Buying Guide

Best Gun Safes for Your Home

Consider Your Capacity
A large gun safe holds firearms of various sizes.

Before you make your purchase, consider how many weapons you currently have and whether you’ll be buying more. If you have a few handguns, you may only need a small, portable gun safe that can fit on a shelf or inside a drawer. If you have multiple hunting rifle or shotgun styles, you’ll need a long gun safe, which can take up a lot of storage space and be a challenge to conceal. If you expect to acquire more guns, buy a safe large enough for your future needs.

 

Size terms like “Small,” “Medium” and “Large” can vary greatly between manufacturers. Consider this a starting point but confirm the size and capacity of specific safes: 

Tip: Do not assume that a safe’s size estimates will also accommodate accessories like scopes. 

Quick Access Safes
A quick access safe holds a single handgun.

Quick access safes are a specialized type with a one- to two-handgun capacity, built for when an owner needs to easily open the safe in a hurry. Some have "quick-draw," drop-down drawers or mounting hardware for such locations as under tables or desks. 

Long Gun Safes
A long gun safe contains rifles.

Long gun safes contain shelves or racks specifically designed to accommodate rifles or shotguns. They often contain additional storage for smaller guns and ammunition. 

Locking Mechanisms
A gun safe with a fingerprint reader.
  • Like all safes, gun safes have different locking mechanisms, so choose the one you find the most easy and secure. Options include key locks, combination locks and electronic keypad. Make sure your method of opening the safe is as secure as the safe itself: for instance, if you have a key lock, don’t leave the key in plain sight. 
  • Many safes now come equipped with a biometric lock that uses a fingerprint reader. They ensure that the safe can be easily opened by only the right person (or people – a biometric lock can often remember multiple sets of fingerprints). And you won’t run the risk of losing your key or forgetting the combination. 
Security Construction
A gun vault with a thick door.
  • The physical security of a gun vault is equally important to thwart potential safecrackers. In general, the thicker the doors and the higher the gauge of the solid steel walls, the more difficult the safe will be to breach. High quality safes with steel gauging of 8 or more, and walls with a thickness of 5/16-inch or more, should be almost impenetrable to a burglar armed with a pry bar.
  • In addition, the more securing bolts in the mechanical lock of the vault door, the harder it will be to open. 
  • Some safes include mounting hardware to keep them from being stolen or falling over.
Protection From the Elements
A gun safe designed to protect from water and heat.
  • In the event of fire, you’ll want to protect your valuables. Safes have an UL (Underwriters Laboratory) classification if the items inside remain undamaged after a half-hour of fire exposure at 1550 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • In case of floods or household leaks, ETL-certified waterproof safes are tested by complete submersion in water for an hour. Safes classified as “water-resistant” withstood 15 minutes of 1,000 gallons of water spray as well as one hour of standing in 6 inches of water with no damage to the contents. 
  • Moisture and humidity are not your weapons' friends: even when stored, a firearm in the wrong climate can be at risk of rusting. 

Tip: Silica packs effectively reduce moisture in a safe.

Special Features
A gun safe with shelving for ammo and accessories.

Newer gun safes may have such special features and accessories as the following: 

  • Smart vaults can be controlled through your phone or computer. 
  • Adjustable shelves can fit the sizes in your gun collection. 
  • Interior lock boxes, pouches or compartments can store pistols, ammo and other valuables. 
  • Cushions or fabric-covered shelves and racks can keep firearms from getting scratched. 
  • Battery power can run a fingerprint reader, scanner or interior light. Some can run on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
  • Alarms and monitoring systems can alert you if an unauthorized person is trying to open the safe. 
  • Solid steel security cable holds the safe in place.
  • Lifetime warranty guarantees the safe is free of defects. 


Whether a discrete in-wall gun safe or a tall model that fills a closet, the best gun safes for your home will ensure your weapons' security and make an unauthorized person less likely to access them. Check safe reviews to find a product of high caliber for storing your firearms.