Photo: Debbie Wolfe
A door security bar can be an excellent investment. This device, placed behind a door, adds extra reinforcement to any locks and deadbolt by strengthening the complete door frame. There are permanent models available that resist a lot of pressure as well as removable ones that are portable for traveling. Door jammers and door wedges are somewhat different devices with the same security goals. The best of these products properly fit the door, hold up to force, prevent break-ins, and provide home security for peace of mind.
We researched and vetted more than two dozen highly rated door security devices to compile the recommendations ahead. Then we installed and tested our picks to ensure they would hold up under real-world conditions as advertised. Read on to learn more about the features and factors we considered, then check out the product reviews to find out why we deem these devices among the best door security bars.
- BEST OVERALL: MSIC Global SecuraDoor Heavy Duty Security Door Bar
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Master Lock 20 Gauge Dual Function Door Security Bar
- BEST FOR TRAVEL: DoorJammer Portable Door Lock Brace
- BEST HORIZONTAL: Doorricade Standard 38-Inch Door Bar
- BEST FOR SLIDING DOOR: Ideal Security Patio Door Bar with Anti-Lift Lock
- BEST DOOR WEDGE WITH ALARM: Sabre Door Stop Alarm
- BEST FLOOR MOUNT: Nightlock Original Door Brace Lock
- BEST TWO-PACK: SecurityMan SecurityBar2 Adjustable Door Security Bar
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Door Security Bar
Selecting the best door security device for an individual’s needs depends on a variety of factors. Along with the amount of force it can withstand, shoppers will want to keep in mind the type of device that best suits their needs, the material it’s constructed from, the length of the bar, the installation method, and its adjustability.
When researching the ideal device for a particular security need, it’s helpful to know the different types available. These include security bars, door jammers, door-lock reinforcers, and wedges.
- Door security bars are placed under the handle of a hinged door. Most are held in place with pressure. For sliding doors, place them between the wall and the sliding door. Some door bars are hardware mounted, especially if the bar goes horizontally across a hinged door. The hinges mount to the door, and the bar simply sits inside. Lift the bar up to quickly leave home in an emergency. Those who use cable ties to ensure an intruder can’t lift the bar out if a window is broken into will also need to remove the ties before removing the bar.
- Door jammers “jam” the door to prevent intruders from getting inside. They sit at an angle on the floor, about an inch from the door. Some latch to the doorknob to stay in place. Others have a base and a screw that tightens to set the jammer in place with pressure. They make an ideal choice for traveling, and some have a quick-release option that lifts them with an upward motion, so users can escape the room in seconds.
- Door-lock reinforcers fortify an existing lock. They go around or clip to the current door lock and protect against tampering, force, and lock pickers. While they are great for traveling, keep in mind that compatibility with smart or horizontal locks is questionable. Shoppers should read the product details closely to ensure it will work with their lock.
- Door wedges squeeze underneath a door. Made of plastic and possibly steel, wedges grip to the floor when pushed on, helping to prevent entry.
When it comes to home security, the material of a security bar plays a crucial role in its durability and strength. Security door bars come in a variety of materials, including steel, aluminum, iron, and plastic.
Steel and aluminum door bars provide a lot of strength and can withstand a significant amount of force, such as when a would-be intruder attempts to force entry by kicking in a door. Iron bars cannot withstand as much pressure. Aluminum won’t rust and weighs less than steel. Read the product details carefully to see how much force the security bar can withstand. The greater the force it can withstand, the less likely an intruder will make it inside.
You also may want a safety device that won’t leave permanent marks on your floor or your door. Most security bars will have rubber on the foot (the part that’s placed on the ground) and on the yoke (the part that prevents harm to door handles) to ensure it won’t cause damage, like scratches in wood floors.
Different parts of the bar, like the endcaps, bases, and handle yokes, also might be covered in rubber to protect the floor and door and provide better grip. Other security devices, like a door wedge, might have a combination of plastic and steel materials.
Most security bars fit standard-size doorknob heights and have an adjustable length. According to the International Building Code, doorknob heights should be between 34 and 48 inches. In case a door’s handle is higher or lower than average, shoppers should measure the doorknob’s height from the floor to the doorknob and check the product details to make sure a device will work with a particular door before purchasing.
For sliding glass doors, measure from the wall to the sliding door to see what size security bar is needed. While standard glass doors range between 60 and 72 inches wide, some sliding doors are much wider; there are two-panel sliding glass doors that can be up to 96 inches wide.
If purchasing a jammer or a wedge, measure from the floor to the bottom of the door and check that the measurement is compatible with the product details.
