To help you find the right smart lock for your Airbnb rental, we evaluated twenty-four different smart locks. Also, we consulted two smart lock sales representatives, a brand manager, and two home security, expert. After evaluation, we found that Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt is the best smart lock for Airbnb homes. It can be installed on existing locks, connects to existing home automation, and notifies the moment a guest enters or leaves the house. If you want to learn more, we have also created a comprehensive buyer’s guide to help you choose the best locks.
1. Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt- Best For Home
The Schlage smart lock has few variants, and out of them, Schlage Sense has all the best features. As a package, it comes with a locking system that has a keypad, a key, inbuilt alarm, and WiFi connectivity.
Using the app, we were able to give access to several visitors. Since the Airbnb smart lock is operated by battery, it can still give access to the visitor with the access key even during a power outage.
When we unlocked the door using the same WiFi network, the response time was 2-3 seconds. And when you provide remote access, it took more than 10 seconds. Such time delays are all dependent on the connectivity.
When we tested the product, it worked best with Apple’s HomeKit. You can easily manage the notifications. If you or your family are Airbnb hosts and it is you who are entering the house. For such instances, you do not want the lock to notify you every time door is locked or unlocked. HomeKit allows you to manage such settings with ease.
If you have HomeKit enabled house, it is the best among all. And in terms of security is also the most secure smart lock for vacation rental homes because you can provide remote access without being present at the location.
2. August Smart 2nd Generation- Best For Cabinet
August is known to provide quality home security solutions. It was one of the top smart locks for Airbnb that we tested. As a package, it offers everything that you expect from a smart lock. The main features include connects to smart devices, uses smart keys to open the door; all the information is available on your phone, and takes very little time to install.
While we were installing the lock, it took us just 10 minutes. We attached it to the existing deadbolt, connected it with our WiFi network, installed the August lock app on our smartphone, and it was good to go. It operates on a battery. Hence no additional wiring is required.
In case you do not have smart keys or your phone, you can make keyless entry. One thing that we loved is that it locks the door automatically. Most of the time, you have to push the door so that latch is engaged, but August’s motor is powerful enough to allow the door to lock automatically.
This August Airbnb smart lock review says some great things about the lock, and our tests also prove it is currently the top smart lock available.
3. Yale Touchscreen Deadbolt- Best For Store
If you are on a tight budget but still want a good Airbnb smart lock for vacation rental, Yale Touchscreen deadbolt is a great option. It can connect to Alexa via Wink or SmartThings.
As far as the keypad is concerned, it is immaculate. It lights up when the keypad is touched. When the numbers are entered, it makes sound and blinks a little to know that the button has been pressed.
This is locks best with Z-wave devices, so make sure you have that. The Airbnb smart lock could become an excellent addition to your Home Automation if you have Z-wave tools.
For Airbnb hosts, you may not be using much of the home automation, but you do not want your visitors to struggle with the system, hence make sure you whatever method you use make it compatible with the smart lock. The complicated system always makes your visitor call you now and then.
If you want a budget-friendly lock that can do all the things that a smart lock does, then Yale Touchscreen deadbolt is the best option.
4. Samsung SHS-P718-LMK Push Pull – Best For Office
Samsung is a popular and most trustworthy brand. It has decades of experience in high tech devices and innovation. Samsung SHS-P718-LMK Push Pull is nothing sort of innovation. Our whole team loved the look of it. If you are Airbnb owner why not impress your guest with an elegant looking smart lock.
The only thing that could have been better with this device is installing process. With such an elegant looking lock, it has an ugly laborious installing process. Our team members had to bring out their best woodworking skills to the table. Though no one is a skilled carpenter, our team managed to install a lock in a couple of hours. Yes, it is painstaking at first, but it’s worth it when you see it working.
It is a biometric lock. So for those who hate remembering numbers, it is a lifesaver. And if you are an Airbnb guest, it will always take some time to remember the new access keys for keyless entry. A fingerprint just saves the visitors to so much trouble. In addition to prints, you can also use RFID and user access codes.
So, we also brought in three old volunteers, to see if such issues exist with this system or not. And yes, one of them had an issue registering fingerprint with this Samsung smart lock. It is possible with some old age people the fingerprint system may fail. But you can still make RFID tags for them.
If you are merely looking for an effective fingerprint lock for your Airbnb, the Samsung SHS-P718-LMK is very good.
