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Most of us have busy lifestyles, so checking the mailbox on the off chance that mail has arrived is a hassle. Thankfully, in the smart home era, there are mailbox sensors which you can install to get notified when mail has arrived.

For an easy off-the-shelf solution, the MySpool Mail Alert is a decent system, while for the smart home enthusiasts, depending on the mailbox location, we recommend rigging a Z-Wave Contact Sensor with an optional Reed Switch and integrating with your smart hub!

What are Mailbox Alarm Sensors?

Mailbox Sensors are small devices that you can set up in your mailbox. Whenever someone opens the mailbox, it triggers the wireless sensor and you will get a notification that you have got mail.

Using a wireless Mailbox Sensor will save a lot of your time, which you can spend on more productive things rather than checking your mailbox multiple times a day. 

If you are interested in getting one for your mailbox, then keep reading as we share nine mailbox alarms and smart sensors with you. Let’s dive into it.

Types of Mailbox Alarms

Before we get on to our main topic, let us tell you about the two main types of mailbox sensors.

  • Off the Shelf Mailbox Alarms are standalone devices that are easy to set up.
  • DIY Z-Wave Smart Home Sensors are devices that can be integrated into your smart home. Some degree of skill is required in installing and configuring them. The advantage of these types of mailbox sensors is flexibility. For example, you could trigger Alexa to play a particular audio clip or song when mail arrives!
9.6
Top Pick
An easy to install mailbox alarm

The Mailbox Alert by MySpool is one of the simplest off the shelf mailbox sensors available.

Top Features
  • It offers the mailbox alerts as well as email & SMS Alerts

  • Unlike the Z-Wave options, it’s very easy to install and configure

  • Comes with the MySpool Hub, which extends the signal reception

The MySpool Mailbox Alert is the best off the shelf mailbox alarm, which you can use for your mailbox. 

The great thing about the MySpool Mailbox Alert is that it comes with clear guidance and instructions, which make it comparatively easier to install then other devices listed here.

It also offers notifications alerts, and you can register yourself at the official website and get email and SMS notifications as well.

Signal

The standard MySpool Mailbox Alert kit offers alerts up to 400 feet. There is also an extended set which offers an extended range of 1600 feet (~487 Meter), which will be sufficient for most people.

The Mailbox Alert also comes with a replaceable battery, but some customers mentioned that the battery life of the device could be improved.

Overall, the MySpool Mailbox Alert is a great mailbox sensor, and if you are looking for a reliable sensor that is easier to install, then Mailbox Alert is a solid option for you.

What we liked
  • It comes with an extended range set, which can extend the limit by 1600 feet
  • It’s easy to install and configure as compared to other mailbox sensors
  • Comes with the replaceable batteries
What we didn't like
  • Battery Life could be longer
  • Weather Resistance can be improved
  • Not possible to integrate with your Smart Hub
9.5
Top Z-Wave Pick
A fully integrated Z-Wave sensor

Here we recommend the installation of Z-Wave Plus Contact Sensor integrated into your smart hub. For metal mailboxes where it is difficult to get signal out, we recommend wiring in a Reed Switch.

Top Features
  • Works flawlessly with Z-Wave Smart Hubs such as Samsung Smart Things, Vera, Hubitat, HomeSeer and more.

  • Up to 200 feet radio distance with Z-wave Plus

  • The battery on the Z-wave Plus sensor can last up to 3 years

While primarily designed for doors and windows, the Ecolink Z-Wave Plus Contact can be used for triggering alerts when your mailbox is opened. 

A Z-Wave Smart Hub is required for this to work, along with a Z-Wave device to be in range, as part of a mesh network. 

If you have a metal mailbox, we recommend you install the Ecolink Contact Sensor below the mailbox on its exterior and wire in a Reed Switch inside the mailbox to trigger the Z-Wave message. The reason for this is the Z-Wave signal may not be able to penetrate the mailbox shell if installed inside.

Make sure the Ecolink Contact is sheltered on the underside of the mailbox to ensure it does not get damaged from rain.

This wireless mailbox sensor works with Z-Wave Hubs such as Samsung SmartThings, Vera Plus, Vera Edge, Vera Lite and Homeseer.

It also comes with two covers: white and brown cover. Using these covers will allow your sensor to easily blend into the environment.

The Ecolink Z-Wave Plus sensor also comes with a pretty long battery life of up to 3 years. Also, the battery is replaceable, which means you can always install the new battery if the old ones run out of power.

