Screen doors are nice to have during the hotter summer months or in the spring months when you want to allow the sunshine and fresh air to stream through. However, not all homeowners like how traditional screen doors look, and this can send them looking for screen door alternatives that have the same benefits. But, with so many options available, what is the best screen door alternative you can get on the market now for your patio, home, or porch entrance?
When you pick out a screen door alternative, you can easily spend your time enjoying a refreshing breeze rather than hanging up bug strips. There is a large range of products available that come designed to let you keep your windows and doors wide open while stopping bugs from coming in. There are retractable and magnetic screen doors, storm doors, fly blinds, and more. Each screen door alternative is a great way to allow fresh air in without taking away from your decor.
Each of the eight screen door alternatives on the list can provide some amount of protection against inclement weather, strong winds, and bugs. We’re going to prove that you don’t need a traditional screen door to enjoy pretty views and fresh air without the pests.
If you’re someone who really doesn’t like the look of traditional screen doors, you have options available to help spruce up your entryway, block bugs, and allow sunlight and fresh air to stream in. Door by ntm 1909 / CC BY-ND 2.0
1. Fly Door Blinds
The first screen door alternative on the list is a fly door blind. A lot of homeowners utilize their screen doors to keep bugs out of the home, but they don’t work 100% of the time. If you want to create a barrier between your home and your door to lock the bugs out. All you have to do is hang the fly blinds in any doorway that leads outside to stop the bugs from getting into your home when you open the door.
This product comes designed to keep bugs out while allowing fresh air inside because it lets you open your doors on nice days. They generally cost between $10.00 and $30.00, and this makes them a budget-friendly option. They come in a large range of designs and colors, and this allows you to match them to your home’s blinds or aesthetic.
You will have to be careful as you walk though your door because it is relatively easy to pull them down on accident. They’re easy to hang as they usually stick to the ceiling and door frame without a problem. You buy this screen door alternative if you want to enjoy the fresh air without worrying about a bug infestation.
You’ll install this type of fly door blind just like you would a traditional door. It’ll swing open and closed like a regular door since it has hinges. You can install them with timber, metal casements, and UPVC.
Pleated Fly Screens
This model is very similar to what you’d get with retractable fly screens. You can easily move the pelated model out of the way when you’re not using it. The difference between the two is that a pleated screen folds up like an accordion and a retractable screen rolls up.
- Easy to install
- Let’s air flow inside
- Variety of designs and colors available
- Easy to accidentally pull them down
2. Macrame Curtain
If you want a visually-appealing screen door alternative, a macrame curtain is a great choice. Over the last several years, macrame has become hugely popular with people of all ages, and it adds a unique look to any home. You can hang a macrame up behind or in front of a door to leave the door open to allow the fresh air to come through.
However, you have to note that this curtain type isn’t ideal for trying to keep smaller bugs or pests out, but it’ll block bigger bugs. There isn’t a tight seal on the edges of this curtain, so smaller pests can slip through. However, if bugs aren’t something you’re worried about, this curtain is a great screen door alternative if you want a fast and easy way to help brighten up the aesthetic of your home.
These curtains can be as low as $20.00, but you’ll get much more durable options when you hit the $40.00 mark. They’re very easy to hang up in the doorway, and they won’t fall down easily. If you want an alternative that will stand out, this macrame curtain is a great pick.
- Easy to install and maintain
- Visually appealing
- Doesn’t keep small bugs out
- Easy to tear
You can easily create a macrame door with as much or little detail as you’d like in a huge range of colors and sizes to fit your doorway perfectly. Foxy Lady Bath Swag – Macramé Mood 1976 by Zombie Leah / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
3. Magnetic Screen
A lot of people are in the market for a screen door alternative that is more convenient and on the cheaper side. A magnetic screen will give you the convenience you’re after, and they won’t break your bank. You can buy zip-up or roll-up magnetic screens that are easy to push out of the way when you’re not using them.
