We tested and reviewed the best smart locks on the market. Check out our top picks and learn more in our buyer’s guide.
August Pro Review
- Uses your existing deadbolt
- Allows for unlimited e-keys
- Strong Bluetooth encryption
- No built-in alarm
- Need a hub to connect to Wi-Fi
Overall, the August smart locks earned an 8.7/10 weighted average score, making them two of our higher-rated smart lock brands. Either version of the lock is a great choice, but we’d recommend purchasing the optional Wi-Fi hub to get the most out of either lock.
The August Pro is a great lock for anyone who already uses Z-wave enabled devices. Another thing we liked about the Pro was the compact size—it’s smaller than many other smart locks out there—and it has a sleek design.
Both versions of this lock are an outstanding choice for Airbnb or homeaway users since both versions of the lock integrate directly with each company’s site.
If the optional keypad is purchased, then access codes can be easily created and sent to the users directly via Airbnb or homeaway, and e-keys can also be easily sent to renters as well. And, it has the added plus of using your existing lock, so it isn’t obvious to others that it’s a rental property.
Keep in mind that both versions of the lock are lock attachments that use your existing deadbolt. If you’re looking for a full locking assembly to replace your existing lock, August smart locks won’t do that for you.
However, if you’d like to keep your existing lock and just make it a little smarter, then either of the August locks could be a great fit.
Read more about our ratings for the August or checkout how it compares to other top smart locks available.
For more information about both locks, you can go to the manufacturer’s website here.
Schlage Encode Smart Lock Review
- Easy to install
- App is easy to use
- Works with Amazon Alexa, Amazon Key, and Google Assistant
- Integrates with Ring smart doorbell devices
- Super customizable
- Great tech support
- Doesn't work with Homekit or IFTT
- Need to use a lot of apps to work with Ring & Alexa
The Schlage Encode Wi-Fi Deadbolt earned an 8.6/10 weighted average score. This a great lock for people who don’t already have home security systems but want to add an extra layer of security to their home.
It’s also a convenient lock for those who want to use the Key by Amazon app and get their Amazon deliveries left inside the door instead of out on the porch.
In addition, this lock is sturdy enough to handle children in the home and could be an excellent option for the visually impaired due to the easy-to-read touchpad with raised numbers and the handy backlighting.
Danalock v3 Smart Lock Review
- Long battery life
- Optional keypad
- Compact size
- Pricey for a lock attachment
- Multiple connection packages can be confusing
- Must buy wi-fi adapter separately
This lock is an excellent choice for Airbnb users and landlords—batteries last longer than most others in the industry, the outer side of the lock is the existing deadbolt, so you’re not advertising that you have a smart lock installed, and users have reported relatively few issues.
All good things to have for a rental property’s smart lock!
After careful consideration, the Danalock v3 smart lock earned an 8.3/10 average weighted score.
For more information about the Danalock v3 smart lock, you can go to the manufacturer’s website.
Lockly Secure Pro Smart Lock Review
- Locking/unlocking via fingerprint!
- Built-in wi-fi adapter
- Multiple entry options
- Fingerprint entry can be difficult
- Pretty pricey
- App is finicky sometimes
In the end, the Lockly Secure Pro smart lock earned an 8.5/10 average weighted score. This a great lock for people who already use Google Home or Alexa. However, those are the only two systems it will integrate with, so if you use Nest, Ring, or any other smart home system, this is not the lock for you.
The Lockly Secure Pro has a randomized number sequence for passcode entry. While each passcode remains the same, the order of the numbers on the screen changes after being used, meaning that even if someone were watching you input the code into the lock, they wouldn’t know which numbers you’d actually entered. This is a cool and nifty feature that makes this lock stand out, along with its fingerprint reader, which stores up to 99 unique prints at a time.
It also comes with a door sensor, letting you know if the door is open or closed, which is especially great for vacation rentals, where guests may accidentally leave doors unsecured. Overall, we like how sleek, convenient, and innovative this lock is. However, some of its high-tech attributes are kind of buggy. The fingerprint reader isn’t the most reliable, and it may not fit well with your door frame, but we love the flexibility that comes with access.
