Simple TV Remote Controls with Big Buttons That Are Also Easy to Understand


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Watching a favorite TV program can be a challenging task for many seniors. They sometimes get puzzled by the complicated remote controls that come with today’s technology. This often leads to calls to family members when they can’t get the TV show on that they want. Or, maybe they just give up and don’t even try. Most remotes have hundreds of small, hard-to-press buttons and are confusing for seniors to use. Finding a simple TV remote control for elderly people will put them back in control.

Comparison Chart: Simple Remote Controls for TVs

Here are my quick picks for the best remotes for seniors with arthritis or dementia.  Take a look at these or jump to my review section for more details and description of each model.

Images, Ratings, & Prices from Amazon Product Advertising API - Updated on 2018-09-23 at 09:24 - contains affiliate links (see footer).


Problems with Standard Remote Controls

One day the TV remote is working just fine. Then it suddenly seems like it is hard to understand and control. Wrong buttons are pushed. Programming is lost. And, the senior is left without control of their TV until someone comes to fix it. This seemingly sudden loss of control is especially common for those suffering from failing eyesight, weakening strength or early dementia.

Using a remote seems like a small matter for most of us. But, not being able to use a remote to control a TV is very frustrating for seniors. It even undermines their ability to function independently. For seniors with dementia, I have even heard of confusing a remote control with a cordless phone!

close up of the power button of a black remote control

For many elders and seniors, the television is their link to the outside world. The evening news is their primary source of news and information. Often, the TV us their primary source of entertainment. So, you can see why not being able to control the TV is such a big deal for them.

But, there are very simple, easy to use remote controls for TV’s out there. First, we will look at the important features of an easy to control remote. Then, I have a few recommended products as examples.

Basic Features to Look For in an Easy to Use Remote Control

There is a lot to consider when shopping for an easy to use remote control for elderly and seniors. Keep the following points in mind to get the best easy to use TV remote for yourself or your loved ones:

  • Most seniors are only looking for the most basic features in a remote. i.e. On / Off; Channel Up / Channel Down; Volume Up / Down; and Mute. Many seniors would generally prefer a remote control that eliminates all other buttons.
  • The benefit of having only 4 to 5 big buttons on the remote is that elders with failing eyesight can clearly see the buttons and their functions.
  • Easy to use remotes for the elderly must be designed in a way that makes them easy to hold and reduces stress on the fingers and palm as much as possible.
  • People who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome or other ailments that reduce the strength of their grip must also be able to hold onto the remote easily
  • In order to be truly easy to use, remotes for seniors should also be compatible with a large number of TV’s and easy to program. Also, they should keep their programming through battery changes.

My Recommended Easy to Use TV Remotes

So, using the criteria above, I have come up with the following list of TV remotes that are simple to use.

Tek Pal Large Button TV Remote Control

The Tek Pal is probably the most basic and easiest to use TV remote that you can get. It has 6 large buttons to power the TV on and off, browse the channels, adjust the volume and put the TV on mute.

  • Very large button remote, specifically designed to make working a TV easy
  • For use with a TV or a TV with a direct cable line into the set.
  • Perfect gift for anybody who is unable to read or press the standard sized buttons on regular remotes
  • Requires 2 AA batteries to operate
  • Not for use with satellite boxes and DVD players.
Tek Pal - Large Button TV Remote Control
936 Reviews
Tek Pal - Large Button TV Remote Control
  • Perfect gift for a loved one with poor vision
  • Offers less confusion, easier tv viewing
  • Palm-sized with 6 large lighted buttons
  • Size: 5.5" x 2.75" x 1"
  • Weight: 5 ounce (with batteries) - requires 2 AA batteries (not included)

Images, Ratings, & Prices from Amazon Product Advertising API - Updated on 2018-09-23 at 12:04 - contains affiliate links (see footer).


