9 Best Bedside Gun Safes

best bedside gun safesAbout the Authors: This article was written by Simon and peer reviewed by Chris. This information is stated as personal opinion for our personal circumstances based on our online research and does not constitute advice, professional or otherwise, to you and your circumstances, or guarantee quality or fit for purpose of the following products. By visiting and using this website, you accept and agree to be bound by our Disclaimer along with our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy posted on the website. As an Amazon associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Assume all links are paid.

best nightstand gun safes

Our top Pick: Vaultek VE10 Handgun Safe


Our pick for the best bedside gun safe is the Vaultek VE10 Handgun Safe. It’s got the best user experience in our opinion. It has a backlit keypad that’s motion sensor activated, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, and an anti-pry edge to protect from wedge attacks. 

A bedside gun safe needs to be secure, easy to access, and durable. Many safe brands have attempted to solve the need for fast access with entry systems including biometric fingerprints, touch keypads, and faster mechanical locks.

In this review article, we take a look at 9 of the best nightstand gun safes on the market today. While we didn’t find any dedicated fireproof models (instead, you might want to look at the Honeywell 1101 fireproof safe which fits under the bed), we did nonetheless find some quality gun safes for the nightstand.

Best Bedside Gun Safes – Quick Overview

The best bedside gun safes are:

  • Best Overall: Vaultek VE10 Essential Series Quick Access Handgun Safe
  • Best Biometric: SentrySafe QAP2BEL Gun Safe with Digital Keypad
  • Best Hidden Safe: Hornady RAPiD Gun Safe With RFID Instant Access
  • Most Compact: Vaultek Slider Series Rugged Smart Handgun Safe
  • Fort Knox Original Pistol Box
  • Night Owl Wi-Fi Enabled Smart Safe
  • V-Line Compact Keyless Gun Security Locker
  • GunVault MicroVault Portable Compact Gun Safe
  • RPNB Smart Pistol Security Safe

This information is shared as personal opinion for our situation only, and does not constitute professional advice to you – so make your choice wisely and if in doubt, consult your nearest gun store!

First, we’ll provide a comparison table, then under this we’ll do a detailed review of each product.

Comparison Chart of the Best Bedside Gun Safes

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Full Reviews of the Best Nightstand Gun Safes

1. Best Overall – Vaultek VE10 Quick Access Handgun Safe

Quick Review: The Best Nightstand Gun Safe. The Vaultek Essential Series safe delivers a strong user experience, with a motion activated backlight, simple code system, pry resistant hinge, and powerful lithium-ion battery.


The overall user experience the Vaultek VE10 and its big brother – the VE20 – provide is superior to most competitors. They have worked through many of the small annoyances of other models with user-friendly features like motion sensor activated backlights, an auto-open lid, interior LED lighting, and USB rechargeable batteries. We’ll walk through each one by one.

Many safes have auto open lids that open too aggressively (and slam against the floor / wall) or that don’t open at all. The auto open lid on this model raises immediately and smoothly for fast access and an interior LED light activates

a good bed side gun safeChris Says: “The thing that blew me away about this model was that the designers clearly identified all the little things that annoy people about personal safes and they created a safe that overcame all those small, niggling annoyances. What they ended up with was a safe designed with user experience at front of mind.”

But before you even touch the safe, the proximity sensor detects your presence and turns on the backlights to make it easy to see the keypad at night. While many people like biometric safes (including ourselves), we leaned toward our top choice being a keypad entry method because it’s less likely to fail than biometric entry systems.

One of our key concerns with battery operated models (such as this one) is that batteries tend to fail at inopportune moments. Vaultek have addressed this issue by using rechargeable Lithium-Ion batteries (like in cell phones) rather than AA batteries (that most competitors rely on). Vaultek claim the battery in this model will last for 4+ months, and can be recharged via USB just like a smart phone.

Lastly, the security measures in this model are also above those in most competitors. There is a security sleep mode that will shut the safe down for 4 minutes if the wrong code is entered too many times. The rim of the safe is protected with anti-pry bars, and the rear hinge is built in the interior of the safe to prevent attacks from the back of the safe. Lastly, they provide a security cable and mounting plate to secure the safe to your nightstand.

