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  • Camille Bryant

The Best Nightstand Gun Safe Is Actually Affordable In 2023

The best bedside pistol safes in 2023 are both biometric and affordable. I've tested and ranked the 10 most popular options in America to help you find a safe that's perfect for you. Here are some hands-on reviews.

FYI, Prices and ratings are accurate as of time of writing.

1. Awesafe - Superb Biometric Fingerprint Scanner

Top-rated: 2,060 ratings | 77 answered questions

Awesafe - Superb Biometric Fingerprint Scanner

Highlight: Secure storage for two standard handguns + ammunition.

Helpful review: "Works very well! Heavy duty. Someone complained in reviews that any fingerprint will open the box. It comes that way from the factory. But if one reads the instructions, it's VERY easy to set it up to read only your fingerprint, and only your fingerprint will open it. You also can set up a four digit code, and 2 keys are provided that will open the box. There's two heavy duty lag bolts that come with the kit and you can mount it. When you open the box a nice blue light illuminates for about 30 seconds. Comes with four double a batteries. Also, a pleasant surprise, I got a free gift of a nice set of ear muffs. Great Value, great quality. I love it." — David J. Cook
Trending review: "The unit is heavy on its own and comes with screws for those wanting a built-in setup. Fits one full size pistol with room for two 10-round magazines. No additional foam or ways to configure the inside. Inside lined with a soft felt-like material. I did not see a way to secure the unit using a cable or tether (like those gun safes designed for your car). Blue light for illumination - it should be a brighter light. It is easy to cover up the bulb when you have added a pistol and magazines (or whatever you choose to put in the safe). Fingerprint actually works! It takes a minute to figure out the process, but easy after that. Very fast way to open the lid. Has a 4 round keypads for numeric code opening (numbers 1-4), as well as a physical key method. It is the size of a laptop computer (about 11 inches square) and as mentioned, it is a heavy unit. You need to keep your weapons safe, secure and accessible, and this unit makes that easy to do." — Tom Neff

Get it from Amazon now: $169.00 & FREE Returns


2. SentrySafe - Most Popular 9mm Pistol Safe

Top-rated: 4,084 ratings

SentrySafe - 100% Accurate Scanner

Highlight: Improved gas strut for long-lasting performance.

Helpful review: "My husband and I have a toddler and we really wanted a way to secure our firearm to make sure it stayed out of his wandering hands. We also wanted to still have it close by with easy access. My husband read tons of reviews on a lot of options and despite rumors of bad battery life we wanted to give those safe a try. I can say that at least for us, if you put in good quality batteries (we used energizer max ones) it has been holding up and lasting great in that department, and that’s which our toddler coming on and poking the buttons all the time because he likes to see the lights on it. To that note, it’s also been great because no amount of random poking by our toddler has caused it to open for him. It does lock you out for a few minutes after enough failed tries, which caused us to think at one point the batteries were dead since my husband was trying to use it and it wouldn’t unlock and was flashing red. BUT there is a different flashing pattern and he soon realized it was just locked out from our toddler for a short time. We have a Springfield XD Mod 2 which is a small compact 9mm pistol, but this box could easily fit larger pistols and ammo! We fit the fun, the extra clip, an ammo box AND an LED motion detector light in it. It’s easy to set up fingerprints on and has never failed to open yet either. You do have to wake it first with a button or thumb swipe BEFORE starting your combo, so that can be confusing sometimes, but that keeps it from dying always being awake and waiting for input. Love it and would definitely recommend this date." — KSK
Trending review: "This is my first small gun safe purchase of any kind. We have children so having weapons locked up is important to me, but ease of access is equally important - otherwise what's the point in having a weapon if you can't get to it? I use the fingerprint slide several times a week and am only on the second battery of the year since I bought this. Setup was pretty easy, despite my normally-intimidated-by-new-technology perspective. The fingerprint technology works very well- normally I am able to get it open on the first try, but every once in a while I have to try it twice, and one time I had to switch hands (I have it set to my index finger on either hand). I long ago forgot the pin code that I set it to, but I have the key and instructions for it in our large gun safe, while this quick-access safe stays on my nightstand with my weapon. I try to make sure the weapon is in the safe when I am sleeping, with me when I am awake, or else in the big safe that no one will be able to walk off with, should I need to leave my weapon at home without me there. I would not call it quiet to open, as it clicks and makes about a one-second whine as it automatically opens, but it is quiet enough to not wake a sleeping baby. Said baby enjoys touching the keypad or fingerprint pad to make it light up. That's a bit annoying, but beats the alternative of not being able to see them when you need to, although I could see wanting it to stay unlit if it was really needed as well. Overall I love this safe. Does exactly what I need!" — Sporty9

Get it from Amazon now: $179.98 & FREE Returns


3. RPNB - Sturdy and Well-Built

Top-rated: 8,508 ratings | 228 answered questions

RPNB - Most Popular Bedside Safe

Highlight: Upgraded smart biometric scanner.

