What’s the Best Curtain Rod For a Sliding Glass Door?

Sliding glass doors and patio doors can provide a unique design challenge. If you are looking for a curtain or drape for your large sliding glass door I’ve got some tips on how to choose the right window treatment. Today we will review how to select the right rod AND the right curtain. Custom window treatments for sliding doors can be really expensive, but there are some affordable options.

The great thing about sliding glass doors is that they let in a lot of natural light, but they are so large that they can often be tough to style with a curtain. Vertical blinds, sheer vertical cellular shades and sheer vertical shades are popular options for glass door window treatments, but they don’t have the aesthetic appeal of a rod and a curtain.

Here’s my inspiration photo, which is a custom drape from Drapery Street. I contacted them as part of my research to see how much this would cost, but they don’t work outside Indiana.

sliding doors

Curtain Rods for Sliding Doors

To get the right curtain rod that will work with a sliding door you need one that is long enough and sturdy enough. Drapes or curtain panels that will cover a sliding patio door are going to be pretty heavy.

Size – Sliding doors come in standard sizes. Typically they are 72 inches tall and 80-96 inches wide. You will want a longer curtain rod that goes well beyond the width of the door so that you can push the curtain out of the way. You also want one that has at least one center bracket to provide additional support for the long rod.

Most sliding doors will require you to use an outside mount. This means the rod is mounted well above the top of the doors and outside the window on the wall.

Material – The right choice of finish or material depends on the other hardware in the room. If you have a lot of brass get a brass rod, or if you have lots of wood get wood. Make sure to get a rod that is smooth and not fluted for ease of use. You want the drape to slide easily to the side of the door.

I choose products myself and I may earn an affiliate commission if you buy something, at no cost to you. Full Disclosure.

The best place to go for a bargain is Amazon, but they don’t have heavy-duty rods. For something that can hold a really large curtain, you will need to spend more.

  • Best Light weight option – This rod expands to 120 inches and comes in 4 finishes (black, champaign, nickel and pewter). It includes three support brackets (one for the center). It’s a good basic curtain rod that will fit over a standard size sliding door.
  • Best heavy duty inexpensive option – If you have a sliding door with windows on either side or you are hanging a very heavy curtain you need a rod that is NOT telescoping. Get a rod that has equal rods that string together like this one from Cambria. This type of rod is expensive, but if you’re hanging really heavy drapes the telescoping rods are too flimsy.
  • Best iron Rod – Iron is a good choice because it will hold a ton of weight. MarthaAndAsh makes a custom length in brown, dark brown or black.

How Do I Find A Custom Drape?

Most of the custom drapes are provided by local companies, BUT there are many sellers on ETSY that can make custom window coverings for a reasonable price. I have found ETSY is always a great option when you are looking for custom curtains, or really any custom decor pieces. You can find a wide range of fabrics and styles for glass door curtains. Here are a few of my favorites.

  • RhanfoldDecor has 31 different colors of linen curtains. They also make drapes as wide as 100 inches and as long 107 inches. You can get a pair of 100 inch drapes for $230. They will also line them and they offer multiple mounting options. The choices are Grommet, Rod Pocket, Hook/Ring. This seller also makes velvet drapes with the same options. These would be an excellent option if you want to cut back on the amount of light that comes in your living space.
  • ShopbyElena makes heavier velvet curtains in a wide variety of colors. You can get a pair of 54″ wide drapes for $100.

Keep in mind that you need to decide how you will mount your drape before you order them. Rod pocket curtains are harder to slide open and closed. If you want to move the drapes a lot, rings are your best bet.

I recommend getting a solid color curtain for your sliding door. The curtains will be a lot of fabric that you might not want to switch out if you get sick of the pattern you choose.

These are my best tips for how to choose the right window treatment and curtain rod for your sliding door. Before you go, you might be interested in the best curtains for a bay window or curtain size calculator (how to make sure you get the right width).

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  1. How does the curtain get by the center support?

    1. Gwen,

      Most of the long rods come with at least one center support bracket. The ones I’ve linked to all have more than two brackets. You secure one or two brackets above the middle of the door.

      I hope this helps.


  2. I have the same question. If the rods have center supports, how can you push the drapes all to one side? With normal window rods with a center support you have a panel on either side because the support blocks it. The pictures show the drapes all pushed to one side – out of the way of the door., which is what I need. Is there a specific bracket needed for that?

    1. John,
      Thanks for your question.

      The center support is really to keep the rod from sagging or appear to sag in the middle more than anything. You can still push the drape all to one side. There is no specific bracket, just get one that works with your drape. You can also put up two brackets if one doesn’t do the trck. Sliding doors are so wide that it can help.

      If you would like to me take a look at the rod you’re considering send over a link.


  3. Maddy Benson says:

    I’m sorry Andrea, I still can’t see how it is possible to slide a curtain past a support bracket but would love to understand!!

    1. Maddy,


      Thanks for your question.

      It depends on how your drape is mounted. If you use rings, they make special “c” rings that are open in the back. I’ve emailed a photo example.

      If your curtain or drape is mounted with a rod pocket it is more tricky. What kind of curtain mount do you have?


  4. Could you please post a link/photo to the special c-rings that are open in the back? (as mentioned above).

    1. Sharon,

      Here is a link to the C ring and also a link to a product. open drapery ring. Here is a product link for the open rings.

      I hope this helps.


  5. Sue in Michigan says:

    Brilliant about the C rings Andrea, I had no idea these existed – this will save me a lot of trouble mounting curtains for a 9 ft doorwall. Thank you!

  6. Thank you for answering that question. I’ve been looking for days to figure out how to get the drape past the bracket. What if you purchased drapes with grommets? Is there an option for those? Or do I need to return them?

    1. Barbara,
      Gromment-style curtains can’t slide past the bracket. You can hang the curtain with several grommets on the other side of the bracket, but they can’t slide back and forth past the bracket. If you have curtains that hang by a ring, there are “c” shaped rings that can slide over the bracket.

      I hope this helps.

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