The best garage door openers for 2023

Make your comings and goings as easy as open and shut.

Best overall

The LiftMaster 8500 Elite Series is the best wall-mount garage door opener.

LiftMaster 8500W

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Best quiet

The Genie 2055 LED Essentials Garage Door Opener is the best garage door opener that's quiet.

Genie Stealth 500 Essentials

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Best budget

The Skylink Atoms ATR 1611C is the best garage door opener at a budget-friendly price.

Skylink Atoms ATR-1611C

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Garage door openers may seem like a very simple piece of tech, but innovations in the smart home device market have seen them become more sophisticated with added features and optimized performance. Of course, you’ll expect them to reliably and safely open and close your garage door with ease, but modern units can now do so quieter than ever and also provide an array of other functions. Your garage door isn’t just an entry point—it’s an integral part of your daily routine and home security. Whether you’re seeking smart home integration, whisper-quiet operation, or a seamless blend of these elements, we’re here to help you make an informed choice. These are the best garage door openers available today.

How we chose the best garage door openers

Our garage door opener recommendations are based on extensive research. We surveyed peer recommendations, critical reviews, and user impressions to create a list of contenders and then put them through their paces. We considered a wide variety of garage door openers suitable for a range of needs and users to develop a comprehensive list of the best garage door openers on the market today.

The best garage door openers: Reviews & Recommendations

The best garage door opener should work so well that you forget it’s even there. When choosing a model, know how much horsepower you need. Power and durability may be at the top of your list if you have a solid wood garage door, or you may have a house design that requires a less obtrusive wall-mounted garage door opener. Then, look for a design that’s within your budget and has convenient features, allowing you to enter and exit without needing to give much thought to the garage door at all.

Best overall: LiftMaster 8500 Elite Series

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Specs

  • Opener Type: Direct drive
  • Motor Power: 0.5 HP
  • Smart Home-Compatible: Yes

Pros

  • Impressive security features
  • Space-saving design
  • Quiet operation

Cons

  • Isn’t compatible with all door types

We chose the LiftMaster 8500W as our best overall garage door opener due to its space-saving, wall-mounted design, super quiet operation, additional security features, and powerful performance. It’s the perfect choice for large vehicle owners, including trucks and vans, as it accommodates doors up to 14 feet tall and 650 pounds. Rest assured, your property is secure with a new code sent every time you click the remote, ensuring the door only opens for you. It also includes a motion light that comes on when you enter the garage for added security and safety. It comes with a remote control and can be connected to smart devices with the optional purchase of the Internet Gateway. The smart functions allow you to monitor and control the garage door from your smartphone, create schedules, and get real-time notifications and alerts.

You’ll have to check for compatibility as this model won’t be suitable for roll-up doors or low-headroom tracks, and you’ll need a separate front-mount torsion bar system for it to work, which isn’t included.

Best smart: Chamberlain B4613T Garage Door Opener 

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Specs

  • Opener Type: Belt drive
  • Motor Power: 1.25 HP
  • Smart Home-Compatible: Yes

Pros

  • Comes with battery backup
  • Syncs with multiple users

Cons

  • Hard to install

Connected to your home WiFi network and compatible with the Chamberlain MyQ app, which you can use with either Android or iOS devices, the Chamberlain B4613T garage door opener lets you remotely control the device from anywhere and allows you to give access to up to three different users so that other family members or visitors can get into the garage and property. Controlling the garage door through the app is easy with one-touch controls. You can choose to receive email or app notifications if your door is opened and closed, which comes time-stamped so you can understand exactly what’s happening at your home. 

This smart-home device is quite tricky to install, so if you’re not handy, you might want to leave it to someone more experienced or hire someone to complete the task for you.

