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A Real Safe or a Hidden Safe, Which is Best?

By Riva Vera Patriana September 12, 2021 0 comments

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Having a safe will be really helpful to keep your valuables secure. However, is it worth it to buy a hidden safe or just get a real safe? Which one works the best to keep your valuables out of reach from burglars?

It can be difficult to know which type of hidden safe is best for your needs because there are so many options on the market. To make your decision easier, we've compared two popular types - real safes and hidden safes - for their key features.

Hidden Safe or Real Safe? Which is better?

Truthfully, it depends. Hidden safes are not as secure as regular fireproof safes, but they rely on concealment. If a burglar can’t find a hidden safe, it cannot be broken into like a regular safe. Depending on the value of the safe contents, a hidden safe with little fire and burglary protection might be too risky. We recommend that a hidden safe be used for costume jewelry, keys to another safe, paperwork, and in some cases quick access to a handgun. 

There are some differences between real safes and hidden safes that you can put into consideration before getting one.

  • Price 

A hidden safe can be more expensive based on its size and features. This does not include costs for the installation in a wall or floor. Conversely, a real safe, especially a small home safe, is much more affordable as there is no installation cost other than bolting it to a wall or shelf to anchor the safe. 

  • Installation 

A real safe likely doesn’t need any installation but most hidden fire-resistant safes do. This can be pretty pricey depending on the weight of a safe. Diversions safe for more things are heavy and only can be placed in specific areas at home that can support steel. It requires extra effort both in finding the right place to install and the installation price. 

  • Security 

A hidden safe is more secure than a real one because it can be more difficult to discover but difficult to be taken away when you move. A real safe can be put in a secret place but that is still less secure than concealing one.

Knowing the depth of each safe is important to get the most suitable one. Let’s dive in.

What to Consider When Choosing a Safe

  • A real safe for hiding valuables

A real safe comes in various options to meet people's storage needs. It is even equipped with various features such as fire-resistant and advanced locking systems such as combination lock, mechanical key lock, and spare house key. Some of them might be installed on the concrete slab but if you don’t want to include any installation you can choose the freestanding model with a 1-2 hour fire rating which offers great security. Another option is by using a free-standing fire-resistant safe with a digital locking system which burglars find difficult to get in. 

  • A hidden safe or secret compartment 

Hidden safe disguises come in a variety of options including diversion safes with secret compartments that can camouflage burglars. Those can be concealed in the wall, offering plain sight, and even looks like furniture. It is harder for burglars to know where it is. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is better concealed wall safe or a home safe in plain sight?

Hidden safes are a tricky thing. There is no right answer to this question, it all really depends on your situation and what you're trying to protect. If the only things that need protecting are important documents then putting them in a safe with a hidden compartment isn't necessary at all, but if you have expensive jewelry or other items of value there's a much greater chance that someone will find out about them and decide they are worth stealing. 

Are fireproof safes actually safe?

The answer seems obvious: a safe protect things from getting stolen. The topic of safety and security is one that looms large over all aspects of our lives. Fireproof diversion safes have been tested in accordance with the UL 72 test, which evaluates how safe it is to store important documents and hiding valuables such as money, spare key, or emergency cash inside a safe during an accidental fire. 

The UL rating system has 4 different categories: 1 hour (F1); 2 hours (F2); 3 hours (F3) and 4 hours (F4). Safes with higher ratings are more resistant to heat. However, even F4 rated safes cannot guarantee protection for long periods of time or against all types of fires. The only way to ensure safety from any type of fire is by purchasing a high-quality metal safe box made out of steel.


Determining which is the best, a real safe vs a hidden safe is impossible since one safe can surpass another in terms of protection. However, you can choose which one is most suitable for knowing what storage you need. Not only security, price, and installation can be a useful guide to choose the right one.  

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