Best Garage Door Openers of 2019

John Carlsen ·
Smart Home & HVAC Editor
Updated
We maintain strict editorial integrity when we evaluate products and services; however, Top Ten Reviews may earn money when you click on links.

We've reviewed garage door openers for the past eight years, researching and evaluating the most recent models. In our testing, we've found the Chamberlain B970 to be the best overall garage door opener because of its 1 1/4 horsepower drive; quiet, belt-driven operation; smart-home compatibility; and lifetime warranty on the motor.

 

Best Overall
Chamberlain B970
The Chamberlain B970 is a quiet garage door opener that comes with an excellent warranty, accessories and mobile app.
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Best Professionally Installed
LiftMaster 8500W
The LiftMaster 8500W is reliable and quiet, but for being so expensive, it scrimps on common features such as a keyless entry pad and a second remote.
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Get Quote@LiftMaster
Best Professionally Installed
LiftMaster 8500W
Best Value
Chamberlain C410
The Chamberlain C410 is the best value among garage door openers because it offers a better warranty and includes more accessories than other units in the same price range.
View on Amazon
Product
Price
Overall Rating
Design & Control
Convenience
Warranty
Price
Horsepower
Lift System
Timer-to-Close
Motion-Activated Lighting
Battery Backup
Extension Kit Available
Customer Satisfaction
Remote Controls Included
Outdoor Keypad
Wi-Fi
Smart Home Platform
Motor Warranty
Lift System Warranty
Parts Warranty
Check Price
9.3 9.5 9.3 9.8 8
1 1/4 HP
Belt
Up to 10 feet
88%
2 (3-button)
Built-in
HomeLink, Honeywell, Nest, Wink, Alarm.com, Xfinity, Google($), HomeKit($), IFTTT($)
Lifetime
Lifetime
5 Years
Check Price
8.9 9.3 8.5 9.8 7
1/2 HP
Jackshaft
Not Required
90%
1 (3-button)
$
Built-in
HomeLink, Honeywell, Nest, Wink, Alarm.com, Xfinity, Google($), HomeKit($), IFTTT($)
Lifetime
Lifetime
5 Years
Check Price
8.4 7.5 9.3 8.5 9
1/2 HP
Belt
N/A
Up to 10 feet
85%
2 (3-button)
Built-in
HomeLink, Honeywell, Nest, Wink, Alarm.com, Xfinity, Google($), HomeKit($), IFTTT($)
10 Years
15 Years
1 Year
Check Price
8.2 7.3 8.8 9.5 8
2 HP
Screw
N/A
$
Up to 8 feet
92%
2 (3-button)
$
Built-in
HomeLink, Car2U, Iris
Lifetime
Lifetime
3 Years
Check Price
8.2 7.8 8.8 8.3 8
3/4 HP
Belt
N/A
Up to 10 feet
82%
2 (3-button)
Built-in
HomeLink
10 Years
3 Years
3 Years
Check Price
7.9 6.8 8.8 7.8 10
1/2 HP
Chain
$
N/A
Up to 10 feet
87%
2 (3-button)
$
HomeLink, Honeywell, Nest, Wink, Alarm.com, Xfinity, Google($), HomeKit($), IFTTT($)
10 Years
1 Year
1 Year
Check Price
7.4 6.5 8.3 7.3 9
1/2 HP
Belt
N/A
$
Up to 10 feet
83%
2 (1-button)
$
HomeLink, Alexa, IFTTT
6 Years
1 Year
1 Year
Check Price
6.8 4.3 7.8 10 8
3/4 HP
Direct
N/A
N/A
N/A
Up to 14 feet
91%
2 (2-button)
$
Third Party
HomeLink
Lifetime
Lifetime
Lifetime
Check Price
6.7 4.3 7.3 9.5 9
1 1/4 HP
Belt
N/A
N/A
N/A
Up to 12 feet
64%
2 (2-button)
$
Built-in
HomeLink
Lifetime
Lifetime
3 Years
Check Price
6.7 4.8 8 6.8 10
1/2 HP
Chain
$
$
N/A
Up to 10 feet
87%
2 (3-button)
$
$
HomeLink
4 Years
1 Year
1 Year
Check Price
6.3 3.8 7.8 7.5 10
1/2 HP
Chain
$
N/A
N/A
Up to 8 feet
90%
1 (1-button)
$
$
HomeLink, Car2U, Iris
5 Years
5 Years
1 Year
Best Overall
We chose the Chamberlain B970 as the best garage door opener because it has most of the features we look for in this type of device.
It’s one of only two units we looked at that comes with a built-in backup battery. This feature allows you to access your garage in the event of a power outage, which is especially helpful if you have trouble using the manual release. The lift system uses a belt to provide a quieter way to open your door compared with more-common chain-driven systems. With a motor rating of 1 1/4 horsepower (HP), the unit can 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. 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.
Pros
  • Lifetime motor warranty
  • Quiet operation.
Cons
  • No lifetime parts warranty.
$268.00Amazon
Read the full review
Best Professionally Installed
The LiftMaster 8500W is more secure than some of the other smart garage door openers we evaluated because it includes an automatic garage door dead bolt that physically unlocks and locks as you use the opener.