As the name suggests, they get fixed with magnets that allow you to quickly pull them apart or snap them together to let light and air inside while locking bugs out. Dogs also benefit right alongside homeowners as they’re a great dog door alternative to have on-hand too. Generally, you’ll pay anywhere from $20.00 to $60.00 for this screen door alternative, and this saves you a lot of money when you compare this cost to what you’d pay for a screen or storm door.
As a bonus, these doors usually only take 10 minutes to install. You do want to be careful when you enter or exit through the magnetic strips because they can pull down easily, just like fly door blinds. If you want a discreet, simple, and easy to install alternative, consider this choice.
- Easy to install
- Works as a great dog door alternative
- Not very visually appealing
- Pulls down from door frame easily
4. Mosquito Net
Anyone who is after an effective but cheap screen door alternative can get a mosquito net, measure it, and cut it to fit into your doorway. It won’t look the best hung in the doorway, but it’ll keep bugs out while allowing air to filter through. If you’re someone who is after a very temporary solution for one summer or two, this one may be a good fit.
However, you should note that the netting isn’t a very durable material, but it’ll work to keep mosquitos out. This is a great choice for any DIYers who want to make and install it themselves because it’s easy to cut the netting to fit the dimensions of your doorway.
The entire project will take 30 minutes or less from start to finish once you get the mosquito netting, and you’ll get consistent results. If you’re after a visually-appealing screen door alternative, you want to avoid this one. It won’t look the best, but it’ll help keep bugs out.
- Easy to install
- Great airflow potential
- Keeps bugs out
- Can tear or rip easily
- Not a very attractive option
5. Retractable Doors
If you’re someone who is trying to get their screen door alternative out of the way when you’re not using it to get out onto your stamped concrete patio, a retractable option is one to consider. This style is very similar to magnetic doors in the way that they’re hard to see if you’re not using them. You can fold this type of door to allow you to open up the doorway for easy entry and exits.
Not everyone loves the look you get when you have screen doors in place, and this is why a retractable screen is a great choice. You can even roll some of them up and tuck them away whenever you need to. Generally, this screen door alternative comes in between $70.00 nad $160 for a durable retractable screen-style door. They keep bugs out, are easy to install, and they allow natural light to flood in. If you’re looking for a happy medium between magnetic screens and traditional screen doors, this is it.
- Easy to fold or roll up between uses
- Easy to install
- Keeps pests out
- Can be more expensive
- Easy to break when you roll them up
6. Security Door
You can boost your home’s security in several ways, including planting foundation plants by your window or installing a security door. A security door is a great way to keep out bugs and intruders alike, and it’s usually made out of a metal material. As a bonus, many of these doors are grated, and this allows air to flow through.
Bugs have problems getting through these doors, and they’re much more durable than traditional screen doors. The best thing about this screen door alternative is that they give you better peace of mind while increasing your home’s safety factor. These doors get built specifically to withstand blunt force, bugs, and extreme weather conditions while holding fast and not showing any damage.
You’ll notice that you can find this screen door alternative made out of a host of materials with many designs to help match your home’s style. They generally cost between $110 and $600, but many people find that this cost is worth it due to the increased safety factor.
- Added security
- Holds up to extreme weather and blunt force
- Keeps bugs out
- Can be difficult to install
Security doors are very popular in the Southern United States, but they require a professional to install to ensure that you get a snug fit. 589 Social Decline by Scott Maxworthy / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
7. Storm Door
Storm doors are considered better, safer, and much more convenient screen door alternatives for exterior doors. While it’s true that traditional screen doors are great, they can break and tear. Storm doors remove this possibility. They work to keep bugs out of the house while allowing natural light to stream in.
You can find divided storm doors that have a glass hatch on them that you can open if you want to allow air to flow through. There is a small panel of screen here to block bugs. Most of these types of doors also come with locks on them that allow you to secure them for added safety.
You won’t have to worry about debris, bugs, or water slipping through this screen door alternative. You should consider installing one of these doors if you want all of benefits that come with screen doors without any of their downsides.
