As you clean your home to protect your family from the new coronavirus and COVID-19, remember to take a few seconds to wipe down the doorknobs and locks around your home. For more information on how to disinfect your home, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have a helpful article about cleaning and disinfecting your house.
Using your fingerprint to unlock the front door may seem like sci-fi, but the future is here! We pushed through all the high-tech razzle-dazzle to find the best smart and electronic keyless door locks for your home.
We compared prices, security ratings, customer reviews, and ease of use to pick the most secure electronic locks for your front or back door.
To find the best electronic locks, we reviewed twenty locks for overall security, functionality, reliability, and customer satisfaction. We considered national standards for lock security as well as expert ratings and customer reviews. More than twenty hours of independent research went into comparing and contrasting the benefits and downsides of each lock to determine our top five.
For top-notch protection, you can’t beat the Schlage Connect. This smart lock is one of the most expensive on our list (averaging around $170), but it delivers on both convenience and security. This keyless lock comes with the highest security rating of any door lock we considered.
The Schlage Connect boasts ANSI/BHMA Grade 1 certification, which is the highest rating available. But even though you can connect this lock to a home automation hub with Z-Wave, there’s no app you can use independent of a smart home hub. That means that if you want to control your lock remotely through your phone, you’ll also need to invest in a smart home hub.
August is the undisputed leader when it comes to smart locks, and this third-generation offering doesn’t disappoint. Enjoy remote control, low battery alerts, and a secure Bluetooth connection that doesn’t eat up your Wi-Fi data.
And when it comes to looks, this lock stands out. Because it installs on the inside of your door, you’ll appreciate the unobtrusive modern design that complements most home décor.
The August Smart Lock works with existing deadbolts, which is convenient. However, it isn’t compatible with all deadbolt models, so make sure yours is compatible before making the investment.
Home automation compatibility
Simple mobile app
No security ratings
Expensive price point
Buggy location awareness feature
Additional hub purchase required for multiple locks
The Yale Assure Lock uses Z-Wave technology to work with more than fifty home automation brands and features an easy-to-use touchscreen that is backlit. You can program and save up to 250 entry codes—more codes than any other lock on our list.
This keypad door lock also comes with a privacy setting that lets you disable some or all codes for a specified amount of time. This feature could come in handy for a few reasons, but our favorite scenario is locking out teens who try to sneak in (or out) after curfew.
Although the backlit touchscreen is attractive, users express concern about wear and leftover fingerprints that could tip off a thief.
Kwikset is one of the most well-known names in home locks, and this Bluetooth smart lock combines the look of their conventional keyed locks with high-tech functionality.
Kevo uses Bluetooth to sense when you’re approaching the door, which engages the touch-to-open feature that lets you lock and unlock your door with just one touch. You don’t need to fumble for your phone or key fob—those can stay tucked in your pocket or purse.
But despite the trusted Kwikset name, the Kevo lock isn’t a customer favorite. This lock has a 2.8-star rating on Amazon, with more than 800 reviews. Reliability, slow response time, and glitches with the app are among the top concerns.
The SoHoMiLL Electronic Door Knob is the perfect starter electronic door lock. This electronic keypad lock is affordable (under $50) and works with both left- and right-hinged doors.
Even though it doesn’t offer Bluetooth connectivity or smart home functions, it’s a customer favorite. Because it doesn’t require a smartphone or Wi-Fi connection, it makes keyless entry an option for everyone.
But we wish it could hold more codes—you can only store up to eight, compared to hundreds on other electronic lock models. And this isn’t a deadbolt, so it adds more convenience than extra security.
This newcomer to the smart lock scene gives you a keyless lock option from the SimpliSafe ecosystem. Previously, you had to pair your SimpliSafe home security system with an August or Yale lock.
In addition to keyless entry, the SimpliSafe Smart Lock alerts you whenever someone locks or unlocks the door. You can also set a schedule so the door automatically locks after you head out for work or school each day.
Because the SimpliSafe Smart Lock works with your current deadbolt (like the August Smart Lock), it doesn’t have a security rating. Make sure to verify that your existing deadbolt is compatible before making a purchase.
