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The 8 Best Garage Door Openers of 2021
Powerful, efficient systems to make your life easier
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Garage door openers may not be a necessary purchase for your home, but they sure do make life easier, saving you the hassle of getting out of your car to open your garage by hand. Many of today’s garage door openers can even be controlled via smartphone, allowing you to check whether you remembered to shut the door from anywhere in the world.
There are several factors that will help you decide which garage door opener is best for your home. There are several styles available, including belt-drive, chain-drive, screw-drive, and wall-mount options, and you’ll also need a model with adequate horsepower to raise and lower your garage door. As you shop, you’ll likely notice that there are a few big-name brands that dominate the market—mainly, Genie and Chamberlain—but there are several smaller manufacturers that are worth considering, as well.
Here, the best garage door openers to make your life a little easier.
Best Overall: Genie StealthDrive Connect Model 7155-TKV Smartphone-Controlled Garage Door Opener
Dimensions: 8.5 x 12 x 28 inches | Weight: Not listed | Opener Type: Belt drive | Lifting Capacity: 1.25 HPc | Drive Type: Ultra-quiet | Horsepower: 1.25 hp | Power Source: Corded-Electric, Battery Backup for Battery Power
- Powerful 1.25 HP motor
- Smartphone and home assistant compatibility
- Built-in backup battery
- Lifetime warranty on motor and belt
- Extension kit for 8-foot doors sold separately
The Genie StealthDrive Connect Garage Door Opener has it all—a powerful 1.25 HP motor, quiet belt drive system, smart functionality, and even a backup battery! It features a strong five-piece rail system that’s lightweight and easy to install in your garage, and it can handle doors up to 7 feet tall and 500 pounds. The unit comes with two pre-programmed remotes that are ready to use out of the box, as well as a wireless keypad and multi-function wall console.
The Genie StealthDrive Connect uses a steel-reinforced belt drive to open, which means it’s quiet enough to use next to a bedroom or other living space. It also has the brand’s built-in Aladdin Connect technology, which allows you to monitor and operate the unit from your smartphone and can be connected to Alexa and Google Home, as well. Plus, the cherry on top is that the garage door opener comes with a backup battery that allows you to open the door up to 50 times when the power is out.
Dimensions: 123 x 5.5 x 5 inches | Weight: 28.6 pounds | Opener Type: Chain drive | Lifting Capacity: .5 HPf | Drive Type: Anti Break-In | Horsepower: 0.5 HP | Power Source: DC Motor
- Unbeatable value
- Built-in LED light
- Easy to install
- Low HP not ideal for heavy doors
- No smartphone compatibility
If you’re willing to forego premium features, the Skylink Atoms Garage Door Opener is a no-frills model that’s available at a great price. It’s designed to open a 7-foot garage door using a durable chain drive, but the brand does sell extension kits that are compatible with 8- and 10-foot garage doors, as well.
This garage door opener comes with a wall-mounted push button, as well as a one-button remote, and its infrared safety sensor stops it from closing if there’s ever something in the way. The unit has a built-in LED light to help you see at night, and it’s designed for DIY installation, saving you some money.
Dimensions: 26.8 x 13.4 x 8.1 inches | Weight: 35 pounds | Opener Type: Belt drive | Lifting Capacity: 1.25 HP | Drive Type: Steel-reinforced anti-vibration Smart Belt | Horsepower: 1.25 HP | Power Source: Chamberlain’s MAX Lift Power System plus built-in battery backup
- Smartphone compatibility
- Includes two pre-programmed remotes with long range
- Ability to grant guest access
- Built-in battery backup
- Poorly written installation instructions
Smart garage door openers are quickly becoming the new normal—these Wi-Fi or Bluetooth-enabled units can be remotely controlled via your smartphone, allowing you to open and close your garage from anywhere, whether you’re down the road, at work, or even on vacation. One of the best smart garage door openers is this model from Chamberlain, which operates via a steel-reinforced belt drive and has built-in Wi-Fi that allows you to control the opener through the myQ app.
This unit is designed for 7-foot garage doors (extensions for 8- and 10-foot doors are available), and it even features a built-in backup battery that allows you to operate the door when the power is out. It comes with two pre-programmed remote controls that have an impressive 1,500-foot range, and thanks to the device’s smart functionality, you can grant up to three people access to your garage door—ideal for kids and visitors.
