Skip to Content

How to Choose a Smart Lock (5 Must Have Features)

Smart locks have become one of the top security devices thought of when choosing home security. Many times, house keys have been copied out for various reasons, and there may never be a way to know how many copies are out there, or who exactly has access to them. Sometimes they get lost or are stolen.

When searching for a smart lock, there is an array of smart locks to choose from. Here we will answer some common questions and address them by need.

How to choose the best smart lock? 

Here are 5 features your lock must have:

  1. Having different entry options
  2. Weather durability
  3. Battery life
  4. Auto-lock and unlock
  5. Guest entry options


7 Things to Consider Before You Buy Your Smart Lock

Will it fit your door?

If you have at least one smart home device in your home already, consider narrowing your choices to a smart lock that will be compatible to work with your home device. Look at your door; how far does the bolt extend into the door jamb? The smart lock you choose needs to align with it; otherwise, you’ll need to replace your deadbolt, especially if you’re looking to just add a smart lock with or without a keypad. 

When searching online, most websites will provide a diagram of the length and width of their lock. This way you will have knowledge if the lock you are considering, is compatible with your current door strike plate and door jamb. Look at your door. Will the smart lock pair well with a push or pull-type handle? Are you willing to change the handle to the smart lock you are considering?

How will you use it to get in?

Decide on how you want to have access to your home. Do you want to enter by using a keypad? Use Bluetooth enabled via your smartphone? Connect the smart lock to your home WIFI? All 3? Some keypads are always on, meaning the numbers/letters are always visible. Some light up when motion is detected or a hand is waved over the sensor. How is the battery life on the smart lock you are looking at?

Will it work in my climate?

Smart Deadbolt Lock - SMONET Electronic Keypad Lock with Hub 2020 Bluetooth WiFi Touchscreen Smart Lock Front Door Keyless Entry Door Lock Home Gate Smart Lock Work with Alexa for Home Security

Consider how it will work when the weather isn’t favorable. Make sure that the lock has been tested in extreme weather conditions. If you are unable to find it on the company website, give them a call.

(Andrew here, as a note, this is an important one for us, if your door is exposed to freezing weather, there is a good chance there can be moisture in the lock, causing the mechanism not to turn when it gets too cold.)

How will you unlock it?

Bluetooth smart locks are popular because they can be used with a smartphone. Keep in mind when using your smartphone, these locks will have a limited working distance because they are only controlled by your smartphone.

Consider the battery life of the lock.

These locks can also be tricky and battery draining. Conveniently, some smart locks will auto-lock when the door is closed and unlock as well. If you want a Bluetooth only enabled smart lock, and you find yourself without your phone, is there another way to get entry into your home?

Can you create temporary keys?

ULTRALOQ U-Bolt Smart Lock (Black), 5-in-1 Keyless Entry Door Lock with Bluetooth and Keypad, Smart Door Lock Front Door, Non-Fingerprint Deadbolt Lock Edition

If your home has a lot of foot traffic, or you employ a pet walking service, childcare, elderly care or use a delivery in home service. Make sure your smart lock has guest entry options. This is a key in how to choose a smart lock. Also, check the maximum number of guest codes you are permitted to create.

Having control of key codes and being able to change them or being able to let someone in by simply using your smartphone when you aren’t home is a valuable option to have. Keypads models are hackproof and especially ideal for those who own an Airbnb or rent out a guest house. They also can be remotely monitored, and codes can be changed as well.


Bluetooth, WiFi, and Z-Wave on Smart Locks: What do They Mean?

How your smart lock connects to devices is important. Here are the 3 ways your lock will connect.

  • Bluetooth –  the lock can be sync/paired with your smartphone. Your phone then becomes the main way your smart lock can be controlled.
  • WiFi connection – the smart lock can be the main source for your smart lock to function and can also be used with your smartphone. Having another way to have access to the lock is important; sometimes, power outages happen.
  • Z-Wave connectivity requires a compatible hub to work. Make sure the hub is compatible with your router and that it is up to date. Once the Z-Wave hub and your router are fully connected, you will have access to your lock remotely via smartphone.

No matter what choice you make, consider if there is a backup operation feature in your smart lock. It’s an important feature to have.

Want to upgrade your garage? Read this MyQ Smart Garage Door Review

Top 5 Smart Locks

The August Smart Lock Homekit

It’s a higher-cost lock and needs a different component to be able to remotely have control with the lock. Voice-activated, this lock is also easy to install. You can also watch everyone who enters your home. 


