36 min read — jaleesa bustamante — Sep 18, 2019

Best Cordless Phones for Seniors

Whether your elderly patients or family members acknowledge it or not, some things are universal struggles as we get older. That’s why any cordless phone for seniors should be easy to use, easy to hear, and especially easy to see.

To that end, we can immediately recommend the Panasonic KX-TGE433B Expandable Cordless Phone System. It has just about every feature you would want in a senior phone system, including an easy-to-read display, loud ring options and a narrator for your Caller ID.

Panasonic Amplified Cordless Phone KX-TGM420W VTech SN5147 Amplified Cordless Senior Phone System Clarity 53703 D703 Amplified Cordless Phone AT&T TL86109 Corded/Cordless Phone Combo

Best Quality

Panasonic Amplified Cordless Phone KX-TGM420W

Panasonic Amplified Cordless Phone KX-TGM420W

8/10
  • PROS:
  • 6 volumes/tones for the hearing-impaired
  • Versatile options
  • Cons:
  • Won’t connect to hearing aids
  • Handset batteries die quickly
  • Answering Machine Yes
  • # of Handsets Phonebook 1
  • Speakerphone Yes
  • Ringer Volume Control Yes
  • Voice Volume Control Yes
  • Backlit Display Yes
  • Speed Dial Yes
  • Visual Ringer Yes
  • Power Battery

Our Review

The Panasonic KX-TGM420W has a host of useful features, including a Slow Talk button that slows calls in real-time to help you understand the conversation. It also works to reduce the background noise on your end so people can hear you better. The talking Caller ID, phonebook, and keypad are great for vision-impaired users. You can expand this phone to use up to 6 handsets. Users have stated that this phone can make a huge difference.

The Panasonic Amplified KX-TGM420W cordless phone is packed full of great features that will help you see and hear your phone calls better. Though this phone is a little more expensive than some of the other models on our list, you’re definitely getting what you pay for.

We also considered the AT&T TL86109 Corded/Cordless Phone Combo for this category, but the better speakerphone quality of the Panasonic Amplified KX-TGM420W makes it a better choice.

Best for Hearing Impairments

VTech SN5147 Amplified Cordless Senior Phone System

VTech SN5147 Amplified Cordless Senior Phone System

6/10
  • PROS:
  • Includes a corded receiver as well
  • Big buttons and large display
  • Cons:
  • Button configuration can be problematic
  • Sometimes difficult to set up key features
  • Answering Machine Yes
  • # of Handsets Phonebook 4
  • Speakerphone Yes
  • Ringer Volume Control Yes
  • Voice Volume Control Yes
  • Backlit Display Yes
  • Speed Dial Yes
  • Visual Ringer Yes
  • Power Battery

Our Review

The VTech SN5147 System comes with a cordless handset, but it also includes a wired receiver so you can choose which one to use. The ringer volume is extremely loud and you can increase the volume up to an amazing 50dB to make it easy to understand. One of the coolest features is the ability to attach photos to the speed dial buttons for an easy reminder of who you’re calling.

We chose the VTech SN147 as the best phone for hearing impairments. That’s because this phone is completely geared towards loud ringtones, large displays, and even has a photo dial feature. You can take it one step further and get accessories for this phone that allow you to choose a person’s picture to call them.

We considered the AT&T EL52313 Expandable Cordless Phone as well, but the louder ringer and picture calling feature won out in the VTech model.

Clarity 53703 D703 Amplified Cordless Phone

Clarity 53703 D703 Amplified Cordless Phone

4/10
  • PROS:
  • Simple design
  • No confusing features
  • Inexpensive compared to some other models
  • Cons:
  • Button design is problematic
  • Sound quality is sometimes tinny
  • Answering Machine No
  • # of Handsets Phonebook 5
  • Speakerphone Yes
  • Ringer Volume Control Yes
  • Voice Volume Control Yes
  • Backlit Display Yes
  • Speed Dial Yes
  • Visual Ringer Yes
  • Power Battery

Our Review

The Clarity 53703 is a simple phone with just a few useful features. The buttons have a high contrast display and there are 16 different ringer options. However, some people have had issues with the sound quality and set-up of this phone. Plus, you have to choose the ‘Boost’ button with every call. Otherwise, the phone uses the lowest volume setting.

