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Does a Bedroom Need a Door? (Read This First!)

Bedrooms are rooms that we deem safe enough to sleep in. When we are sleeping, we are at our most vulnerable state and to reach that state and still feel safe, a room needs to provide and meet our specific needs.

Some of those needs are connected to our safety, privacy, our liking for the room, and how pleasing it is to us. One of the reasons we find a bedroom safe is that it always comes with at least one door or more, if necessary. 

A door acts as a barrier between our most vulnerable state and the outside world and gives us a sense of security while providing actual security. 

Now, let us find out if a bedroom needs a door and interesting facts about the connection between a door and a bedroom.

Does a bedroom need a door?

A bedroom needs at least two means of egress, one of which is a door. Moreover, there are certain code requirements for a room to be considered as a bedroom. Therefore, it must follow those codes, including having a door for the means of entering and leaving the room and having a window.

From a technical point of view, a bedroom needs at least two means of egress, meaning it needs at least two ways through which one can step into the room and out of the room. 

At least one of those means must be a door that opens inward (from popular opinion regarding security concerns). There are some specific reasons as to why a bedroom needs a door along with some exceptions, and they are given below:

Security Reasons:

Main concern of any bedroom is that it should provide enough security both from external and internal factors.

Doors prevent a lot of accidents from happening. Doors to a bedroom can hamper the spread of fire and may save lives that might not have been easy to save if the rooms did not have doors. 

Effective means of egress ensure that a fire will not cause as many casualties as it has the capability to.

Privacy Reasons:

Another part of security is privacy. A person feels a sense of security when they have privacy. Doors provide privacy to owners.

A bedroom is a place where we sleep. As this particular room holds a significant amount of importance in a house, it must give us peace and a sense of security. 

Turning a room into a “bedroom”:

There are some specific code requirements for a room to be considered a “bedroom.” These codes vary from state to state and only by meeting those codes, a room can be called a bedroom.

One of the requirements of a bedroom is that it needs to have at least two means of going out and coming in and one of them must be a door. 

A room can only be a bedroom if it has a door as a means of egress and only then can the value of a house increase.

The value of a house increases when they have more bedrooms and so do its rents and taxes. All of these are attained by installing a door to the room.

Even though for a room to be considered a bedroom, there must be a door, some people do not like their rooms, even bedrooms, to have the conventional doors. 

They use other alternatives like sliding doors, folding doors, curtains, or swinging doors to make up for it but even then they can be called bedrooms since they are a means of egress as well.

Building code requirements for bedroom doors:

There are specific code requirements for bedroom doors that are the same for most places but even then, we should check with our local code requirements and proceed accordingly.

According to California Building Code 2016, there are some specific bedroom door code requirements and they will be listed below:

Normal Doors: 

Normal doors cannot be less than 6 feet 8 inches in height and must have at least one leaf of width that should not go under 32 inches which are measured at a 90-degree angle from its closed position. 

The floor on each side of the door must be level and not differ in height which might cause obstruction when opening the doors.

The thresholds should not be higher than half an inch and the width of any component of the means of egress should not go below the requirements set by section 1005.

Swinging Doors:

These doors, like hinge doors, must provide a clearing of space not less than 32 inches, measured at 90 degrees from their closed positions. Additionally, they should be able to swing at least 90 degrees.

Sliding Doors:

Similar to the previous door, sliding doors should not have a clear opening of fewer than 32 inches and the door should be 6 feet wide.

What can I use instead of a door for a bedroom?

While a door is a must-have in a bedroom for both privacy and egress, there are many alternatives that might suffice if one is not too keen on the idea of a door. Some of them will be noted down below:


Curtains are a great alternative for a door since they are light, give adequate privacy, and are cheaper. Moreover, they are long-lasting and simple to install.

Additionally, curtains take less space and come in myriads of designs and aesthetics that are bound to suit the taste and liking of anyone who would rather not have a bedroom door.

Sliding Doors:

These doors open by sliding horizontally and are normally either mounted on top of a track or hung from a track above. Besides, they look aesthetically pleasing and save a lot of space. 

Normal hinge doors tend to take a lot of space since they swing open. But that is not the case with a horizontal door. 

They open sideways and because of that, they save a lot of space, and with many designs, they are pleasing and complementary to the theme of some rooms where the owner does not want a door.

Moreover, sliding doors come bearing many forms. Some are made of glass, some frosted glass or etched glass. Then there are some that are made of paper and all of them are great alternatives to doors.

Folding/Accordion Doors:

Folding doors give a sleek and posh look to a room, especially when they are made of glass. These doors are sections that are joined vertically and can be folded to provide egress to a room. 

Due to this characteristic of them, they are successful in saving a lot of space along with looking pretty and sophisticated.

Folding doors can have many folds, starting from two to seven, and has many types: glass, wood, aluminum, vinyl, and so on. Thus, they are low maintenance and let in an abundance of light and air.

It is a great choice for someone who feels suffocated when their bedroom has a door.

Double Swing Doors:

This is a type of door that acts like two flaps. They’re hinged and swing open on both sides. Unlike normal hinge doors which only swing open on one side, double swing doors open on both sides.

They are durable. One can even install locks for extra security and they use less space since they open both ways. Swing doors do not make much sound and have good dustproof performance.

Beaded Curtains:

While curtains are one big piece of cloth suspended from a curtain rail, beaded curtains are multiple strings of beads suspended from a curtain rail.

Beaded Curtains were trendy in the 70s and appear stylish and can be customized to the liking of the owner, or match the theme of the room. 

Apart from the above, they do not take up much space, can last long, and are light, perfect for someone who doesn’t like big, obstructing bedroom doors.

Is it OK to sleep in a bedroom without a closed door?

Yes, it’s okay to sleep in a bedroom without a closed door. Through the research of the Firefighter’s Safety Research Institute (FRSI) of UL that if a fire breaks out, a closed door will prevent the spread of the fire and injury.

On the other hand, scientists have discovered through experiments that people who sleep with their bedroom doors open sleep better than those who sleep with their doors closed. 

This is because an open door provides better air ventilation which helps people sleep better along with keeping the temperature down and comfortable.  

Final thoughts

To conclude, yes, a bedroom needs a door to be considered a “bedroom”. There are specific codes that are required to be met by certain rooms for them to be considered a bedroom. But a door does not necessarily need to be a traditional door and hence can be modified to suit an owner’s taste.