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Best Garage Door Opener 2020

You can’t sleep on finding the best garage door opener reviews or you might end up not being able to sleep at all. A garage door does an amazing amount for any home that few might recognize. Largely seen as just the place where we store our car at the end of the day. Taking the time to select the right garage door opener can end up paying pretty decent dividends.

A proper garage door can give you as much as an 85% return investment on your house when selling, providing daily use along with value over time. Not to mention a garage’s ability to protect your car from poor weather preserving its value as well. Even better they protect your car from thieves in the night looking for an easy target. Just like anything else the garage door market is constantly evolving with new features to explore. Staying one step ahead for security and overall property value is what the top-rated garage door openers deliver. There are many factors to consider and we’ll cover them all here so you can feel confident in your purchase. This guide will be extensive so feel free to skip to what interests you. From what to avoid, to the new age with wifi garage door opener reviews its time to take control.

Best Garage Door Opener

Best Garage Door Opener Comparison Table

  • SOMMER 1052V000
  • Direct Drive
  • Horse Power: 1
  • Smartphone Control: optional (+$100)
  • 3.7 out of 5 stars
    Price Scale
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars
    Our Rating
  • Chamberlain b970
  • Belt Drive
  • Horse Power: 1.25
  • Smartphone Control: yes
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars
    Price Scale
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars
    Our Rating
  • Craftsman CMXEOCG471
  • Chain Drive
  • Horse Power: 0.5
  • Smartphone Control: yes
  • 3 out of 5 stars
    Price Scale
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars
    Our Rating
  • Genie ChainDrive 550
  • Chain Drive
  • Horse Power: 0.5
  • Smartphone Control: no
  • 3 out of 5 stars
    Price Scale
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars
    Our Rating
  • Liftmaster 8500
  • Jackshaft
  • Horse Power: Eq 0.75 HP
  • Smartphone Control: yes
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars
    Price Scale
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Our Rating

Best Garage Door Opener reviews

Genie ChainDrive 550
The Genie Chain Drive 550 garage door opener is an efficient machine working on a DC motor. Built to work with 7-foot high doors this openers chain is capable of lifting doors up to 550 pounds. With an inconspicuous appearance, this simplistic garage door opener should fit in the majority of garages. Built-in HomeLink abilities help to make up a bit for this garage door openers’ lack of smartphone connectivity. Two-three buttons remotes, a wireless keypad, and wall control make sure you have everything you need to get started. This goes well with an easy to install 5 track setup. There’s nothing wrong with being basic when you have everything you need to accomplish the job. Read full review.

Liftmaster 8500
With the LiftMaster 8500 Elite, you have a powerful state of the art garage door opener using the latest in jackshaft technology. With a smaller design than most garage door openers, you get more space, especially without a track overhead. This garage opener is still able to quickly and efficiently open your garage with a lifetime warranty to back it up. With a 6 foot cord attach this on the wall by the door and installation is almost complete. The MYQ Homelink system allows you to control your garage door remotely from the app. While it does have a large price tag retailing for around $350 it also has solid functionality to back that up. A pleasant combination of cutting edge technology and ease of use that effectively gets the job done. Read full review.

SOMMER 1052V000
The SOMMER 1052V000 Isn’t too be underestimated with its ultra-efficient direct-drive motor. With a 1 horsepower DC motor, this garage door opener can effectively lift up to 1,200 pounds. The motor moves instead of the chain with its durable European design. Built for 8-foot garage doors an optional 3-foot extension allows you to fit your needs. The power of SOMMER HomeLink allows you to access your garage door opener through your phone. Meanwhile, multiple safety features like rolling code technology and an autolocking magnet help you stay safe. A large number of optional accessories and an industry-leading warranty round out this fully featured garage door opener. Read full review.

Craftsman CMXEOCG471
The Craftsman CMXEOCG471 is the reliable modern foot soldier of the garage door opener market. With a relatively cheap price, this model still delivers everything you need to get the job done. The ½ horsepower motor is not made for larger doors but is perfectly designed for 7-foot doors. A sleek red double-sided light design also helps it look good while keeping your garage well lit. The best part is full MYQ smartphone compatibility. This will allow you to control and keep track of your garage door from afar. With two remotes, a wireless panel, and a wall control panel this model has everything you need for a great basic system. Read full review.

