Strong magnetic hold. Could be used on a non-magnetic door if you were to attach magnets to it. Moves with the door, eliminating the need to re-position. Keeps larger bugs out, keeps air in. Easy to install.
Magnetic clips may not stay on all doors. Consider adding extra magnets or repositioning for a more customized fit.
Designed for doors with extra-large gaps. Fits doors up to 36 inches. Hook-and-loop closure creates a secure fit. Provides sound dampening between rooms. Keeps warm air in and bugs out. Stays in place well.
Product requires cutting and assembly; it is not ready to use out of the box. May not slide easily across the floor.
Cotton fabric draft stopper filled with natural buckwheat hulls. Measures 38 inches long and 3 inches high. Hulls give even filling without lumps or bulges. Very thick and substantial.
Pricey, and does not have a hanging loop for easy storage.
Synthetic fleece draft stopper filled with nylon fiber. Weighted with cotton bags and ground stone. Woven satin handle. Handle makes it easy to hang when not in use.
May not fully cover a 36-inch doorway, as the handle is included in the measurement. Very lightweight.
Foam and fabric stopper blocks draft on both sides of door. Glides easily over many flooring surfaces. Moves with your door. Can be cut to fit narrower doors. Looks good on bottom of the door and stays attached.
Might be a little challenging to get the foam tubes inside the fabric sleeve. Consider using a broom to open the sleeve before inserting.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
A draft stopper is a simple, convenient way to keep warm air inside your home and chilly air outside. You simply place the stopper against the bottom of your door to help close any gaps between the bottom of your door and the floor. Draft stoppers form a physical barrier and are usually filled with foam, beads, or other insulation that prevents unwanted air from intruding.
Draft stoppers are more than just glorified beanbags. Today’s draft stoppers are sleek and come in contemporary colors. What’s more, they’re designed with thoughtful, helpful features that are a huge upgrade from their predecessors. They may attach to your door magnetically, fill the gap from both sides, or hang from your door when not in use.
When shopping for draft stoppers, it’s important to measure your door. Standard exterior doors measure 36 inches across, but yours may vary, and guesswork isn’t good enough. You need a stopper that’s an appropriate size for your door. If a draft stopper is too short, you will still have gaps through which warm air can escape. If it’s too long, it may not lie flush against your door, leaving gaps open. If your draft stopper is intended to fasten with magnets or clips, it may not attach properly if it’s too long, defeating the purpose of paying for this convenient feature.
Some draft stoppers can be cut to size — a welcome feature if your dwelling has a door that’s not standard or if you’d like a little extra room for any reason.
If one stopper is good, two can be even better. Some draft stoppers are double-sided, made from two tubes that sandwich your door in the middle. This design can give you twice as much protection, provided the central part fits your door correctly. If the connecting fabric hits the underside of the door too high, it can still leave gaps; too low, and it can drag on the floor and dislodge from the door or get stuck underneath.
Double-sided draft stoppers work best on covered porches and apartment buildings in which the front door opens to an unheated interior hallway. These living situations limit your front door’s exposure to dirt, rain, and snow. If your front door is vulnerable to grime, snow, or ice, a double-sided stopper may drag unwanted debris into your living space.
Most draft stoppers have some sort of soft covering. This softness provides the flexibility they need to fill in the gaps. Different covering materials give you different benefits, depending on the flooring surface near your door.
Some draft stoppers are covered in vinyl. This makes them slide more easily on smooth flooring surfaces, preventing tearing. Vinyl is, however, easier to rip in the event the stopper gets caught underneath the door. Others are made with synthetic fleece, which has a little more give and dries easily. It may not glide as easily as vinyl. A small number of draft stoppers are constructed from upholstery fabric. This tends to give a more high-end look and is usually very secure. If your door threshold frequently gets wet, you may wish to choose another fabric. Upholstery material such as damask often dries slowly and may allow water to reach the draft stopper’s filling.
If your door’s weight is an issue for you, consider draft stoppers with foam fillings. They add almost no weight to your door and have enough loft to cover almost any gap, as long as they maintain their shape. They lose their shape more easily than other fillings and can do so quickly if they get caught under the door. They also must attach to your door with magnets, clips, or other materials because they may not have enough weight of their own to stay in place. Some stoppers substitute fabric for foam, giving them more substance and flexibility.
