The best smart locks live up to their name, offering extra convenience without sacrificing security. You can use yours to automatically open up when you're carrying shopping to the door, to give access to loved ones who constantly forget their keys, or to create a secure digital key for tradespeople or family who need in when you're out.
That's very useful, and many of these smart locks integrate with smart home platforms such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa, or can be used to trigger smart home devices such as Philips Hue bulbs. If you pair one of these smart locks with one of the best home security cameras you can see who's at the door and let them in or keep them out, which is really handy if you're getting work done in your home but don't want to just let anyone in.
There are lots of options for all kinds of homes and all budgets, and we've used our extensive expertise to identify the best models for you. In addition to our best overall choice we've also highlighted great buys for budget buyers as well as cutting-edge tech for when money's no object. And in addition to security we've also considered how well each lock integrates with smart home platforms and smart speakers, and how easy they are to install.
Let's discover the best smart locks you can buy today.
The best smart lock 2024: tried and tested
Why you can trust TechRadar
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
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.
Our reviewer, Christian, found that it was simple to set up and use, especially with the keypad on the outside which meant that you just 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. He was also impressed with the one-touch locking feature that allowed for him to lock the door by pressing the Yale logo. Christian also found the app clear and straightforward to use too.
If you’re a HomeKit user, or a user of just about any other smart home system, you’ll have to either be fine with the lock not working with your other products, or opt for another lock altogether, though.
Read the full review: Nest x Yale Smart Lock
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
If you're on a budget and have a lot of house guests when you're not around, the Schalge Sense is the best smart lock for you. Why? Because the app can generate (and delete once they've been used) codes so your guests can access the property without a key.
Christian, our reviewer, also put this smart lock on test for us. He liked how easy it was to set up, and while the app isn’t the prettiest, Christian found that it works fine and you don’t even have to use it if you’re a HomeKit user (although you would benefit from it). If you do have Apple's HomeKit, 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, the Schalge Sense on the bulky side. Christian also found the app to be 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
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
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 so it has that premium look and feel we like.
On test, Christian liked that the smart lock would automatically unlock when stood 20-30 feet from the front door, granting an easy, keyless access; although you can still use your existing keys if you'd prefer. He also liked how responsive and super easy it is to use, plus the app looks and works great, too.
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 bulkier than we would have liked, it’d be nice to have more smart home integration (in our opinion) and it's an expensive smart lock compared to the other two makes / models in this guide, but we think it's worth the investment.
Read the full review: August Smart Lock Pro
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
We liked the original Nuki smart lock, but it had a few flaws – and the newer Plus model addresses those and also brings some welcome improvements. One of the biggest such improvements is that you no longer need to buy and install a Nuki Bridge to connect your smart lock to your home network: this lock has built-in Wi-Fi. It also has a rechargeable battery pack that you can even charge via a power bank.
The Nuki app enables you to create a geofence of 100m around your lock, and when it detects your phone inside that area it will prepare to open – but it won't actually unlock until you're within its 10m Bluetooth range, so it won't open up when you're a street away. It'll automatically lock when it detects you've left the geofence area.
There's no doubt that this is one of the more expensive options, especially once you start adding optional accessories such as the fingerprint keypad. But that means it's also flexible – keypads are a boon for rental properties such as AirBnbs, as well as for secure entry generally.
The Nuki Plus is is compatible with all the key smart home platforms including Apple's HomeKit as well as the more common Google Home and Amazon Alexa. It didn't ship with Matter compatibility, which is designed to make smart locks future-proof, but that was added in November 2023.
Other than the price the only real downside here is that the Nuki is big compared to some rivals; it does tend to dominate any door that it's installed into. But if you're looking for one of the most flexible and future-proof smart locks the Nuki Plus is definitely worth considering.
Click here to read our full Ultion Nuki Plus smart lock review
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
If refitting your entire door lock sounds like too much hassle, you’re in luck - the SwitchBot Lock takes a much simpler route to success. Instead of using complex internal machinations, the Switchbot simply rotates your existing door lock’s thumb turn to lock and unlock your door. It also comes with a magnet to detect when it’s left open.
