Best Door and Window Sensors of 2021

We looked at seven contact sensors that don't require monitoring and are easy to install.
Best overall
YoLink
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Alexa, Google, and IFTTT compatible
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Comes with hub
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Siren costs extra
Best small sensors
Aqara
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Alexa, HomeKit, and IFTTT compatible
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Requires hub
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Siren in hub
Best budget
GE
4 out of 5 stars
4
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Not smart home compatible
  • Icon Pros  Light
    No hub required
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Loud siren
Best for HomeKit
Eve
4 out of 5 stars
4
  • Icon Pros  Light
    HomeKit compatible
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Hub recommended
  • Icon Cons  Light
    No siren
Best for Z-Wave
Ecolink
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Z-Wave compatible
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Requires hub
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Siren costs extra

A contact sensor is one of the simplest ways to create a security perimeter around your home. This tiny device helps you know when a window's open or a door's ajar. Our top door and window sensor pick is the YoLink Smart Home Starter Kit, which uses a hub to connect to your internet router for mobile app controls. It comes with four long-range sensors, and it's surprisingly affordable to add more.

Like the other entries on this list, there's no professional monitoring available, but that's better left to a dedicated home security system (which also uses entry sensors). Check out our door and window sensor picks below.



Compare the best window and door sensors

Product
Price
Number included
Smart home compatibility
Chime or siren
Dimensions
Learn more
Best overall
YoLink
4Amazon, Google, IFTTT
Icon Yes  LightAdd-on
3.3 x 1.2 x 0.6 in.
Best small sensors
Aqara
1Amazon, Apple, Google, IFTTT, Zigbee
Icon Yes  LightIn hub
1.6 x 0.9 x 0.4 in.
Best budget
GE
4None
Icon Yes  LightBuilt-in
2.4 x 1.6 x 0.6 in.
Best for HomeKit
Eve
1Apple
Icon No  LightNone
2.1 x 1.0 x 0.9 in.
Best for Z-Wave
Ecolink
1Z-Wave
Icon Yes  LightAdd-on
3.4 x 1.0 x 1.0 in.

*Amazon.com list price as of 10/11/2021 at 3:15 p.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

Reviews: Door and window alarms

1. YoLink Smart Home Starter Kit: Best overall

Best overall
YoLink Smart Home Starter Kit
Our Rating
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
$89.99

Amazon.com list price as of 10/11/2021 at 3:15 p.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

The YoLink Smart Home Starter Kit uses a unique long-range radio frequency for its sensors, sending a signal as far as a quarter-mile (1,320 feet). Compared to the shorter range of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices, this is super flexible for large properties.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Long-range sensors
Pro Bullet Affordable add-on sensors
Pro Bullet Alexa, Google, and IFTTT compatibility
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Sensors not rated for outdoor use
Con Bullet Adding a siren costs extra

While YoLink looks expensive from the outset, it's actually affordable on closer inspection. Sure, the list price is around $90, but it consistently sells for about $50–65 on Amazon. Considering you get four sensors, this often drives the per-sensor cost under $15. Add-on sensors are also very affordable, costing less than $20 each in a one-pack or a three-pack.

We're big fans of YoLink's straightforward mobile app and smart home compatibility. The smart home hub works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT, so you can ask for the status of your sensors anytime or program smart devices like smart lights to react when a door opens. Google Assistant doesn't respond to sensors like Alexa and IFTTT, but you can still check the status using a voice command.

YoLink doesn't come with a siren, which limits how non-app users in your home learn about a potential intruder. Fortunately, you can create an Alexa routine to share notifications via a smart speaker. You can also buy an add-on siren for around $30 if you're not interested in building a smart home.

YoLink is easy to set up with the app, and you install everything with a speedy adhesive pad. The sensors that come with the kit aren't for outdoor use, so you likely won't use them at maximum range. That doesn't stop some users from placing them in mailboxes for handy notifications. Still, YoLink sells an add-on outdoor sensor for around $30 if you want something more durable.

