Patios, decks, backyards, and balconies are great spaces to enjoy the outdoors. And easy-to-use patio doors are ideal for accessing these relaxation areas while keeping home interiors secure against the elements, pests, and break-in attempts. Patio doors come in several different types, sizes, materials, and even color options, so there’s an option to suit almost all needs and preferences.
The best patio doors will be a perfect fit in the door frame to protect from inclement weather and keep out the likes of mice and insects. Impact-resistant glass is also a smart security measure for sliding glass doors, while energy-efficient materials help insulate the home to keep down utility bills. Use this guide to learn what other factors and features to consider when shopping for an energy-efficient solution, and review this list of top products considered to be among the best patio doors available now.
- BEST OVERALL: MP Doors 72-by-80 Inch Fiberglass Smooth White Door
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Pella 150 Series 72-by-80-Inch Vinyl Sliding Door
- UPGRADE PICK: Andersen 70-1/2 -by- 79-1/2-Inch 200 Series White Patio Door
- BEST SLIDING: MP Doors 72-by-80-Inch Smooth Left-Hand Patio Door
- BEST FRENCH: Jeld-Wen 72-by-80-Inch Fiberglass French Patio Door
- BEST HINGED: Jeld-Wen 72-by-80-Inch Primed Steel Left-Hand Door
- BEST BIFOLD: Eris 96-by-80-Inch Outswing Aluminum BiFold Door
How We Chose the Best Patio Doors
Selecting a list of the top patio doors requires extensive research into a pool of potential products from various brands, manufacturers, and sellers. Given the cost and installation process typically involved with buying and setting up new patio doors, many companies provide breakdowns of the product specifications but omit the actual price of the product; there can be some fluctuation in materials and installation time depending on the location.
With this in mind, it was important to find products that could be purchased independently for DIYers who wanted to take on the task without hiring professionals. During this process, it was also necessary to consider and compare several key product factors, including the type, material, and energy efficiency.
French doors and sliding doors were the most common options, but for those willing to pay a much higher price, there was also a small selection of bifold doors. Aluminum and steel doors tended to be more durable and resistant over time, though these materials are not as energy efficient as wood, vinyl, or fiberglass.
Our Top Picks
The patio doors described below feature durable construction and good design in a range of types. Whether for a new build or for replacing an old sliding glass door, these picks are considered among the best patio doors in several categories to meet the needs of many homes.
This MP Doors product is a good option for those who prefer hinged patio doors instead of a sliding set. Each door has two panes of glass that form an insulating air pocket to help reduce heat transmission between the indoors and outdoors. The panes are held in place by the lightweight durable fiberglass-and-composite frame that comes in a neutral white color. The frame can be painted to match the home’s aesthetic; just make sure to invest in a paint that is rated for exterior use.
These French doors are resistant to moisture, corrosion, and temperature fluctuations. They are Energy Star certified in all zones nationwide (North Central, Northern, South Central, and Southern zones). While the handle and lock are on the left-hand side, right-handed options are available. Measure the opening for the doors, then choose the best size between 60-inch-wide by 80-inch-tall and 72-inch-wide by 80-inch-tall doors.
- Type: Hinged
- Material: Fiberglass and composite
- Dimensions: 60 inches wide by 80 inches tall or 72 inches wide by 80 inches tall
- These doors are Energy Star certified across the entire United States
- Neutral white color can be painted to match home decor
- Materials are resistant to water, corrosion, and all weather conditions
- Some users report problems with the locking system
Get the MP Doors fiberglass patio door at The Home Depot.
While replacing a patio door isn’t exactly a cheap renovation, affordable options are available for completing this project on a budget. Our top economical pick is the Pella 150 Series vinyl sliding door, which is attractive, energy efficient, and very reasonably priced. This reversible sliding door is made using the brand’s exclusive high-grade vinyl. It’s durable, long lasting, and fade-resistant, which means it will retain its look without needing to be painted or refinished. The welding process also helps this affordable door resist warping or twisting over time.
Thanks to its dual pane and low-e insulating glass, this door is Energy Star certified in most zones across the United States (North Central, South Central, and Southern zones). To suit many homes, this door comes in two common sizes: 60 inches wide by 80 inches tall or 72 inches wide by 80 inches tall.
- Type: Sliding
- Material: Vinyl
- Dimensions: 60 inches wide by 80 inches tall or 72 inches wide by 80 inches tall
- Durable, fade-resistant vinyl material holds up well to the elements
- Doors are precision welded to prevent warping or twisting
- Energy Star certified in most climate zones (North Central, South Central, and Southern zones)
- The brand logo is upside-down on the handle when the door is installed left-to-right opening
Get the Pella patio door at Lowe’s.
