What Is The Difference Between Bifold Doors and Sliding Doors?

Bifold and sliding patio doors are two different types of doors used in homes and commercial buildings, they have various similarities in terms of materials and thermal properties. However, their designs, functions and operations between the two are different, which can influence someone’s decision when it comes to choosing between the two.


Door Openings and Space

The main difference between bifold and patio sliding doors is that bifold doors fold and are fully openable, whereas patio sliding doors slide over each other and cannot be fully openable due to one panel being slid over another. Patio sliding doors are more suitable for smaller spaces because unlike bifold doors they don’t require a lot of space for the panels once the door is opened. 

Despite needing more space for bifold doors they are designed for easy access and a greater view once opened. With Now Aluminium’s strong and lightweight aluminium frame and effortless running track of the hinges and rollers, the panels are easily folded onto each other. To maximise visibility for when the bi-fold doors are both open and closed our NW1 frames are just 55mm wide meaning that when closed there is a small panel frame sightline of just 120mm.  

Thermal Properties

Bifold doors are the perfect addition to a home or commercial building, they invite a flood of natural light into the building and through our double or triple-glazed windows, there have great thermal properties keeping your heating bills lows and it warm inside. With our NW1 bifold doors, we provide many glass options designed to control the level of UV, security, acoustic level and thermal properties to your requirements and budget. Our patio sliding doors are also built with the option to upgrade to double or triple glazing which we believe is a great long-term investment with the likability of reducing energy bills and keeping thermal energy inside your home/building. In short, there are similar options for thermal value for both our bifold doors and patio sliding doors. 

Materials Used and Design

In regards to our aluminium frames, aluminium is a lightweight, non-rusting metal, therefore our doors will not only add value to your home, but also keep maintenance costs to an absolute minimum in future. Bifold doors can be installed with a low or level threshold, therefore opening directly onto the grass or patio without any frame being an obstacle. Whereas, due to the configuration and frame design of patio sliding doors cannot offer a level threshold, although it is still low.

Unlike some sliding doors, each sash (or pane) of our Premium Aluminium Sliding Patio Doors can be built up to 2.5 metres tall and 2.7 metres wide with options for a double track, tripe track or lift and slide configurations. They are also built with just a 25mm interlock, minimising the frame obstructing your view, perfect for both small and large spaces. Sliding patio doors are made up of two or more panels which slide over one another. Generally, bifold doors are more affordable than patio sliding doors. This is because the technology used to manufacture sliding doors is greater, and the glass in sliding patio doors is bigger. Additionally patio sliding doors are harder to install as they’re generally a lot heavier than bifold doors which have smaller, more easily manoeuvrable panes of glass. 

Door Security

Now Aluminium’s NW1 Bifolding Doors and Patio Sliding doors are installed with Ultion 3 start cylinder as the standard for high security. Ultion security locks are 23% denser than iron which prevents drilling, twisting or lock snapping by would-be intruders. Ultion also offer a £2000 guarantee if entry to your home is caused by snapping the cylinder.

Typically, bifold doors are a more secure option than sliding doors, simply because bifold doors feature multi point locking, whereas some patio sliding doors do not and bifolds feature more profile . Inline patio sliding doors are also generally more susceptible to forced entry than bifolds. This said, at Now Aluminium, both our bifold doors and sliding patio doors feature multi point locks and are highly secure making either a great choice for your home.



Overall the choice between a bifold door or sliding patio door comes down to personal choice for you and your home. Both Now Aluminium’s bifold doors and sliding patio doors are excellent options with similar thermal properties and security. Personal preference and the size of your opening are likely to be the biggest influencers on your decision.

We prioritise providing our customers with the best possible quality as well as designing our products specifically to personal preferences. Whether this means maximising security, accessibility or thermal properties. Get in touch with the team today to discuss your personal requirements for your Now Aluminium doors.