A seamless check-in is all part of the experience you hope to offer guests staying at your Airbnb, but it also makes matters a lot easier for you as well.
A smart lock is a simple solution to make the process convenient and secure, but with so many choices out there, which one is the way to go?
What features should you look for in a smart lock?
A good smart lock should offer wireless connectivity, reliable battery power, remote access capabilities, and whatever added security features you require. Importantly, they might also need to suit the existing lock system the door already has, or the new type that you intend to install, or could come with a lock included.
If you’re ready to take your vacation rental to the next level and want to offer a smooth and safe check-in for guests, and yourself, you’ll want to check out our picks for the best smart door locks.
These locks come in all shapes and sizes made to suit whatever setup your Airbnb has, so equip your rental with one and jump into the 21st century.
A smart lock is the safest and easiest way to allow your guests to check into your vacation rental, but there are so many ways to utilize this new piece of tech and loads of features to choose from.
To help you narrow down your search, we’ve compiled a list of the best smart locks for home and away, so you can be sure you’re only picking from the best of the bunch.
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Best Overall: Schlage Encode Smart Lock
- Finish type: Satin Nickel, Bright Chrome, Aged Bronze, Matte Black
- Lock type: Deadbolt lock
If you want the ultimate smart lock that ticks all of the boxes, the Schlage Encode is our favorite find. This smart lock uses a secure deadbolt and keypad to gain entry, WiFi compatibility, a dedicated app, and security features like alarm technology that goes off during a suspected attack and an auto-lock that can be set to an interval of your choosing.
Functionality is the top feature that people love about this lock, and it includes being able to access it from anywhere in the world thanks to the Schlage app, as well as having up to 100 access codes that friends, family, and travelers can use to get inside. Otherwise, you can remotely lock and unlock it, so there are plenty of ways to gain entry.
Another bonus is that you can access it anytime through their dedicated Schlage Home app, and the lock is compatible with Ring and Key by Amazon. For home-based assistants, it pairs with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, so there’s lots of opportunity for integration with the right accessories.
The overall look of the lock is a huge plus and will add a nice touch to the entry of your rental. There are four different finishes to choose from with matte black, aged bronze, bright chrome, and satin nickel. The dimensions of the lock and keypad are 0.89 x 3 x 5 inches, so it’s a good size that’ll be hard to miss, and it’s made with fingerprint-resistant materials for a clean finish and no obvious marks left behind.
On the downside, customers found the included instructions to be insufficient and noted spending more time than they’d hoped to during installation. Thankfully, Schlage has a pretty decent customer service team you can call to walk you through it, but it seems this could be avoided with a better set of instructions. Although Schlage promises snap n stay technology, it’s a little more complex than that.
Another issue that some customers had was with the battery, as it seems that the wireless connection chewed through it more than usual. It still does a good job of staying powered up without needing a charge but when we compared it to what was possible with others, the Schlage felt sort of flat.
All in all, the Schlage Encode is the best smart lock for home or your Airbnb rental, and no matter where it’s fitted, you’ll feel safe knowing it’s there. The smart lock comes with a three-year warranty on electronics and a limited lifetime warranty on the finish, and it can be found online for a great deal through Amazon. If you want the ultimate in safety and convenience, with a smart touch, the Schlage Encode is best smart lock for front door access.
Runner Up: August Smart Lock Pro
- Material: Plastic metallic
- Finish type: Powder coated
- Lock type: Retrofit
If you want an efficient smart lock with a lot of high-tech features, the August Smart Lock Pro will be your best option. This smart lock fits with most standard cylinder deadbolts and gives you remote access to control and monitor your door from anywhere. Once installed, you’ll have a nifty smart lock measuring 3.4 x 2.22 x 3.4 inches on your door that will let you enter without keys, or give out access codes to guests staying at your Airbnb.
The extra security features are what makes this a standout in the smart lock market and if you want one with all of the safety bells and whistles, the August can deliver. This lock features DoorSense that tells you whether the door is locked or not, it’s capable of holding up against 600lbs of force, and can track all activity at the door with a 24/7 feed that you can keep an eye on.
Another great point of the August Smart Lock Pro is its ease of installation, and you only need your existing keys to make it work. The August Home App lets you unlock and lock from your phone as well, and will perform these functions automatically when you get near the front door.