Door locks and deadbolts offer varying levels of security and convenience. And they’re the first line of defense for your home and family, so they need to be reliable. Here’s how to see past the smart home smoke and mirrors and find the best smart lock for your needs.
Door Lock Security Ratings
There are industry standards in place ensure your locks work now and for years to come. The ANSI/BHMA (American National Standards Institute/Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association) grading system is the most common rating used to provide consumers with quality assurance when it comes to the keyless door locks you use to protect your home.
These organizations put consumer locks like these through a series of tests to determine operational function, pull strength, key torque cycles, and impact resistance. Look for locks with an ANSI/BHMA Grade 1 or Grade 2 for the best security.
Electronic Keyless Door Lock Connectivity Types
When it comes to how your smart lock works, there are a lot of mysterious words thrown around (Z-Wave, RFID, etc.). To help you know exactly what you’re getting, here’s a quick reference that demystifies these technical terms.
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID): Use a key fob or card for entry. Radio waves from the key card communicate with the lock to allow entry.
Bluetooth: Similar to RFID locks, these devices use your smartphone’s Bluetooth ID to unlock the door as you approach.
Z-Wave: Opens doors with a mesh network made of different devices that talk to each other. The more smart tech you have, the stronger this network becomes.
Convenience vs. Security
Smart locks can make our lives simpler, but are they really a security upgrade?
Convenience: Remote access and monitoring, no more spare keys, and hands-free entry are all big perks that smart locks offer. When you’re coming in with an armload of groceries or letting in the dog walker from somewhere else, you can’t beat a smart lock. In essense, smart locks are about convenience.
Security: While smart locks aren’t stronger than traditional locks, they do control who has access to your home and when. Locks that let you program codes for users, and disable them as needed, give you much more security than traditional keys.
How to Fake a Smart Lock
If your budget can’t stomach a full new smart lock system right now, consider supplementing your regular lock with smart lock accessories. These products grant you strong security and modern convenience without fully replacing your current lock.
What We Love
Where to Find It
Sesame Smart Lock
Haven Connect Smart Lock
Turns a regular lock into a smart lock Installs easily Features military-grade encryption
Supplements deadbolt security Offers hands-free entry Notifies you of tampering or attempted break-in
Doesn’t function as a lock on its own Comes with a high price tag
Requires additional purchases for full functionality
How an Electric Door Lock Can Lead to a Smart Home
WARNING: Smart locks can lead to experimentation with other smart home technology. These automated door locks are often the gateway to more smart products.
An electronic door lock can be the first step toward a fully automated smart home. People who are skeptical or intimidated by home automation often find a smart lock easier to understand, which makes them more likely to give it a try.
Once they experience the benefits of a keyless lock, they just can’t wait to make something else smart. It could be something as simple as a crock pot or something more advanced like smart lighting or a smart thermostat. Before you know it, they’re seeking out smart home hubs like Amazon Alexa or Google Home so they can control all their smart devices with the sound of their voice.
If you find yourself sliding down the slippery slope of smart home automation, do it the right way.
Find the right smart home products for your lifestyle.
Yes, but biggest difference is that a smart door lock could be hacked remotely, which means a burglar no longer has to be on-site to bypass your lock. However, most hackers aren’t interested in breaking into homes when they can target bigger fish for similar effort.
Considering the downfalls of traditional locks (losing keys, having the lock picked), the risks aren’t any greater—and they may actually be less likely to occur.
Does a smart lock tip off burglars?
Smart locks don’t use a standard key tumbler, so they look different than other door locks. Some believe the sleek, modern look of smart locks can signal to a burglar that you like to spend money on fancy gadgets.
But this is speculation and there’s no evidence to support that fear. If this concerns you, seek out a smart lock that looks more like a traditional deadbolt.
*Amazon.com list price as of 3/18/20 3:25 p.m. MST. Product prices and availability are accurate as of this date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any prices 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.
Written by Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past six. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month testing and evaluating security products and strategies. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her work and contributions in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, HGTV, MSN, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips. Learn more