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Smart locks can secure your home while also adding a level of convenience and peace of mind that you can’t get from a regular lock, thanks to wireless connectivity, smart home integration, and advanced security features.
According to Garrett Lovejoy, VP of Product Management for US Smart Residential, smart home integration is one of the most useful smart lock features. “As an extension of home access convenience, smart locks also help you automate your whole home,” says Lovejoy. “When your lock integrates with other smart home platforms, you can set up routines for arrivals and departures. For example, when you leave and lock the door, you can automatically turn off your lights, activate your Roomba to clean the floor, lower your thermostat, and more.”
We examined dozens of smart locks and weighed factors like access methods, app functionality, and security features to come up with the best options for various situations and circumstances. Our number one recommendation, the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock, uses your existing lock hardware for an easy, seamless installation, ties into a best-in-class companion app, and doesn’t require a hub for smart home integration.
Here are the best smart locks.
Best Overall: August Wi-Fi Smart Lock
Biometric-verified access through the app
Proximity unlock via phone or Apple Watch
Doesn’t need a hub
No external unlocking options
Keypad sold separately
Limited HomeKit connectivity
Who else recommends it? Tom's Guide, Consumer Reports, and CNET all picked the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock.
What do buyers say? 80% of 6.400+ Amazon reviewers rated this 4 product stars or above.
The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock is our top recommendation because it uses your existing deadbolt hardware and offers wide smart home compatibility. This lock doesn’t provide any physical unlocking options other than your existing key, but it does have a proximity unlock feature that activates whenever your connected phone or Apple Watch gets within range. August also sells a compatible wireless keypad if you want to add an additional unlocking method.
Despite being relatively small, this lock has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. It’s able to connect to your local wireless network without the need for a bridge or hub, which facilitates smart home integration. Alexa and Google Assistant setup is fairly seamless, but HomeKit relies on a Bluetooth Low Energy connection to the Apple device you use as a hub. If you don’t have that device within Bluetooth Low Energy range of the lock, you won’t be able to use it with HomeKit.
This lock has a companion app that allows you to operate it both locally and remotely and offers security with biometrics. That means you can use your phone’s fingerprint sensor or face recognition for added security. The app also lets you generate codes to provide access to guests, although your guests will need to download the August app to take advantage of that. The app and lock can keep track of up to 220 different codes, each of which can be set to expire at a set time and date and only allow access at specific times.
Price at time of publish: $207
Best Value: Sifely X Model Keyless Entry Door Lock
Convenient fingerprint sensor
Wireless key fob access
Hub sold separately
Short Bluetooth range
The Sifely X Smart Lock offers a lot of value, with features like Bluetooth connectivity and wireless key fob access, despite its affordable price tag. This lock doesn’t have Wi-Fi connectivity built in, but you can add that with an optional gateway. Adding the gateway lets you integrate this lock with your smart home if you use Alexa or Google Assistant. It also allows you to control the lock remotely, generate codes, and check the lock's status via the companion app from anywhere as long as you have internet access.
This lock offers other impressive hardware for a device at this price point, including an ergonomic fingerprint sensor and a touchscreen anti-peep keypad. You'll find the fingerprint sensor located conveniently on the door handle where you'll touch it naturally, and it uses machine learning to improve accuracy and speed up recognition over time to as little as 0.3 seconds. The keypad buttons have fixed positions, but you can enter random digits before and after the actual code, which prevents any onlookers from seeing your code and using it later.
Price at time of publish: $110
Best for Apartments: Wyze Smart Door Lock
Uses the existing lock hardware
Installs inside your apartment
Optional wireless keypad
Doesn’t include a keypad or fingerprint sensor
Big and boxy
The Wyze Lock doesn’t require the replacement of your existing lock hardware, which makes it a good option for apartment dwellers who can’t replace their entire lock. This lock retains the exterior part of your existing deadbolt hardware and just replaces the interior part. That allows you to use your existing key, and the apartment manager will retain access if that’s necessary for your situation, but you gain the convenience of a smart lock.
This lock includes a Zigbee bridge that connects it to your home network, so you can operate it remotely via the companion app. The app can also alert you if someone leaves the door open, as the Wyze Lock knows whether your door is open or shut without the need for any additional sensors. Since it uses your existing deadbolt, it doesn’t have any option to unlock via a keypad or fingerprint sensor, but adding a keypad is possible. Wyze sells an optional wireless keypad that’s compatible with this lock, but that does represent an additional cost.
