When you roll up into our driveway, having a great automatic garage door opener lets you drive straight in without having to get out and open it yourself. The sun may be baking everything in sight, or it may be pouring down with rain, making the prospect of stepping out of our car just that little less desirable. That's why we've tested and complied a list of the very best garage door openers.
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What to look for in a garage door opener
The best garage door opener needs to fulfill certain requirements; it has to be able to lift a heavy garage door, it needs to be reliable, the remote has to be convenient, and it wouldn’t hurt if it had a quiet motor and a backup power source in case of a power cut.
There are three types of garage door systems to consider. Your choice is between direct drive, belt drive or chain drive garage door systems. We've found that belt drive garage door systems are the most popular because they're quiet and reliable.
In our testing, we've found the Chamberlain B970 to be the best overall garage door opener because of its powerful 1 1/4 horsepower drive; quiet, belt-driven operation; smart-home compatibility; and lifetime warranty on the motor. That's not to say the others listed here are without merit. We particularly liked the Mighty Mule MM9545M for example.
1. Chamberlain B970: Best overall
Packed with features, trustworthy and smart-home integrated, this Chamberlain model is our top choice
Dimensions: 26.8 x 13.4-in x 8.1-inches, rail length 9.4ft | Weight: 37.1lb | Type: Belt drive: | Motor horsepower: 1 1/4 | Battery backup: Yes | Remote controls: 2 included | Warranty: Lifetime for motor and belt, 5-year for parts, 1-year for accessories
We chose the Chamberlain B970 as the best garage door opener because it's a great all-rounder. It has most of the features we look for in an opener, and then some, plus it's powerful enough to open even heavy garage doors.
Let's start with one feature we love - the B970 comes with a built-in backup battery. This means you can access your garage even in the event of a power outage, which is especially helpful if you have trouble using the manual release.
Another feature we liked is that the lift system uses a belt to provide a quieter way to open your garage door, especially compared with more-common chain-driven systems. And with a motor rating of 1 1/4 horsepower (HP), the unit can easily lift residential garage doors without causing excess wear and tear.
Both the belt and the motor have a lifetime warranty, while the other parts get five years of warranty coverage. This isn’t as good as Sommer’s lifetime parts warranty, but it’s still decent.
And here's the deal breaker - the unit comes with two remote controls and built-in Wi-Fi, which allows you to control the garage door using the Chamberlain myQ app, so now you can open your garage door from your smartphone!
- Read the review: Chamberlain B970
2. RYOBI GD201: Best for heavy doors
Compatible with RYOBI's world of accessories, this garage door opener is packed with options, including Wi-Fi and a backup batter option
Dimensions: 42 x 12.6 x 15.5-inches, rail length 10ft | Weight: 45 lb | Type: Belt drive: | Motor horsepower: 2 | Battery backup: Yes, but not included | Remote controls: 2 included | Warranty: 3 years
Boasting a massive two horsepower, the RYOBI GD201 ultra-quiet garage door opener is more than capable of opening the heaviest of garage doors, but it's also quick, quiet and versatile. It's a belt-drive model, meaning it's quiet in operation, that has a reinforced steel belt drive for extra durability.
In terms of features, it's got it all - built-in Wi-Fi, two remotes, a wireless keypad, an outdoor keypad and safety sensors. Thanks to the integrated Wi-Fi you can download the RYOBI app to monitor and control your garage remotely from your smartphone.
As part of the RYOBI family of products, it's compatible with the ONE+ battery system, so you can plug in a RYOBI ONE+ battery and the unit will still function in the case of a power cut. Be aware that you'll need to buy the battery separately though, as it's not included with the product.
You can also customize this door opener using the RYOBI garage door opener accessories, to make it do things like play tunes or shine lasers to help you park. It really is like living in the future!
In terms of its features, this opener would be up there with the Chamberlain B970 if it wasn't for the safety feature of a beeping noise when the door is closing, which annoys some people, and some negative users reviews.
