The front line of defense in a home security system is securing doors and windows. You should always be aware when an entrypoint into your home is opened. Door and window sensors do just that with loud and clear alarms anytime a secure door or window is opened. They’re the most affordable DIY option when protecting your valuables and loved ones.
Safety.com’s Top 3 Door and Window Sensors
Best All-Around Door Sensor
Nest Detect Sensor
Why we picked it:
One-touch button to quietly open the door when the security system is alarmed
One sensor that has the power to monitor both windows and doors the same way
Built-in Nest Pathlight to see clearly in the dark when walking past the door sensor
Understanding the different types of door or window sensors
There a variety of window and door sensor options available. Understanding the differences will help you choose the best sensors for your doors and windows.
Surface contact sensors are the most affordable door sensor options. The sensors are installed using magnets on the surface of the door and the door.
Recessed contact sensors are installed inside the frames and inside the door or window, making them less visible to intruders.
Vanishing sensors are very thin and virtually undetectable door sensors. They’re designed to blend into your home’s décor to be less noticeable.
Vented window sensors use two magnets to open any armed window may remain open a few inches for fresh air. If the window is opened any further, the alarm is triggered.
The best door and window sensor features to look for
Connected smart security system
The best door and window sensors have built-in smart technology to easily connect to your monitored security system. With interconnected home security, you’ll have the ability to receive mobile notifications when doors are open, and see who’s at your home using your connected security cameras. You’ll also be able to monitor your video doorbell or other smart security devices using one Z-wave hub. Start by looking for window sensors that allow you to receive mobile alerts or connect to the Amazon Echo.
Once the door alarm is attached to your door frame, you should be able to control the sensor with ease. The best door alarms can easily be controlled with the sensor’s remote or your smartphone. Remote access allows you to conveniently turn the sensor on, off or test the battery. When the sensor is connected to your smartphone, you’ll be able to control the volume and sound of the alarm. More popular door alarms use the smartphone to automatically receive mobile notifications when the door is open – even when you’re away.
Door sensors are meant to be easy, DIY home security measures. For renters, wireless door sensors are great, cost-effective added security that’s hassle-free during move out. The only reason you should need a wired door sensor is to manually connect it to a security system that doesn’t have smart features. Otherwise, door sensors should be easy to install with one screw, magnet or self-adhesive.
DIY home security
Door and window sensors are great DIY home security options. They’re known to be affordable and easy to maintain. Many of today’s door sensors have smart features to provide mobile notifications when doors and windows are open for added security and control. However, door sensors are not monitored by security systems. They’re great to pair with monitored systems for added safety and security.
The Nest Detect is designed to easily stick to walls and doors to always know when they’re opened. The alarm includes a motion sensor that detects movement within 16 feet in any room. With this door and window sensor, the alarm will always sound when someone opens a door or window.
Includes Nest Quiet Open to quietly open a door without the alarm going off
Enable ‘Dog Pass’ to keep your home secure, but allowing your dog to move around without triggering the alarm
Includes a built-in Pathlight to see clearly in the dark when you walk past a Nest Detect
This door sensor mounts to both window frames and doors with easy mounting. Connect the sensor to the Ring Alarm Security and automatically receive mobile alerts when doors or windows are opened in your home – even when you’re away.
Automatically alarms when the door sensor detects motion or is meddled with
Sends mobile notifications when doors or windows are opened using Ring’s app
Connects to a Z-wave wireless connection portal to create a seamless, smart security system
This window sensor includes multiple installation options to a variety of doors and window frames. ADT’s sensors connect to other home security monitoring tools and home automation equipment to create a smart security system. ADT helps provide extra security by sending automated mobile notifications when suspicious activity is detected.
Automatically receive mobile notifications if a door or window is opened while your security system is enabled
Ability to activate connected security cameras to quickly see who alarmed your window or door sensor when you’re away using the ADT Pulse® mobile app
Get peace of mind with 24/7 ADT professional monitoring services to watch over your home
This door alarm is easy to install by using the double-sided tape to mount to any door or window indoors. The built-in, loud alarm is an affordable option to automatically sound when doors and windows are open to deter intruders or keep children out of harm’s way.
Includes a loud 120-decibel alarm that sounds when the door sensor detects a door or window is opened
Built-in low-battery light to indicate when the door sensor batteries need to be changed
On and off switch settings to disable the door alarm as needed
The LifeShield sensors only take minutes to install to your door or window for added home security. Anytime your door is open, you’ll automatically be notified via smartphone. With these door and window sensors, you’ll be able to monitor entry activity – even when you’re away.
Works with the Life Operating Unit (L.O.U.) to connect your door sensor to other smart home security gadgets
Receive automatic mobile notifications when someone tries to enter your armed home
Connects to LifeShield Monitoring Centers for 24/7 professional surveillance when connected to the LifeShield monitored security system
This smart door alarm can be easily installed with self-adhesive tape and can be mounted anywhere in the home. It’s battery-operated, but can be connected to the Apple HomeKit to check the status of your door while you’re away and record the activity of your windows and doors with ease.
Pairs with the Apple HomeKit to create a safe and secure smart home
Ask Siri for statuses on open and closed windows and doors
Automatically receive mobile notifications from your home’s smart hub when the smart door alarm senses openings and closings
This powerful, yet invisible, door sensor pairs to Z-wave smart home hubs and devices within 492-feet from the sensor. The Z-wave technology allows the door sensor to notify you 250% faster than most while using 50% less power.