Depending on the type of door security bar chosen, installation can involve fasteners or simply pressure.
Bars that are more permanent are usually screwed in place. Some locks are installed like hinges on the door frame. There are floor plates screwed to the floor or horizontal bars that require brackets on either side of the door. Security bars for sliding doors require brackets that are screwed into the wall and the door. These installations don’t easily budge.
Other devices like door jammers or wedges use pressure to stay in place and resist the force of someone trying to break in by kicking down a door. Other pressure-based security bars are installed under a doorknob with a base on the floor made of steel and most likely covered in rubber.
Security bars for sliding doors and windows can also use force to stay in place. It’s best not to have a floor mat or loose carpet under the bar when using this type. If the bar isn’t creating pressure directly with the floor with continuous kicking force, the floor mat or carpet might allow the bar to move. Once the bar is moved out of place, an intruder might gain access.
Choosing a security bar that adjusts can be helpful, as not all doors fit standard measurements. Perhaps a doorknob is placed higher than average, the door gap is higher off the floor, or the size of the sliding door isn’t compatible with the security bar a buyer wants.
Most bars can adjust anywhere between 22.25 inches up to 51 inches for hinged doors and 22.25 inches up to 47.5 inches for sliding doors. Most come with hole notches for adjusting the bar, and adjusting usually means pushing down on a button, sliding the bar, and letting the button pop up in the next hole. There also are door jammers that allow users to add height when the bottom of the door has a larger than typical gap.
Some bars work for both hinged doors and sliding doors, and they adjust to different sizes, depending on how the bar is configured. If using a bar for a hinged door with both the base and yoke in place, the maximum length will be longer than if removing the base and the yoke for a sliding door.
The specific product details usually indicate the security device’s size range compatibility to ensure it works with a particular door.
Our Top Picks
We tested the following door security devices for ease of setup, strength, and durability. If you’re in need of extra protection, one of them could be an excellent choice. Read on to find out why we selected them as among the best door security bars available.
Engender peace of mind with a security bar that can hold back over 3,000 pounds. This SecuraDoor bar has a one-handed installation for use on hinged doors. Slide the yoke under the doorknob and position the bar at an angle of about 25 degrees; on a 36-inch-high doorknob, that’s about 15 inches from the door.
The handle rotates and provides pressure to hold the door in place. If needed, alter the height of the bar with the adjustment collar by inserting the pin and moving the inner tube to the correct position. The bar adjusts to work with doorknobs between 34 and 48 inches high.
The material that covers the footplate provides adhesion to different types of floor surfaces, including carpet, tile, hardwood, concrete, and vinyl flooring. The footplate also provides maximum surface contact. Made of heavy-duty aluminum alloy and durable thermoplastic elastomer, the security door bar weighs 3.2 pounds.
The SecuraDoor door bar immediately impressed us with its stout 3-pound heavy-duty presence. The snug-fitting two-piece rectangular aluminum shaft had almost no wobble once it was pinned into position. The shaft locking pin was easy to operate and held strong. The oversize foot and tilting doorknob bracket easily settled into an extremely secure angle so that the door did not budge when we attempted to push it open, regardless of the floor surface. Though a bit pricey, it proved to be the easiest door security bar to install and offered the strongest hold.
- Type: Door security bar
- Material: Heavy-duty aluminum alloy and durable thermoplastic elastomer
- Length: 34 to 48 inches
- Withstands 3,000 pounds of pressure
- Easy to install and remove
- Built-in adjustment collar
- Suitable for carpet, tile, hardwood, concrete, and vinyl flooring
- Bulkier and heavier than other door security bars
Get the MSIC Global door security bar on Amazon or MSIC Global.
Additional home security can be affordable. This well-priced security bar from Master Lock can secure both hinged doors and sliding doors. The bar adjusts between 30.5 and 45 inches for hinged doors, and it adjusts between 27.5 and 42 inches for use with sliding doors.
To prevent forced entry on a hinged door, set the bar to the correct height, place the padded base at about 15 to 18 inches from the door, place the yoke under the handle, and slide the bottom toward the door until the bar is snug. For a sliding door, remove the pin holding the yoke in place, position the bar along the bottom of the door, and adjust the length accordingly, making sure the silver button pops up into the correct hole.
When set up for use on a hinged door, the pivoting ball joint provides complete contact with the floor, and the padded foot ensures a secure grip without scratching. Made of 20-gauge steel, this portable and compact bar is ideal for home or travel.