AMAZSHOP 247 A-TV10 Large Button Universal Waterproof Remote Control

The Amazshop 247 A-TV10 Large Button Universal Waterproof Remote Control is a popular choice for many seniors. It’s a truly simple remote with easy-to-see and easy-to-press oversized buttons. In addition to the power On / Off button and the programming button, it has only 6 other buttons (change channel, change volume, mute, and AV mode). Overall, it’s an ideal replacement for standard remotes.

  • Large buttons that light up when pressed for easy use at night
  • Works with standard television or television with an inserted direct line cable.
  • Waterproof remote, so you don’t have to worry about water spills all over the remote
  • Text on the remote’s buttons is large enough to see without reading glasses on
  • Does not work with separate cable boxes or satellite receivers
AMAZSHOP247 A-TV10 Large Button Universal Waterproof Remote Control Vizio LG Sharp
40 Reviews
AMAZSHOP247 A-TV10 Large Button Universal Waterproof Remote Control Vizio LG Sharp
  • Easy to see
  • Simple to use
  • Compatible with television
  • the A-TV10 is the perfect gift for Grandma or Grandpa

Images, Ratings, & Prices from Amazon Product Advertising API - Updated on 2018-09-23 at 12:04 - contains affiliate links (see footer).


Flipper Big Button Universal Remote for 2 Devices

The Flipper Remote is an easy to use universal remote control with large buttons designed for seniors or people with poor vision. It makes using a remote control easy. And, it works with almost any television, cable or satellite box. Set up only takes about 10 – 15 minutes. It also has a convenient lock feature which prevents accidental re-programming of the remote!

  • Large, clearly labeled buttons for ease of use
  • Compatible with multiple devices, including TV and Cable, Satellite or DTV box.
  • Easy setup procedure
  • Program up to 25 favorite channels to access them easily
  • Color-coded buttons for easy identification: Green for power, Blue for Channel selection, Orange for Volume adjustment and Grey for mute.
Flipper Big Button Universal Remote Control
1,361 Reviews
Flipper Big Button Universal Remote Control
  • BEST SELLING JUMBO REMOTE - Flipper Remote is designed Senior Friendly with large color-coded tactile buttons for easy use. Only 3 functions: On/Off,...
  • COMPATIBLE WITH IR (Infra red) DEVICES - The only remote you'll need for both your TV and Cable, or Satellite box. Works for all major IR (infra red)...
  • CUSTOMIZE YOUR CONTENT - Easily program up to 25 of your favorite channels so you can get to the content you desire. Give your elderly family members...
  • PREVENT MISTAKES - Our special LOCK feature prevents accidental reprogramming. No more late night calls!
  • SUPERIOR CUSTOMER SERVICE! Just ask for help with any set up questions! Our webpage has updated codes, videos, and Faqs. Telephone support available.

Images, Ratings, & Prices from Amazon Product Advertising API - Updated on 2018-09-24 at 00:07 - contains affiliate links (see footer).


Sony RM-EZ4 2-Device Universal Remote with Big Buttons

Sony’s RM-EZ4 is a large, slightly over-sized remote that can operate a television as well as a cable or satellite box. While it has more buttons than the other remotes listed in this article, the buttons are quite large, easy to read and well spaced out. It has two separate buttons for selecting the device to be controlled: either TV or the cable/satellite box.

  • Large buttons, with easy to use labels, for easy operations
  • It can be used to control 2 devices, so it works with regular television as well as cable/satellite boxes
  • Commonly used buttons like Volume and Power On buttons are color coded, for easy identification.
  • Large battery latch that comes off easily to replace used batteries
  • One limitation of this remote is that it is a pre-programmed remote and if your TV or device is not programmed in the device, it won’t work. So, you will need to check whether your TV is compatible with this remote before selecting this one. But this may be an off chance, as it is programmed with tons of device code already.
Sony RM-EZ4 2-Device Universal Remote with Big Buttons
462 Reviews
Sony RM-EZ4 2-Device Universal Remote with Big Buttons
  • Looks nearly identical to the RM-V310
  • Sports the exact same case size and design
  • Housing is now black
  • Has an adjacent LED for feedback during programming

Images, Ratings, & Prices from Amazon Product Advertising API - Updated on 2018-09-23 at 12:04 - contains affiliate links (see footer).