Ultraloq UL3/UL3 BT Smart Lock Review
- Can open by knocking on phone (BT version only)
- Fingerprint reader
- Built-in keypad
- No smart home/smart device compatibility
- Only the BT version can be controlled via smartphone
- Not wi-fi, Z-wave (plus), or Zigbee enabled
All things considered, the Ultraloq UL3/UL3 BT earned a 7.2/10 weighted average score. This a great lock for those who don’t already have a smart home hub, or who don’t mind if their smart lock doesn’t integrate with other smart devices.
This could also be a good lock for seniors—the numbers on the keypad are bright and easy to read, and they always have the option of using a physical key or the fingerprint reader instead of an access code to get in.
There’s also no need to use a phone to control the lock, which is perfect for anyone who doesn’t have a smartphone, or who lives in a dead zone and can’t get reliable service.
It’s also one of the few smart locks on the market with a fingerprint reader, and is an excellent choice for those users looking for the ease and security of a fingerprint-enabled lock, as long as they don’t mind the inconvenience of only having remote access within Bluetooth range for the BT version.
For more information about this lock, you can go to the manufacturer’s website.
This guide will help you choose the best smart lock for your specific needs as well as showing you some great additional features you may not have realized existed.
Do You Even Need a Smart Lock?
If you’re tired of hunting down your keys every time you need to unlock the door, have forgetful teens or kids, or other family members who tend to lock themselves out regularly (or maybe that’s you!), then you could be ready for a smart lock, which doesn’t require keys to lock or unlock the door.
If you have a wooden door, and live in a house, townhome, condo, or apartment, then there’s a smart lock for you!
Several smart lock manufacturers noted, however, that their locks were not designed for mobile home or prefab home doors, and they were definitely not recommended for travel trailers, fifth wheels, or RVs.
In addition, most smart locks warn you not to install them on metal or glass doors.
You will also need a door that shuts completely without needing to be pulled, pushed, or lifted in order to lock fully. In other words, your door needs to be properly aligned within the frame so that the lock is able to engage completely without additional help from you.
You’ll also need to decide how smart you want that smart lock to be:
- Are you simply looking for something that locks without keys, but you don’t care about using your phone or a smart device/system to control it?
- Do you want something you can control via smartphone but don’t have a smart home system?
- Do you want something that integrates with your smart home system and can talk to your other smart devices?
No matter where you fall on the spectrum, there’s a smart lock for you!
We explore your options in the wonderful world of smart locks below, and share our top picks in several categories.
- Only install a smart lock on a wooden door.
- Understand whether the smart lock connects via Bluetooth, wi-fi, Z-wave, or ZigBee.
- Smart locks can have touchscreens, numeric keypads, fingerprint readers, or RFID readers. Decide which best fits your needs.
- You’ll need to know which smart locks are compatible with your pre-existing smart home system.
- Smart locks may not be compatible with all smartphones, even if the lock is compatible with iOS or Android systems.
- Warranties vary widely among smart locks, so choose wisely!
Smart Lock Features and Options
Now that you’ve decided on a smart lock, there are several things to take into consideration. Some of these may be more essential to you than others, so feel free to skip around to the items most important to you.
Ease of Use
We looked at how easy each lock was to use on a daily basis—did the numeric keys give out after a few months? Did the touchscreen stop working when used regularly?
Were the keys on numeric keypads easy to read, simple to use, and well-lit? How well did the fingerprint readers do at recognizing prints? Was the remote connection method reliable?
We researched that for you so you can find the lock that’s the best fit for you.
Smart Home Integration
Another key consideration with smart locks is whether they can integrate with a smart home system or talk to other smart home devices.
Some locks don’t. Some locks do, but only with Apple HomeKit or Google Home. Other locks are compatible with a wide range of systems and devices, and would work in almost any smart home configuration.
If integration matters to you, we’ve got you covered.
Ease of Installation
It’s not much good if you can’t even get past the installation process with your new smart lock. We break down the installation steps for each lock for you and let you know how well the videos, apps, and written instructions explain the installation process.
