Best Smart Lock

Christen da Costa Avatar
Updated Feb 20, 2024 3:55 PM
best smart lock guide that shows the top best home appliance model

We selected the best smart lock by prioritizing security, ease of use, installation, and hands-free options for unlocking doors. This meant that remote entry features are important, especially if they can be integrated with smart home assistants like Alexa or Apple’s HomeKit. This feature helps you streamline your experience so you’re not toggling between apps, and also allows you to control your smart lock from anywhere in the world.

Because of those priorities, we selected the August Smart Lock Pro Connect Wi-Fi Bridge as our best smart lock. It supports integration with Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Zwave, can be easily installed on your door in minutes, and still allows you to use your existing key to lock or unlock your door, should you choose to do so.

Top 7 Best Smart Locks Compared

#1 August Smart Lock Pro Connect Wi-Fi Bridge

Award: Our Top Pick

WHY WE LIKE IT: A WiFi-based smart lock that works with a range of smart home assistants to remotely control access to your home from anywhere. It can install in minutes and can be attached to your existing locks and keys, giving you choice between remote and keyed access at any time.

  • Supports Alexa, HomeKit, and Zwave smart assistant platforms
  • WiFi-based for control from anywhere
  • DoorSense automatically locks or unlocks the door when you’re near
  • WiFi bridge must be directly by door to work
  • Can cause deadbolt to stick in lock
  • August App functionality can be inconsistent

The August Smart Lock Pro Connect WiFi Bridge is our top pick because it offers the best of both worlds for those new to the world of smart locks, in a user-friendly, easy to install design that takes only a few minutes to set up. The lock works with your existing door hardware, allowing you to continue to use your physical keys to bypass the smart lock features if you choose to do so.

The August Smart Lock comes with a proprietary app that offers enhanced functionality such as DoorSense to alert you if you didn’t fully shut your door after entering. You can also take advantage of geofencing technology to automatically lock or unlock your door as you approach it. You’ll also love that you can create guest keys and customize their expiration length to provide temporary access to friends, relatives, or even vacation rental guests.

#2 Kwikset 909 SmartCode Electronic Deadbolt featuring SmartKey Lock

Award: Honorable Mention

WHY WE LIKE IT: A simplified keyless entry smart lock that features keyed entry while offering keypad access without the risk of a wireless network breach. A six-digit keypad with backlighting can be set with up to eight unique entry codes making it easy to use and negating the requirement for a smartphone.

  • Doesn’t rely on WiFi or Bluetooth
  • SmartKey allows you to re-key your locks with your existing keys
  • Allows up to eight unique entry codes
  • Can have difficulty unlocking the door
  • Keypad may stay lit, draining battery life

A lot of people are leery of keyless entry smart locks because of fears over network security and data breaches. There’s a good reason to be concerned, but our honorable mention pick can put those fears to rest as the Kwikset 909 SmartCode Electronic Deadbolt doesn’t rely on WiFi or Bluetooth. Instead, this battery-powered smart lock relies on a six-digit keypad with a lock button. Simply program the lock with up to eight separate codes and you’re good to go.

The keypad is backlight with a green light for easier use in the dark. Plus, you can still use a physical key with this smart lock. The clean metal hardware is designed to create an upscale look and is easy to install since everything you need comes in the kit. Vacation homeowners will appreciate the SmartKey technology that lets you rekey your locks in three simple steps.

#3 Yale Assure Lock SL, Connected by August

Award: Best for Vacation Rentals

WHY WE LIKE IT: Accessibility and choice are the best ways to describe this lock that lets you control access via WiFi or Bluetooth. Plus Yale’s Assure Lock SL supports a wide range of smart home assistants and can be seamlessly integrated into vacation rental platforms like Airbnb and Home Away.

Read Full Review: Yale Assure Lock SL

  • Native integration with vacation rental platforms
  • Control entry through Bluetooth or WiFi
  • Pairs with smart assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant
  • Poor battery life
  • No outside key access
  • Deadbolt reportedly can jam due to small design issues

If you manage short-term rentals, you know how annoying it is to have to either retrieve keys from vacationers or reprogram codes. The Yale Assure Lock SL is designed with rental owners in mind. It integrates seamlessly with Airbnb and Home Away via August so that you can reset the codes and manage check-in and check-out remotely. This Assure SL Lock can be accessed through either Bluetooth or WiFi and can be paired with a wide range of smart assistants including Alexa, Siri and Apple Home, as well as Google Assistant.

Other enhanced features include DoorSense to warn you when an entryway isn’t fully closed, and geofencing to unlock doors as you approach them, and auto-lock to guarantee that you never forget to lock the front door again (also thanks to August). This lock still features a keypad to allow you to manually enter a code unlike our #1 pick and unlock a door if you don’t have the auto-unlock features programmed in your app or are out without your phone. If your battery dies you can use a 9V battery with your personal pin to unlock your door.