Dimensions: 138 x 9.5 x 5 inches | Weight: 42.6 pounds | Opener Type: Direct drive | Lifting Capacity: .75 HP | Drive Type: Steel-reinforced anti-vibration Smart Belt | Horsepower: .75 HP | Power Source: Corded-electric, 550 Newton motor
- Compatible with 8-foot doors
- Extremely quiet operation
- Lifetime warranty
- No smartphone compatibility
If your garage is adjacent to a bedroom or other living space, chances are you want a garage door opener that operates quietly, and hands-down, your best option is the Sommer Direct Drive Opener. This innovative unit stands apart from the crowd thanks to its direct-drive operation system, which features just one moving part—its motor sprocket glides along a fixed chain to open your door, and it’s much quieter than belt- or chain-drive models.
Another perk of this unit is that it comes with enough rail length to lift an 8-foot garage door without the need for an extension kit. The Sommer Garage Door Opener comes with a full installation kit, wall station, and remote control, and it doesn’t require any maintenance or lubrication. The product even comes with a lifetime warranty.
Dimensions: 16.5 x 7 x 6.75 inches | Weight: 30.5 pounds | Opener Type: Direct drive | Lifting Capacity: Not listed | Drive Type: Jackshaft | Horsepower: .75 hp | Power Source: 24V DC
- Quiet operation
- Takes up minimal space
- Compatible with doors up to 14 feet
- Doesn’t work with roll-up doors
- Bar system not included
- Smart functionality requires additional purchase
The LiftMaster 8500 is another direct drive garage door opener, and it’s unique thanks to its wall-mounted design. Instead of hanging from the ceiling and taking up room in your garage, this unit mounts beside your door, freeing up ceiling space for other storage. It can handle doors up to 14 feet tall and 650 pounds, but you must have a front-mount torsion bar system (not included) for operation.
Because it uses a direct drive system, the LiftMaster 8500 is extremely quiet during operation, and it has a built-in light that automatically turns on when you enter the garage. The unit comes with a wall-mount control panel and one visor remote control, and it can be upgraded to smart functionality if you purchase the brand’s 828LM Internet Gateway.
Dimensions: 26.8 x 13.4 x 8.1 inches | Weight: 32.2 pounds | Opener Type: Belt drive | Lifting Capacity: .75 HP | Drive Type: Ultra quiet steel-reinforced | Horsepower: .75 HP | Power Source: 120V DC with Plug-in
- Built-in HD security camera
- Smartphone compatible
- Includes two remotes
- Doesn’t include battery backup
This garage door opener from Chamberlain doubles as a security tool for your home thanks to its built-in high-definition camera. When the camera senses motion, such as the door opening, it will stream 1080p live video to your smartphone, letting you see who’s home. You can manually adjust the angle of the camera 360 degrees, and it’s equipped with a glare-resistant night-vision lens and two-way audio.
You can install this garage door opener on doors up to 7 feet tall, and the high-grade belt drive operates smoothly and quietly. It comes with two remote controls with a range of up to 1,500 feet, as well as a multi-functional wall control and safety sensors. And, of course, you can control it through your smartphone, customizing alerts, setting personalized schedules, and more.
Dimensions: 27 x 14 x 8 inches | Weight: 31.9 pounds | Opener Type: Chain drive | Lifting Capacity: .75 HP | Drive Type: High-grade steel-reinforced | Horsepower: .75 HP | Power Source: DC motor with lithium battery backup
- Compatible with single or double doors
- Long-lasting backup battery
- Built-in LED light
- Only includes one remote
Some garage door openers, including the BeamUp Everlift, have a built-in battery backup that keeps your garage operational in case of a power outage. The Everlift operates via a high-grade reinforced steel chain drive, and it has a powerful lithium polymer battery that kicks in during power outages, offering three times as many operating cycles as traditional lead-acid batteries.
This garage door opener can be used with 7-foot single or double doors, and it has integrated LED light bulbs to illuminate your garage at night. It comes with one remote control, as well as a wall-mounted controller, and the system is quick and easy to install without any special tools.
