Looking for the best landline phone because you're stuck at home and the mobile signal is iffy. Despite the ubiquity of smartphones and tablets, there are plenty of times when only a home phone will do. We already knew from the number of readers this page gets that the best landline phones – and particularly DECT phones – were still much sought after. Their use has recently soared as people have had to self isolate and social distance (physically) but haven't wanted to be isolated or socially distant (emotionally) from loved ones.
In fact, the only real problem with landline phones is that you can't end a boring conversation and then blame 'bad signal'.
• American readers: this guide was written for the UK; the USA appears to have different standards and popular brands, so for now we suggest you visit these fine retailers for the best American landline phones. Keep an eye on our Amazon Prime Day hub too for landline phone bargains.
What is the best landline phone?
Our favourite landline phone (or home phone as they are also known) at the moment is the Panasonic Premium Design Series KX-PRS120. It offers the very best features combined with superb looks and quality.
Now the good news is that while you can still buy corded phones with big buttons or dials, most modern landline phones use Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) technology that enables them to be use cordlessly. DECT phones have a long operating range – up to 300m from their base station outside or 50m inside, and are largely immune to eavesdropping and interference, unlike cordless analogue phones of old.
Another great thing about DECT phones is that you’re not just limited to having one handset at home. Although we’ve chosen single handset models here, you can easily add more – you can usually add up to five additional handsets per base station. Some models enable you to add more base stations too – perfect for large households that are spread over multiple storeys.
How to buy the best home phone for you
Some landline phones such as the Gigaset GL450A GO include Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) or internet calling too – handy for chatting to friends and family at home or abroad using your broadband connection.
One more thing: Nuisance calls. They’re a bane of modern existence. From the archetypal double-glazing sales calls while you’re eating your dinner, to more insidious scams, they’re enough to make you want to give up having a landline altogether. Don’t despair: most of the landline phones here include nuisance call blocking technology. Many enable you to block both individual numbers (from persistent callers, say), and block calls by type.
BT’s phones are particularly good in this regard, enabling you to effectively banish withheld, international, mobile and payphone calls – or even blank out whole area codes if you wish. It’s just what you need to restore peace and tranquility to your home.
Many models also include Do Not Disturb and VIP functions that enable you to silence calls when you’re otherwise occupied while still letting through the people who are most important to you.
Getting the best price is simple. We update our prices every day so the ones below will always be the lowest we can find from a wide range of retailers. That means that if the phone you want to buy gets discounted in seasonal sales, you'll see the new, lower price listed below.
Lined up below are 9 of our favourite landline home phones. Read on to find out why…
The best landline phones to buy today
The KX-PRS120 is part of Panasonic’s Premium Design range – and it shows. The handset combines large, square-shaped number keys and a curved back for style and ergonomics, while its 5.6cm QVGA colour display boasts a smartphone-like graphical user interface, giving you easy access to all its options.
But this phone isn’t just good to look at – it has brains too. As long as you have Caller ID from your phone company, you can use the Panasonic KX-PRS120 to block unwanted calls, with the ability to block entire groups of numbers, based on the first two to eight digits. You can also block withheld numbers.
The base station comes with a built-in answering machine that can record up to 30 minutes of calls. Oh, and there are 40 different ringtones to choose from.
With its large colour display, user-friendly interface, and widely spaced illuminated keys, the Gigaset 570A is one of the easiest-to-use DECT phones we've ever seen – it's almost smartphone-like in use and appearance, and it's packed with handy features, too.
Chief among these is its ample 200 contact address book, which enables you to add first name, last name and up to three different numbers for each one. Plus you can assign programmable speed dial keys to make calling your favourite people easier and faster. Heck, the C570A can even remind you when one of your contacts has a birthday coming up; and you can give them a signature ringtone so you know when they call.
What else? The separate answering machine has store up to 30 minutes' worth of messages and you can even listen to your messages when you're away from home. And it includes a back-up emergency battery so you don't miss your messages if the power fails.
Other goodies include a block anonymous calls function, which enables you to avoid those annoying telemarketers – numbers for incoming call without Caller ID will simply be displayed onscreen, but otherwise won't disturb you. You can also block numbers completely.
The black finish and minimalist lines might make it too stark for a few people, but we'd be very happy to give this phone a home.
The BT Premium Cordless Phone is unlikely to turn any heads in the design stakes, but it lives up to its name, despite being very affordable. And when it comes to features, this affordable phone delivers. There's trueCall Call Blocking technology which enables you to safely ignore all those annoying telemarketing and spam calls that are an increasingly a fact of modern life.
The BT Premium Cordless Pjone also comes with a Virtual Assistant, which ably screens incoming calls so you can decide whether to accept them or not. And there’s a Do No Disturb function which stops the calls from interrupting your dinner / sleep / favourite TV show, while still allowing calls from friends and family you’ve tagged as VIPs.