Universal Big Button TV & Cable Box Remote by EasyMote

This is a great large button remote control for the elderly. It has all the features you’d want out of a universal remote, including big, bright buttons, large text on these buttons, an added wrist strap, and personal customization features. The versatility and ease of use with this remote is unmatched. If you’re looking for a great TV remote for the elderly, this is what you’ve been looking for. Here are some of the most notable features that make it stand out:

  • Gives you complete control over your entertainment systems, as it controls both your TV and Cable Box with the same remote. The EasyMote is all you need for a stress free, easy to navigate experience, free of any confusing buttons or settings
  • 6 Large, bright, back-lit buttons for basic TV control with
  • Large, clear button text for easy-to-see operation, even in the dark
  • Comes with a strong wrist strap made from a sturdy, yet soft, material that won’t irritate skin, but will give you added security and peace of mind when using this remote. This feature also makes it harder to lose
  • It also has a universal library with a ‘Quick Search’ function that will scan for your TVs code, which is easy and takes a matter of second
  • “Learning mode” allows you to program each button to a custom command, so you can really personalize this remote to your needs to make it as easy to operate as possible for your home
Universal Big Button TV Remote - EasyMote DT-R08W Backlit, Easy Use, Smart, Learning Television &...
179 Reviews
Universal Big Button TV Remote - EasyMote DT-R08W Backlit, Easy Use, Smart, Learning Television &...
  • TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR HOME ENTERTAINMENT - Controls both your TV and Cable Box with the same remote. The EasyMote is all you need for a stress free,...
  • SLEEK HANDHELD DESIGN - 6 Large, Bright, Backlit buttons for basic TV control with CLEAR and BIG button text for easy-to-see use, even in the dark....
  • UNIVERSAL LIBRARY - 'Quick Search' will scan for your TVs code, it's easy and takes a matter of seconds, also featuring a learning mode that allows...
  • THE PERFECT GIFT - A thoughtful gift for seniors, caregivers, loved ones, or someone with low or impaired vision. Plus, a great feature in any...
  • MONEY BACK GUARANTEE - Backed by the Continu.us 90-day warranty, test your EasyMote with your Cable Box and Television and either love it or get your...

Images, Ratings, & Prices from Amazon Product Advertising API - Updated on 2018-09-23 at 09:24 - contains affiliate links (see footer).


BONUS Wireless TV Speaker for Hard of Hearing: Pyle Wireless TV Speaker Portable TV Soundbox, TV Audio Hearing Assistance

In addition to easily accessible and usable television remotes, seniors may also need added speakers to make their television viewing experience more enjoyable. Many seniors are hard of hearing, so the standard loudest television volume may not be enough for them to hear the programming.

This wireless, portable television speaker will amplify the television’s volume, and allow the senior to place the speaker wherever they need to hear it best. It even has a headphone jack so it won’t disturb others in the room.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Wireless range of up to 100 feet
  • Handle on the top of the device makes it portable so that you can place it in your ideal hearing range
  • Dual speaker system amplifies sound from television in real time with no lag at any distance
  • Compatible with most common household media systems, including home theater, hi-fis, stereos, and other audio systems. Accessory kit allows you to easily connect the device to your media system
  • Headphone jack allows you to listen to the television at a high volume without disturbing those around you

Click here to learn more about Improving TV Sound for seniors.

