The SentrySafe SFW123GDC sets the standard for home safes. It’s fire and water resistant, so whether your valuables face fire, flood, or gravity, this SentrySafe is tough enough to protect them. You can purchase sizes from 0.82 to 2.05 cubic feet, which is enough room to store piles of files, records, binders, and more. See how other home safes stack up to SentrySafe in our side-by-side comparison.
Best Home Safes
The bottom line: Water, fire, and theft are no match for SentrySafe
The best home safes of 2021
Compare home safes
|Best Overall||Best for Basics||Best for Budget||Best Biometric Safe||Best Gun Safe|
AmazonBasics Home Keypad Safe
Verifi Smart Safe
|List price *|
Up to 2.05 cu. ft.
Up to 1.80 cu. ft.
Up to 0.61 cu. ft.
0.85 cu. ft.
0.29 cu. ft.
|View on Amazon||View on Amazon||View on Amazon||View on Amazon||View on Amazon|
Amazon.com prices as of 12/10/20 04:24 pm MST. See full disclaimer.
How we picked the best home safes
To start, we considered what we’d want to see in a home safe. We eliminated flimsy key lockboxes and large gun safes to make sure our candidates were a suitable size for most consumers.
We also looked for safes with backup keys, biometric scanners, and keyless entry to avoid getting locked out (or the wrong person getting in). We looked through top-rated products and compared their prices and features side by side to see which safes stood out.
Check out our full methodology to learn more about how we ranked home safes and other best-of lineups on SafeWise.com.
Reviews: Best small home safes
SentrySafe SFW123GDC: Best overall home safe
The SentrySafe SFW123GDC is a heavy-duty, tough-as-nails security safe. It’s designed to withstand up to an hour in scorching hot fire (up to 1700℉), survive falls up to 15 feet, and withstand close to a foot of water.
You can order this SentrySafe model as an old school combination lock or with a digital keypad. Either way, it comes with a backup key to open the safe manually. It also comes in sizes ranging from 0.82 to 2.05 cubic feet.
Its hardware is impressive too. This SentrySafe has four live-locking bolts, pry-resistant hinges, a locking drawer, and even an interior light inside. And it’s all made with steel, which explains why this safe doesn’t come with mounting options (it’s a whopping 87 pounds).
AmazonBasics Home Keypad Safe: Best home safe for basics
The AmazonBasics safe is made of heavy-duty carbon-steel with an 8-gauge steel door and pry-resistant hinges. For a box that holds under 2 cubic feet, it weighs almost 40 pounds, making this dense home safe a reliable first line of defense for your jewelry and heirlooms.
This security safe made our top three for several reasons. It’s strong, simple, and holds a substantial amount. It isn’t as tough as the SentrySafe and isn’t fire or water resistant, but it’s no cardboard box.
It comes with four pre-drilled holes in the back for wall or floor mounting too. You can open it from any angle with its keyless electronic lock (but it still comes with a spare key for emergencies). We also like that it has a shelf inside to keep your valuables organized.
SentrySafe 1160: Best home safe for a budget
The SentrySafe 1160 provides protection and portability for your valuables. It’s the perfect size for bank deposits or important documents that need to travel with you.
It uses a simple key lock and is small enough to hide in closets, underneath desks, and just about anywhere. It’s large enough to fit a small pistol, making it a good candidate for a portable gun safe.
This SentrySafe is also fireproof classified by Underwriters Laboratories to withstand 1550°F for up to 30 minutes. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have the same durability against water or tampering.
Verifi Smart Safe: Best Biometric Safe
Home security is an investment, so sometimes it’s worth dropping a little more cash to keep your valuables safe.
The Verifi Smart Safe costs a lot, but it comes with some serious credentials. Its biometric fingerprint scanner is FBI certified, and it has tamper alerts and an auto-lock feature. You can store up to 40 unique prints in it too. This makes Verifi a smart choice for offices, stores, or other facilities with multiple users who all need access.
And while it’s not resistant to fire or water, it’s tamper resistant and mountable, making it easy to deter intruders.
Barska Mini: Best Gun Safe
It can hold up to 0.29 cubic feet, enough for a pistol, ammo, and cleaning tools. It’s tamper resistant and mountable, so it’s easy to keep out of the reach of curious children or intruders.
Things to consider before buying a home safe
If you do an internet search for “home safe,'' the results can be overwhelming. Some are built specifically for guns, while others offer protection from fire, tampering, or water—and then there’s the lock type to consider while you’re at it.
To start, you’ll need to determine what type of safe is best for you: a floor safe, a wall safe, or a bedside safe. Then find one with the lock type that fits your needs and budget.