Price at time of publish: $130
Best for Vacation Rentals: Yale Assure Lock Push-Button Deadbolt with Connected by August
Automatically sends codes to your guests
Direct Airbnb integration
Unlock with voice controls
Finicky installation and setup
Need to say your PIN to unlock via voice
The Yale Assure Lock Keypad has a number of key features that distinguish it as a good choice for owners of short-term vacation rentals. It’s capable of storing up to 250 codes at a time, and you can create new codes directly from the app without physically visiting the rental unit. The companion app can also integrate directly with your Airbnb account to automate code generation if you rent through that service. It generates a new code, with an appropriate expiration date, for each guest and sends the code automatically. This feature helps enforce checkout times, as the code automatically stops working at the time the guest is supposed to leave.
This lock includes a Wi-Fi Connect bridge, which allows it to connect to the Wi-Fi network in your rental. The bridge can't provide a Wi-Fi connection if it isn't close to both your lock and the router, so connection and setup can be finicky. Excess interference can also cause connectivity problems, but you can't automate code generation and create codes remotely through the app without a Wi-Fi connection. Connecting the Wi-Fi bridge also enables smart home integration with Google Home, Alexa, and HomeKit. Voice controls allow you to lock, unlock, and check the status of the lock through Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa, although unlocking requires you to say your PIN out loud.
Price at time of publish: $259
Best Budget: Wyze Smart Lock Bolt with Fingerprint Keyless Entry
Unlock with fingerprint, keypad, and app
Emergency power via USB-C
No smart home integration
No Wi-Fi for remote access
No voice controls
The Wyze Lock Bolt is a stylish, low-cost option that’s a great fit for anyone who doesn’t need smart home integration. This lock has Bluetooth, which lets you control it via a companion app on your phone as long as you’re in range. In addition to the app, it has a fingerprint sensor, a keypad, and a physical key. The inclusion of a fingerprint reader is a huge feature in a smart lock at this price level, so this lock is worth considering even if you aren’t interested in Bluetooth connectivity and app control. You can still use your physical key, which could be useful if the batteries die. But you can also plug in a USB-C power source to power it up in an emergency.
The Lock Bolt’s companion app can lock and unlock your door when you’re within range, generate up to 20 temporary entry codes, and check the locking and unlocking history. This lock lacks Wi-Fi and any option to add that functionality through a hub, which also means you can’t unlock your door remotely. However, the app is capable of generating temporary codes on an emergency basis. In the event that someone gets locked out or you need to grant remote access, you can generate one of these codes and text it to the person who needs to get in.
Price at time of publish: $80
Best Touchscreen: Lockly Secure Pro Deadbolt
Secure touchscreen keypad
Includes Wi-Fi hub
Stores up to 99 fingerprints
Potential hub placement issues
Offline access codes use is complicated
The Lockly Secure Pro is the best smart lock option if you’re looking for one that includes a touchscreen. The touchscreen is big, bright, easy to read, and protected by Lockly’s Pin Genie security feature. This feature places four buttons on the touchscreen, each of which represents three numbers. It shuffles the position of the numbers randomly each time, so there’s no way for an onlooker to sneak a look at your entry code. Guest code entry is a little too complex, but the app does automatically generate instructions that you can text or email along with the code.
In addition to the touchpad, you can operate the Secure Pro via its 3D fingerprint scanner, the Lockly app, and it includes a Wi-Fi hub to enable smart home voice controls. The hub needs to be no more than ten to 15 feet from the lock and your router, so you will need a Wi-Fi extender if that isn’t possible. The fingerprint scanner can store up to 99 fingerprints, and uses a capacitive sensor. This 3D sensor is more secure and less likely to register a false negative than locks that use optical sensors, but it isn’t corrosion-resistant, which can be an issue in some environments.
Price at time of publish: $300
Best for HomeKit: Schlage Encode Plus WiFi Deadbolt Smart Lock with Century Trim
Supports Apple Home Key
Supports HomeKit, Alexa, and Google Assistant
Can connect to HomeKit hub to save battery
Some features only in the Schlage app
Tap to unlock limited to Apple devices
The Schlage Encode Plus is a deadbolt replacement with excellent HomeKit integration that supports Apple Home Key. This feature uses near-field communication (NFC) to unlock your door by tapping your Apple Watch or iPhone to the lock without having to open an app. It also operates via a keypad, physical key, and your phone. You can control it via the Apple Home app, but some functionality is limited to the Schlage app. The Schlage app lets you generate up to 100 unique access codes, review a record of code usage, and check the lock's status remotely.
