The 4 best garage door openers of 2021

Garage door openers are safer and more convenient than ever, especially with the help of smart features. Here are the best ones you can buy in 2021. ...

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Image of two children walking in a garage with a chamberlain garage door opener over head
  • Garage door openers are nice to have when the weather is bad and you're in your warm, dry car.
  • We spoke with a professional installer to assemble this list of the best garage door openers.
  • The Chamberlain B6713T is our top choice; it's reliable, works well, and has impressive features.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Few things feel quite as good as watching a garage door open automatically as you sit inside a dry car. After a storm soaks you to the bone once or twice, you'll be ready to install one.

If you haven't shopped for a garage door opener recently, you may have missed some of the advancements manufacturers have made in the last few years. They're safer to operate and run more quietly, and most can be installed without hiring a professional.

I've installed several garage door openers and also reached out to an expert in the field, Nick Yahoodain of Advanced Builders and Contractors. He has been in the construction and contracting business for over 16 years and has extensive experience installing garage door openers.

Based on my experience and with the help of Yahoodain, I've assembled this list of the best garage door openers you can buy. I've included a variety of types, features, and prices to make this list as useful to as many people as possible.

Here are the best garage door openers you can buy:

Best garage door opener overall

Image of the Chamberlain b6713t hanging from a garage ceiling in front of tools, best garage door opener 2021

The Chamberlain B6713T Ultra-Quiet Smart Garage Door Opener offers a valuable combination of reliability and convenience, thanks to an impressive collection of bells and whistles.

Pros: Backup battery, quiet operation, compatible with Key by Amazon to allow access for deliveries

Cons: Relatively expensive, doesn’t work with Alexa or Google Assistant

If you want a few extra benefits beyond what you’ll find with your typical garage door opener, the Chamberlain B6713T could be a great fit. Yahoodain recommends Chamberlain models like this one, citing its value and affordability.  

The LED lighting system, instead of regular incandescent bulbs, is the most prominent of these features. These LEDs generate 2,000 lumens of bright, white light. Combined with the angled body of the opener, the wide cast of the lighting makes this model very popular.

Like all current Chamberlain models, the B6713T allows you to use MyQ smartphone control, letting you monitor and access your garage door from anywhere. Unlike many models, you don’t need to buy a separate hub or gateway. This unit connects directly to your home WiFi network. If you plan on using a feature like this, make sure your existing smart-home system is compatible and that your WiFi signal is strong enough to reach the garage. 

Thanks to the motor, the Chamberlain B6713T is also an especially powerful opener. This makes it suitable for doors weighing up to 550 pounds and up to 10 feet tall. Even if you don’t have an oversized heavy door, it can still be a good idea to opt for a heavy-duty unit like this. By requiring less effort, your motor won’t experience the stress and strain that weaker models do, which can increase the lifespan of the unit. 

The Chamberlain B6713T comes with two remote controls. If your vehicle is HomeLink enabled, it can connect straight to your car, eliminating the need for remote controls altogether. Just make sure to double-check with your car manufacturer, as some older model cars can have trouble connecting to more recent openers. 

Yahoodain recommends Chamberlain models like this one for homeowners looking to install themselves, unlike more professional-style openers like LiftMaster.

Ultra-Quiet Smart Garage Door Opener (button) Best budget garage door opener

Image of Genie 7035-TKV on white background, best garage door opener 2021

Because it doesn’t have advanced features, the Genie 7035-TKV Chain Drive Garage Door Opener is perfect for those on a tight budget.

Pros: Very low price, easy to install, lightweight design, works well for standard garage door designs

Cons: Includes inexpensive parts, doesn’t have a lot of high-end features, not as bright as other options

Most garage door openers are fairly expensive, so if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, the Genie 7035-TKV could be a great choice. Despite the low price, this opener has several valuable features found on higher-end options. 

It comes with two pre-programmed remotes and is also compatible with existing HomeLink systems. A wireless keypad for mounting outside the door is also a nice perk not always found on budget-friendly models.

The straightforward installation of the Genie 7035-TKV is another reason why it beat out other competitors. It uses a five-piece rail system that you snap together and includes everything else you need to mount to your ceiling, such as angle brackets and lag bolts.

Although it will likely take some time (there are 76 steps), the interactive instructions make it easy to understand. I walked through the entire process and was very impressed with how helpful the instructions were.  

