Best Door Locks for Apartments and Renters

We review door locks that are easy to install and won’t anger your landlord or risk your security deposit.
Best overall
Defender Security Satin Nickel U 10827 Door Reinforcement Lock
Defender Security
  • con
    4-screw installation
  • pro
    Unlocks from inside
  • pro
    Force rating up to 800 lbs.
Best smart lock
Wyze Lock
  • pro
    No-impact installation
  • con
    Unlocks from outside
  • pro
    Guest access
Best for budgets
Addalock The Original Portable Door Lock
Addalock
  • pro
    No-impact installation
  • pro
    Unlocks from inside
  • con
    Not compatible with some latches
Best deadbolt
Kwikset 980 deadbolt
Kwikset 980
  • pro
    No-impact installation
  • con
    Unlocks from outside
  • pro
    ANSI Grade 1 security rating
Best non-keyed lock
Schlage B81626 deadbolt
Schlage B81626
  • pro
    No-impact installation
  • pro
    Unlocks from inside
  • con
    Not ideal for exterior doors

SafeWise is an independent review site. We may earn money when you click links on our site. Learn how we rank and review.

It's essential to have apartment locks you can trust. The Defender Security Lock boasts an affordable price and strikes the perfect balance between temporary and permanent use. You install it with just four screws, which means removing it leaves only tiny holes behind that are easy to fill. Even better, it can withstand up to 800 lbs. of force, and there are no keyholes to pick.

We reviewed the top locks on the market, keeping your varied security needs in mind. The Defender Security Lock may be the best overall pick, but read on for insight on specific needs like portability, keyless entry, smart locks, and deadbolts.



Compare the best apartment locks

Product
Best for
Price
Lock type
No drill required
Only unlocks from inside
Learn more
Best overallDoor jammer
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes
Best smart lockSmart deadbolt
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon No  LightNo
Best for budgetsDoor jammer
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Best deadboltDeadbolt
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon No  LightNo
Best non-keyed lockDeadbolt
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes

Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Bell
Should I choose a door jammer or a lock replacement?

If you want to feel safer in your flat, adding a lock to your apartment door that works like a door jammer will do the job. If you're worried about people using old keys to get in while you're out, a complete lock replacement might be in order.

Video: 4 Easy Steps to Replace a Deadbolt

Play Video

Subscribe to our YouTube channel and learn how to protect your home, loved ones, and belongings.


Best apartment door lock reviews

1. Defender Security U 10827: Best overall

Best overall
Defender Security Satin Nickel U 10827 Door Reinforcement Lock

 *Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Small, discreet, and effective—the Defender Security Lock physically blocks the door from opening. It's simple to lock since you swing it toward your door until it snaps into a slot on the lock's bottom. We like that it's an easy installation in most cases—though it leaves a few holes behind.

pro
Pros
pro Low price tag
pro Easy installation
pro Force rating up to 800 lbs.
con
Cons
con Sharp edges
con Less durable with frequent use

Defender rests against your door when locked, which is a huge advantage—and it can withstand up to 800 pounds of force. There are no keyholes to pick, and unlike a traditional swing latch or chain lock, it doesn't allow your door to open even a crack, so it's virtually impossible to tamper with from the outside.

While it fits most exterior doors, it's less than ideal if your apartment door fits snugly in its frame, as you might have to chisel out some wood to get the security lock to fit. The included screws sometimes break during installation, so it's not uncommon for users to buy extras.

Although the lock is effective, some users report a loss of functionality over time and say that Defender can be challenging to unlock. This is especially true if you find the sharp edges uncomfortable to hold. (Some customers even went as far as filing the edges down. Oof.)

Despite its occasional drawbacks, most customers love Defender as much as we do.

2. Wyze Lock: Best smart lock

Best smart lock
Wyze Lock
$129.89

 *Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

If you like the idea of a hands-free, keyless door lock for your apartment, then the Wyze Lock is the easiest way to get it. We love how Wyze Lock's Wi-Fi connection makes it easy to unlock with your phone and grant guest access when your family's in town.

pro
Pros
pro Keyed and keyless control
pro Wi-Fi and Bluetooth functionality
pro Easy installation
con
Cons
con Requires batteries
con May not work on some deadbolts

This is a retrofit-style smart lock, which attaches to your existing deadbolt instead of replacing it. On the outside, your lock looks as it always has and still works with your existing keys. But inside, you swap the standard thumbturn with a battery-operated smart device.

Installation is easy—it requires only a screwdriver and a smartphone and takes less than 20 minutes for most folks. You'll need to swap the batteries a couple of times a year—the Wyze app keeps you in the loop when it's time.

