Bifold Doors vs Sliding Patio Doors

Bifold Doors vs Sliding Patio Doors

Bifold Doors vs Sliding Patio Doors

When it came to adding large glass doors to a property, there was a time when Sliding Patio Doors were the go to option. Recently, however, Bifold Doors have taken over as the more popular choice. Both styles have their merits, so how do you make a decision when it comes to picking one for your next renovation project?

We review the benefits each style has to offer to help you make the right choice.

What Are Bifold Doors

The key feature of bifold doors is the folding mechanism. The bifold system is a concertina design, typically incorporating between two and seven panels, that enables individual panels to pivot and fold away to one side.

You can specify which side you want the panels to fold away to and if you want the system to fold outwards or inwards.

Bifold doors run along a concealed track and provide an uninterrupted flow from inside to outside.

What are Sliding Patio Doors

Sliding Patio Doors generally consist of two or more large panels of glass that slide in front of one another to the end of the frame.

One panel is always fixed, so, unlike bifold doors, you won’t be able to fully open the doors. The maximum opening will be approximately 75%, assuming you have a large four-panel door.

The Differences

Ease Of Use

While both doors are easy to use, sliding patio doors are more versatile because they glide along the tracks. This means they open out easier than bifold doors. This is useful if you want to get furniture through the door because the extra width is very helpful.

Bifold doors don’t offer this same degree of flexibility. However, a traffic door can be incorporated into most bifold door designs. These act like a standard door and are a great solution if you want to go outside as it means you don’t need to start folding back the panels.

The Threshold

The big advantage bifold doors have over sliding patio doors is the ability to operate with a flush threshold.

Due to the mechanism of sliding doors, they come with a frame that will need to be stepped over when passing through the doors. If you have small children or have a disability, then you’ll appreciate this can sometimes be difficult and often dangerous.

Bifold doors can be installed with a fully flush threshold, so when open, there is no frame left to trip over. If you want the easiest access point, a set of flush threshold bifold doors are just the thing.

A Room with a View

Sliding doors have more glass and less frame than bifold doors. However, bifold can be fully folded back, whereas sliding doors have one fixed panel that always remains in place.

If you want to connect your home and garden and effectively have a wall of your home that you can fold back, bifold doors are for you.

Sliding patio doors give you slim sightlines and uninterrupted views of your property. This will help you get clearer views of your garden.

Energy Efficiency

With any window or door, the frame is the weak link when it comes to energy efficiency. Glass is better at retaining heat than the surrounding frame. Sliding patio doors offer outstanding levels of heat retention

However, with intelligent design, modern bifold doors can also offer extremely high levels of energy efficiency. While sliding doors do have the advantage here, the differences are often very slight.


The pricing for each door style is relatively similar until you get to the larger sizes. The cost of the large panels of glass required for sliding patio doors can be significant, and this generally makes them the more expensive option.

The Final Choice

Both door styles have benefits and the choice you make should suit your customers’ lifestyle and needs.  Bifold doors are ideal for you because they allow you to enter and exit your property easier.  This is great if your customer has guests or a social gathering, bridging the gap between the house and the garden.

If your focus is on taking in the view and letting in as much natural light as possible, then sliding patio doors are the ideal solution. So, when it comes to making the decision, think of what your customers wants to achieve and deciding between bifold or sliding patio doors will be much easier.

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