Those in the market for patio doors with a built-in privacy element may wish to move up to this Andersen product. The set includes one fixed door and one sliding door with a wood frame wrapped with Andersen’s vinyl cladding system, which creates a sturdy yet low-maintenance door. Each door is constructed with two panes of glass to create an insulating air pocket between the panes. Inside the air pocket are built-in privacy blinds that can’t become tangled and never need dusting. The blinds operate via the slider mechanism located on each door.
The sliding patio door opens to the right-hand side, though left-handed options are available. It measures 70.5 inches wide by 79.5 inches high and comes with a simple door latch lock located right above the handle.
- Type: Sliding
- Material: Wood and vinyl
- Dimensions: 70.5 inches wide by 79.5 inches high
- Easy-to-operate built-in blinds between the glass panes adds privacy
- The doors are easy to clean without moving the blinds
- Narrow framing maximizes window space for a better view and more natural light
- It is difficult to fix or replace the blinds should any issues arise
Get the Andersen patio door at The Home Depot or Andersen Windows.
Sliding doors tend to be more durable than French doors, and these are a particularly solid choice. They’re made with lightweight, durable composite material that’s resistant to rain, sleet, snow, dirt, dust, wind, and pests. Composite is also energy efficient, helping to reduce heating and cooling costs.
These doors come in 60-inch-wide by 80-inch-tall and 72-inch-wide by 80-inch-tall sizes and are available with a left- or right-handed design. They each feature two panes of insulating glass with an air pocket between to slow the transfer of heat through the door. This air gap also contains built-in blinds that can be raised, lowered, and tilted with ease and are not vulnerable to tangles, dirt, or damage.
- Type: Sliding
- Material: Composite
- Dimensions: 60 inches wide by 80 inches tall or 72 inches wide by 80 inches tall
- Full-composite frame is waterproof, rustproof, and rot-resistant
- Has built-in adjustable mini blinds between the glass for privacy
- Contemporary satin-nickel handle with a convenient keyed lock adds security
- Some reviewers note the door is more of a cream color than bright white
Get the MP Doors left-hand patio door at The Home Depot.
French doors are a popular patio door pick, and this model from Jeld-Wen provides the attractive look of wood without all the extra maintenance. This door is made from fiberglass, a resilient and low-maintenance material, and while it mimics the look of painted wood, it resists the warping, rotting, and splitting real wood is prone to.
This door is primed and ready to paint, so you can choose any color and apply it with ease. Like many other high-quality patio doors, this one features low-e glass and includes weatherstripping for improved energy efficiency. It’s Energy Star certified for the Northern zone, so it’s a great pick for cold climates. Measuring 72 inches wide by 80 inches tall, this door is available in a left-hand or right-hand inswing configuration.
- Type: Hinged
- Material: Fiberglass
- Dimensions: 72 inches wide by 80 inches tall
- Door comes primed and ready to paint in your color of choice to suit decor
- Fiberglass frame is durable and easy to care for; mimics a wood look with less maintenance
- Included weatherstripping and low-e glass help boost the home’s energy efficiency
- Some reviewers report crooked screws, which can complicate installation
Get the Jeld-Wen fiberglass patio door at Lowe’s.
These hinged patio doors by Jeld-Wen each have a five-by-three grid of energy-efficient dual-layer low-e glass window panes to help insulate the home. They’re Energy Star certified in all zones (North Central, Northern, South Central, and Southern), so they’re an efficient pick for almost any home. The glass panes sit in the center of the durable and rust-resistant galvanized steel doors, which come in a neutral white color and can be painted. The doors are prehung on a wooden door frame that has been chemically treated for improved weather resistance.
These French patio doors have a left-hand inswing that’s ideal for left-handed individuals. There are holes to install a handle and lock on the left-hand door, making it easier to operate the door with the left hand. The doors measure 72 inches wide by 80 inches high, but only the left door opens. The right door remains stationary, similar to the stationary panel on a standard sliding door.
- Type: Hinged
- Material: Steel doors, wood frame
- Dimensions: 72 inches wide by 80 inches high
- Wooden door frame and trim looks great and helps improve energy efficiency
- The wood frame is chemically treated for long-lasting weather resistance
- Energy Star certified in all climate zones of the United States
- Steel doesn’t offer the same insulating efficiency as other materials
Get the Jeld-Wen steel patio door at The Home Depot.