Best quiet: Genie Stealth 500 Essentials

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Specs

  • Opener Type: Belt drive
  • Motor Power: 0.5 HP
  • Smart Home-Compatible: No

Pros

  • Very quiet operation
  • Easy installation

Cons

  • No smart home device compatibility

Cons

  • No smart home device compatibility

If you’re looking for a super quiet garage door opener, the Genie Stealth 500 Essentials deserves your attention. Perhaps you leave the house early in the morning and don’t want to disturb neighbors, or you have young children or pets to worry about in garage adjoining rooms. This model comes with a pre-programmed remote with one button and is easy to install yourself. It’s one of the more basic models tested, so don’t expect a range of smart home-connected add-ons or additional features. However, if a quiet operation is important to you, the Genie Stealth 500 Essentials could be just the ticket.

Best with battery backup: BeamUP Everlift Garage Door Opener with Battery Backup

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Specs

  • Opener Type: Chain drive
  • Motor Power: 0.75 HP
  • Smart Home-Compatible: Yes

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Provides peace of mind during power outages

Cons

  • Only has one remote
  • App doesn’t timestamp notifications

Battery backup garage door openers provide continuous functionality even during power outages. This is particularly important during emergencies or when you need to leave your home quickly. It will also prevent unauthorized access to your garage and home during vulnerable moments when the power is down.

You’ll also avoid the problem of potential damage to your garage door if a power outage occurs while the door is partially open. This model can be used with both single and double garage doors and comes with a wall-mounted controller and one remote control. The backup battery is long-lasting to give you peace of mind no matter what.

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Specs

  • Opener Type: Chain drive
  • Motor Power: 0.5 HP
  • Smart Home-Compatible: No

Pros

  • Integrated LED light
  • Good value for money
  • DC Motor

Cons

  • No WiFi

The Skylink Atoms ATR-1611C garage door opener offers great value for money and is easy to install. It’s also very quiet and has a soft start and finish to reduce vibration and decrease the noise. It’s suitable for doors up to 7 feet, but you can purchase a separate kit to convert that to 8 or 10 feet. This model is a great choice for single garage doors that aren’t too heavy and for those who would like to install their garage door opener themselves but may not feel confident to take on a complicated process.

How do garage door openers work?

There are several types of garage door openers: chain-drive, belt-drive, screw-drive, direct-drive, and wall-mounted. Chain and belt drives come with a stationary motor that moves the chain or belt to open and close the door. Direct-drive garage door openers have a stationary chain with a motor that moves along the length of the chain to open the door. Screw-drive garage door openers have a threaded rod along with a trolley that moves and opens the door. Wall-mounted models are designed with a torsion bar and put the motor on the wall next to the garage door rather than on the ceiling.

Chain and screw-drive models work well for heavy doors, but they tend to be noisy. Belt and direct-drive models are quieter but are often more expensive. Wall-mounted garage door openers are quiet and take up less space, but they’re not as strong as the other types. 

A garage door opener shouldn’t hesitate to lift a standard-size garage door. Standard aluminum doors require a one-half horsepower residential door opener. One-piece and oversized garage doors need more power, three-quarters to one horsepower. (Commercial garage door openers can have up to one and a half horsepower, but that’s not usually needed for residential use.) 

Think about backup power, too. You’ll still need to get into (or out of) the garage during power outages. Models with a backup battery will take the heavy lifting out of your hands—literally—no matter the power status. 

What to consider when choosing a garage door opener

When choosing a garage door opener, keep these points in mind:

Type of drive

Chain drives offer better durability and strength over belt-drive, wall-mounted, and direct-drive openers. The downside is that chains are noisy, but if you’ve got a big, heavy door, these models won’t give out under a big load. Chain drives are more affordable but can be noisier compared to other options.

Belt-driven openers use a rubber belt for operation, making them quieter than chain drives. They are ideal for attached garages where noise might be a concern.

Screw drive openers use a threaded rod to move the trolley that lifts the door. They are known for their reliability and require less maintenance, but they can be noisier than belt drives.