Pyle Wireless TV Speaker | Portable TV Soundbox | TV Audio Hearing Assistance
161 Reviews
Pyle Wireless TV Speaker | Portable TV Soundbox | TV Audio Hearing Assistance
  • WIRELESS TV SPEAKER - Never miss a sound with the Pyle wireless TV speaker transmitter and receiver system! Great for anyone who struggles to find the...
  • PORTABLE FOR CONVENIENCE - Use the portable TV sound box anywhere in your home. The extended wireless range and compatibility with over 50 receivers...
  • PURE SOUND WITHOUT DISTURBANCE - The wireless tv speaker's headphone jack means you can enjoy audio without disturbing others in the room. Ideal for...
  • FOR ANY MEDIA SYSTEM - The hearing assistance wireless TV speaker is fully compatible with home theatre systems, hi-fis and stereos, and other...
  • SUPERB SOUND QUALITY GUARANTEED - Pyle's portable TV sound box gives you hi-fidelity stereo sound reproduction for your ultimate listening pleasure!...

Images, Ratings, & Prices from Amazon Product Advertising API - Updated on 2018-09-23 at 09:05 - contains affiliate links (see footer).


Summary and Recommendations

Finding a simple TV remote control for elderly people will help them re-establish their independence. It will also allow them to stay up to date with news and entertainment, keeping them engaged with current affairs.

When shopping for basic, easy to use remotes, look for big buttons that are well labeled. The fewer buttons the better! Look for other useful features like a wrist strap or personalized preset settings as well to make this experience as enjoyable and easy as possible for your senior.

With an easier to use remote, you can say goodbye to the frustrating experiences of using standard TV remotes. Elders with dexterity or sight issues will love the simple designs and easy to press buttons on these remotes. They make a great gift for seniors as well.

For other simple technology products for seniors and the elderly, check out my article on easy to use microwaves, simple laptops, and basic radios that seniors will use and enjoy. Also, check out these television sound amplifier above if you think they’d benefit from that too.

Please share your experiences with TV remotes in the comments below. Do you know of other remotes that are easy to use? Which of these TV remotes did you choose?

Did you find this guide helpful? If so, please share on your social networks with friends and family! Hopefully they can also gain some knowledge about the best simple universal remotes.

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4 thoughts on “Simple TV Remote Controls with Big Buttons That Are Also Easy to Understand

  1. I disagree that most elderly want 4 functions, I believe they want only 3. I am searching for a unit without “mute”. My 91 year old mother in law understands on/off, channel, and volume, but if she accidentally hits “mute” she tells us the TV or remote isn’t working. I’m still searching for something like the Seki Slim learning remote (no tedious setup like the Tek Pal) but one with only three functions. Looks like I’ll have to buy what exists and disable the fourth function myself. Maybe make a youtube video of how to disable and if it gets enough hits, we’ll finally get a 3-function remote. If TV stations held to a standard volume, and commercials weren’t rude, we could do away with remote volume and just set it at the TV.

    • Hi Ray – thanks for stopping by and leaving these valuable comments. I have been researching and I cannot find a 3 function remote either. Seems like everything has mute. But I’m going to keep looking. Thanks also for the video suggestions. My goal for next year is to start making videos for some of my posts. I’ll put this one to the top of the list. Loud commercials are a pet peeve of mine too – another advantage of cutting the cord and moving to streaming programming!
      Has anyone out there seen a 3 function TV remote anywhere that you can let me and Ray know about?

  2. I am looking for a large button tv remote for my mom to use. The problem is she is in a nursing home and her cable is delivered to her room through a simple cable that I assume is connected to a cable box located somewhere in the nursing home. I am sure it serves all the residents. I have not found a remote that can be programmed under these circumstances. Any suggestions?

    • Hello Elaine! There should be a way to make this work. A few questions: Is the remote she has now stand alone or is it built into her bed? if it is built into the bed there may not be much you can do. If it is a standalone remote, use it to change the channels on the TV. If the channel on the actual TV changes, you may be able to get away with a standard big button remote. This is because the TV is probably in control of the channel selection not the cable box. But if the displayed channel on the TV stays the same but the programming changes, the cable box is in control and you may be at the mercy of the nursing home. If the remote control is stand-alone, you might want to try the Easy Mote at Amazon. It may work because you use the current remote control to program it. It is simple and easy to do. Maybe it would be programmable to the current remote control codes? let me know what you find out. –Scott

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