, this is a phone we’re happy to recommend to anyone.

Key specs – Type: DECT phone with mono screen; Phonebook: 200 entries; Answerphone: 40 minutes; Speakerphone: Yes; Nuisance call blocking: Yes; Talk time: 18 hours; Standby time: 250 hours

5. BT Premium Cordless Home Phone: Best cordless phone for blocking nuisance calls

Price when reviewed: £53 single, £80 twin | Check price at Amazon

  • Great for… blocking unwanted calls, and as a companion to a smartphone
  • Not so great for… pricier than many alternatives

Plagued by unwanted calls? BT has the answer. Its trueCall virtual assistant intercepts unknown callers and prompts them for their name before putting the call through – so you can decide whether to accept the call, block it or send it to the answering machine. Specific numbers can be blocked permanently, and you can set the phone to entirely ignore anonymous or international calls. We also like the controls for outgoing calls, which allow you to block mobile, international or premium-rate numbers.

Another neat feature of the Premium Cordless Home Phone is its mobile sync capability, which lets you copy your contacts across from your smartphone into the huge 1,000-entry phonebook. You can even use the handset to receive calls on your mobile. The latest version also adds Voice Control features, enabling you to directly access the Google Assistant or Siri feature on your smartphone.

Call quality is another strength, the 21-hour talk time is among the best around and the 1.5in colour LCD screen looks more than decent. A superb phone for anyone who values their privacy – or who just likes having access to the latest features.

Key specs – Type: DECT phone with colour display; Phonebook: 1,000 entries; Answerphone: 60 minutes; Speakerphone: Yes; Nuisance call blocking: Yes; Talk time: 21 hours; Standby time: 240 hours

6. Panasonic KX-TGK220E: Best stylish cordless phone

Price when reviewed: £55 single | Check price at Currys

  • Great for… a capable phone with a chic design
  • Not so great for… those who prefer a friendly, ergonomic look

Panasonic’s cordless phone is so sharply designed that you might not even recognise it as a phone. When sitting on its cradle the handset looks like a smooth tapered cylinder, with only a single blue LED on the rear to alert you when there’s a message or a call. Lift it out though and it looks much more like a regular DECT phone, with a simple keyboard layout and a nice, crisp monochrome screen. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but it certainly makes a statement.

At any rate, there’s plenty else to like about this phone, including a 30-minute answerphone, a nice clear speakerphone and the ability to block specific numbers, withheld numbers or numbers with a certain string of digits. There’s also a useful Do Not Disturb mode that only allows calls from your nearest and dearest – or crucial work calls – through.

In our tests, we were very happy with the Panasonic’s call quality and there’s an optional Eco mode to cut the radiation and minimise power consumption. Both inside and out, it’s an excellent phone.

Key specs – Type: DECT phone with mono screen; Phonebook: 120 entries; Answerphone: 30 minutes; Speakerphone: Yes; Nuisance call blocking: Yes; Talk time: 18 hours; Standby time: 200 hours

7. BT Elements: Best cordless phone for the garden

Price when reviewed: £77 single, £120 twin | Check price at Amazon

  • Great for… outdoor types
  • Not so great for… the price is on the high side, and the design looks like it fell out of the 1990s

If you spend a lot of time outdoors, or need a phone for the workshop/warehouse, this hardy handset will be just what you’re looking for. With a high-power base station and a sensitive external antenna, it promises a range of 150m indoors and up to a kilometre outside. We had no problem getting a clear signal from the far end of the garden, though your actual mileage will naturally depend on walls and other obstacles.

It’s also IP67-rated for protection from water and dust, and with 13 hours of talk time and 160 hours of standby, it will keep going for days between charges. Features are fairly limited, but you get a 200-number phonebook, a 30-minute answerphone and basic nuisance call-blocking. It’s a bit more expensive than other phones and the design isn’t exactly modern – but if you need the range and rugged build it’s an excellent choice.

Key specs – Type: Ruggedised DECT phone with mono screen; Phonebook: 200 entries; Answerphone: 30 minutes; Speakerphone: Yes; Nuisance call blocking: Yes; Talk time: 13 hours; Standby time: 160 hours

How to choose the best cordless phone for you

What should I look for in a cordless phone?

Every cordless phone these days offers a basic set of features. You can take an address book, caller display and a list of recent calls for granted; for a little more you can add extras such as a built-in answerphone and call-blocking facilities.

Depending on how you use your phone, you may also prioritise a longer battery life, extended wireless range or water-resistance for use outdoors. Some phones offer fun features such as a wide selection of ringtones or a colour screen.

A final thing to consider when buying is whether you might want a second or third handset – most models are offered in two-packs and three-packs, which normally works out cheaper than buying units individually.

How do I block nuisance calls?

On some phones you can simply press a button while you’re in a call to instantly add that number to your blacklist. You might also be able to manually enter numbers (or parts of numbers) to prevent specific callers from getting through. Either way, when blacklisted numbers call, your phone won’t ring. It’s up to you whether you send them straight to answerphone or reject them entirely.

Some phones also offer a screening feature, which asks unknown callers to give their name, then relays it to you so you can decide whether to answer or not. Just be aware that all these features rely on your having a caller ID service from your home phone provider.

Are DECT phones compatible with new IP-based landlines?

The UK’s analogue PSTN telephone network is due to be switched off in 2025 – but don’t panic. It’s being replaced by an all-digital network, and almost all DECT phones made in the past few years will continue to work with the new technology. In most cases, you’ll just need to plug your existing DECT phone into a socket on your internet router, or a new socket in the wall, to continue using it. However, you might need to arrange for a new phone service from your ISP, if you don’t already have one.

What other features should I look out for?

Some cordless phones are designed to mimic smartphones, with colour touch screens and photo backgrounds. More practically, if your landline is smart enough to communicate with your mobile then you can copy contacts from your mobile to your home or office phone. It may even be possible to use your DECT phone to make and take mobile calls. This lets you use a more comfortable handset with large physical buttons and an ergonomic design, while your smartphone sits charging, or in a spot that gives you the best coverage.

Finally, some phones are designed to work over longer distances, or even outdoors. Want to be reachable when you’re down at the bottom of the garden? Do you spend a lot of time working in a yard or workshop? You might have to put up with a larger, uglier phone but it will hold up to more abuse and you won’t miss a call wherever you are.

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