#4 Ultraloq UL3 BT Bluetooth Enabled Fingerprint and Touchscreen Smart Lock 5-in-1 Entry Lock

Award: Best Value/Fingerprint Reader

WHY WE LIKE IT: Multiple entry options are why we’re making this choice our best value smart lock. Being able to choose between remote access, keypad code, fingerprint, knock/shake to open, or a physical key to unlock this door makes it ideal for even the most tech-averse users.

  • 5-in-1 unlocking options
  • Enroll up to 95 fingerprints for entry
  • Proprietary app to manage entry and users
  • Locking mechanism can stick
  • Fingerprint scanner can malfunction in cold weather
  • Dead batteries automatically unlock door

The Ultraloq UL3 BT Bluetooth Enabled smart lock makes the list as our best value selection because of the multiple access options you can use. Choose between remote access via the proprietary app, keypad code, fingerprint scanner, knock to open for Apple and shake to open for Android devices, and finally a physical key to manually unlock the door. For fingerprint users, you can scan and save up to 95 unique fingerprints for the door to remember.

This smart lock promises up to one year on one set of three AA batteries will warn you when the batteries are low, and relies on Bluetooth 4.0 to reduce energy consumption. The hardware is designed to work for both right and left-hand entries. You’ll also appreciate the anti-peep touch screen keypad that randomizes digits before entering your real code.

#5 VOCOlinc Smart Door Lock Bluetooth Electronic Keyless Entry Deadbolt with Keypad LED Touch Screen

Award: Best for Apple Users

WHY WE LIKE IT: Until Apple rolls out its own smart lock, diehard Apple fans will like this VOCOlink smart lock which is designed to only work with Siri or Apple Home. Manage up to 30 users and corresponding codes, or use remote access with the proprietary LinkWise app to lock and unlock your doors.

  • Manage codes for up to 30 users
  • Supports Siri and Apple Home integration
  • Control lock access from anywhere in the world
  • Doesn’t support Android devices
  • Requires iPad, Homepod or AppleTV for remote access
  • Touchscreen has slow response time

People who prefer the Apple ecosystem tend to be very particular about integrating any outside brands into that world. The VOCOlink Smart Door Lock is a third-party smart lock that at the moment, only supports integration with Apple’s Siri assistant or Apple Home. That issue aside, you’ll enjoy that even though this smart lock is Bluetooth based because it’s designed to work with Apple Home, you can remotely control your locks from anywhere in the world provided you have an iPad, AppleTV or Home Pod near your door.

The smart lock relies on either keypad or remote lock/unlock functionality through Siri for access, with the keypad supporting up to 30 unique codes. The codes can be four to eight digits long and you can customize their validity period. This lock is designed to replace your existing deadbolt, runs on Bluetooth 4.2 technology for low energy consumption, and requires four AA batteries (which last 4-6 months). But you can still use a physical key to control this lock.

#6 Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt Lock

Award: Best For Simple Use

WHY WE LIKE IT: If concepts like knock to enter and fingerprint entries are overwhelming, you’ll appreciate this keypad entry-based smart lock from Schlage. While you have the option to upgrade to WiFi controlled voice access, you can also program up to 30 codes for simplified access through the keypad.

  • Can be programmed for remote and voice-activated access
  • Simple keypad access point
  • Add/remove access codes through proprietary app
  • Remote and voice-activated entry require upgrades
  • Can require frequent resets to work

For some people, they just want a smart lock to provide easier access, but they don’t necessarily need all of the bells and whistles. The Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt is the perfect medium for someone ready to upgrade to something more advanced than a physical key but isn’t interested in fingerprint scans or complicated smart home integrations.

Schlage’s solution is a straightforward keypad and proprietary app that lets you manage up to 30 users with unique access codes for each person. While this particular model can be programmed for remote access via Apple Home, Siri, and Alexa integrations, you need to buy the Schlage Sense WiFi Adapter to do so. If you’d rather not have to purchase a Wi-fi adapter, check out the Schlage Encode Smart Lock. The Schlage Encode has WiFi and works directly on its own. However this does make it incompatible with SmartThings or IFTTT.

#7 August Smart Lock

Award: Best Budget

WHY WE LIKE IT: First-time smart lock users — especially those who aren’t particularly tech-savvy — might not be ready to make a major investment. This simple August Smart Lock relies on their proprietary DoorSense technology to lock and unlock doors when you’re within proximity and features auto-lock that can be programmed to within a specific time of the door closing.