- Read the review: RYOBI GD201
3. Chamberlain B510: Best value
If you're looking for a quality garage door opener that won't break your budget, yet also offers simple, reliable features then look no further
Dimensions: 26.8 x 13.4 x 8.1-inches, rail length 9.4ft | Weight: 37.1 lb | Drive Type: Belt drive: | Motor horsepower: 1/2 | Battery backup: No | Remote controls: 2 included | Warranty: 10-year warranty motor, 15-year warranty drive, 1-year warranty parts & accessories
What we have here, with the Chamberlain B510, is a less fully-featured version of the Chamberlain B970 shown above, so if you're shopping on a budget it's one to consider because it offers the same Chamerblain quality, but at a lower price point.
However, the B510 does come with significantly fewer features than the B970. For the price drop, you're losing the Wi-Fi capabilities, backup battery and you're dropping down to a motor with just half a horsepower.
On the plus side, this is a belt-drive model so it's quiet, plus the remotes use Triband technology so will work from a massive 1,500 feet away. Like it's bigger brother, the B510 uses the same 100 billion code encryption, so you can be sure your garage is safe and secure. The safety sensors also project an invisible beam that prevents it from closing on people or objects.
If you're shopping on a budget then this is one to consider, but please be aware that the B510 is specifically designed for a 7-foot door, and an extension kit is required for an 8-foot garage door.
- Read the review: Chamberlain B510
4. Genie 1035-V: Best budget
Looking to get a garage door opener that won't break the bank? Consider the Genie 1035-V
Dimensions: 27.4 x 8 x 12-inches, rail length 9ft | Weight: 35 lb | Drive Type: Chain drive: | Motor horsepower: 1/2 | Battery backup: No | Remote controls: 1 included | Warranty: 5 Year Motor, 5 Year Chain, 1 Year Parts and 1 Year Accessories
Not everybody can afford to splash out on a garage door opener. Sometimes you just want a product that can get the job done without all the extra bells and whistles. The Genie 1035-V is a great example.
Because it uses a chain drive it's not the quietest garage door opener you'll find on the market, but it's tough and durable and will open a residential 7 foot high, 350lb garage door smoothly. Note, the unit will not work with an 8 foot door.
This is a basic model though, so you don't get much else. There's no lighting, Wi-Fi or app, although you can add these buy purchasing the Aladdin Connect system. It does work with popular built-in car remote systems like HomeLink and Car2U out of the box though.
It includes a push-button wall control, car remote control and it has a Safe-T-Beam System to reverse the closing door action if anything passes through an infrared beam, which is good to know if you have kids.
When it comes to remote controls you only get one, although you can purchase a second one from Genie and program it to work with your unit. Genie users report that the remote works from 200 feet away quite comfortably.
Finally, It comes with a 2 foot power cord included, which is hopefully enough to reach your power source.
So, while the Genie lacks stand-out features, it does provide the basics you'll need. One to consider if you need to get everything done on a budget.
- Read the review: Genie 1035-V
5. Chamberlain B1381: Best for lighting
All the features of the B970, with integrated LED lighting and a much more modern-looking case
Dimensions: 26.75 x 13.38 x 8.06-inches, rail length 7ft | Weight: 36 lb | Drive Type: Belt drive: | Motor horsepower: 1 1/4 | Battery backup: Yes | Remote controls: 2 included | Warranty: Lifetime motor, Lifetime drive, 5 year parts, 1 year accessory
One aspect to consider with garage door openers is lighting. The ceiling spot where you fit your door opener is the prime location for adding lighting to your garage, so it makes sense to combine the two devices into one.
Even so, lighting tends to be an added extra when it comes to most garage door openers, so you only find the feature on the more expensive models. A prime example is this Chamberlain B1381. It basically combines all the features of the B970 we mention above, with integrated LED lighting and a much more modern-looking case. The alternative method of lighting is to use bulbs, be these need to be replaced much more frequently. LED is a superior method.
The B1381's LED outputs 3,100 lumens, which is enough to light up most modern garages. Aside from the lighting, this unit has all the high-quality features and parts that make up the B970, so there's a robust and quiet belt drive, 1 1/4 horsepower motor, built-in Wi-Fi and remotes that use Triband technology.
In the box you get the garage door opener, rail, belt, wireless keypad, battery, 3-button remotes, full-function wall control, safety sensors, mounting hardware and an instruction manual.