Chamberlain B970
The Chamberlain B970 is one of the most full-featured belt-drive garage door openers on the market. Boasting considerable power to lift even the heaviest doors its DC motor efficiently lifts your door. The belt-drive design ensures a super quiet operation while a sleek design helps this opener to stand out. The complete package comes with two 3 button remotes and a wireless control panel. You can also look to make use of the MYQ system for complete smartphone control. With considerations made for hacking you can get alerts when your door changes position. Despite a price on the high-end for belt-driven garage door openers, the Chamberlain B970 is impressive in every light. Read full review.

Garage Door Opener 101 Safety First

Before diving into how they work or the best-rated garage door openers first you must graduate past the most important part. Safety is paramount in any purchase of a garage door opener as you’ll find few more dangerous areas in your home. Studies by the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) tell a story worth consideration.

Yearly garage door injuries can breach 10,000 including 2007 where over 13,000 were recorded. An injury can be caused by a variety of reasons from do-it-yourself projects gone wrong to falling doors. The majority of injuries are caused by poor installation so looking for a trusted professional is always recommended.

Types of Garage Door Opener

There are many features that you’d like to find in every garage door opener but knowing your options is a better place to start. Garage doors have grown from an extravagant addition to a mainstay in every modern home. Along with that progression, a variety of different types of garage door openers have sprung up each offering their own functionality. While some operate similarly knowing how they operate will help you find the right solution for your home. Power, efficiency, and many other attributes also make garage door openers inspirational when it comes to engineering as well. Knowing what you’re dealing with will make skimming through garage door open reviews super easy.

Chain-Driven Garage Door Openers

One of the most classic forms of operation the chain-driven garage door opener may be old but still serves plenty of purposes. Often seen in many homes because of its sheer cost-effectiveness the simplicity of chain-driven is key. These top-rated garage door openers will often be found as the cheapest models on the market. This will save you money on purchase as well as installation costs making these types of opener one of the most value-laden. They are also known for their superior durability ensuring a longer life than some other styles. Imagine a bicycle when you think of how this garage door opener operates. A chain is attached to a motor that then lifts your door by pulling back an attachment on your garage doors J-bar.

This method of operation gives chain-driven models considerable strength. In turn, this makes this type one of the best ways to go for older heavier garage models. It isn’t all good though as chain-driven openers are known for being one of the loudest openers. You might not appreciate that power when its metal on metal action is waking you up at night. This extra friction should certainly be a consideration for any rooms over your garage door. Thankfully, the time has been good to chain-driven openers as strides have been made to reduce noise. Searching for technologies like energy-efficient DC motors can help ease that issue. Chain separators are another feature you can find that stop the chain from hitting the opener’s housing.

Belt-Driven Garage Door Openers

The more versatile cousin of the chain-belt, belt-driven garage door openers are probably the second most popular style. While the popularity is largely due to their history on the market their unique attributes also shine. Instead of a metal chain here, the heavy lifting is done by a reinforced belt. These belts can be found in a wide variety of materials. Some of the more common ones you’ll see are made of polyurethane, steel-reinforced fiber, or fiberglass. With all those options they’re commonly found in garage door opener reviews.

The main advantage the belt-driven openers offer over their competition is the decreased noise they create. This reason alone can have some carving their way into the best garage door opener reviews. The noise along with less vibration also helps to make sure those sleeping above can remain undisturbed. These combine for serious consideration if your garage is over your main living or sleeping area. On the other hand, you’ll pay for this with a higher price sometimes up to $100 more per unit. They also aren’t a one-step solution for noise and vibration issues. Older doors that vibrate across their lifting tracks won’t be saved by a mere silent motor. Having a professional make sure your door won’t be an issue can end up saving major heartache.

Screw Drive Garage Door Openers

Changing the dynamics of the game these openers offer a different method of operation than the somewhat similar previous options. Opting for a different method to create torque these openers have a threaded metal rod that rotates to lift your door. Their functionality is much like how you’d work a screw hence the name. Taking simplicity to an even farther level these models are especially known for their reliability. Due to having fewer working pieces than the previous options, they are less known for breaking down. This does come with a downside, however, as an owner will need to make sure its properly lubricated. Screw drive openers wear down on the screw threads without proper care. Much less costly than replacing a heavy chain or belt an attentive eye is required instead.