What else? We like its large 4.6cm colour display and backlit keypad. We also like the fact that you can store up to 200 name and number contacts and then copy them to other BT 8610 handsets that you own. It also has a pleasingly long talk and standby times and can record 60 minutes of voicemail messages – yes, enough even for your older relatives.
The BT Halo is both stylish and practical, featuring a long, slim, black handset with colour display and a silver circular base station with built-in answerphone. It’s a looker no doubt. But it’s the stuff inside this phone that makes it truly thrilling.
The BT Halo’s first USP is its built-in Bluetooth connectivity. This enables you to pair it with your mobile – and that means you can make and take mobile calls using the BT Halo handset and not worry about your mobile signal dropping out as you wander around the house. You can pair a maximum of two mobiles to the BT Halo at a time, and even sync your contacts. The BT Halo can store up to 1,000 names and numbers, and accepts another 1,000 from each synced mobile. Any numbers you have are automatically synced to any other BT Halo handsets you have at home – you can use up to six with a single base station.
Its second big selling point is the BT Halo’s extensive nuisance call blocking features. Subscribe to your landline provider's Caller ID service and you’ll be able to block up to 1,000 individual numbers as well as entire categories of unwanted calls: international numbers, payphone calls, withheld calls, calls from certain area codes and more.
The BT Halo also includes a Do Not Disturb option, which stops the phone from ringing or lighting up when you want to be left alone. Perfect for peaceful nights in.
Once part of tech giant Siemens, Gigaset is a German phone maker with a long history of making innovative, feature-rich handsets.
The Gigaset SL450A GO continues that tradition. It certainly looks the part: the handset looks positively smartphone-like with its large 6.1cm display, mobile-like buttons and aluminium frame — and its graphical user interface (GUI) is reassuringly easy to use too.
In another nod to smartphones, the phone’s 200 name and numbers contact book accepts vCards from mobiles (via Bluetooth) or PCs (via Bluetooth or microUSB). And just like the BT Halo, you can also pair the handset to your smartphone and use it to make mobile calls.
The Gigaset SL450A GO base station – the GO-Box 100 – has another ace up its sleeve: as well as an analogue phone connection, it also comes with an Ethernet port, enabling you to make and take free local, national and international calls over the internet (VOIP) using your broadband internet connection.
We love the fact that the Gigaset SL450A GO enables you to add VIP status to your favourite people, so their calls always get through. And in includes a built-in calendar that serves up reminders about upcoming events, including birthdays.
The Gigaset SL450A GO also offers high quality voice calls with three different audio profiles.
With its vertical design, the Panasonic KX-TGK222EW fits right into even the most stylish home – with the handset docked in its base station it barely look like a phone at all, until it sounds one of its 40 ringtones and it flashes blue to alert you to an incoming call or message.
Pick up the handset and you're greeted with a small-ish display and widely spaced backlit keys, but at least the black text on the white LCD is easy to read. The user interface isn't the best, though, especially when compared to its Gigaset rivals – although you do eventually get used to it.
On the plus side, the Panasonic KX-TGK222EW comes with a 30-minute digital answering machine, and offers 18 hours of talktime, enough for even the chattiest members of your family. It also comes with nuisance call blocking for up to 50 numbers (take that telemarketers!) and has a Do Not Disturb mode so you won't be interrupted while watching your favourite TV show, unless the call is from one of your VIPs.
We love the Panasonic KX-TGK222EW's Eco Mode too, which cuts signal output by 90 percent and power consumption to 3.5 percent; while the Eco Mode Plus cuts transmitting power to zero, making it radiation free.
Available in black or white, the sleek, minimalist Panasonic KX-TGK320E has been designed to fit in with your lifestyle. It comes with a blue LED light between the base station and handset to alert you to incoming calls, and features direction-free charging, meaning the handset can be placed on the base station in any direction you like and still juice up the battery.
Other key features of Panasonic KX-TGK320E include nuisance call blocking and Do Not Disturb. The former means that you can block either individual unwanted numbers, or entire groups based on the first eight digits; Do No Disturb enables you to stop calls from interrupting you, while still letting people you've tagged as VIPs through.
Another thing we love about the Panasonic KX-TGK320E is its ability to forward any messages you receive on your answerphone to your mobile or any other number. What a great idea.
The Gigaset CL750A GO Sculpture is as lovely to look at as its name would suggest. Comprising a shell-like curved handset and charger, it also come with the GO-Box 100 base station, which contains a 55-minute answering machine, and an Ethernet port so you can use it to make free VOIP internet telephone calls when connected to your broadband router.
What really makes this phone exceptional though are first its graphical user interface (GUI), which is gloriously easy to use via the Gigaset CL750A GO Sculpture’s large 6.5cm display. The other its inclusion of HD Voice technology, which helps ensure crystal clear sound quality.
The only thing that really counts against this stylish phone is its limited call blocking functionality. It’s only able to ignore anonymous calls — that is calls that don’t have a Caller ID attached to them. In that sense, it’s less capable than some of the other phones here, particularly those from BT.