Bi-folding Doors vs. Sliding Doors? How do they compare?

For a number of years aluminium bi-folding doors have been a popular choice for homeowners who are looking to open up their home to outdoor space, light and views. They are now facing competition from lift and slide sliding doors.

Lift and slide doors operate by turning the handle downwards, which lifts the door panel up from the bottom rail, allowing the homeowner to open or close large panes of glass with minimal effort.

The lift/slide opening door panel can be “dropped” back down at any point on its travel, and locked into place, allowing ventilation into the room, whilst keeping the room secure.

How do they compare?

Both bi-folding doors and lift and slide sliding doors allow you to open wide apertures of your home to the outside, and flood your home with light, but which option is right for you? We take a look at the pro’s and cons of each.

Opening an aperture

Bi-folds allow you to almost completely open up an aperture and over a considerable distance of up to 7000mm. This is great if you have a patio or love to entertain in the garden. You are truly able to let the outside in. The lift and slide door will inevitably still have a portion of the aperture closed as the panels slide on top of one another (the exception of this of course is when it is hidden within a wall pocket!).

For bold architectural statements cornerless openings are also available for both bi-folds and lift and slide doors. Opening up an entire corner of your home to nature, without a post getting in the way.


The downside of a bi-folding door of course is that you cannot open it just a few inches or just a few feet, save using the slave door. Whereas with a lift and slide door you can open the door a small amount for ventilation, or to let the cat out or children in.

The view

One of the main reasons to want a bi-folding or sliding door is to make the most of your views. Due to the multiple panes of a bi-folding door, your view is interrupted more, compared to a sliding door where you are likely to only have 1 or 2 sightlines. If you went for the pocket door option with the lift and slide, you could have no sightlines at all.

On the flip side, when the doors are open, with a bi-folding door you don’t have any sightlines but with a lift and slide door you would.

The decision

In summary the decision between a bi-folding door and sliding door is completely down to individual preference and what is most important to you. If you are looking for a seamless transition between inside and outside then bi-folds could be the right choice for you. However if you are looking for large panes of glass and minimal sightlines then lift and slide doors could be the right choice. Either way you can’t go wrong.

Need some help deciding? Book a showroom appointment with one of our experts, who will talk through your requirements, demonstrate your different options and help you choose the right door for your property.


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"The whole process has been excellent - I really appreciate the patience you've taken on what is a huge expenditure for a passion project, working with total amateurs! You've always taken the time to answer questions, explain options and crucially, make recommendations when nativity/inexperience clouds our judgement. A real skill and something I personally have really appreciated as I feel confident that we now have windows and doors that complement our house, design and style. Without that level of consultative engagement and relationship I'm confident I would have overlooked details and made a substandard decision. Thank you!"

Mrs Trestain, Padstow

"Just a quick note of thanks to the whole team for our fab windows and doors, we are delighted with both the product and also with the whole fitting process. The lads were brilliant (it's not often you get trades in the house who leave it cleaner at the end of the day than when they arrive in the morning!!) and just quietly got on with the job. Thank you again"

Mr & Mrs Leonard, Exeter

"The pocket sliding door and gable look amazing, it’s an impressive bit of kit and it’s a revelation to be able to open the space up! I have to say we’ve been very impressed with all your teams positivity, professionalism and workmanship, from start to finish - so a big thank you…"

Mr Marsh, Exeter

"I would like to thank you for the quality of the service we have received from Aspect Windows and commend you for the care and attention that we have received throughout the process. I am thoroughly pleased with our new windows and would recommend your services to anybody who asks."

Mr & Mrs Miller, Exmouth

"I wanted to just send my thanks and appreciation. We had an install approx. 6 years ago including some bi-fold doors which in recent weeks appeared to have dropped and became very difficult to lock. I called the office on Monday and a lady took my details and quickly called me back suggesting you had an engineer locally the following day. He arrived and was extremely polite and efficient and diagnosed a broken hinge. He went back to the depot collected the replacement part, then returned to Budleigh and completed the repair. We really appreciate the speed and efficiency with which you dealt with the issue and the ease from a customer perspective. "

Mr Ashby, Budleigh Salterton

"I just wanted to say thank you for the excellent service you have provided in the planning, removal & installation of our beautiful new windows and doors. We were completely amazed & delighted at the speed of which the installation took place and the hard work put in by the installation team. They worked very efficiently and communicated with me at ease through the week so I knew their plans with each room for installation. All the windows & door look great and we have already had lots of compliments. "

Mrs Oakes-Ash, Exmouth

"We would like to thank everyone at Aspect Windows for the fantastic service that we have received on our project. From start to finish, you have been so professional and we are totally thrilled with our sliding doors and our side door. We would not hesitate to recommend you to anyone thinking of undergoing a similar project."

Mrs Moores, Templecombe

"We would just like to say how excellent the service has been from Aspect Windows from beginning to end. The salesman could not have been more helpful, we felt completely unhurried and un-pressured. The fitter was also extremely good, he was neat, careful and very respectful of our property as well as being very sociable and polite. Congratulations Aspect Windows on a really good job I wish everything in life could be so straightforward!"

Mr Foster, Exeter

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