Sure, your long guns are stored in a secure area. But what about your everyday carry or your home defense handgun?

This is where a nightstand gun safe comes in.

A nightstand gun safe is easy to access and usually close by; this will ensure that you can react fast enough to protect yourself and your family.

One of the most common misconceptions is that you should buy a big gun safe because it could provide more security. The truth is that even though a bigger gun safe may provide you with more anti-theft features or fire protection, it’s out of reach when you need your handgun most.

Bigger gun safes also take longer to open and take extra time to find the item you want. This could easily hinder your safety.

You need to know:

Nightstand gun safes are specifically designed to be quick to access. They’re tailored to be easy to open in the dark.

**Have a short attention span or in a rush?  Our top rated gun safe is the V-Line Keyless Security Box due to its mechanical durability and reliability.  It got a #1 for us! Find out its current price and any discounts at Amazon here.

Top 5 nightstand gun safes for 2018

 NameWeightDimensionsLockSee Price On AmazonPrice
** #1 Pick **
V-Line Desk Mate Keyless Security Box
11lbs 10.5 x 7.5 x 2.5MechanicalSee Current Price$$$
Sentry Safe Biometric Pistol Safe 12lbs6.6 x 9.7 x 2.2Biometric or electric key combinationSee Current Price$
Gunvault MVB500 Microvault5.2lbs11.5 x 8.5 x 2.2 BiometricSee Current Price$$
Stack-On PDS-1500 Drawer Safe13.1lbs11.8 x 8.6 x 4.2ElectronicSee Current Price$
Hornady Security Rapid Gun Safe4.8lbs15.5 x 9 x 3.5RFID See Current Price $$

Biometric nightstand gun safes:

Sentry Safe Biometric Quick Access Pistol Safe Model # QAP1BE

Weight: 12lbs
Dimensions: 6.6 x 9.7 x 2.2 inches
Key Features: Whisper quiet pry resistant top lid, one hand accessibility, multiple ways to enter the safe, compression gas strut, can use electronic key combo or biometric entry, solid 12 gauge steel for theft protection
Cons: Heavy; not as portable as other safes; only 2 fingerprints allowed; must be ‘woken up’ before entering code or scanning fingerprint

If you are looking for something quiet and easy to access, and want a biometric lock, the Sentry biometric safe will be the perfect fit for you. The safe features a whisper quiet effect when opening.

This allows you to silently access your firearm without the risk of causing panic and waking up your loved one next to you.

The capabilities of one-handed access the safe allows you to quickly reach into your bedside drawer and open it without even looking. The gas strut immediately activates.  This allows the lid to silently lift open and give you access to your handgun. The gas strut keeps the lid open once the safe is open. This way you don’t need to worry about it closing loudly after you pull your hand out of the safe.

The safe is made to withstand tough conditions and can face a lot of wear and tear. The body is reinforced with 12 gauge solid steel construction, giving you a decent amount of theft protection. Much more than the GunVault we review below.

This safe can easily be stored on most shelves and the style will even give you the ability to disguise it amongst books or other boxes.

It’s powered by 4 AA batteries and it opens using either a biometric fingerprint scanner or keypad pin combination. This will ensure that your children cannot easily access the safe or accidentally open the lid. Keep a soft cloth close to the safe and that you wipe the fingerprint scanner once you are done.

Since you can program 2 fingerprints, it’s best to program your same finger twice. This way you minimize the risk of the reader not reading your prints. If you’re concerned about needing more fingerprints remembered, check out the GunVault MVB500 below.

Finally, the safe is quite small and compact and is perfect for your nightstand drawer to allow you instant access. In the event that the battery dies, 2 override keys ensure that you always have access to your safe.

If you want a safe to move between your home and your car, you may want to look at other options. Weighing 12lbs this safe isn’t very light and is better suited for a permanent location.

It also doesn’t come with a slot or steel cable, so attaching it to a seat in your car isn’t possible. Read on to find out about a different biometric safe that does have these features.

Where can you buy this safe?

Amazon offers this safe for a great price. You can even add a 1 or 2-year protection to the safe for a nice low cost! Find out more about the safe and it’s current price here.

Gunvault MVB500 Microvault Biometric Pistol Gun Safe

Weight: 5.2lbs
Dimensions: 11.5 x 8.5 x 2.2 inches (Exterior)
Key Features: Protective interior foam, innovative design, high-quality security cable, pry resistant locking mechanism, extremely light and portable, 5-year warranty
Cons: 20 gauge steel (thinner steel than the option above)

If you are looking for a biometric safe that you can easily move between your nightstand and your car, read on about the Gunvault MVB500 Microvault biometric pistol gun safe. The safe is extremely light and still made from a durable 20-gauge steel frame. It won’t need to permanently reside next to your bed.

