Best Garage Door Openers. Complete Buyer’s Guide

Buying Guides

We understand that the market is flooded with different brands, price ranges and capabilities to pick from when it comes to selecting a garage door opener. This can make it hard to pick the right garage door opener based on your needs. So, what is the best garage door opener? In order to answer that question we have done our research and have created this buyer’s guide for the best garage door openers on the market. Our decision is based on price, reliability and available specs in order to help you make the best decision when buying your new garage door opener. Check out our findings below!

Quick disclaimer. We did not mean to select Chamberlain products for the majority our suggestions, however, in our search we found that these particular garage door openers have superior quality and reliability compared to other options currently in the market. We are not being sponsored by Chamberlain garage door openers.

Best Overall

Chamberlain B1381

When it comes to top-of-the-charts reliability, power and added benefits, the Chamberlain B1381 is our best overall pick for garage door opener.

Backed by one of the best-known manufacturing brands, Chamberlain delivers a super strong belt-drive-operated garage door opener with a Max lifting power of 1.25 HP, an ultra-quiet belt drive with reinforced steel and anti-vibration technology capable of lifting very heavy doors and at the same time, making this unit one of the strongest and most quiet garage door openers in the market.

The 3,100 Lumens of LED lightning will light up your entire garage for better visibility and the motion sensor will allow the lights to be triggered by movement, making it a great added benefit for large garage areas or if your garage doubles as a workshop station.

Paired with Chamberlain’s free myQ app via Wi-Fi connectivity, this garage door opener can be opened and closed from anywhere. This feature allows you to check if your garage door was left open and is beneficial if you need to give access to a friend or house sitter without you being home.

Chamberlain also includes a battery back-up with this unit; this feature is another great addition that allows you to operate your garage door whenever the power is out.

This is what comes included in the box.

  • Two 3-Button Remotes: With a range of up to 1,500 feet.
  • Safety Sensors: Easy to install safety sensors.
  • Battery: For battery back-up when the power is out.
  • Wireless Keypad: For additional access with a code.
  • Motion-Detecting Control Panel: With LED display

Pros

  • 1.25 HP
  • Ultra-quiet
  • Heavy-lifter
  • LED lights – 3,100 Lumens
  • 1,500 range remotes
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Free Smart Phone app
  • Battery back-up
  • Amazon garage delivery compatible

Cons

  • Can be pricey for someone on a budget.
  • More difficult to install.

Best Runner-up

 

Chamberlain B970

Slightly behind our best overall pick, the Chamberlain B970 comes as one of the best reviewed and most purchased garage door openers on the market.

The only reason this unit didn’t make our Overall Best, is that it does not come with powerful LED, 3,100 Lumens lights which can be an incredible benefit for someone with a large garage or someone that uses their garage as a workshop or gym.

However, at about $45 less than our top choice, this unit also comes with an impressive 1.25 HP Max power lift and an Ultra-quiet steel reinforced belt drive and anti-vibration technology that delivers great lift for even the heaviest of home garage doors.

Additional features also include Wi-Fi connectivity with access to Chamberlains myQ app for remote access and control, a motion detecting control panel with an LED display and an included wireless keypad and safety sensors for additional access with no electrical connections needed.

This is what comes included in the box.

  • Two 3-Button Remotes: With a range of up to 1,500 feet.
  • Safety Sensors: Easy to install safety sensors.
  • Battery: For battery back-up when the power is out.
  • Wireless Keypad: For additional access with a code.
  • Motion-Detecting Control Panel: With LED display

Pros

  • 1.25 HP
  • Ultra-quiet
  • Heavy-lifter
  • 1,500 range remotes
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Free Smart Phone app
  • Battery back-up
  • Amazon garage delivery compatible

Cons

  • Can be pricey for someone on a budget.
  • More difficult to install.

