Door Sweep vs. Door Seal (The Difference and Which Is Better)

Last updated on December 12, 2023

The main difference between a door sweep and a door seal is that the door sweep is a type of door seal that is easier to install but doesn’t provide as much insulation.

The door seal can provide maximum insulation by closing the gaps between the door, frame, and floor. Meanwhile, a door sweep is a vinyl, rubber, or metal strip that you can put on the door quickly or as a temporary solution.

In that sense, a door seal will always be a better solution. But you might choose a sweep if you need a cheaper or a temporary solution.

Door sweeps and under-door seals are essential parts of exterior doors. These parts help fix gaps under doors. There are different types of door sweeps and under-door sealing products. We will discuss the definitions and the differences of each type of product.

Door Sweep vs. Under Door Seal

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The door sweep is a type of door seal that is lighter and easier to install but does not provide as good insulation.

A door sweep is a long piece of metal that goes across the bottom of the door. It’s easy to install and can go on the in-swinging doors and out-swinging, the inside or the outside of the door. Door sweeps are also used to sweep away dirt and debris underneath doors.

Under-door seals are used to seal off the gap between the door and the floor with maximum insulation. They are a more permanent solution than the sweep. For this reason, they are more challenging to install.

To understand these differences better, we will discuss the types of sweeps and seals.

Door Sweeps

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Door sweeps prevent dust, insects, and rodents from entering your house, they can provide some sound insulation. They also help you save energy by keeping your room warm or cool.

Flat door sweeps are very effective and convenient. They are easy to install, don’t take up much room, and are painless to remove if they are ineffective. Most strip-style door sweeps include an adhesive backing designed to stick to either side of your doorway. Others are mounted in rigid plastic or metal mounting guides attached to the bottom edge of your door. Either way, the goal is to mount your door sweeps at the right height to gently touch the floor while allowing the door to function normally.

Bristle door sweeps are similar to strip-style sweeps but with bristles instead of strips. They do not work as well as strip-style sweeps because they don’t provide as much friction when opening and closing doors. Under-door sweeps are designed to be applied to the bottom of the door to keep it closed tightly.

Aluminum Door Sweep

The aluminum door sweep is lightweight and durable. It’s ideal for heavy-duty applications where weight matters. This door sweep has a high-quality finish that resists corrosion.

Vinyl Sweep

This door sweep is made out of vinyl material and comes in various colors. Vinyl door sweeps are inexpensive and easy to clean. They come in various sizes and shapes so you can find one that suits your needs.

L-shaped Door Shoes 

These door shoes are designed to cover both sides of the door. They are usually installed on double-hung doors.

U-Shaped Door Sweeps

These door sweeps are they are much like a seal. They fit over the top of the door and prevent air from leaking through the door. U-shaped door sweeps are excellent for large doors.

Adhesive Door Sweeps

Adhesive sweeps are the easiest to install. They are a strip that you stick over the gap under the door. It’s the quickest way to close the gap.

Under Door Seals

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Under door seals or draft, blockers are a very effective device to prevent cold air from entering your house. You can use them to stop drafts and reduce heating bills.

Weather Strip

A weatherstrip is a flexible rubber strip that fits around the perimeter of a door frame. The purpose of this device is to maintain a tight seal against the doorframe. If there is any gap between the door and the frame, air can leak through, which causes drafts and cold spots inside the home.

Adhesive Door Seal

This door sealer helps protect the surface of your door from damage. It fills small cracks and crevices that allow moisture to penetrate the wood.

Under-door seals are used to make sure that the bottom of your door stays shut tightly. They are available in two designs: soft and hard. Soft under-door seals are made out of foam rubber. Hard under-door seals are manufactured using urethane resin.

Double Draft Seals

Double draft seals won’t damage the surface of your doors. They slide on the bottom of your door and fit most doors.

Triple Draft Seals

Triple draft seals are used to prevent heat loss or gain. They are made of a fabric cover and foam insulation. They are designed to protect the door from both sides and cut to size.

Door Gasket

A gasket is a thin rubber or other elastomeric material that provides a barrier between two surfaces. A door gasket is used to create a tight seal between a door and its jamb.

U-Shaped Door Seal

This door seal is shaped like a U and is designed to fit over the bottom of a door. It works best on single-hung doors.

Automatic Door Bottom

This door seal is designed to close after it shuts automatically. The main advantage is that it doesn’t wear and tear the floor because it lifts when you open the door.

Which is Better?

In general, as we’ve established, a door seal will be a better solution to insulate the door. But if you want a quicker or temporary solution, you may go with a door sweep.

Manufacturers sell door bottoms and sweepers that fix the issue of gaps between doors and door frames.

A gap at the bottom of a door isn’t just a cosmetic problem. It allows cold air to enter your home during the winter and sucks cool air out during the summer. This causes drafts and makes it harder to control the temperature of your house.

Door sweeps and door bottoms are both essential parts of your door. You should always check them out before purchasing new ones.

There are many different types of door sweeps and bottom seals. These products help you solve the problem of door gaps. 


How do I know if my door needs a door sweep?

You may need a door sweep if you have drafts, water leaks, or cold air getting into your house. A sweep or a seal is an effective solution.

Can I buy a door sweep online?

Yes, you can buy a door sweep online. Many websites offer door sweeps at affordable prices.

What is the seal around a door called?

A seal around the door is called a door gasket. It provides maximum insulation for the door gaps.


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