Did you know?

The GunVault brand is actually owned by Cannon gun safes, which is a well-known brand for their quality.

A security cable is included when you by the safe. It lets you easily tie up the safe inside your drawer to ensure that not only is it pry resistant, but also that no one can steal the safe. You can attach the security cable to the safe while the safe is in the open position.

Because it’s so light, the safe can be easily moved between the house and car. So you can keep your gun secure in your vehicle when entering locations that don’t allow concealed carry firearms.

The exterior features a biometric fingerprint scanner that will allow you to save up to 30 fingerprints and these can all be regulated by the main user.

You might be wondering:

Why does it remember 30 fingerprints? I don’t have 30 people to program into my safe.

You’ll want to program your same finger, multiple times. You’ll also want to program another finger in case your primary finger gets cut or scraped. This can change the shape of your print and therefore, the safe won’t be able to read it.

With the Gunvault, you will also be assured that your items can sustain damage. Even when the safe falls, your firearm will still be protected by the nice interior foam.

There’s some theft protection besides the steel encasing. The hinges on the safe are specifically designed on the inside to ensure that your safe is pry-resistant and no one can force it open.

Finally, Gunvault is so confident in their safe that they offer a 5-year limited warranty. This covers any theft or fire damage and your safe will be replaced free of charge.

Overall, we recommend this safe to anyone looking for a portable biometric nightstand gun safe.

Where can you buy this safe?

Amazon sells this safe at a great price. It even has sales occasionally.

There’s the option of adding a 1 or 2-year protection agreement, but because this safe already comes with a 5-year warranty, we don’t see a need for spending that extra cash.

Find out more about the safe and it’s current price here.

Electronic nightstand gun safes:

Stack-On PDS-1500 Drawer Safe with Electronic Lock

Weight: 13.1lbs
Dimensions: 11.8 x 8.6 x 4.2 inches
Key Features: Concealed hinges, pre-drilled mounting holes, small and compact, two live action steel bolts, built in timeout period after 3 incorrect attempts
Cons: Old model was known for easy break-ins; we’re reviewing the newer model

Compact and secure will be the best way to describe the Stack-On PDS-1500 Drawer Safe. The safe is perfect for people with smaller firearms and it easily fits into most bedside drawers. But if you are not fully into storing the safe inside your drawer, you can still fasten it to the drawer with the pre-drilled holes and mounting hardware that is provided.

The advantage of an electronic locking system is very beneficial. The safe features a timeout if the password is entered incorrectly. This will be great for letting you know if anyone has tampered and can also be an indication that you should move the safe to another location.

The door and frame are made from incredibly high-quality steel that allows for more durability and prying from an unwanted visitor. Generally, the safe is big enough to house one normal size firearm.

Furthermore, the safe features concealed hinges to keep anyone from prying. The California Justice Department has approved this safe. This provides you with credibility that this safe really is perfect for your nightstand.

Finally, you get a backup override key so that you can’t be locked out if the batteries die.

Read more about why this safe is so popular at Amazon here.

Hornady Security Rapid Gun Safe, Black

Weight: 4.8lbs
Dimensions: 15.5 x 9 x 3.5 inches
Key Features: RFID lock, very lightweight and compact, 16-gauge steel construction, handgun ready opening feature, one-handed access, child-resistant design
Cons: Need to wear bracelet or hold card

The Hornady Security Rapid Gun Safe is one of the more innovative and interesting designed safes on the market. The frame is made from durable 16-gauge steel construction. This gives it more protection than a few of the other safes we’ve reviewed here.

The Hornady safe is also the first small and portable safe to use patented Radio Frequency Identification.

Not many people may know about Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) or how it works with this safe. This means that you will receive a card and 3 bracelets. They will emit a signal via radio waves that will let the gun safe know that it should open.

Unlike with many biometric safes, the key card or bracelet feature will ensure that you always have quick access. You might forget a pin or the fingerprint scanner may be dirty, but with RFID, you don’t need to touch the safe.

What’s the best thing about RFID technology?

It’s hands-free and you don’t need to remember a code.

What’s bad about it?

Instead of a code, you’ll need to wear a bracelet or keep the chip nearby as that will be the way to access the safe. Luckily there’s a backup key included in case the bracelets don’t seem to work.

Finally, the safe is designed to be childproof. This means that you do not need to conceal the safe and hide it in a locked drawer. The safe can mount and bolt right to your nightstand.

