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Shades, Curtains, Or Blinds? Choosing the Right Patio Door Treatments

Patio door and window treatments serve many purposes. They block the sun to prevent unwanted glares. They help keep your home cooler throughout the summer. They provide privacy and a greater sense of security. And they offer another opportunity to showcase your style.

While your treatment options are largely the same, your considerations are a little different. With patio doors, you have to strike a balance between covering the glass and allowing traffic to flow in and out. Looking at your patio door covering options through that lens will help you choose the right ones for your hinged, folding or sliding doors.

Patio door curtains are the popular choice.

Curtains are easy to install, easy to clean, easy to replace and easy on the eyes — all reasons why patio door curtains are the favored treatment. Even the most novice of DIYers can handle hanging curtains. And once hung, curtains are easy to clean. You can spot-clean stains or, for most fabrics, toss them in the laundry to get the whole panel looking good as new.

The most difficult thing about patio door curtains is deciding which ones to buy. You have unlimited options for colors and designs on a variety of different fabrics. Curtains give you the ultimate flexibility to match any design and are a stylish element in their own right — something the other patio door coverings can’t claim.

When patio door curtains get a little worn or start to look dated, you can make a change on the cheap. Or if you’re bothered by how much glass they cover, simple fixes like expanding the curtain rod past the width of your patio door or tying curtains at the sides may solve your problem.

Best for: Sliding patio doors, multi-slide patio doors, bifold patio doors and homeowners who want to add some style to their space

Vertical patio door blinds are durable and functional.

Vertical blinds are an inexpensive, easy-to-use choice for patio doors. They’re not the most stylish, but they get the job done. You can find different fabrics and colors to match your interior. When closed, vertical blinds stack up neatly on the side of the patio door, taking up less space than other treatment options.

Vertical patio door blinds are among the easiest to clean, too. The fabric is rougher and less absorbent than most curtains. So a damp cloth, gentle cleaner and soft scrub is often enough to clean up any dirt or stain.

Best for: Sliding patio doors, multi-slide patio doors, bifold patio doors and practical homeowners who value function

Patio door shades are flexible solutions.

Shades are a less common, but equally effective option. And there are actually a few different options to choose from:

  • Vertical cellular shades fill the entire door frame with a horizontal honeycomb pattern that helps keep out the sun, heat or cold. They are easy to push to the side when you want your patio doors open and unobstructed.

  • Roman shades work as they do on a window, hanging above a patio door panel. Pull a cord to draw the shade down to cover the glass.

  • Panel track shades function more like curtains, with large panels of fabric gliding along a track above the door. Multiple panels can overlap for more shade and privacy, or be tucked to the side to allow for sun, airflow or entertaining.

Panel shades are the most similar to curtains, offering the sturdiest patio door shades and the most unique designs. So it’s no surprise to see that they are growing in popularity, despite being the bulkiest patio door covering.

Best for: French patio doors, sliding patio doors, multi-slide patio doors and homeowners who don’t mind some obstruction.

Between-the-glass blinds and shades are maintenance-free.

Some homeowners love the idea of blinds or shades — just not the way they obstruct the room or patio doors. Between-the-glass blinds and shades are set between the panes of glass in your patio doors, never causing an obstruction in the flow of your furniture or movement in and out of the home. They solve the biggest problem homeowners have with vertical blinds or standard shades while offering even more advantages:

  • Easily adjustable

  • Can be paired with Insynctive® technology for opening and closing via an app

  • No cleaning or maintenance required

  • Safer for children and pets

  • Reduced number of indoor allergens

Best for: French patio doors, sliding patio doors and families with little kids or pets

No treatments is the new trend.