Pros

Cons

User Experience: We feel this bedside gun safe offers the best user experience of all the ones we reviewed.

Safety Features: The pry-resistant bar and internal hinge enhance security.

Good Batteries: Unlike most competitors, this model uses Lithium-Ion batteries (like in a cell phone) rather than AA batteries.

Motion Sensor: The keypad backlight turns on as you approach.

Not Biometric: This model relies on touch pad codes to open, not fingerprint recognition.

2. Best Biometric – SentrySafe QAP2BEL Gun Safe with Digital Keypad

Quick Review: Best Biometric Bedside Gun Safe. A close runner up to our top pick, the SentrySafe QAP2EL features LED internal lighting, fingerprint access and a pop-up lid in a sleek, small case.


Our close runner-up, the SentrySafe QAP2BEL, looks sleek and has a modern – even futuristic – feel to it. It opens using a fingerprint scan, and you can program it to recognize 4 fingers (e.g. 2 for you and 2 for your wife!).

We don’t think it’s the best fingerprint scanner you can find – sometimes you need to tap it once to wake it up then scan your finger on the second attempt. Other scanners also allow you to hold many more fingerprint iterations in memory to increase success rate. Nonetheless there’s a backup keypad that is backlit, and a backup key option. So you get the best of all worlds.

a good nightstand gun safeChris Says: “This is a sleek looking, fast action biometric safe that will appeal to people who prefer fingerprint access. The backlit keypad and blue interior LED light give this safe a user-friendly feel.”

The safe also pops open very nicely using a gas strut, and raises to a nice height. We’re often frustrated by safes that either don’t pop open upon entry, or open too aggressively, but we feel SentrySafe got this feature just right.

The LED internal light glows a blue neon, and the interior is large enough to hold two handguns, or one handgun and some valuables such as cash, passport or additional ammo.

One minor downside is that this safe runs on four AA batteries rather than a lithium-ion battery, and the safety features on our top pick also slightly outpace the safety features on this model in our opinion.

Overall, this safe is a user-friendly and sleek handgun safe that would easily fit in most bedside drawers.  

Pros

Cons

Blue Interior LED Light: The blue interior light gives the safe a nice sleek feel.

Biometric Access: Get into the safe using a fingerprint, or use the backup backlit keypad.

Good Size: It fits in most drawers, but also has space for two handguns or one handgun and other small valuables.

Fast Action Pop-Up Lid: The gas struts pop the lid open efficiently once you gain entry for fast access to your handgun.

Requires AA Batteries: We are not overly trusting of AA batteries, which often fail at inopportune moments.

Safety: Personal safes are designed to keep out prying hands and petty theft – don’t expect it to withstand a sledge hammer.

3. Best Hidden Safe – Hornady RAPiD Gun Safe With RFID Instant Access

Quick Review: Best Diversion Safe. This safe looks like a traditional bedside clock, but snaps open to provide fast access to your weapon hidden inside.


This Hornady gun safe takes the crown for the best bedside diversion safe for guns. It looks and acts just like a bedside clock, but pops open rapidly to reveal your weapon that’s hidden in plain sight.

While the “diversion” aspect is the key selling point here, the safe also uses a powerful, fast and effective access mechanism: RFID! Your RFID fob can be worn on your wrist or left on your keychain. When you hold the fob up to the display on the safe, it pops open for you.

Chris Says: “We’re very impressed by the innovative design idea here. The safe looks and acts like a bedside alarm clock, but pops open using a fob key that you swipe in front of the safe. But it’s also got other cool features, like USB charging ports!”

This innovative RFID entry mechanism is generally more effective than biometric entry and faster than keypad entry (there’s keypad and key backup just in case).

Upon entry, you’ll notice there’s a nice padded interior designed to keep your gun protected, but the interior is significantly smaller than several competitors and won’t hold much more than a small handgun.

We also like that this model can operate from both AC and battery power. If you go with the battery option, it’ll run of AA batteries. We don’t mind the AA batteries so much on this model though, because it’ll be obvious when you need to change batteries: the clock display will turn off!

Another really cool feature on this model (that more safes should have) is the USB ports on the back so you can charge your cellphone while you sleep. We felt that was a clever user-friendly design solution.

