How Many Curtain Panels Do You Need For A Sliding Glass Door?

Are you looking for the right cover for your sliding glass door? Are you also someone who uses blinds, curtains, or are you interested in something better? How many curtain panels for a sliding door do you need, and what size would that require of the curtain panel? There is no need to stress anymore. Once you ask yourself a few decorating questions, doing the math and calculating how much you will need is very easy.

Depending on the kind of look you want for your door is how you will determine how many curtain panels will be needed to cover the sliding glass door. In most cases, it will be two panels, but if you want pleats and a fuller look, then four panels are recommended.

In this article, we will walk you through more things that you will have to ponder over. All you need is to think about a few straightforward questions, and you will be able to make up your mind about how many panels you want. So keep scrolling if you need assistance selecting the accurate curtain size and looking at other alternatives besides curtains for your sliding glass door.

How many curtain panels are required?


Most probably, you will need two curtain panels for your glass door. The standard glass door is somewhere between 60 to 72 inches which means that that the curtain rods have a center post to hold up the panels. This is also usually a requirement for rods that are much longer than 60 inches. Since the curtain won’t be able to slide between the center posts, one panel should be covering every side.

Some people fancy using traverse curtains which are free of the center post. In such curtains, you can always move one panel on one side whenever you please.

On the other hand, some people like four panels more because they can easily be arranged to keep the sunlight out throughout the day. But if you are going for the four-panel curtain, you must bear in mind that if the glass door is frequently used, it can be unwieldy to move that many panels every time the door is used.

What should be the size of the curtains you need for a sliding glass door?

Once you have decided on the number of panels you want to put up, there is more thing you need to think about. It would help if you thought about how full you would wish your curtains to look. You can either cover the door completely or you can get a panel that is twice as much in size as you need. This makes the drapes of the curtain look plush, but it can also be cumbersome to deal with the additional material at the same time. If this glass door is one of those that are frequently used, keep the curtain simple to avoid the hassle.

Now, all that is left is measuring the door, and then you will know the exact size of the panel needed for your glass door.

What are the steps to measure a sliding glass door for curtains?

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The first thing that needs to be measured is the height of the door. If the curtain rod is there, measure the vertical height because that will tell you the distance between the floor and where the curtains will hang. If the rod is not installed, you need to add four inches to the height because the height of a standard door is 80 inches and adding the extra space for the rod makes it 84 inches.

After the height, you will then measure the width of the floor. The usual width of the glass sliding doors is five to six feet wide. More often, it is six feet. This makes it a width of 60 inches or typically 72 inches. An additional 4 inches is added here to leave an overhang so that you can conveniently push the curtain back from the doorway. For a six-foot door, this makes it a width of 80 inches.

Simple mathematic calculations

  • 80 inches width is divided by two panels with a regular fullness = every panel’s width is 40 inches wide and 84 inches length.
  • 80 inches width is divided by four panels with a regular fullness = every panel’s width is 20 inches wide and 84 inches length.
  • If there is twice the fullness for two panels, then make each panel 80 inches in width and 84 inches in length.
  • If there is double fullness with four panels, use 40 inches wide and 84 inches long panels.

Suggestions for wide curtains

1. Single panel

You might have a specific rod that does not need a center post. Your door’s size may be small, having a width of 5 feet. In such cases, you will only be able to use a single panel. Here are a few recommendations that will help with wide and long glass doors.

Wide blacked out curtains

You can choose from 18 different colors, many sizes, and with a fabric that’s blacked out. The fabric is energy-smart and is the most preferred curtain.

If you want to know more about this curtain on Amazon, click here.

Pure white curtains


If you want to see this pure white curtain on Amazon, click here.

2. Double panels

Curtains with double material

These curtains have more material than needed. This makes the curtain look fuller. It can also be found in around 17 colors.

If you want to see this curtain on Amazon, click here.

Common curtains

These curtains always have two panels and come in 22 lovely colors.

If you want to see these curtains on Amazon, click here

3. Four panels

If you want to use four panels for the glass door, you can go for the common two-panel curtains mentioned above. All you need to do is purchase two pairs, and that will give you four panels along with more fullness.

Which window coverings should be used for sliding glass doors?

Apart from curtains, there are other options to cover sliding glass doors. Some of these ideas are as follows:

Cellular shades

These are two cordless shades that completely cover the whole door and are also considered the safest option if you have kids in the house. It needs to be installed 4 inches over the frame of the door so that it is convenient to push up whenever needed.

If you want to see this shade on Amazon, click here.

Horizontal blinds

These are a traditional choice but also a smart and user-friendly choice. Like cellular shades, these need to be installed over the doorframe so that it is easier to draw the blinds up.

If you want to see this blind on Amazon, click here.

Upright blinds

If you want to give the glass door a more beautiful touch, choose blinds with a material like this.

If you want to see these blinds on Amazon, click here.

Sliding panels

These are four isolated panels separate from each other. There are tracks on which they slide and go behind each other to open the blinds. This is a unique design that reduces the need to struggle with curtains.

If you want to see these panels, click here.

Sun rolling shades

These are the best to stop the scorching sunlight. If you are not interested in putting up multiple panels, these sun roller shades are the perfect choice for you because it is a single solid piece.

If you want to see this shade on Amazon, click here. 

To conclude

If you opt to cover your door with curtains, you will most probably be needing two panels. Most of the curtains have a center post which the curtains can’t cross. So, if you are someone who wants to put up one large curtain, you should use traverse curtains because they do not require a center post. Then there a few people who prefer four panels to give a fuller feel to the curtains. Thus, it always boils down to an individual’s style sense and décor preference.

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