Best Window Security Film to Harden Your Home

Whether you have tempered or regular pane glass, there is an easy way to quickly upgrade your window safety and security: adhesive film. There are many brands and thicknesses of window security film to pick from and they don’t all perform the same.

This is where we come in. We’ve researched the best window film, tested them, and now the results are in: the overall best, a budget option, and an opaque version for privacy. If you need to upgrade or improve your window security, one of our suggestions will hold down the fort.

Contents (Jump to a Section)

BDF S8MC Window Security Film

The Best Window Security Film


Strong, Clear, and Easy to Apply

Bolster security quickly and easily with this 8 mil window film that refuses to let glass give way.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

BDF uses a very strong adhesive which allows this thick film to perform well for impact absorption and break safety. It can severely hamper entry attempts if a burglar is trying to break the window with a hammer or crowbar. This time can make the difference with your reaction, or deter the intruder altogether.

The 8 mil is one of the strongest on the market, but it will need more soap solution to apply for a professional result.

Here is what you get with this film roll:

  • 8 mil 2-ply film
  • 30″ x 12′
  • 0% tint (clear)
  • ANSI Z97.1 Class B and CPSC Category 1 (150lb+ impact force)
  • 99% UV rejection

This thick film is easy to install and extremely strong- so it’s not hard to see why BDF S8MC Window Security Film tops our review.

BDF S4MC Window Security Film

Budget Security Film


Lighter-weight, Inexpensive, and Durable

Better security at the best price with this trusted 4 mil solution that can still get the job done.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

The half-weight BDF solution still has the same strong adhesive, but it is easier to install and less expensive than the 8 mil version. It can still hold up through a beating and still holds the testing certifications ANSI Z97.1 Class B and CPSC Category 1.

Here is how the film measures up:

  • 4 mil film
  • 24″ x 13′
  • 0% tint (clear)
  • ANSI Z97.1 Class B and CPSC Category 1 (150lb+ impact force)
  • 99% UV rejection

If you need to protect your windows and not break your budget, the BDF S4MC Window Security Film is what you’re looking for.

BDF S8MB0 Window Privacy and Security Film

Privacy & Security Film


Strong, Durable, and High-Privacy

Block breakage and obstruct outside views with this dark security film that both prevents and mitigates window entry.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

Prevent intrusions from the get-go by masking your belongings with dark tint privacy film. This isn’t the same run-of-the-mill tint you may use on your car or truck, it still has the BDF adhesive and is made for taking a beating.

Technically, it’s the same as our top pick with the added privacy tint feature that works well to deter people from even seeing what is behind the glass.

Here are the film specs:

  • 8 mil 2-ply film
  • 24″ x 24′
  • 20% high tint (dark)
  • ANSI Z97.1 Class B and CPSC Category 1 (150lb+ impact force)
  • 99% UV rejection

In certain situations where you need privacy along with unparalleled security, the BDF S8MB20 Window Privacy & Security Film is what you’re looking for.

Everything We Recommend

BDF S8MC Window Security Film


Bolster security quickly and easily with this 8 mil window film that refuses to let glass give way.

Where to Buy

$64* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

BDF S4MC Window Security Film


Better security at the best price with this trusted 4 mil solution that can still get the job done.

Where to Buy

$44* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

BDF S8MB0 Window Privacy and Security Film


Block breakage and obstruct outside views with this dark security film that both prevents and mitigates window entry.

Where to Buy

$85* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

The Film We Compared

Our research narrowed the field down to a few brands and types of film that we compared: BDF, 3M, Gordon Glass, ArmorDillo, Duragold, Llumar, ULine, and more.

You can see our full list of review criteria below in the What to Look For section, with an explanation for each.

We considered a wide range of films. Although our results seem one-sided, performance spoke for itself after extensive testing. We quit looking at many of the temporary films since we were looking for permanent security and safety enhancements.

We’re always looking for new and better supplies, so if you have a window film that has performed well, let us know in the comments. We review most of our tested supplies annually so we can try to get it in the next roundup round and see if it will beat out our top picks.

What to Look For

The best window security film has a few features to look for:

  1. Value
  2. Application
  3. Strength
  4. Durability
  5. Versatility

When you get the right blend of these, you can find a film that performs well in the face of whatever is thrown at it. Below, we break down what each of these features means for the films that truly set themselves apart.

Value: Cost vs. Benefit

The amount of money you spend on something as simple as plastic that you stick on a window shouldn’t blow out your entire budget. There is a wide range of prices for window film, so you should be able to find some that will work for your specific situation.

You never want to spend too much money on one resource when it comes to security. It’s better to diversify your spending to make sure you are covered for a wide range of scenarios.


Applying film can be frustrating. You’ll want the right tools to begin with, which makes the process much easier. There are different types of window film that use different methods for adhesion.

Static cling is easy to use and great for temporary applications like construction work. Glue adhesive is better for security and safety since it will hold shattered glass in place. Lastly, some films use heat-activated adhesive, which is typically only an option if the film is quite expensive since it doesn’t deform with the heat.

