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The 5 Best Smart Locks for 2021

A photo of the Wyze Smart Lock and Keypad.

Smart locks make it easy to come and go without leaving your door unlocked, and can even help friends or family get inside when you’re away from home. But choosing the perfect smart lock is easier said than done. Here are the best smart locks for every household.

Smart locks make it easier to enter and leave your home, but on their own, they aren’t that much more secure than traditional locks (unless you’re the kind of person who always forgets to lock their door). To maximize your smart locks’ potential for securing your home, consider pairing it with a smart security camera, a smart doorbell, or even a smart speaker.

Before Buying a Smart Lock

Smart locks come with some common features like auto-lock and unlock, “special access” for guests, and alerts when you leave your door open. Still, each brand of smart lock is slightly different from the rest, and every family has its preferences, so shopping for a smart lock is often a juggling act.

Here are some things to keep in mind while shopping for a smart lock:

  • Installation: Some smart locks replace your front door’s existing deadbolt, though others sit on top of your old deadbolt, allowing you to keep your own keys. All of the smart locks in this roundup are battery-powered, so you don’t need to worry about wiring anything.
  • Keypads: Digital keypads save you the trouble of carrying a key or a cellphone, and they make it easy for guests or family members to come and go when you’re away from home. Many smart locks come with a keypad, although some brands like Wyze, sell their keypad as a separate add-on device.
  • To Keyway, or Not to Keyway?: Some smart locks come without a physical keyway—you know, the hole that you stick a key into. While your smart lock doesn’t need a keyway, an old-fashioned key can come in handy if the lock’s battery dies or if the lock malfunctions. That said, some locks have emergency backup options. You can give the keyless Yale Assure Lock SL a jump with a 9V battery, for example.
  • Smart home Integration: Google Assistant or Alexa? If you want to connect your smart lock with other devices like smart lights or security cameras, make sure that it supports your preferred smart assistant for voice control. Of course, it’s worth mentioning that you don’t need to own any smart home equipment to start using a smart lock.
  • Amazon Key: Some smart locks support Amazon Key, a program that allows delivery drivers to drop packages off inside your house. Using Amazon Key is optional, and drivers can’t reuse their digital “key” to get back inside your house after delivering a package. (Amazon Key also requires a compatible smart camera).
  • Wi-Fi vs. Z-Wave: Most smart locks connect directly to your Wi-Fi router just like any phone or laptop. But some smart locks communicate with your router through a Z-Wave smart home hub, which minimizes wireless interference and often provides better coverage than Wi-Fi. Z-Wave devices can also amplify each other’s signals, which is useful if you have a large home or outdoor smart home devices. That said, you need to own a Z-Wave hub (like the Ring Bridge) to use a Z-Wave smart lock. The only Z-Wave smart lock featured in this roundup is the Schlage Z-Wave Deadbolt.

Now that you know what you’re looking for, let’s get into it. Here are the best smart locks for every household.

Best Overall: Schlage Encode

A photo of the Schlage smart lock and keypad.

Let me have it all! The Schlage Encode packs all the smart lock features you could ever need into a slim stylish package. It supports Alexa and Google Assistant, it features a keyway and keypad, and it has a built-in alarm. Plus, it supports the Amazon Key service, which can help prevent your packages from being stolen at your doorstep.

In our review, we found that the Schlage Encode is easier to install than other non-retrofit smart locks, and that its intuitive app controls and support for keyed, keypad, or keyless entry can accommodate for anyone in your family, even those who don’t enjoy smart tech.

Best Overall

Schlage Encode Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt with Camelot Trim in Satin Nickel

Read Review Geek's Full Review

The Schlage Encode features an all-in-one design with a traditional keyway, a keypad, and hands-free unlock. It works with Google Assistant and Alexa, and it doesn't require an external hub.

Best Budget Option: Wyze Lock

A photo of the Wyze smart lock.

The Wyze Lock proves that smart locks don’t need to be overpriced or overengineered. With an easy-to-install retrofit design and Alexa support, the Wyze Lock lets you add hands-free entry and remote controls to your door without replacing your old keys.

But there’s one big catch here—in our Wyze Lock review, we found that the affordable smart home device isn’t great at detecting your phone for hands-free entry. The Wyze Lock is still more convenient than a traditional lock, though we suggest pairing it with the Wyze Keypad, so you don’t have to carry your keys when you leave the house.

