French Doors Vs Sliding Patio Doors: Pros & Cons

Choosing an upgrade for your patio doors can be overwhelming with so many options. Popular choices that allow for a lot of natural light and great views are French and sliding doors. The two are somewhat similar, but they have some key differences that will help you make a decision. 

Let’s discuss what French doors are, what sliding doors are, and the pros and cons of each. 

What are French Patio Doors?

A French patio door is a hinged double door that opens outward toward the exterior of your house. The doors have two sections and an elegant appearance that can be used to create a grand entrance or exit from your home. 

They come in various styles, including traditional French, contemporary, and modern designs. Additionally, they can be designed with different coatings like wood grain or textured glass to match the aesthetic you’re looking for. 

French Patio Doors Pros & Cons

White French patio doors



You can install screens on either side of your French doors so that you can let fresh air come in during the warmer months without leaving your house vulnerable to insects. 

Natural Light

Because French doors are designed with large panes of glass, they allow more natural light inside to brighten up your home. 

Keep Pests Out

You can install screens on either side of your French doors to keep buys and other pests out of your home. 

Easy to Clean

French doors fit snugly against the wall with no gaps, so cleaning is fast and easy. 


Not Suited For Small Spaces

French doors require more space, so they need to be placed where there’s enough room to fully open the doors without obstructing walkways or furniture placement. 

Higher Cost

French doors generally require stronger hinges and frames, as well as additional reinforcement depending on size, width, and height. This can come with higher installation costs. 

What are Sliding Doors?

A sliding patio door is an exterior door that slides open horizontally. Unlike doors that swing open, sliding patio doors have two or more panels that slide along a track to the side when they’re opened. Because of this, they require less space because they don’t swing outward when opened. 

Sliding doors are constructed with large glass panels for a great view and natural light. 

Sliding Doors Pros & Cons

Sliding patio doors


Space Saving Design

Sliding doors save a lot of space because they don’t need extra room to open or close. This makes them a great choice for small or tricky areas. 

Energy Efficiency

Double-paned glass options for sliding doors are able to keep the cold air out and reduce heat loss from inside your home. This boosts your energy efficiency and potentially reduces your energy bills. 

Natural Light

Like the French doors, sliding doors utilize large panes of glass that let in a lot of natural light. 


Limited Ventilation

There’s no way to open the top or bottom of the door to allow air to flow in and out when they’re closed. This can be particularly problematic in the summer months when the temperatures rise in your home. 

Wear & Tear

Sliding mechanisms can become worn due to regular usage, making it challenging for doors to open and close correctly. 

French Vs Sliding Patio Doors


French doors have an elegant look with their multiple glass panes and classic hinge door frames. They generally come in pairs of double doors that swing open from the center or side-by-side single-hinged doors.

Sliding doors usually feature a large panel that slides open to the left or right along the track system. The modern design allows for more natural light than French doors do. 

Security & Maintenance

Both types of doors provide similar levels of protection against intruders depending on the type of glass you choose. 


Sliding patio doors provide convenience since they don’t require extra room to slide open. You just pull back the handle and let them glide. 

French doors, conversely take up more space when opened due to the way they swing open. 

How to Pick Between French and Sliding Doors

Choosing between French doors and sliding doors will come down to your personal preference in aesthetics and the location you’d like to place your door. Sliding patio doors are well-suited to fit into smaller spaces if needed. French doors need more room but give off an elegant, traditional aesthetic. 

Read More: Vinyl vs. Fiberglass Patio Doors: Which is Better?


Do French or Sliding Patio Doors Cost More?

French doors typically cost more than sliding patio doors. 

Which is More Modern, Sliding or French Doors?

French doors tend to lean more toward the traditional aesthetic. Sliding doors give a more modern feel. 

Upgrade Your Patio Doors With NEXT Door & Window

If you’re thinking of enhancing your house by upgrading your doors to French or sliding doors, turn to NEXT Door & Window for all your needs. We provide a wide range of high-quality French and sliding doors that are built with energy efficiency, longevity, and durability in mind. 

Our doors are meticulously crafted from high-quality materials, such as steel and fiberglass. Choosing fiberglass doors, in particular, brings together the aesthetic charm of real wood, creating a perfect blend of style and practicality.

With a reputation extending across the Madison and Chicagoland areas, we are renowned for providing premium products, unparalleled customer service, and consistently outstanding results. Each customer receives a red carpet treatment, guaranteeing regular updates on door upgrades by a dedicated project manager.

At NEXT Door & Window, we pride ourselves on: 

  • Custom Factory Paint And Stain Before Installation
  • Experienced Technicians
  • Exceptional Service
  • An A+ BBB Rating
  • Top-Quality Products

Elevate your home today.

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