Robustness of the App
Most smart locks come with their own mobile app to access the lock remotely—but some don’t, either relying on a third-party app (such as nest) or not using any type of app at all.
We list the main app each smart lock uses (or if the lock doesn’t use an app at all), along with the features of each app, so you can decide which one best fits your needs.
There’s a lot of variety here when it comes to how you can get in with a smart lock.
Some smart locks have numeric keypads or touchscreens that allow you to enter an access code, and some have fingerprint readers or RFID readers.
Most allow you to lock or unlock them remotely through an app on your smartphone, but not all do.
And several allow for smart home system integration, so you can tell Siri, Alexa, or Google assistant to check on the door or lock it for you.
We examine each lock’s strengths and weaknesses in this area to save you headaches down the road.
For this category, we balanced the smart lock’s cost against its available features, reliability, smart home compatibility, and how it compared to similar smart locks. Some of the more expensive locks on our list actually ranked higher in value than some of the less expensive locks we reviewed.
Remote Connection Type
Bluetooth, Wi-fi, Z-wave, ZigBee
Smart locks can be “stand-alone,” meaning they don’t connect to anything, or they can have a remote connection type.
Bluetooth-only locks can be remotely controlled within Bluetooth range only, while wi-fi connected locks can be controlled from anywhere as long as there’s a wi-fi connection.
Z-wave (and Z-wave plus) smart locks connect to Z-wave smart home systems and devices only, while ZigBee connected smart locks are compatible only with Zigbee systems and devices.
To ensure you get the right smart lock for you, double check what type of remote connectivity your smart home system and other smart home devices use.
Every smart lock we reviewed was battery powered. However, there were multiple options here.
Most smart locks use AA batteries, though some use rechargeable batteries. A few use proprietary batteries that must be purchased directly from the manufacturer (and cost more).
One thing to remember with rechargeable batteries is that they must be removed from the lock to be recharged, often for several hours. While you can still manually lock or unlock the door during the recharging process, you will lose any remote functionality and smart home connectivity during this time.
Several locks also come with an emergency battery back-up option—an external 9-volt battery terminal, just in case. And one lock we reviewed had a solar panel to help extend the life of its rechargeable batteries.
There are two types of smart locks on the market: full locking assemblies and lock attachments.
A full locking assembly will replace your existing lock (which may be a latch or a deadbolt—there are a few smart latches on the market).
A lock attachment only replaces the inside portion of your lock, but the exterior portion of your existing lock remains on the door (the actual deadbolt or locking latch).
Smart locks that come with their own full locking assemblies are considered to be safer (stronger) than lock attachments; however, by keeping your existing lock and just using an attachment, it won’t be obvious to others that you’ve installed a smart lock.
Some smart locks allow you to use a physical key along with having a keypad for access code entry, or a fingerprint reader, or allow you to unlock the door via an app on your smartphone, among other methods.
But some smart locks don’t have a place for you to use a physical key at all—they are completely keyless systems.
If having a back-up key matters to you, be sure to get a lock that allows for the use of a physical key instead of a keyless-entry only lock.
Range: 1-year limited to Unlimited lifetime
There is a huge variation in the length and type of warranty offered among the various smart locks. Some only offer 1-year warranties on electronic components, while others offer 3-year warranties on the electronic components.
When it comes to the mechanical parts and finishes the range is just as broad—from 1-year limited warranties to unlimited lifetime warranties.
If warranty length matters to you, then be sure to get a lock with good warranty on both the electronic components and the mechanical parts/finish.
Several smart locks we reviewed stood out for their optional or included extra features, like smart locks with built-in fire alarms and another with a built-in doorbell camera.
Others included features like fingerprint-resistant touchscreens, randomized numbers to prevent others from knowing which numbers are in the access code, and fingerprint readers, so only those with recognized fingerprints can get in.
Our Top Picks
According to a recent study, one-quarter of Americans planned to buy a smart lock in 2019. That makes choosing the right one especially important. After reviewing 25 smart locks from 15 different manufacturers, we selected our top picks based on ease of use, safety, value, available features, and of course, top performance.
