Genie’s model 7035-TKV is one of the most keenly priced garage door openers on our list. But that doesn’t mean it compromises on features.
First up, there’s the motor. This is run on DC power, making it quieter than openers that use AC. If your garage adjoins a bedroom, or if you have a study or living space above, it’s a good option.
The motor generates 0.75 horsepower to operate the chain drive, giving it plenty of oomph. It will be strong enough to handle all but the very heaviest residential garage doors with ease. As long as you have a sectional door that’s the standard 7 feet tall, you can use this with confidence.
When switched on, it starts slowly and accelerates. It slows down as it’s stopping too. The design saves wear and tear on the motor, but some people may prefer a speedier unit.
It also comes with a battery back-up in case of power failures. If you’re in an area that’s prone to outages, that will be reassuring. The battery has enough juice to open or close the door 50 times. That should be more than enough to last until the power is up and running again.
The package includes two remote controls, each with three buttons. They’re pre-programmed, so you won’t have the hassle of setting them up.
There’s also a wireless touchpad that allows you to open the door using a PIN. There’s even the option of providing a separate temporary PIN for guests. A multi-function wall console allows you to turn on a light and lock the door if you’re going on vacation.
Installation takes a few hours, but the instructions are clear and it’s not too tricky. One thing to watch out for is the wire to install the sensors and wall switch. There’s not very much of it! If you need to dodge any obstacles to reach the switch, you’ll probably need to buy more.
Overall, though, this is a good quality opener at an excellent price.
Powerful 0.75 horsepower motor
Very quiet operation
Comes with two pre-programmed remote controls
Start-up may be a little slow for some
Installation would be easier if the wire supplied was longer.
The second model from Genie to make our list, the 3053-TV is a little more expensive. The motor is actually less powerful than the 7035-TKV, at 0.5 horsepower. But it has something the other model doesn’t – wifi connectivity.
If you yearn to be able to control your garage door opener with Alexa, this model will fit the bill. It’s compatible with Google Assistant too. Instruct your door to open and watch it obey – great for impressing small children!
And if you prefer, you can operate the door using your smartphone. The wittily-named Aladdin Connect technology will allow you to monitor your garage door wherever you are. It’s a great option for anyone looking to improve their home security.
It’s safe too. When operated via smartphone, lights flash and alert sounds, allowing anyone near the door to get out of the way.
Like the other Genie model on our list, it comes with two pre-programmed remote controls. There’s also a wall console with a light and vacation lock.
The motor may be less powerful, but it will still raise and lower a 7-feet tall sectional door. And if your garage door is taller, you can purchase a separate extension kit. This will increase the opener’s range to 8 feet. As long as the door is 500 pounds or less, it will work.
The mechanism is a steel-reinforced belt drive system. It’s durable and strong. And the DC motor makes opening and shutting the door nice and quiet.
The motor comes with a limited lifetime warranty, while the belt is covered for 15 years. There’s a five-year limited warranty on parts, and one year on accessories.
Installation is fairly straightforward. The rail system is comprised of five pieces that simply snap together. Each piece is light enough to maneuver easily. And you won’t need any tools or hardware to fix everything in place. The wifi set-up is, however, quite time-consuming.
The main downside with this one is that the voice-activated controls aren’t as user-friendly as we’d like. If you want to use Alexa, you’ll need to practice your tongue twisters. The instruction is the unnecessarily convoluted “Alexa, ask Aladdin Connect to open the garage door”.
When the instruction is received, you’ll then be asked for a password. We can see the value in keeping your garage secure. But the process takes so long, you may as well have opened the door yourself.
Compatible with smartphones, Alexa and Google Assistant
It comes with its own smartphone communication system, myQ. Install the app on your phone and you’ll be able to operate the opener wherever you are. It’s a great option if you want to use your garage as a safe place for delivering parcels.
It’s fully encrypted and works with your router’s firewall, so you can be confident it’s secure. And you can also link it to other apps – like Wink, which turns on your house lights when you open the garage.
It doesn’t currently work with Alexa, although an upgrade is planned. It is, though, compatible with IFTTT and Google Assistant. You’ll need to purchase a separate subscription for this.
It’s also worth noting that several users have found the wifi very fiddly to set up. And if you make a mistake during the complex process, you’re locked out of the system for 30 minutes. Frustrating. An ethernet port would have made installation much easier.
As well as using your smartphone, the opener can be operated by remote control. Two controls are included as standard, and they run on 9-volt batteries. Each control has three buttons, so you can use them to operate another two openers.
