Best Door and Window Sensors of 2021

Best overall
Wyze contact sensors
Wyze Sense
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Alexa connectivity
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Peel and stick design
Most versatile
SmartThings door and window sensor
Samsung SmartThings
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Google and Alexa compatibility
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Multipurpose detection
Fewer false alarms
iSmartAlarm door and window sensors
iSmartAlarm
  • Icon Pros  Light
    110dB siren
  • Icon Pros  Light
    IFTTT compatibility

Bottom line: The Wyze choice

The door and window alarms from Wyze Sense come in a pack of four for under $20 from Wyze's website. Other companies charge that much or more for one sensor alone. And we’d guess you have more than one door or window to protect.

Wyze’s sensors are compact and fit in door frames, window sills, and even on 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 Wyze doesn’t hit the mark for you, we’ve got sensors that work with smart home systems, standalone sensors, and more in our list below. Take your pick from the best door window sensors.



Best window and door sensors comparison

Best overall Most versatile Fewer false alarms Best mobile app Best standalone
Wyze Sense and Camera SmartThings Multipurpose SensoriSmartAlarm Sensor Geeni Smart Door and Window Sensors SABRE Elite
Price*$58.99$19.99$44.99$29.99$17.99
Number included41221
Adjustable chime
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
Peel and stick
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
Includes other equipment
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
Smart home compatibilityAmazon Alexa Amazon Alexa,
Google Assistant
Amazon Alexa,
IFTTT
None None

*Amazon.com list price as of 10/09/2020 at 1:23 p.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

How we picked the best door and window sensors

We wanted to feature contact sensors that don’t require monitoring or too many other components. So we started with Amazon reviews from verified customers to find the best candidates. From there, we looked at ease of installation, responsiveness, app navigation, 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.

Reviews: Door and window alarms

Wyze Sense: Best overall

Best overall

Nobody should leave their home unguarded because of their budget. The Wyze Sense Starter Kit lands around $20 on its own, but we recommend the Wyze Sense Starter Kit and Camera for $50 to create a complete home system at an affordable price point.

The Wyze contact sensors stick to door frames and windows, but they also fit unconventional spots like a keep safe box or a liquor cabinet. Your imagination is your only limit. And with the handy Wyze Cam, you can check in if a sensor alerts you that someone is where they shouldn’t be.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Affordable bulk sensor price
Pro Bullet Camera included
Pro Bullet Alexa integration
Pro Bullet Small size fits anywhere
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No professional monitoring

The sensors send a notification when their magnetic field breaks by opening the door or window. The Wyze app lets you name each device in your home so you’ll know which entrance opened instantly.

Read our full review of the Wyze Sense starter kit to take a deeper dive.

Samsung SmartThings: Most versatile

The Samsung SmartThings Multi-Purpose Sensor knows when your doors open or close like any other contact sensor. But this versatile device can also tell you when it senses vibrations, falls at an odd angle, or senses temperature out of the ordinary.

All of this means it’s more than a simple contact sensor or motion sensor. If someone tampers with it or it’s exposed to extreme temperatures (like those in a house fire), the SmartThings app would let you know immediately.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Smart features and connectivity
Pro Bullet Long battery life
Pro Bullet Multifunctional sensor
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Short range
Con Bullet Requires SmartThings hub

The SmartThings sensors connect through your home’s wireless network to the SmartThings Hub. Folks with larger homes may need a range extender to boost the signal between devices. These window and door sensors need to be within 30 to 50 feet to communicate with the hub, so choose the most vulnerable areas in your home and cover those first.

The final cost of contact sensors comes down to how many sensors you want in one purchase and what you want them to detect. If you want a sensor that detects more than just an open door or window, the SmartThings is the smart choice for an affordable price. But opting for super smart sensors will mean you end up paying more for each piece of equipment than for our top pick Wyze.

iSmartAlarm: Fewer false alarms

Fewer false alarms

Each iSmartAlarm door and window sensor uses wireless communication to “speak” to other smart devices in your house so you’ll get fewer false alarms. It can reach other devices up to 320 feet away and sends a text when it detects unauthorized use.

This sensor is easy to install and move around the house too. Use double-sided tape to stick this alarm to your windows, door frames, cabinets, and other entryways. So as the baby gains mobility or an area goes off-limits, you’ll know when someone’s entering an area they shouldn’t.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Easy installation
Pro Bullet Works with iSmartAlarm devices
Pro Bullet Wireless communication
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Not tamper-proof
Con Bullet Short wireless connection

The iSmartAlarm contact sensor is compatible with a suite of other motion sensors, indoor security cameras, and the whole iSmartAlarm system. This standalone system doesn't require contracts or monthly monitoring, making it easy to self monitor your home from anywhere.

And while the price may throw you off initially, it comes in packs of two, making it around the same price as the SmartThings sensor.

Geeni: Best mobile app

Like Wyze, SmartThings, and iSmartAlarm, the Geeni Smart Door and Window Sensors connect to your Wi-Fi and send you alerts through an app.

They don’t require a hub to activate, making them a good option for standalone security. If you have a teen who sneaks out at night or kids who come home early from school, these sensors can tell you when the front doors open and close.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet No hub required
Pro Bullet Wireless communication
Pro Bullet Installation materials included
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Pricey for limited capabilities
Con Bullet Poor smart home compatibility

The Geeni contact sensor is smart, but not smart enough to connect with Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple HomeKit. So when you install one in your home with the included adhesives or screws, it truly does stand alone, so it’s better for solving specific problems than boosting home security or automation.