Overall, YoLink offers a great experience for folks looking to create a security perimeter around their property. The bundle of sensors is fairly affordable, and the quarter-mile range is a huge advantage over other smart entry sensors. While some drawbacks exist, YoLink's accessories help make up the difference if you can spend some extra cash.

Bell
Alerts and notifications

If a door opens and nobody's home to answer, does it make a sound? It does if your contact sensor sends mobile alerts or notifications. Some contact sensors let you set chimes and sounds that trigger when the sensor goes off. Others send push notifications to your phone when they activate. These devices aren't locks, so consider pairing them with a smart lock.

2. Aqara Door and Window Sensor Plus Aqara Hub: Best small sensor

Best small sensor

Amazon.com list price as of 10/11/2021 at 3:15 p.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

Aqara sells the smallest smart sensor on our list—it's shorter, narrower, and thinner in every way—and the batteries last up to two years. This makes it an ideal option for places where larger sensors won't fit. It uses a hub to manage multiple door and window sensors, but that adds a lot to the overall price and keeps it behind YoLink.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Smallest sensors on our list
Pro Bullet Tons of smart home platform options
Pro Bullet Affordable add-on sensors
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Requires pricey Aqara Smart Hub
Con Bullet Doesn't always work with other Zigbee hubs

The Aqara app is easy enough to use, but we think this brand's bigger strength lies in how it links to other smart devices. We love Aqara's smart home compatibility with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, IFTTT, and Zigbee. This makes Aqara a little more flexible than YoLink, though it's not cross-compatible with most other Zigbee hubs. Still, we think this is a great door and window sensor option for most smart homes.

Although we take issue with the Aqara Smart Hub costing around $50 by itself without sensors, we're glad that it comes with a built-in siren to help you listen for intruders. It also has LED lights you can use as a strobe alarm or nightlight. The hub doesn't come with any sensors, but at least it's affordable to add more Aqara door sensors (about $18 each).

Overall, we think Aqara is a good alternative to YoLink as long as you don't mind spending extra on the hub. Still, its tiny sensors, loud alarm, and excellent smart home options make it worth your consideration.

Notepad
Smart sensors for your smart home

Your sensor can help trigger other devices if you connect it to a smart home. You can try different automation routines like linking closet lights to the closet door, turning off the AC when there's an open window, or triggering a camera when the door opens.

3. GE Personal Security: Best budget

Best budget
GE Personal Security
Our Rating
4 out of 5 stars
4
$18.19

Amazon.com list price as of 10/11/2021 at 3:15 p.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

The GE Personal Security door and window alarm trades smart features for budget-friendly practicality. This security sensor doesn't come with an app or wireless abilities like the others in our lineup but costs around $5 a pop when you buy the multi-pack.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Affordable multi-pack
Pro Bullet 120 dB siren
Pro Bullet Door chime mode
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No smart home compatibility
Con Bullet No mobile app

We recommend using this for off-limits areas like sheds and storage units or in areas that are dangerous or private. So while you'll miss out on app notifications, it won't be hard to hear if the alarm sounds.

The blaring alarm reaches 120 dB, which is about as loud as a police siren. If you want something easier on the ears, you can change the alarm to silent mode or chime. We think the door chime is a nice addition to busy homes so you can know when the kids head out to soccer practice.

GE even sells a Deluxe Wireless Door Alarm with a programmable four-digit keypad that prevents intruders from disabling or turning them off. But it isn't as affordable as the base version.

Overall, we like GE Personal Security's simplicity for folks that don't want a mobile app or smart home controls. It's even a great supplement to pricier smart sensors so you can place those on high-priority doors and windows while using the GE almost anywhere else.

Light Bulb
Where can I put my contact sensor?

Where you install your sensors changes the way they function. Window and door frames are the most common places for contact sensors, but they also fit on medicine cabinets, drawers, safes, the refrigerator, or anything that opens and closes.

