There are many ways a door can get left ajar. Your hands might be full, it can be your kids or a visitor, or just simple forgetfulness. Regardless of the reason, an open door is an invitation to dirt and dust. Plus, if a room is air-conditioned, an open door lets the cold air out, causing the indoor temperature to go up. And you can help prevent these kinds of situations with an automatic door closer.
An automatic door closer is a mechanical device you can install on the top of a door, and it uses a spring-loaded box and two arms that work together to softly shut a door after it has been opened. These products were once pretty popular in offices and other commercial setups, but modernization has brought automatic door closers to regular households, too.
Whittling down all the options out there can be difficult though, especially when there are hundreds of products in front of you. But this guide should help you save some of your time and effort. We have also included a helpful buyer’s guide discussing the various aspects of shopping for these devices. So, check out some of the finest automatic door closers for 2023!
Here is almost everything you need to know when shopping for automatic door closers:
There are pretty much just three types of automatic door closers, and you’ll probably be surprised to learn that they aren’t classified in terms of functionality — instead, these products are sorted by their varying installation styles. Let’s take a look!
Regular arm automatic door closers are the most power-efficient options for installing on the push side of a door. They consist of two arms, one of these arms attaches to the spring-loaded box installed on a door, and the other arm is affixed to a door frame. And when a door is closed, these arms project perpendicularly from the door.
Parallel arm door closers install on the pull side of a door. They also consist of two arms, but they sit parallel to a door frame when they’re closed. These versions are the most common type of automatic door closers, and their low-profile design not only looks attractive, but it can also help lower the risk of intrusion or vandalism.
Top jamb-mounted door closers are ideal for doors that have trickier setups or don’t have enough available wall space. The spring mechanism box in this type of door closer installs over a door while the free arm attaches to a door frame. These models can also be great for aluminum and glass doors because of their narrow top rails.
A door closer can only work effectively if it is compatible with your type of door. You should look for a model that is easy to install, but it should also offer some flexibility in the form of adjustable speed and strength. We have listed some other considerations that you should keep in mind when shopping for an automatic door closer below:
Most automatic door closers have specific weight limits, and this is what allows them to work with specific door materials. Almost every automatic door closer should be able to work with lightweight interior doors, but if you want to install one on a heavy door or a fire door, you’ll need a heavy-duty model with a higher weight capacity.
While pretty much all automatic door closers use a metallic construction, some products are more durable than others. Try to look for materials like aluminum that are sturdy and still lightweight. Plus, aluminum’s corrosion resistance can help enhance the lifespan of your door closer. This kind of durability is especially important if you are buying a door closer for an exterior door. And if that’s the case, you should also look for a weather and rust-resistant closer.
If you can’t find this information in a product’s description, you should read some customer reviews or ask the manufacturer directly.
Handypersons may know all the ins and outs of installing door closers, but if you want to install a closer yourself, make sure that the product is easy to work with. Try to find a unit that comes with all the installation hardware you need and also provides clear directions about how and where to install it.
You also should check that there is enough free space on your wall or door frame to properly install a closer, so make sure to measure everything before purchasing something. And if you have limited space, look for a model that can be installed in a variety of ways, like at the top of a door jamb.
Plus, if your door setup is trickier, go for a unit that offers more flexibility in terms of installation.
Did you know that it is possible to adjust the speed and strength of a door closer? With the help of adjustment valves, you can control the speed and force of a door as it closes behind you. Not every automatic door closer includes these adjustment knobs though, but having them can be important — especially when you are installing a closer on a commercial door.
Commercial-grade automatic door closers also offer a wide range of speed adjustments, which can help heavier and bulkier doors close softly and smoothly.
Depending on the type of door you are installing a closer on, you also need to choose the spring strength, and spring strengths range from one to six. The higher the number, the more force a closer can exert. So if you are purchasing something for an interior door, go for an automatic door closer with a spring strength of two. And if you’re working on an outdoor door, choose a unit with at least a spring strength of four. This helps make sure that wind pressure does not have a significant impact on a closer’s performance.
You should also keep an automatic door closer’s design in mind. Certain models work better on indoor doors rather than outdoor ones. For example, door closers designed for screen doors may not work as well with heavy steel doors.
While online shopping was very much already a thing, the pandemic has made it much more popular. From the spices in your pantry to night lights, you can purchase almost anything on online platforms, but this also comes with some pitfalls, too — not the least of which is being unable to see and hold products in person. So, when you’re looking at automatic door closers online, keep the following factors in mind:
Our next product is a versatile option that you should definitely consider. The Onarway Automatic Door Closer is an affordable product that can work with almost any type of door, including wooden, glass, metal, and even right and left opening models. You should consider its weight limit though, especially since it maxes out at 99.2 pounds. And, this option can also handle door widths ranging from 23.62 to 35.43 inches. This device is constructed using premium-quality aluminum alloy too, which means it is non-corrosive and resists oxidation. Plus, the hydraulic fluid-filled mechanism helps ensure smooth and quiet opening and closing.
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The Dynasty Automatic Door Close is a solid option that features strong aluminum construction, making it durable and sturdy. And with its non-handed design, you can easily install this product in a regular arm mount, parallel mount, or top jamb mount setup. Plus, it is compatible with almost any type of door including wood, metal, and fiberglass.
This pick is worth considering because of its long list of certifications too, including an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Grade 1 certification, an Underwriter Laboratories (UL) safety certification, and an American with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance for accessibility. This adjustable door closer is also rated from one to four spring strength, so it can be a great choice for both residential and commercial setups.
This pick from Fortstrong can be a great choice for most homes, but if you are looking for something for a commercial setup, this option is only really suitable for low to medium-traffic areas. It features heavy-duty aluminum construction that is seamlessly crafted in a multipurpose design. This door closer also comes with high-quality hardware, and it can be installed over both left and right-sided doors. This product is graded at three spring strength, but you can adjust its movement with the two independent valves incorporated into the design. The easy installation, heavy-duty construction, and adjustability options helped make this pick the best overall on this list.
Our next pick from Marie is another versatile automatic door closer, and it supports all three mounting styles and doors. Plus, it is also suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. This pick has a high weight capacity ranging from 55 to 100 pounds, making it suitable for residential setups as well as light-duty commercial doors. The high-standard aluminum construction makes this product virtually indestructible, too. Plus, the adjustable valves let you adjust the speed and force. And it even comes with a three-year warranty for some added peace of mind.
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This option from Amazoncommercial caught our attention because of its sturdy cast aluminum construction. Plus, this automatic door closer is exceptionally durable because of its rust-resistant steel arm and steel internal components. Every component that is used to make this product is high in quality too, which offers some very efficient and reliable performance. This pick is also completely adjustable, and it comes with six strength levels and two valves for adjusting the speed. The reversible design is also pretty easy to install, and it shouldn’t need any adjustments.
A: If you maintain your door closer properly, it should last you for 10 to 15 years before it needs to be replaced.
A: It depends on who is installing a door closer. If you decide to hire a handyperson, they might charge you around $46, which includes labor and materials. Or you can try installing one yourself. This is a fairly easy task that requires only a few tools, so it can be a doable job for almost any DIYer.
A: Yes and no. If the problem is because of a damaged adjusting screw or arm, it is possible to correct it. But if your automatic door closer is malfunctioning because of internal damage, then it probably isn’t possible to repair it, and you'll need to replace it.
A: Remove your door closer and close your door. If it shuts normally, then there is something wrong with your door closer. If your door still requires some extra force to shut though, something else is the culprit. Look for things like a sprung frame or bent hinges, these kinds of problems can interfere with a closer's ability to shut a door automatically.