The safe can be secured to your bedside with the subtle security cable provided with the product.

Pros

Cons

Diversion Safe: It looks and acts just like an alarm clock.

USB Charing Ports: There are two USB ports on the back to charge a cell phone.

Wall Plug or Battery Operated: You can plug it into a wall or use AA Batteries to run it.

A Bit Small: It will only fit one handgun, and probably not too many valuables.

4. Most Compact – Vaultek Slider Series Rugged Smart Handgun Safe

Quick Review: This handgun safe can be mounted to the nightstand or bed stand and hidden discretely until required.


There are several slider style gun safes on the market at the moment, but we think this is the best of the bunch. Its biometric fingerprint scanner requires you to place your finger on the screen, whereas many major competitors require a swipe motion, which tends to be less effective.

You’re able to enter 20 different fingerprint IDs (but only 5 at a time), which is about average. In general, the more fingerprint IDs you can enter into a safe’s memory, the more reliable it will be at allowing entry. With that said, we find fingerprint scans can be unreliable at times. Fortunately, there’s a backlit keypad for backup.

Chris Says: “Slider gun safes such as this one are a popular discrete option, but it’s important to get one the (a) fits your safe and (b) provides reliable access. This model’s biometric fingerprints scanner feature is more highly rated than many competitors, and has keypad backup, which makes it our top pick as the best slider gun safe for a nightstand.”

Another option for entry is to use the bluetooth app provided to open the save via your phone from with 20 feet of the safe. Honestly, we don’t see many people using this option because it’s fiddly and a waste of time during an emergency.

When the safe slides open, there’s an interior light for ease of access, and the weapon is stored in a padded housing unit to protect it.

The safe operates with a rechargeable battery, but Vaultek suggests you keep it plugged into the charger most of the time. They also note, however, to let the battery run down every now and then to prolong its live span.

The safe is designed to be side mounted to a bedside table so it fits between the nightstand and your bed. A mount is included in the package.

One key downside, however, is that this safe is so compact that it doesn’t fit many guns – check the Amazon seller page to see if your gun is one that fits.

Pros

Cons

Side Mounts to Nightstand: There’s an included mount that allows you to mount your weapon between your nightsand and mattress.

Biometric and Keypad Entry: The biometric keypad is more highly rated than some competitors, and we like that there is a backup keypad entry system.

Bluetooth App: There’s an app you can use to open the safe, but we feel this is the most time consuming method of entry.

Rechargeable Wall Plug: The rechargeable battery is superior to AA battery operated models in our opinion.

May not Fit all Guns: Check to see whether your gun fits before use.

Biometric: While biometric safes allow fast access, they tend to fail more than other entry methods in our experience.

5. Fort Knox Original Pistol Box

Quick Review: Renowned for its strong security features, the nice thing about this safe is that it requires no batteries to operate. It’s also made in the USA!


The Fort Knox pistol box is designed with simplicity and security in mind. The 10 gauge steel body has wrap-around steel to minimize weak spots, and the lid wraps around the lip to resist pry attacks. These features give the safe a greater sense of security than many competitors – although no safe is totally fool proof.

The other key feature on the exterior is the use of the made in America Simplex locking system which is entirely mechanical. There are no batteries required, and therefore no batteries to fail!

Simplex mechanical locks use just 5 well spaced buttons that employ a 2-stage coding mechanism to allow entry. 2-stage locks require you to press two buttons at once (e.g. 1 and 3) followed by a single button (e.g. 4) to gain entry. This makes entry more secure than single-stage entry systems.

Once you’ve entered the code, you still need to turn the knob, and the box doesn’t automatically pop up – you need to lift it yourself. While our personal preference is for safes that ‘pop’ open using gas struts, that’s just a preference thing for us.

Chris Says: “The name of the game for this Fort Knox safe is simplicity: it’s very simple, but also surprisingly secure. The wrap-around 10-guage steel and made in America Simplex locking system combine to make this a durable long-term safe.”

The interior is heavily padded with two layers of foam to protect your weapon. While the foam is appreciated, it can get in the way of the strut when opening, meaning some trimming may be required.

Lastly, there is the option of mounting this safe, and there are four pre-drilled holes ready for you to mount it if you wish, although most consumers would likely want to keep this one portable.