4. Eve Door and Window: Best for HomeKit

Best for HomeKit
Eve Door and Window
Our Rating
4 out of 5 stars
4
$39.95

Amazon.com list price as of 10/11/2021 at 3:15 p.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

The Eve Door and Window is one of the best ways to add a contact sensor to an Apple smart home. Its compatibility with HomeKit means you can control it with the Apple Home app without downloading any extra apps on your iPhone—you can also ask Siri to check the status.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Apple Home app compatibility
Pro Bullet Spacers for magnet included
Pro Bullet Activity-tracking statistics
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Remote access requires Apple Home Hub
Con Bullet Only for iOS devices
Con Bullet No siren

While the Eve app isn't necessary to use these sensors, it's the only way to view statistics like time and duration of sensor activity since Apple Home doesn't track that information. You also need it to install the occasional firmware update. Still, Apple Home is the better option for using the sensor, thanks to its customizable notifications and rules for how the sensor interacts with another smart device.

Installing Eve

Eve, like other entry sensors, installs using a simple adhesive pad. But it goes a step further by including spacers to help align the magnet with the sensor. This is a nice touch because it's sometimes difficult to align the magnet on thicker window frames.

Although the Eve sensor works without a hub, your phone needs to be in Bluetooth range to communicate with the device. You need an Apple Home Hub like the HomePod Mini, Apple TV, or iPad at home if you want to check the sensor from anywhere, which adds to this sensor's already high price.

Eve is expensive

Because Eve is a standalone sensor without a hub, it costs more than hub-centric sensors from YoLink and Aqara. While these other brands have cheap add-on sensors, you'll pay the same $40 every time you expand your Eve system. It also doesn't have an Android app—you must use an iOS device. There's no siren on this unit (or even the option to add one).

Overall, we think Eve is the best way to add a door and window sensor or two to an Apple home. Beyond that, you might consider Aqara, which is more affordable for HomeKit systems with lots of sensors. If you're an Android user, then YoLink is the better option.

Checklist
Where can I put my contact sensor?

The type of door frame you have may affect the sensor placement. Doors with raised molding around them may put the sensors out of range of each other and create false alarms. Wherever you install your door and window sensors, ensure each piece aligns comfortably before finishing your installation.

5. Ecolink: Best for Z-Wave

Best for Z-Wave
Ecolink DWZWAVE2.5-ECO
Our Rating
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
$49.99

Amazon.com list price as of 10/11/2021 at 3:15 p.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

Ecolink is a great example of why Z-Wave is such a potent smart home platform. It has a long-lasting battery and works with nearly every alarm system or smart home hub out there. If you already have a compatible hub, this is a reliable way to expand your system.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Battery lasts up to 3 years
Pro Bullet Comes with white and brown case options
Pro Bullet Works with wired security systems
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Pricey
Con Bullet Requires Z-Wave hub

This Z-Wave door sensor's battery lasts up to three years—longer than the one- to two-year lifespan of most other sensors on our list. Unlike power-hungry Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, Z-Wave is specific to smart home systems, so it doesn't use much energy when there's nothing to sense.

Another thing we like about Ecolink is that it comes with two cases in the box—white and brown—so you can choose one that blends into your home more easily. This is a nice change of pace compared to the predominantly white color of smart devices.

Wiring terminals

The wireless door sensor also has a trick up its sleeve. There are wiring terminals inside that connect to existing wired security systems. We know wired systems are rare these days, but it's nice to have a reliable way to maintain those older systems if their sensors stop working.

Still, Ecolink doesn't come with a hub, so you need something like the Aeotec Smart Home Hub, which uses the SmartThings app. These types of hubs aren't cheap, which is why Ecolink ranks so low on our list. Overall, Ecolink is a reliable choice for folks using Z-Wave but is expensive if you don't already use a smart hub.

More door and window sensors we considered

Geeni

The Geeni Wi-Fi door sensor is smart; it works with Alexa and Google Assistant. But it isn't smart enough to connect with Apple HomeKit and IFTTT. Although Geeni comes with built-in Wi-Fi—you don't need a hub—we think YoLink is a better option overall.

Overall, Geeni's a good option for standalone security, and it comes in a two-pack for around $30. If you have a teen who sneaks out at night or kids who come home early from school, this sensor can tell you when the front door opens and closes.