  • Sleek design
  • Easy to install
  • Has a camera
  • Voice-activated
  • Reliable
  • Works seamlessly with Apple’s Siri and Nest Platform


  • It might not fit your deadbolt
  • Price

August Smart Lock Pro (3rd Gen) + Connect Hub - Zwave, HomeKit & Alexa Compatible - Silver

Buy this here!


August Smart Lock Pro + Connect

A nice-looking smart lock packaged with a door sensor and a WiFi bridge. This Smart Lock supports WiFi, Bluetooth, and Z-Wave. You can see the video of this lock here.


  • Compatible with Apple’s Siri (smartphone and watch)
  • Has door sensor
  • Sleek design
  • Supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Z-Wave
  • Easy to install
  • Price


  • Noisy

August Smart Lock Pro (3rd Gen) + Connect Hub - Zwave, HomeKit & Alexa Compatible - Silver

Buy this here!

Schlage Sense

This one has a built-in tamper alarm. You can use it with a smartphone where you can program access codes. This lock also features the traditional keyhole as an option to use.


  • Excellent reputation
  • Easy to install
  • Built-in tamper alarm
  • No additional expense for Wi-Fi connection
  • Keypad and traditional key access


  • Motion sense not available

Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt With Century Trim (Matte Black)

Buy this here!

Next X Yale Lock with Nest Connect

Pleasing to the eye the Nest X Yale is quiet and easy to install.


  • Simple to use
  • Nice looking design
  • Quiet
  • Traditional key not required
  • Compatible with Google Assistant


  • Installation time
  • The additional accessory expense needed


Google Nest x Yale Lock - Tamper-Proof Smart Lock for Keyless Entry - Keypad Deadbolt Lock for Front Door - Works with Nest Secure Alarm System - Polished Brass

Buy this here!


Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt

This Smart Lock works with the Ring camera doorbell. That said, it works with Amazon Key, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant. Scheduling options are available as well.


  • Compatible with Ring doorbell, Alexa, Amazon Key, and Google Assistant
  • Easy to install
  • Easy to use
  • Excellent reputation
  • No added expense for Wi-Fi connection


  • Requires 4 apps to download to get full usage benefits 

Schlage Encode Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt with Century Trim in Matte Black


Buy this here!


Questions to ask before buying a smart lock

There are many options available when choosing a Smart Lock. Your purpose for the smart lock will determine what you choose. Here are some questions to ask yourself.

  • Are you looking to completely replace a key entry?
  • Do you want your smartphone to be the main source for control with your Smart Lock?
  • Is your WiFi reliable, and can your router provider take on adding another WiFi dependable product?
  • Do you want to solely use your smartphone to enter your home?
  • Do you have more than just your family needing access to your home?
  • How do you want your Smart Lock to look?
  • Do you want a visible keypad design? A sleek new deadbolt?
  • Do you want a Smart Lock with a camera feature?

Consider what will work best for your family’s daily life needs.

Here are a few categories to further help you in your decision:

The Best Deadbolt Smart Lock:

The best Deadbolt Smart Lock is the Kwikset 660 Single Cylinder Featuring a Smart key Security. It’s also a great value. Very simple to install, ready to use in minutes.


The Best Smart Lock for Non-tech People:

August Smart Lock Third Generation, goes right over your current deadbolt, allowing you to continue using your current house key.

August Smart Lock - Keyless Home Entry with Your Smartphone - Silver


Buy this here!


The Easiest Smart Lock to Use:

SimpliSafe Smartlock (Black) - Compatible with SimpliSafe Home Security System (New Gen)

Simplisafe Smart lock, it too fits right over your current deadbolt. Features a built-in keypad which is nice. You are also able to continue using your current key as well.



SimpliSafe Smartlock (Black) - Compatible with SimpliSafe Home Security System (New Gen) Buy this here!


In Conclusion about the Best Smart Lock for You

No matter which Smart Lock you decide on, your home will have an added safety device that will give you and your family and friends peace of mind when you aren’t home to watch over those you love.


Contributed by David. David is the Owner of Red Rocks Locksmith, and his passion is to provide quality and honest service helping keep the company’s customers in Colorado safe and secure while offering the latest and most advanced solutions that can be found on the market.

This post may contain affiliate links which go towards keeping this site running. Please see our Disclaimer and Privacy Policy for more. We are a member in the Amazon Affiliate Program. Thank you for your support!