Shower curtains might be perfectly functional, but when it comes to visual appeal, nothing is more modern and elegant than a glass shower door. The doors let in light, make bathrooms feel more spacious, and highlight carefully chosen tiles and shower fixtures. A variety of shower doors are available to suit any style and bathroom size.
While choosing a shower door might seem simple, a number of considerations should be weighed. This guide will explore several important features to think about and offer choices by category for some of the best shower doors to fit your bathroom.
- BEST OVERALL: DreamLine Unidoor Frameless Hinged Shower Door
- RUNNER-UP: DreamLine Enigma-X Frameless Sliding Shower Door
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Delta Simplicity Semi-Frameless Sliding Shower Door
- BEST LUXURY: Vigo Elan Frameless Sliding Shower Door
- BEST FOR SMALL SHOWERS: Coastal Shower Doors Legend Framed Hinged Shower Door
- BEST EASY INSTALLATION: Kohler Levity Semi-Frameless Sliding Shower Door
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Shower Doors
While it’s easy to assume that all shower doors perform similarly, several factors affect their functionality. A shower door should have the correct dimensions for the space and a design made with high-quality materials. It should be watertight and complement the bathroom’s decor. Keep reading to learn more about the most important features to look for when choosing the best shower door.
Sliding vs. Hinged
Shower doors are designed either to slide or open on a hinge.
- Sliding shower doors, sometimes called bypass doors, are made up of two or three panels of glass that install on tracks to slide back and forth. They are a great choice for small bathrooms because they don’t require any additional space as they open. Sliding doors tend to be the choice for showers with openings of 60 inches or wider.
- Hinged doors also are called pivoting or swinging doors; they open outward into the bathroom. They’re only compatible with larger spaces because they require room to swing open. It’s important to ensure there’s plenty of clearance between the door and any other bathroom fixtures. Hinged doors work well for alcove-style showers with narrow openings.
Framed vs. Frameless
Shower doors have either a framed or frameless design.
- Frameless shower doors are constructed with tempered glass thick enough to eliminate the need for metal supports. The glass typically measures between ⅜-inch and ½-inch thick. This style results in a streamlined, modern aesthetic and allows shower tiles, stonework, and fixtures to show through. Shower doors with metal framing at the top and bottom edge are sometimes referred to as semi-frameless. Generally speaking, frameless shower doors are more expensive than their framed counterparts.
- Framed shower doors are made of glass but have solid metal framing to support them. They have a traditional look and are generally more affordable. Depending on the model, the framing can come in a number of different metallic finishes to best suit the style of the bathroom.
Shower doors installation typically occurs near the end of a shower renovation, and taking precise measurements is essential to ensure a watertight fit. Take measurements after the tile and surround installation are complete.
Shower doors come in a wide variety of sizes and can be custom made to any height and width, but two standard sizes are most commonly found.
- 48-inch widths are typically found in hinged doors for a total shower opening of 26½ inches.
- 60-inch-wide doors are typically used as sliding-style doors because that’s the width of a standard bathtub. The walk-through opening of a sliding shower door ranges between 21¼ inches and 25½ inches wide.
Material and Finish
Most shower doors are constructed using tempered glass with either stainless steel or aluminum framing. The framing typically comes with a chrome finish, though a number of other options might be available, including matte black, brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, and matte gold.
The glass used for shower doors ranges in thickness with the most common sizes being ¼ inch and ⅜ inch. Clear glass is the most popular because of its modern aesthetic and tendency to make a bathroom feel larger. Clear glass is, however, higher maintenance when it comes to cleaning and provides no privacy in shared bathrooms. Frosted and opaque textured glass are both easier to maintain and provide increased privacy.
Handle and Towel Bars
Shower door handles come in several different styles. They can align vertically or horizontally and can be simple and unobtrusive or designed to make a visual impact. Choose a shower door with a handle or towel bar in a style or finish that matches the other fixtures in the bathroom such as the showerhead, faucets, and drawer pulls.
Some models have built-in towel bars on the door’s exterior, which can be a great space-saving solution in small bathrooms.