Helpful review: "We bought this safe with concern having read a number of reviews reporting that the fingerprint reader allowed people who had never programmed their fingerprints to open the safe. So after reading the instructions thoroughly (they are short, well-written, and provide steps to ensure the accuracy of the fingerprint reader), during and after we programmed each adult member of the family’s fingerprints (index and thumb of both hands), we tested the reader repeatedly vs programmed fingers, the same person’s other fingers, and the fingers of our unauthorized kids. If we discovered any inaccuracies, the safe would go straight back into the box and returned to Amazon. Results: There were zero failures: the programmed fingers opened the safe and the wrong ones didn’t. Regarding the other features of the safe, it’s heavy and solid, although I could probably pry it open with the right tools in 10 minutes. It holds a 6” revolver and a full size semi-auto with a little room to spare for ammo + 1 clip. The beep that sounds when you press a button is unreasonably *LOUD* so we disabled it by holding the ‘1’ key down for 4 seconds. (Mfr, why so loud? Pls fix). And the gas-assist door opens rapidly, almost violently, and can crash into the front of the cabinet if the drawer the safe is kept in isn’t opened enough. All these dings on the design are minor and tolerable for our purposes, esp at this price point. I recommend this safe.." — Shawn
Trending review: "After trying several different gun vaults, I was prepared to be unimpressed with this one, but boy was I surprised! The inside is big enough to hold a lot of things. Mine has three pistols in it and plenty of extra room for other things. My mother has the same gun vault and has her pistol, the case, her holster, several packages of bullets, and more inside. The case looks roughly the size of a small VCR and is not an eyesore. This was a great investment! Occasionally, it doesn’t open the first time I lay my finger on the sensor, but that’s because I didn’t get the angle just right. The beeping sound that it arrives with can be turned off, and when it is, the whole process is very quiet except for a whirring noise as the top lifts. It sounds a little like a sneeze. By the time an intruder hears that noise, I’ll have my hands on my weapon. I love this because I’ve been searching for a long time for a vault that just works and now I’ve found it." — Donna

Get it from Amazon now: $125.99 & FREE Returns


4. ONNAIS - Great Value for Money

Top-rated: 4,550 ratings | 76 answered questions

ONNAIS - Great Value for Money

Highlight: The fingerprint lock can store up to 30 user fingerprints for access by multiple users.

Helpful review: "I will be comparing this too the Vaultek VT20 pistol safe as I now own both. I will start by saying the value of this safe is excellent. It appears well built and I could not find any visible flaws. It came very well packaged. The buttons are large and the biometric feature works very well. I was actually very surprised at how well the fingerprint reader worked to open the safe. I was also pleased it stores up to 20 different finger prints. The inside of the safe is spacious and it is lined with nice padded material. It locks securely and positively and it springs open very well.
Let me get down to the comparison; The VT20 was almost exactly twice the cost of this safe. And if I had opted for the biometric version of the Vaultek, the Vaultek would be nearly three times the cost. I can confidently say the Vaultek is better in every way. The Vaultek is nearly twice as heavy, has double walled construction, has internal hinges, and two locks which appear twice as thick as this safe. The padding is thicker and better on the Vaultek, it has rechargeable batteries(this one uses 4 AA batteries which are not included), an internal light, lighted buttons, and an app which helps you change settings and reset the safe in case of tampering. With all of that being said, If you are looking to have a quick access safe which will keep a firearm safe from children at an inexpensive cost then this will do the trick. If you want more features and a more secure safe, AND are willing to spend 2 to 3 times as much, buy a Vaultek." — B. Larson

Get it from Amazon now: $139.99 & FREE Returns


5. BBRKIN - Outstanding Customer Service

Top-rated: 3,508 ratings

BBRKIN - Amazing Customer Service

Highlight: Backlit Keypad, LED light and Silent Mode.