Once installed, you can trigger events based on the mailbox sensor within your smart hub (such as alarms, email notifications, sms notifications, Alexa voice notifications, smart bulb colour changes etc.)

What we liked
  • It’s a DIY Mailbox sensor, but it’s relatively easier to set up as compared to other DIY Sensors.
  • It’s an accurate sensor, and it offers reliable alerts.
  • You can connect it with other Smart Home Devices
  • Comes with Replaceable Battery
  • Cheaper than off-the-shelf standalone mailbox alarms
What we didn't like
  • Requires certain levels of DIY skills for setup.
  • Requires a Z-Wave Smart Hub to already be in place
  • Requires wiring a Reed switch if installed in a metal mailbox enclosure
9.4
A simple, easy to install mailbox alarm

The Mail Chime Mailbox Sensor is a simple solution to get your mailbox alerts.

Top Features
  • Easy to setup with instructions

  • It can work independently, just plug the receiver into any electrical outlet and start using it.

  • It offers signal reception up to 350 feet.

The Mail Chime Mailbox sensor is one of the best mailbox alarms out there, and is known for its simple installation and operation. The sensor comes with two devices: a sensor and receiver. You can put the sensor inside the mailbox, and place the receiver inside your home. 

You will be attaching the sensor with the help of double-sided tape that comes with the box. Once the setup is complete, just plug in the receiver, and it will start monitoring your mailbox.

Whenever someone opens the mailbox, the receiver will start beeping and blinking, which will be a sign that you have received mail . The whole setup process is also easy, which makes it ideal for those who just want a simple device with mailbox alerts.

Signal

The Mail Chime wireless Mailbox receiver can receive signals up to 350 feet (~106 meters). If you need a mailbox sensor that offers longer reception, then you can check other sensors on this list.

The biggest problem with the Mail Chime sensor is that it doesn’t come with smart home integration. While it doesn’t need a smart home hub to operate, you will be missing out on all smart home features and phone notifications.

You should consider the Mail Chime Mailbox sensor if you really want a simple mailbox sensor with basic functions.

What we liked
  • It comes with a simple setup which makes it ideal for non-tech-savvy people
  • The device features a volume control option
  • Comes with an LED which provides a visual alert as well
What we didn't like
  • No Smart Home Integration
  • No smartphone notifications alerts
9.4
Top ZigBee Pick
An Affordable Mailbox Sensor

Depending on the type of mailbox you have, the Samsung SmartThings Multipurpose Sensor may be a great choice for triggering mailbox alerts via your Smart Hub!

Top Features
  • Works with various systems and radio protocols including Google, Amazon Alexa, SmartThings, and Zigbee

  • Nice integration with other SmartThings products for triggering alerts

  • Flexible sensor which works based on open/close, vibrate, tilt and temperature

The Samsung SmartThings Multipurpose sensor might be just what you need to trigger mailbox alerts or alarms when mail arrives.

Check out the video below on a mailbox installation …

For starters, it requires a smart hub for its functionality, but in return, you get excellent features to integrate with other devices. For example, you can easily set it up with a smart speaker, so whenever you receive any mail it can read aloud the notification. You can also configure it to send a mailbox notification to your mobile.

The biggest issue with using the Samsung SmartThings Multipurpose sensor as a mailbox sensor is it is not waterproof. So it will work best for mailboxes that are installed in a sheltered position, as seen in the above video. You could also try to waterproof it by using a silicone sealant.

What we liked
  • Compact size, which makes it easier to set up on the mailbox.
  • Once installed and integrated with SmartThings it delivers 24/7 monitoring along with sends instant notification alerts
  • It works well with smart home devices and unlocks many creative ways to use them
  • Up to 200ft range with ZigBee3
What we didn't like
  • Unlike the Ecolink contact sensor, it cannot be physically wired to a reed switch if you cannot get signal from inside the mailbox
  • Not water resistant so would need to be installed in a sheltered place in or around the mailbox
  • Requires a smart hub or compatible device with SmartThings Hub functionality
9.3
A Z-Wave Mailbox Sensor

Using the Ecolink Z-Wave Plus Tilt Sensor is another approach to triggering mailbox alerts. For mailboxes that contain a flap which opens 90 degrees, the tilt sensor could be attached to the cover which when opened, will trigger the alert to the smart hub.

