The colder months are here and it’s a time when we do all we can to keep our homes as warm and cosy as possible. Windows and doors are areas of the house where heat can escape through gaps and poorly insulated frames, and then there’s the gap at the bottom of the door. Remember the days when there was always a stuffed sausage-dog type of draught excluder covering the gap? You’re about the same age as me then!
The thing is, they worked – by blocking the gap they kept heat in and the draught out – but it’s fair to say that modern draught excluders are a lot more efficient, somewhat more permanent, and surprisingly affordable. Many take the form of adhesive strips that are designed to cover all the gaps in a window frame, for example, and they come in different materials, lengths, widths and so on.
So, which one do you need for keeping the draught from your door? Well, we thought we’d have a timely look at some of the best offerings in the market, give you a few details about each one, and then offer you advice on the best one. Bear in mind that our list is not conclusive, we simply think these are the best options on the market right now, so here goes, the top 10 draught excluder options for you.
The Top 10
The first on our list – which, for the record, is in no particular order – is this example, labelled as ‘Outerdo’. We mention that because, as with many products of this type, it is very likely that this one is very similar to – and perhaps the same as – others on the list. This is not a bad thing, it simply says that someone has hit on a winning design, and others have licensed it to their brand, so you get more choice in terms of cost and availability. This is a roll of insulating rubber sealing foam, so lets explain what that is.
What you get is two x 5metre rolls of material that is made from silicone and PVC, with adhesive strips attached. You place it around any window or door frames where you think the draught is coming in. Not only does it reduce the draught, but it also acts as sound insulation, and cuts down on the noise made when you shut doors. This one is also usable on fridges and can be attached to car doors should you wish. It’s cheap, customers like it, and the only complaint is that the adhesive wears off quite quickly in some cases.
- 2 x 5m roll
- Silicone and PVC
- Adhesive can wear quickly
- Easy to fit
- Very cheap
This is a different type of draught excluder to that we listed above, and it is strictly for doors. This is what is known as an ‘under door sweep’ and effectively replaces the trusty sausage dog! What you get here is a three-layer PVC attachment that fits to the bottom of a door, and seals the gap between the bottom of the door and the floor itself, without causing damage when the door is opened and closed as it will be often. It’s easy to fit and requires no tools.
What it does, in blocking that gap – which can be up to 28mm – is not only keep out the cold draught, but also reduce noise from the other side of the door, and blocks entrance to any insects that might want to crawl through, so you get a three in one device. Does it work? At 39-inches long it should fit most internal doors, and it gets largely favourable customer reviews. However, take note that quite a few customers say the adhesive is poor – there’s already a pattern forming here – and that it comes with permanent kinks in that are not attractive. It’s very cheap.
- 3-layer protection
- Stops draughts
- Stops insects
- Reduces sound
- Easy to fit
- Beware complaints about poor adhesive and quality
Stormguard is a brand with a range of products in this area, and is well known. Indeed, this model – which is another take on the door seal idea – is very popular with many buyers having purchased it. It takes the form of a fitment that you attach to the bottom of your door, into which a sort of brush-curtain is slotted, and can be adjusted to anywhere up to a 25mm gap between the doo and the floor. The brushes are soft and yet clear dust and keep the draught out, without damaging the floor.
This one is also cheap, and comes in a number of set sizes – you simply cut it down to the size of your door with a hacksaw, it’s easy – and is easy to fit, and also acts as a noise buffer. The majority of customer comments – and we found almost 300 from one seller – rate this is an affordable, effective draught excluder. Quite a lot, though, say the brush attachment falls out very easily, and report problems such as missing fitments with deliveries.
- Name brand
- Brush system for noise and draught protection
- Easy to cut to size
- Problems with brushes falling out
- General quality concerns
This is another take on the door-base insulation idea, and quite a clever one. There are no brushes or fitting required with this one. What it is, is a moulded length of plastic that slides onto your door lengthways: in effect, it has two walls and a base, and will fit snugly on most doors. You may need to cut it to size – it comes in a length of 76 cm and can fit doors up to 35mm thickness – but it is simple with a hacksaw. It’s very easy to fit, and requires no fixings of any kind.
