Best Sliding Glass Door Locks

Sliding glass doors, while beautiful and functional, can present a security challenge for homeowners. Their design, with a latch and track system, makes them susceptible to prying or lifting the door off its rollers. This vulnerability can be a cause for concern.

Thankfully, technology offers a solution: smart locks. These innovative devices not only enhance convenience with features like keyless entry and remote access but also empower you with greater control over your home’s security. Imagine the ease of unlocking the door for guests with a tap on your phone, or monitoring access logs to see who has entered your home. Smart locks add a layer of security and peace of mind, transforming your sliding glass door into a secure portal.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

Sliding glass doors can be vulnerable: Their design with a latch and track system makes them susceptible to break-ins.

Consider your needs before choosing a lock: Different factors like security level, ease of installation, budget, and compatibility with your door are important.

There are 3 main categories of sliding glass door locks: Different lock types offer solutions: reinforcing locks add strength, upgraded locks replace existing ones, and childproof locks prevent accidental openings.

Popular brands and manufacturers include: Pella, Andersen, Milgard (door manufacturers), and Schlage, Kwikset (door hardware manufacturers).

Additional features to consider: Handles with built-in locks, mortise locks, double bolt locks, and pool safety latches.

Top picks for different needs: This article recommends various sliding door locks including keyed entry, budget-friendly, childproofing, high-security, and smart options.

Understanding Your Sliding Glass Door Security Needs

Choosing the right security solution for your sliding glass door involves considering a few key factors:

  • Compatibility: Not all locks are created equal, and some won’t work with certain door types or materials. For instance, a magnetic lock might not be suitable for a heavy glass door. Make sure the lock you choose is designed to work with sliding glass doors and consider the material of your door (tempered glass, aluminum frame, etc.) You can usually find this information in the lock’s description or by consulting the manufacturer.
  • Features: Security features can vary depending on the lock. Here are some things to consider:
    • Ease of use: How easy is the lock to operate for you and your family members? If you have small children or elderly people in your household, you might want a lock that’s simple to use.
    • Smart functionality: Some locks offer smart features like remote locking/unlocking via your smartphone or integration with a home security system. These can be handy but may also cost more.
    • Additional security measures: Certain locks include extra security features like reinforcement brackets or alarms. Think about how much security you need and choose a lock that provides the right level of protection.
  • Budget: Sliding glass door locks can range in price from around $20 for a basic model to $100 or more for a high-security lock with smart features. Consider how much you’re willing to spend before you start shopping.

By considering these factors, you can choose a security solution that’s right for your sliding glass door and your needs.

Types of Sliding Glass Door Locks

There are three main categories of sliding glass door locks, each addressing different needs:

1. Reinforcing Locks (Adds Extra Security)

Here’s a breakdown of the different ways to reinforce locks on sliding doors:

Deadbolts for Sliding Doors

These function similarly to deadbolts on regular doors. They offer the strongest physical barrier against forced entry. They are typically installed on the fixed door panel and extend a bolt into a reinforced receiver on the jamb, making them much harder to pry open compared to the standard latch on a sliding door.

Sliding Door Security Bars

These are not locks themselves, but rather act as a visual deterrent and prevent forced entry. They are typically telescoping bars that brace diagonally between the door frame and the floor or wall, making it difficult to pry the door open.

Jimmy Plates

These small, metal plates reinforce the area around the existing lock mechanism on the sliding door frame. They make it more difficult to break or tamper with the lock itself, deterring attempts to bypass the lock with tools. These are particularly useful for doors with flimsy lock housings.

Here’s a quick comparison to help you decide:

  • Strength: Deadbolts > Security Bars > Jimmy Plates
  • Visibility: Security Bars > Deadbolts > Jimmy Plates
  • Ease of Installation: Jimmy Plates > Deadbolts > Security Bars

Remember, these methods can be layered for even greater security.

2. Upgraded Locks (Replaces Existing Lock)

Mortise Locks for Sliding Glass Doors 

These are the most popular upgrades. They are installed discreetly within the frame of the door, unlike a standard latch that mounts on the surface. This hidden placement makes them more difficult to tamper with from outside. Mortise locks typically use keys for operation.

Keyed Sliding Door Locks 

This is a more basic security upgrade. These locks are similar to standard latches but offer a more robust locking mechanism and usually come with keys. They are typically surface mounted on the door frame, making them easier to install but potentially more vulnerable than mortise locks.

Smart Locks for Sliding Glass Doors 

These are the most high-tech options. They offer keyless entry using features like fingerprint scanners, touchscreens, or even voice control through a smartphone app. This provides added convenience and allows for features like setting temporary access codes for guests. Smart locks typically require some additional installation compared to the other options.

