The Best Type of Lock to Put on a Bedroom Door

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The best type of lock to put on your bedroom door depends on your circumstances.
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An exterior door lock has one purpose: to keep would-be intruders from getting into your home. It needs to be sturdy and impenetrable above all else. If you're installing a bedroom door lock to give a teen some privacy from their nosy siblings or installing a lock on your own door in a shared apartment, you probably don't need or want to use an impenetrable lock. You don't want a child getting locked in by accident or to lock yourself out of your own room. Choosing a lock for a bedroom door is all about balancing security with safety.

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Using Knob Locks

Knob locks are a popular choice for interior doors. There are a few options with this kind of knob. A keyed doorknob has a keyhole on one knob and a button on the other knob. With the keyed knob on the hallway side of the door, you can lock the knob with a key on your way out or lock yourself in with the button on the inside knob. This is the kind of lock you might choose if you're trying to protect your room from untrustworthy roommates — unless someone has the key, they can't get through the door.

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Another kind of knob lock, sometimes called a privacy doorknob, has the locking button on one knob but no keyhole on the other knob. Instead, there's a small hole or grooved metal slot on the hallway knob, which allows you to easily pick the lock if it's accidentally engaged when the bedroom is empty. You might choose this kind of lock if you want to be able to lock your door to get privacy from kids at night but don't need to lock the door when you're out of the room.

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Whichever type you choose, installation is generally pretty straightforward with these kinds of locks. It's usually quite easy to remove an existing doorknob, even if hidden screws are holding the knob in place, and installing the new knob shouldn't require anything more than a screwdriver.

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Using Chain Locks

Motel-style security chain locks are one of the easiest kinds of locks to add to a bedroom door. Not only is a basic chain lock one of the most affordable lock options, but installing a security chain on a door doesn't require you to do anything to the existing doorknob. All you need is a screwdriver and drill. Because a chain lock can only be used while someone is in the room, this kind of lock won't be useful for keeping people out of the room if it's empty.

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Using Door Reinforcement Locks

Like a chain lock, a door reinforcement lock can only be engaged when someone is inside the room. It's also one of the easier types of locks to install, attaching to a door jamb with a few screws. Pinching and rotating a metal plate is all that's required to engage the lock.

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A door reinforcement lock is designed to not just stop a door from opening, but also to keep the door from being kicked in. The fact that this kind of lock makes a door nearly impenetrable may be a drawback for some homeowners. You don't want a child locked in their bedroom behind a door reinforcement lock while they're having a medical crisis, for example. Emergency responders should still be able to break through a door with this kind of lock, though it may take heavy-duty tools to do it.

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Using Smart Locks

While installing a smart lock may be the best way to keep your front door safe, it's not always the best option for a bedroom door. Most smart locks are designed to only work on a door with a deadbolt, and most bedroom doors don't have one. There's at least one model of no-deadbolt smart lock on the market, however. If you're looking for a lock that you can control and monitor remotely, a smart lock is for you.

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Using Portable Door Locks

Beloved by frequent travelers, portable door locks are exactly what they sound like. This kind of lock consists of a metal plate that fits over the door's strike. Once the door is closed, an attached handle fits into the metal plate and prevents the door from being opened. A portable door lock can only be used on a door that opens inward and has to be removed every time you open the door and put back in place every time you close the door. Though it may not be an ideal long-term solution for everyone, this kind of lock is great for short stays in rentals.

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