A home safe provides peace of mind when you’ve got cash, important documents, jewelry, and other valuables in the house. The best home safes protect birth certificates, passports, marriage licenses, and deeds, alongside family heirlooms and emergency cash. While basic models safeguard against theft, higher-end ones also offer fire protection and keep precious belongings dry in a flood.
Security measures in home safes range from mechanical locks and deadbolts to keypads and biometric barriers. Learn about the different types, the security they offer, and why these picks are among the best home safe choices.
- BEST OVERALL: SentrySafe SFW123GDC Fireproof and Waterproof Safe
- RUNNER UP: Viking Security Safe VS-25BL Biometric Safe
- BEST LOCKBOX: SentrySafe CHW20221 Fireproof and Waterproof Box
- BEST BIOMETRIC: Viking Security Safe VS-50BLX Large Biometric Safe
- BEST WALL SAFE: Paragon Lock & Safe 7725 Superior Wall Safe
- BEST DECOY: Jssmst Book Safe with Combination Lock
- BEST MINI: Amazon Basics Slim Desk Drawer Security Safe
- BEST CAPACITY: SentrySafe EF4738E Fireproof Waterproof Safe
- BEST PORTABLE: Master Lock 5900D Portable Safe
- ALSO CONSIDER: Stalwart Digital Safe
Types of Home Safes
Home safes keep your valuables safe from individual dangers like theft, fire, or water, but not every model safeguards against all of these threats. If you are most concerned about one particular type of threat, consider it as you choose the best home safe for your needs. Also, consider what you plan to store in your home safe.
Heavy insulation in fire safes protects their contents from heat, smoke, and sometimes water. Often small and portable, many fire safes open with a simple key or combination. Fire safes are rated by the global safety consulting and certification company Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and other agencies based on the length of time the interior of the safe can remain below a certain temperature when the exterior has reached fire-level temperatures.
For best performance, place a fire safe on concrete, such as on a garage or basement floor. A typical fire-resistant safe will stay below 350 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 30 minutes when exposed to fire. For more sensitive contents, like computer disks or DVDs, consider a safe that will stay below 125 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, keep in mind that not all fire safes protect against burglary.
A burglary safe, constructed with thick, insulated walls; a heavy door; and other safety features, provides both theft protection and fire resistance. These models are tough enough to keep both thieves and fire out. Some also include water-resistant features. Burglary safes are available in two main forms:
- Stand-alone safes don’t install into a wall or floor recess. They come in a variety of sizes, from small portable safes to large standing units. They tend to have a heavier and sturdier build, and their thicker walls provide added protection against theft and fire.
- Wall safes install into a recess in the wall, usually between two wall studs. Similarly, floor safes sit in a recess in the floor. You can conceal these safes behind a painting or a cabinet or under a rug to add another layer of security. However, they aren’t very large and tend to have thinner walls and doors.
Jewelry is easy fodder for burglars. Keeping jewelry tucked away in a home safe adds an extra layer of security.
While most jewelry fits in any home safe, certain features help protect precious pieces while they’re in storage. Protective shelving, such as soft carpeted or felted shelves, helps prevent scratches and dings on expensive jewelry. Hanging hooks prevent tangles in chains and other baubles.
While less secure, a locked jewelry wall armoire is one alternative. These units mount to the wall and include plenty of organizers and hanging spaces to keep jewelry beautifully displayed inside. To secure jewelry, locking armoires may deter curious children or opportunistic burglars.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Home Safe
Home safety boxes secure some of the most valuable items in your home, so it’s important to find a reliable option. When choosing the best home safe for your home, consider its protective capabilities, size, weight, lock type, and any additional convenience or security features that are important to you.
Home safe ratings take into consideration both the safe’s construction and its ability to thwart forced-entry attempts. Underwriters Laboratories (UL) rates some safes, but not all safes on the market come with ratings.
Generally, the heavier and thicker the safe’s walls and doors, the higher the rating. The higher the rating, the higher the price for the safe. Common burglary ratings include:
- B-rated: Recommended for storing $5,000 or less in valuables.
- B/C-rated: For up to $10,000 in content value.
- RSC: For up to $15,000 in content value.
- C-rated: For up to $30,000 in content value.
- TL-15: Recommended for storing up to $100,000 in valuables, the safe will withstand a 15-minute attack with common tools and devices.
Size and Weight
Home safes range from small, portable options to large, freestanding units. The ideal home safe should offer enough room for the items you plan to store plus a bit of wiggle room for valuables you may acquire in the future. Stack the items you plan to store and measure the stack’s dimensions to determine the appropriate size for your home safe.