Best Budget Option

Wyze Lock

Read Review Geek's Full Review

The Wyze Lock costs half as much as other smart locks, and features a retrofit design, so you can keep your old keys. It works with Alexa, but not Google Assistant.

Get the Keypad!

Wyze Lock Keypad

The Wyze lock has a keyway for when hands-free entry doesn’t work, but if you’d like to leave the house without your keys or phone, you need to pay extra for Wyze Lock Keypad.

Best for Apartments: August Smart Lock

The August smart lock.

With its incredibly compact retrofit design, the August Smart Lock is perfect for apartment dwellers who aren’t allowed (or don’t want to) replace their keys, deadbolt, or the outside appearance of their door. The August Smart Lock works with Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri for Apple HomeKit, so it’s a great option for anyone who lives in an apartment, regardless of which smart home system you use.

If you want to use the August Smart Lock with a keypad, you need to buy the August Home AK-R1 keypad separately. Keep in mind that, while this keypad is battery-powered and doesn’t require any wiring, you might need your apartment’s permission before installing it on your door.

Best for Apartments

August Home, Wi-Fi Smart Lock (4th Generation)– Fits Your Existing Deadbolt in Minutes, Silver

It's small, it's easy to install, and it sits on top of your old deadbolt. The August Smart Lock is perfect for people who live in apartments, and it works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit.

Get the Keypad!

August Home Smart Keypad, Pair with Your August Smart Lock - Grant Guest Access with Unique Keycodes, Dark Gray

If you own an August Smart Lock but don't want to carry your keys or phone every time you leave the house, then you'll need the August Home AK-R1 keypad.

Best for HomeKit: Yale Assure Lock SL

A photo of the Yale Assure smart lock and keypad.

Need a HomeKit-compatible smart lock? The Yale Assure Lock SL integrates perfectly with all your HomeKit (or Alexa or Google Assistant) devices and provides reliable keyless entry into your home. Plus , because the Yale Assure Lock SL has a touchscreen keypad, you don’t have to worry about getting locked out when you forget your phone.

Bear in mind that the Yale Assure Lock SL doesn’t have a physical keyway. If it malfunctions or you ignore the low battery notifications, then you’ll need to give it a jump start with a 9V battery to get back inside your home. If you’re a HomeKit user who would prefer a physical key, try the August Smart Lock.

Best for HomeKit

Yale Assure Lock SL Wi-Fi Touchscreen Smart Lock - Satin Nickel

Siri, could you lock the door? The HomeKit-compatible Yale Assure Lock SL makes hands-free entry easy, so you never need to carry your keys again. It also works with Google Assistant and Alexa, in case you switch from HomeKit in the future.

Best for Ring or Z-Wave Hubs: Schlage Z-Wave Deadbolt

A photo of the Schlage Z-Wave Deadbolt and keypad.

Are you still rocking a Z-Wave hub, or do you own a ton of Ring devices? Schlage’s Z-Wave Deadbolt is the best all-in-one option for Ring and Z-Wave users. It replaces your existing deadbolt with a combination keyway-keypad, plus it has a built-in alarm and offers support for both Alexa and Google Assistant.

Keep in mind that any Alexa-compatible smart lock can integrate with Ring. The Schlage Z-Wave Deadbolt just happens to offer direct connectivity to Z-Wave hubs (Ring Bridges are Z-Wave), an option that minimizes wireless congestion on your Wi-Fi network. And like other Z-Wave devices, the Schlage Z-Wave Deadbolt can amplify the signals of other devices on its network, or piggyback off of other devices if it’s far from your hub.

Best for Z-Wave or Ring

SCHLAGE BE469ZP CAM 619 Connect Smart Deadbolt with alarm with Camelot Trim in Satin Nickel, Z-Wave Plus enabled

Schlage's Z-Wave Deadbolt connects to your Z-Wave or Ring hub and features a combination keyway-keypad design. It works with Alexa and Google Assistant.

Andrew Heinzman Andrew Heinzman
Andrew is the News Editor for Review Geek, where he covers breaking stories and manages the news team. He joined Life Savvy Media as a freelance writer in 2018 and has experience in a number of topics, including mobile hardware, audio, and IoT. Read Full Bio »