We liked that the Master Lock door security bar is convertible for either sliding or hinged doors. Although the detachable doorknob bracket does not offer an angle-adjustment feature, we were able to fit the bar in place easily thanks to the swivel foot and spring-button height adjustment with positions at 1-cm increments. The rubber pad on the bottom of the foot didn’t budge when we attempted to force open the door. The only questionable aspect of this device was the increasing amount of wobble between the two telescoping shaft segments with increased height. It felt most secure up to about three-quarters of its maximum height.
- Type: Door security bar
- Material: 20-gauge steel
- Length: 30.5 to 45 inches (hinged doors), 27.5 to 42 inches (sliding doors)
- Suitable for hinged or sliding doors
- Padded base is built in
- Easy to install and remove
- Padded feet included
- Doorknob bracket angle is not adjustable
- Slight wobble in the 2-piece shaft
Get the Master Lock door security bar at Amazon, Ace Hardware, or The Home Depot.
Ideal for travel, this door lock brace from DoorJammer measures 4.25 inches tall by 1.58 inches wide by 2.76 inches deep, fitting easily inside a laptop bag, suitcase, or backpack. The jammer provides security in hotel rooms, dorms, or even the office. Insert the base in the gap between the door and the floor and turn the screw.
It requires only 0.125 inch of clearance, but it can adapt to work with doors that have high thresholds. If the door has a large opening at the bottom, the door lock comes with an extension foot—place it under the base and turn the screw in place.
The device also comes with a set of four spacers to use at the top of the door. The spacers can provide extra strength in frames with more significant gaps at the top of the door, although using them is not required. In an emergency, use the quick-release function to remove the lock without releasing the screw first. Made of steel, the 8-ounce door lock is compatible with carpet, tile, and laminate floors.
For testing, both of our exterior doors fit too tightly at the floor to put the DoorJammer through its paces. The device required a little more clearance beneath the door than our weather stripping and door sweep would permit. We tried it on our bedroom and bathroom doors with 0.25 to 0.5 inch of clearance, and it worked perfectly. When we attempted to open the secured door, the door flexed due to the leverage, but the device held without slipping. It takes a minute to install and adjust the DoorJammer, but the unit is surprisingly strong, easy to pack, and inexpensive.
- Type: Door jammer
- Material: Alloy steel
- Length: Requires 0.3 inches of clearance
- Suitable for hotel rooms, dorm rooms, and offices
- Lightweight and compact
- 4 spacers included
- Extension foot included
- Setup may take several minutes
Get the DoorJammer security bar on Amazon, Penn Elcom, or DoorJammer.
This horizontal security bar from Doorricade provides a high-strength barrier to home invasion, without introducing a potential trip hazard into the room. Instead of propping a removable brace diagonally between the doorknob and the floor, this system mounts flush against the entire width of the door. The solid-aluminum bar locks into heavy-duty mounting brackets on the door frame. It is tamperproof from the exterior, made of rugged materials, and is easy to install.
To install this Doorricade model, first mount the paintable hinge brackets at the desired height inside the door jamb. Then install via the 3-inch screws, which are long enough to reach the wall studs on both sides of the door. Once in place, the hinge moves back and forth so it can swing out of the way when not in use. To secure the door, position the hinges and place the bar inside.
For those with windows on either side of the door, the bar comes with cable locks that tie it in place. The tie locks ensure that intruders cannot break the window and remove the bar to gain entry. The solid-aluminum bar also comes with a spacer that fills the gap between the bar and the door. Place the wedge on the side of the door that opens, near the handle. Tamperproof from the outside, this door bar is 38 inches long and fits standard 36-inch-wide doors.
In our tests, the Doorricade door bar offered the strongest security of all the models tested, but its application was noticeably limited. Our original test door did not have a wide enough gap between the edge of the door and the door frame to fit the mounting hardware. (We tested it on a different door, rather than make it work by removing the door and routering the door frame.) Also, even though the brackets swing out of the way when not in use, the look of the installed hardware is completely utilitarian and not attractive enough for a residential entryway.
Once installed, the aluminum bar was incredibly stout and secure. There was no movement when we attempted to open the door. The bar itself was easy to secure in place, remove, and store out of the way when not in use. It would make an excellent option for a garage or workshop walk-through door that may otherwise be susceptible to intrusion.
- Type: Horizontal door bar
- Material: Aluminum
- Length: 38 inches
- Hardware mounts to the existing door frame
- Cable locks included
- Spacer included
- Tamperproof construction
- Requires permanently installed hardware
- Unsightly installation brackets
Get the Doorricade door security bar on Amazon or Doorricade.