Effectively, once you have it aligned at the right height, it insulates the door from draughts, cuts back on noise interference, and also acts as a barrier against any insects that might want to visit you. It is similarly priced to those above – each one of these so far will give you a few quid change from a tenner – and it is very popular. So, does it work? Well, while around half of buyers mark it as excellent, the other half tend not to agree! Comments such as ‘scratches the wooden floor’, ‘door won’t open over carpet’, ‘very poor quality’ and ‘do not buy’ are surprisingly frequent, so we’re not sure about this one. It’s clever, but perhaps not as effective as less innovative ideas.
- Clever one-piece design
- Easy to fit
- Cut to size
- Many customer complaints about damage to floors and poor opening
When we began researching these products we expected most to be akin to the first one – a roll of material designed to stick over the gaps – but we hadn’t given thought to the innovative minds that have worked out how to keep draughts from under-door gaps. This version is very clever, and comes as a pack of three, but we will say is not particularly attractive – although certainly not as naff as a stuffed sausage dog. It takes the form of two rolls which are attached to a strong fabric. The rolls go either side of the door, which can be up to 7cm thick, and they are cut to suit thickness and length (up to 95cm wide).
So far, so good; what you have is an effective barrier against draughts, noise and insects on both sides of the door – this one can, apparently, also be used on exterior doors – with the promise that it ‘glides over all types of floor’, but does it? This one sticks to the door by way of Velcro, but apparently not very well. Many customers like it, but others say it moves about a lot and isn’t very effective at stopping draughts. The verdict is out, so it’s up to you!
- Double sided insulation
- Easy to cut to size
- Not attractive
- Complaints about movement
- Complaints about effectiveness
We’re back to the adhesive foam strip type of seal with this one, and we should say that while these are great for window frames and door frames, they will not seal the gap between the floor and the bottom of the door. For that you need a different type, and as you have seen, there are many on this list to choose from. This one comes as 2 x 6metre strips made from durable silicone rubber, which is claimed to be stronger than other foam type sealers, with the usual adhesive backing to attach it to the frame.
It’s a decent package that does the job it is designed to, and is well-priced, but falls down on not being able to seal the door-floor gap. For what it does – reduce draughts on window frames, cut down quite considerably on external noise – it seems that customers like it quite a lot, and there are really no complaints. At the price, which is perfectly acceptable, we suggest this in addition to your door-based solution for an all-round insulation effect.
- For window and door frames
- Not for door to floor gaps
- 2 x 6m strips
- Stronger than others
- Decent price
- Favourable customer reviews
This is something different – what if you want to seal the gap at the base of your garage door? You might have a workshop in there, or even a gym, or perhaps use your garage space as a studio? In the winter months it can get pretty cold in there, and there’s always a gap at the bottom of a garage door, so this could be the answer. It’s a 7-foot long strip designed specifically for garage door use, and fits to the door with silicone sealant – which is supplied (the sealant gun is not) and can be cut to size.
This is a clever item designed for a purpose that might be forgotten; if you do use your garage as an additional space – maybe even a kid’s playroom – you will find that sealing the bottom of the door makes a massive difference to escaping heat. So, does it work? This item has been purchased by large numbers of people, and we found that – quite amazingly – more than 4 out of 5 gave it top scoring reviews, so yes, it does. Once customer said it was not long enough for their door; perhaps they have an extra wide one! Not cheap, but if you need to seal the garage door, it’s what you need.