SABRE Elite: Best standalone

Best standalone

The SABRE Elite door and window sensors trade smart features for budget-friendly practicality. These contact sensors don’t come with an app or wireless abilities like the others in our lineup, but they do have some unique features.

This SABRE contact sensor has a programmable four-digit panel that prevents intruders from disabling or turning them off. The blaring alarm reaches 120 dB, which is about as loud as a police siren. But if you want something easier on the ears, you can change the alarm to silent mode or chirps.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Affordable price
Pro Bullet Loud adjustable alarm
Pro Bullet Simple design
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No app included
Con Bullet No wireless abilities

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

Top door and window sensors with security systems

The following sensors are accessories to larger home security systems and require you to purchase monthly monitoring. Comprehensive security offers more protection, but it does come with a steeper price tag.

Best battery lifeBest for large homesMost choices
VivintFrontpointLink Interactive
VivintFrontpointLink Interactive
Pros
Icon Yes  LightLong battery life
Icon Yes  LightSupports 30+ sensors
Icon Yes  LightChoose your own equipment
Cons
Icon No  LightTemperature limits
Icon No  LightNot tamper-proof
Icon No  LightNeeds monitoring

Vivint: Best battery life

Best battery life

Vivint is known for its innovative approach to home automation and technology, and its door and window sensors are no exception.

You’d have to purchase these contact sensors along with the rest of a Vivint system. But installation is done by pros and the sensors recess into your door or window frame. These recessed sensors are unique from our top DIY choices that stick to windows and door frames. Plus, these sensors come with a cover and anchor screws to keep intruders from disarming the device, making them discrete, permanent, and tamper-proof.

Vivint’s door and window alarms wirelessly stay in contact with your main security panel from 350 feet away. If the device senses someone tampering with your doors, windows, or cabinets, it sends an alert to the security panel.

Learn more about the entire system by reading our full Vivint review.

Frontpoint: Best for large homes

Best for large homes

The Frontpoint door and window sensors are made for windows and doors, as well as gun, liquor, and medicine cabinets. After all, sometimes you need to protect your loved ones from threats already inside the home. These sensors are under an inch wide and two inches high, making them easy to place in less obvious places around the house.

Unfortunately, they aren’t tamper-proof like Vivint’s contact sensors. They use a peel-off adhesive that could be easy for intruders to remove. It’d be nice to see an optional mounting bracket available to make tampering harder.

Our Frontpoint review will give you more information on this sensor and the rest of the system.

Link Interactive: Most choices

Link Interactive offers a few different types of door and window sensors. They have recessed sensors that slip into window frames and door jambs, standard window and door sensors, or devices meant to detect tilting (perfect for garages).

Link Interactive’s products are DIY, making their home security systems more customizable without giving up professional monitoring.

Having the pros on your side is helpful in an emergencies like break-ins, but it raises the price significantly (especially if you just want a contact sensor).

Our Link Interactive review has more details.

Before you buy door/window sensors

Smart features and automation

If you like to stay connected to your home while you’re away, consider door and window sensors with mobile apps and alerts. Most of the sensors we chose in our lineup connect to your home’s Wi-Fi and can send updates directly to your phone.

Your smart assistant (Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant) can connect to home devices like door sensors. You can include one that plays well with others in automations like turning off the lights when a door closes or triggering a camera when the door opens.

Location and fit

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.

The type of door frame you have may also affect the sensors. 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, be sure each piece aligns comfortably before finishing your installation.

Alerts and notifications

If a door opens and nobody’s home to answer, does it make a sound? It does if you have mobile alerts or notifications through your contact sensor. These devices aren’t locks, so they’re best paired with devices like smart locks.

Contact sensors are helpful for knowing when a door opens or closes whether you’re home or not. Some contact sensors let you set chimes and sounds that trigger when the sensor goes off. Others send you push notifications to your phone when they activate.

Door/window sensors FAQ

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

Most door and window sensors use magnets to create a field when closed. Once that field breaks, the sensor triggers and sends you an alert or sounds an alarm.

Incorrectly installing your contact sensors can interfere with this field and cause false alarms. So make sure both pieces of the sensor are level and within range of each other when you install them.

Curious about how other motion sensors work? Our Beginner's Guide to Motion Sensors outlines the basics for you.

For sensors that use an app, you can check it on your phone. Others 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 or the magnetic pieces to make sure they’re aligned.

Some of the most popular brands of door and window sensors have contact sensors included in their packages. Companies like RingNest, and Frontpoint all have smart contact sensors, but they tend to work better in tandem with a full system.

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Disclaimer

*Amazon.com list price as of 10/09/2020 at 1:23 p.m. (MT). 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.

Katie McEntire
Written by
Katie McEntire
Katie McEntire has tested home security systems in her own apartment, installed GPS trackers in her own car, and watched her cat, Toki, nap all day through a live nanny cam feed. As an expert reviewer, she believes that firsthand experience is the best way to learn about new products (even if it requires being the guinea pig). She specializes in pet safety and DIY security and has contributed to publications like DigitalCare.org and TechGuySmartBuy.