Shower doors may or may not require professional installation, depending on the specific model. While installing some products is a weekend DIY project, others are more complex, and the manufacturer will recommend hiring an expert for the job. When hiring someone, expect the job to take from 2 to 4 hours.
Each model also varies in how adjustable its width is. Some are more forgiving and offer a couple of inches of wiggle room, while others require precision. Take note of whether the bathroom has walls that are out of plumb or vertically misaligned. Some products can accommodate these discrepancies, but others do not.
Also, consider how a door opens. Some shower door designs swing or slide in one direction only, and others offer the option of reversible installation for more versatility.
Our Top Picks
With that background on shower doors, it’s time to start shopping. These recommendations for some of the best shower doors consider dimensions, materials, style, installation options, and overall quality to ensure a stylish and functional overhaul.
Hinged shower doors such as this DreamLine Unidoor Frameless door give a bathroom a traditional feeling and are best suited for large bathrooms with plenty of clearance for the door to swing open. This model has a fully frameless design with ⅜-inch-thick tempered glass. The glass door has a ClearMax coating that’s designed to repel water and prevent staining.
The door is 72 inches tall and 30 inches wide, making it a great choice for alcove showers. DreamLine recommends professional installation for this model because it’s not adjustable for varying widths or out-of-plumb walls. The door is, however, reversible and can open on the left or right. The door’s handle and hinge hardware come in a chrome, brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, or satin-black finish.
- Type: Hinged frameless
- Dimensions: 72 inches high by 30 inches wide
- Finish: Brushed nickel, chrome, oil-rubbed bronze, or satin-black
- Sophisticated and contemporary look
- Available in multiple finishes to match existing decor
- Glasses treated to prevent staining
Get the DreamLine Unidoor shower door at The Home Depot, Lowe’s, or Amazon.
A frameless shower door such as this sliding Enigma-X door from DreamLine makes a bathroom feel airy and spacious, putting the focus on the tilework and fixtures. This model has brushed stainless steel hardware and slides effortlessly. It’s designed with one fixed panel and one sliding glass panel that installs to open on the left or right.
The door leaves a walk-in opening of between 22 and 26 inches. The ⅜-inch tempered glass door is finished with a ClearMax water- and stain-resistant coating. It’s important to note that this model doesn’t accommodate out-of-plumb adjustments and requires level walls. Therefore, professional installation is required. It’s 76 inches tall and can fit shower openings between 56 and 60 inches wide.
- Type: Sliding frameless
- Dimensions: 76 inches high by 56–60 inches wide
- Finish: Brushed stainless steel or polished stainless steel
- Creates a spacious opening
- Slides open easily
- Excellent customer service
- High-quality hardware
- Professional installation advised
- Quite pricey
Get the DreamLine Enigma shower door at The Home Depot, Lowe’s, or Amazon.
Shower doors with frameless or semi-frameless designs can be pricey, but this one by Delta sells for an affordable price, yet has many features of more expensive models. The door comes in clear, ¼-inch tempered glass, but it’s also available in a number of frosted and etched patterns for added privacy. The clear glass version pairs with either nickel or bronze hardware.
This door includes two knobs and a handle that can double as a towel bar, plus a reversible top track with a simple finish on one side and a more detailed design on the other. The height of the door is 70 inches, and it’s made to fit openings of between 43⅜ inches and 47⅜ inches.
- Type: Sliding framed
- Dimensions: 70 inches high by 43⅜–47⅜ inches wide
- Finish: Handle in bronze, chrome, or nickel, with matching frame (or in white)
- Suitable for most bathroom styles
- Handle can double as a towel bar
- Easy to install with clear instructions
- Opening can feel tight if door is installed in narrow spaces
Get the Delta shower door at The Home Depot.
A fully frameless shower door looks modern and elegant, allowing the shower’s tile or stonework to be on full display while also making the space feel larger. The Vigo Elan model has thick ⅜-inch clear tempered glass and is available with chrome, matte black, matte gold, or stainless steel hardware. Vigo coats all finishes in seven layers of material to prevent rust, corrosion, and scratches. The door also comes in a choice of black-tinted glass to provide a unique aesthetic. The round roller disk sliding system ensures a tight fit and allows for adjustments.
