Are curtains or blinds best for sliding glass doors?

Georgina Marks
Written by Georgina Marks
Russells Consultant
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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. Curtains, Veri Shades® and vertical blinds are the best window furnishings to cover them and get the insulation and light and privacy control your need; roller blinds may also work.

Let’s go through the pros and cons of each:


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

For light and privacy control choose double tracks with a sheer curtain underneath that remains drawn closed during the day.

The benefit of curtains is their superior thermal insulation properties and they offer the broadest choice of looks with different hanging lengths, a variety of hardware (ie, rods, rings and tracks), and an almost unending selection of fabrics to have them made from.

Cannes by Nettex

Learn what to consider in picking the right curtains for your home

Veri Shades®

Also known as ‘the clever walkthrough curtain’, they’re like a cross between a curtain and vertical blinds. Veri Shades® hang vertically with no weights or connecting chains and simply sway out of the way when you walk through them before settling back perfectly; whether they’re open or closed. You can tilt the panels for more light and close them to block it.

Read more about Veri Shades®
Vertical blinds

Vertical blinds offer a sleek, modern look and are very unobtrusive. Like curtains, verticals stack neatly lengthways to the side/s of a sliding door so they’re a very practical option. Versatile too, as you can control light and privacy by changing the direction of the vanes and how open they are, even drawing the blind fully open for max light and visibility. As with curtains you also have the choice of one single blind or a pair that meet in the middle.

Read more about our vertical blinds
Roller blinds

Roller blinds can work although they aren’t very practical for accessing the sliding door when they’re down, even just a little bit. You will also likely need more than one. Sunscreen roller blinds are certainly not going to be practical if you enjoy having the sliding door open during summer to let in a breeze. The configuration that would work best would be blockout roller blinds that come down at night (and roll away discreetly during the day) underneath a sheer curtain that remains pulled closed during the day for light and privacy control.

Read more about our roller blinds

What’s not right

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. Also worth considering is how tricky pattern matching can be with roman blinds. To have 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 weighty 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.

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 face similar line symmetry and access issues as venetian blinds.

Shutters can work but you’re essentially putting a whole other sliding door in front of the current one. Seems excessive and will almost definitely not be a cost effective option.

Everything you need to know to make the right choice for your home

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