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Which is Better, Bifold or Sliding Doors? How to Make Your Choice

Choosing between bi fold and sliding doors can be challenging. Both have large glass panels that give you views of the outside and help you to connect your indoor and outdoor spaces. But both these door types operate in different ways and create a distinct experience in your home.   

We’ve been helping our customers to find their dream patio doors for years, so we wanted to help you understand whether bi fold or sliding doors are the best choice for you.

Are Sliding or Bifold Doors Better? 

Bifold doors provide maximum accessibility by folding back on themselves, allowing for seamless transitions between indoors and outdoors. Additionally, bifold doors offer the convenience of a lead door that functions like a regular single door. In contrast, sliding doors can only slide open, limiting their ease of use. 

So, in terms of how much they can do, bifold doors are ‘better’. But just like any decision in life, there’s no one-size fits all solution. What suits your home and needs might not be right for someone else. We’re here to help you make an informed choice when picking between these door options. Let’s start by looking at bifolding doors in more detail.

What You Need to Know About Bi folding Doors

A bifold door has a series of door panels that slide and fold back against each other. This unique type of door offers functionality that no other style can provide. But is this what you need for your home? Here’s what you need to know. 

Are sliding doors or bifold doors more expensive?

 Sliding doors generally cost less than bifold doors. However, factors like door size, frame material, and installation location influence the cost. Our sliding doors currently start from £814 whilst our bifold doors start from £1758.

Are bifold doors safer than sliding doors?

Whilst both door types are very secure, bifold doors tend to offer more distributed locking points, increasing their security compared to sliding doors. The evenly distributed force across the multiple locks makes it challenging for intruders to break in. Therefore, if safety is a concern, bifold doors are often a better choice over sliding doors.

Do bifold doors make a room cold?


Bifold doors don’t make a room cold, this is a widely believed myth. In fact, they can make it warmer. Today’s bi folding doors are designed with energy-efficiency in mind. They are manufactured using modern materials and include features like double glazing and thermal insulation, which help retain heat and keep the room cosy. These doors eliminate drafts and provide effective insulation, contributing to a warmer and more comfortable home.

Are bifold doors still in fashion? 

 Yes, bifold doors are still in fashion. Our sales for bifold doors reached their highest level in 2022 and are still going strong in 2023 to date. They are a popular choice for a variety of residential homes, and a trend that will continue into 2024 and beyond. 

 Bi fold doors have retained their popularity due to their space-saving design. While it's true that any open door takes up space, bifolding doors are a practical choice as they can be neatly folded against the wall, minimising obstruction. The claim that bifold doors are no longer popular is misleading and contradicts their continued demand among homeowners. 

 These versatile doors also offer a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor living spaces, making them a perfect choice for open plan extensions or replacing existing exterior doors. You can really experience the beauty of bringing the outside in with bi-folding doors, so their popularity is unlikely to wane. 

How long do folding doors last? 

 On average, folding doors made from aluminum or uPVC can last around 45 years with proper maintenance. Regular care and maintenance, including attending to the hardware, can help extend the life of your folding doors. Ensure your doors are well-maintained to enhance their longevity. The choice of frame material also has an impact on their lifespan. Take a look at our guide to the differences between aluminium and upvc bifold doors for more information.  

What are the disadvantages of bifold doors? 

 Bifold doors can be expensive to install, especially over larger areas. Additionally, their folded or open position can take up a significant amount of space. Their tracks can also collect dirt, grease, and grime, especially in homes with kids or pets. However, this can be easily resolved with regular cleaning. Most of our customers agree that the benefits of uninterrupted views, flexible living and natural light outweigh these minor inconveniences.

What are the benefits of bifold doors?

There are certainly plenty of pros when it comes to bi fold doors. Here are the top advantages: 


with multiple locking points, bi folds are really secure patio doors that stand up well against the threat of an intruder. 


because bifold doors fold back on themselves, you can open up an entire wall to give you flexible living options. This functionality connects indoor and outdoor space with ease, helping you to enjoy every part of your home. This is one of the biggest reasons our customers choose a bi fold door over conventional sliding doors. 

Space Saving:

the folding and sliding motion of these doors means you don’t have to have room for them to swing open like French doors. Sliding doors offer similar space saving benefits too, with large panes that slide behind one another. 


whilst bifold doors have multiple panels so you’ll notice the frames when you have your doors closed, there’s really no beating the views you’ll get with the doors open. The frame completely folds away so your view is unobstructed. This is a huge draw for many homeowners. 

