The Best Door Locks and Deadbolts 2020

Choose among our top recommendations for door locks.

There aren’t reliable, hard-and-fast stats on how burglars operate. But anecdotal evidence from former criminals suggests that intruders usually try the front door before looking for another way.

“No problem,” you might think. “I keep my door locked.” Yeah, well, locks don’t always stop thieves. If you don’t have the right lock, an intruder can break it, bypass it, or simply kick the door down.

To keep that from happening to you, we’re here with the best, safest locks on the market.

Best locks and deadbolts of 2020
LockKwikset 980 Single CylinderSchlage L9040Schlage Touch Camelot Deadbolt BE375August Smart Lock
Price$37.97$387.17$92.96$149.99
Lock typeDeadboltMortiseKeyless entry lockSmart lock
Grade112None
Smart home integrationsNANANAIFTTT, Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, Wink, Airbnb, SimpliSafe
WarrantyLifetime mechanical and finish3-year limited mechanical; 1-year limited electromechanical (to the original user)3-year limited electronic; limited lifetime mechanical and finish 1-year manufacturer
See detailsView on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon

Amazon.com List Prices (as of 02/25/2020 12:48 MST). Offers subject to change.

Heads Up icon
What lock is compatible with my SimpliSafe system?
If you have SimpliSafe, you can always try the August Smart Lock. But it might be easier to go with the SimpliSafe SmartLock. This lock works exclusively with SimpliSafe home security systems. And get this—it actually seems to be good. It’s getting some buzz even though it hasn’t been on the market very long.

Best deadbolts

We believe that the overall best deadbolt on the market is Kwikset.

Best deadbolt

A deadbolt is one of the most basic and effective ways to secure a door. It works best when combined with your door’s standard lock. It also functions much better than a spring bolt lock since a deadbolt can’t move from its locked position without a key in the cylinder.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Grade 1
  • Rekeying tech
  • Multiple finishes

Cons

  • Lacks strike plate
  • No smart tech compatibility

Why we chose Kwikset 980 Single Cylinder

Kwikset offers some of the top-rated deadbolts on the market, and this ANSI Grade 1–rated lock is no exception. Its SmartKey technology makes it easy to rekey your lock and avoid locksmith fees.

The Kwikset has no strike plate, but it’s designed to withstand a substantial amount of abuse. Take that, door kickers. It also comes in multiple finishes so you can get the color you like most. If you want to keep things simple yet safe, this is a good choice for you.

Remember, though, that a deadbolt on its own can’t be integrated into a smart home. You need to pair this Kwikset with a smart door lock if you want to access it remotely.

Tech specs

  • Adjustable and fits all standard door thicknesses
  • ANSI Grade: Grade 1
  • Weight: 1.5

Deadbolt runner-up: Kwikset 991 Juno Entry Knob

Runnerup deadbolt

The Juno is another, slightly more elegant Kwikset lock. Like the 980, it’s Grade 1 and uses SmartKey rekey technology. But unlike the 980, Juno includes a strike plate. You just have to pay more for the extra security.

One other thing: this lock is both right- and left-handed. A perfect fit for the ambidextrous American!

Tech specs

  • Adjustable and fits all standard door thicknesses
  • ANSI Grade: Grade 1
  • Weight: 2.72 lb.
Info Box icon
What’s Kwikset?
A lot of the residential door knobs you’ve touched have probably been Kwikset. With its rekeying tech and multiple finishes, Kwikset’s often used in homes and apartment buildings.

Best mortise locks

The Schlage L9040 is the best mortise lock, with a Samsung biometric lock as the runner-up.

Best mortise lock

If you found yourself asking, “What’s a mortise lock?” don’t worry—you aren’t alone. Mortise locks are less common than deadbolts, but they provide better protection.

A mortise lock is more difficult to break with a swift kick than a simple deadbolt would be.

Mortise locks are recessed and set in the frame of the door. This setup gives the lock an extra level of stability. A mortise lock is more difficult to break with a swift kick than a simple deadbolt would be.

Mortise locks are more expensive than deadbolts, but the cost is justified if you want extra safety. Still, mortise locks are better suited to commercial properties than residential. In a family home, a mortise lock could be overkill.

Pros

  • Recommended for public uses
  • Grade 1
  • Reinforced strike plate

Cons

  • No smart tech compatibility
  • Pricey

Why we chose Schlage L9040

The Schlage L9040’s description states that it’s best suited for educational, medical, or governmental uses. If you want your home or business to be as well-guarded as a government building, this ANSI Grade 1 product is the lock to choose.

The Schlage L9000 series of mortise locks have a feature called Vandlgard. It’s essentially a reinforced strike plate that prevents tampering from kicking, hitting, or even standing on the handle.¹ With a lock like this, a thief will need a battering ram to get into your house.

This mortise lock has no smart home capabilities. It’s also not compatible with most smart locks, which usually work with a deadbolt. So it’s your responsibility to lock and unlock this baby.

