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What Are the Best Window Treatments for Sliding Glass Doors?

Sliding glass doors are a great way to merge the great outdoors with the comfort of your home. Having sliding glass doors in your home means you’ll always have natural light in your living space.

With the benefits of sliding glass doors, however, come the challenge of finding the right window treatment. You not only want the right look for you and your home, you don’t want to install a window treatment that may hinder the functionality of your sliding glass doors.

Here at Glass Doctor®, we pride ourselves on being the expert in all things glass. Check out our take and recommendations on window treatments for sliding glass doors.

Vertical Sliding Glass Door Blinds

Vertical sliding glass door blinds are effective because they maintain your privacy and still offer the opportunity to filter natural light into your living space. Because of the architecture of vertical blinds, you still have easy access to the door panel. This type of sliding glass door window treatment is one of the most popular.

Vertical blinds are usually made of:

  • PVC plastic
  • Faux wood
  • Real wood
  • Fabric

There are different blind sizes to consider: 3.5-inch slats are often chosen for their modern aesthetic, but homeowners interested in an option requiring less maintenance might consider 1-inch slats.

Pros of Vertical Sliding Glass Door Blinds

Vertical blinds are common on sliding glass doors for a number of reasons. In addition to maintaining privacy and natural light in the home, vertical blinds are:

  • Durable
  • Easy to install
  • Flexible, so you can filter just the right amount of light

Kids and pets will have a difficult time destroying vertical blinds because of the track system keeping the blinds in place. Depending on which material you choose, your blinds just might be able to escape the wrath of your kids on a sugar high.

(Disclaimer: Glass Doctor can’t promise anything when it comes to an extra-hyper family. But we can help you learn how to keep your windows clean once the kids are off to bed.)

Cons of Vertical Sliding Glass Door Blinds

Despite all the good things people say about vertical blinds, there are some more negative characteristics to keep in mind before you buy.

Cons of vertical sliding glass door blinds include:

  • Noise during movement
  • Slats are breakable
  • Maintenance: they can get dirty and be difficult to clean
  • Clunky aesthetic

Sliding Glass Door Curtains

Perhaps the most intuitive choice for a window treatment is curtains. While a completely different aesthetic than vertical blinds, curtains offer similar benefits. All you need to install curtains on your sliding glass doors is a sturdy curtain rod and your choice of fabric. It’s as simple as that!

Pros of Sliding Glass Door Curtains

Curtains might just be the best window treatment for sliding glass doors.

Some benefits of choosing curtains include:

  • Light control
  • Aesthetics
  • Safety: helps prevent people from running into the glass!
  • Flexibility: there are a lot of fabrics and colors to choose from
  • Privacy

Cons of Sliding Glass Door Curtains

Despite the pros of curtains for your sliding glass door window treatment, there are some cons to keep in mind when narrowing down your choices.

These cons are:

  • Safety: (Yes, this is also on the list of pros, but … ) Sometimes, curtains can be a tripping hazard. Make sure you choose a material that can be easily tucked away!
  • Material matters: If you want a light fabric that will flutter in the wind when your door is open, you sacrifice complete protection from the sun, as well as complete privacy.

These can be large concerns, especially if you have a family. Keeping in mind the tripping hazard of longer curtains is essential for safety in the home. Similarly, sacrificing privacy and protection from the sun in favor of a lighter curtain fabric might not be an ideal situation. Curtains can be a great option for some homes, but they come with their own suite of potential issues.

Sliding Panel Track Blinds

If your top priority is light control, this is probably the option for you! Since these blinds operate on a track, they’re a great option for sliding glass doors. Sliding panel track blinds look like vertical slats of material. When closed, these slats slide to stack on top of one another. When opened, the slats spread out to evenly cover the glass on your window.

Sliding panel track blinds are available in:

  • Woven woods
  • Fabric
  • Modern solar screen materials

Pros of Sliding Panel Track Blinds

Some benefits of installing sliding panel track blinds are:

  • Block glare from the sun
  • Keep your interior cool and out of the sun
  • Modern alternative to vertical blinds
  • Privacy

Cons of Sliding Panel Track Blinds

Although sliding panel track blinds offer a lot of benefits, they also may cause some problems.

Examples of what can go wrong with these window treatments include:

  • Large stack of window treatment
  • Inflexible functionality: unlike vertical blinds, sliding panel track blinds can’t be rotated to filter light

Vertical Cellular Shades

Vertical cellular shades are a relatively new addition to the window treatment market. They can function as a modern alternative to vinyl vertical blinds. Vertical cellular shades are popularly designed as wide, pleated sheets, often appearing like an accordion. When closed, a vertical cellular shade will scrunch up accordion style, giving you full access to your window. When opened, the accordion shape stretches, appearing like a slightly bent sheet of material. Vertical cellular shades often let some light in, unless they are completely opaque.

Pros of Vertical Cellular Shades 

Since they are so new on the market, vertical cellular shades are one of the most modern styles of window treatments. For some, their modern aesthetic may make these the best type of window treatment for their sliding glass doors.

Other pros of vertical cellular shades include:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Variety in colors, materials and opacities
  • Slim profile

Vertical cellular shades are also great for temperature control. With differing opacities, these window treatments offer a lot of customization for specific needs and situations.

Cons of Vertical Cellular Shades

There are, however, some negatives to vertical cellular shades to consider before purchasing.

These disadvantages include:

  • Hard to clean
  • No flexibility in light control
  • Expensive

Vertical cellular shades, while very effective for temperature control, can be difficult to clean. Additionally, they can’t adjust light filtration like other window treatment options. Once you choose an opacity, you’re committed. And, lastly, vertical cellular shades can get more expensive than some of the other window treatment options.

Let Glass Doctor Fix Your Panes

After you’ve chosen the best window treatment for your sliding glass doors, you may need help installing or customizing the doors themselves. Choose Glass Doctor to fix all your panes. Schedule an appointment online or contact your local Glass Doctor to get started.

Not sure how to clean your home's blinds? Check out these tips from our friends at Molly Maid. Like Glass Doctor, Molly Maid is a is a part of the Neighborly® community of trusted home services brands.