Read more about this safe on Amazon here. Amazon does not offer 1 or 2-year protection for this product at this time.

Mechanical Nightstand Gun Safe

V-Line Desk Mate Keyless Security Box with Quick Release Mounting Bracket

Weight: 11lbs
Dimensions: 10.5 x 7.5 x 2.5 inches (Exterior), 6½” x 8¼” x 1¾” (Interior)
Key Features: Traditional mechanical lock, top mounting feature for nightstands, 1081 different locking combinations, no batteries required
Cons: Not portable once you mount it, it may not fit full-size pistols when tray is inside

Not all of us trust electronics when it comes to quick access to our firearms.

Totally understandable.

If you think that it will work 99 out of 100 times and that one time is when you need it most, then mechanical locks are the way to go.

The V-line Desk Mate safe will be the perfect fit for your household. This safe uses a traditional mechanical lock with five buttons. You can program more than 1000 combinations. You can customize it to be a single button push at a time, or push two at a time for a more secure combination.

The safe features a top mounting bracket that will allow you to easily mount the safe underneath your nightstand.

A nice extra feature about this safe:

You can mount it sideways too! So if you don’t want to drill holes into the top shelf of your nightstand, you can turn this safe sideways, and mount it to the side of your nightstand.

The opening speed of this safe is extremely quick. The safe will use gravity to open even faster and this will give you fast access to your firearm.

Do you have a full-size pistol?

If so, you may need to remove the tray feature to be able to fit your pistol inside. Some people have done this anyways just so they can fit more than one pistol inside.

Finally, the safe is made from solid steel construction, provides anti-prying security, and is approved by the California Department of Justice.

Get more info on this safe and it’s current price on Amazon here.

Key features to make sure you’re getting the right safe

They’re also designed to fit nicely in a drawer, hidden away from the casual visitor to the home.

We would like to recommend that you consider two gun safes:

One big one for long guns and everything that needs the security. And a smaller one closer to your bed that will keep your firearm out of the reach of children, but still within your reach when you need to react.

While a gun safe nightstand will make your firearm more accessible, you will still need to take a few features into consideration and determine which safe will be the best fit for home and your requirements.

Type of lock on a gun safe:

While the biometric gun safes are more functional and sometimes even lighter, they are generally more expensive to make and thus you will buy them at a higher price.

Electronic gun safes or those with RFID chips are more modern and can be more convenient to open. But they can also fail if the batteries die on you when you need access to your safe the most.

Furthermore, some people may be put off by the use of technology in a safe. If that is the case, you will find that the mechanical gun safe lock will provide you with the traditional mechanical locking features and rarely, if ever, fail.

Risk assessment:

It is important to do an overall risk assessment of your general area and determine the chances of theft versus common accidents like household fires.

Fire resistant safes may be easier to break open with force, but they will protect your valuable items if a fire should arise.

Are you trying to hide the safe from your children? Or wanting quick access at night? That could mean you’d want the safe to be bolted down and easily accessible in the dark.

Figure out what’s most important to you, so you can get the features you want.


Depending on the type of firearm that you own, this may become very important. And if you own a bigger firearm, you will need to purchase a bigger safe. It is also crucial to not only look at the security features but also pay attention to the capacity as this lets you store more inside.

Do you want the safe exposed on the nightstand? Or hidden in a drawer?


This is one of the most important features to consider when looking at a nightstand gun safe. The safe should not be easy to open or to remove from the drawer. You wouldn’t want a child simply pulling the gun safe out of the drawer and walking off with it.

Access time:

When we hear something at night and it sounds like someone is trying to break in, survival instinct almost immediately sets in. When this happens you want quick and easy access to your gun and in a very dangerous situation, this could make the difference between defending yourself and being a victim. Take a look at access time and evaluate if it fits what you’re looking for in a gun safe.

These 5 features are most important when looking at a gun safe for your nightstand.

Final Thoughts:

Understanding the basic fundamentals of safes is really important, but it’s more important when your life is threatened. Owning an easy access safe hidden near your bed keeps your gun out of sight but still keeps you close to protection.

These safes are tested to offer you the necessary speed and access while protecting your children from accidentally harming themselves.

We would like to thank you for reading this article. It’s important to put your family and your safety first when you own a firearm.

Let us know what your thoughts are on these safes and how they may have helped to keep you and your valuables safe. Social proof is always the top motivator to help people not only help themselves but also those around them.

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1 comment
sean says February 7, 2018

keep u the good work and thank you for the article

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