Patios, decks, backyards, and balconies are great spaces around the home to enjoy the outdoors. And easy-to-use patio doors are ideal for granting access to these relaxing areas while keeping your home secure against the elements, pests, and break-in attempts. Patio doors come in several different types, sizes, materials, and even color options, so you can find products tailored to your needs and preferences.
The best patio doors will be a perfect fit in the door frame to help protect your home 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 you can buy.
- BEST OVERALL: MP Doors 72 in. x 80 in. Fiberglass Smooth White
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Pella 150 Series 72-in x 80-in Sliding Patio Door
- UPGRADE PICK: Andersen 70-1/2 in. x 79-1/2 in. 200 Series White
- BEST HINGED: Jeld-Wen 72 in. x 80 in. Primed Steel Left-Hand Door
- BEST BIFOLD: Teza Doors 144 in. x 80 in. in Black Aluminum
What to Consider When Choosing the Best 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 multi-slide 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 door to slide open and closed. 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 patio 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.
- Multi-slide 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 users 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 sliding patio doors have two panes of glass in one frame. This creates an air cushion that helps to slow heat transfer and insulate the door. Look for the Energy Star logo on products to indicate high efficiency.
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 abuts 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, multi-slide 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 alert you should someone try to enter your 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, they’re 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 so that you can find a frame that can be fitted to the studs.
Common patio door sizes include:
- 72 by 80 inches
- 60 by 80 inches
- 72 by 96 inches
- 96 by 81 inches
Tip: Door width and height measurements are rounded up. For example, a door measurement of 71.5 by 79.25 inches should be rounded up to 72 by 80 inches. 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, multi-slide 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.
Our Top Picks
The patio doors described below feature durable construction and good design in a range of types. These picks are considered among the best patio doors in several categories to meet the needs of your home.
This MP Doors product is a good option for those who prefer hinged patio doors instead of installing a sliding set. Each door has two panes of glass that form an insulating air pocket in order to help reduce heat transmission between the indoors and outdoors. The panes are held in place by the lightweight, durable fiberglass 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. 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-by-80-inch and 72-by-80-inch doors.
- Type: Hinged
- Material: Fiberglass
- Dimensions: 60 inches by 80 inches or 72 inches by 80 inches
- Energy-efficient fiberglass frame
- 2 glass panes create an insulating air pocket
- Neutral white color can be painted to match the home
- Resistant to water and corrosion
- Some users report problems with the locking system
Get the MP Doors hinged patio door at The Home Depot or MP Doors.
Cost can be a significant hindrance for many people looking to update their homes with new patio doors, but Pella patio doors are available in a wide range of options, including this set of affordable vinyl sliding doors. The vinyl frame isn’t the most durable patio door material, but it does provide excellent energy efficiency. When these vinyl sliding doors are paired with the dual-pane Low-E insulating glass, users can rest easy knowing that they aren’t losing heat in the winter or air conditioning the outside in the summer.
The sliding doors measure 72 inches by 80 inches and they feature a roller system on the sliding panels for smooth, reliable operation. Use the thumb lock on the interior of the door with just one hand to keep the door securely locked. Also, keep in mind that the doors can be repainted to preserve the appearance and serve as an additional barrier to rain, sleet, and snow.
- Type: Sliding
- Material: Vinyl
- Dimensions: 72 inches by 80 inches
- Energy-efficient vinyl frame
- Dual-pane Low-E insulating glass
- Simple, one-hand thumb lock system
- Vinyl is not a highly durable patio door material
Get the Pella 150 Series sliding patio door at Lowe’s.
Andersen’s sliding patio doors include one fixed door and one sliding door with a stainless steel frame and tracks. 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 by 79.5 inches and comes with a simple door latch lock located right above the handle.
- Type: Sliding
- Material: Steel
- Dimensions: 70.5 inches by 79.5 inches
- Highly durable steel frame
- Built-in privacy blinds between the glass panes
- Insulating pocket improves efficiency
- Easy to clean without needing to move the blinds
Get the Andersen 200 Series gliding patio door at The Home Depot or Andersen Windows.
The 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. These 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 pre-hung 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 by 80 inches, 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 by 80 inches
- Highly durable steel frame
- Energy-efficient Low-E glass
- Wooden door frame and trim improves efficiency
- Wood is chemically treated for long-lasting weather-resistance
- Steel doesn’t offer the same insulating efficiency as other materials
Get the Jeld-Wen hinged patio door at The Home Depot.
If there is a substantial space for the installation of wide patio doors, then it seems like a waste to limit the opening with fixed sliding doors. Instead, this five-door set of bifold patio doors can move smoothly across the track to stack up against one side of the frame, providing an opening slightly smaller than the size of the doors. These bifold doors measure 144 inches in width by 80 inches in height and feature a multi-point locking mechanism to prevent the doors from being opened, rotated, or otherwise moved.
Each door has a lightweight aluminum frame that is resistant to water, corrosion, and temperature fluctuations, though the black paint may fade over time and need to be repainted. Additionally, the doors have dual-pane glass that is filled with argon gas. This argon-filled pocket between the panes reduces the transfer of heat through the doors in order to increase the energy efficiency of the home.
- Type: Bifold
- Material: Aluminum
- Dimensions: 144 inches by 80 inches
- Argon-filled glass reduces heat transfer through the doors
- Lightweight aluminum is resistant to water and corrosion
- Insulating pocket between the double-pane glass improves efficiency
- Multi-point locking mechanism covers each panel on the track
Get the Teza Doors bifold patio door at The Home Depot and Lowe’s.
For an attractive addition to the home, opt for the MP Doors hinged patio doors, which are resistant to moisture, corrosion, and temperature fluctuations. If you are looking for premium features, like built-in privacy blinds inside double pane glass sliding doors, then the Andersen 200 Series gliding patio doors are an excellent option.
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.
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. 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. Tear-away magnetic screen doors can be added to the same doorway to keep insects out while the doors are open.
Sliding patio doors and multi-slide doors require installation of a frame including two (or more for multi-slide 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 the home and notify you of break-in attempts.