Choosing the right quick access bedside gun safe, is an important decision. You’ll need to balance firearm security, reliability, and quick access. However, these aren’t the only factors that have a bearing on your selection of a bedside safe which fits your needs. Today, I’ll walk you through my top picks for the best bedside pistol safes as well as tips, tricks, and other considerations before selecting the right safe for your night stand.

Mechanical Gun Safes

  1. V-Line Brute Mechanical Bedside Safe
  2. Stealth Mechanical Pistol Safe
  3. Fort Knox PB1 Handgun Safe
  4. V-Line Desk Mate Mechanical Gun Safe
  5. American Security Bedside Gun Safe

Bio-metric Safes & Digital Safes

  1. Vaultek VT/VE Series
  2. SentrySafe Biometric Night Stand Safe
  3. Liberty HDX 250 Biometric Bedside Safe
  4. Verifi Smart Safe Biometric Quick Access
  5. Fortress Multi Finger Biometric Safe

V-Line Brute Mechanical Safe

Open Style: Hinged Top Lid
Construction: 10 gauge steel
Safe Access: Mechanical PIN
Alternate Offerings: Compact

Stealth Mechanical Pistol Box

Open Style: Slider, Lid, Side Panel, Drawer
Construction: 10 gauge steel
Safe Access: Keyed, Digital, Biometric
Alternate Offerings: Portable 14 Gauge Safe

Fort Knox PB1 Handgun Safe

Open Style: Hinged Top Lid
Construction: 10 gauge steel
Safe Access: Mechanical PIN
Alternate Offerings: PB4

V-Line Desk Mate Gun Safe

Open Style: Hinged Fold-down Door/Drawer
Construction: 16 gauge steel
Safe Access: Mechanical PIN
Alternate Offerings: N/A

American Security Bedside Safe

Open Style: Drawer
Construction: 7-10 gauge steel
Safe Access: Mechanical PIN
Alternate Offerings: N/A

Top 5 Bedside Bio-metric Pistol Safes

Vaultek VT/VE Series Safes

Open Style: Hinged Lid (slider model available)
Construction: 16 gauge steel
Safe Access: Keyed, Digital & Biometric
Power Source: Rechargeable Lithium Ion
Alternate Offerings: Slider Series, VE Series (Digital ONLY)

Billconch Biometric Safe

Open Style: Hinged Lid
Construction: 16 gauge steel
Safe Access: Keyed, Digital, Biometric
Power Source: Rechargeable Lithium Ion
Alternate Offerings: N/A

SentrySafe QAP1BE Pistol Safe

Open Style: Hinged Lid (with hydraulic arm)
Construction: 12 gauge steel
Safe Access: Keyed, Digital, & Biometric
Power Source: AA Batteries X 4
Alternate Offerings: N/A

Verifi Smart Bedside Safe

Open Style: Front Swing Away Door
Construction: 8-14 gauge steel
Safe Access: Keyed & Biometric
Power Source: AA Batteries X 4
Alternate Offerings: N/A

Liberty HDX 150 Smart Vault

Open Style: Hinged Lid
Construction: 14 gauge steel
Safe Access: Keyed & Biometric
Power Source: 9V Battery
Alternate Offerings: 250 Model

Choosing A Bedside Gun Safe: Buyers Guide

With all of the options on the market, choosing the best bedside gun safe for your needs requires an in-depth look at all options. Carefully evaluate your setup and what is essential in a safe. Furthermore, examine the laws for your locality to determine if there are specific requirements your safe must meet (looking at you CA, NY, and CT!).

You’ll need to consider factors outside the capabilities of the safe. For instance, where will you keep your bedside safe (e.g. in a drawer, on top of your night stand, under the bed, etc.)? Are you the only person who may need to access your handgun (spouse, roommate, etc.)? Do you have children or others who may try to access your handgun and that you need to know about? All of these questions will help determine the best type of gun safe for your household.

Mounting & Securing Your Safe

pre-drilled holes below foam padding for mounting bedside safe

Safes with pre-drilled holes that allow you to mount to a flat surface are great for preventing theft. Short of setting the safe into the wall, this is one of the best options for a bedside gun safe.

Unfortunately, this method will result in cosmetic damage to your furniture if you ever move your safe.

Another reason to mount your safe, is to ensure that the safe itself doesn’t move and is always positioned in the same location.

Alternatively, if your biggest concern is child safety, you can get by using a wire leash and securing to your furniture. This isn’t going to prevent a would be thief from snatching your safe and opening later, but it will keep little Timmy from playing cops & robbers with your S&W!

Different Locking Mechanisms

Functionally, there are three distinct types of locking mechanisms for a safe, mechanical, digital, and bio-metric. Sometimes a safe will have more than one type of lock mechanism. Next, I’ll talk about each one of these mechanisms and the pros and cons of each type.

Mechanical Locks

Mechanical locks are the most reliable type of bedside gun safe. Generally, every bedside pistol safe has a master key, which is a form of mechanical lock. However, there are also several safes that use a PIN entry system with mechanical buttons instead of relying on digital PIN entry.

Pros: Doesn’t require power source, no internal electronics failure

Cons: Difficult to key PIN in dark, usually requires two step process (PIN Entry + Knob Turn) to open, mechanical lock internals can eat up storage space

Digital Locks

bedside pistol safe with digital pad and top opening lid

Next on the list of safe locks, is a digital lock. Digital locks strike a balance between mechanical and bio-metric locking safes. Above is an example of the Vaultek VE20 Series Digital safe. Bedside handgun safes with a digital keypad are easy to customize (multiple codes and code resets) and provide relatively quick access to your firearm.

