Those that use the Zigbee protocol with Home Assistant for their door/window sensors will know of the protocol’s advantages: It integrates seamlessly with Home Assistant using ZHA or Zigbee2MQTT, the devices are small and can be powered by a single button cell for multiple years, and the sensors are frequently cheaper compared to those that use Wi-Fi or Z-Wave. That’s not to mention its meshing capabilities, with which you can easily expand the reach of your Zigbee network.
By using applications such as Zigbee2MQTT and ZHA, you can ditch vendor-specific hubs and connect all devices to a single adapter plugged into your Raspberry Pi or home server. Because a Wi-Fi access point can only handle a certain number of connections, before the bandwidth starts suffering, Home Assistant Guides recommends you use Zigbee for your IoT devices. If configured correctly, Zigbee will only have a minimal influence on Wi-Fi, despite both using the 2.4 GHz spectrum.
Zigbee door/window sensors can be a fantastic addition to your smart home. Not just can they help protect your home by reporting any unwanted entry, they can also be used to set off various automations and as conditions in scripts. For example, you could have the HVAC turn off whenever you open a window or, conversely, have the air purifier powered up in the same scenario. This article will list the best Zigbee door/window sensors for use with Home Assistant, the popular open-source home automation software.
- A word on Zigbee and Zigbee 3.0
- Lidl/Silvercrest Smart Window and Door Sensor: The best Zigbee door/window sensor
- Linkind Door Window Sensor: The best available Zigbee door/window sensor
- Aqara Door and Window Sensor: Wait for Zigbee 3.0
- SONOFF, Xiaomi Mijia, and the rest
A word on Zigbee and Zigbee 3.0
You might be surprised by the selection of sensors below. Considering the ability to use cheap, but functional, Chinese sensors is one of Zigbee’s benefits, one would expect those from the well-known Aqara, Mijia, or Sonoff to be the top choice. There is a valid reason for excluding those: They do not support and aren’t certified for Zigbee 3.0.
Zigbee 3.0 is the latest standard laid out by the Connectivity Standards Alliance. It guarantees the interoperability of products from different manufacturers. Although lights, sensors, switches, etc. that aren’t certified, such as those mentioned further down in this article, can be used with ZHA and Zigbee2MQTT, they do often have some quirks. For example, Aqara sensors frequently have issues with meshing. They will only ever connect to the router they were first paired with and will not switch to one that is nearer, and thus will have a low link quality and suffer from frequent disconnects.
Even though my Aqara sensors appear to be working flawlessly, I am going to prioritize those that are Zigbee 3.0 certified, as they will give you the least problems. To make use of Zigbee 3.0, you must also be using a Zigbee 3.0 compatible adapter, such as those making use of the Texas Instrument CC2652 series chips. The cheaper but vastly inferior Texas Instruments CC2531 is no longer recommended for any setup.
Lidl/Silvercrest Smart Window and Door Sensor: The best Zigbee door/window sensor
Believe it or not, a Lidl own-brand product is topping the best Zigbee door/window sensors for Home Assistant list. The Silvercrest Smart Window and Door Sensor (model HG06336) is supported by Zigbee2MQTT, ZHA, deCONZ, and ZiGate. It communicates using Zigbee 3.0 and is certified by the Connectivity Standards Alliance. For just €9.99 (~US$12) the Silvercrest Smart Window and Door Sensor is not only one of the best Zigbee options out there, but also an economical one.
As with many of their products, the Silvercrest Smart Window and Door Sensor does not appear to be manufactured by Lidl but is, in fact, a rebranded Tuya sensor. Although this is pure speculation and I have not been able to disassemble the sensor, when comparing it to the Smart Door Sensor HS1DS from Shenzhen Heiman Technology Co., Ltd. some similarities are to be seen.
The Silvercrest Smart Window and Door Sensor is one of the larger Zigbee door/window sensors out there, as it is powered by two AAA batteries, which will presumably last for a lifetime. On a more positive note, this does mean that you can power the sensor using environment-friendly rechargeable batteries, and don’t need to replace a button cell every couple of years. It also includes a tamper sensor, which many others do not. In some countries, you can find the Silvercrest Smart Window and Door Sensor available online (though sadly not in Switzerland).
Linkind Door Window Sensor: The best available Zigbee door/window sensor
The Linkind Door Window Sensor is another Zigbee 3.0 certified door/window sensor that supports tamper detection, giving it one more available sensor than many other comparable Chinese devices. This sensor uses a readily available CR2032 button cell that should last up to two years. Unfortunately, there is some branding on the device; however, it is restricted to the side and not on the front. I still would have preferred they had kept it to the side that attaches to the door.
- Anti-tamper design that will alert you if intentional removal of the device occurs.
- Uses a single CR2032 button cell, battery life of up to 2 years.