Kangaroo

The Kangaroo Motion + Entry Sensor was out of stock as we wrote this review so it didn't make our top five this year. Still, it's a nifty little Wi-Fi sensor that doesn't require a hub for around $30. We love that it has a built-in motion sensor so you can watch for activity inside your home.

It works with Alexa and Google too, but you need to pay for a monitoring subscription to unlock smart home and enhanced text message and phone call notifications. A subscription is not required for mobile app notifications.

Learn more in our Kangaroo review.

Wyze

We previously featured Wyze as our top pick for door and window alarm sensors, but the system's latest version leans heavily into paid professional monitoring. You must pay for monitoring when you buy the starter kit, even if you plan to watch the sensors yourself.

Overall, Wyze's add-on sensors are the cheapest on the market, costing only $10 each in a three-pack. Unfortunately, Wyze isn't a great fit for folks looking to keep starting costs low.

Learn more in our Wyze Home Monitoring review.

Final word

YoLink is a great starting point if you want to add multiple smart door and window sensors around the house without a home security system. The starter kit comes with four sensors, and it's cheap to add more in larger homes. We like YoLink's broad smart home compatibility that gives you notifications on your phone or smart speaker.

The sensors are compact and fit on door frames, window sills, and even cookie jars (for those cookie thieves in your house). Whatever you want to keep closed, these devices make it easy and cheap to do. If you're looking for entry sensors with professional monitoring and companion security devices, we recommend checking out our list of the best home security systems.

FAQ

The more door and window sensors in your home, the more control you have. At a minimum, we recommend placing a door and window sensor at every main entrance (front, back, patio doors, etc.) and large ground floor windows.

You don't need sensors on picture windows that don't open—a glass break sensor is better for monitoring these kinds of windows.

Most door and window sensors use magnets to activate a tiny reed switch when closed. If the magnet moves out of range, the switch moves out of alignment, and the sensor sends you an alert or sounds an alarm.

Incorrectly installing a magnetic sensor can reduce reliability and cause false alarms. So keep both pieces of the sensor level and within range of each other when you install them. If you install them on a door, check that they don't hit each other or the door when opening the door.

Curious about how motion sensors work? Our motion sensor guide outlines the basics for you.

For a smart door sensor that uses an app, you can test it on your phone. Other types may have an additional test button you can press to test the alarm or chirp of the sensor. It's smart to test your sensors in person before trusting them with your home alone.

If the sensor doesn't work, check the batteries and the alignment of the magnetic pieces.

All security systems—like Ring, Wyze, and Frontpoint—include contact sensors in their alarm sensor arsenals.

How do I install door and window sensors?

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How we reviewed door and window sensors

We wanted to feature contact sensors that don't require monitoring or too many other components. So we started with online reviews to find the best candidates. Most of the sensors we chose in our lineup connect to your home's Wi-Fi and send updates directly to your phone.

From there, we looked at the price per sensor, user experience, ease of installation, mobile app support, smart home compatibility, and other factors that make the best door and window sensors.

Learn more about how we conduct reviews, like this one, in our full methodology.

Related articles on SafeWise


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 eight 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.

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  • Joseph Vaughn

    Geeni says they do connect with Alexa and Google. Is the compatibility limited? If this is a change since this article, how does that affect their rating?

  • AnnSay

    I was looking for something simple for my rent apartment. I could not make any changes to the furnish of the apartment. An inexpensive system with easy installation of motion sensors and window / door sensors has become a great solution for me.

    • Rebecca Edwards

      I have three systems that will probably meet your needs:
      —The brand new Wyze Sense system that has a starter kit for $19.99 and some of the smallest sensors we’ve seen.

      —The Ring Alarm system is a little more expensive (around $200), but I know several renters who are currently using it and like it. This one comes with optional pro monitoring, too.

      —Scout is another security system perfect for renters. The start kit is around $230, but you have optional monitoring here, which can be a good perk if you want it.

      We’ve also ranked the best home security systems for renters, if you want to learn about more options: https://www.safewise.com/best-home-security-system/renters/

      Hope that helps!