AT&T TL86109 Corded/Cordless Phone Combo

AT&T TL86109 Corded/Cordless Phone Combo

4/10
  • PROS:
  • Bluetooth capabilities
  • Can pair with cell phones
  • Cons:
  • Can’t take handsets far from the base
  • Answering Machine Yes
  • # of Handsets Phonebook 12
  • Speakerphone Yes
  • Ringer Volume Control Yes
  • Voice Volume Control Yes
  • Backlit Display Yes
  • Speed Dial Yes
  • Visual Ringer No
  • Power Battery

Our Review

The AT&T TL86109 is a versatile phone. It’s a landline phone, but you can also pair it with your cell phone to receive calls while at home. There is a different ring for each phone so you know which is coming through. Some people have reported that the volume isn’t very loud. It includes a wired receiver as well.

Best Value

VTech CS6640 Expandable Corded/Cordless Phone System

VTech CS6640 Expandable Corded/Cordless Phone System

3/10
  • PROS:
  • Great value
  • Small tabletop footprint
  • Large display
  • Cons:
  • Sound quality issues with the corded phone
  • Answering Machine Yes
  • # of Handsets Phonebook 5
  • Speakerphone Yes
  • Ringer Volume Control Yes
  • Voice Volume Control Yes
  • Backlit Display Yes
  • Speed Dial Yes
  • Visual Ringer No
  • Power Battery

Our Review

VTech’s CS6640 comes with a corded phone as well as a handset. Some people have had issues with the quality of the corded phone, and comment that the handset has much better sound quality. Overall, this phone looks and performs well. It’s a great value for the relatively small price tag.

The best value on our list is the VTech CS6719-2 cordless phone. It has a great, simple selection of features and you’re getting a lot of those features for the price. It’s a basic phone that uses its features effectively, though it can be a little hard to see.

We also considered the Panasonic KX-TGD532W for this category, but you’re going to get more for your money with the VTech model.

Clarity 53714 Amplified Cordless Phone

Clarity 53714 Amplified Cordless Phone

5/10
  • PROS:
  • Tone adjustment
  • Simple features
  • Cons:
  • Some users report sound quality issues
  • Answering Machine Yes
  • # of Handsets Phonebook N/A
  • Speakerphone Yes
  • Ringer Volume Control Yes
  • Voice Volume Control Yes
  • Backlit Display Yes
  • Speed Dial Yes
  • Visual Ringer No
  • Power Battery

Our Review

The Clarity 53714 features large, contoured buttons that are easy to see. The display is simple, and you can even connect your hearing aid to the phone to boost the audio past the 40dB limit. Even the keypad is backlit. The phonebook makes it easy to find the person that you want to call.

Best for Visual Impairments

AT&T EL52313 Expandable Cordless Phone

AT&T EL52313 Expandable Cordless Phone

5/10
  • PROS:
  • Large keys
  • Comparably inexpensive
  • Cons:
  • Limited extra features
  • Answering Machine Yes
  • # of Handsets Phonebook 5
  • Speakerphone Yes
  • Ringer Volume Control Yes
  • Voice Volume Control Yes
  • Backlit Display Yes
  • Speed Dial Yes
  • Visual Ringer No
  • Power Battery

Our Review

The AT&T EL52313 cordless phone system comes with three separate handsets, and you can expand up to five. The display features high-contrast black text on a white background. The buttons on both the base and the handsets are large and easy to see so that you can always choose the correct function.

The AT&T EL52313 Expandable Cordless phone is easy to use and easy to see. The high-contrast background and test options are easy to make out, as well as the button functions and the backlit keypad. Everything about this phone is simple and it would be great for visually impaired people.

