Bay vs Bow Window | How Should I Choose?

Bay vs Bow Window | How Should I Choose?


Building a new home or having renovations done to your existing space? The type of windows you opt for can add a touch of elegance and class to the house. Making the decision to choose between bay vs bow windows can be tough. Bay and bow windows are two of the most commonly used styles in homes across the world. Subsequently, many people choose to install them for various reasons.

Here’s everything you need to know regarding these two forms of windows and which one will suit your residence better.

I. Bay Window


Bay windows are sectional in design. Mostly, they are divided into two or more faces with arrangements in triangular or other geometrical forms. Since both bay and bow windows protrude outward, they are favorable for living rooms or other spaces that offer scenic views from a home.

1. What is a Bay Window?

Bay windows are usually split into three sections. The center piece is straight with two slanted sections on the side. The overall style comes with an extension that offers an exciting design overall. They are most often slanted at 45 or 90 degrees. The type of window you go for depends on personal preferences that a homeowner might have.

The great thing about bay windows is that they are available in a variety of styles. Hence, they can be made to fit any design whether traditional or contemporary. Famous styles of bay windows include Victorian, Tudor, Modern, Mid-Century Modern and Craftsman designs. Each form offers a unique design which suits various aesthetic features.

2. Bay Window Pros and Cons

 Pros of  Bay Window
Current Progress
Current Progress
Current Progress

Bay windows are common because of the many benefits that they offer. They are beautiful and functional, bringing in a lot of light to your rooms. Here are some other advantages of bay windows:

  • Given their size and installation, they bring in a lot of natural light into the room where they are installed.
  • With the open and spacious ambiance provided by bay windows, the overall aura of the room is improved.
  • Bay windows also create a larger experience. Since they extend outward, you can add some more space to the room efficiently. A minimum of three feet can be added to a space with bay windows.
  • Bay windows add more value to your home in terms of resale value.
  • The modern, clean look that comes with the glass on bay windows creates a unique visual appeal.
 Cons of  Bay Window
Current Progress
Current Progress
Current Progress

Although they have several advantages, bay windows also have downsides. Here are a few:

  • Allowing more sunlight into the room can be pleasing but also annoying at times. They can raise the temperature within a room eventually impacting power bills.
  • The excessive light that enters a room due to bay windows can also trouble homeowners especially those who prefer darker interiors.
  • Due to the angle and configurations of bay windows, finding effective treatment options can be a challenge.
  • Poor installation of bay windows can lead to issues like higher power bills or fluctuating atmosphere inside the home.

3. Where to Buy a Bay Window?

Based on the country and market where you are looking to build or renovate your home, there can be a number of options for purchasing bay windows. Chinese manufacturers are quite popular including TATA, PANPAN Wood Doors and WANJIA to name a few. Each company has different specifications and styles of bay windows available for customers to choose from.

II. Bow Window


Bow windows are similar to bay windows in terms of overall design. However, where bay windows are slanted at an angle, bow windows are circular in shape. Bow windows look relatively more elegant because of the overall shape which makes them slightly better than bay windows.

1. What Is a Bow Window?

Bay windows can start with two different panes but bow windows need more cases due to their shape. In order to build the appropriate shape at least four windows are needed. Bow windows can be larger featuring six or more panes depending on the overall style and shape that a homeowner is looking for. With this type of window, a lot of other interior features like seating can be added to provide a unique ambiance within the house.

2. Bow Window Pros and Cons

 Pros of Bow Window
Current Progress
Current Progress
Current Progress

Since bow windows are more or less similar in style to bay windows, they offer similar benefits to the latter. The only difference between bay and bow windows in terms of advantages and disadvantages is close. The only difference between the two is their overall shape.

 Cons of Bow Window
Current Progress
Current Progress
Current Progress

Bow windows have the same demerits that bay windows offer in terms of allowing too much sunlight in the home which can cause discomfort at times. This can also lead to higher power bills due to excessive heat entering the home etc.

III. Bay vs Bow Window: The Differences

1. Appearance

Bay windows are slanted in various geometrical shapes starting with a triangle where two panes are used. This design can resonate with various themes or styles of the home. Bay windows are also available in more than two glass elements with each increasing window creating a distinct design for the windows.

Bow windows are spherical and they start from at least four panes which are necessary to create their spherical shape. This type of window design looks more elegant and attractive for people of all tastes. Appearance is a crucial determining factor for most people when it comes to picking bay vs bow windows.

Best for Appearance:

In terms of appearance, the selection comes down to personal preferences. Still, for most homeowners, bow windows are more appealing aesthetically as their spherical shape is considerably more elegant especially after installation.