The SwitchBot isn't as polished as some of the other locks here, but then it's not aiming at the same market: this is pitched as a cheap and effective option that's also temporary, so it's good for those of us who rent rather than own our own homes: it's effective enough when it's there but easily removable if you're off to stay somewhere else. And it supports all the key smart home standards.
There are some downsides. It's a bulky thing, and the app doesn't enable you to create one-time codes for others to get in: you need to add everybody to your household, even if it's just for a single visit. But if you’re a renter or just dipping a toe into the waters of smart homes, the simplicity of the SwitchBot Lock as a retrofitting device is fantastic.
Read our full SwitchBot Smart Lock review
Good to know
When you're searching for the best smart lock, here's some common terminology and spec that you may find good to know:
- Deadbolt style; Most smart locks come in one of two styles; deadbolt replacement or deadbolt adapter that connects to an existing deadbolt
- Trigger options; This is how you unlock your smart lock. Opt for control via: app, a code, a fingerprint or geofencing
- Smart integration; All smart locks will come with an app, but Amazon Alexa, Philips Hue, Google Assistant and HomeKit will let you control the lock plus other devices from one app
- Installation; you'll need a screwdriver to install the smart lock, and a smartphone for downloading an app to control said 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.
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 bolt that is controlled by your smart lock system and that 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?
Most of the best smart locks come with in-built rechargeable battery packs that can usually be recharged using a USB-C cable, but a few devices still require AA alkaline batteries or smaller CR-type batteries to be swapped out every so often. These are becoming less common, however, and it's not a huge issue anyway: 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; don't ever re-use passwords from other accounts, and make sure you use a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. A password should never include personal words like a child's name, date of birth or car registration plate. Make sure your home Wi-Fi also has a strong and secure password, and that the firmware for your smart lock is up-to-date.
Other good smart locks to consider
The Google Nest x Yale smart lock has been our #1 since it was first reviewed in September 2021, but many of the other smart locks that you see listed in this guide would be fine, so long as they suit your needs and wants. We've had hand-on with all of the above locks but as we look to keep this guide up-to-date by continuing to review smart locks, they are a few other makes / models that should be given the time of day.
August Smart Lock gets our pick for beginners. We think that it's affordable price, nice design, and potential for upgrades make it a good starting point for anyone. It 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. Read our Should I buy August Home Smart Locks? for more information.
Conexis L2 Smart Lock is a good option if you want to check-in from anywhere in the world. It's the next generation of Yale’s popular Conexis L1 Smart Door Lock which promises to be equipped with everything that you'll need to provide access to a property remotely, connecting through the Yale Access App to monitor their door from anywhere. You can even receive real-time notifications in the event that the door becomes unlocked unexpectedly.
We currently have this one in for a review, and what we're particularly looking forward to finding out is how well we get on unlocking / locking doors without a key, and using voice assistants such as Alexa to keep on the status of the front door. We're also curious to learn how easy it is to send and usual virtual keys which we can send to friends and family if, for whatever reason, we are unable to get in to the house.
Yale Sync Smart Home Alarm would be good for owners of smaller homes or apartments who would like to integrate with the Yale Smart Lock. It's a wireless alarm system that allows you to check-in from anywhere in the world and receive real-time alerts in the event your alarm is activated. There's a handy geolocation feature on the Sync Smart Home Alarm 5 Piece Kit that'll remind you to set the alarm when you leave home, giving you one less thing to worry about. You can even sync it up with Philips Hue, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa to create the ultimate security deterrent for your home.
Note: The Conexis L2 and Yale Sync Smart Home Alarm are only available in the UK.
- You've reached the end of the page. Jump back up to the top ^
Get daily insight, inspiration and deals in your inbox
Get the hottest deals available in your inbox plus news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more from the TechRadar team.
Michelle Rae Uy is the Computing Reviews and Buying Guides Editor here at TechRadar. She's a Los Angeles-based tech, travel and lifestyle writer covering a wide range of topics, from computing to the latest in green commutes to the best hiking trails. She's an ambivert who enjoys communing with nature and traveling for months at a time just as much as watching movies and playing sim games at home. That also means that she has a lot more avenues to explore in terms of understanding how tech can improve the different aspects of our lives.
- Josephine WatsonManaging Editor, Lifestyle