Best Garage Door Openers

The best garage door openers are safe, quiet, and easy to install. Learn more about new smart features that’ll make you excited to come home.
Written by | Updated November 1, 2019
Best Overall
Chamberlain B970 imageChamberlain B970
  • Built-in smart features
  • Powerful and quiet
  • High price tag
  • Built-in smart features
  • Powerful and quiet
  • High price tag
Budget Pick
ATOMS garage door opener imageSkylink ATOMS AT-1611
  • LCD diagnostic display
  • Easy-to-install equipment
  • Smart features sold separately
  • LCD diagnostic display
  • Easy-to-install equipment
  • Smart features sold separately
Best Basic Option
Craftsman garage door opener imageCraftsman 1/2 Horsepower
  • Energy efficient features
  • No smart features subscriptions
  • Steep price
  • Energy efficient features
  • No smart features subscriptions
  • Steep price

The Bottom Line

Our top pick is the Chamberlain B970 because of its smart features, power, and easy installation. It’s compatible with your home Wi-Fi and comes with a free myQ automation app right out of the box. These smart features let you open and close your garage, check its status, and even set up a schedule from your phone.

Smart features like these can make your Mondays a little less manic and keep your home safe. Other garage doors have these same features, but they’re add-ons or require a little extra time and money.

The bottom line is the Chamberlain B970 combines qualities like a steel-reinforced belt with new talents like home automation.

Compare Garage Door Openers

List Price *
Power
Drive Type
Smart Features
Backup Battery
Lifetime Warranty
Best Overall
Budget Pick
Best Basic Option
Best with Extension
Best Jackshaft
Chamberlain B970 Skylink ATOMS AT-1611 Craftsman 1/2 Horsepower Decko 24300 LiftMaster 8500 Elite
Chamberlain B970 image ATOMS garage door opener image Craftsman garage door opener image Decko product image LiftMaster product image
$269.00 $160.29 $219.99 $219.00 $384.00
1.25 HP .5 HP .5 HP .75 HP 24 VDC
Belt Chain Chain Chain Jackshaft
myQ app Sold separately No No Sold separately
Yes Sold separately No No No
Yes No No Yes Motor only
View on Amazon View on Amazon View on Amazon View on Amazon View on Amazon

Amazon.com prices as of 11/01/19 10:00 pm MST.

Our Picks for Garage Door Openers

Reviews: Garage Door Openers

Best Overall
Chamberlain B970 image

Chamberlain B970

Chamberlain B970: Best Overall

The Chamberlain B970 has myQ and Wi-Fi abilities built right in so you can close or open the door from anywhere. It’s also compatible with services like Key by Amazon, IFTTT, Google Assistant, and Wink.

All of these services require a monthly subscription but can make your home a lot smarter. For example, Key by Amazon allows your delivery person access to your garage to drop off packages. And Google Assistant lets you open your garage with voice commands.

The Chamberlain B970 also boasts a whopping 1 ¼ horsepower (over twice the power of similar models). So whether your door is frozen to the ground or just made of heavy materials, this Chamberlain model has the pulling power to open and close it smoothly. And the steel-reinforced belt drive makes the movement smooth and quiet, unlike jangly chain drives.

This Chamberlain model also comes with a backup battery that kicks in when the power goes out so your vehicle won’t be stuck inside if you need to leave. Add a lifetime belt and motor warranty to all of this, and you’ve got the best smart garage overall.

What’s in the box: Two remote controls with a 1,500-ft. range, two safety sensors, one wireless keypad, and one control panel with built-in motion sensors

Pros

  • Powerful and quiet operation
  • Built-in smart features
  • Easily installed components
  • 1500-ft. remote range

Cons

  • Steep price tag
  • Subscription required for some features
Budget Pick
ATOMS garage door opener image

Skylink ATOMS AT-1611

Pros

  • LCD diagnostic display
  • In-car remote compatibility
  • Easily installed components

Cons

  • Smart features sold separately
  • Only one remote
Best Basic Option
Craftsman garage door opener image

Craftsman ½ Horsepower

Craftsman ½ Horsepower: Best Basic Option

If you prefer a more old-school approach, the Craftsman ½ Horsepower garage door opener trades smart features for mechanical quality. Its Quick Install Rail System comes with all the components you need for a fast installation.

Before installing, make sure to measure your garage door first. The ½ Horsepower model can handle doors up to 7 ft. tall, but if your garage is taller, you’ll need an extension kit for the chain drive.

The Craftsman 1/2 Horsepower lacks smart features, but that doesn’t mean it belongs in the Stone Age. The trifrequency radio reduces interference from other electronics in your house, and the PosiLock® system automatically locks the garage door when it’s closed. It also has an energy-efficient sleep mode that needs only 1 watt of power.

Pros

  • Energy Efficient
  • Easily installed

Cons

  • No smart capabilities
  • Low pulling power

More Garage Door Openers Worth a Look

When it comes to smart and traditional garage door openers, there are a ton of choices out there. Instead of leaving it to the traditional garage openers or smart devices, here are a few others you should consider when shopping for a new garage door opener.