This lock has built-in Wi-Fi, so it doesn’t need a hub. You can extend the battery life by connecting through your Apple TV or HomePod Mini if you’re using HomeKit. In addition to HomeKit, the lock works with both Alexa and Google Assistant. The tap-to-unlock feature is limited to Apple devices that support Apple Home Key, so it’s difficult to justify the high price tag if you’re an Android user or your smart home doesn’t use HomeKit. Android users might find a better fit with the regular Schlage Encode that has all of the same features without HomeKit compatibility.
Price at time of publish: $489
Best for Nest: Nest x Yale Lock with Nest Connect
Privacy mode to disable keypad
Can’t unlock if the batteries die
No proximity lock and unlock
No feedback when buttons pressed
The Nest x Yale Smart Door Lock is a joint venture between Nest and Yale that brings excellent Nest integration to a high-quality Yale lock. Smart home integration requires a Nest Connect hub to connect to your Wi-Fi network, so this lock is great for Nest users. The lock is also available bundled with a hub if you’re new to smart home technology and want to get started with Nest. Since the hub connects the lock to your Wi-Fi network, it lets you use Google Assistant or Alexa to check the lock status (but not to unlock it as a security precaution) and allows remote control via the app over the internet. The app also lets you create permanent and temporary passcodes and check a timeline of code usage.
This lock replaces your deadbolt with an attractive keypad, so there’s no option to unlock it with a physical key. The app provides an advanced warning when the batteries are getting low, though, and you can also power it up temporarily with a 9-volt battery if the batteries die when you’re away. The keypad is slick and modern looking and available in a few different finishes to match your decor. As an added security feature, you can disable the keypad and only allow unlocking via the app.
Price at time of publish: $259
Best Hidden: Level Bolt Smart Lock
Uses your existing hardware
No external signs that it’s a smart lock
Works with HomeKit and Alexa
Doesn’t work with Google Assistant
Requires a hub for smart home integration
No open door alert
The Level Bolt Smart Lock is an add-on that can turn your existing deadbolt into a smart lock. It replaces the internal hardware, so there aren’t any external clues that you even have a smart deadbolt. That lets you leave the aesthetics of your front door untouched if you don’t want to replace your current lock hardware, and it prevents anyone from knowing that you have a smart lock if you’re especially concerned about security.
This smart lock integrates with both HomeKit and Alexa, but it doesn’t work with Google Home. However, this smart home integration requires a bit of extra configuration: This lock requires a hub to use with HomeKit and a Ring Pro doorbell with Amazon Sidewalk to work with Alexa. If you do hook it into your smart home system, you can lock and unlock remotely via the app, use voice commands, and set up automations. Other functions, like locking and unlocking via the app and a Bluetooth connection, are available without connecting to your smart home.
Price at time of publish: $151
The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock is our top overall recommendation for the best smart lock because it works with your existing deadbolt hardware, has a great companion app, and includes built-in Wi-Fi, so there’s no need for a hub. It’s the perfect option for anyone who wants to add a lot of useful smart lock features, like remote access and monitoring, guest codes, and auto-locking. If you prefer additional entry methods, the Lockly Secure Pro Deadbolt is a solid option that includes a 3D fingerprint scanner and a randomized keypad to prevent onlookers from seeing your access code as you punch it in.
What to Look For in Smart Locks
Ease of Installation
Smart lock installation difficulty ranges from very easy to slightly complex, but they typically aren’t any harder to install than a regular lock. “While the choice is ultimately up to the customer based on their level of comfort, residential smart locks today have evolved to be simple and hassle-free for users to install,” according to Jim Conti, Vice President of Sales, Pro Channel from Lockly. “This DIY installation process can be completed with basic tools in less than 15 minutes in some cases. If someone is familiar with installing a traditional lock, replacing it with a smart lock should only require a few additional steps.”
The amount of trouble you run into during installation depends largely on the type of lock you have and the kind of smart lock you choose to replace it with. To make things easy, make sure you buy the same type of lock that you’re replacing. For example, if you’re replacing a single-cylinder deadbolt, buy a smart lock that’s compatible with a single-cylinder deadbolt. If you’re replacing a latch or mortise lock, buy a latch or mortise smart lock.
Unlocking and Locking Options
Smart locks come with a wide variety of unlocking and locking options, but they all offer some type of remote control access. Wireless options include Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Z-Wave. Bluetooth is good for local access, while Wi-Fi and Z-Wave let the lock hook into your internet connection so you can check its status and activate it from a companion app on your phone even when you aren’t at home.
In addition to locking and unlocking via the app, some smart locks integrate into your smart home system. Depending on the model, you may be able to lock and unlock with voice commands or just lock it. Some companion apps can also generate key codes.