2. Quality

The product quality for bay windows depends mostly on the manufacturer that is being chosen. High quality products are available from various companies that specialize in production of extensive styles in bay windows.

Most manufacturers that offer bay windows also produce bow windows for the market. Quality of windows from one manufacturer are similar as a significant onus is laid on creating high-value products for customers.

Best for Quality:

If you are going for a trusted manufacturer, the quality of bay vs bow windows can remain the same which makes this a difficult determining factor if you are making a choice based on it.

3. Styles and Sizes

The styles and sizes of bay windows can vary but since they can be built with two panes of glass as well, there are differences in available sizes. It is important to check with the manufacturer you are choosing about what sizes are available with them.

Bow windows being spherical are generally larger than bay windows in size. They also start from four panes of glass which means that the sizes are bigger too.

Best for style and sizes:

The size and style of bay windows are mostly similar but in most cases, bow windows are bigger than bay. As a homeowner, personal preference plays a role here since bigger windows offer more scenic views and lighting within the home.

4. Cost

The construction of bay windows can involve as little as two windows. The higher the number of window panes, the more expensive these windows get. The cost can also differ depending on styles and quality available from different manufacturers.

Bow windows are semi-spherical. Their overall design necessitates use of at least 4 window panes as it is not possible to construct the shape with less windows. Naturally then these windows cost more than bay windows. Additional costs are involved depending on different styles.

Best in Terms of Cost:

Bow windows cost more than bay windows because construction of the latter involves less windows. Therefore, if budget is your primary consideration when picking bay vs bow windows, the former will cost you less and ideally fit in the budget appropriately.

5. Energy-Efficiency

Bay windows can be smaller because their design can have fewer windows based on customer requirements. If your home has two or three pane bay windows, they will let less light in and therefore their contribution in influencing internal temperature is lower.

Bow windows start with a minimum of 4 window panes. Thus, the window is larger, lets more light in and has more impact on the atmosphere inside the home.

Best in terms of energy efficiency:

Bay windows are slightly better with respect to the energy efficiency factor. Since they are smaller, they have less openings and impact internal temperature lower.

6. Light

Bay windows can be smaller. If a home has two or three pane bay windows, it will allow less light to enter the room.

The overall construction and shape of bow windows ultimately results in more light entering the room in which they are installed.

Best in terms of light:

This is a matter of personal preference. When comparing bay vs bow windows, If you want less light to enter the room, smaller bay windows are ideal. However, homeowners who want to illuminate the room with natural light should consider bow windows.

7. Interior Space

Since bay windows can require fewer panes of glass, their installation needs less interior space. They make the room look more spacious but in three or lower sheets, the overall impact remains small.

Bow windows are larger so not only do they warrant more space but also open the room quite a bit.

Best in terms of interior space:

Once again, the choice falls on customers and their taste. The decision can be made keeping in mind the overall theme and design of the house or room where installation of these windows will take place.

8. Ventilation

Bay windows feature fixed picture windows which means that they don’t move. Therefore, although light can enter, these windows offer little to nothing with respect to ventilation.

Bow windows can feature moveable hinge windows that offer optimal ventilation and air circulation within the room. You can counter the impact of natural light by opening the bow windows.

Best in terms of ventilation:

There is no debate of which between bay vs bow windows is better here. Since only bow windows open, they are the preferable choice if you are looking for ventilation together with ambiance and natural light.

9. Installation

Bay windows are lighter and sometimes involve less window panes which simplifies their installation to a great extent.

Given their size and weight, bow windows take more time to install. They also require professional handling and more care during the process making the whole deal relatively more complex.

Best in terms of installation:

If you are searching for a window that is simpler to install, bay windows are ideal in such a situation. Installation of bow windows is harder due to more window panes and greater size.

10. Maintenance & Cleaning

Bay windows are stationary picture windows which means that the chances of dust and other materials accumulating in the window frame are lower. Maintenance and cleaning therefore are easier on these windows.

Bow windows will require more cleaning depending on how often they are utilized. A higher frequency of opening and closing will warrant more cleaning as well as higher maintenance.

Best in terms of maintenance and cleaning:

When talking about bay vs bow windows, the latter are generally easier to clean and maintain.

IV. Conclusion

In conclusion, after considering various aspects of bay vs bow windows, people are likely to lean towards bow windows due to their bigger size and more attractive styles. However, the choice can depend on the size of your home or apartment as well as professional advice regarding whether one type of window can even be installed where you want.