A bedside handgun is the self-defense tool of choice for many people.
Burglars love the cover of darkness, so if you’re around during a home invasion, chances are it’ll take place at night. While you’re asleep.
The ability to wake up, grab a gun, and defend your family is a powerful need for many families.
However, leaving a loaded gun in your nightstand drawer is a sure way to invite disaster into your home! Your gun should be locked away from inquisitive children, even if you’ve educated them on firearm safety.
Guests aren’t much better in fact, and thieves love to look in drawers!
So, a bedside or under-the-bed gun safe is a truly smart choice. A great bed gun safe will keep your firearm out of the wrong hands while still opening rapidly when you need it to.
Here are some good gun safes you can put next to or below your bed so you can defend your family three heartbeats after a burglar breaks through your window!
8 Best Bedside and Under Bed Gun Safes of 2021: Outdoor Empire Reviews
- Best Cheap Under Bed: Stack-On Low Profile Quick Access Safe
- Best Under Bed for the Money: GunVault Minivault Biometric Pistol Safe
- Best Overall Under Bed: Titan Security Compact Vault Mechanical Handgun Safe
- Best Under Bed Long Gun Safe #1: Hornady Rapid Safe AR Gun Locker
- Best Under Bed Long Gun Safe #2: SnapSafe Under Bed Safe XXL
- Best Cheap Bedside: First Alert Portable Handgun Safe
- Best Bedside for the Money: Hornady Rapid Safe 2700KP
- Overall Best Bedside: Vaultek VT20i
|Category||Best Under the Bed Safe||Best Bedside Safe|
|Length||8.33 inches||8.7 inches|
|Width||12 inches||12.7 inches|
|Height||5.25 inches||2.9 inches|
|Storage Capacity||0.10 cu ft||0.9 cu ft|
|Entry Methods||- Biometric sensor|
- Backup keys
- Backup keys
|Cost||Check Price||Check Price|
1. Best Cheap Under-Bed Pistol Safe: Stack-On Low Profile Quick Access Safe QAS-1304-12
- Exterior Dimensions: 10″ x 13″ x 4.25″
- Storage Capacity: 0.52 cu ft
- Entry Methods: Keypad, backup keys
The Low Profile Quick Access Safe by Stack-On is an inexpensive steel lockbox that fits under most beds.
It has a mounting plate that you can attach to the floor, a shelf, or the bottom board of your bed. Or a car, too! The safe can be removed from this but has to be unbolted to do so.
The number pad has four buttons and can be programmed for a code between three and eight digits long. If somebody enters an incorrect code three times in a row, the electronic lock stops accepting inputs (even the correct code) for a while.
You can use the backup keys to enter the safe if you forget the code or the battery dies. Though, there is a silenceable low-battery alarm to prevent that from occurring.
The lock slides up and down to lock and unlock, which you have to do manually. The door drops freely when unlocked, allowing you access to your pistol inside!
- Removable from the mounting plate
- Timeout feature to keep away curious fingers
- The buttons can be awkward to hit from above the safe
- You have to manually slide the lock to lock or unlock the safe
The Stack-On Low Profile Quick Access Safe is by no means a complicated, high-tech device. However, it is an effective and inexpensive pistol-sized lockbox for hiding under your bed!
2. Best Under Bed Pistol Safe for the Money: GunVault Minivault Biometric Pistol Safe GVB1000
- Exterior Dimensions: 8.33″ x 12″ x 5.25″
- Storage Capacity: 0.10 cu ft
- Entry Methods: Biometric sensor, keypad, backup keys
The GunVault Minivault Biometric Pistol Safe is a small, front-opening safe that’s a good choice for putting under your bed.
You can unlock the safe using a biometric fingerprint scanner, the keypad, or by using a backup key.
Raised portions form a hand shape to guide your fingers where they need to go. This speeds up how quickly you can access the safe even in the darkest part of the night!
The electronic component of the lock is powered by a 9-volt battery. GunVault claims you need to use a single high-quality 9-volt battery with an expiration date years into the future. An LED and an audio alarm will alert you if the power supply starts to run low.
The entire interior is foam-lined so it won’t scratch up your pistol or revolver.
