8 Best Garage Door Openers for 2023 , According to Experts
Dec 01, 2023
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There are all kinds of garage door openers on the market. Which one should you buy? We turned to the experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute to find out.
When was the last time you bought a new garage door opener? Modern technology such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and LED lighting have revolutionized the garage door opener market, adding functions and features our dads would have only dreamed about back in the 1970s, when the first Genie openers hit the local Sears. Plus, materials are improved, and their motors and drives are quieter than ever.
We wanted to survey the market and see what were the best garage door openers on the market today, so rather than unhooking and uninstalling our current garage door opener, then repeating the process ad infinitum, we turned to our colleagues at Good Housekeeping to see what they found in their latest test.
Professional engineers, scientists, and product testers at the Good Housekeeping Institute Media and Tech Lab are constantly trying out new products. It's their job. Over the past few years, the Institute spent more than 75 hours installing and evaluating various garage door openers and controllers in various homes. Engineers assessed the ease of installation and use, plus looked for any extra features or improvements from previous versions.
With smart garage door openers, they also tested the app for ease of use and evaluated if the opener can integrate with other smart home devices. The best garage door openers of 2023 are vetted from top-tested recommendations, road-tested favorites, and highly rated and reviewed brands.
One of the top names in garage door openers, Chamberlain's Secure View easily secured the top spot in GH's testing. The app lets you open or close the door from virtually anywhere, and this function really worked very well, impressing the testers. It also works with Amazon Key.
One main advantage of this feature is that you can avoid leaving valuable packages in the open or on your doorstep by allowing deliveries straight into the garage if no one is home. Testers were also impressed by the Wi-Fi-connected camera that lets you view the interior of your garage from your smartphone. Operation is (relatively) quiet, and the interior light is bright. Finally, testers found the MyQ app to be intuitive and easy to use too. If you're looking for the best garage door opener on the market, you've found it.
Want a great deal? Look no further. Perhaps the only brand name that's more synonymous with garage door openers than Chamberlain is Genie, and Genie's 500 model costs about $150, comes with a preprogrammed remote control—and the chain-drive system means it will last for years without worry.
The 500 features Genie's Safe-T Beam, an infrared beam across the opening of the door that automatically reverses the door-closing process if it detects objects passing through. In addition, it's compatible with both Apple's Homelink and Overhead Door's Car2U universal garage door opener systems. One caveat: It's not recommended for garage doors that weigh over 350 pounds.
If you'd rather not deal with apps and all that, the Genie 550 garage door opener comes with two preprogrammed remotes, a wireless keypad, and a wall-mount console for versatility in opening and closing. Plus, it's Homelink and Car2U compatible, so you won't need any additional hardware like a smart home hub. And it still costs less than $200.
Reviewers say this unit is surprisingly quiet for a chain-driven garage door opener, and GH testers were happy it includes a "vacation lock" to keep the door securely closed when you'll be away from the house for a while.
Note that the 550 is compatible with 7-foot doors but for 8-foot garage doors you will need Genie's extension kit, sold separately.
Chamberlain is one of the most popular garage door opener brands out there, not only because of the quality of the product, but also because it was one of the first companies to embrace and incorporate smart-home functions into garage door openers. If you already own a Chamberlain garage door opener, this Smart Garage Hub Bundle has everything you need to take it to the next level.
It includes a myQ smart garage camera, smart garage control, and a door sensor to add live or recorded video and motion-sensor notifications to any myQ-connected garage door opener. Plus, you can two-way talk to anyone in the garage, whether it's to tell your kids to keep away from your valuables, give instructions to delivery drivers when you're not home, or scare away intruders.
Testers noted that this smart-home hub is compatible with Amazon Key and Google Assistant but, curiously, not with Alexa.
If your house rattles and shakes every time someone opens and closes the garage door, you need a super-quiet garage door opener like the belt-driven Chamberlain B2405. By far the quietest garage door opener that GH tested, it also comes with two remote controls, a wireless exterior keypad, and dual-function wall control.
It also comes with built-in MyQ technology, the same as other Chamberlain smart garage door openers. As mentioned above, the Institute's testers found the MyQ app highly intuitive and easy to use, but to access some features, you'll need to step up to a paid subscription. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles as our best overall pick, such as a built-in camera, but if you want to stop the shaking while sticking to the basics, this is a solid belt-drive garage door opener.
Now you can pull that big ol' truck right into the garage with the Liftmaster 8500 Elite Series Jackshaft. It's a serious industrial-grade but residential garage door opener that's ideal for truck and van owners because it frees up vertical space in your garage by mounting to the wall, and using a front-mount torsion bar system to raise and lower solid or sectional garage doors.
It's MyQ compatible, which allows you to control and check the status of your garage door from your smartphone, create open/close schedules, and get alerts in real time. And with Security+ 2.0, a new code is sent to the garage door opener with every click of the remote, so the door opens only for you.
Note that the 8500 Elite is not compatible with roll-up doors or low-headroom tracks. To check compatibility with your garage door, consult the LiftMaster website.
Want to automate your existing garage door as an Alexa smart-home user? Check out the NXG-200 . It works with a wide range of garage door openers, and it's also compatible with Google Assistant and Samsung's SmartThings.
