how to choose the right bedside gun safe

There’s no shortage of bedside gun safes on the market, and they come in all shapes, sizes, attachments, and with technology like biometrics.  But not all bedside gun safes are created equal, and some may malfunction when you need them most, during a break in.

A thicker gun safe may look more symmetrical as it fills a space, but if the door cannot open all the way it could stop you from reaching your firearm in time.  You may be leaning towards an under the bed option vs one that attaches to your nightstand. 

While that is a great option some people find their bed height or design does not accommodate for that. Others incorporate both, a safe under the bed for a long gun with the addition of a handgun safe at their bedside.  And some gun storage companies like us at SecureIt create innovative designs including our fastbox 47 so you can have access and storage under the bed.

This post covers the most common types of bedside gun safes, what to look for, and what to consider when purchasing one.  In order for us to consider the safe to be a good bedside option it must meet the following criteria:

  • Can fit next to a bed
  • Has easy access for emergency use
  • Does not hinder the users ability to access the firearm
  • Must have a locking mechanism so it is a safe vs. a display case

One thing we decided not to do is mix this with a traditional handgun safe as rifles and other items could be stored in a bedside safe, the size and storage capacity able to be stored bedside changes based on the size of the room.  

This guide is based on practical experience as one of the countries leading manufacturers of gun safes, as well as feedback from customers, and our on-staff gun experts.  Each section is double fact checked and we put each scenario to the test.

Biometric and Fingerprint Bedside Gun Safes

These look and sound cool!  Who doesn’t love technology and being able to safeguard your guns from being accessed by kids and burglars if you’re not in the room?  But with technology comes a price, reliability.  When you’re stressed, anxious, panicked, or caught off guard your hands and fingers sweat.  It is a medical term called hyperhidrosis, you can read more here at the Mayo Clinic website.

The wetness on them can prevent biometric readers from unlocking and your firearms will not be there to protect you.  In the event of a threat situation, when seconds matter most, your bedside gun safe needs to be reliable. This is an argument many are making for app based locking mechanisms.

If your phone or tablet aren’t in reach, or it is on a nightstand and gets knocked to the floor, or your hands are sweaty, you delay your ability to unlock the safe and access your firearm.  And biometric gun safes are notorious for needing regular cleaning, so if you procrastinate, this option is not for you.


  • Keeps your guns out of kids and intruders hands
  • You don’t have to worry about missing keys or pin codes
  • Technology is cool


  • Sweaty and wet fingers cause malfunctions
  • If the power supply runs out you cannot access your firearms
  • They tend to be more expensive because technology is an upsell
  • In constant need of cleaning

Under the Bed

If you have your heart set on storing your firearms under your bed, and protection is the goal, make sure the safe can open towards you and that you do not have too many items below your bed.  This way you can access it when you need it and quickly.

If you live in a city apartment where space is limited, make sure the safe fits under or next to your bed by measuring the area first and then looking at the manufacturer specs.  You can go with a fancy design, biometrics, etc… as protection is secondary.  This is where lines like our Fast Box safes come in handy.


  • Does not get in the way of your home decor
  • Harder for guests and children to find
  • Lets you hide your favorite pieces away from the main safe in case of burglary


  • The door can get blocked by other items preventing access during a breakin if you are disorganized with additional clutter.
  • Depending on your physical ability, it may be harder to climb under your bed vs. being next to your bed making it less accessible

Side of the Desk

Sometimes the only space you have is the side of your desk.  Whether it’s hidden as part of the desk or bolted to the side, this style of storage unit is appealing because it is unexpected by an intruder and blends in with your bedroom.  


  • You maintain the element of surprise
  • Extra space under your bed for storage
  • It can be level with your arm reach as you roll over for quick access


  • Limited space for storage
  • You have to modify your desk which can be expensive or make it non-repairable
  • Once you move, the safe may no longer fit the new room layout

Hidden on Top of a Desk or Dresser

There’s nothing cooler than seeing a lamp or sculpture that is actually your firearm storage unit “hidden in plain sight”.  You have the element of surprise with style or functionality for your bedroom.  And if it is on top of your desk and someone would break in, you can reach your piece from your bed or quickly from your seated position while working or studying.


  • The element of surprise
  • Easy access whether you’re working or sleeping
  • It doubles as a light or design element for multi-purpose use


  • They normally only hold one firearm
  • In plain sight safes are not always fast access.
  • Kids may learn about it and show it off to their friends putting people at risk
  • Easy to move if the intruder or person finds out what it truly is

Free Standing

Sometimes a classic free standing gun safe or stackable gun safe is the perfect bedside option.  If you have the space next to your bed you’ll be able to store multiple guns as well as have a place to rest a glass of water or put a lamp for extra light in your room.  


  • The most storage available for bedside gun safes
  • Can double as a tabletop for books, lamps, or other items you keep close while sleeping
  • Easy to hide with a table cloth or design element


  • Takes up additional space
  • It’s an extra piece of furniture you’ll need to be accustomed too, and avoid in the middle of the night
  • It is not hidden so intruders will know exactly where your guns are stored

Bedside gun safes are your line of defense during a nighttime home invasion.  Knowing which type fits your space and provides you with the right security is an additional line of defense to protect yourself and your loved ones.  If you found this guide helpful, subscribe to our blog for more posts just like it.

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