So, you have a beautiful sliding glass door to your backyard, but the sun is beaming in and you need a little privacy at nighttime. Are curtains or blinds better for sliding doors? I will cover the pros and cons to each and help you decide which is the best choice for your home.
Luckily options these days have come a lot farther than the ugly vertical blinds you’ve likely seen years ago. They are loud when they clink and clank each other while opening and closing, and don’t do anything aesthetically for the room. There are many beautiful and functional options for both curtains and blinds today!
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Blinds for Sliding Glass Patio Doors
When it comes to blinds for sliding doors or patio doors, there are a few different routes you can take.
First, is a pull down blind that extends the length of your entire door. It’s mounted above the door frame so when you open the door, you must completely open the blind first. This is a very practical solution and does a great job of blocking out light on a hot summer day and providing privacy during nighttime so neighbors can’t get a full shot view into your living room.
The second option for blinds are two individual blinds rather than one large blind that covers both doors. This gives you a little more flexibility if you want one side of the glass closed while the other side is open. Sometimes this is a good option if you use the door often and want at least half of the glass covered the majority of the time, even when the door is in use.
Both of these options are traditional and work very well. There are countless options to customize the blind to your home by choosing a variety of fabrics or materials, valances or no valances, etc.
Some of my favorite blinds are woven wood blinds because of their durability and look. They have a pretty texture and are available in many different colors to go with about any style. Because they are made from wood, they are extremely durable and do not break or rip or tear. Some fabric or sheer blinds can be so delicate that they tear easily if you use them often. Woven blinds do not do that and they also wear wonderfully and do not show dirt like a neutral white fabric blind would.
In our first home, we had woven wood blinds and I absolutely loved them. Our dog who stared out the window for hours every single day flipped those blinds out of the way constantly. After 3 years they showed a tiny bit of dirt that needed to be cleaned but other than that they are totally maintenance free.
Since we moved into our new home, we got fabric blinds so I could try those out and to be honest, I’m pretty disappointed. They have ripped after a few months of having them in a couple areas and are already looking dirty in spots. Water spots on the blind above the kitchen window are especially noticeable. I miss my old woven wood blinds and wish we could have them back. Just something to keep in mind when you are choosing a fabric if you go the blinds route.
Curtains for Sliding Glass Doors
If you like the added softness of curtains or like the dressier look, curtains may be your best option. They function the same as a blind would, but just have an entirely different look.
Can you use regular curtains for sliding glass doors?
Hanging regular curtains on a sliding glass door works just the same as if you were hanging them on a regular window. You just want to make sure your rod is long enough to extend the whole length of your sliding glass door. A bracket will most likely be required to support the center as well.
When hanging curtains on sliding glass patio doors, here are the tips I like to follow:
Make sure curtains are just long enough to skim the floor or sit a half inch above the floor. You don’t want them dragging on the drag as you open and close them, and you definitely don’t want them too short where they look like high-waters.
When hanging drapery or curtains, I like to mount the bracket as close to the ceiling as possible to draw your eyes up and give the appearance that your doors or window are taller. This then dictates the length of your curtains.
Use a traverse rod on patio door sliders instead of a standard rod. Traverse rods have clips in them that act as the carriers to hang your curtains. They glide easily in the rod track so they open very easily with one hand and it’s super nice, especially if you use your patio door a lot. If you use a standard rod with rings, they can oftentimes get stuck or not slide super easily which can be a bit of a pain. A standard rod with rings will also get “stopped” by the middle bracket, not allowing the curtains to be pulled all the way across the door to cover all glass. A traverse rod avoids this and they are reasonably priced.
A split draw drape means that the curtains are split down the middle, with one panel on one side and another panel on the other. This means that curtains can all be pushed to one side when needed when you open and close the sliding door, or if you’d like to split the drapes and have them on the outer edges of the windows, you can do that too.
Just as there are endless fabric and material options for blinds, there are countless options for curtains as well. You can get panels that are pre-made or you can have custom panels made with sewn in pleats. If blackout is important to you, you can find curtain panels with blackout lining.
For the glass patio door in our family room, I chose curtains over blinds because I wanted to highlight the doors and I think that curtains add a touch of warmth of coziness that the room needed.
I had our drapes custom made by a local seamstress using IKEA fabric so that I could get the exact length and width I needed with sewn in pleats. The pleats add fullness and make the drapes look more substantial and heavy. I absolutely love them and I’m so happy I went with curtains for our patio door with a traverse rod. We open and close them every morning and night and they definitely help keep the sun out in the mornings since it’s an East facing door.
I hope this helps you as you’re deciding if curtains or blinds are better for sliding doors. Both are great options and work great, it just depends on the overall look you want and your budget!