The cost is what put some people off from using this smart lock, and when you add up all of the extra but necessary features, it can get out of hand. If you want to use voice control, this is the best smart lock for Alexa, but requires you to purchase the device separately. You’ll also need to purchase a keypad if you want to give access to guests, so there’s more to pay.
Some customers had issues with the included WiFi bridge and found its signal strength lacking, which you don’t want to deal with when you’re miles from home and trying to let a tenant into your Airbnb rental. It’s also worth noting that this isn’t a lock and smart lock combination, so you have to make sure it works with your existing single-cylinder deadbolt before you proceed, or be prepared to pay for an upgrade if you need it.
Although there are some extras to purchase and a higher price tag, the August Smart Lock Pro is considered one of the safest and high-tech options out there. It comes with just a one year limited warranty and is available on Amazon for a discounted price, so if you’re looking for a seriously safe way to protect your Airbnb, you know where to go.
Alternative: Yale Assure Smart Lock
- Finish type: Satin nickel, Polished brass, Oil rubbed bronze, black
- Lock type: Retrofit
For the complete package and a smart lock that doesn’t require a lot of extras and accessories to work, look no further than the Yale Assure. This is a touchscreen lock that’s retrofitted to your existing deadlock and comes with two keys, a keypad, and lots of options for remote access through the Yale or August app, so it’s got everything you need. This lock measures 6 x 6 x 14 inches and comes in four color options including polished brass and oil rubbed bronze, to complement your rental home’s style.
One of the best things about the Yale Assure is how compatible it is with other smart devices and assistants, and it’s easily the best smart lock for Google home and the rest. Unlike others, you’ll get a full suite of integration options available, including Google Assistant, Siri, Apple HomeKit, Smart Things, and Amazon Alexa.
Ease of use is the Yale Assure’s best selling point and when you’ve got access to the app, the door will unlock for you whenever you get near. Customers also loved how easy it was to give keys and access to guests using their rental home. You can share the app access with others or create a unique entry code that lets them get in and out as they need. Once they’re gone, their access will be automatically revoked, so it’s seamless for Airbnb and vacation rentals.
However, there were some negatives, with the most obvious being the cost. Because you have to retrofit this to a lock that’s in place, it’s pretty expensive for a standalone smart lock. You don’t have to purchase other accessories or parts unless you want to buy a smart home hub, so it does save a bit there, but in terms of initial outlay, the Yale Assure is one of the most expensive.
For this price, it’s also disappointing to find that some customers had issues with the software, especially when using the August version which is recommended. Be prepared to go through the setup a few times before it gets it right and calibrates, which can be pretty frustrating, especially if you’re not already tech-savvy.
Yale offers a one-year limited warranty on the electronics of the smart lock but a limited lifetime warranty on the finish and mechanical parts. You can source it online through Amazon for a competitive price, and all it takes to install is a screwdriver and a spare 10 minutes. The Yale Assure ticks all of the boxes, even if it’s a little more expensive, and makes it easy to keep track of
Alternative: Ultraloq U-Bolt Smart Pro Lock
- Finish type: Black with satin nickel
- Lock type: Deadlock
Ultraloq has filled a gap in the market where other affordable and effective smart locks need to be, and it’s the perfect choice for helping you manage your Airbnb or another short term rental. This is one of the cheaper options for smart locks with loads of options for accessibility, a dedicated smartphone app, easy DIY installation, and sleek, compact size 2.95 x 2.95 x 1.22 inches in total.
The best thing about this smart lock is the sheer range of ways you can use it, and these work for you and your future Airbnb guests. The Ultraloq U-Bolt Smart Pro Lock is marketed as a 6-in-1 smart lock and it delivers on this promise, and you can enter with an e-key, code, fingerprint ID, keypad, smartphone, or mechanical key. If you ever lose a key or forget one way of getting in, there’s guaranteed to be another.
Another bonus of the Ultraloq is that it’s easily fitted where your old deadlock used to be, so it’s not just attached to an existing one nor does it require you to install anything that might be out of your scope. As far as installation goes, it’s one of the easiest options on the market and will be a smart choice for those who feel unsure about setting up a smart lock for the first time.
It wasn’t all good with this lock though, with some customers reporting issues with the WiFi bridge that Ultraloq supplies. You need to be pretty close to make it work and the range isn’t as long as other smart locks we’ve reviewed. If you were hoping to use this wireless feature and ditching the keypad or manual entry key, you’ll probably want to choose another smart lock.