- The pre-formed hand shape guides your fingers where they need to go
- Quick keypad in case the biometric scanner doesn’t register your fingerprint
- Fingerprint scanners can be finicky
- Requires high-quality batteries with far-off expiration dates
The GunVault Minivault Biometric Pistol Safe is designed to direct your fingers where they need to go to use the fingerprint scanner or keypad so you can get to your gun in moments, whether the light is on or off.
GunVault Minivault Biometric Pistol Safe GVB1000 is also available at:
3. Best Overall Under Bed Pistol Safe: Titan Security Compact Vault Mechanical Handgun Safe
- Exterior Dimensions: 8″ x 12.5″ x 2.75″
- Storage Capacity: Not stated
- Entry Methods: Mechanical number lock
Titan Security’s Compact Vault is a handgun safe with a mechanical lock that cannot run out of batteries or get damaged by an electromagnetic pulse.
You press mechanical buttons to input your code and the mechanical device inside unlocks and opens the door. It also deploys an auto-delivery holster so you don’t have to grope around to find your gun!
The safe comes with mounting plates so you can permanently mount the Titan Compact Vault wherever’s best for you. This can be under your bed, attached to the headboard, under a desk, etc. You can remove the safe from the mounting brackets for portability.
For a modest fee, you can upgrade the safe by attaching an ammo box. It contains a magazine and opens at the same time as the safe’s door. This is helpful if your state requires you to store your ammo separate from your handgun!
The biggest problem with this safe is that the included holster is a one-size-fits-all holster, so it won’t fit every gun well. But it’ll generally work with a little modification.
- Automatically deploys the handgun into your hand
- No electronics to inevitably fail
- Separate ammo box available to comply with some state laws
- May have to modify the holster slightly to get your gun to fit
- Poor quality included instructions
The Titan Compact Safe is a mechanical safe that deploys the handgun to your hand when you need it without relying on batteries or electronics that can fail.
4. Best Under Bed Long Gun Safe #1: Hornady Rapid Safe AR Gun Locker #98190
- Exterior Dimensions: 42″ x 15.25″ x 6.75″
- Storage Capacity: 1.74 cu ft
- Entry Methods: RFID, keypad, backup keys
Hornady has several safes in the Rapid Safe line. The AR Gun Locker is a nearly perfect under-bed gun safe for quick access to long arms such as carbines, rifles, and shotguns.
What makes it so great is the entry method. The unit has an electronic keypad and a hole for a barrel key for a more traditional opening, but it also has a contactless RFID system. This reads an RFID decal, keychain fob, or wristband and unlocks when you get close to the safe!
This is powered by either batteries or power cord.
Holes are drilled to mount the Rapid Safe AR Gun Locker either horizontally or vertically. Or, if you want a less permanent installation, it comes with handles on either end as well as a security cable you can thread through your bed frame.
The inside is lined with foam and has two foam spaces with cutouts to hold gun barrels. You can modify them or remove them to hold your specific firearms. And of course, there is plenty of room inside for ammo and handguns.
You could also use this as a car trunk safe.
- Additional RFID tags are available
- Holds two longarms
- Ranged unlocking via RFID
- Spring-loaded door
- Opening the door is loud
The Hornady Rapid Safe AR Gun Locker is an extremely fast under-bed gun safe that can hold an AR-15, a shotgun, and a pistol all at the same time.
Hornady Rapid Safe AR Gun Locker #98190 is also available at:
5. Best Under Bed Long Gun Safe #2: SnapSafe Under Bed Safe XXL
- Exterior Dimensions: 48″ x 24″ x 7″
- Storage Capacity: 2.67 cu ft
- Entry Methods: Keypad, backup keys
SnapSafe has a line of under-bed safes, and their XXL version is the largest and heaviest by far. It weighs in at 150 pounds and can store 100 pounds of gear.
The safe is unlocked using an electronic keypad, though backup keys come with the safe as well. This lets you pull out the drawer, which is strong and smooth.
The internal capacity can hold multiple long guns as well as magazines, ear muffs, eye protection, ammo boxes, and anything else you want to keep safe.
You can use a security cable to attach the safe to your bed but a better choice is to take advantage of the pre-drilled mounting bolt holes.
Note that this gun safe is more designed to protect your gear from unintentional access by children and guests. It won’t stop a determined thief who has access to your bedroom for a long period of time.
Then again, most of your gun collection should be in a proper gun safe instead of hiding under your bed to help defend against a home invader!