- Is Zigbee 3.0 certified.
- The price is for two devices, as single packs don’t appear to be available.
At ~US$14 a piece, this sensor is actually cheaper than many offers for the Aqara equivalent. It has received favourable reviews on Amazon, and it is significantly smaller than the Lidl sensor. Size-wise, it is more comparable to the popular Aqara and Mijia sensors.
Unfortunately, Linkind has decided to list their various sensors as different sizes on Amazon, making many of the reviews useless for this specific product. I have been able to find one that does confirm that Linkind Door Window Sensor does integrate nicely with Home Assistant using a HUSBZB-1. It is also on the list of devices confirmed to be compatible with Zigbee2MQTT.
Linkind is a series of smart home products from the Chinese company Shenzhen Lingkai Technology Co., Ltd. as Zigbee products can’t call home, you shouldn’t worry too much about their origin. When using the Linkind Door Window Sensor with ZHA or Zigbee2MQTT, there is no app to install and no hub to connect to your home network.
Aqara Door and Window Sensor: Wait for Zigbee 3.0
You might have expected the Aqara Door and Window Sensor to top the best Zigbee door/window sensor list. After all, I use several of them in my Home Assistant-powered home. However, if maximum stability and compatibility are two of your priorities, you would be well advised to wait for the next-generation Aqara Door and Window Sensor, which should support Zigbee 3.0.
- Uses a single CR1632 button cell.
- Two years battery life.
- Depending on where it is bought, it can be one of the cheapest sensors available.
Aqara has already released a handful of Zigbee 3.0 certified sensors, among them is a door/window sensor. But that sensor, called the Door and Window Sensor T1, is only sold on the Chinese market, and I haven’t had any luck finding one on AliExpress. Considering that Aqara’s has had their newer devices certified and is selling them sold in Europe, it is safe to assume that their sensor line-up will also be refreshed at some point in the near future.
As mentioned in the introduction, I have not had any issues with my Aqara sensors, but you should be aware that others have. For that reason, I recommend waiting until Aqara updates their sensors to the latest standard. A commenter on Reddit (i.e., take it with a pinch of salt) has mentioned that this should happen later this year.
SONOFF, Xiaomi Mijia, and the rest
SONOFF SNZB-04 Door/Window Sensor
SONOFF, the name previously synonymous with cheap and hackable Wi-Fi smart plugs, has more recently been pushing their cheap Zigbee devices and adapters. As with the Aqara sensor, the SONOFF SNZB-04 Door/Window Sensor sadly isn’t Zigbee 3.0 certified and is to be used at your own risk. If you do decide to take the jump, you will be pleased to know that the SONOFF SNZB-04 Door/Window Sensor is compatible with Zigbee2MQTT, ZHA, Tasmota, deCONZ, and others.
- Uses a single CR2032 button cell.
- Simple installation using 3M adhesive tape.
- SONOFF is very open to having their devices used with Home Assistant and even provides guides.
To make things confusing, the SONOFF SNZB-04 Door/Window Sensor occasionally gets listed as Zigbee 3.0 compatible. A bit of research shows that the official website makes no mention of this, and there is no entry in the Connectivity Standards Alliance database of certified devices. Some users have complained about the SONOFF motion sensor (Model SNZB-03) having connectivity issues, and others have said that the SNZB-04 might also be affected. Overall, the Linkind Door Window Sensor currently seems to be the better choice.
Mijia Door & Window Sensor (Model MCCGQ01LM)
Xiaomi Mijia sensors, which are often almost identical to Aqara brethren and are frequently manufactured by the same company, are another popular choice for users of Zigbee. Disappointingly, these sensors are also not Zigbee 3.0 certified and do occasionally present the same characteristics as the Aqara equivalents. On a more positive note, the Mijia Door & Window Sensor (Model MCCGQ01LM) is compatible with most DIY Zigbee hubs.
Aeotec Multipurpose Sensor (SmartThings)
The Aeotec Multipurpose Sensor would have made the list of recommended devices; however, it is nowhere to be found for sale. Since Aeotec took over the hardware side of SmartThings, they have not only been releasing Z-Wave devices, but also a handful that communicate using the Zigbee protocol, and this one is compatible with Zigbee2MQTT.
- Has contact, temperature, and vibration sensors.
- Not only compatible with SmartThings but also DIY hubs.
- Uses Zigbee 3.0 for communication and is certified by the Connectivity Standards Alliance.
- Is powered by a single CR2450 button cell.
If it were available, the Aeotec Multipurpose Sensor would have one benefit over the others mentioned in this article: it measures the temperature of the room. As with the options from Lidl and Linkind, there is a tamper alert provided by a vibration sensor, and it is Zigbee 3.0 certified. If you can find the Aeotec Multipurpose Sensor at a decent price, it is definitely recommended.