Patio Doors v Bifold Doors: which should you go for?

At Livingwood Windows, we stock both classic bifold and patio doors, all of them manufactured to the highest standards.

If you’ve landed on this page because you already know what you’re looking for, then give us a call today on 01284 764045, or send us a message through our contact page.

But if you’re unsure which type of door will be right for you, keep reading: we’ve put together this handy guide that’ll tell you everything you need to know when choosing between the two types of doors for your home.

Keep the opening size in mind

If you like to let a lot of air in to your living areas, then aluminium bifold doors are definitely the way forward. They can open up almost 90 per cent of the aperture: put simply, it’ll feel like you barely have doors there at all! This is particularly beneficial in the summer months.

Note: Any opening with more than four leaves really lends itself best to a sliding door as most of the time the doors will be shut and you'll want more glass area to enjoy external views than a bifold door with thicker frames.

Patio doors typically open up around 50 per cent of the aperture, which is still effective: just not quite up to the standards of bifolds.


A lot of people like to keep their doors open just a little, in order to maintain ventilation during those stuffier days. If that’s you, then patio doors are definitely the better option: you can open or close them as much as you want, allowing you to control the air-flow.

Bi-fold doors still offer some flexibility, but the bare minimum is opening at least one of the panels: this might be a bit much on a cooler evening!

The View

If you’ve worked hard on creating a beautiful garden and want to be able to enjoy an uninterrupted view of it, then this is another tick in the box for patio doors. The clear panes of glass used are typically bigger and can offer more of a panoramic view than bifolding doors, which, by their nature, involve multiple frames.

Clear space

If you don’t want your doors to take up too much space when open, then bi-fold doors are definitely the best option. They can be set-up to either open completely to one side (keeping the other side completely clear) or split so that the doors open both ways. This is useful in that it’ll prevent you having to move plant pots or furniture around each time you want to open the doors. Needless to say, patio doors don’t fold up in the same way so will typically take up more floor space when opened (and they typically open outwards into the garden).

Don’t forget: traffic doors are also an option

Traffic doors are a great middle ground between the two options. They still have multiple door leafs that can be opened up like bifold doors. However, the individual panels can also operate like a traditional, joined-on-one-side door: ideal for if you just need to pop out into the garden for a couple of minutes and don’t want to unfold the whole thing.


If you’re looking to have the same floor both sides of the door (leading into a conservatory, for instance) then bifolding aluminium doors are definitely the best option. Most bifolds come with as many as four different options: this is due to the trade-off between the height of the floor on both sides and the level of weather resistance. Inevitably, if the floor is level on both sides, then keeping out draughts and rain becomes more difficult. The important thing here is not to worry: our customers are nearly always able to find the perfect compromise between their desired threshold levels and weather resistance.

Find out more

Remember, this page is a useful guide to help you find out more about the two types of patio and bifold doors. The best way to find the perfect door for your needs, though, is to get in contact with the experts at Livingwood Windows & Doors today, and let us guide you.