Horsepower (HP)

Consider the size and weight of your garage door when choosing the horsepower of the opener. Single-car doors generally require less horsepower than double-car doors or heavy wooden doors.

Safety features

Look for safety features such as sensors that detect obstructions and stop the door from closing, preventing accidents or damage.

Smartphone integration

Most garage door openers come with remote controls, but some also offer smartphone integration through dedicated apps. This can allow you to control your garage door remotely, check its status, and receive alerts. You can let in guests when you’re away from home or get notifications if the garage door opens unexpectedly. 

Many models can also link to smart hubs to interact with the rest of the smart devices in your home. With some models, that means voice control over the garage door, too. Some models include valuable add-ons that include speakers, parking assist modules, or carbon monoxide detectors. It all depends on the model and the extras offered by the manufacturer.

Battery backup

A battery backup system ensures that your garage door can still be operated during power outages. This can be crucial for convenience and security.

Noise level

Depending on the location of your garage, even a well-functioning garage door opener can disturb sleeping babies, guests, or family members if the garage is near a bedroom. 

Belt-drive and wall-mounted garage door openers offer quieter operation than chain and screw-drive models. If you go the belt-drive route, there are two motor options—DC and AC. Of the two, DC motors are a little quieter. Stay away from chain-drive models if noise is an issue. Even a well-lubricated chain-drive model will be louder than a belt-drive or wall-mounted garage door opener.

Installation

Some garage door openers might require professional installation due to their complexity. If you’re not comfortable with DIY installation, factor in the cost of professional installation.

Location

Wall-mounted garage door openers (also known as jackshaft or side-mount garage door openers) are installed on a wall on either side of the garage door. These models use a torsion bar to open and close the door. They’re commonly used in garages that have high or unusual roof and ceiling lines. You might also want to consider a wall mount if you have a large vehicle or use a carrier on top of your car. 

Wall-mounted models offer quiet operation, and they’re easy to access for maintenance. However, because of their location and how they operate, they’re not designed for heavy doors. They also need to be installed near an electrical outlet.

Size

Variations in garage-door design may necessitate the use of a more powerful garage door opener. A couple of factors come into play when buying an opener for a heavy door. First, consider the opener’s horsepower. A standard aluminum garage door only needs an opener with one-half horsepower. Solid wood doors, however, may require three-quarters horsepower. You can find models with up to one and a half horsepower, but these are typically used in commercial settings rather than in residential areas. 

Price

Budget-friendly garage door openers offer excellent power and sometimes a few extras like built-in lights and battery backups. There are a few smart garage door openers that fall under $200 that give you added remote options. The differences are typically in noise level and installation limitations. 

Most of the lower-priced garage door openers are chain-drive models. That inherently makes them louder, though the ones with a DC motor are quieter than those with an AC motor. Wall-mounted, direct-drive, screw-drive, and belt-drive models don’t typically fall in the affordable category. 

FAQs

Q: Are belt or chain garage door openers better?

Belt-drive openers run quieter but tend to be pricier. Chain-drive models can handle heavier loads, but they’re noisier. If noise matters to you and your household, go for a belt drive. If you have a big garage door, a chain drive might be more suitable for its strength and durability.

Q: How do I know if I need a new garage door opener?

-Making increasingly loud noises
-Becoming noticeably slow in its operation
-Refusing to open at all
-Intermittently stopping and starting
-You want to upgrade to a smart home-compatible garage door opener

Q: How long should a garage door opener last?

Most garage door openers last about 10-15 years. Of course, how often it’s used, regular maintenance, and the opener type make a difference in longevity. Some models may last well past 15 years, while others may exhaust before the 10-year mark.

Final thoughts on the best garage door openers

Our top pick for the best overall garage door opener is the LiftMaster 8500W. We chose it for its powerful performance, enhanced security features, and smart-home functions, making it a great choice.

Why trust us

Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.

Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.

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Fiona Tapp

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