Smart locks using the Z-wave communication protocol are known to be reliable and easy to use. They often have good battery life due to how the communication protocol works, and Z-wave technology is still quite popular even today.
Generally, Z-wave smart locks are a great pick for both personal and rental properties.
However, picking the best Z-wave smart lock can be a tricky venture, especially since not all companies offer Z-wave smart locks, and many prefer to go the Wi-Fi route due to how widely spread Wi-Fi is.
What’s more, the capabilities of Z-wave locks can vary a lot from brand to brand.
Generally, there are several things that buyers should keep in mind when picking a Z-wave smart lock:
- Functionality and automation capabilities such as programming and wiping out access codes, monitoring door status, and access history.
- Is a Z-wave hardware controller included, or does it have to be purchased separately?
- Ability to work with other communication protocols.
- Compatibility with third-party management software and apps, such as SmartThings, Home Assistant, Hubitat, Vera, Homeseer, Operto, BeHome247, etc.
- Access types available. For example, can the lock be used with a physical key, a keypad and a pin code, a smartphone, a dedicated app, key fobs, or fingerprints? Can keyed smart locks be rekeyed or not? Is the smart lock installed on top of an existing deadbolt, or does it completely replace it?
- Built quality, security rating, and warranty.
All of these factors will play an important role in one’s decision and should be kept in mind.
So I went ahead and researched the most popular and best smart locks today that work with Z-Wave.
Last update on 2023-09-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt
Many homeowners consider Schlage smart locks to be one of the best on the market.
In fact, Schlage smart locks are among the most commonly recommended ones between homeowners and rental property hosts.
Over the years, these smart locks have proven to be reliable and durable and have a good battery life. They are quiet and have good response times. They can withstand the elements even in areas that observe cold winters.
The Schlage Connect smart deadbolt uses the more advanced Z-Wave Plus technology, which uses improved security protocols, and has better range and better power efficiency.
There is no need to worry about compatibility issues because Z-Wave Plus devices work with Z-Wave devices and vice versa.
The Schlage App allows for remote access and monitoring of the lock. You can check the status of the lock, lock or unlock it, manage the access codes, and set up up to 30 different access codes. It can also be used with standard physical keys.
The Schlage Connect lock is also compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, and Ring smart home devices. However, you must first pair the lock with a compatible smart home hub.
The major downside to Schlage Connect is that it is not the cheapest lock on the market.
That said, most smart locks come with a standard 1-year warranty. However, this one has a limited lifetime mechanical and finish warranty and a 3-year electronics warranty.
Check this video below for a good overview of the Schlage Connect lock.
Kwikset SmartCode Deadbolt 910
Kwikset is another good smart lock brand.
The Kwikset SmartCode allows for keyless entry using a preset code, but it can also be used with a physical key.
You can assign up to 30 different access codes and monitor the status of the door and log history can be checked through third-party apps. An important detail is that it can be rekeyed to existing physical keys in a couple of seconds without having to take the whole lock apart.
There is a Z-wave model and a Z-wave plus model, and for this lock to be accessed remotely, you will need a z-wave capable hub.
The built quality is solid, and the keypad is also backlit, which is helpful at night. This Kwikset smart lock also comes with a 20-minute fire rating, meaning 20 minutes into a fire, it will still be operational.
This lock also works with Amazon Alexa, Vera, and Samsung SmartThings and is also compatible with the Ring alarm system.
Because it uses the Z-wave protocol, the battery life is very good, and probably the only downside to this lock is that it is loud.
It comes with a lifetime mechanical and finish warranty and 1-year electronics warranty.
ULTRALOQ U-Bolt Z-Wave
The U-Bolt series smart locks by ULTRALOQ are some of the better ones on the market. There are several different models, one of which is designed to work via Z-Wave Plus.
This lock comes at a very reasonable price for what you get.
It can be accessed and managed remotely, offering all the features that homeowners expect today, such as creating customized access codes and ekeys, detailed log history, remote locking and unlocking, and real-time notifications.
For starters, it can be operated in a couple of different ways. You can use a physical key, your smartphone, or the keypad, or it can be set up to unlock automatically when you come home.
It actually has a door sensor, so if the door is closed but left unlocked, it will automatically lock it.
It works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Watches, Samsung SmartThings, Vera, Hubitat, IFTTT, and more.
That said, it requires a suitable Z-Wave hub or the Ultraloq Bridge in order to make full use of all its functions.
