If you’ve ever had a garage door you had to open manually, you know that an electric garage door opener is truly a thing of beauty. No longer will you have to hop out of your car and move the heavy door by yourself, with the click of a button the magic of modern engineering is at your fingertips, and in seconds you’re inside the garage. Our list should help you avoid the tedious process of vetting an opener only to find you’ve chosen the wrong one for your home. We’ve made it simple. The best electric garage door opener installation is a breeze as well, and we’ve selected some great models that make the process as easy as possible.
When reviewing the options, remember that there are several variables when it comes to picking the proper electric garage door opener. All models have differing horsepower, drive, and mounting systems, and some even come with handy WiFi for connectivity. So review the list carefully and find the right solution for your home.
The Best Electric Garage Door Opener
The myQ Smart is more of a companion to garage door openers than a mechanism itself. It’s a wireless device that’s compatible with a wide range of openers from a variety of brands (check the product’s fine print to see if it can pair with the motor you have). It works just like a remote control would, but it’s managed using a smartphone or a smart device.
Now, some may find this advanced technology a tad daunting, but what we appreciate with this model is that it’s a breeze to set up! It doesn’t require any additional wiring, and once you’ve installed the app that pairs with the hardware, then everything can be tuned using your phone. The app then works to alert you when the door is being opened (ticking the box for security), and it also links with Google Assistant for voice control, IFTTT, and Wink for more useful functions and features. For more innovative products like this one, check out our list of the best smart door locks on the market.
Works with any garage door after 1993
Control through myQ app
Open and close the garage door from anywhere
Allow up to three guest users
- Weight8 ounces
Here we have a chain-drive garage door opener, courtesy of the popular brand “Genie.” Using this product’s positive reviews as the backbone of our claim, we can confidently say that this mechanism is one of the quietest garage-door opening mechanisms on the market. If you want to arrive home without alerting your neighbors, then the Genie Chain Drive is a viable option.
Using a chain-drive system to function, this model also ticks the box for strength. It can lift heavier doors without a hassle, and maintenance of the parts is minimal. As a bonus, this 750 3/4 HP design has a battery backup system, which can swoop in to save the day when the primary power is out. This model has a reasonable MSRP, and it’s built to last – making a good investment for your home, just like any of these top keyless door locks from our list.
Genie Chain Drive
Five-piece rail system
Two remote controls, wireless keypad, & wall console included
- Weight8 pounds
The C450 by Chamberlain is as sophisticated as it looks. Sleek and futuristic, this design will speak to those who appreciate technology for its ability to make life easier and more secure. With built-in myQ technology, the focus of this garage door opener is to keep you “connected and protected.”
With features such as Posi-lock Anti-theft Protection and rugged tamper-proof construction, the Chamberlain model will assure you that once the door closes, it stays locked. And if anyone does try to get into your garage, an alert will instantly be sent to your phone via the myQ smartphone app. Apart from its protective measures, the C450 is also a sturdy chain-driven design that provides effortless lifting and reliable performance. To secure your entire home, make sure to use a reliable door alarm, too.
Chamberlain’s MED lift power system
Control from your smartphone
Access to the myQ app
Two remote controls, wireless keypad, & wall control included
Durable chain drive
- Weight35 pounds
The Chamberlain B1381 series has all the features of a strong, safe, and reliable garage door opener. However, it does have one standout attribute that can make it a superior value when compared to other more modest brands. With three, 100-lumen LED emitters, this door opening mechanism can fill your entire garage with bright light. This abundance of lighting is quite the handy feature to have if you’re often in and out of your home at night.
But while the device’s lights are impressive, the belt-operation of the motor is more modest, making this a quiet appliance that lifts heavy doors with a swift motion. It also includes wireless functionality, which means that you can open and close your doors using your smartphone. If the budget is an afterthought and security and reliability are your focus, then we deem the B1381 a worthy purchase. For absolute peace of mind, install one of these fantastic security cameras for your home.
3,100 lumen LED light
Control from your smartphone
Access to the myQ app
Two remote controls, wireless keypad, & wall control included
Durable belt drive
- Weight37.9 pounds
The Genie SilentMax 1200 model gives you all the most essential features you need in a garage door opener. At the same time, it comes with added functionality that makes it a versatile machine that will make home-living more pleasant. Added attributes include motion detection lighting, wireless keypad technology, and a self-diagnostic Safe-T-Beam system that helps to prevent accidents.