Decko 24300 

With ¾ horsepower, the Decko 24300 has more power than the Skylink and Craftsman models. It’s strong enough to pull doors standing 7 feet tall and 18 feet wide (or more with a chain extension).

This power also helps in the cold climates if your door is prone to freezing shut.

This garage door opener is definitely more brawn than brains. It doesn’t have any built-in smart features, but it does have a couple of cool other features.

The auto-reverse safety sensors keep small pets and kids safe from injuries caused by a closing door. When the system senses something blocking the sensor’s beam, it automatically reverses the door.

The chain drive is louder than openers with a belt mechanism. If you have a living or sleeping space above your garage, the noise could become a problem. But an $80 upgrade can switch it out for a quieter belt drive.

LiftMaster 8500 Elite 

The LiftMaster sticks out among our lineup because of its jackshaft drive. Unlike the other garage door openers, this model mounts to the wall rather than the ceiling. If your garage has high or sloped ceilings or isn’t very deep, a jackshaft garage door opener is a fitting choice.

Instead of using a belt or chain, this LiftMaster tightens the torsion spring on your door, causing lift. While it’s compatible with myQ and other automation programs, they’re sold separately.

Honorable Mention

NEXX Garage Door Wi-Fi Controller 

The NEXX controller isn’t exactly a garage door opener. It’s more of an accessory for your garage door opener. This device works with your existing garage door, allowing you to make a standard door opener smarter.

Before purchasing, make sure your Wi-Fi connection is strong enough in your garage (a 2.4 GHz connection should be good). It takes under 10 minutes to install and allows you to control your door remotely through your phone. Just be sure your door opener is compatible with NEXX before you buy.

Things to Consider Before You Buy a Garage Door Opener

Drive Type 

The drive type refers to how your garage door opens.

Most doors use a chain or belt drive to pull the door up or down. Others, like the LiftMaster 8500, use a jackshaft that lifts the door through the torsion spring.

Before deciding on a new garage door opener, be sure to measure your door and research the type of door you have. For example, jackshaft drives aren’t compatible with roll-up doors.

Door Size

Before buying a new garage opener, be sure to measure the height and width of your garage door. Most chain and belt drives can handle doors up to 7-feet tall, but you can find an extension kit up to 10 feet.

Installation

Unless you already have experience with garage door openers, we recommend getting a professional to install it. Most of these doors can be self-installed. But it’s a dangerous project if you’re new to installations like this or don’t have the tools to install a garage door opener.

Whether you do it yourself or hire a pro, make sure all the accessories are present. Most garage door opener kits come with safety sensors, keypads, control panels, and remotes that require installation too—it’s a lot to keep straight if it’s your first time installing one.

Garage Door Openers FAQ 

Is a belt or chain drive better?

The best choice depends on where your garage is in relation to your house.

Chain drives are noisy, so they’re better for detached garages away from your home.

Belt drives are among the quietest garage door openers, making them better for garages below living spaces. If you don’t want to spend a lot, consider a chain drive. They may be noisier, but they cost much less.

How do smart garage door openers work?

The smart tech in your garage door opener connects to your home’s Wi-Fi, allowing it to communicate with your phone or mobile device.

When you use the app, the device receives your commands and acts accordingly. This connection allows you to close the door remotely, set schedules, or digital boundaries from far away.

What are the best garage door opener brands?

From our research, some of the most popular and highest-rated garage door opener brands include Chamberlain, Genie SilentMax, Craftsman, and LiftMaster.

Can smart garage door openers be hacked?

While they are safer than older models, smart garage door openers aren’t perfect. If an intruder can get into your home Wi-Fi network, they can access your garage door opener or other smart devices connected to your home. If this happens, your garage is only part of what’s at risk.

You can beef up security by first improving your Wi-Fi defenses. Use two-way authentication and change your password often to prevent brute force attacks. Adding other devices like motion sensor cameras or a security system can also prevent serious theft from your garage.

How We Picked the Best Garage Door Openers

To find the best (with and without smart features), we dug through dozens of video and written garage door opener reviews from customers and industry professionals. But our most helpful resource was from garage door installers themselves. You can find installation videos, recommendations, and even rankings from passionate pros.

Once we had a lineup, we compared features like home automation abilities, horsepower, drive types, safety features, and warranties. Learn more about how we ranked this and our other best-of lists in our full methodology.

*Amazon.com list price as of 11/01/19 10:00 pm 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 Katie McEntire

Since 2013, Katie has written marketing copy, long-form posts, reviews, and blogs. She began her career as a writer and reviewer with the mission to recommend only the best products for her readers. She’s designed tests, evaluated products, and written reviews on a range of subjects such as appliances, power tools, and software. Today, she applies these research and writing skills on the SafeWise team to explore the world of home, auto, and internet security. Learn more

Share this article.