Any type of home security system or individual security measure is designed with the purpose of keeping you and your family safe. However, instead of just relying on a security camera to scare away intruders, door and window alarms help by using contact sensors, motion alarms, vibration sensors, or noise sensors to alert you if the windows or doors are broken or opened.
The best door and window alarms for your home can depend on several factors, including the type of alarm you want to use and whether you want to remotely access the alarm system so that you have control and visibility when you are away. Take a look at some of the top products below and read on to learn more about the key features of the best window and door alarms.
- BEST OVERALL: YoLink Smart Door Sensors, 1/4 Mile Range Wireless
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: GE Personal Security Window/Door, 12-Pack
- BEST UPGRADE: Ring Alarm 8-Piece kit (2nd Gen) with Ring Indoor Cam
- BEST CONTACT SENSOR: Ring Alarm Contact Sensor (2nd Gen)
- BEST MOTION ALARM: CPVAN Motion Sensor Wireless Infrared Alarm
- BEST SENSOR: SABRE HS-GA Wireless Window Glass Break Detector
- BEST FOR SMART HOME: Aqara Door and Window Sensor
- BEST FOR MEDICAL EMERGENCY: Wsdcam Door Alarm Wireless Anti-Theft Remote Control
Types of Door and Window Alarms
Contact sensors and motion alarms are the two main types of door and window alarms. There also are specialized door and window alarms that detect abnormal vibration or the sound of broken glass.
Contact sensors are the most common type of door and window alarm. They have a simple, affordable design. These devices consist of two contact sensors that must be aligned for the system to be armed. One sensor is installed on the door or window, while the other is installed directly beside it on the doorframe or window frame.
The larger of the two sensors will typically house the batteries and the actual alarm. After the contacts have been installed and the system is armed, any movement that would result in the contacts being misaligned will trigger the alarm system. However, keep in mind that someone could break your window and climb inside without moving the window frame, so this style of window alarm would not activate. For full home security, it’s best to use more than one type of alarm.
Motion detectors and alarms are regularly used in security systems to help detect the presence of an intruder and sound an alarm. They may be connected to a security camera or floodlight that will activate when the motion alarm detects activity. It helps to see whether the system has been triggered by something like a passing bird or if there is a true threat to which you need to respond.
These devices can be installed inside or outside your home. They use a sensor to determine whether anyone or anything is moving within a range specified by the manufacturer. The range and sensitivity of these motion detectors vary greatly, so research products before deciding. Also, consider using at least one other type of door and window alarm.
Specialized Door and Window Sensors
These door and window sensors are designed for very specific circumstances. Some detect the sound of glass breaking or strong vibrations in your window or door that could indicate that someone or something is trying to break into your home.
- Glass break sensors don’t normally need to be used on every window because they often can sense glass breaking in an entire room. These devices listen for the sound of glass breaking by comparing any sounds in the immediate environment to the typical frequency produced by breaking glass.
- Vibration sensors are applied directly to a window or a door where they will measure the vibrations that run through the material. If the vibration passes beyond a certain threshold, it will trigger the alarm so that you can respond to any potential threat. However, these alarms can be triggered by very heavy rain, snow, or hail so you will want more than one type of door and window alarm to ensure that you remain protected in all situations.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Door and Window Alarms
Whether you’re picking out a door and window alarm system for your workshop, home, or office, there are several factors to consider, including remote accessibility, pet protection features, and camera access.
Being able to access your security system from anywhere in your house or when you are away gives you a level of security and confidence that just isn’t possible with localized systems. Receiving a prompt through an app allows you to respond immediately to the situation instead of arriving home to a blaring alarm and a broken window after the intruders have already left.
Remote accessibility can also give you the ability to turn off the security system before you go inside your home, so that you don’t need to quickly punch in a code while the timer on the alarm counts down ominously. If you have a security camera or a speaker system, you may even be able to access a live view of your home or even talk through the speakers to ward off intruders or speak to your pets.
One of the more common purposes for using a door and window alarm is to ensure that your pets remain inside your home and to keep them out of rooms, pantries, or cupboards where you may have harmful cleaning solutions or food that can make them sick. With this in mind, many door and window alarm manufacturers have begun to add features that make their products more pet-friendly.
Some of these features include locking pet doors, motion alarms with pet detection, and treat dispensers.
- Locking pet doors will open only when the corresponding collar is within a specified range so that only your pet can access your home.
- Pet detection features allow the motion alarm to identify whether the motion is being caused by your pet or an intruder. This reduces the number of false alarms that can be triggered by pets.
- Treat dispensers can be included with a security camera system, giving you the ability to see and reward your pets when you aren’t home.
While a simple door and window contact sensor alarm system will help keep your home secure, you can improve the protection of your family with a camera. One or more integrated security cameras allow you to see and record inside or outside of your home. Security cameras can have internal memory, they can upload to a website, or they may upload to an app so that you can access the live feeds from your smart device at any time.
- Internal memory is an ideal choice if you have problems with connectivity in your home because it doesn’t rely on wireless signals. However, the memory fills up quickly so you need to regularly check and delete the video files.
- Automatic uploads or manual uploads can be completed with many cameras through a wired or wireless connection to an online server. This type of system allows you to access the video files through the online server, though you may have to pay a subscription fee to store more than the allowed number of files.
- Live remote access to your camera is the best option because you will be able to see your home at any time and respond immediately to any problems. However, some manufacturers offer this service for a subscription fee if you want to save any video files.
Our Top Picks
The products below were chosen for quality and price. Check out this list to discover some of the best door and window alarms to help keep you and your loved ones safe and secure.