- Improved airflow potential
- Keeps bugs and debris out
- Natural light filters in
- Pricier than other screen doors
8. Velcro Screen
The final screen door alternative on the list is a Velcro screen. It’s a sheet of mesh with a split down the middle that fastens with a strip of Velcro. This design allows you to open and close it at will to get a very tight seal. They’re very similar to magnetic screen doors, but they’re slightly more challenging to snap together.
You can typically install this screen door alternative in under 10 minutes, and they can fit virtually any door’s dimensions. You’ll want to be careful when you enter or exit this screen as they’re not extremely durable, and it’s relatively easy to tear them. The fabric is very thin, and they don’t get anchored to the ceiling as strongly as you would with a retractable screen door.
If you’re after a convenient solution to lock bugs out and allow air in that is very quick and easy to install, consider this option. You can find them as low as $30.00, and they make a nice temporary door idea.
- Allows for great airflow
- Easy to install
- Can tear easily
- Hassle to fasten the Velcro
Screen Door Alternatives – FAQs
Porch with Red Door by Patricia / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 It’s common to have questions when you start shopping for your screen door alternatives, and we’ve picked out some of the most common questions and answered them for you below.
1. How long do screen doors last on average?
A traditional screen door can last for 30 years if they can avoid damage or trauma. However, a high-end screen door that is made out of metal and screen usually lasts upwards of 50 years or more if you maintain them. They’re easy to install and cheap, and this usually makes them worth it, even if they don’t last for more than a few years after the initial installation.
2. Do storm doors have a reversible design?
Yes, most storm doors have a reversible design. This is one of the big draws of them that make them easy to shop for. You can hang most types of storm doors with the hinges on either side. However, you always want to make sure that you have the correct dimensions before you purchase your door to ensure that it fits correctly when you hang it, even if it is reversible.
3. Do security doors work to keep bugs out?
Security doors can work well to keep the bugs out. They come with a strong metal grate as part of the design that makes it hard for bugs to slip through. Some security-style doors do come with larger grate holes than others, so you want to get one with smaller holes for pest control. They can help decrease the stuffiness inside the house and allow air to flow through.
4. Can your storm door help insulate your home?
This screen door alternative can work to insulate the home because they give you an extra layer to help conserve energy. In turn, this can help you lower your home’s energy bills because you won’t have to turn the heating or cooling system up constantly to stay comfortable. These doors will stop heat from escaping when it gets cold out and seal hot air out during the summer months.
5. What is the best cost-effective screen door alternative?
While there are several screen door alternatives available on the current market that are budget-friendly, you may be on a very tight budget. If this is the case, you may want to consider buying a magnetic screen. They’re a good choice for doors that lead out into your backyard or onto your deck because magnets hold the mesh material closed. If you’re entertaining people, you can easily push through the magnets while you carry food, dishes, or drinks without having to set things down.
This is also a solid choice if you have pets that like to go inside and outside a lot. They’ll be able to come and go through this type of door as they please without you having to get up and help them.
6. Are there any screens available that you can use in an RV or camper?
This is another instance where you’d most likely go with a magnetic screen door. They don’t require you to alter the frame, and they’re very easy to DIY the installation process. They’re ideal for temporary use, including using them on your camper or RV door. A pleated fly screen is another option that you can easily fold out of your way.
Storm doors are one of the best screen door alternatives available on the current market because they keep bugs out while allowing natural light in. They also work to insulate your home to save you on energy bills. Magnetic screens and fly door blinds are some of the most convenient options available because they’re very DIY-friendly to install. A retractable screen door is also a nice choice because you can easily roll or fold them up to move them out of your way when you don’t want to use them.
Security doors are ones to consider if you want to protect against intruders and extreme weather due to the durable and secure metal design. Macrame curtains are very visually-appealing, but they’re not so great at keeping the bugs out because they can’t form tight seals. You can cut out mosquito netting to fit the doorway, or a Velcro screen is another option. Whichever one you pick, you’ll get a nice screen door alternative that allows plenty of sunshine and fresh air in.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.