Pros

Cons

Durable: The safe screams durability – there are no batteries to fail, and the steel exterior feels very sturdy.

No Batteries Required: We like that you won’t be relying on batteries so it doesn’t require maintenance or fuss.

Strong Padded Foam Interior: They provide generous padding to keep your gun protected.

Spacious Interior: You can fit a lot in this safe – including your handgun, passport and other valuables.

Minimal Additional Features: Traditionalist might be drawn to this safe, but tech-savvy people might prefer a digital keypad or biometric safe.

6. Night Owl Wi-Fi Enabled Smart Safe

Quick Review: The key differentiating feature of this safe is that it’s hooked up to your smart phone to immediately let you know if anyone ever tampers with it.


There’s a lot to like about this safe, but also a few online reviews that give us pause. But we’ll start with the features that brought this safe to our attention.

This is a very tech-engaged safe, with wifi connectivity that tells you if the safe has been opened and when the battery is low. This low battery warning is very useful, as we hate when batteries die on us mid-use. But, on the flip side, several reviewers have complained that the app gives false signals and the wifi of the safe can sometimes fail. Unfortunately there aren’t enough aggregate reviews online at present to verify if these complaints are widespread.

Chris Says: “This is a safe for the tech enthusiast. The app is more than a management interface – it acts as a silent safety alarm to notify you if the safe has been tampered with. However, there appear to be some online complaints about issues with the technology at this time.”

The keypad entry has a backlight that is motion sensor activated, adding to the strong user experience. There is also an interior light to help guide you in the night once the safe pops open.

Another great features is that there’s an under lid pocket for storing cash and passports, which is a feature we haven’t seen on many other safes, and makes this one a great multi-purpose nightstand gun safe.

Overall, there is a lot to like about this safe – plenty of space, motion activated backlight, and passport pocket. But we hesitate to rate it too highly given the minimal online reviews at this time.

Pros

Cons

App Connectivity: It’s great that there’s an app that alerts you when the safe has been tampered with or the battery needs recharging.

Passport Pocket: We like their idea of having a passport pocket under the lid.

Motion Sensor Activated Backlight: We’re big fans of motion sensor backlights which significantly enhance user experience.

Mixed Online Reviews: The one major thing that gives us pause is that of the minimal online reviews, there are several complaints about user experience.

7. V-Line Compact Keyless Gun Security Locker

Quick Review: V-Line’s Compact Keyless safe operates without batteries and has a very simple, sleek design to save you space.


The V-Line is the second safe (after the Fort Knox) to employ the made in USA Simplex lock which relies on mechanical locking rather than batteries. We’re fans of this locking mechanism that feels sturdy and minimizes potential technology failures.

The Simplex locking mechanism has very clearly delineated buttons that allows the safe to be opened by feel in the dark (with a little practice) and the buttons feel much sturdier than flat electronic ones. However, the lid doesn’t automatically pop open, and the lock doesn’t automatically reset when you shut the lid – make sure you remember to turn the knob again.

Chris Says: “Overall, I do like this safe and feel it would appeal to people who like a sturdy mechanical safe and don’t want to deal with any tech nonsense.”

The wrap-around overlapping lid also builds this safe’s sense of security, but it’s very lightweight (5 lbs), which gives us pause about how resistant it will be to crowbar or sledgehammer attacks. Nonetheless, it’s 18 gauge steel, which should add some sense of comfort.

The interior is padded and spacious enough for a weapon as well as some back-up ammo or small personal valuables.

The safe is California DOJ approved for storing weapons in California.

Pros

Cons

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8. GunVault MicroVault Portable Compact Gun Safe

Quick Review: This biometric safe opens through a digital keypad and has some nice anti-pry security features, but overall user experience for this safe appears lower than some competitors.


While at first glance this safe looks like it’s biometric, those four backlight illuminated buttons are a keypad requiring you to enter a code to get entry. It’s nice that the buttons have clear brail underneath, and it’d be relatively easy to access from feel.

We also like that the safe warns you when it’s low on battery.