Anyone looking for a versatile way to secure a sliding patio door should look into this model from Ideal Security. The aluminum bar’s design means that there’s no need to bend down to remove the device when going in and out, and it provides security even if the door is partially open to allow fresh air inside. It also includes a childproof lock to keep little ones safe.
The bar adjusts between 25.75 and 47.5 inches, and it installs with screws in the middle of the door instead of at the bottom. Because the bar is mounted to the door frame with screws, it cannot be jarred out of place. The childproof lock prevents the bar from being lifted without first releasing the lock. When not in use, the bar swings up and stays out of the way.
In testing, the lightweight door bar proved very easy to install and use and offered an excellent strength-to-weight ratio. Basic installation in the sliding-door frame required just two screws. The telescoping adjustment feature, which works by friction instead of spring buttons or pins, offers unlimited positioning between the minimum and maximum lengths. The optional childproof latch is easy to operate one-handed. We also liked how it folds up into a visually unobtrusive position parallel with the door frame when not in use.
This would make an excellent choice for any sliding patio door. Just take care not to use heavy downward pressure on the bar when it is in the horizontal position. This lightweight aluminum device holds up against the linear pressure of an attempted door opening, but it can be bent with sideways force. Doing so places unnecessary, potentially damaging stress on the hinge and screws.
- Type: Door security bar
- Material: Aluminum
- Length: 25.75 to 47.5 inches
- Childproof design
- Easy to install, adjust, or remove
- Affordable price point
- Not recommended for windows
- Lightweight aluminum construction
Get the Ideal Security door bar on Amazon or at The Home Depot.
Sabre’s door wedge easily slides under an inward-opening door and sounds off a 120-decibel siren when someone applies pressure to the door in a break-in attempt. The alarm is loud enough to be heard up to 1,000 feet away. The door wedge needs a 9-volt battery to operate, and it provides a battery status update with a low-battery indicator.
The wedge has a nonskid pad that also prevents entry and will work on most floorings, including carpet. This door wedge can be taken along when traveling for alarmed security away from home.
The Sabre door stop alarm’s combined protection method proved highly effective in our test. After turning it on and placing it as close to the door as possible, we attempted to open the door. The alarm was triggered immediately, even before the door motion stopped, and it was piercingly, painfully loud. The wedge stopped the door from opening almost immediately, with less than 2 inches of movement.
It is important to note that this wedge will be most effective on doors with less than 1-inch of clearance above the floor. Doors with higher clearance may not engage the pressure plate to trigger the alarm and may not be stopped as easily by the 1.5-inch-tall wedge.
- Type: Door wedge
- Material: Plastic and metal
- Length: 10 inches
- 120-decibel alarm system; can be heard from 1,000 feet away
- Battery status and low-battery indicators included
- Built in nonskid pad
- Lightweight, compact design
Get the Sabre door security wedge at Amazon, Ace Hardware, or The Home Depot.
This subtle floor-level brace holds standard, French, or double doors securely without attracting attention. The installed brace rises just 3 inches above the floor. When the brace is removed, its low-profile mounting bracket mostly fades from view.
The aluminum brace comes with 2-inch-long screws for drilling into floors and plastic anchors for mounting on ceramic tiles, marble, or concrete floors. Simply drill it to the floor and slide the locking mechanism in place.
The base plate requires a minimum of 0.5 inch to a maximum of 2 inches of clearance between the bottom of the door and the floor. Once installed and locked, the barricade relies on the strength of the floor to withstand break-ins and someone trying to kick in the door.
For testing, we installed the Nightlock on a laminate floor with a wood subfloor in less than 5 minutes. Operation was simple and extremely secure. The door did not budge when the brace was installed, and it slid in and out of place effortlessly. This could be an outstanding security addition for French or double doors since it can be aligned to hold both doors at once, even though it is less than 10 inches long.
However, we didn’t like that it requires a permanently installed base plate in the middle of the walkway, which seemed like it may be a trip hazard. But we do believe it to be much more convenient to slide the device in place every night instead of a bulky door bar.
- Type: Door wedge
- Material: Aluminum
- Length: 9.5 inches
- Works on multiple door types
- Can be placed on or drilled into floors
- Built-in plastic anchors
- Works on ceramic tiles, marble, and concrete
- Permanent hardware installation required
- Requires 0.5 to 2-inch under-door clearance
- May not be suitable for wood floors
Get the Nightlock door security bar on Amazon or Nightlock.