You also need to be wary of lifting heavier doors with a screw drive opener. Even though they have the capability of being just as powerful as belt-driven openers, older houses with one-piece doors can be an issue. Matching up an antique door with a screw drive opener can lead to spending more money than you believe saved. On the plus side, screw drives are largely considered to be the faster style of opener. Some can be up to twice as fast as their chain-driven counterpart while also being easier on the ear. Often the best-rated garage door openers the screw-driven model gives you reliability while covering the basics.

Jackshaft Garage Door Openers

Moving into the more avant-garde of the garage opener market jackshafts offer unique attributes that have them rising in popularity. The best garage door opener reviews aren’t complete without this interesting possibility. While most garage door openers are mounted on the ceiling you’ll find these on the wall next to your door. Security is one of the most important things selecting this option will bring you. Thanks to their location the majority of models will have a deadbolt that locks in when the garage is closed. Effectively making your garage door near burglary proof. On top of that, the manual release isn’t on the ceiling preventing any hook shenanigans.

The other side of the jackshaft’s increase in popularity is because of their ability to offer some of the most intricate and specialized computerization. This opens the door (no pun intended) for all sorts of features tied to automation and connectivity. With all of that intelligence packed to the side, you get more headroom making jackshaft the option for smaller garages. Sadly with all of those nice perks that’ll make you double-take. You also might find prices that will make you look away for good. If you are looking for WiFi garage door opener reviews these are what you’ll most likely find. Keep in mind to keep looking if you have an older door as these models require sectional doors to function. 

Direct-Drive Garage Door Openers

One of the newest models of garage door openers comes with a bit of a disclaimer. Classically any garage door opener that didn’t require a chain or belt was considered direct-drive. This would mean the screw drive openers used to be considered as such. However, a true direct drive design has appeared on the market taking the title for itself. Make sure you keep this in mind when shopping because the wrong terminology could have you in a bad position

What makes this more difficult is the fact the direct-drive garage door openers make use of a belt or a chain. The difference comes in how this object operates though as standard chain-driven mechanisms use a stationary motor. Instead, the direct-drive openers use a stationary chain with a moving motor. What this achieves is an extremely quiet operation making these the quietest on the market. A proper direct-drive opener with a chain can be even quieter than belt-driven openers. Since the only moving part is a motor these modes are also incredibly reliable. More popular in Europe direct-drive openers are pricey like jackshaft with fewer options on the market. Well known for their features the top-rated garage door openers should certainly mention direct-drive.

How to Choose the Right Opener

With most of the different styles out of the way, you are only halfway towards finding the best-rated garage door openers. There are so many different factors to consider that most people wouldn’t imagine. From speed to power, and security finding the right garage door opener is essential to a comfortable home. As one of those purchases that have the potential to last the lifetime of your house. When purchasing a house you don’t want to mess up here. Some abilities are essential though while others are simply nice additions.  Here you can find what each section brings to the overall value of your garage door opener.


Garage Door Openers - HorsepowerYou might not consider this as important as it is in your car. However, the name alone hints at how helpful it is for lifting a heavy garage door. Making sure you have the right level here is of utmost importance. If your horsepower is too low then you will overwork the opener causing heavy wear and tear. On the opposite end, a horsepower that is too high won’t be energy efficient. Imagine a professional athlete lifting paper when they’ve trained for lifting hundreds of pounds. Having an underpowered opener is certainly more detrimental, but this should still be considered. Look for ½ a horsepower for most modern doors while older heavier doors need more power.

Smart Phone Control

This is a newer feature that has come into popularity with everyone pretty much owning a smartphone in the modern age. It is rather self-explanatory as with this you’ll have control of your garage door from your cell phone. This can be helpful when arriving home if you don’t want to rely on a remote opener. Due to issues that will be discussed in the rolling code section below this can be useful for safety as well as convenience.  Along with extra functionality, alerts can let you know when your garage door is being accessed. Smartphone control will even let you turn the lights on and off remotely.

Rolling Code Technology

As technology has progressed so have criminals and others wary of the nature of electronics. Any electronic system can be hacked and this is the way many garage door openers circumvent it. Whether you are dealing with an experienced thief or an underappreciated kid on your block. There are tools that will produce a code that copies the signature of your garage door opener. Rolling code technology will change your code after every use as an effective deterrent against these devices. Some openers will have a few codes to cycle while others cycle through millions of options.