We also looked for smart locks that went above and beyond with the features they offered, and took customer feedback and reviews into account when making our decision. No one paid us to get their smart lock on this list, so you can rest assured knowing we’ve got you covered with the best of the best.
August Smart Lock Pro
The August Smart Lock Pro is our top overall pick when it comes to smart locks.
It has the ability to integrate nearly every popular smart home system/device on the market using Z-wave plus technology and the optional wi-fi adapter (which we recommend purchasing.) Here’s a partial compatibility list below:
- Apple HomeKit
- IFTTT enabled devices
- SimpliSafe home security systems
The app is incredibly simple to use and is packed with features that many apps don’t have, including unlimited digital keys for guests and the ability to select which users you’d like to see alerts for.
Added Bonus: One of the easiest locks on the market to install and very compact!
Schlage Encode, $250
This lock comes with built-in wi-fi—no need to purchase an additional hub or bridge!
It’s easy to add new users (up to 100 of them!) and you can name the various access codes you give out, so when you check the app, you’ll see exactly who accessed the door instead of just seeing that your door was locked or unlocked.
You can use this smart lock with Amazon Alexa, Google assistant, and ring doorbells, to maximize your pre-existing smart home technology. Note, however, that this smart lock is not set up to work with Apple HomeKit or the full-fledged Google Home.
The keys on the numeric keypad are backlit for easy use at night. In addition, the touchscreen has been designed to be fingerprint-resistant, meaning others won’t be able to tell which numbers are used in the various access codes.
Added bonus: Incredibly easy installation; 3-year/limited lifetime warranty
Danalock v3, $252 (with optional wi-fi adapter)
This is our favorite lock attachment because of its sturdy construction and well-rounded features. As with all attachments, you only replace the interior portion of your lock.
There are three connected versions of this lock: Bluetooth only (optional wi-fi adapter is available), Z-wave plus, and ZigBee. Because of this, you have a range of smart home systems the lock pairs with, including: Apple HomeKit, SmartThings, alarm.com, and Amazon Alexa, among others.
With the app, you can add and remove an unlimited number of users and assign temporary access, see the lock’s usage history, lock or unlock the door remotely, and see the lock’s status. You also have the ability to activate the auto-lock feature through the app.
Added bonus: Compact size, optional keypad to add access code entry
Lockly Secure Pro; $299
We loved the extra features on this lock, such as the option of the fingerprint scanner, and the fact that the touchscreen randomizes the numbers with each use, so it’s never the same sequence of numbers when the access code is entered. This prevents anyone from seeing which numbers are actually used in the access code.
It comes with built-in wi-fi, so no need to purchase a hub or bridge, and it has a battery back-up system on the exterior of the lock in case the regular batteries die on you.
In addition, it comes with a door sensor, so the lock lets you know if the door is open or closed.
Added bonus: Robust warranty (limited lifetime/2-year)
Ultraloq UL3, $199
This smart lock also comes with a fingerprint reader, but it doesn’t connect to anything—it is a stand-alone lock.
We liked the easy to read, well-lit keypad and simple screen interface.
The keyhole for this lock is hidden on the underside of the lock, making it nearly unpickable, and we liked the fact that there was still an option to use the key, just in case the batteries die.
Added bonus: Outdoor weather-rated, meaning it can withstand rain, snow, and direct sunlight
Read Our In-Depth Reviews on These Smart Locks & Others
- August Regular Pro
- Danalock V3 Pro
- Friday Labs
- Igloohome Deadbolt 2s
- Kwikset Kevo Convert
- Kwikset Kevo
- Kwikset Obsidian
- Kwikset Premis
- Lockitron Bolt
- Lockly Secure Plus
- Lockly Secure Pro
- Lockly Secure
- Nest x Yale
- Schlage Connect
- Schlage Encode
- Schlage Sense
- Turbolock TL-201 Deadbolt
- Ultraloq Ul3 BT
- Yale Assure SL smart Lock