The 7 Best Cordless Phones of 2021

Go cord-free in your home or office

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The Rundown
Best Overall:
AT&T DL72210 at Best Buy
This phone system provides solid value and a nice mix of landline and smartphone features.
We like this as a budget option because it's a multi-handset system with nice extras and a low price tag.
Best Call Quality:
AT&T CL82407 at Amazon
If you have a larger home or office, this phone system should be able to fill your needs.
Best with Answering Machine:
VTech DS6151 at Amazon
This phone system gives you secure communications on multiple phone lines making this the phone system to get if you run a business.
This isn't the least expensive system on the list, but it covers all the basics you'll be looking for.
It features DECT 6.0, a digital answering system, and a lot of storage for names and phone numbers.
Panasonic seems to understand where things are trending. The KX-TGE475S doesn't even require a landline.

There are plenty of reasons why you might need the best cordless phone for your landline. Smartphones have taken over the bulk of our voice calls, and we have some suggestions for the best smartphones here. Despite that, landlines are still alive and well. They're extremely reliable, and not complicated to use. Cordless phones are even more useful since they allow you to carry on conversations while moving around your home. You'll want a great cordless system that can expand with you. 

When shopping for a cordless phone, you'll want to keep an eye out for a few things. DECT 6.0 is important since provides extra range and clarity. You'll also want an expandable system that can grow with your needs. This is especially true if you're getting a cordless phone for your business. Some cordless phones have built-in answering machines which can also be valuable. Other systems can pair with your smartphone and bring you the best of both worlds. Whatever your needs, our experts have rounded up our favorites for you. Read on to find yours!

Best Overall: AT&T DL72210 Two Handset Answering System

AT&T DL72210
What We Like
  • Connects to your smartphone

  • Automatic call blocking

  • Assistant access

  • Get notifications from your smartphone

What We Don't Like
  • Satellite handsets not wall mountable

  • 22 minutes of voicemail

It seems almost natural that our top pick comes from AT&T, arguably the king of phones. The DL72210 lets you use your landline while at the same time pairing to your smartphone. Calls and notifications ring through to the handset. The phone system can even access your phone's voice assistant which is a nice touch. 

This phone system has a lot of other features we like including a robocall blocking feature which stores up to 1,000 phone numbers and blocks them before they even ring through. It has a built-in answering machine, but only storage for 22 minutes of voice mails. The initial system comes with two handsets. The main unit is wall mountable. The satellite handsets are all free-standing which somewhat limits where they can be placed. But overall, this phone system provides solid value and a nice mix of landline and smartphone features.

Answering System: Yes | Speakerphone: Yes | Bluetooth: Yes | Call Waiting: Yes | Caller ID: Yes

Best Budget: VTech CS6719-2 DECT 6.0 Phone with Caller ID/Call Waiting

What We Like
  • Great price

  • DECT 6.0 compatible

What We Don't Like
  • No answering machine

If you're looking for a multi-handset device on a budget, the VTech CS6719-2 is a great system. It's almost always found for under $40 and it comes with two handsets. The set features DECT 6.0 which stands for Digital Enhanced Cordless Technology. The DECT 6.0 standard ensures that you get long-range communications, intercom between handsets, and clear communications.

This phone system doesn't have an answering machine, which is unfortunate. Both handsets have large, backlit screens which are easy to read. The phone system is expandable up to five total handsets. You can purchase them individually as your needs change. We like this as a budget option because it's a multi-handset system with nice extras and a low price tag.

Answering System: No | Speakerphone: Yes | Bluetooth: No | Call Waiting: Yes | Caller ID: Yes

VTech CS6719-2 DECT 6.0 Phone

Lifewire / Andy Zahn

Best Call Quality: AT&T CL82407 Cordless Phone

The AT&T DECT 6.0 phone system is expanable.
What We Like
  • DECT 6.0

  • Four handsets included

  • Answering machine

  • Caller ID announce

What We Don't Like
  • No wall mount for additional handsets

  • Handset chargers easily tip

Call quality needs to be high on your list when considering a landline. It's the very definition of "you have one job to do."  The AT&T CL82407 carries an antenna specially designed by AT&T to boost the range even further than DECT 6.0 promises. The phone system comes with four handsets but you can expand that up to 12 if you need to. The satellite phones are not wall-mountable and can be easily tipped, so keep that in mind when deciding where to place them.

