The Best Alternatives to Vertical Blinds for Sliding Glass Doors

A popular choice to cover large windows and sliding glass doors is vertical blinds. Though most blinds are horizontal, their vertical counterpart has the advantage of more easily covering big panes of glass. However, this style of window treatment isn’t always the right option for a home, and you may want to consider some alternatives to vertical blinds.

One reason vertical blinds may not be a good fit is uneven floors. Most vertical blinds are hung from the top of the window or from the ceiling, and they reach down to the floor. If the floor is uneven, some of the slats may bend or hang too far above the ground because of their stiff material and rigid shape. This will not only look awkward, but it can also make the blinds more difficult to open and close.

Another reason to consider alternatives to vertical blinds is that they do not offer as much light blocking as other window treatment options. Though blinds provide the ability to open and close at variable levels, by either tilting the slats or pulling the full treatment open, some styles will let in a bit of light even when they are fully closed. This makes them a poor choice in rooms where more privacy or darkness may be desired.

Of course, you may also want to skip out on vertical blinds because of your style preference. Vertical blinds aren’t going to work with every aesthetic, and they can sometimes look outdated. They can be noisy and move around too much and if you don’t buy a high-quality version, vertical blinds can break easily. So if you have sliding glass doors or other large windows that need to be covered, here are some alternatives to vertical blinds you may want to consider.

Vertical cellular shades

Cellular shades, also known as accordion blinds, are popular for their diversity of fabric options and their ability to cover and insulate windows. Their vertical iteration takes those advantages and gives them to sliding doors. This makes them a smarter choice than vertical blinds in rooms where you want more coverage of windows or in climates where cold air can come in through uninsulated glass doors.


Drapes can not only look more stylish than vertical blinds, but they also have one serious benefit homeowners may need: they can work with uneven floors. In some homes, uneven floors are a reality, and though you may not even notice the imperfection on a daily basis, stiff vertical window treatments will make them impossible to ignore. Drapery made from light or sheer fabrics provide great coverage for big glass doors, and they also come with a certain amount of flexibility that can work with, and even disguise, floors with bumps or angles.

Solar shades

If your sliding glass doors overlook a beautiful view of your backyard or pool, you may be hesitant to add a window treatment that hinders your vision. Luckily, solar shades can give large windows the best of both worlds. With coverage that blocks out harmful UV rays and glaring rays of sunlight, solar shades not only preserve your view outside, but they also enhance it by making it easier to enjoy on even the sunniest day. Think of solar shades as sunglasses for your windows.

The reality is that sliding glass doors (and really any oversized window) can be difficult to cover well. Whether you want blinds, drapes, or shades, you’re probably going to have some difficulty finding a perfect fit right off the shelves — especially when you consider the varying sizes, floor evenness, and lighting and style needs that each individual home has. That’s when custom window treatments can be essential. Working with an expert, you can get custom blinds or drapes that fit your sliding glass doors perfectly and match the style in any room of your home. To learn more about the best window treatments for your large windows, schedule a free consultation with one of our designers.