A number of draft stoppers use plastic beads similar to those found in beanbags. These provide more weight than foam and are less likely to lose their shape. However, they are less environmentally friendly than crushed stone fillings. Crushed stone gives draft stoppers significant weight to stop air gusts. Since they’re heavy, they’re less likely to shift.
A 36-inch tube filled with crushed rocks may be too heavy for some individuals to maneuver. Some manufacturers combine stone and other materials to make these draft stoppers more ergonomic. The best of these types stitch the rock filling at the ends to help hold the stopper in place and confine the other materials to the middle where the stone cannot crush it or reduce its loft.
One of the downsides of old-school draft stoppers was that they had to be moved manually. You needed to displace them when someone left the home, making reentry challenging.
Some draft stoppers still work this way, but many can attach to your door, eliminating the hassle. Some have magnetic tabs that hold them in place. This works well with metal doors, but if your door is made from another material, you may need to install a metal kick plate in order for them to work properly. Others may be outfitted with clips that slip under the door and grip the outside. Still others attach with hook-and-loop closure.
A thick, three-foot tube can be challenging to store. For that reason, some manufacturers give you storage options.
Some draft stoppers come with storage bags to keep your bag safe during the off-season. These bags protect your draft stopper from getting ripped by other objects in your storage space. A tear is a death sentence for most draft stoppers — foam rolls become vulnerable to more rips and filled models spill their contents everywhere. Other draft stoppers are outfitted with hanging loops that allows you to attach them to your doorknob. This ensures you never misplace your draft stopper, although some may not appreciate the extra weight or look of the stopper on the door during the summer. If you look for a model with a loop, be sure the doorknob is high enough so the stopper won’t drag on the ground.
Draft stoppers come in a variety of colors: dark browns, light creams, and everything in between. Look for one that’s a good match for your door or for a contrasting color that you can easily spot to make sure it’s still in place. When choosing a color, remember many draft stoppers rest against an exterior door so they may be exposed to staining dirt or debris.
Inexpensive: You can find budget-priced draft stoppers starting around $10. At this price, draft stoppers likely have thin foam fillings and fleece exteriors. They may not attach well to your door without modification and may not be very effective. On the bright side, higher-quality draft stoppers don’t cost much more.
Mid-range: The middle tier of draft stoppers usually cost between $12 and $15. Draft stoppers in this price range may have vinyl or fleece exteriors and be filled with foam, beads, or even stone. You can find both single and double stoppers in this price range. These draft stoppers may or may not be equipped to attach to your door.
Expensive: Higher-end door stoppers range from $15 to $30. You can find both single and double draft stoppers in this range. Double stoppers are likely made from foam and vinyl so they can easily attach to your door, but single stoppers should have a covering of fleece or upholstery fabric and should be filled with beads, stones, fabric, or other substantial material. They should attach to the door magnetically, with secure clips, or with hook-and-loop closure.
Some manufacturers make draft stoppers for extra large gaps — those that are larger than an eighth of an inch.
If you have French doors or another style of double door, it may be challenging to find a draft stopper that’s long enough. Instead, get a pair and arrange them so they meet in the middle.
If you have back problems or other mobility challenges, look for a draft stopper that attaches to your door so you don’t need to bend frequently to readjust.
Q. Is a draft stopper better than a weather strip?
A. Weather strips are flat pieces of plastic, rubber, or metal that close the gap underneath your door. Weather strips are useful for keeping the elements out, as well as insects. Since they’re slender and flat, they’re easier to attach to your door and they’re more convenient when it comes to opening and closing your door. But this convenience comes at a price: since they’re so thin, they do a poor job of insulating compared to draft stoppers. If insects or water are your main concerns, consider a weather strip. For protecting against heat loss, there’s nothing better than draft stoppers.
Q. My door is an unusual size. How long does my draft stopper need to be?
A. Some draft stoppers made from vinyl and foam can be cut to size. If you prefer a fabric stopper, you have to pick a size and make it work. Generally, it’s better to choose a stopper that’s slightly longer than your door than one that’s shorter. A stopper that leaves gaps is not efficient, while one that’s a little too long can help stop drafts at the door’s vertical joints, too.
Q. When do I need to start using my draft stopper?
A. You may start thinking about draft stoppers when you get out your fall sweaters. But really, a draft stopper can be useful any time there’s a significant difference between the outdoor and indoor temperature, or any time you’re running your heater or air conditioner for a significant portion of the day.