The handset system also has an answering machine and Caller ID announce, so you know who's calling before you even pick up the phone. Other features like automatic robocall blocking work well and the high contrast screen is easy to read, even from a distance. If you have a larger home or office, this phone system should be able to fill your needs.

Answering System: Yes | Speakerphone: Yes | Bluetooth: Yes | Call Waiting: Yes | Caller ID: Yes

Best with Answering Machine: VTech DS6151

Vtech DS6151
What We Like
  • DECT 6.0 technology

  • Encryption

  • Two lines

  • Up to 12 handsets

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

It's not uncommon to find a cordless phone system with an answering machine. But the VTech DS6151 includes two answering machines for two different phone lines. Plus, the handsets can also access either phone line. Places with multiple phone lines can be difficult to find a solution that services both lines. This phone system handles that situation with aplomb. You can even dial in and check your digital answering machine remotely.

The handsets encrypt calls over the air which means no one can eavesdrop on you. It's a much more secure way to talk which is why businesses love this system. The phones have large backlit buttons and you can expand the phone system up to 12 handsets total. You only get one with the initial purchase which puts this system higher on the price spectrum than we normally like. But overall, this phone system gives you secure communications on multiple phone lines making this the phone system to get if you run a business.

Answering System: Yes | Speakerphone: Yes | Bluetooth: Yes | Call Waiting: Yes | Caller ID: Yes

When choosing a cordless phone system, it's important to consider if it's going to be used in a home or office. The number of handsets needed is another big consideration point; if you have a large home or office, you may need more bases and handsets to make sure you don't miss calls or can make calls in emergencies. A battery backup is important to have in case your home or business loses power and you need to call for help.

Best Basic: VTech CS5129-26 DECT 6.0 Expandable Cordless Phone System

VTech CS6529-26 DECT 6.0 Phone
What We Like
  • Built in answering machine

  • Locate lost handsets

  • Has DECT 6.0

What We Don't Like
  • Color scheme is not for everyone

  • Only stores 30 numbers in history

For a phone system that covers the basics, look no further than the VTech CS5159. This system has DECT 6.0, good for long-range communications, and the headsets have large screens and buttons for easy use. There's a built-in answering system with 30-number caller ID history, which is not as many as we'd like to see. 

The phones themselves come in any color you want as long as it's black and red. That won't fit in with every decor, but it will make the handsets harder to lose. Even if you do manage to lose one, there's a locator feature that helps you find it. Overall, this isn't the least expensive system on the list, but it covers all the basics you'll be looking for.

Answering System: Yes | Speakerphone: Yes | Bluetooth: No | Call Waiting: Yes | Caller ID: Yes

Best Motorola: Motorola CD5011 DECT 6.0 Cordless Phone

 Motorola CD5011 DECT 6.0 Cordless Phone
What We Like
  • Volume boost

  • DECT 6.0 tech

  • 30 min answering machine

What We Don't Like
  • No backlight on the keys

  • Expensive

The Motorola CD5011 is a cordless phone system by one of the oldest players in the industry. It features DECT 6.0, a digital answering system, and a lot of storage for names and phone numbers. The handset itself has a large and easily readable screen along with large numbers. The display is monochrome, but it is backlit. The keys however are not, which is a major downside for dialing at night.

The phone carries three programmable one-touch dialing buttons and can store 150 other contacts. A dedicated call block key allows you to store the incoming number and never receive calls from it again, which helps cut down on spam callers. The phone has a loud speakerphone and receiver volume boost for the hard of hearing. Handsets can also announce incoming caller ID so you can decide if you want to answer without going to the phone.

