Best Garage Door Openers (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
Get in and out of your garage with ease with these reliable garage door openers.
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BY Lisa Conant / LAST UPDATED ON November 12, 2021
If you’re like most drivers, the garage is the most used entrance to your home. So, it makes sense that you want to get in and out of it easily and from the comfort of your warm, dry vehicle. No one enjoys getting out in the pouring rain, pitch black, or driving snow to struggle to get their garage door up or down. Today’s garage door openers provide a powerful and reliable function at affordable prices. With so many to choose from, we’ve compiled a list of our favorites and put together a handy buying guide to help you know exactly what to look for.
This garage door opener adds convenience with the ability to pair it with a smartphone. It also includes remote controls and a backup battery.
- Backed by a warranty on parts and accessories
- Easily installs without the need for additional hardware
- Smartphone compatible for convenient remote operation
- Smartphone control can be somewhat annoying
- Customer service response times are lacking
This garage door opener features a durable anti-break-in chain drive. It is quiet and has a powerful DC motor. You can use it with or without Wi-Fi.
- Built-in LED light offers long-lasting illumination
- Remote control is equipped with rolling code technology
- Soft-start and soft-stop functions minimize maintenance
- The chain may break and become a hazard
- The garage door opener’s LED light is too bright
- The opener is not compatible with every garage door
This smart garage opener has corner-to-corner lighting through its three, 100-lumen LED lights for super bright illumination at night. It’s also compatible with your Amazon Prime account.
- Remotes come preprogrammed for easy and quick installation
- By linking to your Amazon account, you can opt to have packages securely delivered into your garage
- Strong and quiet operation
- High price point
- Compatible app is not free
- Need to purchase additional extension kit if your garage door is more than than seven feet tall
Why Trust Us
Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
When it comes to choosing a reliable and efficiently functioning garage door opener, there are plenty of great options to choose from as well as lots of less-than-stellar models. In order to narrow the playing field, we decided to look at name brands that most people are already familiar with. These companies have a solid track record of providing reliable, durable, and high-quality products. We wanted to provide a variety of pricing options to suit any budget. We also tried to include only those options that feature high-tech accessories and smartphone compatibility. For more about our selection criteria and methodology, check out The Drive’s Gear About page.
Best Garage Door Openers Reviews & Recommendations
Our Verdict on Garage Door Openers
The Genie StealthDrive Garage Door Opener is our top pick for the best overall garage door opener. This garage door opener adds convenience with the ability to pair it with a smartphone over Wi-Fi, and it includes remotes and a backup battery in case of power outages, all at a reasonable price point.
For a more budget-friendly option, check out the SkyLink Atoms Garage Door Opener. It’s an affordable option that’s also powerful, durable, and Wi-Fi ready.
Do you have a question or comment about any of the top garage door openers on our list? Hit us up in the comments below.
What to Consider When Buying a Garage Door Opener
You can’t just buy any old garage door opener and expect it to meet your needs. Our informative buying guide will walk you through all the necessary features and things to consider to ensure that you get the best garage door opener for you.
Types of Garage Door Openers
A belt-driven garage door opener uses a rubber belt to move the door, which results in a smoother, quieter operation. The rubber belt is reinforced with steel and is very strong and durable. There is no metal-on-metal contact, which minimizes vibrations. This type of garage door opener is a good option for homes that have bedrooms or living rooms located next to the garage. It has fewer maintenance needs because it’s designed with fewer moving parts. The downside is that it's more expensive.
To raise or lower the garage door, a chain-driven garage door opener uses a metal chain connected to the motor to drive the trolley. A chain-drive opener is the most common and the most affordable. It is also compatible with most garage doors. However, it’s noisier and generates more vibrations than other openers. This is because there is more metal-to-metal contact. This garage door opener is ideal for detached garages or those that aren’t located next to living quarters. To run smoothly, its metal chain requires regular maintenance.
This garage door opener’s lifting mechanism uses a threaded steel rod to open or close the door. The rotating rod steers the trolley on the track to lower or raise the door. Like a belt drive opener, this opener requires little maintenance since it has fewer moving parts. It is not as noisy as a chain-drive opener but is louder than a belt-drive opener. It is also not as fast as a chain-drive garage door opener. However, it has the most power output because its direct drive system moves more power from the motor, and there’s no gear-reduction system.
