Maybe you’re on a budget. Or maybe you don’t have that much stuff to put in a safe, so you don’t want to buy something that’s bigger than you need. Regardless of reason, you need to buy the best small home safe possible.
There’s a lot of options… but fortunately, I’ve already done a huge amount of research. Instead of keeping it to myself, I’m going to share it with you to make your life easier.
If you want to make a confident, well-informed, and painless decision about what small safe to buy, keep reading!
First Alert 2030F Fire and Water Safe Review
What’s more is that the First Alert 2030F will protect digital media and electronics, which are common small items that you would put in a small safe. Again, this is very rare for small safes.
Not only that, the dimensions of the safe mean that it can also fit most envelopes and envelope-sized documents, making it very flexible.
The First Alert 2030F Fire and Water Safe has a name that tells it like it is.
This safe is not only well-sized at 0.39 cubic feet, but also both fire and water resistant. This is very rare for small safes, which usually do not come with either fire or water resistance! The 2030F can survive for 30 minutes (the average length of a house fire) at 1550ºF (slightly above the average maximum heat of a house fire). It can also be completely submerged underwater and survive.
For a small safe, the First Alert 2030F provides a very rich feature set for great value. The safe usually retails for well under $99, which is pretty good as far as safes go! In conclusion, the First Alert 2030F is a one of the best small safes for the money that you can find!
SentrySafe Fire Safe Review
At 0.15 cubic feet, the SentrySafe Fire Safe is one of the most compact safes that you’ll find available for sale anywhere.
Like many other smaller safes, it has a key lock.The SentrySafe Fire Safe is one of least expensive and smallest fire-rated safes you’ll find. If you are looking for something compact and budget-friendly, this is the safe for you!
Alongside the First Alert 2030F, it is the second of only two fire-rated small safes that exist. Again, fire-ratings for small safes are very rare. The SentrySafe Fire Safe can also survive for 30 minutes at 1550ºF, which should get you through the average house fire. Oh, right: this fire rating also applies to digital media and electronics.
What’s more is how budget-friendly the SentrySafe Fire Safe is. It usually sells for under $45, which is a HUGE bargain as far as safes are concerned.
Barska Mini Biometric Safe Review
One bonus feature of the Barska Mini Biometric Safe’s fingerprint lock is that you can store up to 30 fingerprints. I’d personally advise you to keep the safe access to as few people as possible.
However, if you’re in a situation (ex. Running a business) where you need multiple people to access the safe, this could come in handy.
The Barska Mini Biometric Safe is one of the most popular small home safes on the market. The people I know who have it tend to like it because it’s quick to open. As the name suggests, the Barska Mini Biometric Safe has a biometric fingerprint lock. All you have to do is put your finger on the sensor and the lock will open.
The Barska Mini Biometric Safe has an included lithium battery. I’ve heard mixed feedback about the battery life of the biometric lock for this safe, so be aware about that factor.
Personally, I do know a guy who’s been using his Barska Mini Biometric Safe for around 3 years now and he hasn’t had to replace the battery yet. For what it’s worth, he opens the safe around twice every month. Other folks have had to change the battery at around the 2 year mark. Your mileage may vary.
The Barska Mini Biometric Safe is also a bit on the pricier side, usually just above $100. I’m actually not quite sure why this safe is so popular. I’d rather get the SentrySafe FireSafe or First Alert 2030F instead, but I figured I might as well write an honest review for you to make your own decision off of.
Liberty 9G HDX-250 Review
The Liberty 9G HDX-250 also has a biometric fingerprint lock. On this front, Liberty Safes is pretty reliable. You can usually get the safe open in 1 second, 2 seconds at most. The safe can use either an AC adapter or 9V battery as a power source.Next up is the Liberty 9G HDX-250. This safe has a steel body and 14 gauge steel door, which makes it the strongest safe that we have on this list. Besides being well-constructed, the LIberty 9G HDX-250 also happens to be Made in the USA. Liberty Safes also upholds a standard of quality by providing a 5-year replacement warranty on any defects that might arise from the safe.
For full transparency, this safe is not waterproof or fireproof. However, if you’re looking for something strong and sturdy, the Liberty 9G HDX-250 might just be the safe that’ll meet your needs.
Side note: Interestingly, the Liberty 9G HDX-250 Smart Vault Biometric Safe is also billed as a handgun safe. I’d be pretty reluctant to use it for a handgun.