5. Schlage Z-Wave Connect- Best For Bedroom
Schlage Z-Wave connect is rated grade 1 for residential security. It has all the right feature that makes it one of the top smart lock for short term rental. Using Z-wave high tech you can easily incorporate into a home automation system.
Installation is also a breeze. They were able to install the lock on the door, download the app, and connect the lock to the app via WiFi in a mere fifty-five minutes.
The app itself is intuitive. We checked the response of the alerts received whenever someone used an access key. The notification was received. The minute door is unlocked. This way, as Airbnb hosts, you can keep an eye on the renters living on your Airbnb property.
It uses a battery that needs to be replaced every year or so. The good thing is that the system notifies you immediately if the battery runs low. Besides, if the battery is dead due to some reason, you can access the lock with backup-keys.
The deadbolt throw is motorized, hence the door lock automatically behind you. In case of intrusion, it has an in-built alarm that is enough to alert you.
If you already have home automation in place, and you want to strengthen the security of your front door, Schlage Z-Wave Connect fits well.
6. August Pro 3rd Generation – Best For Wireless Connectivity
Like the earlier variant of the August we discussed, August Smart Lock 2nd Generation, August smart lock pro fits right into the existing deadbolt. But the extra thing it has is the traditional thumb turn. It also requires August Connect WiFi Bridge to connect to smart devices for remote access.
It also supports automated locking and unlocking of the door. This feature useful if the visitor is carrying groceries or bags. It unlocks automatically upon detecting the visitor. However, for this automation, WiFi Bridge is necessary, and the visitor’s phone needs to be connected to the lock via the app.
Though we found that even with weak WiFi signal, it performed much better compared to other smart locks for airbnb, hence, we believe it best lock for rentals for any kind of WiFi network.
Again the much like any other smart lock, you can see how many times the door was locked and unlocked on a neat timeline in the app.
If you are looking for complete automation via a WiFi network, you can easily add this August smart lock pro into the mix.
7. Gate Labs Camera – Best Option For High Quality Camera
The Gate Labs is on our list for just being an only smart lock with a camera that we came across. We brought in almost 24 smart locks for airbnb, and only one had the camera. Rest all required separate front door camera. Even the company boasts that it is the first smart lock with the camera.
Once installed, we downloaded the Gate app and followed the step by step instructions to set up the lock. We have to admit video it captures is not of high quality but does the job of giving a clear picture.
For your Airbnb renters, you can create a unique code right on your phone and send them. You can also check the footage to see the time they check-in and check out.
When we compare to other smart locks, it does not have many features. But its the camera that makes all the difference.
If you are looking for the smart lock for Airbnb with a quality camera, it has to be the Gate Labs.
Buyer’s Guide- What To Consider?
Experts we consulted believe smart lock is changing the way owners manage their rental properties. Without actually physically being there, they can give access to the guest. Besides, they can also control the time access key entry lasts. So, managing other bookings is too easy for them. However, experts stressed the fact that only the quality locks are the most secure. How do you find the best and most secure smart lock?
For that, you have to consider the following factors:
1. The app
The most important part of the smart lock system is the app. Using the app, you control everything. You assign keys to the visitors. You keep an eye on the people self checking and leaving the house. You also receive notification about the battery life.
To get access to the house, visitors need the required app on their phone. Hence, one thing to look at here is that the app must be user-friendly. You may be using the app for months so that you will be comfortable with it, but the same cannot be said for the visitors. And you have to consider the fact that not all visitors will be tech-savvy.
While getting the smart lock for your Airbnb rental, make sure the app is easy to use and understand. When you write the Airbnb smart lock instructions, it should be clear and easy to understand for a visitor.
Most of the locks use Bluetooth and WiFi to connect to control devices like smartphones or smart home devices. The vital thing to consider here is, you have to make sure that the internet connection you use is fast and reliable. As most of the time, you may be providing remote access, response time will be an essential factor. And you also don’t want your guest to struggle to open the door because of the poor connection. The best thing to do is here is check which WiFi configuration is best suited for the smart lock.
All the smart locks we have mentioned in the review; all are battery operated. You want a smart lock that can run for months or years without having to change the battery. Besides, get only those intelligent lock systems that notify you via the app if the battery is running low.
