A smart lock is an easy solution to a lot of common problems. Locked yourself out? Forgot your cleaning service is coming today? Your latchkey kid lost their key? Other half always forgets to lock the door? Hands are full, and it’s raining cats and dogs? A smart lock solves all of these problems and more.
By giving you remote control over your front door from anywhere and easy, key-free ways to unlock your door lock, a smart lock is one of the best smart home upgrades you can make. It can also be more secure than a traditional lock, especially if you are someone who would otherwise leave a spare key under a flowerpot.
One of my personal favorite features of a smart lock is integrating it into a smart home routine so that my doors lock every night at 9PM, or if I say “good night” to a smart assistant, it shuts the lights off, makes sure the doors are locked, and adjusts my thermostat to Sleep mode.
Other important considerations are decent battery life (spoiler alert: this is hard to find); at least three different ways to unlock (keypad, fingerprint, and auto-unlock are my favorites); and connectivity that doesn’t require a dedicated hub.
The latter is key (haha) for controlling your lock when you’re away from home — another feature I find super useful about smart locks. All of the locks listed here can assign “virtual keys” or unique codes to service people or a neighbor looking in on your dog that you can easily revoke and also assign only for specific times. But sometimes, it’s just easier to unlock the door for them and then lock it when they leave, even if you’re 2,000 miles away.
Finally, I recommend considering a lock that will work with Matter, the new smart home standard. Matter compatibility means your lock can work with any smart home platform that supports Matter, including Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple Home, and Samsung SmartThings, among others, and can be controlled with your app or voice assistant of choice as well as by the one your other half prefers to use. This helps futureproof it, and while you might be okay swapping out your light bulbs every couple of years, a smart door lock is a bigger investment.
Matter also means your lock will work with any Matter-compatible device, such as smart plugs and smart lights, for home automation routines (for example, to shut off all your lights when you lock your door). As of today, no locks work with Matter. But Yale, Lockly, Level, and SwitchBot have all committed to upgrading their existing locks (some with additional hardware, such as a hub). Schlage and August have said they will make Matter-compatible locks at some point. For more on which devices will work with Matter, read our guide.
Yale Assure Lock 2
Connectivity: Bluetooth (can add Wi-Fi, Thread, Z-Wave) / Access options: Key, keypad, app, voice / Auto-unlock: Yes / Battery type: Four AA alkaline batteries / Battery life: Six months to a year / Guest codes: Yes / Works with: Apple Home, Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Samsung SmartThings, Matter (with additional hardware)
This sleek Bluetooth smart lock supports Apple Home and will auto-unlock for you as you approach your door. Wi-Fi and Z-Wave modules add more smart home support for $80 each. A Matter module is coming soon, and you can choose to have a keyed lock, too.
The Yale Assure Lock 2 is an inexpensive, good-looking keypad lock that works with every smart home platform. The slimline design (both front and back), wide smart home compatibility, easy-to-use app, and good selection of unlocking options make it my top pick by a long shot.
The Assure Lock 2 comes in a touchscreen or keypad version, with or without a keyway. The touchscreen is super discreet, especially the version without the keyhole, but my household had some trouble with it. I recommend the keypad for most people.
The lock supports Bluetooth out of the box and works with the Yale Access app and Apple Home (but not Home Key). It has auto-unlocking, an included door sensor to tell you if the door is open or closed, and can be controlled by your Apple Watch. Auto-unlock is a decent alternative to a fingerprint unlock, although sometimes I had to wait at the door for a second or two before it worked. Still, it’s faster than fumbling through a purse for keys when your hands are full.
Support for other platforms comes through Yale’s ingenious swappable networking modules, which cost $80 each. I tested the Wi-Fi module, which adds support for Amazon Alexa and Google Home. It worked well in those ecosystems and allowed me to add it to Alexa Routines and lock and unlock it with my voice. The downside is that control over Wi-Fi is considerably slower than over Bluetooth and more quickly drains the battery. Yale estimates up to a year on Bluetooth only, compared to six months over Wi-Fi.
