Sliding Windows vs. Double Hung Windows: Which Is Better For Your Home?

Sliding Windows vs. Double Hung Windows: Which Is Better For Your Home?

February 1, 2021
Martin Whitmore, President of US Window & Door
milgard sliding windows

Replacing windows is one of the quickest ways to make a difference in the experience of a home. Your windows are your view out on the world, and you want that view to be as beautiful as you can make it. There’s just one question: what style of new windows should you get?

The two most popular options are double and sliding windows. Both improve functionality and both work perfectly in your home. They are both economical, easy to customize and install, and they offer custom window improvement options to boost their energy-efficiency capabilities. To help you choose the best option for your home, we have compared the advantages and disadvantages of both sliding windows and double-hung windows in terms of cost, quality, durability, operability, and other important considerations. Let us break down the differences between the two types of windows so that you can decide for yourself what is right for you to help you find the best window design that suits your needs.

Quick Review of Sliding Windows vs. Double Hung Windows

Sliding and double-hung windows are two of the most common window designs. We’ll get to the pros and cons of each in a minute, but first, let’s talk about what each design actually is.

Sliding windows move horizontally along a track. They tend to be larger than single or double-hung windows, and they may have options to open on either side. As with all modern windows, they can include either fixed or moveable screens. Both window styles have a matching compensation system and fully integrated sashes, which allow smooth operation. Double-hung windows open vertically in the window frame.

horizontal sliding windows

What sets them apart from single hung windows is the fact that you may either raise the lower frame or drop the upper frame to open the window.

They can come equipped with screens that you may shift to whichever frame you wish to open.

Consider comparing sliding windows and double-hung windows to decide which type to choose. Let us review the advantages and disadvantages of each below:

double-hung windows vs sliding windows

Double-Hung Windows

Double-hung windows have two sash windows in a single frame that can be easily retracted and extended to provide the best possible ventilation and air conditioning performance.

Pros of Double-Hung Windows


One of the biggest advantages of double-hung windows is their versatility. If you have a bay window or another large display of windows, or if you have especially vertical window space, double-hung windows will fit best in the space.


They make for an attractive window wall, and they allow the best ventilation. They provide good ventilation because they can be opened at both ends, and they also provide excellent energy efficiency to keep your electricity bill down.


Another advantage of double-hung windows is their safety. Double-hung windows are also safest if you have small children. You can lock the lower part of the window and open the upper part so that your child cannot reach the ventilation. You can get plenty of fresh air into the room without worrying about your children falling out of the window or injuring themselves in any other way. Sliding windows, particularly on upper floors, can create a fall risk for an adventurous toddler. But with double-hung windows, you can lock the bottom sash and open the top sash.

Window Cleaning

Last but certainly not least, double-hung windows are the easiest to clean. Double-Hung windows have an advantage because they can be tilted up and down, making cleaning the outside a breeze. It should be noted that many double-hung windows have the possibility of tilting, which can facilitate the cleaning of the outer panes. If you get a model with a tilt-in sash, you won’t have to worry about cleaning even upper-story windows. This construction allows you to tilt the windows horizontally so you can clean the outside quickly and easily. Sliding windows  

Double Hung Windows Interior with Grids

Cons of Double-Hung Windows


Of course, because double-hung windows are more complex mechanisms than sliding windows, they are also more susceptible to wear and tear and will require more maintenance. You will need to lubricate the window tracks annually to prevent sticking. Because double-hanging windows are a more complex mechanism than sliding windows, they are more to wear and require more maintenance. Modern double windows may require less maintenance, especially those with PVC or fiberglass frames, but they are still more expensive than their sliding counterparts.


And you will also need to update the weather stripping every so often.

Because of that same weather stripping, double-hung windows can be more prone to air leaks. More moving parts means more opportunity for lowered efficiency. Losing that insulation can mean higher electric bills.

And speaking of electric bills, if you do decide to install new double-hung windows, you’ll need to replace every window in a room before you see a difference on your electric bill. They can be an all-or-nothing operation.

All of this can make double-hung windows more expensive all told.

Benefits of Double-Hung Windows

Double-hung windows are best used in window openings where the height is greater than the width and work very well with bay windows in the corners. Modern materials offer many stylistic options when it comes to double-hung windows, and you can easily customize the look of the windows to suit your home.

double hung windows in living room

If you have children at home, double windows are an ideal choice for children’s rooms because of its safety features. They are also a good choice if you want to install air conditioning in a room of your home in summer weather.

Commercial windows and air conditioning systems are usually designed to accommodate double-hung windows. The vertical movement of the window makes it easier to install air conditioning systems in your window seat. Sliding windows differ from double windows in that they are horizontal and not vertical and the lower half of the windows is closed. This prevents you from injuring or damaging your window and you can open it to get some fresh air into the house. If you have pets, double-hung windows are a good choice for similar reasons, so you don’t have to worry about your cat tearing the screen or your dog trying to walk through the window.

Sliding Windows

A sliding window has two independent wings that slide horizontally, and a sash that slides left and right in a single frame. The slim vertical lines give the window a clean and elegant look, which also offers maximum visibility to the outside. The side windows can also be opened to allow optimal ventilation of the house and ventilation from the inside.