This is because in situations (e.x. a thug has broken into your house) where you might need to quickly get that handgun, your hands might be really sweaty/shaking from the adrenaline pumping through your body.
In situations like these, your biometric safe is liable to have reading errors. Contrastingly, if you use a keypad or combination safe, you can train yourself to press or spin the right combination by muscle memory, where sweaty hands don’t matter.
Ivation Electronic Home and Office Safe Review
The Ivation Electronic Home and Office safe has a solid steel body and uses an electronic keypad lock. The lock is easy to use. Just in case you somehow forget your combination, the safe also comes with two backup keys and a hidden key lock override.
The electronic lock is powered by 4 AA batteries, meaning replacing them is a breeze since AA batteries are quite common.At 0.53 cubic feet, the Ivation Electronic Home and Office safe has the largest volume out of our “small” safes. It’s still pretty small, but if you’re looking for something that’ll fit just a bit more than the other options we’ve recommended, this is your best bet.
If you want to mount your Ivation Electronic Home and Office safe, that is possible too. There are two “sleeve’ style screw holes that you can use for securing the safe to a wall or a floor, providing additional protection.
This safe also comes for relatively good value. Usually it retails for around $80 on Amazon, which is pretty good considering its larger capacity.
What can you put in a small safe?
If you have a few of any of the following items, then you could definitely use a small safe:
- Private digital media: USB thumb drives, memory cards, CD/DVDs
- Medications: prevent kids or others from accessing sensitive meds (ex. Prescription drugs)
- Jewelry or other heirlooms: rings, necklaces, you name it.
- Cash, valuable coins, or other hard assets
When should I use a small safe?
Do any of these statements apply to you? Then you might need a small home safe!
- I only have a limited number of things (see “what can you put in a small safe” above) to put in a safe
- I move homes pretty often, so a regular or large safe will be a hassle to move
- I own a hotel/motel and need safes for my rooms
- I want to move my safe often within my home
- I don’t have that much space in my home
- I want to easily hide my safe
Most important things to look for in a good small home safe
Well of course, a small safe should have a small size. That seems obvious.
However, here’s a valid question: what exactly does “small” mean? What sizes of safes are considered “small”?
Here’s our answer: usually, “small” safes are somewhere around or below 0.5 cubic feet in volume. To help you visualize that, 0.5 cubic feet is just a little bit bigger than your regular two-slice bread toaster. Saying that again: 0.5 cubic feet = a bread toaster.
Most “regular” safes out there are above 1.0 cubic feet in volume, and will be two or three times larger than what you might need for a small safe. Beyond that, there are extra large safes that offer upwards of 6.0 cubic feet in volume.
Make sure that you’re actually looking for a small safe! If you only need about 0.5 cubic feet in volume or below, then yes — you’re reading the right article! However, if you need more, I’ll recommend my reviews on the top regular sized home safes (for “regular sized” safes) and the top extra large home safes.
Chances are you’re looking for a small safe because they tend to be more budget-friendly. That’s a correct assumption: the the smaller the safe, usually the lower the price.
Small safes can oftentimes be under $99, and in some occasions under $49. Usually, $200 is the upper limit for the prices of small safes.
Of course, you don’t want to just buy the cheapest safe without looking at its features or level of quality. The point of buying a safe is to have protection… if you cheap out and buy something that doesn’t actually offer protection, that’s basically throwing away your money.
Since I know you’re smarter than that, I’m going to focus on getting the best value out of the money you spend. I’ll present a range of options (all still within budget-friendly territory), and tell you why it might (or might not) be worth paying more for certain safes.
As I mentioned above, you need to look at the features a small safe offers to make sure it’ll actually protect your valuables! If you don’t care about features, you might waste your money. I certainly don’t want you to waste your money.
The type of lock is usually the first feature people look at, for good reason. Small safes have all different kinds of locks, and you’ll want to choose the one that works best for you. Are you someone who wants quick access? A biometric fingerprint lock might work well for you. Are you likely to misplace a key? Then maybe don’t get a key lock. I’ll highlight the options and make a recommendation in the review below.
Fire resistance is another factor. Most of the time, manufacturers won’t bother making their smaller safes fire resistance. They think it’s too complicated, and not worth the effort. However, if fire protection is important to you, then there are a few small fire resistant safes available — which I’ve taken care to review for you.