Which wall safe is best?
If you’re still keeping your passport and extra cash in a sock drawer, then it’s time to upgrade your home security. Wall safes are an excellent way to store small valuables and important documents with an added layer of security. Not only will it deter pedestrian burglary, some wall safes are fire and water resistant.
Wall safes are also a great option for protecting your memories. The SentrySafe Fireproof Waterproof Safe protects paper and electronic documents from water and fire damage.
What to know before you buy a wall safe
When choosing a wall safe, the volume you’ll need is an important factor to consider. You don’t want to install your safe only to realize you needed something bigger. Consider all the items you wish to secure inside your safe. Passports and cash are obvious choices, but do you also have special family photos or a first edition book? You’ll also want to leave some free space for future use. After determining which items will be going inside your safe, make an estimation on the volume you’ll need. Safe volume is most often measured in cubic feet.
The location of your safe is essential to its effectiveness. Because expert burglars can cut a safe out of the wall, finding a place to conceal your safe is important. There are many different places in your home that can provide this concealment, including behind wall art of furniture. Make sure to choose a place that’s secure and easily accessible. You may also want to consult a reputable contractor to ensure you avoid pipes or electrical wiring.
Before you purchase your wall safe, it’s important to know the sizes that will recess into your wall. You’ll need to calculate your wall’s depth and space between the studs. These measurements might change depending on the location in your home. If your first choice isn’t large enough, then it’s worth exploring other options.
For more information on selecting a space for your safe, check out the BestReviews wall safe buying guide.
What to look for in a quality wall safe
Underwriters Laboratories has been testing and rating products for over 100 years. They’re an independent organization dedicated to informing the public on the safety of consumer products. Many wall safes come with a UL rating. These ratings inform customers about a safe’s features, such as resistance to burglary tools or fire.
For example, the rating Classic 125 has to do with a safe’s fire resistance. This rating means the safe can protect CDs and DVDs. To receive this rating, a safe’s exterior is heated to 1,550 degrees. Once the outside reaches this temperature, the inside of the safe must stay at or below 125 degrees.
While many safes receive a UL rating, there are some that do not come with one. Non-UL ratings can originate from the safe’s manufacturer or other independent testing laboratories. Because of their varied origin, these ratings might not be as consistent. However, non-UL ratings are accepted in the industry.
Many different types of lock designs are available for wall safes. The lock design you choose mostly depends on which type you find easiest to use. The three most common types of locks are biometric, keypad and combination. A biometric lock uses your fingerprint to open your safe, allowing for quick access. A keypad lock takes a numeric sequence entered on the keypad, located on the face of your safe. A combination lock combines multiple types of locks. Some require both keypad entry and a fingerprint. Combination locks often have an added layer of security by employing the use of a re-locking mechanism. If someone tries to tamper with your safe, the re-locking mechanism will engage.
How much you can expect to spend on a wall safe
While there are budget safes available for $50-$150, these come with parts made of plastic and sheet metal. Mid-range safes cost between $150-$300 and may also be constructed from the softer sheet metal. For a wall safe made of solid steel, expect to pay over $300.
Wall safe FAQ
What if I need more wall depth for my safe?
A. If your walls are too shallow for the safe that you want, it is possible to allow the safe to extend all the way through the wall into another space in your house that is not readily visible. A closet might be a good option in this situation.
Is my safe really fireproof?
A. It might be more useful to think of safes as fireproof under certain conditions. Safes will not indefinitely last in extreme temperatures. Most safes are tested to be resistant to fire for no longer than an hour or two. It is important to know the specifications of your safe.
What’s the best wall safe to buy?
Top wall safe
What you need to know: This high-quality wall safe will keep your paper and digital valuables safe from water, fire and burglars.
What you’ll love: Made from thick-gauge steel, this safe comes equipped with an internal lining for extra protection against fire. It recesses 8 inches and fits flush against the wall. The internal volume of storage space is 2 cubic feet.
What you should consider: Because of its quality, this safe is heavy and expensive.
Top wall safe for the money
What you need to know: At an affordable price, this wall safe is spacious and pry-proof.
What you’ll love: This safe is easy to install with pre-drilled holes that make it easy to attach to your home’s studs. The solid steel construction is resistant to attacks from hand or mechanical tools.
What you should consider: The locking mechanism on this safe sticks out, making it more difficult to conceal.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: If you like a more technological approach to security, this safe features a biometric lock.
What you’ll love: For entry, this safe compares your scan to the properties of those stored in its 120-fingerprint memory. If your battery dies, there is also secondary access through a standard key lock.
What you should consider: This safe doesn’t quite have the depth of other models and only comes with a one year warranty.
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Morgan Freeman writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.