Pros of Sliding Windows:


As mentioned earlier, sliding windows tend to be larger than double-hung windows. They may be as much as twice the size of single or double-hung windows, making them great for picture windows. This means more natural light and more opportunity for reasons, sliding windows may be a good option.

Energy Efficiency

Sliding windows are also generally more energy-efficient than double-hung windows.

They have fewer moving parts, meaning there are fewer opportunities for air leakage. If you live in an especially extreme climate, this can make a huge difference in power bills and in your quality of life.


Between double-hung and sliding windows, sliding windows are easier to use. Whereas with double-hung windows, you have to lift the lower sash or tug down the upper sash, with sliding windows, you have gravity (and simpler mechanics) on your side.

If you are older or have trouble opening vertical windows for both

sliding windows

Cons of Sliding Windows

Window Cleaning

In many cases, sliding windows are not as easy to clean as double hung windows. Whereas double-hung windows can often tilt in, making cleaning the outside a snap, sliding windows don’t have that advantage. Cleaning the outside of second-story windows may mean hiring professional window cleaners. If regular window cleaning is important to you, you might want to consider double-hung windows if you want to do simple window cleaning.


Sliding windows can also be a little more expensive per window upfront. They are a simpler mechanism, it’s true, but given that they are usually larger than double-hung windows, the up-front investment maybe a little more.


If it is a security that is sought, then the cost will drive it up. Windows sash cost more than twice as much as double-hung windows, so you may need to find the best quality and energy-efficient windows or more for better quality double-hung windows.

Shaky Frames

Sliding windows have a tendency to rattle. When a large truck goes by, or when the wind is howling, your windows may start shaking in their frames. If your home is built on a basement or a crawlspace, or if you live where it is very windy, this may not be a good choice for you.

Benefits of Sliding Windows

One of the biggest advantages of sliding windows is that they are larger and longer than double-hung windows. The window slides from one side to the other and is about the size of a normal window, but much longer. Although sliding windows are usually larger, they tend to open wider than conventional double-hung windows, allowing for more natural ventilation. Large sliding windows offer a more unobstructed view of nature so that the eyes have a wider view of the landscape.

Sliding windows are best used for window openings where the width is greater than the height of the window opening. This versatility also makes it one of the most popular window styles with a wide range of applications in a variety of spaces, such as kitchens, living rooms, and offices. Sliding windows can be installed in a variety of rooms such as kitchens, living rooms, and dining rooms. They are also common in high-rise buildings, especially in areas with high ceilings and accessible areas such as offices, and private homes.

Milgard Ultra Door - Woodclad Sliding Door with Grids

If you want to give your room a focus, sliding windows are suitable for windows in the living and dining area and offer the possibility of ventilation.  Find out which room requires maximum ventilation, which placement is best for each window style, and where clear views are desired. With the window open, the sash remains flush with the wall, making it ideal for areas that are open to walkways, terraces, and decks. If you choose a sliding window, you can choose to open the panel from one side, attach it to a central wall or open it from both sides. Sliding windows create a wonderful view and can still ventilate, but where you open all the panels at once.

Sliding windows are also perfect for living rooms and offices where you want plenty of sunlight and a wide view, such as in the living room or office. If you have a conservatory and want to turn an extra room into a beautiful sunroom, you can install a sliding window to show the beautiful view of the landscape in front of the house. For example, if you have a dining room overlooking the river or a garden, by adding a sliding window in your dining room, you can transform a dark or dull room into a beautiful focal point to socialize with your guests. With a brand new sliding window, a room that you use to dislike can now offer better views, more sunlight, and ventilation. If you are a parent, you know how important it is to have a line of sight to your garden. You want to be able to keep an eye on your children while they play outside, and also watch them from the living room.

Sliding windows may be harder to clean, as they provide a cleaner, unobstructed view, but they can also be more resistant, as they are harder to reach from the outside and therefore more resistant to damage.

replacement windows

Deciding on New Windows

If you have a house that needs renovation or is too dark, a window style change or replacement can make a big difference.  Replacing windows in your home can not only make your space more functional but also make the curb more attractive. With more window options than ever before, we’re seeing more of them in our homes, and replacing the windows in your home is a great way to give it a more classy look. New windows can change the appearance of a house, maximize the amount of sunlight and fresh air, provide better visibility into courtyards and the street, and open the entire house.

When it comes down to it, in the debate of sliding windows vs. double-hung windows, no one window style is right for everyone. If you’re looking for a row of vertical windows, or don’t mind a bit of annual maintenance, double-hung windows are probably a good choice for you.

If you’re looking for a larger window that offers more ventilation and less upkeep, a sliding window is probably for you.

No matter what style of window you choose, let us help make it the best experience possible. At US Window and Door, We pride ourselves on helping our customers find the right replacement windows. we are dedicated to giving you the best outlook on life – at the lowest prices.

If you are not sure what type of window is best for different parts of your home, seek advice from a window professional. Assess the space you have and make a decision about what type of windows would give you the desired results. Contact us today to get a free estimate on your window project.