Best Budget Friendly

 

Chamberlain C450 – Chain Drive

If you are on a budget and needing a less expensive option, you shouldn’t have to compromise on quality and reliability. The Chamberlain C450 delivers some of the best specs from a big budget garage door opener and at a lower price. Designed with a Medium Lift Power System and a durable and strong chain drive, this garage door opener packs the equivalent to 1/2 HP of power. This is a very impressive amount of power compared to other units in its class and price range. This HP is more than enough to lift your average medium-sized garage door. In addition, this unit comes with Wi-Fi connectivity and access to Chamberlain’s myQ app. Which gives you the capability to operate your garage door remotely from your smart phone and securely give access to up to three people to control your door. The C450 also includes safety sensors, a wireless keypad with encryption that protects against hacking and theft and a wall control that allows you to control the lights separately from the door. This is what comes included in the box.
  • Two 3-Button Remotes: With a range of up to 1,500 feet.
  • Safety Sensors: Easy to install safety sensors.
  • Wireless Keypad: For additional access with a code.
  • Dual Function Wall Control: Control your lights and door separately.

    Pros

    • Medium-lift power. Highest for its price range.
    • 1,500 range remotes
    • Wi-Fi connectivity
    • Free Smart Phone app
    • Easy to install

    Cons

    • No LED lighting.
    • No battery back-up
    • No LED control panel

    Best Garage Door Opener Under $150

     

    Genie 2035-TKV ChainDrive 550

    For a garage door opener priced under $150, the Genie 2035-TKV delivers a very reliable performance at an impressive low noise level. Ideal for garages attached to living spaces or garages located right under a bedroom, the quiet operation of its chain drive does not shake or vibrate like some other chain driven units in the market. This unit is also backed by a 10-year limited warranty and Genie advertises that the 1/2 HP DC motor and gearbox deliver long-lasting maintenance-free precision and that the 5-piece rail system makes this unit incredibly easy to install with just basic tools. The Genie 2035-TKV also comes with a multi-function wall console that operates as a control panel with the capability to operate the lights separately from the door. The control panel also comes with a vacation lock button that adds security protection when turned on. The unit does not come with Wi-Fi compatibility; however, Genie offers the capability to connect smart devices that would allow Wi-Fi and app connectivity for remote access and operation. This is what comes included in the box.
    • Two Pre-programmed 3-Button Remotes: No need to program.
    • Safety Sensors: Easy to install safety sensors.
    • Wireless Keypad: For additional access with a code.
    • Dual Function Wall Control: Control your lights and door separately.

    Pros

    • Medium-lift power. Highest for its price range.
    • Easy to install
    • Pre-programmed remotes

    Cons

    • No battery back-up
    • No Wi-Fi compatible without adding a smart device.
    • Some customer complaints of cheap connections.

    Best Wall Mounted Garage Door Opener

     

    Chamberlain RJO20

    Designed to save space, a wall-mounted garage door opener operates with a system that does not require an overhead rail, compared to chain-drive or belt-drive garage door openers where a rail system is needed to pull the garage door open or push it close. This is particularly ideal for someone that has limited garage space and would like to create overhead storage. When it comes to wall-mounted garage door openers, Chamberlain offers the RJO20 model, which compared to other overhead garage door openers does come with a bit of a higher price; however, it also comes with benefits that overhead units do not offer. For starters, its discreet and sleek design allow the unit to be easily installed in small spaces and its internal mechanisms make the Chamberlain RJO20 one of the quietest garage door openers available. It also comes with an automatic garage door deadbolt that secures the garage door every time it closes. This is a valuable safety perk that adds extra security and stops someone from easily prying the door open. Like the other garage door openers in our review, this model comes with Wi-Fi connectivity that allows remote access and control via Chamberlain’s myQ application and easy to install safety sensors that detects obstructions for added safety. This is what comes included in the box.
    • One Pre-programmed 3-Button Remote: With 1,500 Feet range.
    • Safety Sensors: Easy to install safety sensors.
    • Auto-Lock Deadbolt: For added security.
    • Function Wall Control: Control your light and door separately.
    • Wireless light: Separate motion activated wireless light.

    Pros

    • Medium-lift power. Highest for its price range.
    • Easy to install
    • Auto-lock deadbolt
    • Wireless light
    • Pre-programmed remote

    Cons

    • No battery back-up
    • Can be pricey for someone on a budget

    Best Smart Garage Door Opener Conversion

     

    Chamberlain myQ Smart Garage Door Opener

    If your garage door opener is not currently Wi-Fi enabled or compatible with a smart phone application, there are a variety of devices that will allow you to convert it and get the added benefits that come from being able to operate your garage door from your smart phone. Out of those devices, the myQ Hub by Chamberlain is the #1 Best Seller for multiple reasons. Also compatible with other major brands of garage door openers like Craftsman, Lift Master, Genie, Stanley and others, the myQ Smart Garage Hub is very simple to set up in only four steps. However, it does require a Wi-Fi router of 2.4 GHz within a 50 feet range and safety sensors already installed. The myQ’s smart phone application’s user interface is uncomplicated, easy to operate and delivers great features like real-time notifications, control from anywhere, access sharing and daily schedules. It even alerts you if your garage door has been left open for a period of time. For right under 40 bucks, this is a no brainer for someone wanting to add more security and control to their garage door opener.