After setup, you can use the Wyze app to control the lock, set schedules, and link it to smart home platforms like Amazon Alexa and Google Home.  For even more guest access flexibility, you can snag a Wyze Lock Keypad (about $30) to add access codes for kids without smartphones.

We love how discreet Wyze Lock is and how it still allows your property manager to access your flat for maintenance.

Bell
Wyze Lock Bolt

You can skip remote access for the Bluetooth-only Wyze Lock Bolt (about $80), which boosts a sleek keypad and fingerprint sensor. But there's no keyhole, so you may need to send an access code to your property manager to stay above board.

3. Addalock: Best for budgets

Best for budgets
Addalock The Original Portable Door Lock
Addalock
$31.99

 *Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Known as the "Original Portable Door Lock," the Addalock is the easiest, lowest impact item on our list. It works as a door blocker, hooking onto the existing strike plate on your door, so there's no drilling or changing out the hardware.

pro
Pros
pro Portable design
pro Easy installation
pro Low price tag
con
Cons
con Doesn't fit all doors

Like the Defender Security Lock, you need to ensure there’s enough room between the strike plate on the door frame and the edge of the door itself for the Addalock to slide through. It's even a good travel option for Airbnb and some motels that may not have a chain or swing bar to secure the room while you're inside.

Don't let the $32 list price deter you—the Addalock portable door lock usually costs about $18 on Amazon. You can even score an Addalock two-pack for around $30.

Most complaints from customers are about this lock not fitting their entrance doors, so it's worth the extra time to ensure a good fit. If your latch doesn't match the shape on Addalock, consider AceMining instead—a similar product in our honorable mentions.

4. Kwikset 980: Best deadbolt

Best deadbolt
Kwikset 980 deadbolt
Kwikset 980
$25.43

 *Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

If you want to lock up your belongings when you're away from your apartment, the Kwikset 980 deadbolt is as sturdy as they come. This traditional lock has an ANSI grade 1 rating, the highest rating for a cylinder lock—commercial grade—making it very resistant to bumping and picking.

pro
Pros
pro Highest rating for a cylinder lock
pro SmartKey feature
pro Works with all standard doors
con
Cons
con SmartKey works only with KW1 keys

The 980's SmartKey feature is incredibly helpful since you can rekey your own lock. Now you can upgrade your apartment's deadbolt without giving your landlord another key—just rekey to your existing keys, and you're good to go. There's also a SmartKey Re-keying Kit for easy key swaps.

Keep in mind that SmartKey works only with KW1-type keys, which are common to many locks. You can't use Yale, Schlage, or specialized keys with this feature.

This deadbolt lock typically retails for around $60, though it's often available for less. It's a little pricier than standard deadbolts, but it's worth the investment.

Of course, the base Kwikset 980 is only the tip of the iceberg. Here are a few other highlights from the Kwikset 980 Series:

  • Kwikset 981 is a key-control deadbolt with separate locks for tenants and landlords. It's great for owners wanting a master key while allowing tenants to rekey the primary lock.
  • Kwikset 985 is a double-cylinder lock that swaps the indoor thumbturn for another keyway. This secures doors a burglar might unlock by hand through a nearby broken window.
  • Kwikset 980S is a version without SmartKey—you can't rekey it without a locksmith.
Light Bulb
Kwikset Tylo 400T

To swap out a doorknob for extra security at the front door or a private room in a co-living space, consider the Kwikset Tylo 400T (about $20). It boasts SmartKey features, so you can use the same key as your deadbolt. It's easier to lock yourself out, so keep a spare key with a trusted neighbor.

5. Schlage B81626: Best non-keyed lock

Best non-keyed lock
Schlage B81626 deadbolt

 *Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The Schlage B81626 combines a deadbolt's ease of use with a door jammer's lockout ability. It has a thumbturn on the inside for you—and a solidly blank plate for everyone on the other side. It signals to intruders that there's no picking your lock since there's no keyhole to pick.

pro
Pros
pro No keyhole to pick
pro Works with standard strike plates
pro Works with all standard doors
con
Cons
con Too easy for someone to lock you out of a room
con Not the highest quality certification

This Schlage lock even comes with an ANSI Grade 2 rating, which means it’s incredibly durable against forced entry when properly installed. It isn't the highest quality—but it works with most standard strike plates.

We love this lock for partitioning private living spaces for tenants in a shared apartment. It's an excellent supplement to a locking doorknob or deadbolt in a dorm because you can use it to secure your door while sleeping.

