Screen doors allow you to let some fresh air into your home without welcoming in all the bugs at the same time. They can also help reduce your energy costs by allowing natural air to circulate and cool down your home on a nice day. However, traditional screen doors are not always the easiest to operate. These swinging or sliding doors can be quite challenging to open if you have your arms full.
Retractable screen doors are often a more convenient option. These screen doors retract to one side with the push of a button to provide an unobstructed path for entry or exit. This guide features some of the best retractable screen doors available to help you invite cool, fresh, and bug-free breeze into your home.
- BEST OVERALL: Andersen LuminAire Single Retractable Screen Door
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Larson Brisa Standard Double Retractable Screen Door
- BEST BUDGET: Flux Phenom Reinforced Magnetic Screen Door
- BEST FOR FRENCH DOORS: Larson Brisa Short Double Retractable Screen Door
- BEST FOR STORM DOORS: Andersen Aluminum Retractable Anytime Storm Door
- BEST FOR TALL DOORS: Larson Brisa Tall Retractable Screen Door
- HONORABLE MENTION: Magnetic Screen Door for French Door/Sliding Door
What to Consider When Buying Retractable Screen Doors
Before you purchase a new retractable screen door for your home, read through these key considerations. From the material used to craft the door, to its size and design, it’s important to take each of these features into account as you compare different models. Keep in mind the installation process for each door as well, especially if you are averse to a more complicated setup.
The first step as you start the search for a retractable screen door is to measure the door frame in which you plan to install it. Once you know the dimensions of the door frame, it narrows your search for a product that will accurately fit the space.
If you have French doors or double doors, look for a retractable screen door that is designed to fit these types of frames.
All retractable screen doors are designed to remain in position once opened or closed. Most are built for one-handed operation, and some models only require coming in contact with the screen to open and close the door. Retractable screen doors are available in the following types, based on opening style:
- Sliding retractable screen doors are the most common type. These screen doors slide open or closed horizontally across top and bottom tracks connected to a door frame. These models can include a push button connected to a spring mechanism or a latch that unlocks the door.
- Magnetic retractable screen doors are the most convenient option, with an open/close mechanism that requires no hands. These doors include two panels of mesh connected by a set of magnets running vertically down the middle. Adults, kids, and pets simply walk through the middle to open the screen, and the magnets attach back into place for closure.
- Pull up/down retractable screen doors are most often seen in regular and storm doors that come with an additional insect screen. Users pull the screen up or down to access the mesh, which rolls into the bottom or top of the frame when not in use.
When your main door is open, the screen door is the only barrier preventing bugs, leaves, and other debris from entering your home. The preferred materials for retractable screen doors are fiberglass and aluminum; knowing the benefits and downsides of each can help you decide which is most suitable for your home.
Fiberglass screening comes in three grades: standard, heavy-duty, and fine. With fiberglass, you can opt for the cost-effectiveness of standard, the extra weather resistance offered by heavy-duty, or the added protection against insects provided by fine screening.
Fiberglass screens provide reduced visibility from the outside, offering more privacy compared to aluminum. This material is also flexible, providing a bounce-back effect if the screen sustains impact; as such, fiberglass may be more suitable for households with children and pets.
Aluminum screening is more expensive compared to fiberglass, but the trade-off is increased durability. This type of screening actually contains an alloy of aluminum and magnesium. It’s often coated for additional protection against weather and rust.
Aluminum is more “see-through” compared to fiberglass and does not block the view from inside to outside. Aluminum screening is less likely to tear compared to fiberglass; however, reduced flexibility makes it more vulnerable to denting, which can leave a visible mark on the screen that cannot be repaired.
If you’re planning to install the screen door yourself, preview the installation instructions from the manufacturer to get a sense of whether you’ll be up for the task. Retractable screen doors often come with the hardware required for installation. Many only require a screwdriver or power drill to attach it to the door frame.
Some retractable screen doors need to be trimmed to fit specific door frames. This usually involves using a hacksaw to cut the metal tracks along the top and bottom of the door to fit the opening. If you can find a product that doesn’t require trimming, it will simplify the installation process and make it less likely that you’ll encounter problems.
Choose a screen door model that will work for you both functionally and aesthetically. Look for design features that will make the door easier to operate and enjoy, such as one-handed operation or ergonomic handles.
Magnetic screen doors are particularly convenient; after someone passes through them, the magnets are drawn to each other to close the door quickly, gently, and silently at the seam. Some screen doors also feature a locking handle for added security.
