Screen doors are one of the classic telltale signs of summer. They keep the fresh air flowing while also allowing in the sunshine and sounds of summer from the outside. And, of course, they do it all while keeping the bugs out. But going through the process of buying and installing a permanent screen door can be a pain, especially if you’ll need to swap out screens for glass every year when summer comes to a close. That’s where magnetic screen doors enter the picture.
More economical and easier to install, magnetic screen doors are a popular choice for those who want to let the summer inside, but don’t want it to be a major project with a big price tag. There are numerous different kinds of magnetic screen doors available, but we’ve done some scouting to find out what to look for while you shop so you can find the best magnetic screen door of the season.
Why Go Magnetic?
Some may first still need some convincing that a magnetic screen door is a worthy alternative to a more traditionally framed screen door. So why are people taking this route, and is it for you? Cost, simplicity, and convenience are some main factors to consider.
- Cost. When you go magnetic, you’re basically just paying for the screen itself. When you install a traditional screen door, the price tag looks a bit different. You’re paying for the door’s frame, too, and will be choosing between wood or various metals, depending on what matches your budget and your home. Size and type of door also affect the price, as there are storm exterior doors of various sizes, sliding doors, and garage doors, to name a few. Then, you’re paying for the screen and the installation. Overall, on average, the whole ordeal costs about $300, but can also be much more depending on your style.
- Simplicity. As we mentioned above, a traditional screen door requires installation, and not necessarily the type of installation everybody has the time, tools, or skills to undertake themselves. Many people end up hiring someone to install the screen door, which adds another chunk of change to the total cost. Yet in contrast, magnetic screen doors are incredibly simple, and installing them on your own is extremely feasible (and typically the route people take). Depending on the doorframe, the screen can either be installed with tacks (which the best magnetic screen doors provide for you) or with hooks and loops (also provided) for a metal frame. With an instruction manual and 20 minutes of your time, you should be all set.
- Convenience. We’ve all tried to bring all the groceries inside in one trip, but sometimes, just getting inside the door is the biggest challenge. One major advantage that magnetic screen doors have is they’re hands-free, meaning you can get in by just walking through it. They’re also great for pets and potty training, as the magnetic screen acts as a pet door, allowing pets to go in and out as they please. And, perhaps the most convenient of all, you can leave the magnetic screen door up year round instead of swapping it out as the seasons change.
Durability, Material, and Installation
If you’re sold on the concept and are now looking for the best magnetic screen door for your home, it’s important to consider durability. Do you have animals or young children? Or, for other (possibly weather-related) circumstances, is durability a concern at all? If so, then it’s important to choose the right material and installation. Fiberglass mesh is known as one of the most durable, but polyester mesh is more affordable and also gets the job done. If you opt for polyester mesh but still prioritize durability, make sure you get one with a high thread count.
In terms of installation, a hook and loop option might be more reliable in the long term than tacks, but the best magnetic screen doors will provide both. Some also opt for velcro (the easiest option for taking the screen on and off as needed) if the door frame is metal with wood underneath.
Of course, as a part of your home, a magnetic screen door isn’t purely for function; it needs to look good, too. Fortunately, there’s a variety of them available out there so you can find the best magnetic screen door for your home’s aesthetic. A high thread count polyester mesh material is popular among those who want their screen to let in as much natural light as possible, while still being durable. A more heavy duty fiberglass screen may be less see-through and a little darker. There are also color differences; a light gray screen color will be more see-through, nearly invisible, than a black screen, and you can even find a white magnetic screen door on Amazon, perfect for a beachy summer aesthetic.
More to Consider
Aside from cost, convenience, durability, and aesthetic, there are a few more variables you can consider when choosing the best magnetic screen door.
- Size. First and foremost, consider whether you’re aiming to fill a double door or a single door. Fortunately, there are magnetic screen doors for both sizes, but a single door screen likely won’t work for a double door, so be sure to double check. In addition to that, some single door magnetic screens can be adjusted for width and height, so if your door falls in between standard sizes it’ll still look good and work effectively. But before you buy, make sure you know your door’s dimensions and whether or not your screen choice can be adjusted to fit the doorway perfectly.
- Magnet Style. This is more of a preference than anything, but many magnetic screen doors have several individual magnets that connect the two doors in the center, while some have one single long magnet that covers from top to bottom. Again, this is more of a preference, but a line of individual magnets may be slightly easier to open as there are spaces in between the magnets to pull from.
- Side Snaps. If you may want to push the screens to the side like a curtain, then side snaps are a good investment, either as an add-on or as something included in the original screen.
- Maintenance. Just like with regular window or door screens, cleaning is required for magnetic screens, too. This is something to consider when deciding on how you’ll attach your screen to your door frame. If you live in an area that may collect more dust or pollen, it’s worth considering velcro attachments for easy removal and cleaning.