Home safes measure around 0.5 to 1.3 cubic feet, with smaller and larger options available. An average-size 1.2-cubic-foot safe weighs around 100 pounds. Although they may be tougher to set up and move around, the heavy weight of a permanent safe adds an extra layer of security against theft.
Home safes may require a key, a combination, an electronic keypad code, or biometric data to access their contents.
Classic key or combination locks don’t require a power source. Just insert the key or enter the combination to unlock the safe. One downside of a key lock is the risk of losing the key. If you choose a safe with a combination lock, look for an option with a backup key to prevent locking yourself out.
The next step up in complexity is a home safe with an electronic keypad, for which users enter their access code into the keypad rather than turning a combination dial. Lastly, biometric locks have an advanced fingerprint sensor that reads your fingerprint and unlocks if it matches a print in the fingerprint library. Electronic keypads and biometric scanners need a power source, such as batteries or an AC outlet.
Water-resistant safes protect valuables from flooding, leaks, and other costly water damage. Consider whether waterproofing is necessary for your needs depending on your location and where the safe is stored. Water exposure may be more of a concern in flood-prone areas or for a safe stored in a basement.
Some safes protect against minor water exposure, like splashes or shallow water, while others can be completely submerged for a specified length of time. For submersion protection, consider a safe with an ETL Waterproof Verification. The independent Electrical Testing Laboratories (ETL) gives its seal of approval to safes that can withstand a certain level of water exposure for a specified timeframe.
Home safes may include a range of extra features for added security, convenience, and accessibility, including bolting hardware, adjustable shelves, protective carpet, and lighting.
- Bolting hardware helps secure a stand-alone safe to the ground. A bolted safe is extremely difficult for burglars to remove, adding an extra layer of security against theft.
- Adjustable shelves and removable shelves allow you to organize the space inside the safe.
- Protective carpet guards valuables from scratches. Some safes include protective carpeting along the interior shelves or walls. This added feature gives items like jewelry a soft place to land.
- Lighting helps you see the items inside the safe, even in dim conditions. Home safes may feature interior lighting or keypad lighting. Some electronic keypads include backlighting to make it easier to enter the code.
Our Top Picks
A home safe keeps its contents safe from perils like theft, fire, and water damage. They give you peace of mind knowing that your valuable items, irreplaceable heirlooms, and important documents will survive these threats. Keep your prized possessions safe in the best home safe. Choose yours from among these top picks.
Deter theft and enjoy protection from both fire and water with this highly rated, reasonably priced fireproof and waterproof home safe. Sturdy steel, four live-locking bolts, a pry-resistant hinge bar, and bolt-down hardware keep valuables and important documents safe and secure.
Its 1.23-cubic-foot capacity keeps sensitive materials like USB drives, CDs, and DVDs away from fire and water. It can withstand fire, heat, and smoke for up to 1 hour and keep contents dry for up to 24 hours in 8 inches of water. A digital keypad with backup key provides extra security. Other notable features include an interior light and a locking drawer.
Secure money, jewelry, and other small valuables in the compact Viking Security Biometric Safe. In addition to a 20 millimeter deadbolt locking system with two pry-resistant steel locking bars, the safe also requires your unique fingerprint to unlock the door. Program up to 32 fingerprints or use the backup PIN code to allow others access to the safe.
This small safe measures 10 inches by 14 inches by 10 inches. Inside, it has an adjustable shelf, an interior LED light, and carpet to protect contents from scratches or other damage. A warning beep alerts users when they forget to lock the door. Keep in mind, however, this safe is not fire- or water-resistant.
Documents, CDs, and USB drives remain safe from fire and water in this sturdy lockbox from SentrySafe. Measuring 14.3 inches by 15.4 inches by 6.6 inches, this small lockbox holds passports, wallets, cash, and digital media inside the roomy main compartment and along the in-lid organizer straps. A carrying handle makes it easy to grab in an emergency or use as a travel safe.
A tubular key lock adds a layer of security and prevents the lid from opening in a fire. This UL-rated lockbox withstands 30 minutes of fire at 1,550 degrees Fahrenheit. It withstands up to 72 hours of water submersion, according to its ETL verification.
For quick and easy access to valuables, consider this biometric safe from Viking Security. The 20 inch by 14 inch by 12-inch safe unlocks in a fraction of a second with the scan of a registered fingerprint. The fingerprint library saves up to 32 fingerprints to give family members or workers safe access. Users may also enter a PIN code or use the backup key to open the safe.
This roomy safe keeps intruders out with heavy-duty locking bolts and a pry-resistant design. To keep valuables organized and protected inside, it has three adjustable shelves, built-in LED lighting, and a soft, fully carpeted interior.
