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
The DL72210 has a mix of features that make your landline valuable, and still integrate your smartphone functionality.
The VTech CS6719-2 phone system is one of the least expensive multi-handset phone systems you can buy.
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 maintains two answering machines for two separate lines individually.
Sometimes you just want a phone that can do the basics, and that's what VTech has to offer with its CS5159 phone system.
Motorola is still in the game and playing hard. It's great to see that and there's a lot to like here.
Panasonic seems to understand where things are trending. The KX-TGE475S doesn't even require a landline.

If you're still rocking the landline in your home or office, you'll want one of the best cordless phones to keep you connected. Cordless phones allow you to move around while you talk on the phone and stay tangle-free. Landlines may soon become a thing of the past, but while they're still around, they're still important. It's crucial to pick a cordless phone system that is versatile and can grow with you as your needs change.

Some of the things to look for in a cordless phone system include expandability and extra features. If you have a growing business, you may need extra handsets down the line. Some cordless phones also serve as answering systems. Others can pair to your smartphone and ring through calls from your mobile phone. Our experts have looked at dozens of systems so read on for our picks.

Best Overall: AT&T DL72210 Two Handset Answering System

AT&T DL72210
What We Like
  • Smartphone connectivity

  • Smart call blocking

  • Use your phone's smart assistant

  • Smartphone notifications

What We Don't Like
  • Free-standing extra handsets

  • Short voicemail record time

Our top pick for best cordless phones comes from the king of phones, AT&T. The DL72210 has a mix of features that make your landline valuable and still integrate your smartphone functionality. The DL 72210 can connect to two smartphones via Bluetooth. That allows phone calls and notifications to ring through to your landline handset. You can even access your smartphone's voice assistant through the handset. It's like carrying your smartphone with you everywhere. 

The phone system has an automatic robocall blocking feature which stores up to 1000 phone numbers and blocks calls before they ring through. You also get an answering machine system, with a somewhat limited 22 minutes of record time. The phone system comes with two handsets, only the first of which is wall mountable. Additional handsets are sold separately and need to be free-standing, which somewhat limits where they can be put.

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
  • Good pricing

  • DECT 6.0

What We Don't Like
  • No answering machine

The VTech CS6719-2 phone system is one of the least expensive multi-handset phone systems you can buy. This set is almost always under $40 and you get two separate handsets in one package. Both handsets feature DECT 6.0 which stands for Digital Enhanced Cordless Technology.  It's a fancy way of saying you get long-range clear communications, intercom between handsets, and clear voice communications.

The handsets also have a large backlit screen which is easy to read. While the phone system doesn't have an answering machine, you can program a voicemail number to be dialed when you have a message. You get two handsets in the box, but the phone system supports up to five, with the last three being sold separately. Overall, this is a budget-friendly system that gives you a lot of extras, which makes this a top-budget buy.

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 should be a top consideration when purchasing a cordless phone set. Sometimes cordless phone systems trade-off convenience for quality. The AT&T CL82407 does not. It's DECT 6.0 compatible and it comes with the clarity and long-range that DECT stands for. But AT&T also specially designed the antenna in the handset to boost the range even further. This phone system starts with four handsets and can expand up to 12 if you need that many. 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

  • Call encryption

  • Two-line phone

  • Expandable up to 12 handsets

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

Answering machines are a common addition to cordless phones, but this one goes above and beyond. This maintains two answering machines for two separate lines individually. Both the handsets and the base station have large backlit easily readable screens. A four-way rocker makes message navigation easy, and you can also call in and check messages remotely. 

This phone also encrypts your phone calls. That means that no one can eavesdrop on your calls between the handset and the base station. It's a much more secure way to talk which is why this phone system is popular with businesses. That and the fact that you can expand this cordless phone system to up to 12 handsets. Only one is included in the initial purchase though, which puts this among the more expensive systems.

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
  • Digital answering machine

  • Lost handset locator

  • DECT 6.0

What We Don't Like
  • Lost handset locator

  • 30 number call history

Sometimes you just want a phone that can do the basics, and that's what VTech has to offer with its CS5159 phone system. It comes in a black and red combination that is striking but won't really go with every kind of decor. The color scheme will make the handsets harder to lose, but if you somehow manage, there's also a lost handset feature that will ring the phone.

The handsets themselves have large backlit screens and large buttons. They're also DECT 6.0 compatible for clear, long-range communications. There's a built-in answering system and a 30-number caller ID history system. Those are all good basics to have, and this phone system is designed to meet those needs exceptionally.  It's not the least expensive system on the list, but it's a good value for what it provides.

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 amplifier

  • DECT 6.0

  • 30-minute digital answering machine

What We Don't Like
  • Keys not backlit

  • Pricey

Motorola made its bones in the phone industry a long time ago and to this day, it's still hanging out there. The CD5011 is a cordless phone system with DECT 6.0, a digital answering system, and a lot of space for storing names and phone numbers. The handset has a big, easily visible keypad, a large monochrome display that shows incoming names and numbers, and a rubber finish to keep it protected. 

The phone book can store up to 150 names and numbers. Additionally, there are three one-touch dialing keys for frequent contacts. There's even a dedicated call block key that stores the incoming number and never rings it through again, to help cut down on spam callers. Additionally, there are helpful accessibility features here like a loud speakerphone and receiver volume boost for the hard of hearing. The phone also uses that speaker to announce incoming callers so you can decide if you want to answer without even holding the phone.

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

Best Panasonic: Panasonic KX-TGE475S

What We Like
  • Battery backup

  • Bluetooth connectivity

  • Doesn't require a landline

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

Panasonic seems to understand where the phone industry is trending because this phone system is designed and built to work hand-in-hand with your smartphone. In fact, the KX-TGE475S doesn't even require a landline to use. It's a five-handset system that connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and transmits your phone calls to the handsets. What's more, you can even use a handset to locate your smartphone.

Plus, this phone system has a 12-hour battery backup which means it will still work even if you lose power. This is the only system on the list that does that (though you might want to check out our list of uninterruptible power supplies as well). Landlines don't require power to work; they supply their own power. If your cordless phone can't also do that, you have a useless landline. This is an expensive system for sure, but it also comes with five handsets, so you can cover your entire home. If you don't need all that, you might want to look elsewhere.

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

Final Verdict

Overall, the AT&T DL72219 gets our top pick. We love the impressive range and call clarity you get from this handset. Connectivity with your smartphone's assistant is another smart addition that shouldn't be overlooked. If you need a nice system that integrates with your smartphone, this is your top choice.


Otherwise, we have to give the nod to the Panasonic KX-TGE475S. 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.

FAQs

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.

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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