Being a chain-drive model, the Genie 7035-TKV will be louder than the other options on our list. The ¾-HP motor is also stronger than you’d typically find on a door this affordable, making it a suitable option for heavier doors.

The backup battery is strong enough to last for 50 cycles after the power goes out, and the included Safe-T-Beam sensors help reduce the chances of accident or injury. Once the infrared beam running across the door’s path is broken, the door will immediately stop and reverse back up. 

We would have preferred that the recommended Genie LED bulbs were included, but you can find them at your local hardware store or online.

7035-TKV (button) Best garage door opener for heavy doors

image of woman getting out of her car with the chamberlain b4613t overhead, best garage door opener 2021

The Chamberlain B4613T Belt Drive Smart Garage Door Opener has the horsepower needed to handle older garage doors while still running more quietly than other heavy-duty openers.

 Pros: Remote range of 1,500 feet, control panel displays time and temperature, code encryption prevents anyone from duplicating your remote signal, quiet operation

Cons: Relatively expensive, doesn’t work with Alexa or Google Assistant

Many garage door openers can’t handle the weight of heavy wooden doors found on older homes. The Chamberlain B4613T has a 1.25-horsepower motor, which is quite a bit more powerful than some other models, giving it the power to raise oversized doors. Yahoodain recommended 3/4 HP or more when dealing with especially heavy doors. 

 The Chamberlain B4613T is belt-driven with steel reinforcement, which allows it to run quieter than typical chain-drive garage door openers. Beyond its powerful motor, this Chamberlain model has a battery backup system, smartphone access, and long-range remote controls, all of which simplify the opener’s operation.

These automation capabilities of the Chamberlain B4613T are what make it such an appealing option for me. You can set a recurring schedule for opening and closing the garage door, like when you know your kids are coming home from school. You can also customize the overhead light, allowing it to turn on whenever anyone enters the garage and trips the motion sensors. (That’s very nice for early mornings.)

Like other Chamberlain models, the Chamberlain B4613T uses MyQ technology to allow you to use your smartphone to control the door from anywhere. This is a great feature that eliminates the need for hide-a-keys or giving out your garage code to maintenance people or dog-walkers.

B4613T Belt Drive Smart Garage Door Opener (button) Best wall-mounted garage door opener

Image of the Liftmaster 8500w next to a garage door and light blue car, best garage door opener 2021

The ultra-quiet LiftMaster 8500 Elite Series Jackshaft Garage Door Opener mounts to the wall adjacent to the garage door and leaves the ceiling free for extra storage, unlike overhead options.

Pros: Motor has a lifetime warranty, compact design, ultra-quiet operation

Cons: Requires professional installation, expensive, backup battery must be purchased separately 

Because it uses a jackshaft to open and close the door instead of a chain or belt, the LiftMaster 8500 is one of the quietest garage door openers around. Yahoodain recommended professional LiftMaster models like this one because of their quiet operation. 

A minimal footprint is also one of the primary benefits of the LiftMaster. The extra space it creates can be used for overhead storage or for parking vehicles with roof carriers. The  LiftMaster 8500 is also easier to maintain than ceiling-mounted openers, which require lubrication and ladders to reach. 

Like the Chamberlains listed above, the LiftMaster 8500 is MyQ-enabled (Chamberlain Group owns both Chamberlain and LiftMaster), but you’ll have to purchase a separate hub to connect your home router to the opener. If you do, you can control the LiftMaster from your smartphone, no matter where you are in the world.

 According to Yahoodain, the LiftMaster 8500 requires professional installation. If you don’t know exactly what you’re doing, you can easily injure yourself and also cause expensive damage to your garage door.

Even though wall-mounted openers have a significant upside, they don’t give you that built-in overhead light that comes standard with ceiling-mounted models. But since you don’t have anything cluttering up the ceiling, you can install whatever lighting system you want.

Another potential downside to this opener is the fact that you have to purchase the backup battery separately, which adds to the already high cost. The 8500W model comes with the backup battery included. 

Installing the battery is simple, though. After mounting it to the wall next to the opener, you plug it into the LiftMaster with a connector cord. 

 One more caveat is that the LiftMaster 8500 isn’t compatible with all doors; you’ll need to have a front-mount torsion bar.