This mechanism makes it more difficult for intruders to force the door open and enter your garage. The LiftMaster 8500W is also the only wall-mounted garage door opener in our comparison, which makes it a good option if you want to clear up ceiling space to store items above your garage door. This is possible because the LiftMaster 8500W uses a jackshaft lift system, though it does require a torsion-spring-type garage door to function. For comparison, most garage doors use extension springs. The LiftMaster 8500W is the most expensive garage door opener we reviewed. It requires not only a high upfront cost but also professional installation by a certified dealer. Despite the expense, the unit comes with an excellent lifetime warranty on the motor and lift system, with five-year coverage on other parts. Although you can control the door with a mobile app, its other accessories are limited; it doesn’t come with an outdoor keypad and includes only one remote control.
Pros
  • Automatic dead bolt
  • Excellent warranty
  • Wall-mounted design
Cons
  • Expensive upfront cost and installation
  • No outdoor keypad
  • Only one remote
Get QuoteLiftMaster
Read the full review
Best Value
The Chamberlain C410 comes with a 10-year motor warranty and a durable, chain-driven lift system.
The unit has very favorable customer reviews on both Amazon and the Lowe’s website, with a 4.5-star rating out of 5 stars. With only 1/2 horsepower, the Chamberlain C410 might not be able to lift some larger doors, but it’s a great option for most homes, particularly those with single-car garages. The unit comes with two remotes and is compatible with an internet connection and a mobile app, if you have the Chamberlain myQ smart garage door controller. The Chamberlain C410 isn’t as quiet as the belt-driven garage door openers we evaluated, but it is a reliable option for controlling your garage door. At the time of this writing, the Chamberlain C410 costs around $160, making it one of the most affordable garage door openers in our comparison. In fact, it costs about $110 less than our top pick, the Chamberlain B970. Although the unit lacks lifetime warranty coverage on the motor, it’s still an excellent choice for budget-conscious homeowners.
Pros
  • It’s affordable.
  • It has positive customer reviews.
Cons
  • There’s no lifetime motor warranty.
  • It’s louder than belt-driven lift systems.
$158.00Amazon
Read the full review
Highest Customer Satisfaction
The Genie MachForce Connect is one of the newest garage door openers we evaluated, and it has very favorable reviews at Home Depot, the exclusive retailer for the unit.
In fact, it had the highest customer rating of all the garage door openers we evaluated, scoring 4.6 out of 5 stars. This screw-driven garage door opener also has the highest horsepower rating in our comparison, with a 2-HP motor, which means it can handle residential garage doors with ease. The Genie MachForce Connect has built-in Wi-Fi that allows you to control your garage door using the Genie Aladdin Connect smartphone app. The warranty on the MachForce Connect is also impressive, with lifetime coverage on both the motor and the lift system and three years of coverage on the other parts, which is better than the one-year average among garage door openers. Unfortunately, Genie doesn’t support doors higher than 8 feet, even with an extension kit, so this device isn’t a good choice for tall garages used for storing boats or RVs. Moreover, this unit doesn’t come with an outdoor keypad or motion-activated lighting.
Pros
  • It has high customer satisfaction.
  • It includes built-in Wi-Fi.
  • The warranty is excellent.
Cons
  • It doesn’t support doors taller than 8 feet.
  • It doesn’t include an outdoor keypad.
  • There’s no motion-activated lighting.
$248.00Home Depot
Read the full review
Best Warranty
The warranties on garage door openers tend to be quite generous. In fact, it’s normal for the motors to have lifetime warranties.
However, the Sommer Direct Drive is the only garage door opener in our comparison that has a lifetime warranty on the motor, lift system and parts – the most generous warranty package of any opener we reviewed. Notably, the Sommer device is the only direct-drive lift system we evaluated, which means the 3/4-horsepower motor travels along a fixed chain in the rail with only one moving part. This provides the durability of a chain-driven system and the reduced noise of a belt-driven system. Unfortunately, this type of system makes the Sommer Direct Drive more expensive; it costs over $60 more than an average garage door opener. The unit comes with two remotes for your vehicles as well as a control panel for inside your garage. It doesn’t include a remote keypad like its competitors do, but you can buy a keypad separately for about $45.
Pros
  • It has a lifetime warranty on all components.
  • It’s quiet.
Cons
  • It’s more expensive than average.
  • It doesn’t come with a wireless keypad.
$261.32Amazon
Read the full review