If you plan to use the Assure Lock 2 with Alexa or Google Assistant, though, it’s worth waiting for Yale’s Matter-over-Thread module to arrive instead of paying for the Wi-Fi version now. That module should be a faster, more battery-efficient way to add Alexa and Google support to the Yale Assure 2.
However, Yale tells me the module’s been delayed — it was originally slated for the end of 2022 — and didn’t have a new timeline to share. A Z-Wave module to add compatibility with SmartThings hubs, Ring Alarm, and other Z-Wave hubs will be here this spring, according to the company.
The other electronic locks in this guide are all good options if you have specific needs not met by the Yale lock — such as fingerprint unlocking or Apple Home Key support, you want something even more discreet, or you can’t replace your entire deadbolt. Otherwise, the Yale Assure 2 is the lock to get.
Read my review of the Yale Assure Lock 2.
August Wi-Fi Smart Lock
Connectivity: Wi-Fi / Access options: Existing key, app, voice (keypad sold separately) / Auto-unlock: Yes / Battery type: Two CR123 batteries / Battery life: Up to three months / Guest codes: Yes / Works with: Apple Home, Amazon Alexa, Google Home
Expensive but with a premium feel, this smart lock is reliable, feels good in your hand, and doesn’t require switching out your entire deadbolt. You can keep your existing key, and it will auto-unlock as you arrive home.
The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock is an elegant retrofit door lock that replaces just the thumb turn. This is a better option than the Yale Assure if you want to keep your existing deadbolt, key cylinder, and lock exterior.
Unlike the Yale, it has Wi-Fi built in, so there’s no need for an extra hub, bridge, or module. Like the Yale, it has auto-unlock technology (Yale and August are both owned by Assa Abloy), so it can be set to unlock itself when you walk up to your door. Similarly, this wasn’t 100 percent reliable in my testing, and I had to whip out my phone a couple of times to unlock it since there’s no built-in keypad. (I stopped carrying keys years ago — but you can unlock it with a key).
August sells a compatible Bluetooth keypad, which is discounted when you buy it with the lock, but it’s black and kind of chunky, meaning it will stand out on your door frame — negating the whole “my front door still looks the same” reason for buying this lock.
The August lock is pricey for a retrofit lock, but it feels premium thanks to an all-metal design. With its compact size, it doesn’t stick out too much on the inside of your door, and it’s attractive enough not to be an eyesore. It’s also very quiet when it operates, in contrast to many models I’ve tested.
The August works with either the August app or the Yale Access app for remote control, assigning guest keys, and viewing an activity log of when your door was locked or unlocked and by whom (if a code was used). The apps are essentially identical, and you can control August and Yale locks from the Yale app (but not vice versa). The August lock also works with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Apple Home for smart home control, including voice control. I like being able to raise my watch and say, “unlock the front door” as I walk up the path.
The biggest disadvantage of the August Wi-Fi is battery life. Most Wi-Fi locks use four AA batteries that last around six months. To achieve its small form factor, the August Wi-Fi uses two CR123 batteries, which are smaller and more expensive than AAs — around $15 for a six-pack — and need to be replaced every two to three months.
Read our review of the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock.
Wyze Lock Bolt
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 / Access options: Fingerprint, keypad, app / Auto-unlock: No / Battery type: Four AA / Battery life: One year / Guest codes: Yes / Works with: N/A
This smart door lock is Bluetooth-only, with no other connectivity option. It replaces your entire deadbolt and has a backlit keypad and fingerprint reader. At under $80, it’s the best budget lock we tested.
If you don’t care about smart home integration or would prefer a lock without it, the Wyze Lock Bolt is an excellent value. It’s not sleek or stylish; it’s just a big hunk of black plastic. It doesn’t connect to Wi-Fi or integrate with any smart home systems (not even with Wyze’s own gadgets). But it does have an easy-to-use backlit keypad and a lightning-fast fingerprint reader. It’ll auto-lock if you want, and it’s half the price of the Yale Assure Lock 2.