Battery/Power Source/Backup

The majority of garage door openers draw power from your household grid. This makes choosing an energy-efficient one important though you still would like a battery as well. This is because batteries for garage door openers are primarily used as a backup power source.  During a power outage being able to still lift your door electronically can be crucial. A strong backup battery can allow your garage door opener to last for days when the power goes out. Every battery backup has a limit though so rationing is always the best solution in emergency cases. Battery backups charge using your power to be ready when you need them

Automatic Reversing

There probably isn’t a single feature that has contributed more to garage doors increased safety than automatic reversing. From a voluntary feature in 1982 to federal law in 1993 you should make sure your garage door opener has it. This will allow your garage door to shift into moving in the opposite direction when obstacles appear. The most common detection method for automatic reversal is electronic sensors at the base. Using the power of photoelectric eyes they’ll instantly start reversal when an obstruction is detected. When purchasing an older garage door opener lack of this ability or slow reaction times can be dangerous.

Garage Door Manual Release

You don’t want to be left without one of these when dire situations arise. The top-rated garage door openers usually include this important feature. If you ever suffer a power outage this feature will come in the clutch to keep you mobile. Primarily these function by allowing you to separate the garage door opener from the door. You will then be able to lift up your garage door by hand as long as you have the strength. Intelligent burglars can take advantage of this feature, however. With a thin hook or wire slipped under the door some manual releases can be reached.

Security Lights

Every garage door opener should have some sort of security light. These serve multiple uses while also normally being part of the main unit. First off they give you vision in an area like your garage. Even the cleanest of garages are likely to be dirty making extra light for navigation pretty useful. If you ever came home at night without a security light in your garage. The act of just making it to your door could lead to serious injury. This light can also help to keep intruders away depending on the features of your model. Abilities like motion detection give the security in the light multiple meanings.

Find Professional Installation 

Sometimes we all want to do the job ourselves, but it is not recommended when dealing with garage door openers. Would you want someone inexperienced to install your oven? While it might not be quite as dangerous the difference isn’t too far off. A faulty installation can lead to massive damage in property value or worse. Only trust experienced installers with multiple years of reliability and a guarantee if possible. There’s no point in investing in security if the reality is that you aren’t as secure as you think.

What are Garage Door Safety Sensors and How do they Work?

When safety sensors are mentioned most people think of two select types while there are four. Standard safety sensors are either infrared or pressure sensors. Infrared sensors operate by activating automatic reversal whenever an obstruction is found in between sensors at the base of the door. They will also stop operation until obstacles are removed. Pressure sensors detect pressure at the bottom of your door when it’s coming down. They then stop and reverse. The motion sensor is a newer addition that usually alerts when a garage door is left open. CO2 sensors are the highest tech sensors you can find. They measure the CO2 in the air and automatically open your door when dangerous levels are reached.


Which brand of garage door opener is best?

As you would expect this topic is up for much debate, however, there are a few brands that seem to stand out beyond the rest. It does depend on what you are looking for though when it comes to price and features. For example, if you are on a budget you can’t go wrong with a Genie. While those with a bit less space in their wallet can make a more for a higher-end brand. Generally, the three best garage door opener brands are Craftsman, Liftmaster, and Chamberlain in no particular order. All three of these brands have a long history of making quality products along with solid service and warranties.

What is the average life of a garage door opener?

No matter which way you decide to go the good news is that garage door openers are one of the more long-lasting products you can purchase. Thanks to their relatively simple mechanisms a the average garage door opener will last between 10 and 15 years. This extra long life makes finding a good one even more important. This is compounded when grabbing one that lasts for less than 10 years creates a nightmare. If you keep up with proper maintenance though it is quite possible to get 20 years or more.

Can I use my smartphone as a garage door opener?

While it is mentioned a bit above the FAQ is for items that you’d like to know at a glance. Yes, you can use a smartphone as your garage door opener. This, however, is entirely contingent on the garage door opener you buy. You can circumvent this however with other purchases. By combining a Bluetooth receiver and many different phone apps almost anyone can achieve smartphone control. You’ll find in the best WiFi garage door opener reviews other additional features like timed operation.