Helpful review: "I purchased this safe as a gun safe for my sub-compact pistol. I have 2 young children who need to be safe not only from intruders, but also from the dangers of a firearm in the wrong hands (mainly their own).
Build Quality: Consistent with what I read in other reviews, this safe is hefty. It's made of thick metal, and I have no concerns that there is any easy way in (aside from the 3 entry methods: code, fingerprint, or key). This will work perfectly to keep my children out and also anyone quickly rummaging through my house if I were not home from easily accessing my firearm.
Setup: I have yet to look at the instruction manual. Based solely on the reviews I read/watched prior to purchase, I did a full setup of my prints, setting a new code, and silencing the safe in under 5 minutes (easily). Couldn't be easier.
Sound: When I received my safe, the first thing I did after putting batteries into it was hold down "1" for a few seconds to silence the safe. Even when silenced, you can still hear a fairly quiet mechanical release of the locking mechanism when opening with the fingerprint scanner or the code. The key entry just has the "click" that any spring loaded item that is released should be expected to have (due to surfaces of multiple components changing how they are interacting). All the sounds I hear are what should be expected, and give me confidence in the quality, rather than concern or a feeling that it is "too loud," etc. If an intruder were close enough to hear this, they would already know you are there, and sound would not be a concern. These noises only occur when the safe OPENS, meaning you now have access to your means of protection, so things are about to get loud anyway. (It's still very quiet, just addressing the nay-sayers, if any exist)
Key Entry: Key feels solid, slides in super easy due to the rectangular shape with grooves rather than being a jagged edged key. As I said, it is the quietest method of entry (even when the safe is silenced). This being said, I plan to hide the keys pretty well and do not intend to use the key except if I fail to keep up on the batteries. Keeping a key nearby is asking for trouble with kids IMO.
Code: Code was easy to setup. As some have said, if you choose a shorter code (I did 4 digits for now), it will make it clear when an incorrect 4 digit code is entered--so someone will not needlessly try to guess 8 digit passwords. Unless someone has extended access to the safe, I don't see this ever being an issue--and if you are concerned about someone with regular access continually trying to enter, it may be a good idea to have a longer code, or more likely--not keep a firearm in the house.
Fingerprint scanner: I set up all 10 of my prints super fast. I only did one per finger. When placed square-on like when I registered, there is almost never a time when it fails. Registering multiple angles/areas of the fingers I will actually use is something I will probably do in the future (rather than including my pinkies, which is super awkward to even setup, much less use in a real life scenario. I haven't tried tons of unregistered fingerprints. I am curious to know if unregistered fingerprints have a failure rate (opening the safe). If this is a concern you have and you expect people to regularly try to open your safe that shouldn't, you can just not setup any fingerprints and rely on the other methods (or not keep a firearm, if there is cause for concern).
Battery life: I haven't had it long enough to speak to battery life, but the batteries I put in it are not high quality, and I haven't had any issues yet. I plan to monitor battery life and then setup a regular replacement schedule based on how quickly it seems to get low, rather than letting them get close to dying before replacing every time.
Space: This safe easily fit my 2 sub-compact pistols with an extra mag each and a kydex holster. I since sold one of the pistols, but its a large safe, I believe it would be hard to find 2 (modern) pistols of any size that would not fit in this safe together. The foam on bottom and sides protects your firearms from scratches. The foam on the bottom is easily lifted to anchor the safe to another surface. You can also remove it, line the bottom of the safe with cash, place the foam back on top and still have room for your firearm(s). The safe has plenty of height to allow for this.
Customer service has already reached out to me, and seems like they will be phenomenal if any issues do arise. Super pleased with this purchase. 5/5 all day." — Jon

Get it from Amazon now: $189.99 & FREE Returns


6. RPNB - Perfect Size for a Single Large Handgun

Top-rated: 2,230 ratings | 59 answered questions

RPNB - Perfect Size for a Single Large Handgun

Highlight: Sturdy 16-GAUGE carbon steel construction.

Helpful review: "This safe checked all the boxes I wanted in a replacement safe. My previous safe had a biometric scanner and push buttons for a code. Those were ok but limited to two fingerprints. In addition the door release also had a piston to fully lift the door to access the weapon, the problem is the piston has worn out and the door doesn’t spring open enough to quickly open the safe. So for my new safe I wanted a better biometric scanner, the ability to store more than two prints, and most importantly little to no spring to open to access the contents. This safe hit all those points. The scanner is very similar to an iPhone fingerprint scanner. As I did with my old iPhone, I changed scan positions drastically to ensure pretty much any finger position would unlock the safe. I also scanned different parts of the same finger such as the middle of the of and closer to the first joint since I wasn’t getting a good read on the middle pad scan.
A couple of issues brought up in other reviews: This version of safe does have a silence button to turn off beeps or chimes while scanning or accessing the safe. Prior versions of the safe may not have had this feature. Second issue was the scanner reading any fingerprint from another person after a print has been programmed. As stated above the scanner is defaulted to read any print upon unboxing. When a custom print is added this default is turned off. If the safe is reset to remove all finger prints then the default would be any print can unlock the safe. Additionally I had other people test the fingerprint scanner after I programmed my fingerprint and no one else was able to unlock the safe.
The only negatives I could find the padding inside of pretty thin and not well attached to the safe. The key type used for unlocking is pretty easy to defeat. Not the most secure key type but if someone has access to a small safe locked in my home that can be pried open they can have it." — Scrub175

Get it from Amazon now: $99.99 & FREE Returns


7. Awesafe - Solid Steel Construction

Top-rated: 2,015 ratings | 74 answered questions