Best Home Safes of 2020
When it comes to securing important documents, firearms, and irreplaceable heirlooms, there’s no better answer than a safe.
SentrySafe: Best Overall
The SentrySafe SFW123GDC sets the standard for home safes. It’s fire and water resistant, so whether your valuables face fire, flood, or gravity, this SentrySafe is tough enough to protect them. You can purchase sizes from 0.82 to 2.05 cubic feet, which is enough room to store piles of files, records, binders, and more. See how other home safes stack up to SentrySafe in our side-by-side comparison.
Best Small Home Safes
SentrySafe SFW123GDC: Best Overall
The SentrySafe SFW123GDC is a heavy-duty, tough-as-nails security safe. It’s designed to withstand up to an hour in scorching hot fire (up to 1700 ℉), survive falls up to 15 feet, and withstand close to a foot of water.
You can order this SentrySafe model as an old school combination lock or with a digital keypad. Either way, it comes with a backup key to open the safe manually. It also comes in sizes ranging from 0.82 to 2.05 cubic feet.
Its hardware is impressive too. This SentrySafe has four live-locking bolts, pry-resistant hinges, a locking drawer, and even an interior light inside. And it’s all made with steel, which explains why this safe doesn’t come with mounting options (it’s a whopping 87 pounds).
Fireproof and waterproof design
Multiple programmable combinations
2.05-cubic-feet maximum capacity
No mounting features
AmazonBasics Home Keypad Safe: Best for Basics
This security safe made our top three for several reasons. It’s strong, simple, and holds a substantial amount. It isn’t as tough as the SentrySafe and isn’t fire or water resistant, but it’s no cardboard box.
The AmazonBasics safe is made of heavy-duty carbon-steel with an 8-gauge steel door and pry-resistant hinges. For a box that holds under 2 cubic feet, it weighs almost 40 pounds, making this dense home safe a reliable first line of defense for your jewelry and heirlooms.
It comes with four pre-drilled holes in the back for wall or floor mounting too. You can open it from any angle with its keyless electronic lock (but it still comes with a spare key for emergencies). We also like that it has a shelf inside to keep your valuables organized.
1.80-cubic-feet maximum capacity
Not fireproof or waterproof
SentrySafe 1200: Best for Budget
The SentrySafe 1200 provides protection and portability for your valuables. It’s the perfect size for bank deposits or important documents that need to travel with you.
It uses a simple key lock and is small enough to hide in closets, underneath desks, and just about anywhere. It’s large enough to fit a small pistol, making it a good candidate for a portable gun safe.
This SentrySafe is also fireproof classified by Underwriters Laboratories to withstand 1550 °F for up to 30 minutes. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have the same durability against water or tampering.
UL-classified fire protection
Not tamperproof or waterproof
Key lock only
Things to Consider Before Buying a Home Safe
If you do an internet search for “home safe,” the results can be overwhelming. Some are built specifically for guns, while others offer protection from fire, tampering, or water—and then there’s the lock type to consider while you’re at it.
To start, you’ll need to determine what type of safe is best for you: a floor safe, a wall safe, or a bedside safe. Then find one with the lock type that fits your needs and budget.
Types of Safes
When safe shopping, consider your goal—do you want to hide heirlooms or important documents? Do you need a quickly accessible gun for emergencies? Your answer will impact cost and storage location.
If you have a small floor plan and can make modifications to your home, a wall safe might be right for you. Wall safes can hide behind doors or portraits without taking up too much floor space. If you do opt for a wall safe, make sure that it’s mounted between the studs in the wall.
If you don’t want to make alterations to your home, a floor safe is a great alternative to putting a hole in your wall. These safes secure to the floor for enhanced defense against thieves. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit in tight, hidden spaces. If you want to bolt your floor safe down, hard surfaces like concrete are best.
Bedside safes, such as biometric gun safes, are more secure than simply keeping a weapon on your nightstand. These safes ensure that your gun won’t end up in the wrong hands, and they open quickly should you need your weapon.
Hidden safes are home safes in disguise. Usually camouflaged as books, they’re perfect for keeping valuables hidden in plain sight. They’re discreet and light, making them portable for travel and moving. This also means they don’t store a ton of stuff, but they’re generally large enough to hide documents like passports and birth certificates.
Types of Locks
A lock can run on batteries, Wi-Fi, or an AC adapter. Be sure to check for a low battery alert or backup key if you opt for a safe that requires a power source.
This is a highly secure lock. It scans and then reads your fingerprint, and it opens only if the print matches one within the fingerprint memory. Some safes hold multiple prints for multiple users, so be sure the safe you chose suits the number of people using it.
Thanks to its PIN authentication, an electronic keypad keeps your valuables secure and easy for you (or other authorized users) to access.
A combination lock is as basic as it gets. Turn the dial to your combination passcode and voilà. It’s battery-free, so you can always count on it to function. But it does require periodic maintenance. To prevent the lock from seizing, you’ll have to disassemble it, clean it, and lubricate it. Your local safe technician or locksmith can tell you more about the service costs and specifics.