- Large storage capacity
- Smaller versions available
- Smooth drawers
- Not as thief-proof as similar alternatives
The SnapSafe XXL Under-Bed Safe provides a huge amount of under-bed storage that’s safely away from your children.
6. Best Cheap Bedside Handgun Safe: First Alert Portable Handgun Safe 5200DF
- Exterior Dimensions: 11.5″ x 9.3″ x 3.5″
- Storage Capacity: Small
- Entry Methods: Keypad, backup keys
The First Alert 5200Df Portable Handgun Safe is a small pistol safe that can fit in a drawer. It has a steel cable for semi-permanent installation and pre-drilled holes for more permanent installation.
You can set a three to eight-digit code for the electronic keypad. First Alert calls this a “No-See” passcode because the safe is designed to direct your fingers to the keypad buttons and does not have a backlight to show off your key presses.
Some people find using this keypad easy and other people have a hard time using it without the backlight.
Two AA batteries run the electronics, but you can use the backup keys to get into the safe if the batteries run out.
The door is supposed to be spring-loaded to keep itself open for one-handed use. However, this feature doesn’t seem to work for everybody.
The interior is not very large, though it is big enough for most handguns. Particularly large guns may not fit, so don’t expect to be able to toss a Desert Eagle in there!
- Can hold a full-size handgun or two compact pistols
- Easy to use the keypad in the dark (for most people)
- The door doesn’t always hold itself open
- No low-battery alert
The First Alert 5200DF is not the perfect bedside pistol safe. However, it’s much cheaper than the alternatives while being good enough for most people.
7. Best Bedside Handgun Safe for the Money: Hornady Rapid Safe 2700KP
- Exterior Dimensions: 8.7″ x 12.7″ x 2.9″
- Storage Capacity: 0.9 cu ft
- Entry Methods: RFID, keypad, backup keys
Remember the Hornady Rapid AR Gun Locker from before? The Hornady Rapid Safe 2700KP is a pistol-sized alternative that can fit in your nightstand.
Like the much-larger gun safe, the Rapid Safe 2700KP has an electronic lock that unlocks using RFID technology. There’s a barrel keyhole if you need to unlock it manually, too, along with an electronic keypad.
You can power the electronics using AC power or rely on the backup batteries.
The package includes an RFID wristband, an RFID keychain fob, and two RFID decals so you can choose the most comfortable method of unlocking this safe.
The 2700KP is big enough for a single 1911 pistol or 4-inch revolver. Smaller handguns likely won’t fit. There’s also the 2600KP for pistols with 4″ or shorter barrels.
You can attach the Rapid Safe next to your bed with the steel security cable or with the pre-drilled mounting holes.
Also, the Rapid Safe is TSA-approved for use in checked luggage!
- Portable or permanent installation
- RFID contactless unlocking technology
- The RFID decal doesn’t work if put directly onto your smartphone
- The spring only opens the door halfway
The Hornady Rapid Safe 2700KP is a fast-opening nightstand gun safe that can hold a 5″ 1911.
Hornady Rapid Safe 2700KP is also available at:
8. Overall Best Bedside Handgun Safe: Vaultek VT20i
- Exterior Dimensions: 11.5″ x 9″ x 2.75″
- Storage Capacity: 0.07 cu ft
- Entry Methods: Biometric sensor, keypad, backup keys
The Vaultek VT20i is one of the most advanced small pistol safes on the market and makes for a great addition to your bedside furniture.
The VT20i has a biometric fingerprint reader serving as the intended unlocking method. It also has a backlit keypad and a keyhole so you can always get into the safe when you need to.
There’s an LED light inside so you can see what you’re grabbing. Everything is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
There’s a hole for the included security cable and pre-drilled holes for permanent installation to a drawer or beneath a shelf.
Vaultek also has an iOS and Android app that connects to the VT20i via Bluetooth. You can use this to manage fingerprint records, check up on the remaining battery life, dim or brighten the interior LED, and perform other functions.
The inside is large enough for a 1911 or Glock 17 and a spare magazine. However, bigger guns and pistols with red dot optics may not fit.
Vaultek has put multiple anti-theft features into the VT20i and continues to improve the product against attacks when vulnerabilities are discovered.
