How to Find the Best Sliding Glass Doors

Aug 18, 2022

Do the patio doors you have in your home fit your needs? When you purchased your home, you may not have given a lot of thought to your doors. However, there are a number of things to consider if it’s time for a patio door replacement.

This article will focus on how to find the best sliding glass doors for your home. From aluminum to fiberglass to vinyl, each material type can help you achieve your goals for outdoor living while also looking great. Let’s dive in. 


What Are Sliding Glass Doors?

Sliding glass patio doors have large, glass panels that slide horizontally along a track to open and close. They typically consist of one fixed panel and one movable panel that glides smoothly on rollers. 

Exterior sliding glass doors are best for spaces where you want to maximize natural light and maintain a clear view of the outdoors. They’re also perfect for areas with limited space because they don’t require extra room to swing open. Sliding doors are commonly used for patios, balconies, and porches, providing easy access to outdoor living spaces​​.


What the Best Sliding Glass Doors Have in Common

While some products have issues like poor insulation and durability, the best sliding glass doors address these pain points with high-quality materials, customization options, and strong warranties. Here’s what to look for.


High-Quality Materials

The best sliding glass doors are made from durable materials like vinyl, fiberglass, or aluminum. These materials resist warping, rotting, and corrosion, ensuring longevity. Quality frames paired with energy-efficient glass options, such as double or triple glazing, enhance insulation, reduce energy costs, and require minimal maintenance while lasting a long time​​​​.



Homeowners want doors that not only fit perfectly, but also match their personal style. That’s why the best-rated sliding glass doors usually have plenty of customization options that allow you to choose from different frame colors, finishes, and hardware styles to match your home’s architectural style. Additional features like built-in blinds, decorative grids, and special glass coatings can further enhance functionality and design. Check with your general contractor to see what’s available.


Leading Warranties

If you want to find the best sliding glass doors, just look at the warranty. Products that are backed by good warranties are typically high-quality, because the warranty reflects the manufacturer's confidence in the product. Look for warranties that cover defects in materials and workmanship for several years. Some brands, like MILGARD, even offer lifetime warranties on certain products​​​​.


Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Patio Door Replacement

Can’t quite picture the best sliding glass door for your home? We recommend asking yourself the following questions:


  1. Do I want to retain the original size of my current patio door or expand the opening to increase natural light or air flow?
  2. How important is durability and ongoing maintenance?
  3. Am I looking for increased energy efficiency?
  4. How important is indoor-outdoor living?


Identifying the elements that are important to you is an important first step. Now, let’s look closer at patio door materials to help you narrow down your options.

The Best Sliding Glass Doors

Now that you know the basics, it’s time to consider which type of sliding door is right for your home. We’ll break it down by the most popular materials and what they’re best for.


Best Budget: Vinyl Sliding Glass Doors

Best Budget: Vinyl Sliding Glass Doors, MILGARD

Vinyl sliding glass doors are a great solution for both new construction and patio door replacement if you’re on a budget. They’re energy-efficient, durable, and require very little maintenance, all at an affordable price. Vinyl is also very versatile. It looks beautiful on a variety of architectural styles and it typically comes in the most colors out of all the materials. It can even be ordered with a painted frame color for additional design flair. 


Best for Energy Efficiency: Fiberglass Sliding Glass Doors

Best for Energy Efficiency: Fiberglass Sliding Glass Doors, MILGARD

Fiberglass sliding doors won’t expand and contract in extreme temperatures, and they also don’t transfer heat and cold, making them the most energy-efficient option. They’re also less likely to form air gaps. Fiberglass is also very durable and won’t be affected by mold and rot. Plus, it’s stylish: MILGARD offers a French-style sliding fiberglass door (shown below) in four exterior and exterior frame colors to match your home beautifully.


Best Modern: Aluminum Sliding Glass Doors

Best Modern: Aluminum Sliding Glass Doors, MILGARD

The sleek, slim frames of aluminum sliding glass patio doors give your home a contemporary feeling. If you’re remodeling, consider adding sidelights and transoms for additional light and ventilation to create a wall of windows around your sliding glass door replacement (as pictured below). The narrow frames and clean lines help you maximize your view and the strength and stability of aluminum make it a great choice for any project.


Best Rated: Moving Glass Walls

Best Rated: Moving Glass Walls, MILGARD

Glass walls are really stunning and have been gaining popularity due to the indoor-outdoor living trend: They’re the best sliding glass doors for expanding living areas. Better yet, MILGARD’s moving glass walls are one of our best-rated products. They come in three operating styles: bi-fold, pocket, and stacking. 

The panels of a pocket door tuck into the wall and completely disappear from view when the door is fully open. With stacking doors, each panel stacks on top of the other as you open it. Bi-fold doors are bottom-loaded, ideal for remodeling projects when you don’t want to add a structural header to carry the door’s weight. 


Ready to Find the Best Sliding Glass Doors for Your Home?

At MILGARD, we live and breathe sliding glass door replacements. We would love to know more about your project and which sliding glass patio door is your favorite. 

With custom sizes available and options that suit replacement, remodeling or new home construction, the possibilities are wide open when choosing the best sliding glass door for your home. Get a quote on your favorite sliding glass door from this article or visit a Certified MILGARD Dealer today.

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