Invisible door sensor that is installed to the door frame
Pairs with other Z-wave smart home hubs and devices for a safer, smarter home
Includes Aeotec’s Gen5 energy efficient, yet powerful, sensor to detect when a door is open
This wireless WaveLink door alarm plugs into an outlet to detect open doors and windows. The alarm includes four-alarm volume options to control the sound and ringtones. Create different sounds for multiple doors throughout your home or business to easily detect which door was opened.
Includes 52 door alarm sounds with four volume options to control the loudness and ringtone
Uses a built-in LED light to alert those hearing impaired of an open window or door
Detects motion within 400-feet to cover to detect open doors and windows using one door alarm indoors
The SABRE door alarm is battery-operated to eliminate worry during a power outage. Your door alarm will still sound if a door is open using a loud and clear built-in alarm. This multi-pack is an affordable option to keep up to four of your home’s doors safe and secure.
Use a one-touch button to test the battery, and know when the door alarm’s batteries are low through the built-in LED light
Includes a 120-decibel alarm to sound when the door sensor detects an open door
Three alarm settings to easily hear which doors are opened
SimpliSafe’s door sensors are designed to provide easy extra security to your home’s windows and doors. The sensor automatically chimes when doors are open, even when the system is disabled using the Base Station. These door sensors are magnetic, making them easy to set-up and perfect for renters.
Sounds a short chime to let you know that the door or window is open – even when the alarm is off for added security
Door sensor alarms when the magnet is two-inches from the door to detect that the door is open
This multipack of window sensors gives your home added security with easy set-up. Four LR44 batteries are included for each sensor, in addition to a low-battery test button to make sure your sensors are working properly without disabling and detaching them.
Sounds a loud 120-decibel alarm when doors or windows are opened
Includes a one-touch low-battery testing button to easily monitor the sensor’s battery life
Easy set-up and removal using sticky adhesive strips to stick to window frames and doors
This smart door sensor connects to Z-wave smart home hubs to connect to other smart home security devices for a safe home when you’re away. The sensor includes industry-leading magnets for easy, sturdy installation to heavy doors and windows.
Compatible with Samsung’s SmartThings and other Z-wave smart hubs for an interconnected safe, smart home
Two color options to blend into your home’s door and window design
Includes a tampering sensor to automatically alert you if the door sensor is disabled or removed
This small, but powerful, door sensor is wireless to easily attach to any door or window frame. The sensor will automatically alarm when a door or window is open for your safety. But, even with frequent detecting and alarming, the sensor includes a six-year battery life – one of the industry’s best.
Compatible with anything that opens and closes for your home safety – including cabinets, doors, windows and more
Includes a six-year battery powered to last longer than most door sensors
Automatically alerts you of low-battery or any defects
This door sensor is perfect for homes and businesses with easy installation. Place the monitor within 500 feet of multiple door or window Secrui sensors to create a connected DIY security system that’s affordable with loud and clear alerts.
Sounds an alarm up to 110-decibels loud to alert you that a door is open
Uses self-adhesive tape installation to any door or window for easy setup and removal
Includes 52 alarm sounds or tunes to choose from to best fit your home’s alarm preference
This Insteon door sensor easily attaches to doors, cabinets and window frames for easy setup. The built-in smart technology has the power to control your home and automatically send mobile alerts when a door is open. It can easily be connected to other smart home devices and door sensors for a more safe and secure home.
Pairs with Insteon security systems for a connected safe, smart home
Ability to automatically control lights and smart home appliances when pairing with the Insteon Hub for convenience and better control
Control multiple doors and windows by syncing additional security door sensors for a secure home
A door sensor can be defined simply as a motion detection for your doors and windows. Door sensors use a reed switch and magnet as a sensor. One end attaches to the door frame while the other end attaches to the door itself. As long as these two pieces are less than two inches apart, the alarm won’t sound. Once the door or window is open – the circuit is open and the alarm sounds.
How do I install or set-up a door alarm?
Most door alarms come with a self-adhesive sturdy, stick pads or tape. Simply attach one piece to the window or door and the other to the back of the door alarm. Stick the two sticky pieces together for the alarm to stay attached to the door or window without worry.
Some door alarms include smart technology and should be connected to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or a Z-wave smart hub to enable features such as push notifications or full control of your home’s smart security system.
How much should I pay for a door sensor?
Most door sensors are fairly inexpensive. The average door sensor ranges from $15, while the best of the best can cost upwards of $50. If you’re looking for basic DIY security, cheap door alarms may work just fine. But if you’re looking for more features including smartphone notifications or connectivity to monitored systems, you’ll pay slightly more. Most door sensors come in sets of two or more to add multiple door sensors for a better value.
The benefits of door and window sensors
In addition to a reliable lock system, door and window sensors are the perfect DIY home security measure. These small, but mighty alarms alert entry and potential danger to your home and family without heavy lifting and headaches. Here are a few other door alarm benefits to expect:
Better security – With a door or window sensor attached to each window and door, you’ll have peace of mind knowing when doors are opened with a loud alarm or automated mobile notifications.
Child protection – When attaching door sensors to the right doors and cabinets, you’ll automatically be alerted when your child or loved one has opened the door. This added home protection throughout the home keeps your child out of harm’s way.
Deter danger – Chances are, once intruders hear an alarm sounding after opening a door, they’ll think twice about moving further. With smart door sensors, you’ll have peace of mind while knowing when your door is opened – even when you’re away.
As with any security feature, every household is different. There are different needs to ensure optimal protection from door and window sensors. Start by shopping Amazon’s best selling door and window sensors. You’ll have a variety of features and designs to choose from to best fit your home.