Garage door openers provide convenience and an added layer of security to your home. Picking the right opener for your individual needs will allow you to open and close your garage door with the push of a button for years to come. Whether security, safety, or convenience is your top priority the perfect garage door opener for you is out there. Below you’ll find a comparison of five of the best garage door openers on the market as well as the individual features that set them apart.
The Best Garage Door Opener
Chamberlain’s MyQ-G0201 garage door opener system allows you to control your garage door from your smartphone without having to buy a whole new opener system. Assuming your garage door opener was manufactured after 1993 and features safety sensors the G0201 is able to integrate and control the system without the financial outlay required to purchase a brand new motor and other components.
The system is compatible with all Apple and Android equipped handsets and also features a mobile website for users running other smartphone operating systems. The G0201 allows you to open and close your garage door from anywhere to provide you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your home is secure.
You can also choose to receive notifications when your garage door opens and closes giving you the ability to open it for deliveries and to provide family members shelter should they forget or lose their house key. Installation is quick and easy meaning that any homeowner can have a smartphone-controlled garage door opener in around 30 minutes.
Easily installed in under 30 minutes
Compatible with safety sensor equipped garage door openers manufactured after 1993
Open, close, and monitor your garage door from anywhere
Android and Apple compatible, mobile website available for other devices
Allows the user to control their garage door from their smartphone without having to buy an entirely new opener system
Receive smartphone notifications when the garage door is opened and closed
Not compatible with garage door openers manufactured before 1993
LiftMaster’s 8500 side mounted garage door opener system comes with a focus on quality, longevity and dependable security. Its enclosed gear casing provides constant lubrication to moving parts to ensure a long service life which is backed up by a lifetime warranty on the motor and a 5-year warranty on other components of the opener system.
The 8500 is also compatible with MyQ technology allowing simple and easy operation from the user’s smartphone. It boasts systems which stop and reverse the garage door if the beam of light projects across the door opening is broken as well as if the opener senses that the descending door has come into contact with a person or an object.
In addition to these safety systems, the 8500 has a feature known as Security+ 2.0TM rolling code technology which uses a new and unique code every time the remote tells the garage door to open. This stops potential thieves from gaining access to the garage by repeating previously used codes.
Protector System shines an invisible light beam across the garage door opening and reverses the garage door if the beam is broken
Lifetime motor warranty, 5-year parts warranty
Auto-force monitoring adjusts opener force based on temperature changes, floor height, and door track resistance
Mounts to the wall beside the door
- Weight65 lbs
Strong focus on safety and security
Clever design and strong warranties for a long service life
Not compatible with roll-up garage doors, only sectional
Chamberlain’s B730/WD962 promises quiet operation thanks to its use of a belt driven system over the noisy chains used to drive older garage door openers. Its built-in battery ensures that you’ll never be stuck inside or out during power outages while the included twin opener remotes mean you won’t have to choose who can open the door and who has to go without the ability to do so.
In addition, Chamberlain’s wifi-enabled MyQ technology allows the user to control the garage door opener through their smartphone for added convenience.
The B730 also features a Timer-to-Close function which automatically closes the garage door after a period of 1, 5, or 10 minutes to ensure that your garage won’t be wide open all day long should you forget to close it for any reason. Additional MyQ hardware can even control the lights in your garage meaning you won’t have to fumble around for your house keys in the dark after a long day.
Battery backup allows the opener to operate during power outages
¾ HP motor
Belt driven for reduced operating volume
MyQ technology allows the opener to be operated from a smartphone
- Weight36.3 lbs
Battery backup for operation even during power cuts
Can be operated from the owner’s smartphone
Belt drive can wear out over time
Genie’s PowerLift garage door opener brings heavyweight lifting capability to the garage door opener market. Utilizing a screw drive system the PowerLift is capable of lifting garage doors up to 500 lbs without the drive chains or belts that can become worn out and fail over time.
Featuring a Safe-T Beam sensor system, the PowerLift will stop and reverse the garage door if it senses that there is something below the door that could be damaged were it to close. The multi-function wall-mounted control console features a vacation lock setting which provides you peace of mind while you’re out of town while the Itellicode Security system sends a different code each time the door is opened or closed to defeat potential thieves.
The PowerLift is compatible with both HomeLink and Car2U in-vehicle garage door opener systems. Genie backs up the PowerLift garage door opener with a stout 15-year warranty on the motor and a 3-year warranty on its other components.
Screw drive system provides heavy lifting power for doors up to 500 lbs
Safe-T beam sensor system stops the garage door if the beam across the opening is broken
Wall-mounted control console with vacation lock function
Intellicode Security uses a unique code each time the door is opened or closed
- Weight40 lbs
Able to lift garage doors up to 500 lbs
Screw drive eliminates chains and belts which can become worn out
No smartphone compatibility like other openers on this list
Sommer’s 1052V000 utilizes an innovative design which locates the motor at the door instead of at the far end of the opener track. This placement, coupled with Sommer’s Direct Drive system which eliminates the need for chains, belts, or screws in the driveline and makes the 1052 a very quiet garage door opener indeed.
Backed up by a lifetime warranty the 1052 is designed to lift doors between 7-8 feet in height silently and free of annoying vibrations which makes it ideal for houses with bedrooms or offices above the garage. Security has been given careful consideration too with the twin opener remotes operating on a rolling code system which changes the codes each time the door is opened and closed as we have seen with other garage door openers on this list.