      Pros

      • Free Smart Phone application.
      • Low price.
      • Compatible with multiple garage door opener brands
      • Large variety of app features and access.
      • Extra security
      • Amazon garage delivery compatible.

      Cons

      • No geofencing
      • Requires extra subscription to use with Google home or IFTTT.

      What to Consider When Buying a Garage Door Opener?

      From the time that they were first released on the market, garage door openers have come a long way in both price and capabilities. Due to the wide range of options and pricing, we have searched for the best garage door opener and have pin pointed the specs and features that someone looking for a garage door opener will want to pay close attention to. Depending on your specific needs, this list will help in your decision to pick the best garage door opener for you.  

      1. Horsepower (HP)

      Since garage doors can be made so differently and can range from light to heavy in weight, a garage door opener needs to have the appropriate amount of horse power to lift the garage door without the possibility of damage to both the door and the opener.

      Garage door openers are available in a variety of power ranges, but for the most part they range from 1/3 HP and can go up to 1.5 HP. This makes the 1/3 HP openers only suitable for light-weight one-car garage doors, the 1/2 HP openers more suitable for double-wide or two car garage doors that are more heavy built and the 3/4 – 1.5 HP more suitable for heavy doors, made out of heavier materials like insulated panels or wood.

      2. Drive Type

      One of the main components of a garage door opener is the drive. The drive is the type of mechanism that the motor uses in order to push or pull the trolley back and forth along a rail in order to open or close the garage door.

      Different garage door openers can use different types of drives. Below are a few of these differences:

      Chain-drive: Chain-drive is probably the most commonly used system among garage door openers. A chain-driven unit uses a metal chain, similar to a bicycle chain, that drives the trolley back and forth as it opens or closes the door. These mechanisms provide strong pull and reliability due to its strength and low maintenance needs.

      However, due to the metal composition of the chain, these units can create a bit more noise and vibration compared to other types of openers.

      Belt-drive: Similar to a chain-drive system, a belt-driven unit uses a rubber belt instead of a chain to move the trolley back and forth. Belt-drive openers, because of the rubber nature of the belt, require even less maintenance than chain-driven systems and generate less noise and vibrations. Making them more desirable for attached garages or garages located right under a bedroom.

      Screw-drive: These systems use a threaded steel rod that extends along the top rail of the unit. As it rotates, it moves the trolley back and forth, opening or closing the door.

      Screw-drive systems claim to be faster than other types of systems and similar to belt-drive openers, they require less maintenance.

      Direct-drive: These units operate without the need for a chain, belt or threaded rod by making the motor itself pull the door up or down. Direct-drive is not as common and with a higher price than other systems they can offer higher specs.

      Direct-drive units are very quiet, require low maintenance, deliver strong performance and give the added benefit of space saving.

      3. Security

      Garage doors are often overlooked by homeowners when it comes to security since it can be harder to install locks or find additional systems that can deliver higher security to the garage door.

      Overlooking a garage door safety feature is a thing of the past. Newer systems, especially systems that come with Wi-Fi and app connectivity can deliver a higher level of security by delivering real time notifications to your phone or even alert you if the garage door has been left open.

      In addition, newer, encrypted remote controls and wireless keypads prevent hacking by potential intruders and deliver more peace of mind during the night or when away from home.

      4. Smart Features

      In a time of smart phones and fast-moving technology, garage door openers are catching up by adding additional smart features like smart home connectivity and pairing with smart assistants like Google Assistant and Apple’s Homekit, to allow you even greater control of your garage door.

      Online retailers are even taking advantage of the new garage door opener smart features and offering secure garage deliveries, like Amazon’s in-garage delivery service.

      We hope this guide helped you make a great decision in selecting your next Garage Door Opener. If so, please share and subscribe to receive more awesome tips for around the house. 

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