Tech specs

  • ANSI Grade: Grade 1
  • Weight: 6.65 lb.

Mortise runner-up: Samsung SHS-P718-LMK Biometric Lock

We like this mortise-smart lock combo. It’s about $50 more than the Schlage but with smart home compatibility. Its features include the following:

  • Random security code software to throw off observers
  • Fingerprint scans
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Intrusion alarm
  • Anti-bump and anti-pick proofing
  • Fire detection sensor
  • Anti-tampering lockout
  • 31 electronic keys to give to family, friends, or employees
  • Key fobs

The issue we have with this lock? It’s not easy to install (although you can order a professional installation for about $100 on Amazon). It also has no ANSI Grade, a common problem with smart locks.

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What’s lock-bumping?
Lock-bumping is a form of lock-picking that requires tapping the lock cylinder.²

We recommend this lock if you want a mortise with the convenience of a smart lock. Otherwise, go with the Schlage.

Tech specs

  • ANSI Grade: None
  • Weight: 9.6 lb.

Best keyless entry locks

Our pick for best keyless door lock is the Schlage Touch Camelot Deadbolt BE375.

Best keyless entry lock

Keyless entry locks let you enter a combination and get inside without ever touching your key. They also make it easy to give out codes to your kids, your housesitter, and your contractors.

While these deadbolts offer the ultimate convenience, the key overrides are more vulnerable to being picked. Because of that, their ANSI ratings are usually lower than a regular deadbolt’s.

Pros

  • Fingerprint-resistant screen
  • Reasonable price

Cons

  • Doesn’t always last long
  • Affected by cold

Why we chose Schlage Touch Camelot Deadbolt BE375

Schlage’s Camelot line has some of the best-rated keyless door locks on the market. Even the name alone conjures an image of peace and prosperity.

Of these evocatively named locks, the Touch Camelot Deadbolt BE375 is our favorite. It’s reasonably priced, and it has a fingerprint-resistant screen to keep others from guessing your code. If you’re prone to forgetting your keys or your kids or your housekeeper are constantly in and out, you should consider the Camelot.

Our only real beef with this keyless deadbolt is a lack of longevity. Most customers say it didn’t last as long as expected. It’s especially likely to malfunction in the extreme cold.

Heads Up icon
Electronic locks and cold
When browsing Amazon reviews, we noticed that almost every lock with an electronic component had a longevity problem. When exposed to the elements, especially the cold, the electronic functions might fail. To offset this issue, every lock we recommend in this review has a warranty.

Tech specs

  • ANSI Grade: 2
  • Weight: 3 lb.

Keyless entry lock runner-up: LockState LS-DB500-SN

Runnerup keyless entry lock

The LockState allows you to set up one-time use codes for guests and to program up to six permanent codes for members of the household. The LockState also comes with a remote that functions up to 30 feet away from the door. This remote can unlock the unit from your car—perfect for rushing inside on a rainy day.

As a bonus, the lock is reversible, so it works on both left- and right-handed doors. You can also temporarily lock out user access codes if you for some reason need to deny entry to a frequent visitor.

The LockState has no ANSI grade.

But this lock has no ANSI grade, making it difficult to say how effective it really is. Its batteries don’t last long, and it struggles in the cold and wet.

Tech specs

  • ANSI Grade: None
  • Weight: 16 oz

Best smart/Bluetooth locks

August and Ultraloq lead the smart lock category.

Best smart lock

Smart locks differ from keyless locks because they’re linked to your phone and capable of home automation integration functions. For example, the door can automatically unlock when your phone comes near it.

Another feature: limited-use passcodes for guests. If you’re often away from home, you can grant guests access from your smartphone.

Pros

  • Compatible with many smart home protocols
  • Compatible with many deadbolts
  • Voice activation
  • Geo fencing
  • Two finishes

Cons

  • No ANSI grade
  • May need bridge for compatibility

Why we chose August Smart Lock

Like the keyless deadbolts we reviewed, the August Smart Lock doesn’t have a key. Instead, the lock operates with a series of virtual keys.

Every virtual key is unique, and the August Smart Lock keeps a log of who goes in and out of the home. You can monitor this log in real time from your smartphone. You can also unlock the door from anywhere via your phone. So if you need to let the plumber in, no problem. And if you forgot to secure the door behind you, August will automatically lock when you leave.

The August Smart Lock is compatible with Apple HomeKit, meaning you can use Siri to lock or unlock your door. But to do that (or to hook your lock up to Alexa and other protocols), you may need to get an additional August bridge.

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August Smart Lock and Z-Wave
The August Smart Lock is compatible with Z-Wave technology. That allows users to hook it up to Z-Wave hubs like Samsung SmartThings and Wink.

The lock isn’t rated by ANSI. But if you want an ANSI Grade 1 lock, you can install a different lock and still use the August; it only replaces the interior side of the existing lock.