We also considered the VTech SN5147 Amplified Cordless Senior Phone System, but it had the most benefits geared toward the hearing-impaired rather than visually-impaired individuals.

Best Overall

Panasonic KX-TGE433B Expandable Cordless Phone System

Panasonic KX-TGE433B Expandable Cordless Phone System

7/10
  • PROS:
  • Limited number of buttons
  • Large buttons
  • Cons:
  • Handset batteries die quickly
  • Answering Machine Yes
  • # of Handsets Phonebook 3
  • Speakerphone Yes
  • Ringer Volume Control Yes
  • Voice Volume Control Yes
  • Backlit Display Yes
  • Speed Dial Yes
  • Visual Ringer No
  • Power Battery

Our Review

The Panasonic KX-TGE433B is easy to see and use. The display is large and easy to read, with high-contrast text. The speakerphone is loud and easy to engage, and there are a number of paging and voice features that aren’t available on many other phones, including a key detector and a baby monitoring system for the grandchildren.

The Panasonic KX-TGE433B is a great model that blends value and quality. You’re going to get a good helping of features with great call quality and a price that won’t break your bank. For senior phone users, this is one of the best options on the market right now.

We also considered the Panasonic KX-TGD532W Expandable Cordless Phone System for this category, but the overall look and feature set of this model edged it into first place.

VTech CS6719-2 Expandable Cordless Phone

VTech CS6719-2 Expandable Cordless Phone

5/10
  • PROS:
  • Large handset and buttons
  • User-friendly layout
  • Cons:
  • Handset batteries die quickly
  • Answering Machine No
  • # of Handsets Phonebook 5
  • Speakerphone Yes
  • Ringer Volume Control Yes
  • Voice Volume Control Yes
  • Backlit Display Yes
  • Speed Dial Yes
  • Visual Ringer No
  • Power Battery

Our Review

The VTech CS6719-2 System is easy to set up and intuitive to use. The buttons are backlit, but the screen itself is small and can be difficult to use. The system can be expanded with up to five handsets so that you have one in every room of the house.

AT&T CRL81212 Dect 6.0 Phone

AT&T CRL81212 Dect 6.0 Phone

6/10
  • PROS:
  • Talking Caller ID
  • Inexpensive
  • Cons:
  • Low volume issue with speakerphone
  • Answering Machine Yes
  • # of Handsets Phonebook 12
  • Speakerphone Yes
  • Ringer Volume Control Yes
  • Voice Volume Control Yes
  • Backlit Display Yes
  • Speed Dial Yes
  • Visual Ringer Yes
  • Power Battery

Our Review

With the AT&T CRL81212 phone system, it’s easy to find the function you’re looking for with the extra-large buttons. You can store up to 50 names in the phonebook. You can expand this aesthetically pleasing system to work with up to 12 handsets at the same time. It’s easy to see the screens on the handsets because of the high-contrast text.

Motorola K702 Cordless Phone

Motorola K702 Cordless Phone

2/10
  • PROS:
  • Audio boost feature
  • Cons:
  • Key sensitivity issue
  • Cheaply made pieces
  • Answering Machine Yes
  • # of Handsets Phonebook 5
  • Speakerphone No
  • Ringer Volume Control Yes
  • Voice Volume Control Yes
  • Backlit Display Yes
  • Speed Dial Yes
  • Visual Ringer No
  • Power Battery

Our Review

The Motorola K702 is a great phone set in theory. It has a lot of features that make it work well for seniors, including loud ringers and backlit numbers. However, the numbers themselves aren’t backlit. Only the area around each button illuminates. It’s easy to hit the wrong buttons because they aren’t that large comparatively, and the screen is difficult to see.