Choosing the right upgrade depends on your needs

  • Security: Mortise locks offer the best physical security due to their hidden design. Keyed sliding door locks are a good middle ground.
  • Convenience: Smart locks offer the ultimate convenience with keyless entry options.
  • Budget: Mortise locks may be slightly more expensive to install due to the labor involved.

3. Childproof Locks (Prevents Accidental Openings)

Sliding Door Handle Locks

  • Function: These locks disable the existing handle on the sliding door. This means even if your child pulls on the handle, the door won’t open.
  • Mechanism: Imagine a small lock that attaches to the handle or its base, making it impossible to operate the handle without a key (usually included).
  • Benefits:
    • Very effective in preventing accidental openings by children.
    • Easy to install on most sliding doors with handles.
  • Drawbacks:
    • Might not be aesthetically pleasing, depending on the lock design.
    • Requires using a key every time you want to open the door, which can be inconvenient.

Track Locks

  • Function: These locks work differently. Instead of focusing on the handle, they lock the door panel itself within the track.
  • Mechanism: They typically involve a small latch or bracket that attaches to the door frame and grips the door panel on the track, preventing it from sliding.
  • Benefits:
    • Often invisible or less noticeable than handle locks.
    • No need for a key to open the door (you simply disengage the latch).
  • Drawbacks:
    • Might require drilling for installation (check the specific product).
    • May not be as universally compatible with all track designs.

Choosing the Right Lock

  • Convenience: If ease of use is your priority, a track lock might be better since you don’t need a key.
  • Visibility: If you want a more discreet option, a track lock is less noticeable than a handle lock.
  • Door type: Make sure the lock you choose is compatible with your specific sliding door and track design.

Remember, no childproof device is foolproof, so supervision is still important.

Popular Brands and Manufacturers

Keep in mind, that the best brand for your door depends on its specific features. Here are some common options:

Door Manufacturers

  • Pella: A large manufacturer known for offering windows and doors for both homes and businesses. They have a reputation for good quality, high-end finishes, and a range of prices.
  • Andersen: Another major manufacturer of windows and doors, known for innovation and reliability.
  • Milgard: Primarily manufactures windows and doors for residential applications.

Door Hardware Manufacturers

  • Schlage: Manufactures door locks and other hardware, known for quality and security features.
  • Kwikset: Offers a wide variety of door knobs, levers, deadbolts, and other hardware at various price points.

Choosing a Brand

The best brand for your door depends on what you’re looking for. Here are some things to consider:

  • Door type: Are you looking for an interior or exterior door? Different materials and features are suitable for each.
  • Material: Wood, fiberglass, steel, or other materials each have pros and cons in terms of durability, aesthetics, and price.
  • Style: Do you want a classic, modern, or something else?
  • Budget: Prices can vary depending on the brand, material, and features.

Researching Brands

While this list provides some starting points, it’s always a good idea to research specific brands and models before you buy. Consider factors like customer reviews, warranty information, and the specific features offered by different doors.

Additional Features to Consider

Handles with built-in locks: Combine handle and lock for convenience. These integrate the latch and handle into a single unit, making it easier to open and close the gate while maintaining security.

Mortise locks (concealed): Offer a clean look and better security. Mortise locks are installed within a pocket created in the gate frame, resulting in a sleek look without compromising security.

Double bolt locks: Provide extra reinforcement with two locking points. These latches have two separate locking mechanisms for increased security, making it more difficult for someone to force the gate open.

Pool safety latches: Prevent children from accidentally exiting to a pool area. These specialized latches are designed to be difficult for young children to open, adding an extra layer of protection around pool areas.

Choosing the Right Lock for Your Needs

Protect your valuables and ensure peace of mind by selecting the perfect lock. Here are key factors to consider:

Choosing a Brand

  • Security Level:
    • How vulnerable is your entryway?
    • Consider your area’s crime rates and the value of belongings you’re securing.
    • High-security areas might require a more robust lock design.
  • Ease of Installation:
    • Are you handy with tools, or would you prefer professional installation?
    • Certain locks are more DIY-friendly than others.
  • Budget:
    • Locks range in price depending on features and security level.
    • Determine how much you’re comfortable spending.
  • Compatibility with Your Door:
    • Not all locks fit all doors! Consider your door’s material (wood, metal, etc.) and thickness.
    • Measure your door to ensure the lockset will function properly.
  • Smart Features (Optional):
    • Do you crave the convenience of keyless entry?
    • Smart locks offer app control, fingerprint scanners, and even voice assistants for ultimate ease.