Top Features
  • Up to 200ft range with Z-Wave Plus

  • Offers battery life of up to 5 years.

  • Works flawlessly with Z-Wave & Z-Wave certified Hubs

Using a tilt sensor is another approach to consider when looking to set up mailbox alerts. If appropriate for your circumstances, the Ecolink Z-Wave Plus Tilt Sensor is worth reviewing.

Check out the video below on installation on a garage door. You would need to determine if this would work for installing on your mailbox.

The whole process of installing the sensor is pretty easy. It comes with the mounting bracket, which you can attach to your mailbox using the screws.  You can also mount the plate using adhesive tape, but it would be less durable. 

Once you mount the plate, make sure that the device is connected to your Z-Wave Hub, and it’s within the range of up to 200 feet.

Smart Hub Required

This approach requires a Z-Wave Plus certified hub such as Homeseer, Nexia, Piper, SmartThings Hub, VeraLite, or VeraEdge for its functionality.

The biggest issue with using the Ecolink Z-Wave Plus Tilt Sensor as a mailbox notifier is it is not waterproof. As it will require communication with the hub, you will need to position it on the outside of the mailbox where it may be exposed to the elements. It could work with some silicone sealant or a waterproof case that does not interfere with radio signals.

What we liked
  • Offers remote monitoring of your mailbox using your smartphone & laptop.
  • Highly reliable and sensitive to changes in orientation
  • Good range and battery life
What we didn't like
  • Requires DIY and smart home knowledge to set up
  • Not waterproof so better for sheltered mailboxes
  • Require a smart hub for functionality

Other Mailbox Sensors

Top Features
  • It offers notification alerts as well as messages.

  • Comes in a very compact size, which makes it easier for the sensor to blend into the environment.

  • It can work independently and doesn’t require any smart hub.

The Smart Mailbox Wi-Fi Chime is one of the most compact mailbox sensors which you can use for mailbox alerts.

It’s also very easy to set up. Just install the battery, complete the Wi-Fi connection setup, install the sensor on the mailbox, and it will start monitoring. 

It offers wireless alerts up to 150 feet (~45 meters), but if you want to extend the range, then you will need a Wi-Fi signal repeater.

If you are looking for a mailbox sensor with a compact size, then the Smart Mailbox Wi-Fi Chime might be worth considering.

Top Features
  • Comes with audio and visual alerts

  • It offers flawless signal reception up to 300 feet

  • It is designed specifically for mailboxes.

Just like the Mail Chime Mailbox Sensors, the Smarthome Mailbox Alert System is also a dedicated Mailbox Alert sensor that is specifically designed to help you with mailbox alerts.

In this system, you get a receiver and a sensor. You will be installing the sensor on the inside of the mailbox. Similarly, the receiver will be installed in your house. Once the setup is completed, the system will start monitoring.

Whenever you receive any mail, the system will start beeping, and the LED will start bilking. The LED will keep on blinking until you press the “Reset” button on the receiver. 

The receiver can receive signals up to 300 feet (~90 meters). If the distance between your house and mailbox is longer than 300 feet or 90 meters, then you should consider other sensors on this list.

Top Features
  • It comes with a compact design which makes it easy to fit it in your mailbox

  • Integrated with Amazon Alexa

  • Works without a Smart Hub. Just connect to Wi-Fi, and it will start monitoring.

The Mailfi Mailbox Sensor offers accurate tracking of your mailbox along with smart features. It requires Wi-Fi, and once it’s connected, you will get alerts to your smartphone.

If you want, you can also connect it with Amazon Alexa and use the IFTTT to further customize the actions. This is a big advantage over other simple mailbox alerts without the need for a smart hub.

Top Features
  • It comes with programmable voice alerts, tunes, alerts, and phrases.

  • It can receive signals up to 1000 feet (304 Meters)

  • It offers real-time tracking of the mailbox

STI Wireless Mail Alert with Voice Receiver is a mailbox alarm system which comes with programmable voice alerts. You get the option to customize the tunes, voice alerts, or phrases.

The alarm system also comes with LEDs, and whenever someone opens, tilt, or disturbs the external switch, you will get the unique alert. Also, the LEDs zone indicators show you which type of alert you received.

Should I Buy a Mailbox Sensor

Time Sensitive Post

One of the biggest advantages of having a mailbox sensor is that you will receive your mails on time. They won’t sit in your mailbox for days unopened.

Whenever your mail arrives, the sensor will notify you, and you will be able to open your post immediately.