In all, there's a lot to recommend in the B1381, but most of all, you can wave goodbye to fumbling around for your keys in the dark thanks to the impressive built-in LED lighting.
- Read the review: Chamberlain B1381
6. Mighty Mule MM9545M: Best for features
Quality parts and an impressive feature set means that the Mighty Mule is worthy of your consideration
Dimensions: 12 x 15.5 x 29.5-inches, rail length 9.8ft | Weight: 36.15 lb | Drive Type: Belt drive: | Motor horsepower: 1 1/4 | Battery backup: Yes | Remote controls: 2 included | Warranty: 1 year accessories/electronics, 5 years parts, lfetime motor, belt & LED lights
It's hard to find a feature that the Mighty Mule MM9545M is missing. It's a belt drive model, which makes it nice and quiet, and like most other garage door openers it has two remotes, sensors, wall panels and Wi-Fi but it also features a built-in garage light.
Having a built-in light is a major bonus. This model uses LED too, which means the light will last much longer before you need to think about replacing a bulb.
The MM9545M comes with its own app, called that Mighty Mule Smart Control App. Once downloaded this enables you to open and close your garage door with ease from your phone.
Overall this is a great garage door opener, and there are scores of positive user reviews to be found online. It's slightly more expensive than the Chamberlain B970, but cheaper than the B1381, which is the Chamberlain model with an LED light, so it's good value.
- Read the review: Mighty Mule MM9545M
7. Skylink ATOMS ATR-1612C: Best chain drive
If you really want a chain drive garage door opener then the latest ATOMS from Skylink is a good contender
Dimensions: 8.34 x 5 x 6-inches, rail length 7ft | Weight: 30 lb | Drive Type: Chain drive | Motor horsepower: 1/2 | Battery backup: No | Remote controls: 1 included | Warranty: 6 Years Motor Warranty, 1 Year Warranty for parts including the rail and chain, 1 Year Parts and Accessories
Chain drive garage door openers used to be all the rage until quieter belt drive models stole their thunder and replaced it with a mild hum. So, while you probably want to go for a belt drive model if you're shopping for a new garage door opener we thought we'd include at least one more chain drive model in our buying guide for you to compare it against, rather than just the Genie 1035-V.
The Skylink ATMOS is well specced with a 1/2 horsepower DC motor, two infrared sensors and a 12-watt LED light but only comes with one remote control and there's no backup battery included by default, although you can purchase one separately, and no WiFi.
The big draw of the Skylink ATMOS ATR-1612C is the price. And so long as you don't mind a chain drive model, that makes it a bargain. Skylink also produces belt drive models, like the ATMOS ATR-1723BK, but they are more expensive.
- Read the review: Skylink ATOMS ATR-1612C
Remote control technology
Most new garage door openers worth their salt also come with essential safety features for our smart-tech age, such as a rolling code to make sure hackers can’t intercept the code sent between your door and the remote, as well as a lock mode for when you’re away on holiday or work trips, so no one can open your door via the remote or keypad until you return.
When it comes to remote control technology, Tri Band is the best solution, operating on three separate frequencies, these remote controllers give you a range of over a thousand feet, so you can open your garage door from wherever you are on your property. Some garage door openers also come with Wi-Fi capabilities, so they can be used with your smartphone and an app. Alternatively, you can add this ability with a relatively cheap add-on that works with most garage door openers.
Having smartphone access to your garage may sound a little bit like a gimmick, there is a practical use for it. While it's incredibly easy to lose a remote control in your car or handbag, especially since these are usually small, black devices, you're not going to lose your smartphone. Or at least, we hope you're not going to lose it!
Garage door openers connect to your mains, and that's where they derive their power, but what happens in the event of a power cut? You don't want to get locked inside your garage or unable to gain entrance. This is where a 12 volt backup battery comes in handy. If you want the ultimate in reliability, then we'd recommend only buying a garage door opener with a backup battery.
Finally, you should consider a garage door opener that comes with sensors that prevent accidents by stopping operation if the sensor detects that there's an object in the way when opening or closing the garage door. These days almost all garage door openers come with these as default. The sensors work by sending a beam of light across the door. If it's broken then operation of the door will cease. It could be an essential feature if you've got pets or small children who might be at risk of injury.