In addition to the fingerprint reader and keypad, the Wyze Lock Bolt can be controlled over Bluetooth, and its range is very good. I could lock the door from my bedroom at the other end of the house using the Wyze app. That’s important, as there’s no way to lock the door on a schedule. It doesn’t integrate with any smart home platforms such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home, but if you don’t need to control your lock with your voice or plan to add it to any smart home routines, you won’t really miss those features. It also delivers up to a year of battery life on four AAs.
But without Wi-Fi, I couldn’t check on it or control it when I was away from home, so turning on the auto-lock option is a must. If I wanted to let someone in while I was gone, I couldn’t unlock the door remotely, but I could generate an offline code in the Wyze app and share that. This uses similar technology to two-factor authentication codes and worked perfectly in my testing.
If you’re worried about a hacker finding their way into your door lock, the lack of Wi-Fi should ease those fears, but it’s easier and more likely that a thief will use brute force on a lock — smart or not — than hack one.
Connectivity: Bluetooth / Access options: Key, app, voice, (fingerprint, keypad sold separately) / Auto-unlock: No / Battery type: Two CR123 batteries / Battery life: Six months / Guest codes: Yes / Works with: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant (with a hub), Matter coming soon (with a hub)
A retrofit smart lock that doesn’t require removing any part of your existing lock, the SwitchBot is a unique solution. It can work with many different lock styles, and you can even use two on the same door if you have two locks. It can also turn a key, so it works for double-cylinder locks.
This funky-looking retrofit smart lock is for anyone who can’t or doesn’t want to mess with their existing door lock in any way, shape, or form.
Essentially a tiny robot hand that unlocks your door for you, the $99 SwitchBot Lock goes over a deadbolt’s existing thumb turn and sticks to the door with super-strength double-sided tape. You can then lock or unlock it over Bluetooth from a phone or Apple Watch or use the existing key. It is not an elegant solution, but it works, and it’s the easiest smart lock I’ve installed; it took me under five minutes to get it set up.
A $40 SwitchBot Hub adds Wi-Fi to connect with smart home systems like Amazon Alexa and Google Home (no Apple Home). The upcoming SwitchBot Hub 2 will add Matter support, which will bring Apple Home integration along with SmartThings. Either hub also adds remote control when you’re away from home, voice lock and unlock (with a PIN), and the option to add the lock to smart home routines. It also enables notifications that tell you if the door has been left unlocked or ajar. (The lock comes with a door sensor.)
In my testing, all of these integrations worked well and were fast enough, though the auto-lock feature was unreliable, meaning you have to get your phone out to lock it if you don’t carry a key. Battery life is promised at six months, which is low for a Bluetooth lock, but it uses two CR123 batteries, which take up less room but don’t last as long as AAs.
Because it’s a retrofit lock, the only way to unlock it from the outside is with a phone or Apple Watch or key. This isn’t ideal, so I strongly recommend getting one of SwitchBot’s Bluetooth keypads — the version with a fingerprint reader is the best. Keypads are handy for visitors and service people and add the option of pressing a button on the keypad to lock the door when you leave.
All of these extras add up, though. The keypad with a fingerprint reader, a hub, and the lock costs $170 altogether. But that’s still a good price for a fully featured, if somewhat strange-looking, smart lock.
Read my review of the SwitchBot Lock.
U-Bolt Pro WiFi
Connectivity: Wi-Fi / Access options: Key, fingerprint, keypad, app, voice / Auto-unlock: Yes / Battery type: Four U-Tech AA ultra lithium batteries / Battery life: Up to one year / Guest codes: Yes / Works with: Amazon Alexa and Google Home
The U-Bolt Pro WiFi is a solid-feeling lock that packs a lot of features into a compact design. Control it with your fingerprint, key, keypad, voice with Alexa or Google, or an app on your phone or Apple Watch.
My favorite way to unlock a door is with my fingerprint. It’s the fastest, most reliable, and easiest option. It’s also impossible for my children to forget their fingers. But fingerprint unlocking alone doesn’t give you good options for visitors, which is why I like the U-Bolt Pro WiFi.