Once you’re in, the safe ‘pops’ out of its locking position, but doesn’t raise on its own. You have to lift it open – we’d prefer if it had a piston opening system. Inside, there’s a nice padded interior and space for a single handgun plus a few additional personal items

Chris Says: “While at first I was optimistic about this safe, I do think there are a few user experience features that could be added, like an auto-raising lid, that could add to the overall sense of quality.”

There are some good safety features in this model, including an anti-pry steel lip to prevent crowbar attacks and a solid security cable for tying the safe to the bed stand.

However, several online reviewers have noted that they’ve had issues with the keys not working – and we feel there are a few too many of these reviews about the keys for us to safely choose this one for ourselves. 

The safe is California DOJ Approved and comes with a very generous 5 year warranty which would put our minds at ease at least a little.

Pros

Cons

Anti-Pry Steel Lip: We like the strength of the edge where the lid meets the body of the safe, which appears secure.

Braille Buttons: We like that the buttons are easy to feel in the dark, and even have clear braille markings for people with sight problems.

Low Battery Warning: While batteries can be bothersome, it’s good that you’re warned before the battery dies.

Lid does not Raise on its Own: We’d prefer if the lid raised on a piston once access were approved.

Issues with Keys: many online reviewers have had issues getting into the safe with the backup keys.

9. RPNB Smart Pistol Security Safe

Quick Review: Affordable Option. The RPNB Smart Pistol Security Safe is a small, compact security safe with RFID fob entry.


This safe isn’t our top pick, but it’s worth presenting in this round up review because it’s just so affordable!

The safe is small and compact by design – it’s advertised as a weapon safe that can be placed in carry-on luggage (as it meets TSA requirements for handguns in checked luggage). But with the included cable, this safe can very simply be tied to a bed stand and accessed quickly when required.

To gain entry to this safe, you can use an RFID key, keypad or traditional key. The fob can be put on your keychain or worn around the wrist for fast access. We’re fans of RFID keys in general because they tend to be fast and reliable, but require you to find it before getting access – so for speed’s sake, unless you plan on wearing a wrist fob to sleep, it could be a little bit annoying.

Chris Says: “This is a very affordable and portable gun safe, but not the most secure in my opinion. I’d personally go for one that’s more expensive but with more features.”

The box itself is made of heavy-duty 16 gauge steel, but there is not pry-resistant bar or internal hinge, so breaking-in is certainly possible for a determined thief with a few simple tools.

When you pop the safe open (you need to lift it yourself – there’s no pressure piston), the interior is nicely padded to hold your weapon firmly and safely.

Unfortunately the safe does require AAA Alkaline Batteries, and we’d personally update those batteries regularly before they run out of steam so you’ve always got access to the safe without battery failure.

Pros

Cons

RFID Entry: Just hold the fob up against the safe and it pops open.

1 Year Warranty: While this isn’t the longest warranty we’ve seen, it’s great to see them backing their product like this.

Very Affordable: This is a cheap, no-frills safe.

Good for Travel: It’s small and portable so you can transport your handgun with it (see requirements in your state).

Requires AAA Batteries: We’re cautious about relying on batteries to get access to our safes.

Not Many Additional Features: There aren’t features like anti-pry bars or fingerprint scanner like many other safes.

What we Look for in a Bedside Gun Safe

Security Features

Personal safes are never fool proof. A good sledge hammer, crowbar or a skilled lock picker can get through most residential safes within minutes. To get a really foolproof safe, you’d be looking at spending multiple thousands of dollars.

So personal safes are thief (and child) deterrents more than anything.

But you can get some good security features to enhances the safety of your safe. First, we make sure we get a heavy gauge steel safe. 10, 12 and 18 gauge steel safes are all widely available.

Another thing we look for is anti-pry bars around the lip of the safe to prevent crowbar attacks. These can significantly enhance security. And lastly, internal hinges appeal to us more because it protects the rear of the safe from being the weakest part of the safe.

Diversion Safe

A diversion safe is a safe that looks like something else – like a book – so thieves will see it but not realize that there are valuables within the safe. In this list, the only diversion safe we’ve shown you is the clever alarm clock safe that’s ranked number 3 above.

Biometric vs Keypad

The most common two modes of entry for safes are biometric and keypad options (there are more though – see below).

