Best Smart Door Locks 2021: Reviews and Buying Tips


While traditional lock and key systems have improved over time, the basic mechanism has not really changed since the first lock was invented over a thousand years ago: a piece of metal that is the correct shape pushes the pins into a padlock in the proper position, allowing the locking mechanism to rotate. As a society, it has been difficult to replace a system that has functioned reasonably reliably for literally a millennium.

Updated December 31, 2021 to add our Securam EOS review. It’s not the prettiest smart lock we’ve come across, but it does have an excellent fingerprint reader and can also be unlocked via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, your numeric keypad, or a physical key. We would have rated it much higher if we hadn’t experienced connectivity issues.

Are Smart Locks Really Better?

You can thank the hospitality industry for finally pushing padlocks in the digital age. Hotels have long learned that keys are easily lost, expensive to replace, and easy to bypass, as thieves can open locks or simply make copies of a key to allow unrestricted future access. On the other hand, hotel guests have easily accepted key cards (and in some cases smartphone-based solutions) as the primary means of entering their room. The electronic solution is much simpler. Lost your hotel key? Replacing it is no big deal.

But the biggest benefit of electronic entry systems is that they are highly configurable. Digital locks can be changed at any time (which is why that old hotel card in your wallet is useless), and the property owner can generate a record of when each door was opened. In a more advanced environment, different keys can be generated for the same lock, so that an owner can know when each family member entered or when the housekeeper arrived.

Whether you have a teenager who tends to break curfew or just want to give temporary access to guests, service providers, or Airbnbers, smart locks are an incredible improvement over the old way of doing things. Ready to make the leap to smart lock technology? Here are our top picks on the market right now.

Best overall smart lock

Some will argue that we should have named Level Touch our first pick in this category (it scored higher, after all) but Level treats iOS users better than Android users. Kwikset also ditches the familiar old keyboard in favor of a fingerprint reader on its latest smart device. This allowed the company to dramatically reduce the space the lock occupies on the outside of its door. Kwikset also gives you the option of opening the lock with a conventional key, in case the reader does not recognize an authorized fingerprint (if your skin is pruned after a dip in the pool, for example).

Runner-up

The minimalist Level Lock – Touch Edition looks as good as it works and is our highest rated smart lock. The reason we’ve named it second, to the best of the best in this category, is that it can only be controlled remotely with an iOS device, unless you also have Ring products in your home and use Amazon Sidewalk. If you can forego the convenience of touch operation, the new Level Lock costs $ 80 less.

The best retrofit smart lock

The August Smart Lock Pro has been deposed. Level Bolt from Level Home is our new favorite upgrade smart lock, thanks in large part to its ability to disappear. Smart deadbolt components are hidden inside your door, where they replace the interior mechanical elements of your existing deadbolt. Replace your existing interior and exterior components, so that the overall aesthetics of your door don’t change in the slightest.


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