In addition to the fingerprint reader, the U-Bolt Pro WiFi has a keypad and — if you really want — a hidden keyed lock. It also has auto-unlock using a smartphone, but this didn’t work in my testing. It has built-in Wi-Fi, so it can connect to Amazon Alexa and Google Home for voice control and smart home automations, but it doesn’t support Apple Home.
The U-Bolt Pro is much more compact than other keypad locks with fingerprint readers. The Eufy Smart Lock Touch & Wi-Fi has a keyhole, a keypad, and a fingerprint reader, and it’s bigger than an iPhone 14 Pro Max. The U-Bolt Pro is compact and relatively discreet on my front door. It does — like most smart locks — insist on branding your door, but the logo isn’t super prominent.
The fingerprint unlocking is fast, and there’s an auto-lock option, which — when paired with the included door sensor — won’t try to lock if the door is open. I also like the option to add two fingerprints per user and that the pad is right in the middle of the lock, making it easy to access.
The backlit keypad is circular and goes around the fingerprint pad. It’s an easy to use, if somewhat unconventional, design. To use the keyhole, you have to physically unhook the keypad, which is attached on a hinge, and reattaching it does take a bit of brute force.
The U-Tech app isn’t the most exciting experience, but it gets the job done for setting up fingerprint codes, PINs, and the auto-unlock feature, which works using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to determine your phone’s location. The Wi-Fi connection for the app is quite slow, which could explain why I had trouble getting auto-unlock to work, but that feature isn’t as necessary when you have a fingerprint reader.
Connectivity: Bluetooth / Access options: Key, touch, app, voice (keypad sold separately), Apple Home Key (certain models) / Auto-unlock: Yes / Battery type: One CR2 battery / Battery life: One year / Guest codes: Yes / Works with: Apple Home, Ring (with additional hardware, Matter (coming soon)
The Level line packs all the smarts and power into the deadbolt itself, leaving the rest of your lock looking, well, like a normal lock. It works with Apple Home and Ring and, thanks to a dormant Thread radio, will get updated to support Matter — bringing compatibility with other platforms.
Want a smart lock that doesn’t look like a smart lock? Level packs all the technology inside the deadbolt — including the single CR2 battery that gets up to a year of battery life.
There are four options; the Level Bolt, the Level Lock, the Level Lock Touch, and the Level Lock Plus (with Apple Home Key). The Level Bolt is completely invisible. It fits entirely within the existing deadbolt so you can keep the interior and exterior hardware you already have.
The Level Lock, Lock Touch, and Lock Plus replace the whole deadbolt but still look like traditional door locks with keyholes. There is no branding at all — this is the only smart lock I’ve tested that isn’t a tiny advertisement on my front door.
All four are Bluetooth-only for now with no Wi-Fi connectivity, so you have to connect to Apple Home or Amazon’s Sidewalk network for extra features. This means you need a supported Ring device (such as the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2) or an Apple Home hub like a HomePod Mini to control the lock remotely.
There’s no Google Home support — yet. But Level recently said all its locks will be firmware-updated to support Matter-over-Thread. There’s no timeline for the update, but when it arrives, it will bring compatibility with all major smart home platforms.
All Level locks also work with the Level Home app, which has had a makeover since I first tested the lock and is more responsive and easier to use. They also all work with Level’s auto-unlock feature.
I tested the Level Touch and the Level Plus for this guide, both of which add an additional touch-to-open capability that is as easy to use as a fingerprint reader (though it lacks the biometric authentication). The Level Plus adds Apple Home Key, which lets you unlock your door with your iPhone or Apple Watch by tapping it on the lock. It works very well, but I still prefer the Schlage Encode Plus (below) for Home Key since it comes with a keypad built in. (Level sells a separate keypad for $79, or $59 when purchased with a lock)
To use Home Key, touch-to-unlock, or auto-unlock on a Level lock, you have to have a phone or Apple Watch on you. So it’s not a good fit for households with kids without phones unless you buy Level’s keypad or use its NFC keycards (two of which are included with the lock).