  • Simple design can be installed quickly
  • Proprietary app maintains an entry log
  • DoorSense automatically locks and unlocks door
  • No WiFi/Bluetooth dongle not included for remote access
  • No keypad included
  • Bluetooth connectivity very rarely doesn’t connect on first attempt

First-time smart lock installers might not be ready or interested in some of the pricier or more advanced models in our list. The August Smart Lock is a streamlined option that features a simple Bluetooth-based locking mechanism based on your proximity to lock and geofencing. However, this is a smart choice if you’re testing the waters of smart lock technology and are open to upgrading in the future.

Even though they require separate purchases, you can upgrade this lock by adding on the August Smart Keypad or August WiFi Bridge to enhance functionality through access codes and remote entry. Note that even though the August Smart Lock advertises remote access and Alexa integration, you can only use those features when you upgrade to the WiFi bridge.

How We Decided

Smart locks have been on the market for a while, but with the increase in smart and connected homes, the locking technology has come a long way from its original form. At the bare minimum, if you’re thinking about buying a smart lock, you’re doing so because you don’t want to fumble with keys. So, the primary factor we considered was access — how many ways can you unlock the door that won’t require using keys? You have a range of options, but the models we selected have the most common choices you’ll see when you head to the store.

If you have a connected home that relies on a smart assistant like Alexa or Apple Home, you want to focus on smart locks that can be easily integrated into these ecosystems. One of the biggest benefits to this is that it streamlines your experience and cuts down on the total number of individual apps that you have to manage. Instead of toggling between multiple apps, after the initial smart lock installation and setup with your preferred smart assistant system, you can simply control your smart lock through that assistant’s app.

This can be a big benefit as you’re relying on WiFi rather than Bluetooth and can control your smart lock from anywhere in the world. We prioritized models that natively offered this type of integration rather than requiring separate upgrades. But we do have a few simplified models that give you the choice to upgrade and are a great way to test out smart lock technology without being overwhelmed or spending above your budget.

For people who aren’t fans of connected homes, there are still a variety of access options open to you. The most common include keypad or code-based access and Bluetooth. If you prefer to be truly hands-free, Bluetooth is your best choice as this option will automatically unlock your door when you and your phone are physically within a specified proximity of your home. Look for options like geofencing to narrow down that range and program your lock to automatically lock when you leave the premises as well.

Specifically for code access, we focused on the total amount of codes that could be programmed into a smart lock. It’s not just about how many codes you could create, but how easily you could add or remove users, if you could create guest codes, and if you could create expirations for them. This is a key feature especially for short-term rental property owners who need to constantly update and control access.

Finally, we targeted choice as another major feature. Most of the smart locks on our list offer more than one way to gain access, from voice control to touchscreen keypads — including manual entry with a traditional key. Having this final option is critical if your smart lock’s battery dies. However, most smart locks offer longer battery life and highlight aspects like relying on Bluetooth 4.2 technology for lower energy consumption. Ultimately, the type of smart lock you select will be dependent on your comfort level with technology and your budget.

Smart Locks Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Keyless Entry
    One of the biggest distinguishing features between a smart lock versus an ordinary door lock is that a smart lock doesn’t rely on a physical key to unlock the door. Depending on the model, your needs, and your comfort with various levels of technology, you can find a smart lock that uses Bluetooth technology, a digital keypad, or a combination of both to lock and unlock your door. However, it’s always a good idea to use a smart lock that still features a physical deadbolt. If the tech malfunctions, you’ll still be able to enter your home without needing to call a locksmith.
  2. Connectivity
    Connectivity refers to how you’re able to remotely control your smart lock. As we mentioned earlier, some smart locks rely on Bluetooth technology. But these types of locks can only be controlled when you are within close range of your home — typically within 40 feet. In contrast, a smart lock that is WiFi-enabled offers a wider range of freedom. As long as the lock is paired with your home’s router, you can control it regardless of how far from home you may be.
  3. Installation
    Even if you’re the most tech-savvy person in your social circle, that doesn’t mean that you want to fight with a new device to get it to work. Look for smart locks that feature easy to follow instructions and don’t require complicated steps to properly install them.
  4. Enhanced Functionality
    This can sound like a general idea, but “enhanced” can range from voice-activated controls, smart speaker compatibility, proprietary app controls, and tamper and forced entry alarms to warn you if someone’s attempted to break into your home or decipher your smart lock. If automation is top of mind for you, we recommend focusing on smart locks that feature smart assistant integration with products like Alexa or Google Assistant.
  5. Security
    Obviously, the purpose of a lock is to keep your home secure by preventing entry through exterior doors. But smart locks can come with enhanced features such as auto-lock technology and geofencing. These types of options rely on GPS through your phone to determine whether you’re home or not. You can program these options to automatically lock the door when you’re outside of a specific perimeter around your home. This will give you added peace of mind so that you never have to wonder if you forgot to lock the door.

Best Smart Lock Questions (FAQ)

Christen da Costa Avatar

Learn More About Home Appliances