Biometric safes require you to scan your fingerprint to get entry. These are notorious for giving false negatives, but they are improving. Something to look out for is how many impressions of your fingerprint the safe can hold in its memory. The more impressions, the better. Common impression that are held are: 5, 10, 20 and 50. We also avoid biometric safes that require a ‘swipe’ scan, and tend to gravitate toward touch and hold scans instead.

Keypad entry leaves less false negatives, but requires you to remember a code to get in. Most keypad entry systems have just 4 or 5 buttons and you need to remember a combination among those buttons. We look out for buttons that are well spaced out and can be felt in the dark.

Some keypad entry systems have backlit keys, which significantly improves the user experience in our opinion. Others even have motion sensor so the backlight turns on as you approach – we’re fans of this method. 

Battery vs Mechanical

An alternative mode of entry into your safe is the use of a mechanical entry system such as a combination lock or the Simplex mechanical locking system. The Simplex lock is made in the USA and a very popular locking mode as you don’t need to rely on batteries.

In our opinion, batteries can be frustrating because they die in inopportune moments. If we get a battery operated model, we like lithium-ion batteries that can be recharged by USB. These batteries last longer and are no-fuss rechargeable, just like a cellphone.

Tech Connectivity

Some safes connect to an app to let you know when someone has attempted to get entry to the safe and when the battery is running low. Other safes use bluetooth to identify when you’re nearby and auto-open for you.

These can be good additions for people who are tech-savvy, but personally we find this to be a bit much at times. Sometimes tech connectivity is just another thing that’s likely to misbehave and cause dramas.

Size

The biggest concern we came across in our research is that many slider style safes don’t end up being able to fit many handguns. It’s important to check this before making a purchase for a slider model.

Besides that, the other options are usually a single gun or two gun safe. Two gun safes are large enough to hold two regular sized handguns. However, you can use these safes to hold one gun and some spare ammo, or, one gun and some valuable such as passports, cash or watches.

Mounting Capacity

Most safes in this category can be mounted, but make sure they come with a mount and it’s not sold separately. A mount means you can ensure the safe can’t be stolen too easily (you could also use a cable for this purpose). They’re usually mounted inside a nightstand drawer or – for slider safes – on the edge of the nightstand so the safe is wedged between the nightstand and the bed.

Fireproof Rating

None of the safes on this list have a good fireproof rating, but it’s certainly something you can get if that’s a key consideration for you. The best fireproof safes have an independent UL fireproof rating. We have some good UL certified fireproof safes in our reviews of the best fireproof gun safes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where should I keep my gun in the bedroom?

Common places to keep your gun in the bedroom are in the top drawer of a nightstand, between the nightstand and the bed, in the cupboard, and under the bed. In this review, we’ve focused on the best gun safes for nightstands. If you’d like to keep your gun under your bed, it might be a good idea to check out our article on the best under bed gun safes, which shares some safes for handguns and rifles that can be stored under the bed.

Can I travel with my handgun safe?

Different jurisdictions have different weapon requirements. When travelling overseas, it is very difficult to transport a gun – especially because nearly every country apart from the United States has very strict restrictions on who can possess a weapon.

When travelling within the United States, check state laws, as well as the laws of the airlines or transport authorities. In particular, check that the safe you get meets TSA requirements for handguns in checked luggage.

Are there legal compliance requirements for a handgun safe?

Yes! Different states will have different requirements. We don’t go into detail about that in this review article, so you’ll need to make sure you do your due diligence and research for where you live. For example, there may be a requirement to keep your ammo and weapon separate or have a safe with certain features.

One of the most common requirements is California DOJ approval for Californians. Most safes that have California DOJ approval advertise it clearly on their product pages – so check the product page for this information.

Final Thoughts

It’s not easy to find the right gun safe for your nightstand. This review of the best bedside gun safes has provided some examples and our ratings of them for our personal circumstances. Personally, we’re quite bullish on the Vaultek VE10 Handgun Safe for ourselves. It’s got the best user experience with its backlit keypad, motion sensor activation, and strong security features.

Of course, none of this constitutes advice – professional or otherwise – for you or your circumstances, so do your own due diligence and consult a professional.

We hope this general information has been useful though as you go about searching for the best bedside gun safe for your needs!

Cheers,
Chris