There are some quirks with some of Level’s unlocking features. You must choose between auto-unlock and touch-to-unlock; you can’t have both. And neither works unless you leave the geofence area and come back. So if you leave the house, lock the door, get in your car, remember you forgot something, and go back to your door, it won’t unlock automatically for you. The Touch also doesn’t work well with older doors based on my testing on two doors. I would only consider installing the Touch if you have a door that lines up perfectly with the strike plate.
Level locks are also very expensive, starting at $199 and going up to $329 for the Plus. But for an invisible smart lock that works well, it’s the way to go.
Read our reviews of the Level Bolt and the Level Plus.
Lockly Vision Elite
Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi (hub) / Access options: Key, fingerprint, keypad, app, voice / Auto-unlock: No / Battery type: Rechargeable lithium-ion battery (two included), solar power / Battery life: Six months / Guest codes: Yes / Works with: Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Matter (coming soon)
A full deadbolt replacement lock with a doorbell and camera crammed in, this lock does a lot. Unlock it with your finger, a PIN, app or voice, or a regular key. You can see and talk to visitors through the 1080p camera, and it will be upgraded to support Matter.
The Lockly Vision Elite is a smart lock with a video doorbell. It’s a very good smart lock, but its video doorbell capabilities are compromised by being crammed inside a lock. Motion detection is spotty, and it lacks people or package detection, but it does a better job of seeing who is at your door than any other lock on this list.
Lockly has said it will get upgraded to support Matter (just the lock part, as Matter doesn’t support cameras yet). So this is the lock to buy if you don’t have the space, setup, or patience to install two separate devices.
As a lock, it is excellent, with a keypad, fingerprint reader, keyhole, and app and voice control options for locking and unlocking. It’s the only lock in this guide that uses rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Plus, it comes with a replacement battery pack and an incorporated solar panel for trickle charging. And while it requires a bridge to connect it to Wi-Fi (and to store video from the doorbell camera), that’s included — making the $500 price tag a tad more palatable.
It’s a great lock function-wise, but it’s a bit too big and techie-looking for my personal taste (a problem the Eufy Video Smart Lock shares). And, while it works with Amazon Alexa and Google Home, there’s no Apple Home support.
Read my review of the Lockly Vision Elite.
Connectivity: Wi-Fi / Access options: Key, keypad, app, voice / Auto-unlock: No / Battery type: Four AA batteries / Battery life: Six months / Guest codes: Yes / Works with: Amazon Alexa, Ring, and Google Home
A traditional door lock style with a touchscreen keypad and built-in Wi-Fi, the Encode will match your existing Schlage hardware — contemporary or classic — while connecting your door to smart home platforms like Amazon Alexa, Amazon Key, and Ring.
The Schlage Encode WiFi lock is chunkier and noisier than most of the locks on this list, and its app is inelegant and slow. But its design will match a Schlage door set — which is important for some people. It’s also the best option for Amazon Alexa and Ring households. It integrates with Amazon Key home delivery service, and you can lock and unlock the Encode from within the Ring app while viewing a live feed from your Ring doorbell. It can also be unlocked with Alexa voice commands and works with Google Home, too.
With Wi-Fi on board, the Schlage is simple to install and an excellent choice for someone who wants a basic smart lock that will fit with their existing door hardware. All the standard features are here: remote unlocking, keyed access, voice control, auto-locking, and shareable access codes. It does have a sizable rear housing, though, and is noisy as all get out.
I first reviewed the Schlage in 2019 when it came out, and not much has changed since then. There’s no door-sensing integration or auto-unlock option, but you have three reliable ways to get in: a key, a PIN, and the app. It also lasts at least six months on one set of four AAs. If you have a Ring video doorbell, this is definitely the best lock to get.
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Schlage Encode Plus
Connectivity: Wi-Fi / Access options: Key, keypad, app, voice, Apple Home Key / Auto-unlock: No / Battery type: Four AA batteries / Battery life: Six months / Guest codes: Yes / Works with: Apple Home (Home Key), Amazon Alexa, Ring, and Google Home
The Encode Plus is identical to the Encode Wifi with the addition of Apple Home and Home Key compatibility. It also has a Thread radio on board, but Schlage has said it won’t be upgraded to support Matter.
