If you keep precious jewelry, documents, and/or heirlooms at home, you may want to conceal these items in a wall safe. These clever devices are designed to fit recessed between wall studs, offering ample space to stow small valuables. Wall safes are installed by cutting a hole in the drywall with a drywall saw, sliding the safe into the space, and then bolting the sides of the safe (from the inside) to the adjacent wall studs. Then, once the goods are locked up, the safe itself can be concealed from view with a mirror or painting, making it far more secure than a desk drawer or jewel box atop a dresser.
Wall safes are designed to fit within the standard 14.5-inch space between wall studs with the front of the safe flush with the surface of the wall. If you’re looking to secure prized possessions at home, check out these picks for some of the best wall safes.
- BEST OVERALL: Paragon Lock & Safe – 7725 Superior Wall Safe
- BEST BIOMETRIC WALL SAFE: Viking Security Safe VS-52BLX Biometric Fingerprint
- BEST RIFLE WALL SAFE: V-Line Closet Vault II Gun Safe
- BEST DIGITAL WALL SAFE: Paragon Lock & Safe 7700 Flat Electronic Wall Safe
- BEST FIREPROOF WALL SAFE: BUYaSafe WES2113-DF Fire Resistant Electronic Safe
- BEST HIDDEN WALL SAFE: Paragon Lock & Safe 7750 Electronic Hidden Safe
- BEST WALL SAFE FOR JEWELRY: V-Line Quick Vault Locking Storage for Valuables
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Wall Safe
For many who invest in a wall safe, the desire to keep the safe out of sight is nearly as important as keeping the interior contents secure. A wall safe, which sits between framing studs, is relatively shallow (less than 5 inches deep) and can be disguised by hanging a piece of art over it.
Accessibility and Locking Mechanism
Wall safes come with four main types of locks, each with pros and cons. Consider which of the following types best suit your home and security needs.
- Biometric: This type of locking mechanism requires only a fingerprint or retinal scan to open the safe, making it among the quickest and easiest to open. Depending on the model, multiple fingerprints or retinal scans can be stored in the memory to allow a range of users access.
- Combination dial: This is the same type of lock still found on many school gym lockers, and it has a tried-and-true history of keeping valuables safe. The user spins the dial once or twice and then turns it back and forth to a preset combination to open the lock.
- Numerical keypad: Common on many of today’s safes, a numerical keypad requires the user to enter a four- to eight-digit code in sequence. The keypad is usually powered by a battery that can be replaced without opening the safe.
- Keyed lock: Sometimes the only lock on a wall safe is a keyed lock, although often a key is a backup for another type of lock, such as a combination dial or a numerical keypad. If you forget a combination, having a key to open the lock will save you a locksmith’s fee.
Heavy-gauge steel and steel alloys are the materials of choice for most of today’s wall safes. The exterior steel may be powder coated to reduce the risk of rust and corrosion. Safe interiors vary and may contain foam with cutouts designed to hold various handguns or fabric shelf lining to protect jewelry from becoming scratched.
Wall safes are typically fairly small because residential construction standards limit the width and depth of the space in which they sit. Standard residential stud spacing is 16 inches from the center of one stud to the center of the next, which leaves only 14.5 inches of space between the studs. The stud space’s depth will be either 4 inches in a 2×4 wall or 6 inches in a 2×6 wall, making wall safes relatively shallow; the depth measurement factors in the thickness of 0.5-inch drywall, which is standard on residential walls. Allowing for the room taken up by the safe’s steel walls, the interior depth may be as little as 3 inches. All that said, tall and narrow wall safes for long gun storage are available, and a few deeper safes install in 2X8 walls, but since this is not standard framing, you may have to hire a contractor to build a wall this deep.
The quality of a wall safe depends on its construction and the strength of its locking mechanism. Wall safes are not quite as secure, on average, as freestanding safes because wall safes have less room to include thicker, fire-safe walls. Still, within this category, a range of quality is found, from lightweight steel safes that can be pried open with a crowbar, to heavier-gauge safes with multiple locking bars and pry-resistant doors.
You can find wall safes with digital memories that record every attempt to access the safe as well as safes that will emit an alarm if an unauthorized person attempts to open them. Others may include interior lighting allowing the user to retrieve valuables in the dark, or a silent mode to enable them to open the safe without the telltale beeps a digital pad usually makes.
Tips for Buying and Using the Best Wall Safe
Wall safes attach to the inside of a house’s stud walls, so make sure you purchase a safe that’s sized correctly for your wall framing. Safes designed to fit in 2×6 stud walls will not work in 2×4 stud walls.
- Use a stud finder (an electronic tool that senses stud location beneath drywall) to learn the location of the studs, so you can accurately cut the drywall between them. If you don’t have a stud finder, look for small nail holes in the baseboard trim, as those nails are hammered into wall studs.
- You’ll want to avoid damaging any wires that may lay behind the drywall where you want to place your safe, so carefully cut a small hole between the studs first to check for wires. Typically, if wires are in a stud space, they will be attached to the inside of one of the studs. Additionally, wires are often run horizontally through stud spaces about 1.5 feet up from floor level, so you might want to choose a spot a bit higher for your safe.
- Wall safes feature holes inside that allow you to bolt the safe to the studs on either side.
Our Top Picks
To qualify as a Top Pick, a wall safe should be strong and secure enough to deter thieves yet simple to open by its rightful owner. The following wall safes install within the stud space between two wall studs. While the width measurements below exceed the available space between studs on 16-inch centers, those measurements indicate the safe’s face frame—the box portion of each—is no wider than 14.5 inches and will slide between the studs.