Still, remember that not having a keyhole on the Schlage B81626 is a two-edged blade. For one, it's almost impossible to lock yourself out of an empty room—but it's just as easy for someone else to sequester themselves without your permission. We recommend using it alongside a traditional doorknob lock or deadbolt when you leave for the day.

More apartment locks we considered

AceMining

The AceMining portable door lock (about $13) is a solid alternative to the Addalock for about $5 less but comes with two slots for different latch styles. One slot is for standard US door latches, while the other supports larger, rectangular latches. It's not as well-reviewed as the Addalock, but the expanded latch compatibility is still worth considering if you travel frequently.

August Smart Lock

The August Smart Lock (3rd Gen) (about $150) doesn't come with a Wi-Fi bridge like the Wyze Lock. Instead, you need to shell out another $80 for remote access—or you can upgrade to an August Wi-Fi (about $230) for around the same price. August locks are worth a look if you have the budget, but Wyze's lower price is more appropriate for cash-strapped renters.

Eufy Video Smart Lock

The Eufy S330 Video Smart Lock (about $400) is a video doorbell and smart door lock in the same device. There's even a keypad and fingerprint sensor for easy guest access. Unfortunately, it doesn't retrofit your existing lock, so you'd need to give a key to the property manager. Plus, the exterior keypad may catch the attention of landlords who don't want you messing with the locks.

Level Bolt

We like the Level Bolt (about $200) for its stealthy approach to smart locks. Instead of slapping a large unit on the back of your existing deadbolt, it slips into the borehole between your lock's two halves. The Bolt's biggest drawback is its limited smart home options and lack of Wi-Fi, but at least it works with Apple HomeKit—unlike the Wyze Smart Lock.

Final word

Keeping your apartment safe is surprisingly easy with a lock like Defender. Once mounted with some long screws, it locks your door in place, making it much harder to pry the door open from the outside. It has some design quirks like sharp edges, but it’s an excellent apartment door lock overall.

If you want a high-tech lock, we recommend going with Wyze Lock or heading over to our full smart lock comparison to explore your options. For a temporary option, consider a door security bar.

FAQ

Getting permission to change the locks on your apartment depends on your lease. Some leases allow it, as long as it doesn't cause damage, while others don't. Before making a lock change, check with your landlord or local tenant resource center.

It depends on the types of locks you have in your apartment building. Most doorknob locks and deadbolts are easy to change as a DIY project, but a mortise lock or electronic lock with manual programming may be more complex and require a professional.

The type of lock affects the cost. Smart locks involve more time, labor, and money, while simple knob locks are easier on every front. Expect to pay a locksmith service anywhere from $30 to $300 for a new lock.

You can purchase various sliding door lock and door security bar options to secure your sliding door, and many don't require drilling holes.

If you're locked out, check all possible entry points first for something you possibly left unlocked. If you can't open the door or a window, ask for help from a neighbor or landlord, or call a locksmith.

Our favorite method for avoiding this scenario is hiding a key outside a neighbor's home or apartment. Then you can always get it, but anyone who finds it won't know what it opens.

How we reviewed the best locks for apartments

Most apartment building dwellers want to avoid upsetting their landlords, so we looked for door locks that are easy to install and remove with little to no trace. While we have experience testing smart door locks for other reviews, we have yet to use most of the simple locks above as of this update.

To fill in the gaps, we watched over a dozen installation videos to ensure our apartment security picks are easy to install. We read more than 100 customer reviews to confirm these locks are secure and durable.

Check out our full methodology for more about how we review products.

Related articles


Disclaimers

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided "as is" and is subject to change or removal at any time.

†Google, Google Nest, Google Assistant, and other related marks are trademarks of Google LLC.

John Carlsen
Written by
John Carlsen
John is a technology journalist specializing in smart home devices, security cameras, and home security systems. He has over nine years of experience researching, testing, and reviewing the latest tech—he was the Smart Home Editor for Top Ten Reviews and wrote for ASecureLife before joining SafeWise as a Staff Writer in 2020. John holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications, Journalism emphasis from Utah Valley University. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, photography, cooking, and starting countless DIY projects he has yet to complete.

Recent Articles

woman adjusting thermostat in bright home
10 Best Home Security Systems of 2023
After hundreds of hours of tests and research, plus a combined 50+ years of experience,...
senior man walking by the ocean
Best Medical Alert Systems with GPS
We evaluated more than 75 medical alert systems to bring you the best ones with...
padlock on computer keyboard
Best Identity Theft Protection in 2023
We researched the offerings of five leading identity theft protection services, tallying everything from antivirus...
medical alert products on an illustrated background
8 Best Medical Alert Systems of 2023
See which medical alert system is the best to keep you and your loved one...