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A garage door opener is a home improvement item most people don't give much thought to—until they need a new one. While they all provide the same basic functions, not all systems are created equal. Whether you're building a new house or your current garage opener is broken, you might be surprised by the breadth of options currently on the market.
There's chain-drive, belt-drive, screw-drive, and ultra-quiet models, as well as options with WiFi connectivity. You can also find modern smart home-enabled openers, which allow you to control your system from anywhere. To save you time on your search, we researched the best garage door openers.
Ahead, the best garage door openers.
Best Overall: Chamberlain B1381 Bright LED Smartphone-Controlled Garage Door Opener
The Chamberlain Bright LED Smartphone-Controlled Garage Door Opener (model B1381) is a high-quality product with all the bells and whistles a homeowner could want. For starters, it's got a built-in LED light bright enough to illuminate your entire garage. Plus, with smartphone compatibility, you can open and close it from anywhere using the myQ app.
This powerful garage opener system lifts your door effortlessly and smoothly, and the extra-quiet belt drive is reinforced with steel for long-term reliability. It comes with a wireless keypad, two car remotes, a wall control panel, and two safety sensors. And thanks to its backup battery, it'll still work even if your power goes out.
Best Budget: BeamUP Workhorse BU100 Garage Door Opener
If you're buying a complete garage door opener, you're looking for a product that includes an actual motorized opener and various accessories. For this reason, the prices don't range very drastically. However, some are more budget-friendly than others, like the BeamUP Workhorse (model BU100). This affordable apparatus is easy to set up and install—no special tools needed.
It smoothly and quietly opens garage doors of virtually any size and configuration. The Workhorse operates with a heavy-duty chain drive and a powerful, reliable motor. Additionally, it has a built-in LED security light with an energy-efficient bulb that never needs replacing. This garage door opener also works with Alexa, Apple Watch, IFTTT, and HomeLink.
Best Smart: Genie SilentMax Connect Smart Garage Door Opener
The best smart garage door opener is the Genie SilentMax Connect (model 3053-TV). It can be synced to any Alexa-enabled devices or Google smart home hub. Thanks to its integrated Aladdin Connect technology, you can open, close, and monitor your garage anywhere from your smartphone or tablet using the app or voice control.
This high-tech garage opener has a strong steel-reinforced rail system, which is easy to install without any additional hardware. It comes with two pre-programmed remotes plus a wall-mounted control panel. As the name suggests, the SilentMax is also notably quiet.
Best Belt-Drive: Chamberlain B550 Smartphone-Controlled Ultra-Quiet and Strong Belt Drive Garage Door Opener
The Chamberlain Ultra-Quiet and Strong Garage Door Opener (model B550) is engineered with an incredibly resilient steel-reinforced belt drive. With a MED Lift Power System, high-grade materials, and a reliable design, you can count on smooth and quiet performance for many years.
This garage opener has built-in smartphone capabilities. You can manage, monitor, and operate it through the myQ app. The system includes two remote controls with impressive range plus a wireless exterior keypad.
Best Screw-Drive: Genie MachForce 2 HPc Premium Garage Door Opener
The Genie MachForce (model 4062-TNMSO) has special screw-drive technology, which allows it to open quickly, smoothly, and quietly. Its 2 HPc DC motor offers impressive power and speed twice as fast as most other belt-drive models.
This heavy-duty garage opener can open even the heaviest doors up to 7 feet tall. It comes with two remotes, which are pre-programmed for immediate use, and a wall-mounted control panel with lit-up buttons.
Best Chain-Drive: Craftsman 0.5-HP myQ Smart Chain Drive Garage Door Opener
The Craftsman Chain Drive Opener (model CMXEOCG471) is a durable product with rugged steel construction. The 0.5-HP motor is ideal for daily use on a standard 7-foot garage door. It comes with safety sensors, two remote controls, and a wireless keypad, though you can also operate it through the myQ app.
Best with WiFi: Chamberlain B4545 Secure View Garage Door Opener
The Chamberlain Secure View (model B4545) has a built-in motion-activated camera, which provides live 360-degree video of your garage. Since it's WiFi-enabled for myQ, you can watch the stream from anywhere right on your smartphone or tablet. The camera even has a night-vision lens, so you can monitor your home 24 hours a day.
Also, you'll get alerts on the myQ app when movement is detected. You can operate your door using the two included remotes, wall control panel, or right through the app.
Best Quiet: SkyLink Atoms Belt Drive Garage Door Opener
Most modern garage door openers are designed for quiet operation, but the extremely quiet Skylink Atoms (model ATR-1723BKW) rivals the rest. Though it runs on a powerful DC motor, you can count on smooth operation with very minimal noise. The Atoms also has a built-in LED light, which illuminates your garage as it opens and stays on long enough for you to collect your things and head into your house.
