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Best Screen Doors

Updated December 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 20 Models Considered
  • 68 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 123 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    The matrix above includes only magnetic screen doors, which work for anyone without a traditional door frame for sliding, traditional screen doors, or who want a low-budget, temporary solution. We recommend visiting a home improvement retail store in person if you want to install a traditional screen door.

    Shopping guide for best screen doors

    Last Updated December 2018

    Leaving your doors open on a hot summer day can allow in a breeze to help cool things down. But the fact that bugs – not to mention bigger critters – can come in with impunity leaves you with the tough choice of roasting or getting covered in mosquito bites.

    The truth is, you don't have to choose. Embrace the screen door and you can let the breeze in while keeping the bugs out. Plus, it feels more secure and private than having your door open for anyone to peer in.

    Now comes the hard part: picking out the right screen door for you. Do you want a hinged door with a solid frame or a magnetic screen that's easy to pop in and out? What size do you need to fit your doorway? Do you want the style of the door to be in keeping with the rest of your home?

    We at BestReviews can help you address these questions and more so you can find the best screen door for your needs. Read on for our full shopping guide and unlock the secrets of screen doors.

    Using a screen door can help to improve your indoor air quality.

    Types of screen doors

    Magnetic

    A magnetic screen door is a temporary screen that fits in the doorjamb. It generally consists of two flaps that fasten together in the middle with magnets.

    Pros:

    • Good temporary solution

    • Extremely easy to install

    • Extremely easy to remove

    • Fits most doorframes, even non-standard sizes

    • Least expensive option
       

    Cons:

    • Not good option if you need permanent screen door

    • Not most attractive option

    • Less convenient for French or sliding doors

    Hinged

    If you're picturing a classic screen door installed on the front porch of a quaint clapboard house, a hinged screen door is what you want.

    Pros:

    • Many colors and styles to suit most homes

    • Fitted correctly, allows main door and screen door to close completely

    • Optional removable panels (screen door becomes storm door)

    • Durable and long lasting
       

    Cons:

    • Requires tools and skill to install

    • Not suitable for sliding doors

    Retractable

    Retractable screen doors are designed much like roller blinds. You pull them down or across when needed, and they retract to the top or side of the doorjamb when not required. Some models are temporary and some are permanently installed.

    Pros:

    • There when you need them; out of the way when you don't

    • Suitable for all kinds of doors, if sized correctly

    • Almost invisible when not in use
       

    Cons:

    • Requires tools to install (depending on model)

    • Can be pricey

    EXPERT TIP

    If you have pets, you might benefit from hinged screen doors that feature built-in pet doors to allow dogs or cats to move freely in and out of the house.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Screen door features to consider

    Size

    It might seem obvious, but the most important thing is to buy a screen door that fits your doorway. If you don't know the size of your door, measure the height and width inside the doorjamb. Most modern houses have standard-size doors, so it should be easy to find a screen door that fits perfectly. However, if you own an old house, your doorjambs may be an irregular size. In this case, you might be better served by a retractable or magnetic screen door rather than a hinged model.

    Screen material

    The screen is mesh, but the mesh can be made of a range of materials. Here are some of the most common.

    • Polyester: Polyester screens are often (but not exclusively) found on magnetic screen doors. Polyester is lightweight and fairly durable but not impervious to rips and tears.

    • Vinyl-coated polyester: Unlike plain polyester, vinyl-coated polyester screens are highly durable – so much so that they're sometimes referred to as "super screens."

    • Fiberglass: Durable fiberglass screens don't dent and can be woven very finely to prevent the tiniest insects and even some types of pollen from getting indoors.

    • Metal: Usually made of stainless steel or aluminum, metal screens are extremely tough but can be expensive.

    Frame material

    If you're opting for a hinged screen door, you'll also need to think about the frame material. You may want to choose a screen door made from the same material as your regular door, or you might choose a frame material based on its properties.

    • Wood: Wooden frames have a classic appearance but can be expensive. Wood can rot and warp and may require repainting or restaining over time.

    • Vinyl: Since vinyl doesn't rot, rust, or warp, these frames are ideal for standing up to the elements. While not the most attractive choice, vinyl frames tend to be quite affordable.

    • Stainless steel: Durable and rust resistant, stainless steel stands up well as a door frame material, but it’s quite heavy.

    • Aluminum: A lightweight alternative to steel, aluminum screen door frames are stronger than wood or vinyl.

    Appearance

    If you've spent a lot of time getting your house looking just the way you like it, the last thing you want is to stick an ugly screen door on the front. Magnetic screen doors are arguably the least attractive option, but since they're easy to put up and take down, they don't have to be a permanent fixture. Retractable screen doors tend to be quite basic and not necessarily appealing to look at, but they roll up when not in use so, again, they don't have to be in view at all times. If you're opting for a hinged screen door, this is when you should pay the most attention to appearance. Once you've installed it, this screen door will be in place for a while. Very simple or very ornate – which you like best comes down to personal preference.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Most hinged screen doors allow you to install them with the hinges on either the left or the right.

    Screen door prices

    How much a screen door costs depends on the type you choose, as well as other factors like the overall quality.

    • Magnetic screen doors

    You can find magnetic screen doors for between $10 and $40. Basic models start at around $10, but you should spend closer to $20 to get a durable product. Larger magnetic screen doors designed for French doors cost closer to $30 or $40.

    • Hinged screen doors

    These options cost anywhere between $30 and $200 or more. Wooden screen doors start at around $30, while ornate vinyl doors can cost over $200. Expect to pay a bit more for extras, such as a pet door.

    • Retractable screen doors

    These screen doors cost between $60 and $300. While you can find simple retractable screen doors starting at around $60 to $70, these aren't the most durable options. High-end retractable screen doors can cost from $200 to $300.

    Some screen doors feature tightly woven screen material that helps block out UV rays.

    Tips

    • Choose a hinged screen door that matches your existing door. If you've got a dark-stained wooden front door, a bright white vinyl screen door could look a bit odd.

    • Think about winter weather. On some screen doors you can replace the mesh with glass or other panels to provide extra insulation in cold weather.

    • Suit the screen door to the climate where you live. If it's warm most of the year in your area, opt for a retractable or hinged screen door. However, if you only want your doors open for a few weeks out of the year, a magnetic option will suffice.

    • Check the view out the screen door. If you don't want anything impairing your view out the door, make sure to choose a screen door with a mesh you can see through clearly.
    Magnetic screen doors are a good choice for renters because they don't require permanent installation.

    FAQ

    Q. Do screen doors need professional installation?

    A. Most screen doors don't need professional installation, unless you're not at all handy. Most magnetic options simply attach to the doorjamb using adhesive-backed pieces of Velcro or tacks, which won't prove a problem for most people. Hinged and retractable screen doors need to be fastened in place with tools. While most people might be able to do it without the help of a professional, it's better to pay someone who knows what they're doing if you're unsure.

    Q. Can you lock a screen door?

    A. Screen doors are designed to be used in conjunction with another door, not on their own, so the vast majority aren't lockable. However, you might be able to install a lock or bolt on a hinged screen door if you choose.

    Q. How long will my screen door last?

    A. Hinged and retractable screen doors are designed to last indefinitely, and should remain in one piece for decades, barring any accident. Magnetic screen doors aren't as durable and may need replacing every year or two, depending on how often you use them.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Bronwyn
      Bronwyn
      Writer
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Katherine
      Katherine
      Editor
    • Lauren
      Lauren
      Writer

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