Installation is relatively simple and streamlined. GHI tech experts noted the variety of features, including voice control and the fact that it's easy to share access to the garage with multiple approved visitors. Plus, it allows you to set up geofencing, which can automate actions such as closing the garage door when you drive away or opening it as you pull into your driveway. Slick.
Perfect for the big, busy household, Aladdin Connect lets you control up to three garage doors from your smartphone.
It lets you share up to 19 virtual keys to your garage, so you can give access to your kids, neighbors, babysitters, and more. Plus, it has a sensor that will alert you if your garage is opened, either electronically or manually. Aladdin is Wi-Fi enabled and compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Note: Check if your garage door openers are compatible with Aladdin Connect before you buy one.
When evaluating garage door openers at the Good Housekeeping Institute's Media and Tech Lab, GHI testers and engineers checked out dozens of garage door openers. The process was so involved, Chief Technologist & Executive Technical Director Rachel Rothman jokes she was on a first-name basis with the Customer Service folks at Chamberlain.
Seriously though, GH Institute product testers assessed the ease of installation of each garage door opener, or factored in the process of setting up each one. They evaluated if the unit was light enough to be lifted by hand, if the mounting braces and brackets were solid and secure, and much more. In the end, they evaluated how well each device worked, its volume, vibration, and any other operational traits, and how quickly and efficiently each raised and closed the garage door. They also noted if the instruction manual of each was thorough and easy to understand.
Additionally, the Institute tested any additional features the devices may have, such as a remote, motion sensor, or camera. For smart garage door openers, GH set up each app and testers gauged how intuitive the app is to download, sign into, and navigate. They also checked to see if smart door openers had any integration capabilities with other smart-home devices and systems, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
If you're fully replacing your garage door opener, consider the size and weight of the door. Most garage door openers are compatible with common sizes and configurations of doors. However, for larger doors (typically those over 7 feet tall) you may need an extension kit for it to fit. For most doors, 0.50 horsepower will work well, but for heavier doors (like a solid wood door), you may want to upgrade to 0.75 horsepower.
Consider if a belt or chain garage door opener is better for you. If you're fully replacing your garage door opener, these are two popular options. A chain drive can typically handle more weight and tends to be less expensive, but it's noisier. Belt drives are quieter but are on the more expensive side—and over time, they may need readjustment due to the belt stretching out.
Check the compatibility of the garage door opener with your current setup. Whether you're upgrading to a smart garage door opener or replacing the entire system, make sure the garage door opener meets the requirements of the door.
With smart garage door openers, you'll want to check that it's compatible with your smart-home system so that the smart features can communicate with each other.
If using a smart garage door opener with Wi-Fi, make sure you get a good Wi-Fi signal in your garage. Otherwise, the smart features may not work as well or may have issues with the garage door opener.
Jamie Ueda is a freelance writer and consumer product expert with almost two decades of experience, including a full-time stint across multiple GH labs including Media and Tech. She also has experience in product development and quality assurance. She holds two degrees in mechanical engineering and apparel and textile design. Rachel Rothman is the chief technologist and executive technical director at the Good Housekeeping Institute, where she oversees testing methodology, implementation, and reporting for all GH Labs.
Hearst Autos combines the talent, resources, and expertise of three of the largest, most influential automotive publications in the world. The Gear Team has tested a wide variety of automotive products, parts, accessories, and gear, such as car GPS trackers, car vacuums, and EV home chargers. We get our hands on each and every product we test. Most products are purchased; some are supplied by manufacturers. If we're unable to test a product or category, we turn to noted experts such as the Good Housekeeping Institute.
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Jon Langston is an avid motorcyclist and gear collector whose work has appeared in Men's Journal, Cycle World, The Drive, Rider, Iron & Air, Motorcyclist, and more.
Jamie Kim is a consumer products expert with over 17 years of experience in areas of product development and manufacturing. She has held leading roles at both mid-size consumer goods companies and one of the most notable and largest apparel brands in the world. Jamie has contributed to several of the GH Institute Labs, including Kitchen Appliances, Media and Tech, Textiles and Home Appliances. In her free time she enjoys cooking, traveling, and working out.
Rachel Rothman (she/her) is the chief technologist and executive technical director at the Good Housekeeping Institute, where she oversees testing methodology, implementation and reporting for all GH Labs. She also manages GH's growing research division and the analysis of applicants for the GH Seal and all other testing emblems. During her 15 years at Good Housekeeping, Rachel has had the opportunity to evaluate thousands of products, including toys and cars for GH's annual awards programs and countless innovative breakthroughs in consumer tech and home improvement.
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Best Power Inverters for 2023, Testedbest garage door openers of 2023 Chamberlain's Secure View Genie's 500 Genie 550 Smart Garage Hub Bundle Chamberlain B2405 Liftmaster 8500 Elite Series Jackshaft NXG-200 . Aladdin Connect ease of installation volume vibration efficiently features intuitive integration capabilities size and weight of the door belt or chain compatibility smart garage door openers Wi-Fi Good Housekeeping Institute Tested & Trusted