Types of safes
When safe shopping, consider your goal—do you want to hide heirlooms or important documents? Do you need a quickly accessible gun for emergencies? Your answer will impact cost and storage location.
If you have a small floor plan and can make modifications to your home, a wall safe might be right for you. Wall safes can hide behind doors or portraits without taking up too much floor space. If you do opt for a wall safe, make sure that it’s mounted between the studs in the wall.
If you don’t want to make alterations to your home, a floor safe is a great alternative to putting a hole in your wall. These safes secure to the floor for enhanced defense against thieves. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit in tight, hidden spaces. If you want to bolt your floor safe down, hard surfaces like concrete are best.
Bedside safes, such as biometric gun safes, are more secure than simply keeping a weapon on your nightstand. These safes ensure that your gun won’t end up in the wrong hands, and they open quickly should you need your weapon.
Hidden safes are home safes in disguise. Usually camouflaged as books, they’re perfect for keeping valuables hidden in plain sight. They’re discreet and light, making them portable for travel and moving. This also means they don’t store a ton of stuff, but they’re generally large enough to hide documents like passports and birth certificates.
Types of locks
A lock can run on batteries, Wi-Fi, or an AC adapter. Be sure to check for a low battery alert or backup key if you opt for a safe that requires a power source.
This is a highly secure lock. It scans and then reads your fingerprint, and it opens only if the print matches one within the fingerprint memory. Some safes hold multiple prints for multiple users, so be sure the safe you chose suits the number of people using it.
Thanks to its PIN authentication, an electronic keypad keeps your valuables secure and easy for you (or other authorized users) to access.
A combination lock is as basic as it gets. Turn the dial to your combination passcode and voilà. It’s battery-free, so you can always count on it to function. But it does require periodic maintenance. To prevent the lock from seizing, you’ll have to disassemble it, clean it, and lubricate it. Your local safe technician or locksmith can tell you more about the service costs and specifics.
Find a safe with a backup key. Regardless of your lock type, a backup key saves the day in the event of a dead battery, power loss, or misplaced key.
Types of protection
Before you make your purchase, consider what kind of threats your valuables are up against.
Usually marked as “UL Certified for Underwriters Laboratories,” fireproof safes have been tested for how much heat they can stand. These tests measure the temperature both inside and outside the safe, ensuring that the contents and the safe itself can take the heat.
If you live in an area that floods frequently, you may want to buy a safe that floats or is water resistant. We also recommend keeping smaller safes on higher ground to avoid exposure to water.
The size of your safe will affect where you can store it, how much it can hold, and its price. Watch for different measurements when shopping around. Most safes use cubic inches or cubic footage to express capacity.
While lightweight safes are generally more portable, they’re also easier for a burglar to carry out the door. If you choose a portable safe, keep it hidden safely or under your supervision.
Consider what items you want to store in the safe. The size and amount of your valuables will determine how big your safe should be. Larger items like binders, weapons, or laptops will need more room than documents, jewelry, or thumb drives.
Proper safe-keeping etiquette
Here are some tips for making the most of your new safe and keeping it out of the wrong hands.
Keep it locked
Regardless of what you’re storing in your safe, you should keep your safe locked at all times. You never know when you’ll forget to rearm your safe or who will be snooping around the house, so be proactive and keep the safe locked.
Use a complex passcode
As tempting as it is to keep the passcode or backup key in a findable spot, it won’t keep your valuables safe. You never know who might find that extra set of keys or guess an easy passcode, so keep them secret from others.
Don’t advertise the location
Take precautions as you would with any expensive product—don’t advertise or compromise the safe’s location. The fewer people who know about your safe, the better.
Bolt and conceal your safe
It’s always worth going the extra mile and bolting your safe to the floor or securely in the wall. If your home falls victim to intruders and your safe is light enough to carry, it’s unlikely you’ll see it again.
Home Safes FAQ
The harder to find, the better. But this depends on whether you’re able to make alterations to your home or not. If you own your house, consider a mounted wall safe concealed by a piece of art, false wall, or fixture. If you rent, be sure to hide your safe in a hard-to-reach place to keep it out of unwelcome hands.
Even lighter safes should be hard to carry out the door. If you can help it, the heavier the safe is, the better. Heavy safes are harder for intruders to remove and carry out quietly. They’re also generally more durable. If you need a lighter, more portable safe, be sure to choose one with multiple locks or one that’s easy to hide.
While they aren’t exactly Fort Knox, lockboxes are great starter safes that are easy to hide and move if discovered. They generally come with a main and backup key, but not much else in terms of security.
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