As the name depicts, the SilentMax is also very much on the quiet side. The belt drive is powered by a 140V DC motor with soft start and stop control modes, which makes its operation smooth and discrete. With so much flexibility, this model does often requires maintenance. But if you are willing to see to the upkeep, then this is undoubtedly one of the best electric garage door openers available for domestic use. Our buying guide on smart doorbells features some more reliable devices for your home, so make sure to browse them as well.
140V DC motor
Genie Belt Drive
Two remote controls, wireless keypad, & wall unit included
- Weight30.9 pounds
This Atoms Garage Door Opener boasts a variety of features. It’s a product of the SKYLINK Group – a brand that’s renowned for designing quality long-lasting products. The motor on this door-opening mechanism is extremely quiet, which is one of the more prominent selling points. So, if you have living space above your garage and want to keep noise minimal, the Atoms is a viable solution.
This electric garage door opener also gets points from us for being durable and reliable. It includes a built-in LED light as a security feature and has enough horsepower to lift more massive garage doors with little effort. Its only downfall is that it doesn’t feature a built-in battery backup system – although this can be purchased separately. It has a modest MSRP, too. For more handy products that will upgrade the safety of your home, check out our list of the most sought-after smart locks on the market right now.
Powerful and quiet DC motor
Easy DIY installation
Includes a built-in LED safety light
Includes an LCD diagnostic display for troubleshooting
Features an auto-close timer
Works using a smooth belt-drive
- BrandSKYLINK Group
- Weight9.3 pounds
The Chamberlain C870 includes smart features for reliable opening and closing of the garage door. Sitting at the higher end of the price range, this is a “no-frills” model that focuses more on just getting the job done – and getting it done well at that. The setup is simple, the chain-drive runs seamlessly, and it includes a built-in battery backup system so that the motor can still conveniently operate during power outages.
The C870 is not the quietest model, but it’s not the noisiest either. What it does excel at is connecting to a home network using built-in WiFi functionality. This technology provides a user-friendly interface that coincides with the unit’s easy installation. It syncs with popular smart devices and platforms and puts additional security measures in place. Additionally, the operation is basic and runs using a simple remote that works over a massive range of 1500 feet.
Easily integrates with the myQ App
1.25 horsepower motor
A chain-driven operating system
Designed for quick and hassle-free installation
Includes built-in battery back-up
Remote range up to 1,500 feet
Includes a motion detection control panel
- Weight35 pounds
Despite its modest size, the Direct Drive 1042V004 by SOMMER is very powerful. It runs on a 3/4-HP direct-drive system and can operate quieter and faster than many other types of garage openers with bulkier hardware. This speed is quite a feat for a garage door opening mechanism that relies on one moving part to function.
Although this is an unconventional design, it still delivers the results you will expect from an electric door-opening device. It also includes security features that the brand refers to as “Secure Rolling Code Technology” that safeguards the remote’s communication with the door opener.
Extremely quiet garage door opener
The rolling system is very smooth
Includes two thin remotes and a wall control panel
Strong enough to lift most garage doors
Secure Rolling Code Technology
- Weight37 pounds
As one of the most appealing designs SOMMER has to offer, the Direct Drive 1052V000’s flawless functionality is what gets it a spot on our list. This unit has a higher MSRP than many others, which may burst the seams of your budget, but its quality and longevity make it a sound investment.
Overall, this model is well-made, with plenty of reviews claiming above average build quality. The electric motor is reportedly potent, and the lack of vibrations and noise make this unit extraordinary and highly desirable. The installation is also straightforward, and the entire system can be put together quickly with little electrical knowledge.
A quiet garage door opener
Operates using a direct-drive system
Secure Rolling Code Technology
1 HP motor for ultimate performance
Includes two x 2-button transmitters
- Weight42.5 pounds
Electric Garage Door Opener Buying Guide & FAQ
Features To Look For In Electric Garage Door Openers
Traditionally, an electric garage door opener has been a simple device. But as with many mechanisms, technological advances have a way of changing things – often for the better and the modern electric garage door opener has made huge improvements in the last decade. This means that the features to look for in electric door openers have broadened to include:
Drive Type - When considering drive type, think about the weight of your garage door. For example, if you have a heavy-duty aluminum door, then you will need a drive type that will be able to bear the weight without straining. Essentially, the requirements of the door dictate the required drive capabilities of the opener. By matching the drive type to the weight of your door, you reduce the need for continuous maintenance on the motor and the device as a whole.
