The Best Quick Access Bedside Gun Safes

What are the best bedside gun safes?

A gun safe certainly isn’t the best place for your wife’s jewelry, stamp collection, or fine art pieces (a safe-deposit box would be a better choice).

But if you want to be a responsible gun owner, safeguard your handgun from thieves and other uninvited guests, and keep easy access to your piece, a quality bedside gun safe is both a must-have and (with a little help from this guide) an investment that doesn’t have to cost you more than your handgun.

How much safe do you need?

A simple way to determine the capacity you’ll need in a gun safe is to take a count of your firearms then double it. Generally, bedside safes will have the capacity for 1-2 handguns which are the right size nightstand gun safes if you want quick access to a firearm, magazine, and maybe a few other small items.

The kinds of safes aren’t going to house a massive gun collection (and probably aren’t the right place for collector pieces). These safes tend to provide the right amount of storage for a home defense situation and not much else. That said we have provided a few recommendations which can accommodate up to 4 handguns, because who has just one?

Our Nightstand Handgun Gun Safe Recommendations

SentrySafe QAP1BE Gun Safe with Biometric Lock, 1 Capacity
  • Biometric gun safe provides secure storage for one standard handgun; pistol safe with fingerprint...
  • Pistol safe features a gas strut to instantly and quietly open safe door for single-handed access to...
  • Handgun safe is constructed with solid steel and a pry resistant door for strength and handgun...

Specifications:

  • Price: $$
  • Capacity: 1 handgun
  • Stored fingerprint profiles: 4
  • Material: Steel construction

Dimensions:

  • Length: 9.9
  • Width: 12.1
  • Height: 3.2 inches
  • Weight: 11.9 pounds

We like the SentrySafe Biometric Handgun Safe for its simplicity, ease of use, and multiple-entry mechanisms. It’s just the right size for a single handgun and 2 mags, the fingerprint scanner responds quickly and consistently.

Plus the safe is designed with pre-drilled holes for wall-mounting and the door pops open in about 1 second via a gas strut. It’s really one of the best biometric handgun safes on the market today – and it’s decidedly affordable.

Opening the SentrySafe Biometric Safe

It also has a straightforward interface, and the safe features biometric locks & scanner, 4 keypad buttons, and a physical override key.

This simplicity doesn’t come at the cost of performance: In our tests the SentrySafe effortlessly opened smoothly and consistently, regardless of whether we used the fingerprint reader, keypad, or physical key locking mechanism.

Pros

  • Fingerprint reader works well
  • Good size for bedside or wall mount handgun safe
  • Wakes up instantly
  • Generally less expensive than other options
  • Electronic locking system

Cons

  • Single handgun capacity may be limiting for some users
  • Gas strut can stop working over time
VAULTEK VT20i Biometric Handgun Safe Bluetooth Smart Pistol Safe with Auto-Open Lid and Rechargeable...
  • COMPACT DESIGN can securely hold 1 handgun, magazine(s), passport, cash, and is easily mountable or...
  • TOUGH AND RUGGED 16-gauge carbon steel construction features a durable powder coat finish to prevent...
  • QUICK ACCESS to your valuables and documents from the auto open lid. Get in quick when it matters...

Specifications:

  • Price: $$$
  • Capacity: 1 handgun + mags
  • Stored fingerprint profiles: 20
  • Material: 16 gauge steel

Dimensions:

  • Length: 9″
  • Width: 11.5″
  • Height: 2.75″
  • Weight: 7 pounds

If you want a small, high-quality handgun safe that accommodates a single firearm and is at home on the nightstand or coffee table, we recommend the Vaultek VT20i Biometric Safe.

Its biometric sensor works reliably, the door opens smoothly and consistently, plus it offers the additional feature of Bluetooth connectivity. On top of that, you can store up to 20 profiles (fingerprints) on the unit and it comes with a backup key.