A particularly nice touch is the tri-band technology. This boosts the power of the remote controls, allowing them to open and close the door from up to 1,500 feet away. That means plenty of time for the door to open, allowing you to drive straight into your garage.
The motor here is very powerful, generating 1.25 horsepower. If you have a heavy garage door, this may be the opener for you. The reinforced belt drive system is both strong and quiet. If your garage is attached to your house or has a room built over it, this is a great option.
And there’s no need to worry about getting back into your garage if the power fails. There’s battery back-up so you’re always able to get in and out.
25 horsepower motor is the strongest in its class
Can be operated by smartphone and compatible with IFTTT and Google Assistant
If your pockets aren’t deep enough for the B970, Chamberlain’s C450 is 30 percent less expensive. And it’s still got plenty to recommend it.
It has the same myQ technology, allowing you to monitor, open, and close your garage door with your smartphone. You’ll also get alerts to your phone when the door has moved. And if you’re prepared to pay a separate subscription, you can use it with Google Assistant and IFTTT.
You can also invite three guests to operate your garage door. That’s great for giving temporary access to friends or family.
It uses the same encryption technology as the B970, giving you confidence that the system is secure. You won’t have to worry about hacking. There’s also what Chamberlain calls “Posi-lock technology”. This makes sure that when your door is shut, it stays that way until you choose to open it.
The same accessories are included as standard as with the B970. That includes two remote controls, each with three buttons. They can be used to control your garage door from up to 1,500 feet away.
There’s also a dual-function wall console and a wireless keypad. And there’s battery back-up so the door can still be moved, even if there’s a power outage.
So why the difference in price?
Well, the C450 has a less powerful motor. It generates 0.5 horsepower, in comparison to the 1.25 horsepower of the B970. And in place of the reinforced steel belt drive, the C450 has a simple chain drive.
The motor will be powerful enough for most standard garage doors. If your door is heavy, though, it won’t be the best choice.
The other issue with this one is the volume level. This isn’t the quietest door opener out there. If your garage is near bedrooms or living space, you may want to choose a different option.
But if you don’t need a large motor, the C450 is a well-designed unit with bags of features. And it won’t break the bank.
Can be operated by smartphone and is compatible with Google Assistant and IFTTT
Battery back-up to keep things moving if there’s a power outage
Two remote controls, each with a range of 1,500 feet
Despite the keen price, you’ll still get a DC motor that offers quiet operation. The 0.5 horsepower output isn’t the strongest on the market, but will be sufficient for most residential garage doors.
The chain drive is heavy-duty, and there’s a patented design to stop break-ins.
The wall control is push-button, rather than the touch screen, and there’s no outside keypad. It comes with only one single-button remote control. It is, though, compatible with many models of in-car remote control too.
There’s no wifi here. If that’s essential, choose Skylink’s ATR-11 instead. The price difference is about the same as a couple of cups of artisan coffee.
One thing to note is that this doesn’t come with battery back-up as standard. If your home is vulnerable to power outages, you can invest in a compatible battery back-up set. You will, though, have to connect it up yourself.
Installation is straightforward. The opener has a clever LCD screen that walks you through the programming process.
This doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of more expensive openers. But if you can cope with just one remote control, you’ll get a solid, quiet, and reliable opener. And it’s half the price of other options on this list.
DC motor for quiet operation
Heavy-duty chain drive with a patented design to prevent tampering
If you don’t mind splashing the cash on your door opener, consider Liftmaster’s Elite 8500. You could buy three of the Skylink AT-1611 openers and still have change for the price of this one. But if you’ve got the money, there are some clever features here that are worth a look.
The first thing you’ll notice is that the opener is installed on the wall next to the garage door. The innovative design frees up ceiling space, so if you want to hang bicycles or suchlike, it’s great. It does, though, limit the kind of door this will work with.
You’ll need a front-mount torsion bar system for this. And it won’t work with roll-up doors, low headroom track, or doors using the Wayne Dalton TorqueMaster system.
If that’s not a problem, you’ll be getting a door opener that’s exceptionally quiet. That’s because the design eliminates vibration through the ceiling. It’s particularly good for homes where the garage has a room above it.
The DC motor generates power equivalent to about 0.75 horsepower. So you’ll get plenty of heft for your money.
The specifications say that this will work with your smartphone using the same myQ technology employed by Chamberlain. However, we’ve heard from a number of customers who’ve faced difficulties with using the app. If this is a key feature for you, you may prefer a different opener.
It also comes with a wall-mounted console and two remote controls. Each of the remotes has three buttons for maximum flexibility. If you have other garages with openers, you should be able to operate them all from the same control. Just follow the instructions for programming.