Horsepower - The horsepower measurement (or HP), describes how much power a garage door motor has. The greater the horsepower measurement, the faster the doors will open and close. So, if you need quick in-and-out access to your garage and if your doors are on the heavier side, then you want a mechanism that has a lot of horsepower. To give you an example of what to look out for, motors between 1/2 HP and 1 HP are the most common for average home garages.
Security - When it comes to protecting the contents of your garage, then a secure electric garage door opener installation is key. In this regard, things to consider and look out for include: a tamper-proof motor, encryption or rolling code technology, and light-activated motion sensors. If all these things come in one package, then all the better!
WiFi - Many modern garage door openers are WiFi-compatible. This means that they can connect to your home WiFi network and can be run using smartphone technology. Whilst this functionality may not always be necessary, it is convenient to have. You will be able to open and close your garage doors using your smartphone and you will also receive alerts if, for example, you have left your doors open for a certain period.
Installation - Depending on the type of drive you choose; an automatic garage door opener installation can be a huge undertaking. If it’s your plan to install the mechanism yourself, then look for a model that comes with step-by-step installation instructions. Some brands even have YouTube videos available to watch that will give you a visual guide through the process. Whilst shopping, you will also need to choose between a wall-mounted or ceiling-mounted garage door opener. If you do not have enough space on your ceiling for a motor, then a wall-mounted device may be your only option (and vice versa). *Make sure you know how a model mounts before purchasing it.
Types Of Garage Door Openers
Chain-driven - A chain drive garage door opener uses a metal chain to move the trolley to open and shut the door. Chain drives tend to be a more affordable option when compared to other garage openers. However, chain-driven garage doors tend to cause more noise and vibration than other types. If you know that you are going to be disturbed by the noise, then you may want to look for a belt-driven system.
Belt-driven - Belt-driven garage doors rely on a steel-reinforced rubber belt to lift and lower the door. This belt is subtle when it comes to sound and it allows for quiet and smooth movements. If you are sensitive to sounds and prefer a discrete opening and closing mechanism, then a belt drive is a smart choice. Just take note that it often requires more maintenance than other models.
Screw-driven - Both quiet and smooth, a screw-driven garage door opener uses a strong threaded rod to open and close the door. Referencing Home Depot, “this mechanism works best for wider and heavier doors”. You will also have less maintenance and moving parts to monitor over time.
Wall-mounted - Most garage door openers are installed on the ceiling above the door. But as an alternative, there are also wall-mounted (or Jackshaft) designs to choose from. Wall-mounted drive types are perfect for garages with minimal overhead space. They operate by connecting to the door’s torsion bar and are just as effective as overhead models (although, they do tend to be more costly).
Electric Garage Door Opener FAQ
Q: What is an electric garage door opener?
A: An electric garage door opener is a device that relies on an electronically powered motor to open and close a garage door. These motors come in many different variations and can be driven by belts, chains, and screws. The motorized device can be controlled by a connecting wall switch and remote control – some designs even feature wireless technology and can be operated via a smart device.
Garage door openers offer homeowners the convenience of not having to get out of the car to physically open a heavy garage door. They are also appreciated for their home security features and their ability to integrate with wireless technology (many models link up to a home’s central IoT system).
Q: Which is better - chain or belt garage door opener?
A: Chain-driven garage door openers are typically the most popular type of garage door opener. They are also the least expensive. However, belt-driven garage openers are quieter, faster, and tend to require the least amount of maintenance.
You can use the following comparison to decide which of the two types of garage door openers would best suit your needs:
Speed - Belt-drive mechanisms are smoother, so they tend to operate faster.
Strength - The links of a chain-driven system provide more strength (which is a requirement if your door is very heavy).
Noise - The noise and vibrations that garage door opening systems make are impossible to avoid. However, the metal-on-metal contact of a chain drive opener is noisier than its belt-driven counterpart.
Price - If you are comparing the two options in terms of price, then chain-drive systems are generally a cheaper alternative.
- How To Choose A Garage Door Opener - WikiHow