- Connects to an app via Bluetooth
- Impressively secure
- Opens silently
- Small capacity
The Vaultek VT20i is a fast, reliable, and sleek pistol safe that will keep your gun more secure than other safes of the size.
Under-Bed Gun Safes vs. Bedside Gun Safes vs. Other Home Gun Safes
Under-bed gun safes and bedside gun safes both have the same goal: they secure your firearms while keeping them readily available for quick access.
This is in contrast to other home gun safes.
Most gun safes are heavily built and hidden away. Often, they’re fireproof. They protect your collection from theft and unwanted access.
However, big, durable gun safes often have more secure locking methods that are slower to open. And when you’re confronted with an intruder, you don’t always have time to go to your closet or even leave your room in order to access your gun safe.
Home defense gun safes aren’t meant to hold your entire firearm collection. They’re only big enough for a couple of guns. They often include faster entry methods that aren’t as pry-resistant as the big boys. Some can fit in drawers.
Generally, you’ll want a big safe to store most of your firearm collection and another, smaller, faster safe for your home-defense weapon(s).
The difference between a bedside pistol safe and an under-bed gun safe is convenience and size.
A bedside gun safe can fit in or under your nightstand so all you have to do in order to access your gun is reach over, punch the code/swipe your finger/hold the RFID tag close, and grab your gun.
An under-bed gun safe requires you to get out of bed or contort yourself to get at the safe. Once it’s open, though, you have access to bigger handguns or even a rifle!
- These gun safes are good at keeping your firearms close at hand for potentially responding to an emergency
- They are also good at preventing children from finding your gun and causing a tragedy
- These gun safes are rarely fire resistant
- Under-bed and bedside gun safes are for protecting your guns from other family members and generally do not provide much protection against thievery
How to Choose an Under-Bed or Bedside Gun Safe
Gun safes, even small ones, are hefty investments.
Some gun safes can cost as much as or even more than the firearm hidden inside!
Naturally, you don’t want to throw your money at a product that won’t work for your purposes. So, let’s try to figure out which safe will help keep your gun secure so you can keep your family safe.
The first choice is whether you want a gun safe that can fit your bedside table or one that goes under the bed.
Your furniture can sometimes make this decision very easy. If you don’t have a nightstand or desk next to your bed then you can’t have a bedside gun.
On the other hand, if your bed frame extends to the floor, you won’t be able to fit a safe under your bed either.
Some safes can fit either location, such as the Titan Compact Safe, which can also fit between the mattress and headboard.
Bedside gun safes are easier to access.
Under-bed gun safes allow you to store larger guns.
If your home-defense firearm is a 12-gauge shotgun or an AR-15 then your only choice is one of the longarm safes. And all of these are under-bed safes (unless you have an enormous nightstand!)
If, however, your home-defense firearm is a handgun, then almost any gun safe will work. However, this does depend on your pistol or revolver and any accessories.
For example, a full-sized 1911 with a 5″ barrel, RMR sight, and flashlight may not be able to fit in the Vaultek VT20i, which is an otherwise excellent choice. But a stock 1911 will fit.
Also, if you plan on arming a loved one and having multiple pistols secured, you’ll need one of the bigger pistol safes.
Entry Methods and Speed of Access
Another factor to consider is how you plan on getting into the safe.
The safes listed above all have one or more of the following four entry methods:
Let’s look at each of these methods in detail, because each one has advantages and disadvantages.
RFID is short for “radio-frequency identification.” Both the safe and the RFID tag have a radio transceiver.
The RFID-reading safe sends out radio waves, and the RFID tag receives those waves and is energy efficient enough to be powered by them. It then replies with an identification number.
If this matches what the RFID reader expects then the safe unlocks.
RFID tags can be part of a wristband, in a device you keep on your key ring, or even in a sticker. You can slap that sticker onto your phone case or anything else you want.
Please note that attaching the decal directly to the phone may not work because the phone’s electromagnetic field can interfere with the radio waves used for identification.
RFID devices only require you to bring the RFID tag close to the device when it is powered, making them very fast and easy to use.
However, you have to keep track of these RFID devices, though this can be as easy as keeping your keys on the nightstand.
Also, RFID tags can occasionally fail, so it’s smart to test them on occasion.
RFID technology does increase the safe’s price and requires electricity to function.
Biometrics utilize unique biological markers, in this case fingerprints, in order to unlock the safe.