When Bifold Doors are Right for You

If you want to make the most of an entire opening, giving you direct access between your home and garden, bifolding doors are the right choice for you. They can provide a completely unobstructed view when fully opened. You'll need to consider your budget too, making sure you have set a realistic figure to invest in this stunning door type. 

Your Top Questions on Sliding Patio Doors

Sliding doors have glass panes that are offset, so when they open one panel slides behind the other. This makes them fairly easy to operate but it also means only 50% of the door opening is clear when the door is open. Let’s take an in depth look at some of the common questions about sliding doors.

How many years does a sliding door last?

Typically, a well-made sliding patio door will have a lifespan of around 30 years. With proper care and maintenance, it can even reach 50-60 years. However, the material choice also affects the lifespan of your sliding door. An aluminium framed sliding door will typically last longer than a uPVC one.

Are sliding doors noisy?

Sliding doors can be noisy due to the sliding mechanism. Complete soundproofing is challenging as the sliding mechanisms allow air to escape, enabling sound transmission. Sound travels through the gaps in the door, making it difficult to achieve complete silence. It is possible to add extra weather-stripping to increase soundproofing.  

 In addition, operating sliding doors can be noisy if they aren’t properly maintained. To stop a sliding door from making noise, follow these 5 steps:  

 1) Clean the tracks and rollers thoroughly.  

 2) Apply lubricant to the tracks and rollers. 

 3) Tighten any loose screws or bolts. 

 4) Adjust the rollers for proper alignment.  

 5) Replace worn-out rollers if necessary.  

 By following these steps, you can enjoy a quiet and smoothly-functioning sliding door.

Are sliding patio doors dated?

No, sliding patio doors are not out of date. While some older models may appear dated, modern manufacturers are reinventing and updating the style. In fact, this door style is back in fashion and growing in popularity. New sliding doors can offer a stylish and modern touch to any home, while allowing natural light in and creating a bright and breezy living space. Many interior designers are showcasing the beauty of sliding doors by incorporating them in various stunning ways within home designs. 

What are the disadvantages of sliding doors? 

 Some potential disadvantages of sliding doors include the need for regular maintenance. However, modern sliding glass doors are designed to minimise issues like sticking or difficulty in opening and closing, and if you keep the tracks clean and lubricated you can ensure smooth operation. Another disadvantage is the lack of a lead or traffic door option. Additionally, sliding doors require a wide track width, which can be visually unappealing in some cases.

The Benefits of Sliding Doors:

Sliding doors have lots of plus points too, here’s what sets them apart: 


sliding doors tend to be great value for money as they cost less to manufacture than a bifold door system. If affordability is key, they’re a great option for your patio. 


with sliding doors, you have the ability to control the extent of opening while enjoying a light breeze or convenient access to your garden.

Space Saving:

sliding doors slide back behind themselves, maximising floor space. They provide fresh air without taking up extra room, making them an ideal choice for those looking to save space.

Energy Efficiency:

as sliding doors are made with more glass and less frame, they tend to be more energy efficient than bifold doors. However, the best way to check the energy-efficiency of a door is by looking for the u-value. As today’s building regulations have standards for thermal efficiency, all patio doors have to be manufactured to meet these standards. As a result, you may find u-values are very similar for a bifold and a sliding door.  


sliding doors tend to have less panels than bifold doors, therefore they have less frame. When the doors are closed, you will get better views with sliding doors as there’s less frame to interrupt your line of sight.

When Sliding Doors are Right For You

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly patio transformation, a sliding door will be a good choice for you. As long as you’re happy utilising around 50% of the opening space, these doors are stunning and versatile. They’re also a great option if you have limited space around the door for opening and closing, as their sliding operation keeps them very compact. 

Bifold vs Sliding Doors: The Bottom Line

Both sliding and bifold doors have their benefits, and both can really improve your home. There’s always an element of personal preference when it comes to decorating your home, so the best choice is the one that suits your budget, your style and provides the accessibility that you need.  

 Choose bifold doors for enhanced functionality and ease of access. Select sliding doors for affordability and smaller spaces. Whichever you choose, you’ll enjoy so many benefits with a new set of patio doors. 

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