A garage door opener is a motorized device that automatically opens and closes a garage door. It can be controlled by a remote control, wall switch, or smartphone app, and is typically installed above the garage door on the ceiling. The device consists of a motor, a gear system, and a control panel.
- 1 What to Look For in a Garage Door Opener
- 2 What to Consider When Choosing the Best Garage Door Opener
- 3 How We Chose the Best Garage Door Openers
- 4 What type of garage door opener lasts the longest?
- 5 What is the most powerful garage door opener?
- 6 Will my garage door opener work if the power is out?
- 7 Do garage door openers have lights?
- 8 What size garage door opener do I need?
- 9 How do you program a garage door opener?
- 10 What’s a torsion spring opener?
- 11 What size garage door opener do I need?
- 12 How do I program my garage door opener?
- 13 How much horsepower do I need for my two-car garage door?
- 14 Is a belt or chain better for a garage door opener?
- 15 How long does a garage door opener last on average?
- 16 How do I know when my garage door opener is going bad?
The motor drives the gear system which moves the door, while the control panel receives the signals from the remote or switch and activates the motor. Garage door openers can be powered by electricity or batteries and are designed for safety and convenience in operating a garage door.
If you haven’t shopped for a garage door opener recently, you may have missed some of the advancements manufacturers have made in the last few years. They’re safer to operate and run more quietly, and most can be installed without hiring a professional.
The 9 Best Garage Door Openers of 2023：Tested and Reviewed
- Best Overall:Chamberlain B6713T
- Best Budget:Chamberlain B4613T Smart Battery Backup
- Best Smart:Genie 7155-TKV Smart Garage Door Opener
- Best Quiet:Genie 2055-LED Stealth 500 Essentials
- Best Wall-Mounted:Chamberlain B2405 Smart myQ
- Best with Camera:ATOMS ATR-1611C By Skylink
- Best With Battery Backup:Chamberlain C2212T Smart Garage Door Opener
- Best for Heavy Doors:LiftMaster 8500 Elite Series 8500 Jackshaft Operator
- BEST SCREW-DRIVE:beamUP Workhorse – BU100
With so many features to consider, shopping for a new garage door opener can be a little overwhelming. This guide will explore the smart functions today’s garage door openers offer as well as vital nuts and bolts such as horsepower and type while reviewing some of the best garage door openers on the market.
- Pros: Backup battery, quiet operation, compatible with Key by Amazon to allow access for deliveries
- Cons: Relatively expensive, doesn’t work with Alexa or Google Assistant
The LED lighting system, instead of regular incandescent bulbs, is the most prominent of these features. These LEDs generate 2,000 lumens of bright, white light. Combined with the angled body of the opener, the wide cast of the lighting makes this model very popular.
Like all current Chamberlain models, the B6713T allows you to use MyQ smartphone control, letting you monitor and access your garage door from anywhere. Unlike many models, you don’t need to buy a separate hub or gateway. This unit connects directly to your home WiFi network. If you plan on using a feature like this, make sure your existing smart-home system is compatible and that your WiFi signal is strong enough to reach the garage.
Thanks to the motor, the Chamberlain B6713T is also an especially powerful opener. This makes it suitable for doors weighing up to 550 pounds and up to 10 feet tall. Even if you don’t have an oversized heavy door, it can still be a good idea to opt for a heavy-duty unit like this. By requiring less effort, your motor won’t experience the stress and strain that weaker models do, which can increase the lifespan of the unit.
The Chamberlain B6713T comes with two remote controls. If your vehicle is HomeLink enabled, it can connect straight to your car, eliminating the need for remote controls altogether. Just make sure to double-check with your car manufacturer, as some older model cars can have trouble connecting to more recent openers.
#2.Chamberlain B4613T Smart Battery Backup
- Comes with a battery backup to keep opener working during a power outage
- Has a remote range of up to 1,500 feet
- Works in heat, humidity, and other extreme weather conditions
- The smartphone app requires a subscription to use some of its features
- Has a somewhat older-looking design
This garage door opener comes with a keypad for outside of the garage, a remote for inside of the garage, two remotes for remote access, two sensors, and a battery backup for power during outages. Built-in technology allows you to get real-time alerts via mobile app.