Overall, the August is the best lock choice for the smart home enthusiast.

Tech specs

  • ANSI Grade: None
  • Weight: 13.9 oz
Info Box icon
August lock upgrade
We recommend the August Smart Lock over the Smart Lock Pro because they’re extremely similar. But if you’re looking for a little more convenience, spend around $80 more on the Smart Lock Pro so that you don’t need an August bridge to connect to other devices.

Smart lock runner-up: Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro

Runnerup smart lock

Just like many other electronic locks, the Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro struggles in cold weather. But unlike other locks, the manufacturer states the lock limit up front: it shouldn’t be exposed to weather below 14°F.

Other features that put this smart lock in second place: fingerprint scanning and a “Magic Shake” that lets you open the door from your smartphone without using an app. There’s also an anti-peep protocol. As long as you enter your passcode in its entirety somewhere in the sequence, you can type strings of random numbers to throw off observers.

This lock tends to run a little more expensive than the August Smart Lock. It’s compatible with fewer protocols, and it’s not as sleek-looking. It’s also a mortise, so it’s not compatible with an ANSI-grade deadbolt.

Tech specs

  • ANSI Grade: None
  • Weight: 6 lb.

Best security extras

Here are some safety suggestions beyond the locks.

You’ve chosen a lock, but you’re not done yet. Security extras like door jammers and strike plates can secure your home even further to foil all but the most determined thieves. These are our recommendations.

Cocoweb Door Jammer

Cocoweb door jammer
The Cocoweb is designed to withstand up to 350 pounds of outside force.

A door jammer doesn’t prevent a lock from being picked, but it makes it incredibly difficult to force the door open from the outside. The Cocoweb is designed to withstand up to 350 pounds of outside force. With 40 different height settings, it will fit almost any door.

Another reason we like this door jammer is because it comes in sets of two—you can secure two doors with one package.

Batallion Strike Plate

Battalion strike plate

Although you may have a secure door and a secure lock, the frame itself can be weak. Even if you reinforce the door, a smart thief will take advantage of the frame to pry the door out of place.

To counterbalance this problem, the Battalion Strike Plate reinforces a weak frame. The added layer of metal and the extra-long screws make the door frame almost unbreakable.

Recap

Whether you choose deadbolt, mortise, keyless, or smart, finding the right lock is an important step to secure your home. Just as a reminder, here’s what we recommend.

  • Kwikset 980 Single Cylinder: This ultra-reliable lock is our recommendation for best deadbolt.
  • Schlage L9040: For extra security, try this mortise lock.
  • Schlage Touch Camelot Deadbolt BE375: If you don’t want to bother with keys, this keyless entry lock is for you.
  • August Smart Lock: This is the smart lock we recommend for an automated home.

Door lock FAQ

What’s the American National Standards Institute grading system?

The ANSI grading system measures how much security a lock provides. Every lock graded under this system undergoes rigorous testing.

The results fall under three grades:

  • Grade 1: Grade 1 locks can withstand ten strikes of up to 75 pounds and up to one million open-and-close cycles.
  • Grade 2: Grade 2 locks can withstand five strikes of 75 pounds and up to 800,000 open-and-close cycles.
  • Grade 3: Good. Grade 3 locks can withstand two strikes of 75 pounds and up to 800,000 open-and-close cycles.
We recommend using Grade 1 locks. They provide the highest levels of protection and are the least likely to be picked.

What else can I do to protect my doors?

Invest in solid doors

Another way you can improve the security of your home is to replace any hollow-core doors with solid wood or metal. Hollow-core doors are weaker and more vulnerable to shattering than a solid wooden frame. Sure, solid exterior doors are more expensive, but they’re also much more durable and nearly impossible to break down.

Avoid doors with windows in them

A super secure lock doesn’t do any good if the thief can just break a window and reach inside. So avoid installing doors with windows. If you need to see out, add a peephole.

Reinforce your doors

Remember, thieves say they go for the front door first. Invest in deadbolts, strike plates, and chain locks to make your home much more challenging to break into.

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Chain locks: yea or nay?
Chain locks aren’t that strong, so they won’t keep your door secure for long. But they do make it more difficult for intruders to break in, and they’re loud. Like, really loud. If you’re at home, you’re bound to hear the intruder forcing the door against the chain. That gives you time to call the police and prepare to defend yourself.

A sturdy door, combined with a proper home security system, offers the best possible protection from thieves and other intruders.

Sources

  1. Allegion, “What Is Vandlguard?
  2. Wikipedia, “Lock Bumping
  • Loretta Sheridan

    mt apartment metal door is not set to match the frame so I cannot use a deadbolt lock. What is the second best lock?

    • Maria Millett

      Hi Loretta! Here’s what we have in the article:

      #2 Kwikset 980 Single Cylinder
      #3 Kwikset 985 Double Cylinder

      You’ll see the links to buy them in this article!