13 Best Diversion Safes Thieves Will Walk Right Past

By Will Brendza | Last Updated: June 6, 2018

Diversion SafeDiversion safes are awesome.

They hide valuables in plain sight.

So whether you’re looking for your first diversion safe or want to add a new one to your collection – I’ve got your back.

Because diversion safes have come a long way over the years (for example, check out #9 below!)

And once you find the best diversion safe for you, you’ll want to get the most out of it.

That’s exactly what this guide does.

Today we will cover the following diversion-safe topics:

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What Is A Diversion Safe?

You’ve likely seen diversion safes used in Hollywood movies.

They’re used to create mystery, intrigue, and exciting plot twists.

Often, a book opens up containing a gun instead of pages.

Or tabletops that slide aside to reveal secret documents. Or drawers with false bottoms to conceal scandalous photos or illegal paraphernalia…

A classic example is in the iconic movie Shawshank Redemption.

Andy Dufresne hides a small excavation hammer inside a hollowed-out Bible.

They’re safes wearing the skin of an everyday object.

And the more mundane and boring the object, the better.

A thief searching for valuables will automatically skip over a dull, everyday object.

That’s the power of a diversion safe.

Their brain will not register it as anything of value.

Soda cans, hairbrushes, electrical sockets, and food jars make great diversion safes.

Because nobody’s going to take the time to search for those items. 99% of the time, those objects are exactly what they look like.

Making it a bad tactic for a thief to check those items on the off chance it’s a diversion safe.

There’s no time for that when ransacking a house.

Thieves seek obvious targets – jewelry drawers, closet safes, and expensive gadgets.

The idea of diversion is simple, and when used correctly, it’s powerful.

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Regular Safes Vs. Diversion Safes

The problem with a conventional safe is – you know there’s something of value inside.

It’s a treasure chest for criminals.

As soon as they see one, they know whatever’s inside is worth stealing.

Because no sane person puts trash in an expensive safe, right?

Nope, we put $100 bills, gold coins, expensive jewelry, and family heirlooms in them.

So when presented with such a juicy opportunity – a thief won’t hesitate to nab your safe.

They’ll pry that sucker off the wall if necessary.

And don’t fool yourself; they know how to open it “back at the shop.” That’s why it may be safer to hide your valuables in plain sight…

This is not to say you shouldn’t use a conventional safe.

Short of safe-cracking skills, modern safes are challenging to get into for a would-be thief.

But there are situations when it makes sense to hide something in a non-conventional manner.

The best way to do that is with diversion safes.

These sneaky lockboxes offer a smart way to store valuable items in unsuspecting places.

Like in a hairbrush, a boring book, a jar of peanut butter, or even dirty underwear!

Diversion safes offer a different kind of security.

A disguise that makes your valuables virtually invisible.

They come in all kinds and sizes and in almost any design you can imagine. There’s a diversion safe out there that’s perfect for the job at hand.

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Best Items To Stash In A Diversion Safe

Of course, there’s an endless number of valuables you can use your diversion safe to hide. But here are a few of the most common and the most popular:

Stashing Emergency Cash

Having an emergency cash stash is a valuable survival preparation step. These safes are perfect for keeping a little somethin’ extra hidden away.

A bit of “mad money” you can access quickly.

Or some extra insurance for the day the financial sector collapses.

With a diversion safe, you know exactly where you can get your hands on cold, hard cash. You can quickly grab it on the way out the door in an emergency disaster.

Because keeping all your cash in a bank and ATMs is a disaster waiting to happen.

Hiding A Spare Key

Don’t tuck your spare house key under the doormat. That’s only slightly better than leaving the front door wide open.

But plenty of diversion safes are designed to look like rocks or landscape objects.

Things that are normal to see on or around a porch.

Keeping a spare key inside one of those is a smart way to hide a key and avoid the dreaded lockout.

Concealing Illegal Drugs

I’m NOT advocating for drug use here…

But if you happen to have an illegal substance, there’s no better place to hide it than a diversion safe.

Obviously, they’ll hide the contents from looters, roommates, spouses, and curious kids. But they’ll also protect your stash from snoopy authorities.

Just be aware even the best ones won’t keep a drug-sniffing dog from finding your stash.

Protecting Special Documents

Perhaps you have some “special” documents you want to keep close at hand but also safe.

If you have such a document, but it’s worth stealing, storing them inside a diversion safe is a sneaky way to protect them.