#3.Genie 7155-TKV Smart Garage Door Opener
- Powerful 1.25-horsepower motor
- Smartphone and home assistant compatibility
- Built-in backup battery
- Lifetime warranty on motor and belt
- Extension kit for 8-foot doors sold separately
- App controls could be better
- Strong Wi-Fi connection needed for app control
It packs a 1.25-horsepower motor with intuitive features and convenient controls into an easy-to-install design, making it our top pick for the best garage door opener.
This model relies on a five-piece rail system that’s lightweight and sturdy. The rails snap together for easy installation and can support doors up to 7 feet tall. Unfortunately, if your garage door is taller than 7 feet, you’ll have to purchase the extension kit for 8-foot doors separately. This garage door opener also relies on a steel-reinforced belt built to last and for quiet operation. If the noise level is one of your primary concerns, this is the model for you.
Its controls are just as user-friendly as its installation. It’s app-compatible with Genie’s Aladdin technology, so you can monitor and control your door via your smartphone. The StealthDrive is also compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, integrating well into any smart home and working via voice controls. Plus, it comes with two remotes, a wireless keypad that allows you to open the door via a pin, and a wall console, giving you even more control options. You also won’t need to fret during power outages because this model has a built-in backup battery that allows you to use it up to 50 times without any central power.
#4.Genie 2055-LED Stealth 500 Essentials
- Affordably priced with simple features
- Quiet operation thanks to its belt-drive construction
- High weight capacity lifts doors up to 500 pounds
- No keypad or smart connectivity; bare-bones option
There’s no Wi-Fi connectivity with this garage door opener, and it lacks a keypad, but it does include a wireless garage door opener that goes in the car. It also works with the HomeLink and Car2U system that is in many late-model cars, eliminating the need for an opener.
#5.Chamberlain B2405 Smart myQ
- Comes with a wireless keypad
- Remote-access accessories send an encrypted code to the opener to prevent hacking
- Comes with online videos to make installation easier
- Does not come with a battery backup
- Some customers found the installation instructions to be confusing
#6.ATOMS ATR-1611C By Skylink
- Unbeatable value
- Built-in LED light
- Easy to install
- Low HP not ideal for heavy doors
- No smartphone compatibility
It opens a 7-foot garage door using a durable chain drive, but the brand also sells extension kits that are compatible with 8- and 10-foot garage doors.
This garage door opener lacks smartphone compatibility, but it has a wall-mounted push button and a one-button remote. Its infrared safety sensor stops it from closing if something is in the way. The unit has a built-in LED light to help you see at night, and it offers straightforward DIY installation, saving you some money.
#7.Chamberlain C2212T Smart Garage Door Opener
- Set schedules and receive alerts on your smartphone
- Backup battery
- Amazon Key In-Garage Delivery compatibility
- Installation directions could be clearer
- Extension kit required for doors over 7 feet tall
You can control this system via the myQ mobile app, which lets you receive alerts about the door’s activity and set schedules for opening and closing the door and turning the system’s lights on and off. The system is also compatible with HomeLink for remote-free control and Amazon Key for Amazon Prime package delivery to your garage.
Other standard features include one remote, a push-button door control, and safety sensors to prevent closing if they sense people or objects in the way. The installation instructions for this model could be more straightforward, but once it’s up and running, the controls are quite user-friendly. This model also includes a battery backup, so you can still use the opener in a power outage.
#8.LiftMaster 8500 Elite Series 8500 Jackshaft Operator
- Quiet operation
- Takes up minimal space
- Compatible with doors up to 14 feet
- Doesn’t work with roll-up doors
- Bar system not included
- Smart features are add-on only
Instead of hanging from the ceiling and taking up room in your garage, this unit mounts beside your door, freeing up ceiling space for other storage. It can handle doors up to 14 feet tall and 650 pounds, but you must have a front-mount torsion bar system (not included) for operation. Note that this model is not compatible with roll-up doors.
Because it uses a direct drive system, the LiftMaster 8500 is extremely quiet during operation. It also has a built-in light that automatically turns on when you enter the garage. The unit comes with a wall-mount control panel and one visor remote control, and it can be upgraded to smart functionality if you purchase the brand’s 828LM Internet Gateway.