This is a great option for people who are looking for the latest & greatest features and want a higher-end bedside unit. You can’t store more than a single firearm +2 mags, but if you want quick-access gun storage that will fit basically anywhere and keep unwanted hands off your weapon, this is a great choice.

Opening the Vaultek VT20i

The interior light is nice and bright and the battery life gives you the flexibility to mount it away from an outlet without concern – plus you can always check your battery charge with the accompanying Vaultek app.

Pros

  • Construction quality
  • Works as a travel safe
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Check the battery charge from the app 
  • Consistent & smooth operation
  • Pry-resistant door

Cons

  • Higher priced than other options
RPNB Gun Safe, Smart Pistol Safe w/5-Digit PIN Keypad Handgun Security Safe with LED & RFID Quick...
  • FAST & DEPENDABLE 4 METHODS OF ENTRY: RFID activated by KEY FOB/RFID CARD that instantly opens the...
  • TOUGH AND RUGGED: Heavy-duty 16-GAUGE carbon steel construction with a durable powder coat finish...
  • MOBILE SECURITY: Included cable allows the safe to be secured in virtually any location. Meets TSA...

Specifications:

  • Price: $
  • Capacity: 1 handgun + mags
  • Stored fingerprint profiles: 5
  • Material: 16 gauge steel

Dimensions:

  • Length: 14.5″
  • Width: 9.2″
  • Height: 3.6″
  • Weight: 8 pounds

If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option for your bedside handgun safe, take a look at the affordably priced RPNB Gun Safe.

It doesn’t have a fingerprint reader, but instead offers an RFID opening feature and comes with both a key fob and key card. In addition to the RFID entry mechanism, this safe includes the keypads and physical override key as well.

This is a great option for people who can’t or don’t want to invest in a $200+ safe but value a small, easily-accessible safe for their handgun.

Pros

  • RFID system works well
  • Easy to program
  • Lots of storage space
  • Light enough to work as a travel safe

Cons

  • Noisey when opening
  • The door opens almost too quickly
  • Size can make for a difficult fit bedside
  • Entry mechanisms can become  fickle over time
GunVault MiniVault Quick Access Compact Gun Safe with Illuminated No-Eyes Digital Keypad, Auto...
  • Access firearms immediately: Groundbreaking 20 percent faster auto slide out drawer allows quick...
  • Illuminated no eyes digital keypad: Allows users to unlock the gun safe quickly even in the darkest...
  • Led light & padded interior: A red led light adds confidence in low light conditions by illuminating...

Specifications:

  • Price: $$
  • Capacity: 4 handguns
  • Stored fingerprint profiles: 5
  • Material: 16 gauge steel

Dimensions:

  • Length: 14″
  • Width: 10″
  • Height: 8.8″
  • Weight: 16 pounds

The GunVault MultiVault Quick Access stores more handguns than our main pick (up to 4), so it’s the safe you’ll want when you need to store several handguns in a single location. .

It will work as a quick access safe, but it probably more geared toward storage than quick access. It’s designed to store handguns vertically, so the thing is big—over 10 inches wide, 14 inches deep, & almost 9 inches tall—you’ll need a space big enough to keep it secure – which may or may not be bedside.

The finger slots look biometric but they’re not – they’re keypads. You enter your passcode by tapping the appropriate finger pads – kind of like a piano.

Even without a biometric scanner, the GunVault MultiVault is quick to get into at just under 2 seconds – they claim it’s 20% faster than the previous model – although there’s no room for much else once you have 4 pistols in the unit. That said, if you need to store handguns that you access only occasionally, the GunVault’s additional gun storage capacity and high build quality probably outweighs its quirks.

Pros

  • Stores up to 4 handguns
  • Vertical orientation makes grabbing your gun easy
  • Mid-tier price

Cons

  • Big
  • Little storage for anything beyond firearms
SentrySafe QAP2EL Gun Safe with Digital Keypad and Interior Lights Two Handgun Capacity
  • Gun safe provides secure storage for two standard handguns or one larger pistol and extra...
  • Gun safe features a gas strut to instantly and quietly open safe door for single-handed access to...
  • Gun safe is constructed with solid steel and a pry resistant door for strength and handgun security;...