Latest News & Updates (February 2019)

  • We recently updated our garage door opener comparison with new products. We also improved the scoring used to rank these products and added information about customer satisfaction.
  • At CES in January 2019, Amazon and Chamberlainannounced Key for Garage, which brings Key by Amazon in-home delivery to Chamberlain myQ-compatible garage door openers.Key for Garage requires an Amazon Prime membership, a myQ smart garage door controller and the Amazon Cloud Cam (Key Edition). The service becomes available in the second quarter of 2019. Key by Amazon is not available in all areas, but you cancheck your eligibility here. We evaluated Key by Amazon during our smart lock testing in summer 2018 and found it useful, but its current service area really limits its potential.

Why Trust Us

We’ve reviewed garage door openers since 2011. Since 2015, we’ve tested a variety of internet-connected products, such as smart locks, video doorbells, DIY home security systems and thermostats. We use these testing experiences as a baseline for our evaluations of other equipment. As time and resources allow, we occasionally test new types of products, but there are still some circumstances for which we cannot conduct in-house tests. When testing isn’t possible, we conduct thorough research using the same standards we apply to our in-house tests, as is the case with smart garage door openers.

Our comparison includes garage door openers from the following manufacturers: Chamberlain, Craftsman, Genie, LiftMaster, RYOBI, Skylink and Sommer. As we selected products to evaluate, we limited the number of models we selected from popular brands such as Chamberlain and Genie as it would be very easy to build an entire comparison for either brand on its own. This allowed us to evaluate lesser-known brands for a more diverse comparison.

We looked over the user manual for each garage door opener and noted any functions that set it apart from the competition. We also checked out customer reviews to get a sense of whether people were satisfied with their openers. Lastly, we did a detailed cost analysis of garage door openers to give you a better idea of how much you should pay.

In addition, we consulted information from industry organizations, includingGarageWowNow.com from the Door & Access Systems Manufacturers Association (DASMA) and resources from the International Door Association (IDA), which has an extensive list of major manufacturers. The IDA also has a usefulConsumer Safety Guide with safety and maintenance tips.

How We Evaluated

Due to installation requirements, we don’t conduct in-house testing of garage door openers at Top Ten Reviews. Instead, we research what makes each model unique and worth buying, primarily relying on customer experiences shared on the web through four retailers: Amazon, Home Depot, Lowe’s and Sears. We also read reviews on the manufacturers’ websites.