The 1052 is also compatible with the HomeLink in-car opener system to allow you more options in how you open and close your garage doors.
Powerful 1 HP motor
Direct drive system
Rolling code security technology
- Weight42.5 lbs
Extremely quiet operation with almost no vibrations
Opens doors 7-8 feet in height
Not smartphone control compatible
Best Garage Door Opener Buying Guide & FAQ
Types of Garage Door Opener Motors
The variations between different types of garage door opener motors essentially boil down to how they transfer power from the motor to lift and lower the garage door. Different operating styles, of course, have different characteristics. Below you’ll find a list of the different drive styles and the benefits and drawbacks of each.
- Chain Driven
Chain driven garage door openers are the simplest and most commonly found style of opener. This means that they are also the cheapest kind of opener. Chain driven openers use reliable chains to haul up and lower your garage door. Their simplicity means that they are very reliable; however one drawback is that they can be quite noisy during operating. This drawback means they are less than ideal for garages which have bedrooms, living rooms or offices above them.
- Belt Driven
Belt driven openers replace the noisy chain with a belt made of rubber or another durable and flexible material. They operate much more quietly than chain driven garage door openers but can be less reliable than simplistic chains as rubber is inherently softer than metal. Another drawback of belt driven openers is that they can be more expensive than their chain driven cousins to buy and install.
- Screw Drive
Screw driven garage door openers do away with the chains and belts altogether, instead relying on a steel screw to move the opener’s trolley along its track which raises and lowers the garage door. Screw drive systems have fewer moving parts than their belt and chain driven cousins which means better reliability and less maintenance over the course of the opener’s lifetime. Some screw drive systems can be quite noisy, although there are examples on the market that claim to have quieter operating volumes. Screw drive opener systems have the capability to lift heavier doors than do chain or belt driven systems as their design makes them inherently stronger than either of the others.
- Direct Drive
Direct drive garage door opener systems are the new kids on the block. Boasting extremely quiet operating volumes, the direct drive system turns the traditional garage door opener setup on its head. Instead of having a stationary motor which pulls the opener’s trolley towards it, a direct drive system has its motor move along the stationary track with the door. That means that the door and the motor always stay the same distance apart with the motor gliding silently along. The fact that direct drive systems rely on just one moving part means that they should be incredibly reliable over a long service life. The only downside to direct drive technology is that it is newer and more advanced so therefore more expensive. However, if the garage door opener lasts for decades to come the extra money will have been well spent.
Features to Look Out for when Buying a Garage Door Opener
There are a number of features to look out for when buying a new garage door opener. Obviously individual needs will vary but there are some features that are universally useful to have. These features fall into three major categories: safety, security, and ease of use.
Garage doors are big, heavy objects that, when opened, are suspended overhead. As such, safety is a major consideration for someone who is in the market for a new opener. You should look out for openers that project a light beam across the opening of the garage and will stop the door from closing if that beam is interrupted. Some systems are also able to sense when the door has touched something or someone on its path towards the ground and will again reverse the closing of the door. Systems like this, while simple, keep children, pets, and other less important things like cars, same from damage.
The average garage is often filled with valuable items like gardening equipment, tools and other items that thieves would like to get their hands on without having to go further into your house. Luckily, modern garage door openers come equipped with a raft of security systems to make sure that this doesn’t happen. Look out for openers that vary the codes sent between the opener remote and its receiver. These systems will stop thieves from electronically recording and mimicking the remote’s code after you’ve left for work in the morning. Some garage door openers also come with a vacation mode setting to ensure that nobody can open your garage while you’re out of town.
- Ease of Use
Many modern garage door openers take advantage of today’s age of smartphones and connectivity to provide you with ease of access and peace of mind when you’re not home. These systems allow you to use your smartphone as a door opener remote as well as allowing you to open, close, and monitor it when you’re far from home. This is advantageous as it allows you to open your garage door for deliveries as well as allowing access to family members who have lost their house keys. There are also systems such as HomeLink and Car2U which provide in-car alternatives to using the remotes that come with modern garage door opener systems.
How to Install a Garage Door Opener
Due to the weight of the average garage door installation of a new opener system should only be undertaken by people who are qualified to perform such work. If you are unsure of how to go about installing your new garage door opener it’s better to have a professional come out and install it for you. If you are confident in your abilities installation shouldn’t be too difficult. If you are replacing an old opener unit you can often reuse or modify the mounting brackets from the old system which will cut down on installation time and make the process easier. If you are installing a new opener system where one was not previously present you’ll need to make sure that the mounting brackets are securely anchored to the garage ceiling and that you have read and followed the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure that your new opener is rated to lift the weight of your garage door and perform a few trial runs under manual power before you use the motor in your new system. Better to find any pinch points or problems when you can immediately stop the door from moving rather than risk damaging the tracks or motor by testing it under power.
Safety and Security Considerations
As mentioned above, you’ll want to purchase a garage door opener that will be safe and secure for years to come. Identify your individual needs and wants before shopping for an opener to make sure that you’ll have peace of mind in the security of your garage and the fact that the heavy garage door will not be able to come down on anyone or anything that could be damaged by it. By knowing your individual needs your garage door opener will do all the work while you are free to think about other more important matters in life.