Most are large enough to keep a USB thumb drive inside of them.

So, you could store a small library of information in your diversion safe.

Sending Secret Messages

Need to deliver a message in secret? Need to send some critical information to someone you CANNOT meet in person?

No problem.

Stash your message inside a diversion safe, and leave it in a pre-specified location.

A message delivery system without creating a digital footprint.

Just remember to end the message with a p.s.:

“destroy after reading!”

Sneaking Weapons Around

Something unsuspecting, like a book or a clock, can work for weapon concealment.

Now we’re not encouraging you to sneak guns or knives into places where they’re illegal. But the option is there with the right type of concealment.

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Best Diversion Safe Features

Just like well-designed survival gear, there are key features in any good diversion safe.

Keep these particular qualities in mind when looking at all your options online.

Ordinary, Mundane, and Boring

A quality diversion safe is like using camouflage; it blends in with its environment.

But the environment you’re working with is in a forest; it’s a household.

So avoid anything flashy and fancy. That would defeat the entire purpose.

That is why diversion safes often take on the appearance of items that people want nothing to do with:

  • cleaning supplies
  • lengthy books
  • personal hygiene items
  • there are even some disguised as dirty laundry

The more mundane the object, the better.


Some diversion safes have the right idea in mind but miss the mark on authenticity.

A diversion safe has to be believable.

If it sticks out like a sore thumb as a fake book or a fake can of soda, it is much more likely to attract unwanted attention.

A well-designed diversion safe should be able to fool you. If you can tell it’s a dupe, so can other people.

Just because someone is a criminal doesn’t mean they’re not smart. Heck, the best criminals are the smartest ones.

Secure Mechanism

Many diversion safes rely too heavily on their disguise as a deterrent and not security.

If you’re hiding real valuables, get a diversion safe with a sturdy locking mechanism.

A key lock or a combination lock enhances the effectiveness.

No, a professional thief will take the diversion safe with them and use tools to break into it.

But a lock will deter curious kids and roommates, etc., from opening the diversion safe – should they happen to find it.

Has Some Keepsake Value

The problem with “low-value” diversion safes is those items often get tossed out, moved, or lost.

Nobody thinks twice about tossing out an empty bottle of laundry detergent – that’s actually your safe!

Of course, you’d never accidentally do that.

But a helpful neat freak friend or your busy beaver mother-in-law might.

Safes that resemble items with a bit of keepsake value are at a lower risk of being accidentally tossed or lost.

Think of items that are memorable (like a potted plant) or hold some long-term valuable (like a book).

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13 Best Diversion Safes On The Market Today

With a market as broad as the internet, there’s an endless number of styles, shapes, and sizes available.

It’s tricky to know exactly what you’re getting.

Especially since diversion safes don’t really have recognizable brands. Because branding one would betray the purpose of the disguise.

That’s not to say they’re not using well-known brands for their disguise – they are.

They cannot add their own brands and logos to the safe without ruining the diversion effect.

That’s why we list some of the highest-rated, most widely acclaimed, best diversion safes.

The list is diverse to give you a taste of the vast range of choices.

Some are simple, some are clever, and still others are outright devious.

But they are all high-quality, intelligently designed, and explicitly made to disguise your valuables.

1 – Varitek Hide-a-Spare-Key Fake Rock

This classic diversion safe looks like a plain old rock.

It will blend in perfectly with its natural habitat right outside your door. 

Or hide it further away from your house for even more diversion confidence.

Perfect for hiding those spare keys!

2 – Morton Salt Diversion Safe

The safe is inside an old salt canister.

This helps it blend seamlessly with any kitchen setting.

It’s also larger than most, so it offers a bit more in the way of storage space.

Just be careful not to throw this one out by mistake.

3 – Mantello Hair Brush Secret Hidden Diversion Safe

The bottom of this innocent-looking hairbrush screws off to reveal a hidden compartment.

This diversion safe is perfect for hiding cash, spare keys, notes, or documents.

What I like about this safe is that it’s a hairbrush you can use.

Most other diversion safes are just replicas.

And it makes sense to take it with you when traveling. I’m sorry, but traveling with a canister of salt might put you in the loony bin.

But be aware it’s too small to fit any larger valuables.

4 – BigMouth Inc. SPAM Can Safe

This canned food safe uses a certified, licensed SPAM label.

This helps to conceal its true identity.

Just make sure you don’t pack it in your prepper food with the intent to eat what’s inside…

5 – Water Bottle Secret Diversion Safe

This bottle has a double layer of plastic built into it, so it always looks like a full, unopened water bottle.