Dimensions: 40 x 9.5 x 11.5 inches | Weight: 40.3 pounds | Opener Type: Screw drive | Lifting Capacity: 2 HP | Drive Type: Maintenance-free direct| Horsepower: 2 HP | Power Source: 140V DC
- Extremely powerful 2-HP motor
- Requires limited maintenance
- Smartphone and home assistant compatible
- No backup battery
If you have a large or heavy garage door, you’ll need a heavy-duty product like the Genie Signature Series Smart Garage Door Opener. This model has an impressive 2 HP motor and premium screw drive technology that makes quick work of even the heaviest doors, lifting them twice as fast as other openers.
This Genie Garage Door Opener has the brand’s Aladdin Connect Wi-Fi smartphone technology, allowing you to control it from your phone, but it also includes two pre-programmed remotes and a multi-function wall console that has a vacation lock and light control buttons. It’s compatible with Alexa and Google Home, and while it does have a built-in light, bulbs are sold separately.
The best garage door opener for most people is the Genie StealthDrive Connect Garage Door Opener (view at Amazon), which has a substantial 1.25 HP motor, smart functionality, and even a built-in backup battery. If you’re on a budget, the SKYLINK Atoms ATR-1611C .5 HPF Garage Door Opener (view at Amazon) is an unbeatable value, and its straightforward chain-drive design can handle most 7-foot garage doors.
What to Look for in a Garage Door Opener
Garage door openers work in a variety of ways. A chain-drive model raises and lowers doors with a metal chain—these tend to be inexpensive and able to handle heavier doors, but they’re loud. A belt-drive opener uses a belt and operates more smoothly and quietly. Screw-drive openers, which lift doors with a threaded steel rod, are also quiet and don’t require much maintenance. Finally, a direct-drive opener operates as a single unit—the whole contraption moves to lift the door. These tend to be the quietest, smoothest mechanisms available.
You’ll also want to consider the horsepower of your opener. Typically, .5 horsepower will work for most doors in newer homes. If you have a heavier solid wood door, though, you may want to opt for .75 horsepower so it can lift it with ease. You can also get 1 and 1.5 horsepower models, but those are a better fit for commercial or special situations.
Since 1993, all garage door openers have been required to have a special reversing mechanism to prevent closure if a child, pet, or car is in the way—but in terms of additional security features, you get what you pay for. If safety is a top concern, opt for a model that changes the access code after each use to prevent a break-in.
What size garage door opener do I need?
Most openers are designed to work with all sizes and configurations of garage doors. However, if your garage door is tall (usually 8 feet or more), you’ll need one with a rail long enough to accommodate the height. Also, if yours is particularly heavy or has double doors, you might need one with extra horsepower.
How do you program a garage door opener?
Virtually all garage door opener units have a “Learn” button. To pair your remote with your opener, press this button. It should activate an indicator light for 30 seconds to a minute. While it’s lit, press and hold the main open/close button on the remote until the light on the overhead unit starts blinking. The blinking light tells you your garage door opener is programmed with the remote.
How do you install a garage door opener?
It’s crucial for garage door openers to be installed correctly so they operate safely and effectively. You might consider hiring a professional, but if you’d rather go the DIY route, these are the basic steps:
1. Read over the instructions and make sure you have all the parts and necessary tools.
2. Assemble the carriage tube per the manufacturer’s instructions.
3. Attach the carriage tube to the front of the main power unit.
4. Mount the header bracket to secure the carriage tube to the wall over the door.
5. Hang the main power unit from the ceiling
6. Wire the opener control box, then mount it to the wall.
7. Attach the connector bracket to the door, then fasten it to the carriage arm.
8. Plug in the safety sensor device to prevent it from closing on anything in the way.
How do you open a garage door manually that has a garage door opener?
Your garage door most likely has a manual cable, which disconnects from the opener chain, allowing you to open it manually. There might also be some sort of small key you can use to unlock the manual cable (if it’s not already unlocked).
Pull down hard on the cord to release the door. Then lift it with your hands, pushing it all the way up to make sure it stays in place and doesn’t fall back down.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written and researched by Camryn Rabideau, who is a freelance writer and product tester for The Spruce. She considered a wide range of garage door openers, including models from top-name brands and smaller manufacturers, and evaluated each pick for power, convenience, and versatility. All of the garage door openers included have at least .5 HP motors and can be used on standard 7-foot garage doors.