All of these types of adhesion take different steps to apply, and proper application of window security film is important for it to function correctly.


Window film comes in different strengths that can help absorb impact and mitigate breakage. These are usually relative to the type of material used, the adhesive type, and how thick the material is.

Stong film will be able to spread the shock of an impact across the pane of glass and hold up to repeated blows even after the glass itself has failed. The ANSI tests used can lend credibility to manufacturer strength ratings, with all of our picks being ANSI Z97.1 Class B and above, which means they are rated for 150-foot-pound impacts.

Strength doesn’t just matter for blunt force from intruder tools, it can also apply to high winds and pressure differentials of severe weather events and even bombs.


Lower-quality window films can degrade over time and have their adhesion lose effectiveness. They can also scratch, stain, and smudge making windows more difficult to see through.

Higher-quality durable films have fewer problems with these issues, and you won’t have issues with peeling after several years (or worse, adhesion failure when you actually need it).


Some films provide additional versatility, like privacy tinting and reflection, or include tools that make them easier to apply. The effectiveness of that versatility depends on your planned application and whether you actually need the tools.

How to Apply Window Security Film

If you’ve ever applied film to glass, you probably know that’s is relatively easy but difficult to get a professional-level look. Even when I put the protective film on my phone screen I usually end up a little off. But, that’s probably because I rush through it.

If you take time to prep both the window surface and the film and use the right tools it’ll all go smoothly. The best window film kit that is all-encompassing is the Gila RTK500 Installation Kit, and it is cheap but effective.

Here are the quick and easy steps to applying window security film:

  1. Gather – Get your film, application tools (soap solution, squeegee, low-lint cloth, cleaning spray, cleaning cloth), and a clean, flat table close to the window.
  2. Measure – Measure your window ensuring the film will fit, and take down specifics if you plan to pre-cut the film.
  3. Clean – Clean your window thoroughly using a glass cleaner, and allow it to dry.
  4. Cut – If you are cutting to size beforehand (instead of trimming), now’s the time to roll out your film on the clean table, measure, and cut.
  5. Spray Window – Prep the window by spraying your soap solution or application spray on it generously.
  6. Apply – Carefully place your film on the window, being sure not to crease the film. Squeeze out bubbles from the center out using your application tools.
  7. Trim – Trim the film to fit the window. Even if you precut this can get it just right.

BDF makes a wide range of films and we mostly covered security film, but their general installation guide is the same:

Who Needs Window Security Film?

Anyone with windows can benefit from window security film. Renters can use it even if they don’t remove the film if they pick a clear film.

For overall home security, we consider this as one of the easiest and cheapest upgrades you can do for your home. It is only beaten by upgrading your front door security simply by replacing screws or the strike plate.

Not only does it slow down intruders significantly, but it can also help make your windows much safer during natural disasters and even bomb explosions.

How We Review Products: We research thoroughly before selecting the best products to review. We consult experts in the field for a better understanding of what makes the gear great. Hours on end are spent field testing gear in stressful conditions. We assign performance criteria and impartially rate each tested item. You can support us through our independently chosen links, which can earn us a commission at no extra cost to you. After our review process, some of the items reviewed end up in our giveaways.

Sources and References

All of our experience and the testing we do to determine the best window security film are useless without listing our research sources and references. We leaned on these for the book knowledge that we paired with our hands-on testing and practical survival experience:

Lin, L., et al. (2004). Survey of Window Retrofit Solutions for Blast Mitigation. Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities. Volume 18. Issue 2. Pages 86 – 94. (Source)

Stoykova, E., et al. (2008). Study of mechanical characteristics of window security films by phase-stepping photoelasticity. Proc. SPIE 7027, 15th International School on Quantum Electronics: Laser Physics and Applications, 70270P. (Source)

Zhang, X., et al. (2017). Vulnerability and protection of glass windows under blast: experiments, methods, and current trends. International Journal of Structural Glass and Advanced Materials Research. Journal of Industrial Textiles. Volume 1. Issue 2. Pages 10 – 23. (Source)

The Final Word

As part of a series of easy-to-implement home security upgrades, window security film is a high-impact and low-cost solution. Shore up your security quickly with this and other low-hanging fruit.

Here are a few other guides and reviews our subscribers have found helpful:

We presented quite a lot of information, but as always: if you have any questions let us know and we would be happy to help. Our testing found the BDF S8MC Security Film to be the best option given its value, application, strength, durability, and versatility.

Keep exploring, stay prepared, and be safe.

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The Best Window Security Film

Rusty Collins

I am an engineer, Air Force veteran, emergency manager, husband, dad, and experienced prepper. I developed emergency and disaster plans around the globe and responded to many attacks and accidents as a HAZMAT technician. I have been exposed to deadly chemical agents, responded to biological incidents, and dealt with natural disasters. Check out my full story here: Rusty's Story

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