Indoor-outdoor living can be easier with the Eris outswing aluminum door, a bifold that looks great and moves smoothly. This large door measures 96 inches wide by 80 inches tall, but Eris does manufacture bifold doors ranging in size from 72 inches wide by 80 inches tall to 192 inches wide by 96 inches tall. This wide size range should suit almost all large patio openings. What’s more, the door is bottom hung, which means it rolls along the bottom track and not the top, making it easier to install than a top-hung door.
The doors feature a moisture- and rust-resistant aluminum frame and dual-pane glass. You can open up the entire three panels or keep two panels locked and use the last panel independently as a hinged door. These doors boast a simply elegant look with their black frame and large glass panes.
- Type: Bifold
- Material: Aluminum
- Dimensions: Sizes range from 72 inches wide by 80 inches tall to 192 inches wide by 96 inches tall
- In addition to bifold use, 1 panel can be used independently as a hinged door
- The door is bottom hung for easier installation than top-hung models
- Narrow framing and large size allow for maximized window space
- Very expensive, especially the larger sizes
Get the Eris patio door at The Home Depot or Eris Home Products.
What to Consider When Choosing Patio Doors
When searching for hinged patio doors, French patio doors, or simple swinging doors for your home, keep in mind door type, size, and material—all factors that can affect energy efficiency, security, and installation procedure.
The two most popular glass patio door types are sliding doors and French doors. Though less common, there are multislide and bifold options as well. They differ in the way they open and close as well as in the size of the opening they provide.
- Sliding patio doors sit inside a metal frame that’s attached to the rough doorway studs. The frame has a track on the bottom and the top to allow the sliding glass door to open and close. Typically, one side of the door is fixed in place, while the other slides in the track.
- Hinged or French doors commonly come as a pair that can be attached to opposite sides of the door frame. The French doors meet in the middle when closed, but they don’t require center support, so when they are open, access is much wider than that provided by sliding patio doors. However, some French patio doors do have one fixed door and one opening door, providing an opening similar to a standard sliding door.
- Multislide doors are a type of sliding door often installed in hotels and other public venues. Essentially, manufacturers add one or more additional doors to the standard sliding-door design. All of the doors can slide open or closed except for a single fixed pane. However, these doors are usually much too large for a residential home.
- Bifold patio doors also sit in a track, but instead of one moving door sliding in behind a stationary door, as with sliding doors, bifold models pivot in the track. Both doors turn to the side and stack accordion style to offer a larger doorway opening than with a standard sliding door. These doors are fairly uncommon, so they may be difficult to find and expensive to install.
Although most patio door manufacturers typically make patio doors with glass panes, the surrounding frame may be made of different materials, including wood, vinyl, aluminum, steel, and fiberglass.
- Wood is good looking, low maintenance, and generally durable. It’s an energy-efficient choice for French patio doors, but wood can be susceptible to water damage and swelling over time if exposed to frequent temperature changes and high levels of humidity and precipitation.
- Vinyl is a lightweight material designed for energy efficiency, and it has a high resistance to rapid temperature changes. Vinyl doors are less expensive than wood, aluminum, steel, and fiberglass but not as durable as these other materials. Therefore, it’s more susceptible to damage if it’s hit, bumped, kicked, or knocked into.
- Aluminum is solid, strong, and low maintenance. It’s resistant to corrosion and rusting, and it’s a lightweight material that’s ideal for sliding patio doors. Keep in mind that metal isn’t a good insulator, so too much aluminum in a patio door can lower the energy rating and potentially increase your heating and cooling bills.
- Steel is similar to the material used for aluminum patio doors, with a low level of energy efficiency, but it’s the most durable option for a patio door. It can withstand harsh weather and fluctuating temperature extremes, but you may need to regularly paint steel patio doors and door frames to resist rusting.
- Fiberglass, though less durable than wood, aluminum, and steel, is a lightweight material with a high energy efficiency. It won’t warp or fade in harsh weather and rapid temperature fluctuations, making fiberglass an effective option for energy-efficient hinged patio doors.
The energy efficiency of patio doors refers to their ability to prevent the transfer of heat through the material or around the door and through the frame. High-efficiency products have very little heat transfer, so an air-conditioned home will remain cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Low-efficiency products, like aluminum patio doors, can increase the cost of the heating and cooling bills.
Solid wood is more energy efficient than metal because it’s a better insulator. While glass can be susceptible to heat transfer, many glass doors have two panes of glass in one frame. This creates an air cushion (and some also have a gas fill) that helps to slow heat transfer and insulate the door. Another feature to look for is a low-e coating, which helps reflect light and maintain interior temperature.
Look for the Energy Star logo on products to indicate high efficiency. Energy Star certification is based on climate zones, which include the Northern, North Central, South Central, and Southern zones.
