Top 6 Best Home Safes to Secure Your Valuables

best home safesA home safe is the perfect place to store and safeguard everything from baseball cards to birth certificates, family heirlooms, firearms, and more—so you always know where they are and that they’re secure from thieves, the elements, and other dangers.

To help you choose the best safe for you, we’ll walk you through our recommendations for the six best home safes and which traits you should look for in a safe.

Already know what size safe you are looking for? Jump ahead to see our recommendations. 

The best small safes: Protect the essentials

If all you want to secure are things like valuable jewelry, important documents, emergency cash, or even a small personal firearm, you don’t need a large safe with unnecessary features taking up space in your home. A small, compact safe is great for anybody to secure the basics.

Top pick: Safstar Digital Electronic Security Safe Box

Safstar Digital Electronic Security Safe BoxSimplicity is the essence of the Safstar safe box. We chose the Safstar as our top pick because of its compact size, intuitive accessibility, and affordability.

The Safstar opens with a digital PIN and includes backup keys in case you forget the PIN. It also includes pre-drilled bolt holes and two-inch bolts that let you secure the safe to a solid surface so a thief can’t make off with it to open it later.

Pricing and tech specs

  • Price: See Amazon for current price
  • Weight: 10.2 pounds
  • Dimensions: 8 x 8 x 12.5 inches
  • Material: Solid steel
  • Batteries: Four AA batteries required (included)

Pros

  • Compact size, so it’s easy to fit and transport
  • Code and key combination with auto lock

Cons

  • Limited space inside
  • No water- or fireproofing

Runner-up: Stack-On PDS-1500 Drawer Safe

Stack-On PDS-1500 Drawer SafeA drawer safe is ideal to store anything you’d need to keep handy, like a firearm, because it fits in your desk or nightstand drawer. With an adjustable shelving system, the Stack-On PDS-1500’s added depth is especially useful for weapon storage. The Stack-On is easy to slip into a drawer to keep it out of sight and also includes pre-drilled holes so you can mount it for extra security.

The Stack-On’s lock secures with two steel bolts, and its hinges are concealed to make the safe harder to break into. The lock opens with an electric keypad, but keys are included so you can still open the safe if the batteries run out.

Although the Stack-On PDS-500 doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, like extra storage space and hidden pockets, it makes a great basic starter safe for pistol storage in your desk or nightstand and comes at a low cost.

Pricing and tech specs

  • Price: See Amazon for current price
  • Weight: 39 pounds
  • Dimensions: 13.1 x 9.7 x 6.3 inches
  • Material: Steel
  • Batteries: Four AA batteries included (not required)
  • Warranty: 1-year limited warranty

Pros

  • Easy installation and accessibility
  • Convertible shelving inside
  • Electronic keypad with backup keys

Cons

  • Smaller storage space
  • No water- or fireproofing
  • Heavy materials, requiring a sturdy drawer to hold the weight

The best medium safes: A few more features

Compared to small safes, medium-sized safes are more likely to have extra features, like moisture-reducing materials, fireproofing, backlighting, and more customizable shelving options. These safes are great for storing business documents, larger handguns, and other water- or fire-sensitive materials.

Top pick: First Alert 2092DF Waterproof Safe

First Alert 2092DF Waterproof SafeA good safe is one that protects its contents from the elements and burglars and comes with versatile installation options. This First Alert waterproof safe does exactly that. It’s fireproof and waterproof and can be bolted to the floor—without compromising the fire and water resistance—so burglars can’t make off with it. With a 1.31-cubic-foot capacity and a removable and adjustable shelf, this medium-sized safe can fit plenty of valuables.

The First Alert has an emergency override key and a backlit digital keypad for discreet, late-night access. It protects against condensation with its moisture-absorbent padding to keep your documents safe—even when submerged.

Pricing and tech specs

  • Price: See Amazon for current price
  • Weight: 93 pounds
  • Dimensions: 19.6 x 17.5 x 18 inches
  • Material: Steel, cement, and ABS plastic
  • Batteries: Four AA batteries required (included)
  • Warranty: 5-year limited warranty/lifetime after-fire

Pros

  • Lifetime after-fire replacement

Cons

  • No carry handle
  • Difficult-to-program digital lock

Runner-up: SentrySafe Combination Fire Safe

SentrySafe Combination Fire SafeThe SentrySafe is fireproof and waterproof and protects against theft—at a decently low price. Its high-quality steel build provides protection against fire, water, and theft due to its heavy weight, although we still recommend that you bolt it down. We like this safe for its 1.2-cubic feet of storage space and ability to withstand up to eight inches of water. The SentrySafe has a one-hour guarantee against fire as well.

Multiple security features, such as four different locking bolts and pry-resistant hinges, make this a good choice, but the lack of flexible installation options makes this safe our runner-up choice. One other drawback to the safe, and most fire- and waterproof safes, is that condensation accrues over time due to the insulation. Dehumidifying silica gel packs or airtight containers are an easy way to remedy the issue.