When you begin the process of outfitting your home with a security system, it’s a good idea to invest in a system like the YoLink sensors that can be expanded without sacrificing clear connectivity. This system uses a central hub that can connect directly through an ethernet cable or wirelessly to your Wi-Fi so that it can communicate with your smart device through banner alerts, text messages, and emails.
The central hub then uses radio signals to connect to the four included smart door sensors. This ensures that any movement to open the doors or windows will activate the alarm. You also can link the hub to a smart home system. Each sensor operates on AAA batteries, and they can last for up to five years without having to be replaced.
The simple function of these door and window sensors protect you from the panic of false alarms and intermittent connectivity problems. This is because each alarm works independently from a centralized system. Each operates with a single Lr44 battery to power the magnetized connection between the two aligned sensors, and sounds an alarm when the sensors are misaligned.
This value pack comes with 12 door and window alarms. Each alarm must be attached to the window or door and frame using the included double-sided tape. Once installed, you can test the alarms with the test button located on the front. When it’s activated, the alarm will sound at 120 decibels to ward off intruders and alert you to a potential break-in.
Take home security seriously with a range of alarms and detection devices in this Ring Alarm 8-Piece Kit. The set comes with four contact sensors that can be placed on your doors and windows. It also has a motion detector so that intruders can’t simply bypass your security system by breaking a window. Each sensor connects wirelessly with a central Ring Hub that connects to the Ring app where you can monitor your home security.
This security bundle also includes an indoor security camera that can be set to record the video feed if the alarm is triggered so that you can catch intruders on camera and speak to them directly through a live connection in the Ring app. Control the system through the Ring app or use the keypad that comes in the kit. There is 24/7 monitoring available, if you prefer to leave your home security to the professionals.
Contact sensors are difficult to fool, without avoiding them by breaking through a glass door or window. For this reason, contact sensors, like the Ring Alarm Contact Sensor, have remained a popular choice for dissuading potential thieves. This contact sensor is made with a compact, versatile design that allows you to place it in an inconspicuous area without impacting its effectiveness.
The contact sensor comes with the 3-volt CR2032 batteries, and it mounts directly to your doors and windows without the need for tools. However, to effectively use this sensor you will need the Ring Alarm Base to connect it to the Ring app so that you can monitor the security of your home through your smart device.
This effective door and window motion alarm comes with double-sided tape and screws so that you can attach it to your wall, doorframe, window frame, ceiling, or almost any other semipermanent surface in your home. The motion alarm is powered by three AAA batteries, or it can be plugged directly into a power source with a micro USB cable. The cable is not included with this package, and it does not charge the motion alarm.
When the motion alarm is installed, you can control it with the included remote control, which allows you to turn off, set, or test the alarm so that you know it’s working. This motion detector has an infrared sensor range of 16 to 26 feet, and when the alarm is triggered, it sounds a 125-decibel siren that has a range of more than 300 feet.
If you already have simple contact sensors on your windows and doors but are concerned about intruders breaking the glass to get access to your home, then the SABRE wireless alarm is an excellent solution. The alarm comes with an adhesive backing so that you can easily install it on your window or glass door without the need for tools.
The alarm senses vibration on the surface of the glass. If the vibration passes beyond a sensitivity threshold, it will sound a 115-decibel siren to deter thieves, attract attention from helpful neighbors, and notify you so that you can investigate or call the authorities. It also has a test button and a sensitivity control.
This smart contact sensor door and window alarm is designed for use with the Aqara smart home hub that can connect with up to 32 household devices to create custom settings for home automation. For instance, you could include an IFTTT (IF This Then That) protocol to turn on the lights in your home when this smart contact sensor is activated using your smartphone.
This alarm can connect to Apple Homekit and Amazon Alexa devices so you can activate, deactivate, test, or even sound an emergency alarm using your voice. When an unauthorized entry is detected in your home, an alert is sent to your phone. The alarm on your Aqara hub will begin sounding to ward off the intruders and notify you and your family so you can get help.
While the main purpose of door and window alarms is to keep you safe from possible break-ins, they may also be used to alert your neighbors in the case of a medical emergency if you cannot reach your phone.
The alarm comes with double-sided adhesive tape for easy, tool-free installation, and it has a low battery indicator light on the front of the alarm. This contact sensor alarm has a remote that can be attached to your keyring or carried in your pocket so that you always have access to the panic button that will activate the 105-decibel alarm. The remote has a range of 49 feet and it comes with a 12V/27A battery so it’s ready to use out of the package. However, the alarm needs two AAA batteries, which are not included.
FAQs About Door and Window Alarms
If you still aren’t sure which door and window alarm system would be best for you, the following answers to some of the most commonly asked questions may help.
Q. Do you need sensors on every door and window?
Whether or not you need sensors on every door and window depends on the type of alarm system. Broken glass detectors and motion sensors can often cover more than one access point. However, contact sensors are recommended for every door and window so that you will be able to know if your house is vulnerable.
Q. How do you test a door sensor?
While most door and window alarms will come with instructions on how to set them up and how to test them, the type of sensor can change how the door sensor should be tested. For instance, you can test sensors that are connected to an app by simply checking the diagnostic in the app.
Sensors that are not connected to an app typically come with a test button that allows you to test the alarm or chirp of the sensor. Always test your sensors after installation to ensure that your home is adequately protected.
Q. Do house alarms go off when you open a window?
It depends on the alarm and the settings you have applied to your security system, but normally the alarm system would be triggered by the opening of a window while the system is armed. However, there are window alarms that allow you to narrowly open your window without activating the alarm so that you can get fresh air from outside while you sleep, without sacrificing safety.