Answering System: Yes | Speakerphone: Yes | Bluetooth: No | Call Waiting: Yes | Caller ID: Yes

Best Panasonic: Panasonic KX-TGE475S

What We Like
  • Battery in base station

  • Bluetooth

  • Works without a landline

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

If you want to buy a cordless phone from a manufacturer that seems to know where things are headed, look no further than Panasonic. The KX-TGE475S is a cordless phone system that doesn't even require a landline to use. It's a five-handset system that can connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth and transmits phone calls from your smartphone. You can even use a handset to locate your smartphone if you need to. 

Also, this phone system has a 12-hour battery backup, so even if you lose power, you won't have to sacrifice one of the outlets from your uninterruptible power supply to keep your home phone online. Landlines don't require power to function, but cordless phones do, so it's important to keep your phone up and running. This set also comes with five handsets so you can cover your whole house. However, it's also expensive, so if you don't need all that functionality, you may want to look elsewhere.

Answering System: Yes | Speakerphone: Yes | Bluetooth: Yes | Call Waiting: Yes | Caller ID: Yes

Final Verdict

Overall, the AT&T DL72219 (View on Amazon) gets our top pick. We love the impressive range and call clarity you get from this handset. Connectivity with your smartphone's assistant is a bonus. Otherwise, we have to give the nod to the Panasonic KX-TGE475S (View on Amazon). It's no coincidence that we're making our picks for the two systems with the best smartphone integration. Panasonic has a lot of smart features that work with your smartphone, but it's also the battery backup that's attractive. That feature could be a literal lifesaver.

About Our Trusted Experts

Patrick Hyde lives in Seattle where he works as a digital marketer and freelance copywriter in addition to writing about technology for Lifewire. His areas of expertise include Android devices and consumer technology, such as cordless phones for your home.

Adam Doud has been writing in the technology space for almost a decade. When he's not hosting the Benefit of the Doud podcast, he's playing with the latest phones, tablets, and laptops. When not working, he's a cyclist, geocacher, and spends as much time outside as he can.

FAQ
  • Do you still need a cordless phone?

    Cordless phones are great for use around the house without being tied to a single place. If you have a landline, a cordless phone is a real convenience that is easily taken for granted. Some cordless phones pair with your smartphone and pull double duty. You can leave your smartphone in a place that gets a good signal and still take calls.

  • What's the advantage of owning a cordless phone?

    Having a dedicated landline can help you make and receive stable calls that don't rely on cellular signals. Some areas just have bad cell reception, and a landline completely circumvents that. Plus, landlines and their handsets cost significantly less than their cell phone equivalents. While smartphone plans can cost up to $50 or more per month, landlines typically cost a fraction of that. Similarly, the phones themselves will rarely top $100.

  • Can cordless phones work without power?

    Cordless phones require a steady stream of power to function. A good cordless phone base will have a battery backup for times that you lose power. Otherwise, it's not a bad idea to have a corded phone somewhere in the house as a backup in case you lose power.

"Professional cordless phones are like any other phone, only that they offer more flexibility in services such as conference calls, call forwarding, and others. You can even go cord-free and work from home. You can enjoy features like a 1,000-foot range, hands-free speakers, 80-hours standby time and 4 hours talk time, noise-filtering technology, HD audio feature, and many others." — Sam Brown, Radio Engineer

What to Look for in a Cordless Phone

Expandability

While most cordless phone systems can be expanded, that's not always a given. Even if a cordless system can be expanded, it's important to know how far you can expand. Will your system handle five handsets? What about twelve? Twenty? It's important to know how versatile your phone system can get.

DECT 6.0

DECT stands for Digital Enhanced Cordless Technology. We touched on this a little earlier, but we have a full explainer of the technology as well. Essentially, it's a standard in cordless phones that ensure that a phone has great range and call clarity. Plus, DECT phones can intercom with each other and use VOIP services like Vonage or Ooma.

Battery backup

Cordless phones require a battery to function, which is why they require base stations to charge. It's important to consider your phone habits when choosing a cordless phone system. It's also important to consider the layout of your home and places where a charging cradle would be convenient.

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