These sources included more than 5,300 customer reviews as of this writing. Our customer-satisfaction score combines the separate scores with a simple weighted average to retain the value of each individual customer review. This combined sample is more reliable than each source alone.

Crucially, customer reviews provide insight into products’ real-world reliability, their popularity and manufacturers’ customer service. However, there are caveats: Customer reviews are subjective, they’re often limited in scope, they lack technical benchmarks and they’re hard to find on less-popular, or dealer-installed, products.

In our evaluation of garage door openers, we found that Chamberlain is overwhelmingly the most popular brand and highly favored by most customer reviews. These high ratings extend to LiftMaster, which is Chamberlain’s dealer-installed brand. The highest-rated garage door openers in customer reviews were the Genie MachForce Connect, the Sommer Direct Drive, the Genie Chain Drive 500, the LiftMaster 8500W and the Chamberlain B970.

All of the units we evaluated would be acceptable for most people, with the exception of the RYOBI GD126, which has fairly poor reviews. However, we kept this model in our comparison because of its unique modular accessories.

How Much do Garage Door Openers Cost?

You can expect to pay between $130 and $300 for a garage door opener, with most models costing about $200. The most expensive openers usually include extra accessories and smartphone controls, though most openers work with a smartphone if you buy a Wi-Fi adapter, such as myQ. The types of garage door openers in increasing order of average cost are as follows: chain, belt, screw, direct drive and jackshaft.

Although you can replace a garage door opener on your own, doing so is more difficult than most DIY projects, so it’s important to follow the installation instructions. If you’re not confident that you can replace the opener on your own, you should consider hiring a professional, and that further increases your costs. You can also expect to pay more if you’re replacing a garage door in addition to the opener.

Choosing a Garage Door Opener

Horsepower
If you’re replacing an existing garage door opener in your home, the simplest method for finding the right horsepower is to check the rating of the unit in your garage and get something with equal or higher power. Most homes have single- or double-car sectional garage doors made of aluminum or steel, which is the most affordable type of garage door. These doors are relatively light, so a motor with rating of 1/2 horsepower is more than sufficient. While 1/3-horsepower motors are available, they can wear out faster than those with 1/2 horsepower in such settings, so it’s a good idea to invest a little extra in a more capable garage door opener.

If you have an oversize door; one made of a heavier material, such as wood; or a one-piece door, you should consider getting something stronger. In these cases, look for a garage door opener motor rated at between 3/4 horsepower and 2 horsepower. There’s nothing stopping you from using a 2-horsepower opener on a smaller door, which can make for smoother operation and a longer service life, but high-horsepower units cost more.

Lift Systems
The lift system determines how smoothly and quietly an opener moves the garage door. Residential garage door openers usually use one of five lift systems: chain, belt, screw, direct drive or jackshaft. One is not necessarily better than the others, but each system has its strengths.

  • Chain: A chain-driven lift system uses a durable steel chain, much like that of a bicycle. This type of system is very reliable, but it can be rather loud. It is the most common lift system for garage doors and is generally the most affordable, costing $167 on average.
  • Belt: A belt-driven lift system uses a reinforced rubber belt, which reduces vibration. As such, it is much quieter than a chain-driven system. Belt lift systems are the second most common type and cost around $230.
  • Screw: Screw-driven lift systems attach a long screw to the motor to move the garage door. These systems are powerful, fast and relatively quiet, and they require less maintenance than typical chain- or belt-driven systems. Genie and Overhead Door are two popular brands of screw-driven systems. Based on our research of Genie’s line, you can expect to pay $244, on average, for a screw-driven garage door opener.
  • Direct Drive: Unlike chain- and belt-driven systems, where the motor remains stationary while moving a chain, a direct-drive motor moves while the chain stays in place. Because of this, the only moving part is the gear the motor uses to move while lifting the door. To our knowledge, only one company makes direct-drive garage door openers: Sommer. The company claims that the motors are more efficient and quieter than any other type of opener. However, this is one of the most expensive types of openers we’ve found, costing $286 on average.
  • Jackshaft: This is another type of direct-drive lift system that mounts onto the side of a torsion-spring-equipped garage door; it turns the spring unit directly instead of moving a trolley. This type of opener is very compact and frees up ceiling space. You can’t use jackshaft lift systems with extension-spring garage doors, the most common type of garage door. The unique design makes jackshaft the most expensive type of garage door opener, costing around $400 on average. Both LiftMaster and Chamberlain have jackshaft garage door openers.