#9.beamUP Workhorse – BU100
- Is strong enough to work on single- and double-garage doors
- Comes in multiple styles
- Has a sleek white design
- Some customers had issues connecting the device to HomeLink
- Comes with fewer accessories than some other garage door openers in this review
Types of Garage Door Openers
Most openers hang from the garage ceiling. A rail runs from the opener (operator in industry parlance) and a chain, belt or long steel screw moves the trolley (or traveler) and the arm that attaches to the door.
- Chain drive is the most affordable and least quiet. It’s a bad choice if bedrooms or a work-from-home office are over the garage. The chain needs to be lubricated twice a year.
- Screw drive uses a threaded rod to move the traveler, arm and door. The unit is compact and delivers a lot of power to open doors quickly. It’s quieter than a chain-drive opener. The screw needs regular lubrication. Market share is modest.
- Belt drive is quiet. The belt doesn’t need maintenance. Replacing a broken belt is easier than a broken chain. Chain- and belt-drive openers are the vast majority of the market with belt-drive gaining share as the price delta closes.
- Wall mount (also called jackshaft) installs to the left or right of the garage door. It’s very quiet. It needs about 12 inches between the garage-door edge and the side wall.
What to Look For in a Garage Door Opener
Your doors determine your basic needs. For a single eight- to 10-foot-wide door not made of solid wood, virtually any opener works. The cheapest are around $125-$150, typically a one-half horsepower motor with a chain drive. The most powerful are 1.25-1.5 horsepower, $200-plus. They lift heavier double doors and do it faster. Prepare to be confused by “lifting-equivalent” horsepower ratings.
Many openers can be controlled by smartphones, Alexa, or Google Assistant. They’re part of whole house automation. Linked garage cameras and now the first embedded cameras let you see who just came in the garage. An opener connected to your home Wi-Fi can send back notifications and images of who just opened the door. Merchants such as Amazon can deliver inside your garage. Battery backup is becoming more common; California required all openers sold after July 2019 to have backup. Higher-performing DC motors are replacing AC motors. Lights are LED and last the lifetime of the opener, about 15-20 years.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Garage Door Opener
Read on to learn about the different types of garage door openers on the market as well as other features that are vital to consider when shopping for one, including horsepower and smart features.
Size of the Door
Nearly all garage door openers are designed to work with a door that is 7 feet tall, which is the standard height of a garage door. To use a garage door opener for a garage door that is 8 or 9 feet tall requires a compatible extension kit, which is sold separately.
Horsepower and Lifting Capacity
Garage door openers have motors that range from ½ horsepower to 2 horsepower. The more horsepower a garage door opener has, the more weight the opener can lift. Generally speaking, a ⅓-horsepower garage door opener will be able to lift a one-car garage door. A ½-horsepower opener, which can lift up to 300 pounds, can handle most two-car garage doors, while a 1½- horsepower garage door opener is suitable for heavier wood garage doors of up to 400 pounds.
While garage door openers add convenience, they can also leave one trapped outside during a power failure. Some garage door openers come with battery backups, which have enough juice to open and close the door in the event of a power outage. Most battery backups can raise and lower a garage door about 50 times on a single charge.
Safety and Security
Garage door openers do have the potential to be dangerous as they create enough force to crush someone in the event one is caught underneath it. All garage door openers come with laser sensors that are installed on either side of the door no more than 6 inches off the ground. These sensors automatically stop the door from closing if the laser eye is tripped, preventing pets and children from being trapped under the closing door.
Garage door openers add security by preventing the door from being opened manually when the door is closed. Some higher-end garage doors have deadbolt locks that engage automatically when the door closes, adding an extra layer of security, while others have alerts that let the homeowner know when the door has been left open, helping to protect items stored in the garage.
Many garage door openers have smart capabilities that allow them to connect to a smart device using Wi-Fi, turning the smart device into an automatic garage door opener. Using the garage door’s compatible app, the user can monitor the door’s status, open and close the door remotely, and even perform more advanced functions, such as scheduling specific times for the door to open and close and setting permissions to allow visitors to access the garage door’s controls. These apps also allow the user to set alerts in the event the garage door is accidentally left open. Many smart garage door openers are also compatible with digital assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
How We Chose the Best Garage Door Openers
We considered several criteria when making our list of the top garage door openers. While most garage doors have plenty of lifting capacity, not all include smart features. We chose mainly smart garage doors with robust controls that allow the owner to operate the door remotely, set schedules to automatically open and close the door, and create permissions for granting (and removing) access to family members, friends, and repair people.