There’s no battery back-up as standard. You can, though, purchase it separately.
The real plus points with this opener are the quiet operation and the wall-mounted design. If those are priorities for you, this may well be worth the investment. But if you need to operate your garage door using your smartphone, there are more reliable models out there.
Wall-mounted design frees up ceiling space
Very quiet operation
Comes with two three-button remote controls
Will only work with doors that have front-mount torsion systems
7. Sommer Direct Drive 1042V004 Garage Door Opener (Best for the Money)
This door opener from Sommer has plenty of features for a competitive price.
It will work with garage doors either 7 feet or 8 feet high without the need for a separate extension. And the 0.75 horsepower motor will handle even heavier residential doors. It’s rated to lift up to 550 pounds.
It can be operated by remote control or via the control panel, designed to be mounted on an inside wall.
Two sleek remote controls are included in the package, each with two buttons. They use rolling codes to prevent them from being hacked, keeping your garage and its contents secure. There’s also a sliding cover to prevent the buttons from being pressed by accident.
The neat design is very attractive – each remote control is about the same size as a packet of chewing gum. But the small recessed buttons won’t be to everyone’s taste.
The opener is also compatible with HomeLink, the system used for many in-car remote controls. If you have this in your vehicle, it’s by far the easiest way to open and close your garage. Visit the HomeLink website and program the opener from your car. It shouldn’t take you more than ten minutes.
Installation is easier than with many other models out there. Sommer has provided a helpful video to walk you step-by-step through the process. And there are some clever design features to help things go smoothly.
The wiring connections have been simplified. And you may also find that the door bracket from older openers is compatible, so it won’t need to be replaced. Check the specifications of your bracket with an authorized dealer to be sure.
This opener is exceptionally quiet. If you’re concerned about noise from the garage door, it’s one of the best options out there.
One thing to note, though, is the speed of opening and closing. This is more leisurely than some of the openers on our list. Expect it to take about 14 seconds to fully open a standard 7-foot garage door.
Overall, this is a well-engineered opener at a very reasonable price.
Will work with either 7 or 8-feet tall garage doors – no need for an extension kit
Very smooth and quiet operation
Comes with two remote controls and compatible with HomeLink in-car remotes
Some will find the small buttons on the remote controls a pain
Still not sure which is the garage door opener for you? Let us walk you through some of the factors to consider before you make your choice.
How much power do you need?
The strength of the motor is one of the most important features of a garage door opener. The more powerful the motor, the larger and heavier the garage door it will lift.
All the openers on our list are designed to be used with residential garage doors. They will all have a rating for weight, so check the specifications before you buy.
If you have a standard, non-insulated 7-foot high garage door, a 0.5 horsepower motor should be sufficient. If your door is taller or heavier – for example, because it’s insulated – you’ll need something with more power.
Chamberlain’s B970 model is the most powerful on our list, generating an impressive 1.25 horsepower.
What about volume levels?
If your garage is detached from your home, you may not worry if the opener makes a bit of noise. But if it’s near bedrooms or living areas, the volume will be important. The same will apply if you have a study or another room above the garage.
Openers with DC motors are usually quieter than those that run on AC power. But don’t be put off chain drive models. As long as they’re well-engineered, they can run very quietly. Genie’s 7035-TKV is a case in point.
How do you want to operate your opener?
Finally, consider how you want to operate your garage door opener. If your vehicles all have an in-car remote control, make sure they will be compatible with your opener.
If they don’t, think about how many remote controls you’ll need. Less expensive models may have only one. Will that be enough?
Check how many buttons the remote controls have too. If you have other garages or outhouses, you may want to control them all from the same gadget. If so, make sure there are enough buttons to allow you to program them all in.
Finally, consider whether you want to be able to operate your door by smartphone. Some openers can also be used with virtual assistants like Alexa or Google Assistant. If you choose one of these, check the security features, and look at reviews too. This is still a fairly new technology, and not all models work reliably.
Ready to choose your garage door opener?
That brings us to the end of our list of the top seven best garage door openers out there. We hope we’ve helped you decide what features are priorities for you.
Our top pick is Chamberlain’s B970. Its 1.25 horsepower motor is the most powerful on our list, and it runs smoothly and quietly. And there are enough bells and whistles here for the most demanding technophile.
But if you’re looking for a more economical option, we love Sommer’s Direct Drive 1042V004. This is a beautifully engineered opener with plenty of features. And it’s very competitively priced.
Whichever option you choose, you’ll never again need to grapple with your garage door in the pouring rain. Happy shopping!