Curtains or blinds for sliding doors?

Nothing brings indoor/outdoor flow to a room better than big, expansive sliding glass doors. They offer beautiful views, easy ventilation and allow plenty of natural light into a room. Vertical blinds or curtains are the best window furnishings to cover them and get the insulation, light and privacy control you need, however roller blinds may also be a good choice for you.

Vertical blinds

Vertical blinds offer a sleek, modern look and like curtains, verticals stack neatly lengthways to the side of a sliding door so they’re very practical. They’re also versatile, allowing you to control light and privacy by changing the direction and openness of the vanes. Just like with curtains, you’ll have the choice of one single blind or a pair that meet in the middle.


Curtains will work as long as you have enough space to the sides of your sliding door. They are the bulkiest of your options so make sure you consider how they’ll open. Will you have a single curtain that opens and stacks to the non-opening side or a pair that meet in the middle? If they meet in the middle, make sure there’s enough space on the opening side of the door for the curtain to be drawn open and stacked clear of the door handle.

For added light and privacy control, you can opt for double tracks with a sheer curtain underneath.

Curtains are also the best option for increasing thermal insulation and they come in the broadest choice of looks with different hanging lengths, a variety of hardware (ie, rods, rings or tracks), and an almost unending selection of fabrics to have them made from.

Roller Blinds

Roller blinds might work for you, but they aren’t very practical for using the sliding door when they’re down, even just a little bit. You will also likely need more than one and will need to consider linking them to be pulled all together. Blockout roller blinds are certainly not going to be a great choice if you enjoy letting the breeze in on a summer day. The best way to make roller blinds work for a sliding door would be to add sheer curtains that can be closed for privacy but still let in some light and a breeze, while the roller blinds could come down at night and roll nicely away during the day.

What's not right

Honeycomb blinds are a possibility and certainly offer the kind of insulation you need for large areas of glass like a sliding door. However, they are weighty to operate across such a big space and have the same access issues as roller blinds.

Roman blinds are similar to roller blinds in that they can work if there’s enough space above the door frame for the blind to stack when open; otherwise, it will be hanging over the door, limiting access. It’s also tricky to pattern match with roman blinds. To get a seamless look when all the blinds are down takes extra attention to detail and more fabric to ensure the right part of the pattern is being used to match.

Venetian blinds are not recommended as they are difficult to operate across such a big space and would look terrible if the slats on each blind didn’t align with the one next to it. Plus, you would have to have them raised right up above the door frame for access.

We hope you’ve found this information helpful.