Garage door openers are nothing new, but today’s are vast improvements over the stuttering versions of the past. They’re now incredibly convenient, allowing you to operate them quickly, quietly, and with the sound of your own voice. Before buying, you’ll want to look into the different types available to ensure the best balance of convenience, affordability, and ease of installation for your home garage.
Check out quick reviews below of the top five garage door openers, then scroll deeper for more helpful buying info and full reviews of these and other high-ranking options.
Types of Garage Door Openers
Chain-driven: Known for their affordability and durability, chain-driven openers use a metal chain to drive the trolley up and down to open and close the door. The biggest downside is that its chain can be quite noisy in use.
Belt-driven: Here, a rubber belt is used to move the trolley, making these much quieter than chain-driven options. Belt-driven openers will also require less maintenance than chain drives, but they come at a higher initial cost.
Screw-driven: If you’re looking for speed, this is the best option. Screw-driven openers use a threaded steel rod to move the door up and down by wrapping the wire around to pull the door up, and unravelling to let it down. These are durable and reliable, but will require more maintenance (usually just replacing the wire). They also aren’t strong enough to handle larger, heavier doors, so stick to single-car doors for these.
Wall-mounted: Also known as jackshafts, these use a motor that drives pulleys and cables to turn the torsion bar and raise the door. They work on all types of doors and are big space savers but can be quite expensive.
More Features to Consider
Horsepower will determine the weight of a door an opener can lift and how efficiently it will be able to move it. Depending on the type of door you have, you will want to make sure that you have enough power for it to function safely. There are three levels of horsepower found in most garage doors: ⅓ will be able to lift a one-car-garage door, ½ is best for dual-car or sectional doors around 300 pounds, and ¾ up to 1½ will give you a high-tech, high-power opener capable of lifting 400 pounds. The heaviest material for doors will generally be wood, especially in older garages, so consider a higher horsepower for these even if they’re relatively small. If you do get a high-power opener for a lighter door, it will simply speed up the process, opening the door faster.
You will also want to be aware of whether or not the device comes with built-in Wi-Fi or not. While every opener here can be connected to Wi-Fi, some will serve as their own hub, while others will require the purchase of a separate hub, which it can then connect to through its compatible app.
A Note on Installation
Garage doors can be difficult to install at the least, and potentially dangerous at the most. “Installing a garage door opener is not something you would want to take lightly,” wrote Jim Powell on devices4home.com. “It’s not a fun DIY project you want to gamble with. If not installed properly, the door can fall and cause damage to your garage and possibly hurt you. In fact, injuries caused by improper garage door opener installation are not uncommon.”
We recommend that you hire a professional to install it (which can cost around $200). But if you insist on doing it yourself, be sure to read the directions carefully. Maintenance, on the other hand, can often be handled by yourself with the help of our guide to garage door repair.
How We Selected and Rated Them
We researched 10 expert sources such as Digital Trends, Top 10 Reviews, and The Spruce, as well as 2,500 consumer reviews to select the best garage door openers of the year. Our Consumer Score represents the percentage of customers who rated the product at least four out of five stars on retail and review sites like Amazon, Home Depot, and manufacturers’ websites.
Genie SilentMax 750S
Consumer Score: 86% gave it 4 stars or more
A powerful belt-driven opener that won’t wake the baby.
Type: Belt-driven | Horsepower: ¾ | Built-in Wi-Fi: No
While a loud garage door may not seem like a deal-breaker, it can be a potential annoyance particularly if you live in close proximity to neighbors. The SilentMax 750 lives up to its name by providing a quiet and sturdy belt system that operates smoothly without rattling your entire house. And despite its stealth, it packs some power with the ability to lift doors up to 500 pounds—this makes it a great choice if you have old wooden doors as they tend to be on the heavy side. The opener is compatible with most garage doors, fitting a seven-foot height alone, and eight feet with an extension kit, but anything over that will be too tall. While it is never a bad idea to have your opener professionally installed, reviewers on Amazon claimed that it was easy enough to set up yourself if you are so inclined.
Consumer Score: 93% gave it 4 stars or more
Light up the night, silently.
Type: Belt-driven | Horsepower: 1¼ | Built-in Wi-Fi: Yes
While many garage door openers now have smart capabilities, this one also comes with smart LED flood lights. Via Wink, they can connect to other smart lights, brightening up your home when the garage door opens. Like the other Chamberlain, the MyQ app allows you to schedule and control the door remotely as long as you’re connected to Wi-Fi. It will also send you notifications whenever someone opens the garage door, providing an added sense of security. It can even connect to Amazon Key—allowing for packages to be delivered safely in your garage, reducing the risk of theft.
Also, similar to the C870, this model boasts easy installation, with online videos to help if you choose to set it up yourself. But if your door is taller than seven feet and requires an extension, it still may be best to have a professional do it. The experience can be “daunting at first, when you first open the box, but like any project, if you lay [everything] out and take the time to watch the installation video, it’s pretty doable,” wrote one reviewer on Amazon. “The steps walk you through dismantling the existing garage door opener and what you need to do to install the new one.”
Consumer Score: 94% gave it 4 stars or more
The best bang for your buck.
Type: Chain-driven | Horsepower: ½ | Built-in Wi-Fi: Yes
The 1355 is a terrific choice for those looking for something more affordable. Using a chain drive, it’s sturdy and reliable—albeit a bit noisy. It has an advanced security system, Security+ 2.0, which will send a new code to your phone every time you open the door. The door is also equipped with an auto reversing function, which causes it to go back up if it senses something blocking its path to the ground. The biggest issue that people had came from the instructions: One Amazon reviewer claimed that the instructions were confusing, but they still set the 1355 up with ease.
Genie MachForce 2 HPc
Consumer Score: 88% gave it 4 stars or more
Easy installation and low maintenance.
Type: Screw-driven | Horsepower: 2 | Built-in Wi-Fi: No
This screw-driven option gives you quick, powerful, and quiet movement. While it’s slightly more expensive than some belt and chain drives, it makes up for it by requiring less expensive maintenance. Plus, people claimed this was a great option for DIYers. “The instructions are easy to follow and, if you have ever put up a garage door opener before this, will be a snap for you,” wrote one reviewer at Home Depot. “Once connected, the adjustments are easy and can be readjusted as needed.” The opener is powerful, making it ideal for large, wooden doors.
—FOR HEAVY DOORS—
Consumer Score: 90% gave it 4 stars or more.
No weight issues and a built-in security system.
Type: Belt-driven | Horsepower: 1¼ | Built-in Wi-Fi: Yes
The last thing you want is an opener that isn’t equipped to handle the weight of your door, but with the B970 that won’t be an issue. Since it is a belt-drive system, it works relatively quietly but also has 1¼ horsepower, which makes it one of the more powerful options. This model also has a battery backup system, smartphone access, and long-range remote controls making it both reliable and easy to use. It also features a security system which prevents hackers from gaining entry into your garage—this is particularly useful when you have an attached garage. Unfortunately with all of these features comes a difficult setup process, so you will want to get it installed and synched up professionally.
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