If you’re looking for a good wall safe to store jewelry and other valuables, the Paragon Lock & Safe 7725 Superior Wall Safe is a solid choice. It features robust 0.8-inch steel walls and tamper-proof hinges. The inside shelves have soft gray matting that won’t scratch jewelry or other delicate items.
The Paragon safe comes with both a digital keypad and a keyed lock in case you forget the code. It can also be programmed to emit a buzzing alarm if someone tries to access the safe without permission. The safe measures 22 inches high, 16.25 inches wide, and is 4 inches deep. Bolts are included for attaching the sides of the safe to the adjacent wall studs.
No need to remember a combination or where you stashed a key with the Viking Security Safe Biometric Fingerprint Wall Safe. Its optical sensor can scan and store up to 32 different fingerprints, so anyone with permission can open it. Once you scan a fingerprint, simply position the same finger on the optical sensor, and the lock will open. You also can program in a backup numerical combination, if desired.
The steel body of the safe bolts to adjacent wall studs, and the laser-cut surface flange fits tightly against the drywall to keep anyone from prying the safe away. Two motorized locking bolts secure the door when closed, and the inside features three adjustable shelves and a built-in LED light for easy viewing. The outside of the safe measures 19 inches high and 14 inches wide, with a depth of 4 inches.
Secure your hunting rifle or long gun safely in the V-Line Closet Vault II Gun Safe. The V-Line fits inside the wall and bolts securely to adjacent 2×4 studs, but, unlike other wall safes, the V-Line is not designed for hiding behind a wall hanging. Instead, the surface of the cabinet protrudes approximately 2 inches outward from the wall, so it will be visible in the room.
The V-Line safe is made from 14-gauge steel, features a three-point locking bolt system, and comes with a mechanical push button lock and a programmable combination. The rifle safe measures 50 inches high, 18 inches wide, and 5.75 inches deep, and the interior is roomy enough to safely store up to two long guns.
In an era of multiple passwords and codes, the Paragon Lock & Safe Electronic Wall Safe offers a safety net in case you can’t remember the combination. It features a programmable electronic keypad in which you can store a combination between three and eight digits long, but in the event you forget the code, you can open the safe with the included master key.
Made from solid steel, the safe recesses between standard wall studs, bolts securely to the studs, and lies flush against the wall surface to be covered by a piece of art or mirror. Two heavy steel bolts lock the door in place. And the safe features two adjustable shelves for stashing a variety of documents and valuables. The Paragon safe measures 22 inches high, 16.25 inches wide, and 4 inches deep.
You needn’t worry about your valuables being damaged by fire with the BUYaSafe Electronic Wall Safe, which is designed to be installed in 2×8 framing members in custom-built oversized walls. The BUYaSafe comes with a two-hour fire rating, meaning it will protect the contents for at least two hours in a fire. While you’ll program a secret numerical code into the electronic keypad, the safe comes with a mechanical override key in case you forget.
The fire-resistant safe is made from steel, features two heavy-duty locking bolts and two adjustable shelves, and measures 13.625 inches wide, 20.75 inches high, and 8 inches deep. The BUYaSafe comes with predrilled holes for bolting to wall studs and features a thin flange along the front perimeter so that the safe fits flush against the drywall for a finished look.
For keeping valuables concealed from curious eyes, check out the Paragon Lock & Safe 7750 Electronic Wall Safe. Hide it behind a painting or mirror, or install it in the back wall of a closet or pantry. This Paragon safe is made from heavy-gauge steel and boats a pry-resistant door for extra protection.
It features a powder-coated exterior to resist rust, opens with a three- to eight-digit programmable key codeor, and also has backup keys. The Paragon safe can be programmed to emit an alarm if someone tries to open it without permission, and the interior features soft matting that won’t scratch valuables. The keypad and alarm run on two AA batteries (included), and the unit measures 22 inches high, 16.25 inches wide, and 4 inches deep. It features predrilled holes for bolting it to wall studs (bolts included).
Precious gems and metals can be prone to scratching, so this V-Line model, with its two interior felt-lined shelves, may be your best bet to protect delicate items. The V-Line Quick Vault Locking Storage for Guns and Valuables safe is designed to install between standard wall studs and be disguised with a mirror or painting in front. It features a mechanical button lock that can be programmed with any one of 1,081 combinations. The lock isn’t digital, so you needn’t worry about batteries, and there are no keys that could fall into the wrong hands—so it might be wise to hide a written copy of the combination, because if you forget it you’ll need a locksmith to open the safe.
This V-Line safe measures 15 inches high, 17 inches wide, 3.5 inches deep, and features steel construction, a pry-resistant door, and lock bolts that extend through the frame of the case for added security.
The Advantages of Owning the Best Wall Safe
Being able to secure valuables and documents offers peace of mind and security, but wall safes provide an extra element of secrecy since they can be installed at the back of a closet or behind a piece of hanging art.
- Locking firearms in a wall safe may comply with some state and community ordinances.
- A quick-access wall safe prevents unauthorized access but allows you to retrieve contents quickly.
- A wall safe offers out-of-sight protection for your valuables.
FAQs About Wall Safes
If this is the first time you’ve shopped for a wall safe, you may still have some questions. Consider the answers below.
Q: Are wall safes impact resistant?
To an extent, and some more than others. A good wall safe should withstand the force of someone beating on its door with a hammer for a while. But if a determined thief with enough physical strength continues beating with force, the door will likely give way at some point. Wall safes, in general, are slightly less secure than freestanding safes because they must fit in limited stud spaces, necessitating thinner steel walls.
Q: What tools do I need to install a wall safe?
You’ll need a tape measure, a drywall hand saw, and a drill.
Q: Are wall safes secure?
Wall safes offer a good measure of security, but they’re not impenetrable if someone is determined to break into one. Choosing a good hidden location increases the level of security.