Buying Guide for Home Security Door and Window Sensors

Window and door sensors can serve many purposes beyond home security. It’s a given that you'll be alerted whenever someone may try to break in, but did you know it can help lower electricity bills by letting you know if any windows were left open when the air conditioning is on? Or that you can keep loved ones out of liquor cabinets or home offices with expensive equipment and important documents? There are a multitude of uses for door and window sensors, and you’ll be able to see which types are best for your needs.

Best Door and Window Sensors Independent of Security Monitoring Services

These sensors can be installed without buying into expensive security monitoring services. Several do require the purchase of a hub, which allows higher functionality of the sensors such as sending alerts to your phone.


Z-wave Plus

Interlogix NX-650N

Samsung SmartThings


Sabre Elite

iSmartAlarm Starter














Sensor Type



Magnetic and Vibration




Source Of PowerBattery(included) - up to 5 years lifeHardwired or battery(included)3V Lithium Battery(included)Battery powered sensors, receivers plugged directly into outlets3xAAA batteries2xCR2 batteries(included)
Amazon Rating

4/5 - > 350 reviews

4.5/5 - > 80 reviews

3.5/5 - > 300 reviews

4.5/5 - > 25 reviews

3.5/5 - > 30 reviews

3.5/5 - > 750 reviews

App SupportYesNo app supportYesNo app supportNoYes

Works with most Z-wave home security hubs. Very long battery life.

Basic sensor that does not require a hub, can be combined with Frontpoint, GE, and several other security systems.

Get reminders if you left a door open, detects room temperature, detects vibration, can be expanded into a more complete security package with cameras and lights.

Does not require an expensive hub, easy to install, very good bang for the buck

120dB alarm, keypad door alarm activation, 3 alarm settings - off, chime(for guests and children when home), and alarm

Able to easily set alarm/chime settings and delay timers through the app, notifications sent to your phone or through email.


Can have initial connectivity issues with the hub of your choosing.

App support if paired with a system that provides it.

Very high initial cost due to needing the hub.

No app support

Alarm mode is very loud if you want it on while home

Initial cost is much higher due to needing the hub.

Best For

Households that already have a Z-wave compatible hub, and want to add sensors to their home security.

Homes with established security systems can easily add more sensors to their doors and windows with this item.

Techies and small businesses, especially if you already have samsung products. You can easily add more sensors at home and at your place of business, and control them all from the same app.

Homes that does want in house alerts of doors or windows being opened, and do not need to be notified through an app.

Families with children, the chime setting is not too loud and lets you know when they are coming and going.

Techies and small businesses. You can easily add more sensors at home and at your place of business, and control them all from the same app.

Door and Window Sensors That are part of Security Monitoring Services

The following door and window sensors are offered by security monitoring services and have a bit higher functionality built into them, and usually much higher battery life.





Protect America

Link Interactive

Sensor Type






Source Of PowerBattery - up to 6 year lifeBattery - up to 5 year lifeBattery - up to 3 year lifeBattery - up to 5 yearsVaries
App SupportYes - alerts sent through Vivint App and control panelYes - alerts sent through Frontpoint App and control panelYes - alerts sent through LifeShield app and control panel.Yes - alerts sent through LifeShield app and control panel.Yes - alerts sent through LifeShield app and control panel.

Can be placed inside the frame of a door or window to make the sensor unnoticeable

Very easy setup, good range, 3 year manufacturer warranty

Can customize sensors in different areas to respond differently, some can sound an alarm while others just sent a text message.

Easy set up, low initial cost as the equipment is built into the monthly costs rather than paid upfront.

Wide variety of door and window sensors, from recessed door sensors to thin designs.


Can have initial connectivity issues with the hub of your choosing.

Expensive security package costs and the sensors are not tamper proof, they can easily be removed.

Lower battery life, user complaints of poor customer service.

Lower upfront costs can end up being more costly over the course of the 3-5 year contract.

So many options can make it difficult to choose which is best for your needs, and there is no professional installation, you must do everything yourself.

Best For

Homes with Z-wave compatible equipment, you can connect other home automation equipment to the Vivint control panel.

Elderly and families that are not good with technology. Frontpoint has an excellent customer satisfaction rating with excellent support to help with any issues.

Households that want the ability to easily set each sensor to respond to activity differently, i.e. doors to sound an alarm and for the kitchen pantry to send a text message when underage kids are trying to get into the liquor cabinet.

Households that want to have a full security system without the high upfront costs. Protect America rents out their equipment at a monthly rate, rather than sells the equipment at their full price upfront.

Link Interactive has the most flexible contract terms from as little as 12 months up to 36 months. Perfect for households that don't want to be stuck in a long term commitment and have the know how to install the equipment themselves.


There are more and more options in home security sensors each year, filtering out the low performing, unreliable ones is a must to be sure you’re actually protected. Using our guides above brings the options down to just the proven sensors on the market today, ensuring that you’ll have one of the best sensors available installed in your home.