8500 Elite Series Jackshaft Garage Door Opener (button) What else we considered

Ryobi GD201 Ultra-Quiet: Even though this Ryobi model looked interesting and featured some interesting customization modules like an extension cord reel and Ryobi battery pack compatibility, it ultimately seemed like it was too complicated. If you already have other Ryobi tools and would have a use for these accessories, it could be worth checking out. 

Chamberlain B2405: Even though this opener is the updated version of our old top pick, its lack of battery backup resulted in us leaving it off our list. It does feature all the MyQ capabilities of other Chamberlain models, though, and its belt drive should guarantee a quiet operation.

Research methodology

Based on my own personal experience helping to install garage door openers, as well as the insight and advice from Advanced Builders and Contractors‘ Nick Yahoodain, I developed a set of criteria to judge and compare potential picks for our list of the best garage door openers. 

Functionality: This category is meant to ensure that the garage door opener does its primary job effectively — to open and close your door — and performs any other features properly as well. Specifically, what specific attributes make this opener the top pick for its category, and what makes it more effective than similar options?  

Installation: Through reading instruction manuals, watching online videos, and my correspondence with Yahoodain, I familiarized myself with the specific installation requirements of potential openers. I used this information to identify any issues that potential customers would need to know before buying. 

Special features: I noted any special features that also come with the unit, like smartphone control or app connectivity. I looked for interesting and helpful accessories too, like LED lighting or quick-release keys. 


What type of garage door opener do I need?

When selecting a garage door opener for your home or business, you have a few operating mechanisms to choose from. Each type of opener uses a motor to move a trolley (or the motor itself) along the rail, which lifts and lowers the door.

  • Belt drive: A belt drive uses a steel-reinforced rubber belt to lift and lower the garage door, allowing it to run quietly and smoothly. If you have living quarters above the garage, a belt drive is a smart choice. Yahoodain explained that this type might need more maintenance than others since the belt will stretch and become worn over time. 
  • Chain drive: A chain-drive garage door opener has been the most common type for many years. It uses a metal chain to move the trolley to open and close the door. Chain drives will cause more vibration and noise than other openers, but they tend to cost less than other options. Despite their noisy operation, chain drives are stronger and longer-lasting than belt drives, according to Yahoodian.
  • Direct drive: With a direct-drive system, the motor functions as the trolley, which means the entire motor moves along the rail. Because these systems don’t have multiple moving parts, they tend to run quietly with minimal vibration.
  • Jackshaft: For a garage door opener with a jackshaft, you’ll have less maintenance and moving parts to monitor over time. This type of drive controls the torsion bar that opens and closes the door and is mounted on the left or right side of the door. Jackshaft openers tend to run more quietly than other options, although they’re also usually more expensive.

What features should I look for in a garage door opener?

Garage door openers traditionally have been simple devices. They still are, for the most part. But as with a lot of household items, technological advances are finding their way into garage door opener hardware. There are quite a few cool features in modern garage door openers that are becoming standard offerings instead of expensive perks.

  • Automatic close: If you commonly forget to close your garage door, you can set up some systems to automatically close it after a certain period of time.
  • Battery backup: Some garage door openers have a battery backup so they’ll still operate when the power goes out. Yahoodain stressed the importance of having a battery backup, explaining that it’s one of the most important features to look for in a garage door opener. A recent California law requires all garage door openers sold in the state have a backup battery, after people were trapped in their garages during power outages related to wildfires in 2017.
  • Controls: Most garage door openers will ship with a wall-mount button for inside the garage and remote control devices you can place in your vehicle. Some will have a keypad that you place outside the garage door so you can enter a code and open the door.
  • Horsepower: The horsepower (HP) measurement describes the power the garage door opener motor has. A motor with a greater horsepower measurement will open and close the door more quickly, while also being able to handle larger and heavier doors. According to Yahoodain, 1/2 HP should be sufficient for most garage doors, but for heavier doors, you may want to upgrade to 3/4 HP or more.
  • Security lights: Most newer garage door openers have at least two bright bulbs, as well as motion-activated lights. Cheaper openers may be limited to a single light bulb that doesn’t illuminate your whole garage.
  • Smartphone control: Many newer garage door openers allow you to connect the device to your home’s WiFi network. You can then open and close the door through a smartphone app. Many of these apps will alert you when the garage door is open for a certain period. You should first make sure your new opener will be compatible with your existing home system and ensure your WiFi signal is strong enough to reach your garage, said Yahoodian. 

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