Since garage doors can be surprisingly loud, we also leaned toward belt-drive models that provide quiet operation at an affordable price. For our high-performance selections, we favored screw-driven garage door openers, which boast the most lifting power while also being twice as fast as other garage door opener types.Finally, garage door openers that offered the most versatility by including remotes, wall-mounted controls, and keypads as well as smart controls ranked higher than those that did not include all of these options.
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of garage door opener lasts the longest?
The overall lifespan of a garage door opener will depend on the model, brand, and amount of use it gets, but in general, a chain-drive opener will last the longest. It requires less maintenance than screw drive openers that must be lubricated semiannually and isn’t affected by temperature or humidity changes like a belt-drive mechanism. It’s worth noting that the lighter your garage door, the less strain it will place on the motor of your opener, which will extend its lifespan.
What is the most powerful garage door opener?
The most powerful garage door openers are typically screw-drive models. They use a long, threaded rod that turns one way to pull the door up and reverses direction to lower it. With fewer moving parts, a screw-drive loses much less lifting force during operation than a chain or belt, which allows it to work more efficiently and produce more power.
Will my garage door opener work if the power is out?
Since garage door openers are connected to your home’s electrical system, they usually won’t work if the power is out. However, you can find some models that have a manual release for you to pull the door up or down yourself. Some also come with a battery backup to keep the system running until the power comes back on.
Do garage door openers have lights?
Yes. Almost all garage door openers have a built-in light that turns on while you’re operating them. These lights usually turn off automatically after a few minutes.
What size garage door opener do I need?
Most openers work with all sizes and configurations of garage doors. However, if your garage door is tall (usually 8 feet or more), you’ll need one with a rail long enough to accommodate the height. Also, if yours is particularly heavy or has double doors, you might need one with extra horsepower.
How do you program a garage door opener?
Virtually all garage door opener units have a “Learn” button. To pair your remote with your opener, press this button. It should activate an indicator light for 30 seconds to a minute. While it’s lit, press and hold the main open/close button on the remote until the light on the overhead unit starts blinking. The blinking light tells you your garage door opener is programmed with the remote.
What’s a torsion spring opener?
Springs counterbalance the weight of the garage door. Most garage doors have a pair of extension springs running in the same direction as the door rails. A torsion spring comprises a space-saving metal tube and spring that runs above the garage door. It stores energy when the door is pulled down and releases the energy to pull the door up. A wall-mount (jackshaft) opener directly drives the torsion spring above the garage door.
What size garage door opener do I need?
That depends on the size and type of garage door. For a one-car garage, go with a garage door opener that has at least ⅓ horsepower. Most sectional two-car garage doors require a ½- horsepower opener, while heavier wooden or insulated garage doors require a 1¼-horsepower or even 2-horsepower opener.
How do I program my garage door opener?
Although programming may vary from garage door opener to garage door opener, most use the same method. Locate the learn button near the antenna on the garage door opener. Press and release the button. Within 30 seconds, press and hold the button on the remote you wish to connect to for a few seconds and then release.
How much horsepower do I need for my two-car garage door?
Most sectional two-car garage doors require an opener with at least ½ horsepower; however, an opener with a more powerful motor will open the garage door more smoothly and with less wear and tear on the opener, extending its life.
Is a belt or chain better for a garage door opener?
A belt-drive system requires less maintenance and is smoother and quieter than a chain-drive system. They are also more expensive.
How long does a garage door opener last on average?
A garage door opener will last for 10 to 15 years. Exactly how long a garage door opener lasts depends on how frequently it opens and closes, the weight of the door, and how well it is maintained.
How do I know when my garage door opener is going bad?
There are a few telltale signs of a failing garage door opener. One of the most common signs is if the garage door begins to open then suddenly reverses. A garage door opener that vibrates may also be near the end of its life.