Specifications:

  • Price: $$
  • Capacity: 2 handguns + mags
  • Stored fingerprint profiles: 5
  • Material: 12 gauge steel

Dimensions:

  • Length: 9.8″
  • Width: 16.4″
  • Height: 3.2″
  • Weight: 16 pounds

For a balance of capacity, price, and security, the affordably priced SentrySafe QAP2EL Gun Safe offers some of the best value and performance in the bedside gun safe category. It opens easily with the electronic keypad, has capacity for 2 handguns, and one of the few handgun safes that use heavier 12 gauge steel (vs 16 & 18 in other safes).  The SentrySafe makes a good second safe – it’s the right size for storing full-sized handguns for quicker access (or a great alternative if you only need to store 1-2 handguns and mount/tie it down). 

In our tests, the door opened consistently with the use of the keypad and due to the heavier steel, it felt very sturdy. One note – the passcode cannot be entered until you “wake” the safe by pushing one of the buttons. This may initially slow entry for some users. It’s more of a quirk designed to preserve battery-life but worth knowing.

The SentrySafe doesn’t come with biometric or RFID options, but we think it’s a great option in this category.

Pros

  • Heavy-duty build
  • Keypad registers taps excellently
  • Accommodates 2 handguns

Cons

  • Gas strut lose power over time
  • Weight may limit mounting options
  • Safe must be woken via button press before entering passcode
Fort Knox FTK-PB Pistol Box Handgun Safe
  • The strongest handgun safe on the market
  • Exceeds the CA Firearms Safety Device Requirements
  • Has a gas strut to assist when you open the door

Besdside gun safe selection criteria

Any handgun owner who’s interested in maintaining bedside access to their handgun should consider a quick-access bedside gun safe.

Given the price of these little safes there’s really no reason not to get one and either mount it to your bed or atop your nightstand.

You obviously shouldn’t just leave your piece sitting out, and a quick-access handgun safe will give you the best of both worlds – a secure firearm, readily available, all at very reasonable prices. 

There are a lot of small gun safes out there – and you can both under-invest and overpay without some clear criteria. Use this simple list to ensure you’re barking up the right biometric tree.

Quick Access

Most bedside gun safes will house a home defense pistol so in the even of a home invasion, you want access to your gun within 2 seconds.

Simple & Reliable

The dark of the night is no time to problem-solve – you want to know the safe housing your last line of defense will both be easy to use and open when you need it to.

The right level of protection

A bedside gun safe is not going to house a shotgun, collector piece, or your wife’s jewelery. These are designed to be fast opening, simple devices. No need to look for extreme fire ratings or other nice-to-haves.

The right size 

You don’t need room for 2 pistols, 4 extra mags, and a bag of chips. You want room for a full-sizes hangun and a magazine – that’s it.

Is it mountable?

These safes are small and light – by design. That means they’re easy to walk off with, unless mounted to something heavy.

Even a simple retaining cable strapped to a bedpost will be enough to ensure nobody walks off with the safe.

Conclusion

Each of these safes offer their pros and cons benefits, but our top pick is the SentrySafe Biometric Safe.

It touched one all of our criteria for the best bedside gun safe:

  • Accommodates a handgun & magazine
  • Quick, reliable opening systems
  • Multiple entry mechanisms
  • Solid, mountable, and tough

There are quite a few options out there for bedside gun safes, but we hope this article helps make your eventual decision easy when you’re ready. If you have any questions or feedback for me, please drop us a line. If you’re in the market for a safe – check out our guide to the best gun safes, ammo safes, and gun safes under $500

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MICHAEL CRITES is el jefe around here. He writes about guns and gear.

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