Certain screen doors can look so transparent that people may not realize it’s there. This could lead to an injury or damage to the screen door if someone tries to walk right through it. To address this potential issue, some manufacturers add a subtle design or striped pattern to their screens for increased visibility. If you’re looking for an easily noticed screen, dark fiberglass provides the most visible option. Alternatively, you can opt for aluminum mesh in dark grey or black.
Consider the overall appearance of each retractable screen door as well. Most retractable screen doors offer a variety of frame colors or finishes. Select one that will coordinate with the rest of your home and offer either a complement or a striking contrast to your existing exterior.
Our Top Picks
With those shopping considerations in mind, the products on this list are high-quality models in their respective categories. Choose the best retractable screen doors for your home to experience fresh air and easy access to the outdoors.
The Andersen LuminAire Single Retractable Screen Door is designed for quick and easy installation, only requiring a power drill or screwdriver and sealant for most door frames. No trimming is required, and installation should only take about 30 minutes. The LuminAire screen door is nearly transparent when closed, offering an incredibly subtle appearance.
The opening mechanism is easy to operate with just one hand and features a lockable latch for added security. This screen door also boasts reinforced corners for increased durability and a longer life span. The LuminAire is available in white, sandstone, bronze, and black frame finishes with a color-matched handle to coordinate with different exteriors.
The aluminum screen door can be paired with any single-hinged inswing door and adjusted to fit door frames between 31 7/8 and 36 3/8 inches. For openings less than 31 7/8 inches wide, the screen tracks must be modified with a hacksaw and metal file. You have the option to install this item as a left- or right-handed door. Keep in mind that this model is not compatible with patio doors.
You’ll get your money’s worth with the Larson Brisa Standard Double Retractable Screen Door. This model features Larson’s EZ-Glide System, which ensures the door retracts smoothly every time. The door is available in four finishes to complement or contrast it with your home’s exterior. Choose from white, sandstone, brown, or black.
This screen door is built with an ergonomic handle that allows for one-handed operation. To prevent someone from accidentally walking through your screen door, the manufacturer added a subtle stripe pattern to the screen to make it more visible.
The Larson Brisa screen door boasts a quick-snap track and rust-free aluminum housing. It’s adjustable to fit door frames between 68 and 72 inches wide and only requires a 1-inch-wide-by-1-inch-deep mounting surface. Installation only requires a screwdriver or power drill. For smaller door openings, a hacksaw is required to cut the screen tracks to size.
The Flux Phenom Reinforced Magnetic Screen Door is significantly less expensive compared to other retractable screen doors. It features a magnetic closure that runs down the middle of the screen and opens like a curtain. The pressure from walking through the screen door releases the magnets, no hands required. Once you’re through the door, the 26 strong magnets close the mesh behind you. Pets can also pass through this screen to enter your home or yard with no issues.
One benefit of this retractable screen door is that it is extremely easy to install. The perimeter of the screen has metal thumbtacks and hook-and-loop closures to attach it to an opening, as well as adhesive strips for extra security.
The Flux Phenom can be adjusted to fit any door that is up to 38 inches wide and 82 inches tall. The clearly visible, heavy-duty black mesh has a high thread count with reinforced edges for enhanced durability.
The Larson Brisa Short Double Retractable Screen Door is ideal for homes with French doors; let some fresh air into the home without worrying about insects or leaves blowing in. It features a full-view screen, so you’ll be able to enjoy an unobstructed view of your yard or of people approaching your door. The manufacturer added subtle stripes to the screen to keep someone from accidentally walking through the nearly invisible door.
An innovative EZ-Glide System requires only one hand to unlatch the screen and slide the door open or closed. The latch on this door is lockable for overnight or anytime you’d like the additional security. Installing this screen door will only take about 30 minutes. Once it is installed, you won’t need to worry about maintaining it since the aluminum housing and track are both rust-free.
This widescreen door fits in door frames between 68 and 72 inches, only requiring a screwdriver or power drill for installation. Door openings that are less than 68 inches wide will require a hacksaw to adjust the metal tracks.
Andersen offers the Aluminum Retractable Anytime Storm Door for added protection against the elements and optional energy efficiency, featuring a glass outer panel with a retractable aluminum screen that rolls up into the frame when not in use. Choose between tempered clear glass, designed to break safely into pebbles rather than sharp pieces; Low-E glass that improves energy efficiency by 29 percent; or a durable type of decorative glass in one of two styles.
