Cordless Phone Buying Guide

Cordless Phone Buying Guide

Looking for a new home phone? Overwhelmed by choice or not quite sure where to start? Our handy buying guide will tell you all you need to know about cordless phones whether you’re looking for something with multiple handsets, extra long range, advanced nuisance call blocking, or a top-range model with the latest features.

The best cordless phones offer exceptional call quality with crystal clear sound, reliable range so that you can take calls around your home without distortion or calls dropping, and a whole host of features from answering machine, call blocking, call transfer and more. We endeavour to test all the cordless phones that we sell and conduct an extensive customer survey throughout the year so that we can identify the best models from the worst. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, then a good place to start is our Top 10 Cordless Phones, which rounds up all the best home phones of the year.

How to Choose the Right Cordless Phone: Our Top 4 Tips to Consider

When choosing a new home phone, it’s worth thinking about the factors that will be most important to you. Modern cordless phones come with a range of features, some of which will matter more to certain users than others. We’ve identified the four most important features that mark out an exceptional cordless phone from an average one:

Cordless Phone Sound Quality

Sound Quality

First and foremost, a cordless phone needs to provide good sound quality. Unlike mobile phones, which can suffer from deterioration in clarity depending on your signal strength, you should expect much better from your landline phone. We invite our customers to rate the phones we sell for sound quality, and we regularly test and review new models on our blog. So find out which models offer the best call quality and avoid muffled, distorted and crackly phone calls before your place your order. We pride ourselves on being experts on cordless phones and are only a call, email or livechat away if you need us!

Cordless Phone Range


Think about the size of your property, and how far away from the base (the part you connect to your phone line) you’d like to be able to take calls. Most DECT phones provide up to 50 metres of range indoors, and up to 300 metres outdoors, which should be adequate for most sized properties. However, if you live in an older property with thick walls or have experienced problems with cordless phone range in the past then a long range cordless phone or one that is repeater-compatible is a good idea. You can find out more in our Buying Guide for Long Range Cordless Phones.

Number of Handsets

Number of Handsets

Most modern digital cordless phones have a capacity for up to 6 handsets. Deciding how many handsets you need or might like can help you to narrow down your search. If you are interested in a multi-pack of DECT phones or might like to add extra handsets at a later date then you should check what the maximum number the handsets the model is expandable to. Having more than one handset (in addition to allowing you to place a handset in more than one room) typically offers extra features such as call transfer, intercom (internal calls), phonebook sharing or phonebook transfer, and sometimes more (eg. baby monitor).

Call Blocking

Call Blocking

If you’re pestered by unwanted sales calls then it may be worth considering the Call Blocking features of your new phone. Most phones now come with some form of Call Blocking but the features can vary in sophistication. At a basic level you should be able to silence and/or block anonymous calls from ringing as well as block from 10-50 specific numbers. The more advanced call blocking phones will enable you to block calls by type eg. international calls or those from withheld numbers. It is worth noting that in order for any call blocking features to work you will need Caller ID enabled on your landline so double check with your line provider whether this has or can be activated and any charges involved.

Additional Cordless Phone Features:

Not all cordless phones are built equal and manufacturers are constantly looking for new ways to make their phones stand out. Here are some of the best extra features to look out for that might just swing it for you:

  • Answering Machine: most cordless phones nowadays come with an integrated answering machine as standard. The recording time can vary from as little as 10 minutes up to an hour so think about how much you'll need. Some answerphones boast extra features, such as: remote operation, SMS notification, and the facility to record your own personalised greeting. However, if you'd prefer to do without an answering machine altogether (or stick with the 1571 service) your options are limited and you might need to consider a model with an answer machine that can be switched off. If your reason for not wanting an answering machine is aesthetics then it may be worth considering one of the top range cordless phones that come with a separate base unit.

  • Link-to-Mobile: this feature allows you to connect your smartphone to your landline phone and receive calls to your mobile on your home phone, and make outgoing calls to use up minutes on your mobile call plan.

  • VoIP: allows you to connect your base to a router in addition to your telephone line in order to make calls using your internet connection. This will require setting up a VoIP account and line with a VoIP provider, which has a cost attached but provides much cheaper rates for international calls. Ideal if you have friends or family abroad, or if you need to set-up a second line for your home office without the need for any rewiring.

  • Bluetooth: handsets that come with Bluetooth features enable you to pair Bluetooth headsets and contact details.

  • Night mode (Do Not Disturb): this feature allows you to programme certain times of the day or night when your phone won’t ring. Perfect for shift workers or if you want to enjoy peaceful dinner times. You can usually assign VIP status to certain contacts so that they can get through even when this mode is activated.

  • Big Buttons & Hearing Aid Compatible: there are a range of easy to use Big Button phones designed with elderly users in mind. Most of these models are Hearing Aid Compatible and come with an extra loud volume boost, and some even feature SOS call functions.

  • Which brand should I choose?

    It is certainly worthwhile considering the reputation of the various manufacturers of cordless phones before ordering, and one the best ways to do this is by reading customer reviews. Unlike retailers (even honest ones like ourselves) that sell the products, individuals who have actually purchased are more likely to be unbiased and have felt compelled to say something about their product because it is good or bad. And whilst one individuals opinion may differ from another, if you take the time to read a few different reviews and cross-reference with other independent consumer forums (such as Which?) then it can give you greater confidence when purchasing.


    We hope this buying guide has given you a clear starting point on how to find the right cordless phone for you. For information on more specific cordless phones select from one of the Buying Guides below or start shopping for Cordless Phones now.