The shower door is 74 inches tall and designed to fit wall openings between 68 and 72 inches wide. It can install with either a left or right opening. All mounting hardware and clear installation instructions come with the door, allowing DIY-savvy buyers to install this model without hiring a professional.
- Type: Sliding frameless
- Dimensions: 74 inches high by 68–72 inches wide
- Finish: Black grid, chrome, matte black, matte gold, or stainless steel
- Finished to a very high standard
- Multiple widths available
- DIY-friendly installation
- Finish can deteriorate from harsh cleaning
Get the Vigo shower door at The Home Depot, Lowe’s, or Amazon.
Even the smallest showers can feel luxurious with a clear shower door to make the space feel more expansive. It has a framed, hinged design with either chrome, matte black, or brushed nickel hardware, so it easily matches the most popular existing bathroom hardware finishes.
This door is made of tempered glass, and the full-length magnetic edges are designed to ensure a watertight seal. Because one edge acts as a full-length handle, there’s no visual obstruction from the interior of the shower. Installation is easy because of the four-piece modular design.
- Type: Hinged framed
- Dimensions: 64⅛–68⅛ inches high by 21⅝–35⅝ inches wide
- Finish: Chrome, brushed nickel, or matte black
- Budget-friendly price point
- Simple installation
- Adjustable for a tight fit
- Lightweight door can feel quite flimsy
Get the Coastal Shower Door at The Home Depot.
Many shower door models come with a manufacturer recommendation of professional installation, but others are easy enough for buyers to install themselves. This Levity model from Kohler is constructed with rollers for simple installation while also providing adjustability. The cushioned center guide ensures a smooth, quiet gliding action.
The Levity door has a semi-frameless design and measures 59 inches by 74 inches. The ¼-inch-thick tempered glass shower door is finished with CleanCoat glass treatment that repels water and makes cleaning easier. Choose from a nickel, silver, or anodized brushed bronze finish for the framing and vertical blade handles.
- Type: Sliding frameless
- Dimensions: 74 inches high by 59⅝ inches wide
- Finish: Matte black, silver, matte nickel, brushed bronze, anodized dark bronze, or brushed modern brass
- Clean minimalist aesthetic
- Fits a wide range of bathroom styles
- Great for DIY bathroom renovations
- Glass can be hard to keep clean
Get the Kohler shower door at The Home Depot or Build with Ferguson.
For a sophisticated and modern upgrade to a tired-looking shower curtain, the DreamLine Unidoor showr door is a splendid place to start, with multiple finish options to match existing bathroom hardware.
Shoppers looking for a budget-friendly solution could pick up the Delta Simplicity shower door, which is easy to install and comes with a handle that doubles as a towel bar.
How We Chose the Best Shower Doors
We did extensive research into glass shower doors to curate a list of the best on the market. Our list of recommendations provides several options for both hinged and sliding doors, all of which cover a wide range of dimensions that are sure to fit most shoppers’ sizing requirements. We made sure to include options suitable for smaller bathroom spaces all the way up to expansive suites. Almost all of our top picks also offer a selection of hardware finishes, from classic stainless steel and chrome options to more contemporary bronzes, golds, and matte blacks.
Installation is a major factor for some shoppers, so our list includes options that are DIY-friendly for those looking to tackle the project themselves. That said, some of the higher-end options on this list are quite heavy and may require a helping hand, including others that may be better suited to professional installation. Lastly, we gathered our top picks across a range of budgets to make sure to include a mix of affordable options—typically the framed or semi-frameless shower doors—alongside the luxury models, most of which are frameless shower doors.
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about shower doors.
Q. How do I choose a shower door?
First, measure the size of the space, then choose between a framed and frameless design. Next, consider whether a hinged or sliding door will be the best fit for the shower.
Q. What is the best thickness for shower doors?
Thickness isn’t a primary consideration for framed shower doors, but for frameless doors, a thickness of at least ⅜ inch is required.
Q. Can I install a shower door myself?
The difficulty of installation depends primarily on the model. Some can be installed by the buyer as a weekend DIY project, while others require hiring a professional.