Another type of digital safe uses an RFID badge in lieu of a digital PIN. Essentially, the RFID chip functions as the key, so you’ll need to keep it handy if you want quick access to your handgun. Additionally, unlike mechanical locks, both types of digital handgun safes require a power source. Otherwise, you’ll need a to use a key (mechanical lock) to get in.

Pros: Easily programmable/re-programmable, tamper detection, sometimes multiple electronic access options (e.g. RFID and PIN), internal illumination

Cons: Relies on batteries, back light may only work once initial key is pressed

Bio-metric Locks

biometric lock detail on small gun safe

Finally, you have the bio-metric style lock systems which require an authorized users fingerprints to open. If quick access is of paramount importance, then this is your best bet. However, this type of lock is also the most finicky and prone to problems.

You’ll need to decide if you want one fingerprint or a biometric scan of multiple digits on your quick access safe. Additionally, having to program multiple users is something you’ll need to do in advance. No providing the code to someone else to get them access in an emergency.

Pros: Quickest access to your firearm, doesn’t require you to remember a PIN

Cons: Requires input of all users prior to usage, relies on batteries/power source

Different Types Of Bedside Safes

Pistol Safe With Lid or Door

bedside gun safe hydraulic arm for assisted opening and quick access

By far, bedside safes with a door or lid are the most common type of handgun safe on the market. However, they aren’t the only option. Ideally, if you’re relying on a lid or door on your bedside gun safe, it will have some kind of hydraulic arm to assist and provide you quick access to your handgun.

I’ve found that most bedside pistol safes with a lid style door have the hydraulic assist. Handgun safes with a front doors that fold down or pistol safes with a laterally swinging door usually do not have assisted opening.

Slide Open Pistol Safes

Unlike their lidded counterparts, slide open bedside safes have an interior compartment that slides out to present your firearm. This makes them a great choice if you’re looking for a quick access bedside safe. Rather than digging around the interior of your safe in the dark, which may not have an interior light, the handgun is presented to you for easy retrieval.

Quick Access Holster Style Bedside Safe

bedside holster safe by Vara - biometric open can be mounted horizontal or vertical

The most unique option available for bedside gun storage is a holster style vault. Think of this as a level III holster with bio-metric active retention. That makes this safe sound like a vault, but is surprisingly simplistic in its operation. Essentially there is a holster that your pistol will sit in, that can only be un-holstered using a bio-metric scan.

I’ve only seen one of these types of bedside safes, and the inserts are limited to more popular models. However, it’s worth a glance if inserts are made for your handgun.

Other Bedside Safe Features

Internal Light & Sound Indicators

Oftentimes, electronic safes will have some sort of interior light to illuminate your handgun to quickly obtain a proper grip (and to make sure you don’t squeeze off a round unintentionally). This feature is usually lacking in mechanical only bedside safes, but is a good feature to have.

Additionally, electronic safes may have a sound indicator alerting you when the correct PIN has been entered (or the biometric signature has been accepted). Usually, the interior light, keypad backlight, and alert features can be toggled on and off to prevent alerting a would be intruder. Whether you keep them on is a personal preference.

Assisted Opening Hydraulics for Quick Access

Numerous bedside pistol safe options come with a hinged lid. Generally, there is a hydraulic arm to automatically open the lid and provide quick access to your handgun. Similarly, slider style gun vaults eject the housing for quick access. However, other styles of safe doors may not have this option. You’ll need to decide if this is an option you need, and if your mounting position accommodates it.

Tamper Detection

If you’ve got small children, or often have visitors, then it’s wise to get a safe with tamper detection. Usually, the tamper log will reset itself once a correct PIN is entered into the unit. Therefore, it’s best to check prior to unlocking the safe if you suspect something is amiss.

Author’s Pick: Best Bedside Gun Safe

best bedside gun safe on a budget - vaultek

If you’re looking for the best bedside gun safe on a budget, you can’t go wrong with the Vaultek VT series. You can check out my review of the VE 20 series for more details on what handguns fit, and other features.

Suffice it to say, compared to the other more expensive models the Vaultek gun safes have many of the same features.

Additionally, the Vaultek safes come in a variety of setups. Regardless of where you want to place your bedside safe, there will be a biometric option for your needs.

Alternative Bedside Pistol Storage

Locking up your handgun isn’t for everyone (well, unless your state requires it). For those who don’t want to bother with biometric and mechanical locks, you can always mount a magnet to hold your pistol.

Gun Magnets For Quick Access

An inexpensive option fo bedside firearm storage is a gun magnet. While these make quick access extremely easy, they lack the most basic security features. However, if you’re living alone and your everyday carry pistol doubles as your home defense pistol gun magnets a great alternative.

I have several throughout my house, and they hold everything from rifle mags, pistol mags, handguns, and even long guns (though you’ll need more than one)! Another perk for this type of storage is the ability to mount the gun magnet to just about any flat surface.

Some good bedside pistol storage solutions include:


  • Uner the bed frame
  • Attached to the beds headboard
  • Underneath the shelf of a night stand
  • Inside the drawer of your nightstand

Parting Shots

Hopefully, this has given you some insight into the best bedside mechanical and biometric safes out there. Remember that how and where you choose to mount your safe will play a large part in which model best suits your needs. Additionally, quick access for members of your family will dictate the locking mechanism best suited to your situation. Do you have any contenders that I missed? Leave a comment below.