Reviews for Firearm Fans

The Best Bedside Gun Safes for Quick Access

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 Bedside Handgun Gun Safe Recommendations

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

Cons

  • Single handgun capacity may be limiting for some users
  • Gas strut can stop working over time

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

Cons

  • Higher priced than other options

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

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

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

Who should consider these recommendations?

Any handgun owner who’s interested in maintaining bedside access to their handgun. 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. 

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

Further reading

For additional info check out NRA family’s take on how to select a gun safe

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