Smart locks are becoming more popular among people who want their home to be as safe as possible, and there are also a wide array of styles to choose from. They're also an investment with many coming with a high ticket price, so you're right to start looking for one now - especially with Black Friday deals just around the corner.
Jennifer Oksien, Editor - Homes
The best smart locks boost security and add peace of mind, solving all sorts of problems by including your front door in your smart home system. No more locking yourself out by accident or worrying you won't be home when friends and family are due to come around.
Smart locks don't require (but they often still include) a physical key, and instead, you can use things like your fingerprint or unique PIN code, or get access with just a couple of taps on your phone. And for trusted workers, family, and friends, you can create unique, secure guest codes to give them.
We've created this guide to help you find the best smart lock for your home, regardless of your budget. We've tested them based not just on the technical aspects but also on how well they integrate with other smart home devices and easy they are to install and use.
The best smart locks 2022 – chosen by our experts
Why you can trust TechRadar Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
The Nest x Yale lock is the best we've tested, although it only works with other Nest smart home products, such as the Nest Learning Thermostat and its range of home security cameras, including Nest Cam Outdoor.
Simple to use, the Nest x Yale lock looks stylish and is available in Satin Nickel, Oil Rubbed Bronze, and Polished Brass, so no matter your style, you should find something that fits.
It is easy to set up and features a keypad outside, so you punch in a code to enter your house rather than insert a key. This is great if your keys are shoved in your pockets or purse. On test, we were impressed with the one-touch locking feature that allows you to lock your door by pressing the Yale logo. We also found the app clear and straightforward to use too.
Read the full review: Nest x Yale Smart Lock
The August Smart Lock has dropped in price just at the right time when smart locks quickly become a household must but remain among the pricier smart home devices out there. Unfortunately, at the moment, there aren't a lot of inexpensive smart locks that you can truly rely on – unless you want to leave your home's security in the hands of an unknown brand.
This offering from August, on the other hand, comes not only from a reliable and trusted brand but is feature-filled as well. It's got the auto-lock and auto-unlock functions, naturally, but we also love that you can create temporary guest keys, which are handy when you've got guests or staff coming in.
Plus, if you're anything like us who prefer to carry light when going for a run or a hike, you can rest assured that your Apple Watch can function as your key.
The Kwikset Obsidian is a great-looking smart lock. It hugs tight against the door for a low profile and has a glossy sheen that adds a touch of elegance to any door. It's completely keyless, with only a touchscreen for entering access codes. You can create up to 16 logins for family and friends.
The lock also includes a patented Kwikset safety feature called SecureScreen that prevents someone from seeing where you've touched the screen to input your code (it generates random digits that you have to press before entering your actual entry code).
This is to prevent someone from simply looking at where your fingerprint smudges are and copying the code that way. However, while it works with Alexa, there's no HomeKit or Google Assistant support.
The August Smart Lock Pro is one of the most discreet smart locks on the market. In fact, from the outside, you would never know it's there.
On test, we found the smart lock would automatically unlock when we were 20-30 feet from our door, granting us easy, keyless access, although you can still use your existing keys if you'd prefer.
You will need a Wi-Fi bridge to unlock the full potential of the August Smart Lock Pro, but the August Connect bridge is included when you purchase the lock. It's also an expensive smart lock compared to the rest of the market, but we think it's worth the investment.
Read the full review: August Smart Lock Pro
If you have a lot of house guests when you're not around, the Schalge Sense is the best smart lock for you, as the app can generate (and delete once they've been used) codes so your guests can access the property without a key. Easy to install, the Schalge Senseorks with Apple's HomeKit, so you can control your lock using devices like an Apple TV, iPad, or HomePod speaker through the HomeKit app. The lock also supports Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, allowing you to use just your voice to unlock and lock the device. However, it is on the bulky side.
We also found the app is fiddly to use, and you'll need patience to deal with dropped connections from time to time.