Remote Controls
When you buy a door opener, look for one that comes with the controllers you need. Generally speaking, the remote clips onto the visor in your vehicle. If you have multiple vehicles, make sure you get a unit for each vehicle that uses the garage. Among the units we reviewed, all except the LiftMaster 8500W and the Genie Chain Drive 500 come with two remote controls.

If your car has a built-in garage door control that uses HomeLink or Car2U, you usually don’t need a remote, only a compatible garage door opener. Most garage door opener brands support HomeLink, and a few support Car2U. However, you may need to buy an adapter if your opener lacks built-in compatibility.

Smartphone & Smart Home Controls
A smartphone app can make it easier to use your garage door, and it also lets you check if the door is still open when you’re away from home. If you want to control your garage door opener with a smartphone, there are two options: built-in Wi-Fi or a separate Wi-Fi adapter. Most garage door brands – including Chamberlain, LiftMaster, CRAFTSMAN, Genie, Mighty Mule, Skylink and RYOBI – have models with built-in Wi-Fi, though these are more expensive than base models without Wi-Fi.

If you have an older garage door opener and simply want to add smartphone controls, you can buy a Wi-Fi adapter such as Chamberlain myQ, Gogogate2 or Nexx Garage. These units are essentially universal remotes for garage door openers, so you just program them to control your door to get Wi-Fi functionality.

Integrating your garage door into a smart home system gives you another tool for managing your home. For example, your smart locks, thermostat and lights can react to your garage door as you come and go from your home. Please verify that your garage door opener will work with a smart garage door controller before you buy.

  • Chamberlain MyQ ($80) is compatible with Nest, Alarm.com, Honeywell, Tend, XFINITY and Wink. MyQ also works with Google Assistant, IFTTT and Clare Controls, but you need to pay $1 a month or $10 a year for each of these services. We’re not sure why the subscription fee only applies to certain services. If you want Apple HomeKit support, you need to buy MyQ Home Bridge ($94) instead.
  • Gogogate2 ($100) works with three of the most popular smart home platforms: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT.
  • Nexx Garage ($100) works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
  • Genie Aladdin Connect ($60) works with the soon-to-be-defunct Iris smart home hub but doesn’t currently support other smart home platforms.
  • Garadget ($89) works with Amazon Alexa and IFTTT without too much trouble, but also has an extensive list of supported platforms to which you can connect if you’re comfortable with some DIY programming.
  • GarageMate ($49) doesn’t use Wi-Fi like the smartphone adapters listed above, instead using Bluetooth to connect to your phone. While it doesn’t connect to any smart home platforms, it does work with Siri and Google Assistant if you have either on your phone.
  • For an option that uses neither Wi-Fi nor Bluetooth, you can buy a Z-Wave garage door opener controller ($79). Z-Wave is compatible with popular smart hubs such as Samsung SmartThings, Wink and Nexia. Most of these hubs are also compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Warranty
You can expect each garage door opener to have three types of warranties, covering the following components: the motor, the lift system and the other parts that don’t fall into the first two categories.
  • Motor Warranty: The motor is the most vital component of a garage door opener, so it should have a longer warranty coverage than other parts. We found that the best garage door openers have a lifetime motor warranty, though 10 years is acceptable in most cases, since units last around 15 years on average.
  • Lift System Warranty: While some manufacturers, such as LiftMaster andChamberlain, offer lifetime warranties on belts and chains, you’ll usually get between one and three years of coverage from other companies. They offer shorter coverage because you can often replace the lift system without buying an entire new garage door opener.
  • Parts Warranty: The parts warranty applies to remotes, wall switches, keypads and other components of the garage door opener. The parts warranty should last one to five years, matching the warranty on the lift system in most cases.
Check the manual that comes with your garage door opener to see if there are any stipulations you must meet before you make a warranty claim.