- For garage doors
- Up to 7 feet long
- Silicone sealant supplied
- No gun supplied
- Excellent customer satisfaction levels
We’re not sure why this one is billed as a ‘garden’ draught excluder, as it is a simple roll-type, rubber and silicone strip designed for window and door frame use. Thus, it will protect from the draught, it will stop external noise, and it will make life much cosier in your room, but it isn’t suitable for sealing the gap at the bottom of the door. For use in conjunction with a gap sealer, we reckon this one is good value, as long as it does the job it’s made for. But does it?
You get a 10m strip that is easy to cut to size, and that fits on the frame by way of the usual adhesive backing, and it’s made from durable material that the maker claims will last 4 to 8 years – we think that a bold claim, but it’s worth mentioning. The price is cheap, it’s available in white or brown, and while many customers are satisfied, others say that it is not worth the money and doesn’t stick to the surface for very long, so that’s the usual complaints.
- 10m strip
- Easy to fit
- Rubber and silicon
- Not for door gaps
- Adhesive is not good
This is another strip designed for use on the garage door, and makes sense in the same situations as the earlier one, for example if you have a workshop in there, or even a gym, or perhaps use your garage space as a studio? In the winter months it can get pretty cold in there, and there’s always a gap at the bottom of a garage door, so this could be the answer. This is a substantial item of 2.9m in length and comes with the adhesive to fit – no other fittings are required.
Made from eco-friendly PVC and with ridges for grip, it is intended to provide a solid seal between the door and the ground thus keeping not only draughts but rainwater at bay. It’s easy to cut to size, and is rather expensive when compared to others, so we need to know if it does the job. More than 9/10 of the buyers we checked out were happy with this item, so if you need one for the garage door, it could be this one.
- Garage door seal
- 9m length
- Durable PVC
- Ridges for grip
- Comes with adhesive
- Excellent customer response
- Not cheap
Our final example is from Tesa UK, and is a ‘p profile’ design. This one is designed for sealing the window and door gaps around the frame, rather than the gap beneath the door. Made from PVC it is flexible and easy to cut to shape – you get it in three lengths up to 25m, this description is for the 10m length – and is fits by an adhesive as is the norm with this sort of product. Note that this one is not a strip of foam, it is a PVC moulded strip with a p-profile shape for more efficient sealing, and for many people, it works.
This is another that promises long life – up to 8 years in this case – that we are very careful with as it sounds unlikely, and it is not the cheapest option on the list. Nevertheless, 4 out of 5 buyers reckon it does the business, but most of the others say it peeled off in days. One thing we will say on that front is that the surface you are attaching to needs to be very clean for the adhesive to take, so perhaps those dissatisfied customers had not cleaned it enough?
- 10 metre length
- P-profile shape
- Effective sealant for windows
- Not cheap
- PVC easy to cut and fit
- Concerns about adhesive
That’s ten examples of draught excluders, but which one is right for you? Let’s have a chat about the different types, before we try and give you a suggestion.
Factors to Consider
There are three different types of draught excluder on our list and variations on the theme for each. One is the type that seals the gap between the bottom of the door and the floor; another is that which is designed to go around window frames primarily, to reduce the draught from older and less reliable frames, and the third is the garage door sealer, which is a specialist item. Our article set out to look at door draught excluders, so our recommendation will be one of the first type, the gap to the floor version.
We do recommend that, to get the full effect, you also invest in a foam-strip type for the windows, and each of the examples on the list does the job at a similar price. Likewise, if you want a sealer for your garage, the two examples listed are both very good at what they do.
So, which is the best door to floor gap sealer, and why? Let’s see if we can wrap this up!
If we were to recommend a product from this list that effectively seals the gap between the bottom of the door and the floor, and also allows the door to be opened whatever the flooring type, it would be the Expower Adhesive Under Door Sweep. Each of the contenders has some poor customer complaints, but this one does a great job of sealing the gap, and is cheap enough that you can buy spares for when it is past its natural life.
That’s our list of the 10 best door draught sealers, so read through again, seal up those gaps in your doors and windows, and enjoy a warm and cosy winter!