Clarity XLC2 Amplified Cordless Phone

Clarity XLC2 Amplified Cordless Phone

6/10
  • PROS:
  • Great for the visually impaired
  • Simple to use
  • Cons:
  • ‘Talk’ and ‘End’ button is the same
  • It’s easy to hit keys while you’re using the phone
  • Answering Machine No
  • # of Handsets Phonebook N/A
  • Speakerphone No
  • Ringer Volume Control Yes
  • Voice Volume Control Yes
  • Backlit Display No
  • Speed Dial Yes
  • Visual Ringer Yes
  • Power Battery

Our Review

Unlike the rest of the phones on this list, there is no screen on this phone. While that might be a problem for some seniors, it makes operating the phone very simple and straightforward. You can adjust the volume up to 50dB and it’s hearing aid compatible. The keys are even illuminated so you can see which buttons to hit in the dark. The fact that the ‘talk’ button also ends calls and doesn’t feature a green icon isn’t great for some customers.

Best Simple Phone

VTech DS6151 Cordless Phone System

VTech DS6151 Cordless Phone System

7/10
  • PROS:
  • Great sound quality
  • Intuitive design
  • Cons:
  • Range issues for handsets
  • Not as user-friendly as it could be
  • Answering Machine Yes
  • # of Handsets Phonebook 12
  • Speakerphone Yes
  • Ringer Volume Control Yes
  • Voice Volume Control Yes
  • Backlit Display Yes
  • Speed Dial Yes
  • Visual Ringer No
  • Power Battery

Our Review

VTech’s DS6151 is expandable with up to 12 handsets for one base unit so you can always have a handset close to you. The buttons are simple to use, and you can dial from the base which has even larger buttons. However, the LED screens are small and can be difficult to read and the numbers don’t have any feedback when you press them.

For the best simple phone, we chose to go with the Clarity XLC2 Amplified Cordless Phone because it doesn’t have a screen. It’s very reminiscent of the first cordless phones on the market. The flashing ringer and loud sound make it nice for seniors to use, and the boost button is great for hearing your calls better.

For this category, we also considered the Clarity 53703 D703 Amplified Cordless Phone, but the screenless design of the Clarity model won out.

Panasonic KX-TGD532W Expandable Cordless Phone System

Panasonic KX-TGD532W Expandable Cordless Phone System

5/10
  • PROS:
  • Great-looking design
  • High contrast keys and display
  • Cons:
  • Call blocking doesn’t work for most
  • Answering Machine Yes
  • # of Handsets Phonebook 6
  • Speakerphone Yes
  • Ringer Volume Control Yes
  • Voice Volume Control Yes
  • Backlit Display Yes
  • Speed Dial Yes
  • Visual Ringer No
  • Power Battery

Our Review

The Panasonic KX-TGD532W system looks great and performs well, for the most part. The large display and big buttons are easy to see. It has a Talking Caller ID feature that can read back numbers and names in English or Spanish, depending on which you prefer. You can even set custom ringtones for common numbers.

However, you can only access messages from the base and not on the handsets. This can be a deciding factor for some.

Panasonic KX-TGF352N Phone System

Panasonic KX-TGF352N Phone System

5/10
  • PROS:
  • Huge display
  • A host of other features
  • Cons:
  • May not last long
  • Small ‘talk’ and ‘end’ buttons
  • Answering Machine Yes
  • # of Handsets Phonebook 4
  • Speakerphone Yes
  • Ringer Volume Control Yes
  • Voice Volume Control Yes
  • Backlit Display Yes
  • Speed Dial Yes
  • Visual Ringer Yes
  • Power Battery

Our Review

The Panasonic KX-TGF352N Phone System features two handsets and a corded phone attached to the base. The displays on all of the screens are large and easy to read. The sound quality is great and it even has a built-in baby monitor for when the grandkids are staying over. It looks great and performs well, even if some of the buttons on the handsets are small.

How we choose

The changing needs of our senior relatives can be challenging to face. When it’s time to get a new, more accessible phone for your relatives, which one should you choose? A few years working for a retirement home (and my experience with my own aging relatives) have informed me of some of the features that might be useful in a senior landline phone.

They look good and are so much easier to use than a smartphone. Of course, we have other options ready for you to look into. Below, we’ll discuss what you should be looking for and give you some solid recommendations for great cordless phones for seniors.