Read the full review: Schlage Sense Smart Lock
How we test smart locks
To compare the best smart locks, we assess how easy they are to install and control. In addition, we evaluate how quickly they respond to commands such as locking and unlocking the door when we’re at home and no longer close by. We also check whether they integrate with Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri and how effectively the relevant voice assistant responds to commands to control the smart lock.
We also assess each model on its ability to replace different styles of door locks, how durable it is, and the extra kit, such as hubs also available for the smart lock. We also consider whether you can use it with a key in case the Wi-Fi network, any functions that let you provide short-term access to friends and family, and that it doesn’t require reading a thick instruction manual before use.
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How to choose the best smart lock for you
If you’re trying to choose the right smart lock for you, there are many considerations you should take into account before deciding on the ideal model for you.
Some smart locks connect to your smartphone using Bluetooth, which means you’ll only be able to lock the door if you’re close by. However, suppose you’re the forgetful type that struggles to remember to lock the door. In that case, a design with Wi-Fi built-in or that uses a bridge to connect to the internet and relay instructions from the cloud will ensure it can be locked or unlocked even if you’re no longer at the property.
The styling of the smart lock and whether it will fit with your current decor should also be contemplated, as there’s a wide array to choose from, including traditional-looking devices that disguise their smarts to futuristic designs with keypads and touchscreens.
Not all smart locks integrate with all voice assistants, so check if a model is compatible if you already use a voice assistant and whether it will integrate with other smart home devices you own, such as the best home security cameras, video doorbells, and smart lights.
Also, consider if you need the ability to give friends and family short-term access to the lock, and if so, does the smart lock offer activity logs so you can review who’s accessed your home and when.
If you're new to smart locks, we've also created a guide that tells you everything you need to know about smart locks.
How do smart locks work?
Smart locks are keyless devices that connect to your home Wi-Fi and can be opened by your smartphone. Some also come with a keypad so you can enter a code to unlock it too. In addition, most smart locks work with voice assistants such as Alexa or Google Assistant, so you can use your voice to open them too.
Some smart locks replace your existing lock completely, so you’ll need to be confident with DIY if you want to install them yourself, while others simply fit over the existing lock and require far less DIY.
The best smart locks can be used with smart home hubs, such as the best smart speakers and smart displays, to create home automation. For example, you can secure your smart lock and arm your home security cameras with one command or at a particular time if you’re leaving the house or perhaps going to bed. Not all smart locks will work with all voice assistants and smart home hubs, so if you already have an established smart home, check if a device is compatible before you buy.
What are the different types of smart lock?
Before you commit to which smart lock you add to your home, it's useful to look at the different options.
There are two main types of security device - deadbolt locks and multipoint locks. As you may be able to see from our list, the former is more popular and widely available, but both have their pros and cons. Both terms have been carried over from the traditional door lock world but apply in much the same way here.
Deadbolt locks are the simplest of the two, with a literal bolt that is controlled by your smart lock system and secures the door from the inside. Meanwhile, multi-point (or 'lever') locks include more than one bolt and offer a little more security. You will usually find these on more modern doors or those with a handle that must be pulled up before the door can be locked.
Generally speaking, deadbolts are easier to swap out for a smart alternative and also offer you more choices.
Do smart locks require batteries?
While most of the best smart locks come with in-built rechargeable battery packs that can usually be recharged using a USB-C cable, a few devices still require AA alkaline batteries or similar to be swapped out every so often. These are becoming less common, however, and smart locks generally don't use a huge amount of battery power at a time.
Can smart locks be hacked?
Like any internet-connected device, there is a risk that someone could hack smart locks. However, some good security practices will help minimize the risk. If there’s a default password on the smart lock, always change it and opt for a unique password, avoiding duplicating passwords from other accounts, and using a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. Ensure it doesn’t contain personally identifiable information, either. Make sure your home Wi-Fi also has a strong and secure password, and the firmware for a smart lock is up-to-date.