When you set up a biometric safe, you record multiple fingers from different angles. Then, when you put your finger on the sensor, it reads the fingerprint and compares it with the records.
Does it match? Then the safe unlocks in seconds!
However, fingerprint readers typically use capacitive sensors that are sensitive to a few too many factors for some people’s comfort.
If your finger is too dry then the reader might not work. Too much moisture can also cause it to fail. And some people can’t seem to get read no matter how many times they try.
Also, biometrics always require electricity in order to function.
Thankfully, if a quick fingerprint swipe doesn’t work, all biometric gun safes have an alternative way of unlocking the safe.
A keypad lets you input a numerical code into the safe. If it matches the combination you set up earlier then the safe unlocks.
Many safes have electronic number pads, which are often (but not always!) backlit so you can see the numbers in the dark. Ergonomically shaped buttons that match the human hand can be helpful in finding the buttons in the dark, too.
Running out of power renders electronic keypads useless, too. As can too much power in the form of an electromagnetic pulse.
There are also mechanical number locks that do not have these disadvantages. Mechanical buttons activating a mechanical lock do not suffer from power loss, but this is a rare option.
Still, many people prefer the extra security of a mechanical lock.
Key locks are simple and often used as a backup for electronic entry methods.
The problem with having a keyhole is that any keyhole can be picked. And the tube or barrel style used by most bedside gun safes is also vulnerable to punching attacks.
Still, if you don’t lose the keys (and don’t keep them next to the safe!), this is a reliable way to get into your safe.
Security / Mounting
Bedside gun safes aren’t as secure as the large one in your closet. They aren’t meant to be.
However, such a safe can still be much more secure than a locked wooden drawer.
Nearly every under-bed or bedside gun safe has at least the capacity to use a steel security cable to keep the safe from growing legs and wandering off. Wrap it around your bed’s frame so a thief would have to disassemble your bed to remove it.
Even better is to use a safe with pre-drilled mounting holes so you can drill corresponding holes in your bed frame, the underside of a desk, your nightstand, or even the floor and bolt the safe to the secure object.
Hornady Manufacturing Company
Hornady is one of the biggest names in the United States firearm industry.
Based out of Nebraska, Hornady is the largest independent ammunition manufacturer in the world. They also sell high-quality reloading components and the tools necessary for loading ammunition at home.
In fact, Hornady is one of the most innovative ammunition companies as well. For example, Hornady invented the LEVERevolution ammo that finally allowed lever guns to use spitzer-point bullets.
Hornady is also good at working with other companies, such as when the company collaborated with Ruger to design cartridges such as the .375 Ruger.
But ammo is not the only thing that Hornady makes.
Hornady also has a focus on firearm security. This mainly means gun safes and lockboxes but it also extends to pistol racks and dehumidifiers as well.
Their Rapid Safe line is the most technologically-innovated series of gun safes to come out recently. Rather than focus on expensive and finicky biometric technology, Hornady added reliable RFID tech to their safes.
Hornady’s gun safes are, however, not the most theft-resistant safes on the market. None of them are fireproof and half of them are just simple gun lockers.
However, when you want speed and are more concerned about unwanted access instead of outright theft, Hornady’s safes are some of the best on the market.
Vaultek is a company focused entirely on technologically advanced gun safes.
Not all of them have biometric fingerprint readers, but many do. However, biometric technology isn’t the only advancement Vaultek has added to the gun safe world.
Vaultek has an app that’s available for both iPhones and Android phones that can connect to their safes. This lets you manage the safe’s electronic components and also alerts you to entry attempts.
Some of the safes also have wi-fi connectivity.
Another innovation, one that’s small but still nifty, is that the backlighting for the keypad lights up when it detects your hand nearby.
Even better, though, is how Vaultek responds to criticism and uncovered security vulnerabilities.
The LifePod series of lockboxes was recently discovered to have a weakness exploitable by people familiar with the platform. A security professional figured out how to penetrate the side of the case and access the program button from outside the case.
In response, Vaultek changed the LifePod design to prevent accessing the button when the door is closed. An upgrade kit is available for free that fixes this vulnerability.
This is a good response by a company concerned about the security of its customers. Most other companies wouldn’t have the same reaction to this vulnerability, let alone give out the fix for free!