Garage Door Opener Key Features
Modern garage door openers are equipped with numerous features for convenience, including so-called smart technology. An automatic garage door opener featuring smart technology can be controlled using a smartphone, computer, or in-home smart speaker.
The lifting power of a garage door opener is measured in horsepower. The horsepower determines the speed at which the garage door opens. This usually depends on how heavy and large the garage door is. Openers with .5 horsepower are the most popular as they can lift garage doors in most homes, but higher-powered openers are available.
The size and type of opener determines the amount of noise the door produces. If you are looking for a garage door opener that doesn’t produce any noise, get a jackshaft or a belt-drive garage door opener. These are the quietest of all openers. Chain-drive garage door openers are the noisiest.
Look for a garage door opener that offers security features that will protect you and your family from dangerous malfunctions. Your garage door opener should come equipped with sensors that automatically stop the door from closing if a child, pet, or obstacle gets in the way. Rolling security codes in each remote prevent thieves or intruders from figuring out how to enter your garage without permission. Bright LED lights on the door opener will ensure safety by illuminating your garage brightly at night. Emergency battery power will allow your garage door opener to work, even in a power failure.
Garage Door Opener Brands to Know
Originally known as the Alliance Manufacturing Co., Genie was founded in 1923 in Alliance, Ohio. The company produced its first garage door opener in 1954 and named it Genie. It was a residential, radio-controlled opener. In 1958, the company made its first screw-drive opener. The company changed its name to Genie Home Products in 1985, and in 1994, it was bought by the Overhead Door Corporation. The company headquarters are in Mount Hope, Ohio.
Chamberlain Group is the corporate parent company of Chamberlain, LiftMaster, Grifco, and Merlin. Chamberlain’s products have interchangeable gears and circuit boards. The brand’s myQ technology is featured in its garage door openers and is available as a smartphone application. It can be added to a Wi-Fi network, allowing you to remotely control your garage door opener.
Located in Vietnam, Skylink Manufacturing has been around since 1990. It has satellite offices in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, and Ontario, California.
Garage Door Opener Pricing
If you’re in the market for a new garage door opener, there are several options to fit any budget. For less than $200, you can get a straightforward, reliable door opener that is suitable for most residential applications. It won’t come with a lot of bells and whistles, such as smartphone and Wi-Fi compatibility, but it will get the job done without a huge financial investment. Between $250 and $350 is where the majority of today’s heavy-duty, smart garage door openers can be found. These will offer remote opening via a smartphone app, Wi-Fi capability, and solid warranties. For more than $350, you can find garage door openers that come equipped with HD cameras, heavy-duty components that are suitable for opening heavier, larger garage doors, and added security features.
Tips and Tricks
As with something you do for decades, you pick up a few tips and tricks along the way in terms of selecting the right product, and/or using it. That’s the case with us and garage door openers. To help you bridge the information gap, here’s a selection of what we’ve learned along the way.
- If you’re replacing an older, noisy garage door opener, consider a quieter functioning belt-driven garage door opener over the noisier chain-driven options.
- Look for a garage door opener that comes backed by a minimum one-year warranty and a five-year parts warranty for added investment protection.
- Regularly lubricating hinges, springs, and rollers on your garage door opener will greatly extend its lifespan and minimize noisy functioning.
- Occasionally test your garage door’s balance to ensure that the motor doesn’t have to work too hard to lift an unbalanced door, thus shortening its lifespan.
- Check and clear the tracks for your garage door to ensure smooth, unhindered opening and closing of your door.
You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.
Q: How do I install a garage door opener?
Most of today’s garage door openers come with all necessary mounting brackets and hardware in order for you to install it easily on your own or with the help of a partner. Some companies will even provide links to online tutorials or videos to walk you through the process.
Q: Do garage door openers have a weight limit?
Yes. You will need to know the full weight of your garage door before purchasing and installing a new opener to ensure it can open it properly.
Q: What interferes with my garage door opener remote?
If you’ve noticed that your garage door opener’s range is shorter or less reliable than it once was, this could be due to increased radio frequency interference in and around your home. This can be caused by a lot of home appliances, electrical transformers, the presence of power lines, and nearby military bases. Minimize interference by limiting the amount of electronic devices that are in your garage.