This garage opener has WiFi connectivity, which you can sync with the Orbit app. Control your door from anywhere and get instant notifications when it's open or closed. The bundle comes with an anti-break-in drive system, two passcode-protected remotes, a wireless keypad, and an LCD wall console with an automatic timed closing feature.
Best Wall-Mounted: LiftMaster Elite Series 8500 Jackshaft Operator
Unlike most garage door openers, the LiftMaster Elite Series 8500 Jackshaft Operator mounts to the wall instead of the ceiling. Keep in mind, this product doesn't work with roll-up doors. It's compatible with sectional garage doors, and you'll need a front-mount torsion bar system.
The powerful P3 motor provides smooth and reliable operation, and the wall-mounted design makes it extra-quiet by eliminating vibrations and sounds through the ceiling. Also, the included motion detector automatically projects a light beam across your garage entry. This opener also comes with a remote and a myQ control panel.
Best for Tall Doors: Sommer Direct Drive Garage Door Opener
If you have a tall door, we recommend the Sommer Direct Drive Garage Door Opener (model 1042V002). The rail is long enough for 8-foot doors without the need for an extension kit. It comes with installation materials, safety sensors, a wall control panel, and a remote.
Unlike models with belts or screw drives, this German-made garage opener has only one moving part. The motor sprocket glides along the fixed drive on a steel rail, which makes for super smooth and quiet performance. Sommer offers a lifetime warranty on this unit, too, so you can have peace of mind about your purchase.
The best overall garage door opener is the Chamberlain B1381 Bright LED Garage Door Opener (view at Amazon). When you download the associated app you can control your garage doors no matter where you are. If you're looking for a budget pick, check out the BeamUP Workhorse BU100 Garage Door Opener (view at Amazon). It’s easy to set up and it opens garage doors of virtually any size. Plus, it's compatible with various smart devices.
What to Look for in a Garage Door Opener
Garage door openers work in a variety of ways. A chain-drive model raises and lowers doors with a metal chain — these tend to be inexpensive and able to handle heavier doors, but they’re loud. A belt-drive opener uses a belt and operates more smoothly and quietly. Screw-drive openers, which lift doors with a threaded steel rod, are also quiet and don’t require much maintenance. Finally, a direct-drive opener operates as a single unit — the whole contraption moves to lift the door. These tend to be the quietest, smoothest mechanisms available.
You’ll also want to consider the horsepower of your opener. Typically, 1/2 horsepower will work for most doors in newer homes. If you have a heavier solid wood door, though, you may want to opt for 3/4 horsepower so it can lift it with ease. You can also get 1 and 1 1/2 horsepower models, but those are a better fit for commercial or special situations.
Since 1993, all garage door openers have been required to have a special reversing mechanism to prevent closure if a child, pet, or car is in the way — but in terms of additional security features, you get what you pay for. If safety is a top concern, opt for a model that changes the access code after each use to prevent a break-in.
What size garage door opener do I need?
Most openers are designed to work with all sizes and configurations of garage doors. However, if your garage door is tall (usually 8 feet), you'll need one with a rail long enough to accommodate the height. Also, if yours is particularly heavy or has double doors, you might need one with extra horsepower.
How do you program a garage door opener?
Virtually all garage door opener units have a "Learn" button. To pair your remote with your opener, press this button. It should activate an indicator light for 30 seconds to a minute. While it's lit, press and hold the main open/close button on the remote until the light on the overhead unit starts blinking. The blinking light tells you your garage door opener is programmed with the remote.
How do you install a garage door opener?
It's crucial for garage door openers to be installed correctly so they operate safely and effectively. You might consider hiring a professional, but if you'd rather go the DIY route, these are the basic steps:
1. Read over the instructions and make sure you have all the parts and necessary tools.
2. Assemble the carriage tube per the manufacturer's instructions.
3. Attach the carriage tube to the front of the main power unit.
4. Mount the header bracket to secure the carriage tube to the wall over the door.
5. Hang the main power unit from the ceiling
6. Wire the opener control box, then mount it to the wall.
7. Attach the connector bracket to the door, then fasten it to the carriage arm.
8. Plug in the safety sensor device to prevent it from closing on anything in the way.
How do you open a garage door manually that has a garage door opener?
Your garage door most likely has a manual cable, which disconnects from the opener chain, allowing you to open it manually. There might also be some sort of small key you can use to unlock the manual cable (if it's not already unlocked).
Pull down hard on the cord to release the door. Then lift it with your hands, pushing it all the way up to make sure it stays in place and doesn't fall back down.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This roundup was written by Theresa Holland, a professional writer and homeowner seasoned in reviewing, researching, and testing home goods and home improvement products. Aside from The Spruce, she contributes regularly to MyDomaine.