Top Picks for Different Sliding Glass Door Lock Needs:

  1. Best Overall Sliding Glass Door Lock:
  • Toledo Sliding Door Lock: This lock boasts superior strength with a 1 ¾-inch hardened steel bolt and concealed screws for maximum security. It’s a great all-around choice for peace of mind.
  1. Best Budget Sliding Glass Door Lock:
  • Lion Locks Sliding Door Lock: For a more affordable option, the Lion Lock offers a solid build and easy installation at a budget-friendly price.
  1. Best Baby-Proofing Sliding Glass Door Lock:
  1. Best Security Bar for Sliding Glass Doors:
  1. Best Secondary Sliding Glass Door Lock:

Smart Locks for Sliding Glass Doors

Here are 3 recommended smart locks with explanations to consider:

  1. August Smart Lock Pro + Connect:
  • Features: Keypad, auto-lock, voice control (works with Alexa, Google Assistant), Z-Wave Plus compatibility.
  • Pros: Easy installation, strong Z-Wave encryption, convenient voice control.
  • Cons: Requires separate Connect hub for remote access and Z-Wave compatibility, potential battery life limitations.
  • Compatibility: Works with most major sliding glass doors, requires Z-Wave compatible smart home system for remote access.
  1. Yale Assure Lock SL with Keypad:
  • Features: Keypad, auto-lock, temporary access codes, Works with Amazon Alexa, Assure app.
  • Pros: Easy installation, strong encryption, keypad for access even without a smartphone.
  • Cons: Requires separate Yale Connect Wi-Fi Module for remote access, potential for limited compatibility with some smart home systems.
  • Compatibility: Works with most major sliding glass doors, Yale Connect Wi-Fi Module required for remote access, some limitations on smart home system integrations.
  1. Schlage Encode Plus Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt:
  • Features: Touchscreen keypad, auto-lock, Works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Schlage app.
  • Pros: Easy installation, no separate hub required for remote access, strong Wi-Fi connection.
  • Cons: Potential fingerprint smudges on touchscreen, some user reports of app connectivity issues.
  • Compatibility: Works with most major sliding glass doors (requires conversion kit for some models), Wi-Fi connection required, may not integrate with all smart home systems.

Important Note: Before purchasing any smart lock, ensure compatibility with your specific sliding glass door model and smart home system (if applicable). Double-check manufacturers’ websites or retail listings for compatibility information.


Choosing the right lock for your sliding glass door depends on your specific needs and priorities. This guide has equipped you with the knowledge to consider factors like:

  • Security level: How vulnerable is your entryway? High-crime areas might call for a heavy-duty deadbolt, while a childproof lock might suffice for an interior door.
  • Ease of installation: Are you comfortable with DIY projects, or would you prefer professional help? Some locks require minimal effort, while others involve drilling or modifications.
  • Budget: Locks range in price depending on features and security level. Determine how much you’re willing to spend before you start shopping.
  • Compatibility: Not all locks work with all doors! Consider your door’s material (wood, metal, etc.) and thickness.
  • Features: Do you crave smart features like keyless entry or remote access? Additional features like double bolts or pool safety latches might also be important.

This guide also highlighted some popular options, including:

  • Best Overall: Toledo Sliding Door Lock (superior strength)
  • Best Budget: Lion Locks Sliding Door Lock (solid build, affordable)
  • Best Baby-Proofing: OKEFAN Baby Safety Window Lock (simple design for child safety)
  • Best Security Bar: Ideal Security BK110 Security Bar (adjustable bar for extra security)
  • Best Secondary: LockiT Double Bolt Sliding Door Lock (additional security with double bolts)

Smart lock options were presented as well, with a reminder to ensure compatibility with your door and smart home system (if applicable).

By considering these factors and using the recommendations in this guide, you can choose the perfect sliding glass door lock to enhance your home’s security and peace of mind.

Frequently Asked Questions

It depends on the lock you choose. Some locks, like track locks or childproof handle locks, are designed for easy DIY installation. Others, such as mortise locks, might require drilling or modifications and could be better suited for professional installation.

Deadbolts for sliding doors offer the strongest physical barrier against break-ins. They extend a bolt into a reinforced receiver on the jamb, making them difficult to pry open.

When choosing a lock, consider security level, ease of installation, budget, compatibility with your door, and desired features.

Although there are various sliding glass door locks (reinforcing existing locks, adding security bars, upgrading to new locks), you can also improve security with non-lock solutions like window films. Popular brands include Pella, Andersen, Milgard for doors and Schlage, Kwikset for hardware. For ultimate convenience, consider smart locks with keyless entry and remote access.

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