The Schlage Encode Plus was the first lock available in North America to work with Apple Home Key. (Although “available’’ is a loose term, as it’s criminally hard to find in stock, and Schlage just raised the price to $330.) It has all the same capabilities and features as the Schlage Encode WiFi, plus compatibility with Apple Home and Apple’s Home Key.
Home Key lets you unlock your door with your iPhone or Apple Watch using a digital key stored in Apple Wallet. Simply tap your device against the keypad and wait a moment for a green light. There are no apps to open, no buttons to press, and no need to unlock your phone (although you can add that step as an extra security layer). “The whole process is similar to, but even simpler than, buying something with Apple Pay,” wrote Dan Seifert in his review of the Encode Plus.
Adding the lock to the Home app also automatically adds the Home Key card to your Wallet as well as that of anyone else you have added to your app. That’s much easier than getting household members to download a whole new app for the door lock. I should know — I try regularly.
To allow someone not in your household to control the lock, you’ll have to give them a standard PIN, which you can do in the Apple Home app or the Schlage Encode app. Unlike the Yale Assure Lock 2, you can set this lock up entirely in the Home app and never have to use the manufacturer’s app.
The Schlage Plus has a Thread radio on board, but Schlage has said it won’t be updated to support Matter due to changes in the specification after the lock launched.
Read our review of the Schlage Encode Plus.
Bosma Aegis is an inexpensive retrofit lock that works well and costs just $120. It is remarkably similar to the August Wifi lock in terms of function and installation but not build quality (it’s very plasticky). It even has a very similar-looking Bluetooth keypad option (with a fingerprint reader). But it is giant, like hulking huge. It’s also very loud and requires a separate bridge, which is why I prefer the August Wifi as a retrofit option. But if you’re on a budget and like the features of the August but not the price, this could be a good fit.
The Yale Assure Lock SL is the previous version of my top pick, the Yale Assure 2. Since it comes with a Wi-Fi module included, it’s more expensive. It also has a larger rear housing and a more prominent keypad, especially if you get the physical keypad version. It’s a fine lock, and the new Matter module will work in it — whenever it’s released. But the newer Assure has a nicer look overall and costs less.
The Eufy Smart Lock Touch is a very good lock in terms of function — an easy-to-use fingerprint reader, a nice big touchscreen keypad, the option of a key, and Wi-Fi built in. But it is just too big and techie-looking for most people’s front doors.
I do like that it uses a removable 10,000mAh battery, and I got about eight months out of it before needing to recharge (with a USB-A cable). But that’s also why this lock is so big. The new Eufy Video Smart Lock is similarly huge. Although cheaper than the Lockly Vision Elite video doorbell / lock combo, it’s still expensive and is more of an eyesore. Eufy has not committed to Matter support, and recent security vulnerabilities around Eufy’s video storage might give you pause before purchasing this lock.
The Lockly Flex Touch and the Kwikset Halo Touch are two fingerprint-only locks I tested. I think these have limited use as smart locks since you can’t as easily share temporary access to the lock as you can with others. (Guests have to download the app rather than just receive a code.) But they do look more like a traditional lock since they don’t need space for a keypad.
If you think a fingerprint-only option would be a good fit for you, then the Kwikset Halo Touch is the best option. (The Flex Touch has been discontinued — replaced by the Access Touch Lock, which I haven’t yet tested.) However, Kwikset smart locks are very noisy in everyday use and have larger rear housings compared to Yale’s or Schlage’s newer models. Also, Kwikset’s app is frustrating to use and unreliable, and I had a lot of trouble even adding the Touch to it. Kwikset just completely redesigned its app, so I will retest the lock and report back.
Photography by Jennifer Pattison Tuohy / The Verge
Updated, Friday, March 3rd, 4 PM: Added a section on other locks we’ve tested. Included updated details on locks that will support Matter and added new details throughout.
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