4. Integration with smart devices
Using smart devices, you can control the lock simply by voice commands. So the smart device integration becomes important. You can connect the smart lock to your existing home automation. August Smart Lock 2nd Generation and August Smart Lock 3rd Gen technology connect directly to HomeKit. For other devices, both require a hub. While buying a smart lock, you have to see what smart devices it supports and what are the necessary accessories that you must buy to make the lock compatible with the smart home devices you own.
You may be attracted to buying a fancy smart lock, but you may end up struggling with its complicated installation process. While testing, we found a variety of smart locks that had different installation processes. Some may take only 10-15 minutes, and some may take 1-2 hours. August Smart Lock 2nd Generation and August Smart Lock 3rd Gen technology both can installed on the existing deadbolt. Hence, it takes only 10-15 minutes. Whereas Schlage Z-Wave Connect may take one hour as you have to replace the existing lock. It is your choice of what kind of lock you want for your Airbnb home.
6. Grade Specifications
Three ANSI grading levels certify the security level of the smart lock, Grade 1, Grade 2, and Grade 3. Grade 1 certifies that lock is of the highest standard. The Grade 1 smart locks can be used for commercial buildings. Grade 2 and Grade 3 are more suitable for home use. Grade 1 smart locks are always best, but Grade 2 certified locks can also do the job for you. It all depends on the amount of money you are willing to spend.
How We Conducted The Tests?
We had so many good smart locks in front of us. We tested almost 24 smart locks that were considered the smart lock for short term rental. While selecting these 29 locks, we made sure that each is either Grade 1 certified or Grade 2 certified. We tested them for aspects like ease of use, ease of installation, battery, automation, and connectivity.
We also did physical tests to ensure that they are of the highest safety standard. During our tests, we simulated every kind of scenario that allowed us to see how each model responds. We changed the strength of the wireless connections to see how locks perform under weak wireless connections. We also used batteries with low charges to know if the locks are still effective or not.
After 94 hours of testing, we evaluated the results and also consulted five experts to deepen our understanding of each model. We also went through several reputed review sites to understand what common users think about the smart lock they use.
After considering all the test results, expert advice, and user reviews, our team rated all the smart lock and picked the smart lock for vacation rental. Here is the scorecard:
smart lock tests.csv
|Product||Connectivity||Battery||Ease of Use||Overall||Price|
|Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt||97.7||96.6||98.1||97.32||Check Price|
|August Smart Lock 2nd Generation||97.3||96.1||98.0||97.17||Check Price|
|Yale Touchscreen Deadbolt||96.8||97.2||97.4||97.13||Check Price|
|Samsung SHS-P718-LMK Push Pull||95.6||97.2||97.8||96.87||Check Price|
|Schlage Z-Wave Connect||98.2||95.8||96.3||96.77||Check Price|
|August Smart Lock 3rd Gen||97.4||95.4||96.8||96.53||Check Price|
1. How does smart lock Work?
Smart Locks can use access codes. These codes are made available to guests either upon arrival or while booking. The best thing about having a smart lock is that you can generate new access codes whenever a unique guest book the property.
2. Do smart locks need WiFi?
Yes, smart locks need to be connected to a WiFi or any other wireless protocol
3. Do smart locks need power?
Yes, they do. Some smart locks use a battery, but the regular power supply is the best form for a power source for smart locks.
4. What are smart locks compatible with Ring?
Most of the Schlage smart locks are compatible with Ring.
5. Is there a monthly charge for smart locks?
There are no monthly charges for a subscription for smart locks. However, if you buy a smart lock with a door cam, then you might have to pay an additional fee.
6. Do Schlage locks work with Ring devices?
Smart locks can be connected to any other smart device via WiFi, ZigBee, and Z wave networks using Alexa.
7. Can smart locks be hacked?
Yes, if a hacker is skilled enough, Smart Lock can be hacked. So make sure you do not share information about the lock to an unknown individual.
Reviews of the smart locks on our list are mainly positive because they have more pros than cons. Though each of the models has its own merits, it outperforms the other model in some or other categories.
Hence you have to know what kind of lock you want and what you want to get out of it. If you plan to use it for Airbnb rental, you would require a lock that works best with remote access like any model of August or Schlage. Or you may need a smart lock with the camera; then, Gate Labs may be the right choice.
Whatever lock you may choose, make the informed decision. It’s your home; you want it to have the best security possible.