Pricing and tech specs

  • Price: See Amazon for current price
  • Weight: 90 pounds
  • Dimensions: 19.3 x 16.3 x 17.8 inches
  • Material: Steel
  • Warranty: 1-year labor and parts warranty

Pros

  • Fire, water, and theft protection
  • After-fire replacement guarantee
  • Water-resistance up to 8 inches for 24 hours
  • Durable steel construction

Cons

  • Shorter warranty than similar safes
  • Potential for condensation buildup over time without additional accessories
  • Plastic handle

Large safes: Maximum security

If you’re serious about protecting a large quantity of valuable items, investing in a large safe will get you extra space, security, and extra features. You’ll likely pay more, but the cost will be worth it for what you get.

Top pick: SentrySafe SFW205CWB Water-Resistant Combination Safe

SentrySafe SFW205CWB Water-Resistant Combination SafeThe SentrySafe combination safe is 60% bigger than your traditional home safe. It comes with a flexible organizer tray and door pocket for small items. The safe requires significant strength if you want to move it, but it also includes hardware to secure it to the floor. Like the safe, the price isn’t small, but that’s because it’s also water-resistant—an uncommon trait in a safe this large.

The SentrySafe comes with a one-year warranty—which is pretty standard on a safe this big. The bright side is that you’ll have all the space you need while keeping things nice and organized.

Pricing and tech specs

Price: See Amazon for current price
Weight: 138.2 pounds
Dimensions: 19.3 x 18.6 x 23.8 inches
Material: Steel
No batteries (combination lock)
Warranty: 1-year limited warranty

Pros

  • 60% more storage space than traditional safes
  • Solid steel construction
  • Combination lock, so no batteries required

Cons

  • No fireproofing
  • Large size requiring specific placement
  • Compromised water resistance when mounted

Runner-up: BARSKA Large Biometric Safe

BARSKA Large Biometric SafeNot only can the BARSKA biometric safe store several large items including electronics and other valuables but it also has a huge memory storage for fingerprints, allowing for up to 120 different fingerprints. The BARSKA also offers something most safes don’t: a silent access mode. While many safes emit a beeping sound when accessed, this one has the option to mute the beeping so you don’t alert any burglars that may be in your home if you’re getting a defense weapon from the safe.

The BARSKA has a lot to offer, but it’s not water resistant or fireproof. Still, the price and protection level may be right for you and the items you want to protect from theft.

Pricing and tech specs

Price: See Amazon for current price
Weight: 48.5 pounds
Dimensions: 14 x 13 x 19.5 inches
Material: Steel
Four AA batteries required (included)
Warranty: 1-year limited warranty

Pros

  • Roomy dimensions
  • Storage for up to 120 different fingerprint profiles
  • Silent access mode option

Cons

  • Smaller size than some other similarly priced safes
  • Shorter warranty than comparable safes
  • No water resistance or fireproofing

What to look for in a safe

Not all safes are created equal, and each model offers different qualities that may suit your lifestyle and needs. Before making a purchasing decision, consider what you want to protect, how much space you have for a safe, where you live, and more. Here are a few key points to watch out for.

Lock type

combination lockThere are three main types of locks: traditional combination, digital keypad, and biometric (fingerprint) scanner. Some require an initial setup or occasional battery replacement. Biometric locks may sound cool, but they’re sometimes inconsistent or unreliable. We recommend choosing a safe with a traditional backup key as well as a digital keypad or biometric scanner.

Safe construction

Look for construction details that add security on a safe, like concealed door hinges, thick steel, and sturdy lock construction. It only takes one weak point on a safe to let a thief in.

Fire rating

If you’re worried about fires, look for a safe with good fireproof insulation ratings. These ratings are usually listed in terms of the amount of time that a safe will keep its contents safe at a given temperature, e.g., one hour at 1700˚F. One side effect of having more insulation in a safe is that condensation can accumulate, which can damage what you’re storing if left unaddressed.

Waterproof rating

opening a safeWaterproof ratings are commonly given in terms of inches of water and time. For example, a safe may be rated as water resistant in eight inches of water for 24 hours. Keep in mind that some safes lose their waterproofing seal when bolted down.

Location

The best place to put your new safe depends on the design of your house. Ideally the safe can be bolted to the floor so a burglar can’t just walk out with the entire safe and force it open later. The basement is a good storage place because there is less to burn in case of fire, although it’s not a great location if you live in a flood-prone region.

Cost

As with most things, the price of safes increases with the number of features it has. A basic fire chest or small metal cash box starts at around $20. An average home safe costs $150 to $250, depending on the construction materials, size, and extra features.

Installation

Consider where you’re going to put the safe. We recommend bolting the safe to the floor or other sturdy surface, but you may prefer an in-wall or drawer option instead. Make sure that the safe you choose has the capability to be stored where you want it to be.

The final say

Buying a safe is a lot like purchasing an insurance policy: you get to decide how much protection you want or think is necessary, and you’ll get what you pay for. If you want a safe that bolts to the ground and protects against fire, water, and theft, you’ll pay more. Once you decide exactly what your needs are, our recommendations will help you make the best choice on your purchase.

What do you look for in a home safe? Let us know your all-time favorite safes in the comments below!