This is a pretty sturdy and durable lock and has the highest Grade 1 ANSI/BHMA certification. It is also rated IP65 and designed to work in both cold and hot weather.
This lock comes with a lifetime mechanical warranty and 18 months electronic warranty.
For a quick look at this lock, check the video below.
Lastly, there is also the U-Bolt Pro model that offers a few extra features. The biggest difference is that the Pro model comes with a fingerprint scanner and micro USB access, which can be used to power the lock if the battery has died.
Generally, it is slightly more expensive, and most homeowners may not see a need to pay more for those features, but it is also a very good smart lock using the Z-Wave plus communications protocol.
Kwikset Home Connect 620
This lock by Kwikset is a little less popular but nonetheless a pretty good product and has been trusted by many homeowners and hosts.
You can set up to 250 different access codes, but it can also be used with a physical key.
Installation, programming, and adding access codes are easy, and the lock can also be set to lock automatically. Naturally, it will require a Z-Wave-enabled controller and app in order to make use of its features and access them remotely.
The 620 is quieter than the 910 model (reviewed above).
It works with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, SmartThings, and Vera.
The 620 does not have good integration with Ring, and you cannot make use of its full functionality. For better integration with the Ring security system, the Kwikset 910 works better.
The lock is well-made and feels solid, and best of all, it is cheaper than many other smart locks that use the Z-wave. A great functionality that deserves to be mentioned is that it can be rekeyed to existing physical keys.
This lock comes with a one-year electronics and a lifetime mechanical and finish warranty.
Yale Assure Lock SL
Yale is a well-known brand serving thousands of customers, and its smart locks are known to be reliable, packing plenty of features.
The Yale Assure SL comes with a Z-Wave module. (It can actually be switched with other modules. There are Zigbee, Wi-Fi, and HomeKit modules.)
After connecting the lock to a compatible Z-wave hub or security system and app, the Assure Lock SL can be operated remotely, allowing you to assign access codes, monitor access code usage, and lock or unlock it remotely. It can even be used with Amazon Alexa, SmartThings, Wink, and Vera.
That said, depending on the Z-wave hub the available features may vary.
The installation is easy, and this is a pretty robust lock. In fact, the Assure Lock SL is BHMA Grade 2 certified and can withstand very cold temperatures, so it is perfectly suitable for locations with harsh winters.
Depending on your personal preferences, you can pick from a completely keyless lock (just the touch screen) or one that can be used with a standard physical key as well. There’s also a model that has a keypad with physical buttons that you can press instead of a touchscreen.
With keyless locks, one of the worries homeowners may have is getting locked outside if the battery dies. This lock is designed in such a way that allows you to power it up from outside using a 9-volt battery in case the battery dies.
The lock comes with a lifetime limited warranty on the finish and Mechanical components and one year on the electronics parts.
Baldwin Boulder Touchscreen Smart Deadbolt
The Baldwin Boulder smart lock has a very robust build quality.
Moreover, it has a 20-minute fire UL certification and is ANSI/BHMA Grade 2 rated.
It comes with some pretty good features, such as auto locking and the ability to assign up to 30 entry codes.
It works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa and can be connected to Samsung’s SmartThings, Wink, and other similar hubs supporting Z-Wave technology.
Baldwin offers a pretty good smart lock here. However, the exceptionally high price can be a dealbreaker for the majority of homeowners as, despite its great capabilities, there are currently really good alternatives at much better prices.
August Smart Lock Pro + Connect Hub
If you are looking for something a little more inconspicuous, then the August Smart Lock Pro may be a good candidate, especially if you do not want to change the whole lock.
This lock is installed on the inside of the door, leaving the deadbolt outside untouched. In other words, there are no signs that a smart lock has been installed. That said, a keypad can be purchased additionally.
This lock is Z-wave plus enabled, but it is also compatible with standard Z-wave devices and hubs.
It offers all features that we have come to expect from such a device: monitoring the status of the door, remote locking, and unlocking,
It can even be used with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, and popular Z-Wave controllers such as Wink and SmartThings.
It also comes with a hub that can be used to connect directly to an existing wireless network. This is the 3rd generation smart lock, and the newer 4th generation is a little different because it has the Wi-Fi module directly built into it.
Unfortunately, even though this is a great smart lock that supports Z-wave, the latest firmware updates have negatively impacted its Z-Wave functionality and capabilities. We are yet to see how that pans out in the future. Considering the limited functionality and higher price, there are currently better alternatives out there.