Keypads
Although each unit we reviewed comes with a control panel for the interior of your garage, not all have keypads, which allow you to type in a code to control the door from outside. While this isn’t an essential feature, it can make it easier to open and close the door as you do chores around the house and yard.

Lighting
You can expect to find two lights in most garage door openers, with newer models often incorporating LED lights. While these lights are sufficient to help you get from your home to your car, they may not be bright enough if you’re working in your garage. Most garage door openers automatically activate and shut off lights using motion detectors and a timer. The length of time the light stays on varies according to how it is programmed. In most instances, you don’t need more than a few minutes from the time you leave the car to when you enter your home.

If a light burns out, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the appropriate replacement light bulbs to use, because some LEDs can interfere with the connection between your remote and the garage door opener. You can also buyLED bulbs made specifically for garage door openers, which comply with Part 15 of the FCC rules regarding wireless interference.

Safety
Most garage door openers come with two primary safety features: automatic reverse and infrared beam sensors. These features allow the garage door opener to detect if a person or an object is blocking the door as it closes. Upon detecting something, the motor will reverse direction to prevent an accident. Likewise, these features prevent the door from moving until the obstruction has been removed from the door’s path. A third safety feature, motion sensor lighting, illuminates the garage automatically to help you move between your car and the house.

Security
Garage doors are designed to prevent unauthorized access to your vehicle and your home, so garage door openers have two standard security features: rolling codes and a lock mode. As the name implies, rolling codes change over time. This feature allows the remote in your car to communicate with the opener using a unique verification code each time, thus reducing the likelihood that someone could intercept the code and use it later to access your home. This is also why your neighbor’s garage door opener doesn’t activate when you use your remote.

Lock mode, as the name implies, prevents the garage door opener from responding to remotes and keypads when active. You can activate this feature using the interior control panel in your garage for extra security at night, or while you’re on vacation.

Another helpful security feature uses a timer to close your garage door automatically after each use. You might have to activate this feature on a new garage door opener, but it can add another layer of security to your garage. Among the garage door openers we reviewed, Chamberlain, LiftMaster, Genie and Craftsman offer the timer-to-close feature.

How Do I Program My Garage Door Opener?

It’s important to read the manual or watch tutorial videos before installing and programming your garage door opener. Each brand uses its own control layout, so you can expect to find the programming button in the same place on each model of that brand.

For your convenience, we’ve compiled a list with links to each company’s video tutorials for programming and installation:

Chamberlain & LiftMaster – You can find video tutorials for both Chamberlain and LiftMaster on the Chamberlain Groupsupport website. There are dozens of videos, so it might be helpful to search using your model number.

Craftsman– Craftsman doesn’t host tutorials and videos on its website, but you canfind them on Sears PartsDirect.

Genie– You can findvideo tutorials on Genie’s website. These videos cover a variety of topics, such as installation, remote and keypad programming, HomeLink, and Aladdin Connect smartphone setup.

RYOBI – RYOBI has atutorial video on YouTube that covers the entire installation process, including the programming of the remotes. The video’s description has links to each installation step for quick access.

Skylink – Skylink provides video tutorials on its website, as well ason YouTube, for installing the garage door opener. You can find programming instructions toward the end of each installation video.

Sommer – The Sommer website has aselection of video tutorials, but the most relevant to DIY installation and programming is the installation video for the Synoris garage door opener at the bottom of the page. There’s also a helpful tutorial for connecting a keypad to your opener.

Contributing Reviewer: Danny Chadwick