Smart locks typically retain a physical key option, but that isn’t always the case. Other physical locking and unlocking options include touchscreens, keypads, and fingerprint sensors.
Security and Privacy Features
Many smart locks have security grades from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or the Builder's Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA), which is an easy way to tell how secure one is at a glance. “It is important to make sure you purchase a smart lock that has an ANSI BHMA certification or retrofits onto your already certified lock,” recommends Lovejoy. “These certifications help you know that your lock has been tested for physical security and durability.”
Some smart locks have other security risks you can mitigate. “One feature is the keypad, whether digital or physical,” says Conti. “People tend to keep the same pin or access code on their locks for extended periods of time, which can lead to worn buttons or fingerprints only on specific numbers, making it easier for unwanted visitors to guess an access code.” Smart locks that randomize the position of the numbers on the keypad or let you enter random digits before and after your code help prevent anyone from learning your code.
Geofencing and auto-lock can also increase the security of a lock by automatically locking the door when you leave and unlocking it when you get home based on the proximity of your phone or another device or by locking after a specific amount of time. The unlocking feature is for convenience, but the locking part provides a bit of extra security since you don’t need to worry about forgetting to lock your door.
What is a smart lock?
A smart lock is a door lock that has built-in Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity and works with a companion smartphone app. These locks allow you to lock and unlock via various means, including the companion app, voice commands, touchscreens, and fingerprint sensors. Smart locks provide the convenience of locking and unlocking without your keys, and some will lock your door for you when you leave.
Another important smart lock feature is that many of these locks let you check your lock or even operate it remotely. “If you want to be able to check your home while traveling or at the office, make sure your lock can connect to Wi-Fi so you can operate and have visibility over your front door from anywhere,” suggests Lovejoy. “This connectivity also makes it easy for you to give access to guests or service people should you not be at home.”
How are smart locks powered?
Smart locks use batteries for power. Many use regular AA batteries, but that isn’t always the case. Regardless of the type of batteries, you need to change them from time to time.
Most smart lock batteries last about a year, but they can go for anywhere between a few months to a few years, depending on usage and the type and number of batteries in the lock. Look for a lock with low power consumption and a lot of battery capacity if you value not having to change the batteries often.
If you’re worried about the batteries going dead, consider a smart lock that has a physical key to fall back on. Another great option is to select a lock that lets you plug in a USB-C power bank or a 9-volt battery for temporary power.
How secure are smart locks?
Smart locks offer a few extra ways to unlock than regular locks, but many of them have ANSI BHMA certifications just like any standard lock. That means some smart locks offer a high level of security, and others don't. Aside from just looking at the ANSI BHMA grade, there are a lot of features you can focus on to increase your security.
Keypads can pose a security risk, but some smart locks include features that help reduce the risk of someone getting your code. One method is through a randomized button system, where the keypad displays the numbers in a randomized position each time, so no onlookers are able to tell what your code is. Another method allows you to enter randomized digits before and after your code to hide the actual code.
Fingerprint sensors are another convenient feature that can create a security hole. “While this can be a very beneficial feature, some may also recognize either lifted fingerprints or copies,” warns Conti. “It’s always important to make sure any fingerprint reading device or software will only accept true authentic fingerprints.” To close this security vulnerability, Conti suggests sticking to smart locks with 3D fingerprint sensors that will only accept truly authentic fingerprints.
The app that controls the smart lock is also a potential issue, especially if you don’t password-protect your phone. “One security concern is ensuring your phone/app is safeguarded,” says Lovejoy. “Just like you’d need to secure your financial data if your phone is lost or stolen, you need to make sure you’re covered with home access.” To mitigate this risk, Lovejoy suggests looking at the smart lock companion app to see if it has a lost phone feature and offers facial or fingerprint matching to operate the lock.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Jeremy Laukkonen, a freelance writer and product tester for The Spruce. His home is secured by a smart lock that shuts off the lights and adjusts the thermostat whenever he leaves, and he has over a decade of experience reviewing electronics for outlets like Lifewire and Digital Trends in addition to The Spruce.
Laukkonen contacted Jim Conti, Vice President of Sales, Pro Channel from Lockly, and Garrett Lovejoy, VP of Product Management from US Smart Residential, a division of ASSA ABLOY, to receive their expert opinions on smart lock features, security concerns, installation, and use. With Conti and Lovejoy’s expert insights in mind, Laukkonen prioritized factors like app functionality, advanced security features, and control options to find the best smart locks for a variety of circumstances.