This storm door contains an aluminum retractable screen with one-handed operation. When you slide the upper glass panel down, it will expose the screen to allow fresh air into your home. Then, simply slide the glass panel back up when you are finished with the screen. If you need to keep the storm door open when carrying in a heavy item, it can be propped open using the push-button closer at the base. Simply open the door and tap the button with your foot, and it will stay open.
The Andersen Anytime Storm Door includes double-layer weatherstripping to the sides, top, and bottom of the door to provide a weather-tight seal. It also features a keyed deadbolt lock to provide additional security and peace of mind. The door can be installed in 80-inch door openings for a left- or right-hand outswing, available in 30-, 32-, 34-, and 36-inch widths. The door comes pre-assembled and only requires a power drill or screwdriver to install.
Choose between eight frame finishes and either nickel, brass, antique brass, or oil rubbed bronze finishes to either complement or contrast your home’s exterior.
The Brisa Tall Retractable Screen Door accommodates taller door frames, available in two sizes to suit 96- and 97-inch openings. Larson’s EZ-Glide System provides smooth and quiet retraction. The mesh screen has a subtle striped pattern to increase visibility and prevent people from accidentally walking through it. This door also includes an ergonomic handle with a locking latch for added security.
This retractable screen door can be easily installed into tall door frames between 32 and 36 inches wide using a power drill and screwdriver. For doors that are less than 32 inches wide, the track can be adjusted using a hacksaw and metal file. A 1 inch by 1 inch wide mounting surface is required for this door.
Sandstone, brown, black, and white finish options are available to help add curb appeal to your home. The painted surfaces and rust-free track and aluminum housing don’t require maintenance.
This Dysome screen door is another affordable, hands-free magnetic curtain model. It contains durable, anti-tear fiberglass with a high thread count, suitable for areas with a lot of traffic and homes with children. The curtain-style design includes 26 strong magnets that seal the middle of the screen, which opens on contact. After adults, kids, or pets walk through the opening, the magnets will pull the screen closed again.
Dysome’s magnetic door includes six gravity sticks along the bottom of the screen for stability and to prevent it from blowing open on windy days. The screen fits double doors up to 70 by 79 inches, with two other size options for openings up to 36 by 98 inches and 37 by 82 inches. Installation involves a full-frame hook and loop seal, as well as additional support nails included with the screen.
The Advantages of Owning a Retractable Screen Door
One of the greatest benefits of installing screen doors is being able to enjoy fresh air flow through your home without letting in bugs, leaves, and other debris. Retractable screens are available in a variety of sizes, with models to accommodate different door types like double doors and French doors. Mesh color, weave pattern, and frame finish options are also plentiful, offering different visibility levels and the ability to match the surrounding door frame and color schemes.
Most retractable screen doors are easier to open compared to traditional screen doors. Many models feature one-handed operation and curtain-style screens simply open on contact. These screens are designed to remain in the retracted position, so you can leave the door open when you’re making frequent trips in and out of the house.
- Retractable screen doors allow for fresh airflow without letting bugs and debris indoors.
- Retractable screen doors are available in a variety of sizes and finish options to match different door frames, color schemes, and visibility preferences.
- Retractable screen doors are easy to open even with full hands and can be left in a retracted position if needed.
FAQs About Retractable Screen Doors
If you still have questions about retractable screen doors, these frequently asked questions and their corresponding answers should be a helpful resource.
Q. How do you install retractable screen doors?
Install retractable screen doors on the door sill/door jamb. Though every model is slightly different, many products require you to connect the track system to the screen’s housing and securely attach it to the door frame.
Some screen doors require only basic tools for assembly and installation, while other options require more specialized tools. Previewing the installation instructions can help you determine whether you’ll need any special tools and whether you’ll need to cut the screen or adjust the tracks to fit the door opening.
Q. How do you clean retractable screen doors?
Use a soft cloth with warm, soapy water to wipe down the frame and screen of your retractable screen door at least once a year.
Q. Do retractable screen doors allow in rain or wind?
The answer to this question varies based on the weave of the mesh on the screen. More tightly woven mesh screens won’t allow in as much wind or rain as more open-weave screens. You may find it best to close the main door to your home on very rainy or windy days.
Q. Do retractable screen doors lock?
Most retractable screen doors have a latch to lock them from the inside for added security.