To add security at multiple entrances or windows, consider this SecurityMan model, which works on hinged doors, sliding doors, and windows. It can adjust between 22.25 inches and 43.7 inches for a hinged door. For a sliding door or window, it can adapt to between 22.25 inches and 39.5 inches. It has 15 notched holes for adjustability.
The bar comes with interchangeable caps depending on the application. For hinged doors, the caps have one end that fits under the door handle and one end that has an adjustable angled rubber bottom that assures complete contact, plus a nonslip grip that won’t scratch the floor. For a sliding door or a window, the ends have rubberized caps that fit over the bar.
The high-grade iron bar works on a variety of different flooring types, including tile, wood, concrete, marble, linoleum, laminate, and more. The bar can withstand 350 pounds of pressure yet weighs just 3 pounds.
We tested SecurityMan door bars on both a sliding door and a hinged door, and it worked fairly well but not perfectly for both. The telescoping adjustment clicks into place with spring-button notches spaced about 3.25 cm apart. For our sliding door, the most secure setting allowed about 1.5 cm of movement. It held the hinged door tightly, but we had to experiment with the height adjustment for the best fit because of the fixed angle of the removable foot and door knob bracket adaptors. While we liked the keep-it-simple, adaptable approach to security, we found that the stripped-down multipurpose design made this pick just a little less than ideal for either application.
- Type: Door security bar
- Material: Iron
- Length: 22.25 to 43.7 inches
- Works on doors or windows; suitable for hinged and sliding doors
- 15 notched holes included
- Interchangeable caps built in
- Adjustable angled rubber bottom
- Fixed angle at the doorknob bracket and foot
- Longer increments between length settings
- Not suitable for use on carpets
Get the SecurityMan door security bar at Amazon, Target (one-pack), or Wayfair (one-pack).
For a reliable security option, the MSIC Global door security bar is our Best Overall pick for door security. It works with any floor covering and includes height adjustments to fit any hinged door. Alternatively, for a budget- and travel-friendly option, the DoorJammer security bar is small and lightweight enough to fit in the palm of a hand or pack in a suitcase but holds home or hotel doors fast against intrusion.
How We Tested the Best Door Security Bars
We researched and vetted 26 of the most popular door security bars, door jammers, and door wedges to create this guide. Our findings indicated that the models with the best user reviews included several similar designs that were lightweight, easy to use, and worked with different flooring types. Sturdy, versatile door security bars were most popular for back-, side-, and front- door applications, while reliable portable wedges and jammers were frequent picks for travelers. Our final lineup included a mix of the different types.
We spent more than 8 hours installing and testing each of the door security devices in this guide according to the manufacturers’ instructions. Our test home offered a sliding patio door, a hinged exterior door adjacent to laminate flooring, and a hinged exterior door adjacent to a carpeted floor. After installing each device, noting the time and difficulty of installation as well as the interior stability, we attempted to open the door from the outside. We noted any movement of the door or of the device itself.
The products included in our list of the best door security bars all held securely. Some may have been more or less difficult to install, or may have a few drawbacks that hinder some applications, but any of them could make a good choice for upgrading home security.
For more information about door security bars, check out the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. If additional concerns arise, contact the manufacturer for more specific information about a particular product.
Q. How can I make my front door more secure?
To reinforce the front door where the deadbolt goes into the door frame, you can replace the screws in the strike plate with 3-inch screws. You also can use a security bar or device to help increase the security on a door.
Q. How can I make my apartment door more secure?
A security bar that uses pressure or a door jammer can be added on an apartment door. Finding one of these that includes an alarm would also bolster security, as it would deter the intruder as well as alert you and even neighbors in the event of an attempted break-in.
Q. Can I use door security bars on my windows?
Yes, some security bars can be used on windows as well as doors. The interchangeable ends make it possible to fit the bar in a window or door frame and provide security for sliding windows.
Q. Can I use door security bars to secure my doors when I’m not home?
Security bars and devices require someone inside the house to unlock them. You can secure all entrances but one with security bars when you are not at home. Choose to secure the doors you feel are more susceptible to break-ins. If you have a door that connects to the garage, you could secure every door of the house but that one.
Q. How are security bars installed on a sliding door?
There are bars made specifically for sliding doors. A bracket is drilled into the wall door frame and another bracket is drilled into the door. The bar is then placed inside both brackets, preventing the door from being opened.
Some bars use double-sided tape instead of screws and pressure. Installing a regular security bar on a sliding door can involve removing one end. Sometimes both ends are interchangeable with different endcaps, so the bar can fit inside the bottom of the door.