This guide will help you choose a cordless phone for seniors that is easy to use and hear for seniors who may have vision and hearing impairments.

Do You Even Need a Cordless Phone for Seniors?

Landline phones are becoming a thing of the past. With cellular technology and the ability to have a mobile phone by your side everywhere, the concept of home phone service is all but dead.

You might not even need a cordless phone for seniors. They make senior-specific cell phones now. If you are just looking for a mobile phone to make it easier for your elderly relatives to reach emergency services, a cell phone could be a better option. In any case, senior-specific cell phones are often less expensive than landline phones.

Unless your elderly relatives are dead-set against owning a cell phone or are incapable of operating one, there’s really no need to buy a cordless phone for seniors. The technology is outdated, and there are a lot of other solutions available for senior citizens.

Quick Tips

On the go? Here are the most important things to look for in a cordless phone for seniors.

  • Consider your senior relative’s ability to use a cordless phone with extra features.
  • Choose a phone with a boosted volume for hearing-impaired users.
  • Larger, backlit displays and larger numbers can help visually-impaired users.
  • Think about the number of handsets you need.
  • Look to spend $20-$60 on simple phones, while more features can run up to $90-$200.
  • Make sure that you have an existing home phone service before purchasing.

Cordless Phone Features and Options

Each senior citizen has different needs and abilities, so it’s important to consider all of the available features before making a decision. Here are some of the most important things to look for when you’re shopping for a cordless phone for seniors.

Answering Machine

Answering machines used to be a prestigious feature in landline phones. The introduction of cell phones and the departure from landline phone services have made this almost a requirement. For a landline phone to be viable now, an answering machine is an absolute must.

But seniors may or may not appreciate this feature. Some phones made specifically for seniors don’t have a digital answering system because it is more expensive and often complicated. Senior phones should be easy to use, so some models elect to go without an answering machine included.

Some other models have simplified answering machines designed so that senior citizens will have an easier time figuring them out.

# of Handsets

Options: 1, 2, 3, or more

The cordless part of the cordless phone is down to the handset, or the piece that you use to speak into when you use the phone. Most of the time with cordless phones, this is also used for dialing and most other features.

Most of the cordless phones on our list come with at least one handset. Nearly all of them are expandable, meaning that you can add additional handsets that are usually sold separately. If you want a lot of different handsets located all over a large home, choose a phone that can be expanded to include a lot of different handsets.

It’s important to keep in mind that you’ll be using the handset for talking and dialing, but a lot of features might also be accessed via the handset’s base.

When listing this feature, we’ll explain how many handsets come with the phone, not necessarily how many can be added to the system later.

Phonebook

The phonebook feature is common in landline phones. It allows you to keep your friends and family members’ numbers stored right inside the phone. You won’t have to go digging around for your contact list when you need to make a call.

For senior phones, a lot of phonebook features have been streamlined so that it’s easy to find the number you need.

Speakerphone

Speakerphone can be a great option for seniors with hearing problems. Instead of listening to the call through the handset, you can choose to hear the call through a speaker.

This is louder and more manageable with tremors and arthritis as well, as the senior citizen won’t have to hold onto the phone for long periods while making a phone call. Generally, it’s a more comfortable way for a senior to make a call.

Ringer Volume Control

If the senior citizen in your life has trouble hearing the phone ringer, choosing a phone with a ringer volume option could be the solution. Some cordless phones for seniors will allow you to turn the ringer up so that it can be heard throughout the house.

Some phones also ring through both the base and the handset, so that you can hear them ringing no matter where you are in the house. For hearing-impaired seniors, this can be a great option.

Voice Volume Control

Just like being able to control the ringer, being able to control the volume of the voices on the phone can really help seniors with hearing impairments. Cordless phones specifically for seniors might have an option that allows you to increase the volume of the call past the limit that normal landline phones would allow.

The result is that the senior is able to hear the call more clearly. This can sometimes be combined with features that enhance or amplify the sounds that come through the phone, or even features that slow down speech to allow a senior to better understand the conversation.