Convenience

As most of us have busy lifestyles, no one has time to check the mailbox multiple times a day. 

You can simply set up a good mailbox sensor in your mailbox, and instead of checking your mailbox every few hours, it will keep monitoring the mailbox, and as soon as it detects any mail, it will notify you.

Security

According to researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1.7 million packages get stolen or lost every day in the US, and this number keeps increasing.

So, if you want to protect your important documents and packages from theft, then you can simply use the mailbox sensor and receive your important documents and packages on time. 

A small investment may save a lot of your important documents from getting stolen, and you will have peace of mind that your mail is not going astray.

Connected Home

If your home is a smart home, then you can install a compatible sensor and integrate it with your other smart home devices.

You can also use different ways to integrate the mailbox sensor into your smart home and automate it.

Mailbox Alarm Features to Consider

Off the Shelf vs. DIY

If you have read down to this paragraph, then you would have noticed that off the shelf mailbox sensors are mainly basic, but are much easier to install.

On the other side, DIY Mailbox Sensors are more advanced and offer full connectivity with the smart home.

So, if you have a smart home and want to connect smart home devices, then a DIY mailbox sensor, such as a Z-Wave or Zigbee sensor is the way to go.

If you just want to receive simple wireless mailbox alerts, then an off the shelf mailbox sensor is a good option.

Range

Range is another very important feature which you must consider when buying a mailbox sensor. The range varies from sensor to sensor, so before you pick any sensor, make sure that it can cover your home.

Measure the distance between your home and the mailbox, and then pick the sensor which can support your circumstance. In this guide, you will find sensors with a range of up to 1600 feet.

Smart Home Integration

If you have a smart home, then you should get a mailbox sensor that is compatible with a smart home. You can set up various actions on receiving notification from the Mailbox Sensor.

For example, you can set up an action to trigger a text message or change the colors of a light. Similarly, you can set up a lot of other actions too.

You can easily set up these actions using options such as a Z-Wave Hub, IFTTT, SmartThings Webcore, and others.

Mailbox Material

Before picking a mailbox sensor, you must consider the material of your mailbox. If it’s made up of wood or other similar materials, then it won’t cause any issues.

However, if your mailbox is made up of metal, then it can interfere with the signals of the sensors and they may need to be installed on the outside.

Wi-Fi or Z-Wave Repeaters

If you have picked a mailbox sensor that doesn’t have the range, long enough to receive Wi-Fi or Z-Wave, then you will need to install repeaters. 

It’s a device that basically you use to extend the coverage of your Wi-Fi or Z-Wave. Z-Wave operates as a mesh network so as long as another Z-Wave device is close, then it passes the message along to the hub.

Common Questions Relating to Mailbox Alarms

My mailbox sensor cannot connect, what should I do?

If your mailbox is not connecting to your smart home hub or receiver, then it’s likely a range problem. The only solution is to get a Wi-Fi or Z-Wave repeater, which will extend the range of the networks, and your mailbox sensor will be able to connect.

My mailbox sensor is not always triggering when Mail arrives

If you are experiencing this problem, then it could be due to two reasons.

First, make sure that the mailbox sensor is properly installed and powered.
If the sensor is set up properly, then it could be due to your mailbox type. If it’s made of metal material, then it could be interrupting the signal.

The only solution to this problem is to put your mailbox sensor on the outside of the mailbox as it will offer better reception of signals.

Can you get mailbox alerts with Alexa?

Yes, many mailbox sensors support Amazon Alexa. You can set up the Amazon Alexa with your mailbox sensor, and then you can get mailbox alerts with Alexa.

The Verdict

Mailbox sensors are useful devices that can save time and provide peace of mind that important mail is not going unopened.

When it comes to easy off-the-shelf devices, we recommend the MySpool Mail Alert, while for smart home enthusiasts, we propose rigging a Z-Wave Contact Sensor with an optional Reed Switch and integrating with your smart hub!

Do you have other ideas on how to rig up a smart home sensor to a mailbox? If so leave a comment below!

9.6
Top Pick
An easy to install mailbox alarm

The Mailbox Alert by MySpool is one of the simplest off the shelf mailbox sensors available.

Top Features
  • It offers the mailbox alerts as well as email & SMS Alerts

  • Unlike the Z-Wave options, it’s very easy to install and configure

  • Comes with the MySpool Hub, which extends the signal reception

Sources

smartthings.com

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