Weatherstripping is an integral part of exterior doors of all types, even car doors. These strips run along the edges of the door frame so that when the door is closed, it allows the weatherstripping to form a seal, which blocks airflow, moisture, dust, dirt, and pests.
Sliding patio doors use a particular type of weatherstripping. These doors have a solid frame that they slide into, so thin pieces of weatherstripping are applied to the inside of the frame. When the door closes, it slides between two thin pieces of weatherstripping for a tight seal.
To keep the home secure, the best patio doors include one or more built-in locking systems.
- French or hinged patio doors will usually have a simple door lock that prevents the handle from being turned, though there may also be a deadbolt to further secure the door.
- Sliding doors, multislide doors, and bifold doors will have a simple lock that connects to the door frame, preventing the door from being pulled open. They may also have a track lock that blocks the track so that the door cannot slide.
- Impact-resistant glass can help thwart thieves from breaking the pane to gain access.
- Door and window alarms are a wise security measure that will send an alert should someone try to enter the home.
Color and Finish
The color and finish of the door are largely subjective decisions based on personal decor preferences. The color of the door should either stand out from the home as a focal point or match it to seamlessly blend in. A popular choice is to match the color of the door to the nearby windows and window frames for cohesion. Keep in mind that as exterior doors, patio doors are likely to get dirty, so consider a color and finish that are easy to clean. What’s more, some doors have decorative accessories, like built-in blinds between the glass panes to offer privacy and block light.
Frame and Fit
The first thing to do before looking for a new patio door is to measure the old door. Take measurements of the width and height of the door, and then take measurements of the door frame. If installing a new sliding door, also measure the rough opening of the doorway to find a frame that can be fitted to the studs.
Common patio door sizes include:
- 72 inches wide by 80 inches tall
- 60 inches wide by 80 inches tall
- 72 inches wide by 96 inches tall
- 96 inches wide by 81 inches tall
Tip: Door width and height measurements are rounded up. For example, a door measurement of 71.5 inches wide by 79.25 inches tall should be rounded up to 72 inches wide by 80 inches tall. This practice is an industry standard for doors and should in no way be adopted for other projects.
The patio door installation process is particular to the type of door. French doors are hung by hinges on the door frame. They need to be measured to ensure that the doors will meet in the middle and remain securely closed. These doors also need to be supported from the bottom during installation to prevent their weight from tearing screws out of the frame before the entire door can be secured.
Sliding doors, multislide doors, and bifold patio doors are installed on two or more metal tracks. The tracks sit inside a frame that attaches to the rough opening of the doorway. Once the frame is attached to the doorway and the doors have been placed into the tracks, it’s necessary to seal the gap between the frame and the doorway studs with water- and temperature-resistant caulking to keep out dirt, moisture, and pests.
If you need a bit more information on shopping for and installing patio doors, have a look at the answers to these commonly asked questions.
Q. What should I look for when buying a patio door?
When deciding on a patio door for your home, consider the size of the doorway, the type of door, and the installation requirements. Also consider extra accessories, such as included blinds or retractable screen doors. This will help you choose the best door for your home and skill set.
Q. What is the difference between French doors and sliding patio doors?
French doors are typically two hanging doors that are secured to opposite sides of a large doorway and close together in the center. Each door is supported by two to three hinges that connect to the door frame. These doors are typically made of wood, vinyl, or fiberglass with several glass panes to see through and allow more light into the home.
Sliding patio doors sit in a full frame with two sets of tracks on the top and bottom of the frame. These doors slide on the track to open or close and are typically made of glass with steel, aluminum, vinyl, or wood frames.
Q. How is a patio door installed?
French doors and other hanging patio doors can be installed on hinges on either side of the doorway. Proper measurements must be taken to ensure that the doors meet exactly at the center of the doorway. The doors should also be supported during installation to prevent the weight of the door from pulling the screws out of the frame before the door is completely secured. Consider installing a screen door or a tearaway magnetic screen door to keep insects out while the doors are open.
Sliding patio doors and multislide doors require installation of a frame including two (or more for multislide doors) sets of tracks on the top and the bottom. The sides of the frame are secured to the studs before the sliding doors can be slotted into the tracks. When the frame and doors are in, seal the gaps between the frame and wall with caulking to protect against water, air, and pests.
Q. How do I protect my patio doors from burglars?
Protect your patio doors from allowing access to burglars by using a standard lock. Blocking bars and shatterproof film can be a good option for glass patio doors to prevent entry by breaking the glass. Monitored alarm systems, including door and window alarms, are another great way to protect your home and notify you of break-in attempts.
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