Another negative worth noting is that the U-Bolt Smart Pro doesn’t seem to have as much integration or compatibility with other smart devices as we’d hope for. Currently, this smart lock works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and is compatible with Apple Watches to help you open when you get close, but if you’re looking for the best smart lock for Android, you’ll want to keep searching.
The Ultraloq is one of the more affordable ways to give your guests seamless entry into your vacation rental and to deliver you peace of mind as well. The smart lock comes with an impressive 18-month electronic warranty and lifetime mechanical warranty for the lock itself, so you’re protected even more than other brands, for half the cost. If you want something affordable and efficient and don’t mind missing out on a few popular features, the Ultraloq U-Bolt Smart Pro Lock is the way to go.
Alternative: August Smart Keypad
- Finish type: Rubber
- Lock type: Keypad
If you have the popular August Smart Lock and are looking for a way to make it even more accessible to your Airbnb tenants, the smart keypad can help. The August AK-R1 Smart Keypad is an accessory for their famous Smart Lock and it removes the need for smartphones or wireless entry keys. This isn’t just a great choice for rentals either, as it can be used for cleaners, dog walkers, and even when the kids come home from school, and eliminate the need for a mechanical key that can get easily lost.
The coolest thing about the August Smart Lock and Keypad is that you can easily create a code from your phone, and then deliver it straight to tenants or friends and family so they can enter the accommodation. This means nobody needs a smartphone to get in and you don’t have to entrust anyone with keys, which is perfect for short-term rentals.
There are lots of minor features that add to make this a great choice for a smart keypad, including the auto-lock feature and the notification that goes off to let you know the wrong code has been entered too many times. You can control everything through the August app and monitor what’s happening, even when you’re not around, so it gives you some reassurance that your property is safe.
Using the keypad alone isn’t recommended, as there have been too many reported issues with it as a standalone product and calls for August to update its software. The best use is to pair it with the Smart Lock and ensure there’s another way to get in, just in case your guests try to use the keypad and find themselves locked out.
Another downside is that this is a smart lock accessory that comes with more costs. To kit your property out with the full selection from August will cost a pretty penny, and considering there are other cheaper options out there that do much the same, you might not need to spend it. August has name power that helps their products self or more and while they’re reliable, they’re no longer the only option.
If you’re looking for another access point for your Airbnb or short-term rental and prefer the keypad approach, there’s a lot to love with the August AK-R1 Smart Keypad. It’s fairly expensive for a standalone product but can be cheaper when you buy through Amazon, and it comes with a one year warranty for peace of mind. To complete your August Smart Lock Setup, consider adding the Smart Keypad today.
FAQs About Smart Door Locks
Sourcing the best smart lock for vacation rental or Airbnb properties doesn’t have to be a challenge, as long as you know the features that are important to you.
To help you understand a little more about the capabilities of these smart security accessories and how they work with a rental property, we’ve answered some on-topic FAQs.
How Do I Lock My Door On Airbnb?
A smart lock can be installed on your Airbnb rental door which allows you to lock the door and then supply a code to your guest that will allow them to check themselves in for their stay.
The lock can be accessed remotely via a hub or app, giving you complete control over it from wherever you are.
What Is Airbnb Lockbox?
A lockbox is a device commonly used for Airbnb properties that contain the keys or fobs for the accommodation stored inside of a locked box.
The owner then supplies their tenant with a code to open the box once their stay has been approved, and when they check out, place the key back into the box and lock it.
How Does Self Check-In Work Airbnb?
There are a few options you can offer guests for self-check-in if you own an Airbnb. The most common and safest choice is to use a smart lock that can be accessed remotely by you, otherwise, a lockbox where the key is stored on site.
Both of these options allow you to give the entry code to the tenant before their stay so they can access the property.
What Kind of Door Lock Is Most Secure?
A deadbolt is generally considered the safest type of lock as it can’t move from the locked position without the correct key inside of the cylinder.
These locks work best when partnered with another type of lock for double protection, and can also be used alongside a smart lock if you prefer this setup.
Smart Security Even When You’re Not Around
The smart lock couldn’t have come at a better time, with more and more people preferring to stay in owner-managed Airbnb rentals than high-end hotels for their vacation.
With a smart lock, you’ll not only ensure their check-in and stay are as smooth as possible but will give yourself the peace of mind that your property is kept safe in the meantime.