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What’s the Best Mobile Phone for Elderly People?

Article by Daniel Westhead Daniel Westhead Sure Safe Alarms

Whether an older person lives independently or with a carer, it’s still crucial for them to be able to stay in touch with friends and family. The right technology can keep people connected with loved ones and prevent loneliness, which can be especially dangerous to seniors. What’s more, devices like mobile phones or personal alarms can also help an elderly person to call for help in an emergency.

However, older people may have specific needs when it comes to mobile phones. A phone that works great for their children or even grandchildren might not be the best mobile phone for elderly people themselves.

In this post, we’ll explore some phone features that older people might benefit from, as well as some of the best mobiles for the elderly and how you can get them.

What features should you consider when looking for a phone for older people?

When you start searching for the best mobile phone for elderly people, you’ll find a host of phones that are described as suitable for seniors. But not all older people have the same needs, and a phone that suits one older person well might not be right for another. Here, we’ll discuss some features that a senior might want.

Big button mobile phones for the elderly

The most common feature you’ll find in mobile phones described as elderly-friendly are large buttons. These are useful for older people who have:

  • Poor vision that makes it hard to see small buttons
  • Stiffness in the hands, which could be caused by conditions like arthritis
  • Tremors in the hands, which could result from Parkinson’s disease or a similar condition.


Just as weaker vision is common in older people, poorer hearing is as well. That’s why an older person might need a phone that has an extra-loud ringtone or is compatible with hearing aids.

Ease of use

As we’ve mentioned, older people’s needs around technology aren’t all the same. While some seniors are very tech-savvy, others prefer a significantly simplified device. After all, if you’re only using your phone for basic tasks like texting and calling, why pay extra for a smartphone with tons of bells and whistles? Luckily there are plenty of easy to use mobile phones for the elderly.

Smart or AI assistants

It’s true that a simplified or basic phone can make things easy for some elderly people. However, a more advanced phone can also make things easy in a different way – by providing a smart assistant to answer questions, set alarms and provide reminders. It all depends on each individual senior’s preference.

Emergency use

If you’re considering a device that will let an older person call for help in an emergency, it might be worth purchasing a personal alarm. That’s because even the simplest phone might be difficult to use if an older person is having a health crisis. Phones might also be too far away or impossible to get to if an elderly person has fallen or needs help in a different room. In contrast, a personal alarm in a waterproof talking pendant or wrist alarm form can be with an older person everywhere, even in the shower.

Contract versus pay-as-you-go

If an older person is planning to use their phone a lot, signing up to a contract might be best for them. It does mean that they will be tied into regular payments for a longer amount of time, perhaps a year or even two years.

On the other hand, the best phone for elderly people who rarely use their device might be a pay-as-you-go plan. This doesn’t involve making a commitment to pay any specific amount for a specific time. Rather, you have a set number of minutes to use through calls or texts, and when you run out of minutes you “top up” more through a payment. This system can be much cheaper than a contract for seniors who don’t use their phones often.


Older people in the early stages of dementia may well still need or want their own mobile phone. While these seniors can be capable of using a phone, they could still get a little confused by a complicated interface. In fact, you can even go beyond a simplified phone and get a phone specifically designed to help older people with dementia. This type of phone may use pictures or photos in place of words.

Finding the best mobile phone for elderly people

There are several brands specifically dedicated to phones for the elderly. We’ll list some of them here with specific devices to buy from each brand. Plus, we’ll discuss how a phone that’s not specifically marketed to elderly people might also be good for a senior.


When you’ll looking for the best mobile phone for elderly people, you’ll soon see Doro pop up as a widely available brand for senior-friendly phones.

The Doro 1380 is only £34.99 and offers a bunch of features appealing to elderly people. It includes:

  • Large buttons
  • A large-print display
  • A loud ringtone
  • A built-in torch
  • Simplified design, best for just calling and texting

If you’re looking for hearing aid compatibility, you might also like the Doro 6040 flip phone. Some seniors may prefer a flip phone because it folds to close when you’re not using it, avoiding any accidental calls if an object touches the front of the phone. This model still has somewhat large buttons and is still quite simplified, although it has a few more features than the 1380.

Both of these phones are sim-free, meaning that you are only buying the handset itself. In order to make calls, you need to separately get a sim card, which goes into the phone. Both of these phones also generally have good reviews, usually ranging between 4 and 5 stars depending on the site.


Like Doro, TTfone is another brand you’ll see often if you’re looking for the best mobiles for the elderly.

At £21.99, the TTfone TT190 is an extra affordable simple phone with very basic features such as calling, texting and a clock. It includes:

  • Large buttons
  • Extra loud volume
  • Large font in the visual display

As with the Doro phones, this phone also typically has reviews between 4 and 5 stars, depending on the review location.


Emporia is a little like these first two brands in that it’s marketed toward seniors. However, Emporia phones are more like simplified smartphones. In other words, they are a little more complex and have a few more features than the models we’ve discussed so far.

The Emporia Smart 6 Senior looks much like a smartphone, with a big display and no plastic buttons. Yet this smartphone’s interface is designed to be extra easy to use, with larger font sizes and compatibility with hearing aids. This phone also allows you to use apps such as WhatsApp to stay in touch with loved ones. However, it’s also significantly more costly at £359.98.


If you’re looking for a phone for a senior with dementia, the Geemarc CL8000 might be for you. Its unique selling point is that it allows you to set four contacts to call from the display screen. You can upload a photo to go with each contact. That way, an older person with dementia simply needs to press the photo to call that person. Otherwise, this £119.99 option is a basic mobile phone, similar to other simplified phones on our list.


Available on the Alzheimer’s Society website, Simplicity phones are also simpler and could be easier to use for an elderly person with dementia. For example, the Simplicity Bar phone has:

  • Large buttons
  • Features designed to be easy to use
  • Three speed dial buttons (although these are not connected to images)

The price of this phone is a flat £45 – not the cheapest on the list, but not the most expensive either.

Choosing the right phone for you

So, what is the best mobile phone for elderly people?

There is no single answer – it all depends on what you need from your phone. In fact, some seniors who love tech might like using an ordinary iPhone and relying on Siri to record appointments or check the weather.

However, if you’re looking for a somewhat pared-down device, one of the phones from our list might be for you.

It’s worth noting that some of the phones on this list do come with an alarm button to call for help. However, this button won’t be of use to a senior who has fallen and can’t reach their phone. Such a button also doesn’t offer fall detection as an alarm does. That’s a function that detects when the alarm wearer has fallen and calls for help all by itself.

Long story short – a personal alarm that can be worn all the time, including in the shower or bath, is probably a better bet for the purpose of calling for help in an emergency.

SureSafe’s protection in case of emergencies or falls

Personal alarms for the elderly can be very simple, operating by the touch of a single button, but they can also be lifesaving. That’s why we at SureSafe are dedicated to providing the UK with highly reviewed, affordable personal alarms to keep seniors safe.

Which alarm would be best for you? To chat with our expert team to learn more, just call us at 0800 112 3201, get in touch through our live chat or request a call back.

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