This unassuming wall safe provides an extra layer of security by hiding items behind a door that’s flush with the wall. The discreet Paragon Lock & Safe wall safe fits between existing wall studs for simple installation. Once installed, the door closes flat, which makes it easy to conceal the safe behind a painting or cupboard.
This shallow wall safe measures 4 inches by 16 inches by 22 inches, which provides ample space for cash, jewelry, documents, and small heirlooms. Users access the safe through an LED keypad, which holds master and guest codes, or one of two included manual override keys. While this safe is not fire- or water-resistant, it does include an extra theft-busting feature: An automatic alarm sounds after three incorrect code entries to alert anyone nearby of the entry attempt.
Keep valuables hidden in plain sight with this book safe from Jssmst. Made to look like a dictionary, this concealed safe blends right in on a bookshelf or desk with room inside for passports, jewelry, and other small valuables.
This book safe doesn’t have the robust security features of a heavy-duty home safe. Instead, the concealed design and combination lock provide security. The metal lockbox sits inside a realistic book cover, complete with textured sides to mimic pages. Although not fire- or water-resistant, this hidden book safe can camouflage valuables in a dorm room, office, or other space to thwart opportunistic thieves.
Tuck away valuables in a desk drawer with this slim security safe from Amazon Basics. Measuring 11.8 inches by 8.6 inches by 4.4 inches, this small home safe fits in a standard sliding drawer. Access the contents through the electronic keypad or included backup key.
Small but mighty, this safe doesn’t skimp on security features. Two secure door bolts and pry-resistant, concealed hinges work together to deter thieves. Predrilled mounting holes and installation hardware allow for secure installation into a drawer. But this lockbox doesn’t have to live in a drawer. The compact design makes this slim safe a good fit for a closet shelf or other small space.
Store larger keepsakes and valuables, including firearms, inside this roomy home safe from SentrySafe. With three carpeted interior shelves and 4.71 cubic feet of space, it makes a great fit for valuables that go beyond basic documents.
This secure safe protects documents, keepsakes, jewelry, firearms, digital media, and other valuables from theft, fire, and water. It features five live-locking bolts, four deadbolts, a solid-steel design, and a bolt-down kit for advanced theft protection. The safe withstands temperatures of up to 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 30 minutes and 72 hours submerged in up to a foot of water, according to ETL verification.
Measuring 9.4 inches by 5.1 inches by 2.2 inches, this portable safe from Master Lock keeps valuables safe on the go. Its compact size offers plenty of room for small items like phones, keys, cash, and credit cards wherever they’re needed.
The slim, water-resistant case stows easily in a suitcase, backpack, or work bag. A shock-absorbent foam lining protects the contents inside. A simple combination lock includes a built-in security cable to anchor the safe to a fixed object to prevent theft.
Made to store small valuables, this portable safe from Stalwart offers an affordable option for at home or on the road. This lightweight safe makes a great place to store cash, jewelry, passports, and hard-to-replace documents. An LED keypad lock, which stores master and guest codes, protects all contents. Two manual override keys offer a smart backup.
This safe measures 12.2 inches by 7.9 inches by 7.9 inches, making it easy to store in an office desk drawer or hide in the back of a closet. Although it does not protect against fire or water, this safe is a basic, budget-friendly pick to deter theft.
FAQs About Home Safes
A home safe is one part of a robust home security plan to keep you and your valuables safe. These relatively inexpensive units can give you peace of mind against theft, fire, and water damage. Read on for frequently asked questions about choosing and using your new home safe.
Q. What is a home safe made out of?
The best home safes are made of heavy steel, a half-inch-thick door, and quarter-inch walls.
Q. What should I look for when buying a safe?
Look for a safe that protects against your target concerns, whether theft, fire, water, or all three. A burglary safe should have a heavy-duty lock, anti-pry design, and a mounting option to secure the safe to a surface. For reliable fire protection and water resistance, look for an ETL-verified home safe.
Q. What is the most secure home safe?
The SentrySafe SFW123GDC Fireproof and Waterproof Safe is one of the most secure home safe options, with excellent protection against theft, fire, and water.
Q. Where is the best place to put a safe in your house?
Choose a spot that is as hidden as possible to prevent theft, but that is also accessible enough so you can grab items when you need them. Try to avoid placing the safe in an area that is at high risk for humid conditions or flooding.
A home safe for valuables, keepsakes, and documents provides peace of mind and is a key part of any home security plan. The best home safes protect your valuables against perils like theft, fire, and water. Combined with a home security system, they can ensure that your most important items make it through destructive or dangerous events.