How Many Curtain Panels for a Sliding Glass Door?

Stacy Randall
by Stacy Randall
We’re committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using links in our articles. Learn more here
how many curtain panels for a sliding glass door

Sliding glass doors are perfect for bringing in natural light or watching it rain with a cozy drink. However, there can be too much of a good thing, and that is where curtains come into play. But how many curtain panels do you need for a sliding glass door, and what style will work?

Two curtain panels are standard for most sliding glass doors that measure 72 inches tall and 80 inches wide. For larger sliding glass doors (96 inches), the standard is three curtain panels. Four panels are standard for sliding glass doors larger than 96 inches wide. For layered-style curtains, double the amount of panels needed, for example, four instead of two panels.

Curtains are a stylish way to frame your sliding glass doors while adding privacy and a break from the sun. Typically, the height and width of the door, the curtain width, and your design goals determine how many panels you need. If you are unsure what size your sliding glass doors are, you’ll need to get out the measuring tape.

What Size Curtains Should I Get for a Sliding Glass Door?

The size of curtains you should get for your sliding glass doors depends on the door’s measurements and your personal style preferences. Most standard sliding glass doors are 6 feet (72 inches) wide and 6.8 feet (80 inches) tall. Curtains for sliding glass doors typically come in two lengths; 84 inches for standard and 96 inches for large.

You want the curtains framing your sliding glass doors to be functional and stylish. Typically, like with regular windows, the curtains should extend about four inches past the sliding doors (two inches on each side).

For a full look around the sliding glass door, you can use a 96-inch long panel. This length usually looks the best in most spaces, unless you have very low ceilings, in which case you would need the 84-inch length.

Lots of Curtain Widths to Choose From

It’s important to remember that you’ll use these doors frequently, so you don’t want curtains that will be a hassle. For the width of your curtains, standard curtain panels are usually 48 to 52 inches wide. However, you can usually find special sliding glass door curtains that are usually 100 inches wide.

The number of panels you need depends on the overall width of the doors, the curtain width, and your style preference — more on that in just a bit.

What Size Curtain Rod Do I Need?

The standard width of sliding glass doors is 6.8 feet (80 inches), and you can find standard curtain rods that work with this size. Now that you have the width of the sliding doors, it will be easier to find the proper sized curtain rod.

If you have a custom size sliding glass door, you might need to look a little harder for the right-size rod. It might mean going to a specialty design store or even ordering a custom curtain rod.

The curtain rod needs to allow 4 inches of room on each end and past the door frame. This gives extra space for the fabric of the curtain to gather when open. If there is already a rod in place, don’t measure the decorative ends, just the rod itself.

Determining How Many Curtain Panels You Need for a Sliding Glass Door

Determining how many curtain panels you need involves knowing the size of the door and the look you desire. Now the measurements and notes you took earlier will come into play. For a standard 80-inch sliding glass door, you’ll need a minimum of two curtain panels or four for a fuller look.

Sliding glass doors measuring 96 inches need three curtain panels at a minimum or six for a more layered and full look. If your sliding glass doors are larger than 96 inches, four curtains panels (8 for layered) should work.

Video: Measuring Your Sliding Glass Door for Curtains

The standard measurements of most sliding glass doors are 72 inches wide and 80 inches tall. However, this is not always the case. Some may be larger or smaller than the standard. Regardless of whether your doors are standard or a custom job, taking measurements will help with accuracy.

Standard curtains for sliding glass doors are 84 inches (7 feet) long and cover most sliding doors. To be sure what size curtains to purchase, you’ll need to take the height and width measurements. All you need is a measuring tape, pencil, and paper.

Measure the doors’ height starting at the top; subtract an inch from this number. This ensures enough space so the curtain doesn’t drag on the floor after being hung. If there isn’t a curtain rod already in place, add 4 inches to the height measurement to account for it.

Next, measure the width; this number will help determine how many panels you need for the sliding glass door. After the width of the sliding glass doors is measured, add 2 inches to each side of the doors. These 4 inches will account for the extra fabric when the curtains are closed to ensure overlap and privacy.

How Long Are Sliding Glass Door Curtains?

The standard length of sliding door curtains is 84 inches (7 feet) and 100 inches (8.3 feet) wide. This size will fit standard two-panel sliding glass doors. However, there are curtains for wider doors. Extra-long sliding door curtains typically measure 96 inches (8 feet) long and 100 inches (8.3 feet) wide.

It is unlikely you will find sliding glass door curtains longer than 96 inches. In these instances, you may need to seek out custom curtains.

What Size Curtain Do You Need for a 3 Panel Sliding Glass Door?

Standard measurements for three-panel sliding glass doors are 9 feet wide (108 inches) and 12 feet wide (144 inches). The curtain size for three-panel sliding doors should measure 96 inches long. Regarding how many curtain panels, if you want a single layer, the standard is four curtain panels.

However, it is still an excellent practice to measure your three-panel sliding glass doors before hanging up curtains. Measure the height and width of the sliding glass doors, and add 2 inches to each side of the width. Also, subtract 1 inch from the height measurement to allow space between the curtains and the floors.

What Size Curtain Do I Need for Patio Doors?

The average height of patio doors is 80 inches tall (6.6 feet), so you can use 84-inch long (7 feet) curtains for patio doors. However, if your patio doors are custom, you need to take measurements of the height and width. You will want to install the 96-inch long curtains for more oversized patio doors.

As previously mentioned, you can either put two panels, four panels for layered curtains, or three panels for larger doors. The thickness of the fabric needs to reflect the climate where you live to keep the house warm or cool. Too much material can also become a hassle when frequently opening and closing the door.

Curtain Ideas for Sliding Glass Doors

Now that the technical part is figured out, you can begin to decide on the style of curtains. The four popular types of curtains for sliding glass doors are sheer, blackout, layered, and vertical.

Sheer curtains are great for bringing natural light into the space and are easier to slide when frequently using the door. The slight drawback to sheer curtains is how easily they can be blown around by the wind. However, you can easily remedy this by tying them back when the sliding glass door is open.

Blackout curtains are the best option for those who want to keep the light out and the room dark. The thicker fabric blocks out light and helps keep a room warm in the colder months.

Layered curtains are a fun way to add fullness and a way to play with various patterns and textures. Layering curtains will require installing a double curtain rod so that you can hang heavier curtains with lighter fabrics.

Some may argue that vertical blinds are ugly and outdated. However, they’re the go-to for patio doors for a reason. Vertical blinds are easy to clean and inexpensive, which is beneficial for larger doors. While many people grew up with vinyl blinds, vertical blinds also come in fabric styles.

Wrapping It Up

Hopefully, this article has helped you determine how many curtain panels you need for your sliding glass doors. Starting with accurate measurements of your sliding glass doors is critical, as is knowing curtain lengths and styles. Once you have all of your information, you can determine exactly how many panels you need.

Remember, the standard amount of panels for sliding glass doors is two, and it’s three for more oversized sized doors. Sliding glass doors over 96 inches wide require four curtain panels for coverage. For a layered look, double the number of panels; for example, use six panels instead of three for large-sized doors.

When taking measurements, get the height and width of the sliding glass doors and write those numbers down. Subtract one inch from the height, so the curtains don’t drag on the floor. When measuring width, add two inches to each side (four total) to account for overlap when the curtains are closed.

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.

More by Stacy Randall