The hidden compartment is behind the water label, making it very difficult to detect – brilliant!

6 – Book Safe with Metal Lock Box

This is my favorite option when it comes to diversion safes.

It’s a book, but it’s an insanely boring one – a New English Dictionary.

A book like this one has a believable cover and a lockbox built-in.

So it is extra secure.

Add this “book” to your bookshelf, and it’s virtually impossible to tell it’s a diversion safe.

There’s no visual difference between it and the ones it’s pressed between.

Plus, with a combination lock, there’s no worry about losing keys.

7 – Armor All Tire Foam Safe

Here’s one for the garage.

This actual ArmorAll can opens up so you can access the inside through the bottom of the canister.

Stuff this thing full of valuables and tuck it on a shelf with other such hardware supplies.

It virtually disappears – a safe in plain sight!

8 – Hidden Safe Fake Household Surge Protector 

This is basically a safe disguised to look like a surge protector.

Although it is not a working surge protector, it has an on/off switch that glows red.

However, you can plug devices into the surge protector and the protector into the wall to add to the realism.

This helps to keep the illusion as real as possible.

9 – Innovative Internet Products Underwear Diversion Safe

This is a genuinely raunchy way to hide your cash, but it’s sure to work.

What thief in their right mind will sift through your filthy soiled laundry?

Not even the most desperate thief would touch soiled undies hoping to find valuables.

They really went out of their way to make this pair of tightie-whities as nasty as hell!

10 – Jcuniversal Stash Spot Lighter Safe

Made to look like a Bic lighter.

This tiny, portable diversion safe is perfect for sneaking small items around…

This is by no means a large diversion safe!

You might be able to sneak “something” into a concert or venue that prohibits that “something.” If you know what I mean…

11 – SafeInside Flower Pot Diversion Safe

Complete with a lock and key, this flower pot diversion safe is one of the most impressive options on this list.

It disguises your valuables with little to no danger of being thrown out or destroyed.

Mother-in-laws don’t throw out flower pots!

It has a locking mechanism for security and is easy to remember.

12 – Air Vent Large Diversion Safe

large diversion safe -air ventThis diversion safe is simple and larger than most of the other options.

Because sometimes a tiny safe isn’t enough.

For example, you can’t fit a handgun and some ammo in a book safe.

But an air vent is a large diversion safe – one where you can stash bigger valuables inside of it.

Or even better yet, invest in a gun safe!

13 – The Pillow Diversion Safe

Pillow Diversion SafeThis one is for those who want to keep a close eye on their valuables even at night.

And yes, this pillow can be used as an actual pillow.

So you can sleep with your “precious” under your head – if that’s your thing.

Note: If you looking for even bigger diversion safes – take a look at our “How To Hide Guns In Plain Sight.” This post will give you lots of hidden storage furniture and locations.

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Making Your Own Diversion Safe

Obviously, with a concept as simple as the diversion safe, you can make your own.

It can be as simple as converting an old product into a container with a hidden compartment.

Boom, you have yourself a diversion safe! And it will probably cost you a lot less, too.

To give you some ideas on what’s possible – check out these 3 simple to make DIY diversion safes:

The question of security becomes a double-edged sword, though. Because if you are lazy about making your diversion safe, it might not be effective.

Don’t cut a mountain dew bottle in half and stuff it full of cash.

You won’t be doing yourself any favors.

Buying a safe pre-made diversion means you have a guaranteed level of security, especially if you get one with a lockbox inside of it.

By that same token, you can make sure it’s extra secure by making your own.

If you go the extra mile and design a good one, you could create a hyper-secure safe. 

Heck, if it’s good enough, you might even be able to sell to others…

So what kinds of things make for good diversion safes?

Well, the list of highly-rated diversion safes above has some good examples.

But here’s a short list of other items that might work well, too:

  • Flashlight
  • Lamps
  • Paperweights
  • Liquor or wine bottles
  • Candles
  • Food cans/boxes
  • Condiment bottles

You get the idea.

And a “diversion safe” doesn’t have to be a mundane object, gutted and turned into a storage compartment.

It can be something as simple as a false bottom in a drawer. Or a hidden gun safe behind a painting, or a safe disguised in a brick wall…

The possibilities are endless when you get creative.

Because the concept is so clever and simple, the sky is the limit.

Diversify your diversions!

Will Brendza

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