If you or the senior in your life sometimes have trouble hearing over the phone, choose a cordless phone with a voice volume control feature.

Backlit Display

Most of the phones on our list come with a small display screen. These screens allow you to see the number that’s calling, as well as your phonebook, Caller ID, and other options. In most home phones, these screens are dark with black text, making it difficult to read.

If you need a phone that is easier to see, choose one that has a backlit display. This lights up the screen area so that the user can see the information on the display much easier. Choose a backlit display for anyone who has a visual impairment or just needs a little more help seeing the screen.

Speed Dial

Speed Dial is a feature that allows you to quickly make calls. You can store a number of contacts on the speed dial list, and when you choose the number that corresponds to the contact, you’ll call that person without having to dial to sort through your phone book.

For example, if you call your daughter a lot, you might want to put her as Speed Dial #1. That way, all you have to do is hit the speed dial button and the #1 key, and your phone call will begin. You can put doctors, relatives, work numbers, and even emergency service numbers as speed dial entries.

Visual Ringer

One of the best innovations that came with cell phones is a visual indication that a call is coming in. In a cell phone, the screen will light up and display the incoming call information. Of course, most landline phones aren’t that advanced.

However, some do come with a visual ringer. This allows you to see the call on the display when it happens. Your phone’s display may blink or there may be a flashing light to indicate that you’re receiving a call.

This feature can help people with hearing impairments see when they need to answer the phone rather than relying on a ringer.

Power

Options: Outlet, Battery

All cordless phones need some sort of power source.

  • Batteries are always used to power the handsets. Your handsets will most likely have a rechargeable battery that will charge as it sits on the base or dock. Very rarely, a handset might use AA or AAA batteries.The base or dock for the handset might also be battery-operated. All cordless phone bases must be plugged into a wall jack for your landline phone service, so in most cases, the base will not run on batteries.
  • Cordless phones that use outlet power require the base to plug into the wall. In order for all of the features to work and the handset to charge (if it is rechargeable), most cordless phones will need to be plugged in.

When it comes to landline phones, ‘cordless’ only means that the handset is mobile. In most cases, the base of the phone will still need cords to function.

Who is Going to Be Using It?

Of course, this guide is for cordless phones for seniors, specifically. There are several considerations to be made within that group, though. Here are some of the special considerations to take into account when choosing a phone for the senior in your life.

  • Hearing Impairment. For hearing issues, choose a cordless phone that has a visual ringer, louder volume, and volume control on the ringer and the call itself. You might also look for phones that use voice-slowing technology.
  • Visual Impairment. If you or your loved one has vision problems, choose a phone with larger buttons, a backlit screen, and a larger overall display. You might consider choosing a phone that reads numbers and contacts back to you, so you don’t have to attempt to look at the screen.
  • Tremors and Joint Issues. There are a number of issues that may cause senior citizens to be unable to hold phones for long periods of time. Alternatively, they might have problems pressing the buttons. For these issues, look for phones with speakerphone capabilities, speed dial, and a phonebook so they don’t have to dial a full phone number.
  • Ease of Use. For some dementia or Alzheimer’s patients, phones with a lot of features can be difficult to understand. They can get hung up on buttons or not respond well to the answering machine feature. For these seniors, look for phones that are simple and easy to understand.

Do You Have a Landline?

All of the phones on this list will require an existing landline phone service connection. Make sure that you have a landline phone service available before making a decision. To make a call on any of the phones listed in our guide, you will have to have a landline phone connection.

How Much Do You Want to Pay?

With all of the enhancing technologies that cordless phones for seniors have, they can get a bit pricey. There are some phones on our list that are more fit for a fixed income, but the ones with the most features and the most handsets can be a bit much.

If you’re looking for a phone that doesn’t have too many amplifying features (lower volume, no speakerphone, no answering machine), expect to pay between $25 and $60.

For phones with every feature that you might want (and then some), you might pay between $90 and $200 depending on the brand and the phone itself.