10 Alternatives To Bi-Fold Closet Doors (You'll Absolutely Love)

Stacy Randall
by Stacy Randall

Bi-fold doors have long been a popular option, whether used for a closet, in a doorway, or even as a room divider. However, they are certainly not the only door option nowadays, especially when it comes to closets. If you’re looking for alternatives to bi-fold closet doors, you have lots to choose from.

The most common alternatives to bi-fold closet doors include barn doors, sliding doors, pocket doors, French doors, and curtains. If you want a more unique option, consider swinging doors, a room divider, mirrors, bookcase doors, and industrial doors. You can find most of these door styles at Home Depot or Lowes, and at a variety of online retailers, including Amazon.com.

If you’re tired of the same old bi-fold doors, choosing an alternative comes down to the overall look you want. Ready to try something new? Give these different looks a chance when you’re ready to close the door to your closet.

Alternatives To Bi-Fold Closet Doors

Photo Credit: Steves Doors

Bifold doors, while helpful, aren’t always the most excellent option when you’re going for a stylish, updated space. Most people prefer to replace these doors with something more practical for their living area.

While the choices can be overwhelming, there are some that would match your home’s decor, whether it’s modern, traditional, or eclectic. Below are some alternatives to bifold doors.

1. Barn Doors

Photo Credit: DutchCrafters

Barn doors can add an interesting visual element to your space while providing functionality. Depending on the size of your closet opening, you can use a single barn door or a set of double doors.

The hardware for barn doors includes a track that you need to install above the opening. It’s essential to make sure that you allow enough space on either side of the opening for the door to slide freely; otherwise, you will block part of your closet.

Video: DIY Barn Doors Under $75

2. Sliding Doors

Photo Credit: Bartels Doors

Sliding doors are also a popular option for closet doors, coming in various colors and styles, including mirrored. While sliding doors are functional, they limit access to your closet.

When one side is open, the other side is automatically closed off. Plus, the center of your closet is perpetually blocked because of how these doors are installed. Therefore, either plan to keep easy to reach items in this area or keep this section clear.

3. Pocket Doors

Photo Credit: Pocket Door Superstore

While pocket doors can make an interesting alternative to bi-fold doors, they involve more installation time. You will need to create a recess in the wall for your pocket door to fit into when it is open.

A significant benefit of pocket doors is that they save a lot of space and provide full access to your closet. Just be prepared to ask for installation help if you are unsure about creating the alcove yourself.

4. French Doors

Photo Credit: Architectural Digest

Of course, you can always go with a classic, simple door. When open, you’ll have full access to your closet. The downside is regular doors can take up a lot of space when they aren’t closed.

If your closet is small, hang one door as you would for any room. If you have a wide opening for your closet, you can consider a set of double or French doors.

5. Curtains In Place Of Bi-Fold Closet Doors

Photo Credit: Loft & Cottage

Another low-cost alternative to bi-fold doors is to ditch the doors altogether. Of course, this depends very highly on your aesthetic and style.

Instead of doors, you can hang curtains to cover your closet and save a bunch of space. This allows you to hide the contents of your closet while having easy access when you need it.

Curtains come in various colors and patterns, including beaded styles, for a completely different look. If you’re crafty, you can even make your curtains suit your personal design preferences.

6. Room Divider

Photo Credit: Amazon

If you’re feeling adventurous, you might try a room divider placed in front of your closet. This method gives you complete access to your closet while keeping it hidden, but admittedly it is a bit unconventional.

Ultimately, what you decide to use for your closet doors might not be a door at all. Overall it depends on the look you want to achieve in the space. Some of these options will fit in better with certain styles more than others.

7. Swinging Doors

Photo Credit: Swinging Cafe Doors

If you have a larger closet, you can opt for swinging doors that open in or out. These doors move more freely, making it easy to access your closet. However, one thing to keep in mind with swinging doors is they don’t stay open. So, if you don’t like the idea of being in your closet with the doors closed, they might not be for you. Or, have a doorstop on hand to prop your doors open as needed.

8. Mirrors

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Using mirrored doors can help bounce light around the room, making it feel larger, bright, and airy. You can add some decorative touches by adding some trim to the mirror. But, keep in mind, mirrors reflect a lot more than just light — so if your room is messy, they’ll reflect that too.

9. Bookcase Doors

Photo Credit: Foter

Bookcases used as doors with a secret passage behind them used to be a concept that came to live in the movies, but now, you can have a ‘secret passageway’ in your house too!

This is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a sophisticated option to add character to a larger room. The built-in shelving gives you more options for storage and display space.

10. Industrial Doors

Photo Credit: Cavity Sliders

Industrial doors in place of bi-fold doors are less common but not unheard of. You can use large wood or industrial metal doors. They add a subtle masculine touch to the space if that’s your thing.

The downside is you need quite a bit of room. This wouldn’t be ideal for a simple reach-in closet. This is an excellent idea for a closet in a primary suite with vaulted ceilings. They come in many different styles, and you can choose from various materials to match your taste.

3 Things to Consider Before Replacing Bi-Fold Doors

Replacing your bifold doors takes more than just tearing the door out and replacing it. There are several things that you need to take into account before you undertake this project. We’ve listed the three major factors you need to consider before replacing your door.


Doors that aren’t working correctly can put people’s lives in danger. Any people, equipment, or cars in the way are at risk if a heavy door malfunctions and gravity takes over.

Most door manufacturers incorporate a design component safety element into the production process to prevent such mishaps; however, older doors may lack this feature.

Building capacity

Only a strong frame should be used with a large door. In fact, installing a new bi-fold door without the right frame is difficult. The frame may be repairable if the current structure is damaged or the steel is rusty.

this is not the case, the manufacturer or contractor will have to fit and install a new doorframe in conjunction with the new door. Aside from the frame, the structure should be examined to verify it can support the weight of a large door.

If a retrofit is required, a good manufacturer will evaluate the structure from the jamb and steel header to the foundation to ensure the building is structurally sound. The manufacturer and contractor will collaborate closely to ensure that the building is suitable to accommodate the door’s loads.

Know the Design You Want

Bi-fold doors have advantages that make them appealing in various scenarios. Bi-fold doors, for example, lift upward rather than outward, requiring less operational area in front of the structure. However, you may prefer a different type of door.

Custom-made doors can be made to match almost any aesthetic need. The possibilities are only limited by your creativity, ranging from glass, wood, and siding to a combination of materials. This creates a pleasing look by allowing the door to blend in with the building’s current external material.

Wrapping Up

If you’re tired of your bi-fold doors, you can give them a facelift or convert them into standard doors. This is one of your most cost-effective options, or you can opt to replace them entirely.

You can use several styles of doors in place of bi-folds, including standard, pocket, siding, or barn doors. You can also ditch the doors and hang curtains or use a room divider instead.

Ultimately, how you decide to hide the contents of your closet is up to your sense of style. The options are endless and limited only by your imagination.

Stacy Randall
Stacy Randall

Stacy Randall is a wife, mother, and freelance writer from NOLA that has always had a love for DIY projects, home organization, and making spaces beautiful. Together with her husband, she has been spending the last several years lovingly renovating her grandparent's former home, making it their own and learning a lot about life along the way.

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