Bay Window vs Bow Window: How are they Different?  

Get 10% OFF Your Installation NOW! 

Residential installed sales only. The coupon applies to new proposals only. Cannot be combined with any other offers. Contracts must be signed by June 30th, 2024, for the coupon to be valid.

Lets Start Your Project Today

Windows come in all shapes and sizes. Of all the types of windows, bow and bay windows are the most distinctive. Knowing the differences between bay vs bow windows can help you decide which one is right for you.

What is a Bay Window?

With a protruding structure that extends outward from the house, bay windows provide a comfortable seating area for people who want a quiet moment. They also bring in extra daylight, because each bay window is made up of three distinct windows that are joined together to curve outward, beyond the perimeter of the house.

If you’re seeking window replacement in the Chicago area, bay windows are an excellent option for rooms like your home office, living room, dining room, and areas of the home where extra light can be a big benefit.

bay window

What is a Bow Window?

Like a bay window, bow windows curve outward into the yard to allow for extra light to enter the home. Bow windows are usually made up of more than three distinct windows, and have a gentler curve into the yard. Often, bow windows create a shorter bench and thus are often not used as a seating area.

Bow windows are commonly found in architectural styles like ranch homes, Victorian homes and craftsman homes. Like bay windows, bow windows are typically incorporated into parts of the house like the living room, dining room, and home office.

bow window from the inside of a house

Considerations for Bay Windows

When installing a bay window in your home, it’s important to consider a range of factors including cost, materials, window types, and more. Having a budget, identifying your specific preferences, and choosing a quality window manufacturer is important.


Bay windows will vary in cost depending on the size and features, such as a built-in bench. Installation costs are generally similar to those for having multiple windows installed. 

Your representative at Woodland Windows and Doors will provide you with a quote once you’ve discussed the scope of your project. The brand, material, and size of the window will all affect the cost.


Woodland Windows and Doors sells windows in a range of materials including wood, fiberglass, composite, vinyl, and aluminum. Each material type impacts the appearance, energy efficiency, and functionality of the window.

Each material influences the window’s appearance, energy efficiency, and functionality. Our wood windows are clad on the exterior to maintain their look and performance with minimal upkeep. Other materials, like vinyl, provide a maintenance-free option without the need for refinishing. All our windows come from top-quality brands, ensuring durability, and backed by finish warranties.

Woodland Windows and Doors offers windows in a variety of materials, including wood, fiberglass, composite, vinyl, and aluminum. Each material type affects the appearance, energy efficiency, and functionality of the window. Our wood windows are clad on the exterior to ensure they look and perform their best. All of our window materials, sourced from quality brands, are highly durable and come with finish warranties for added peace of mind.

Which material you should choose depends on what you’re looking for in a window. The professionals at Woodland Windows and Doors can help you pick.


Bay windows come in different types. You’ll have to choose the style you like best.


Box bay windows have flanking windows that meet the front windows at a 90-degree angle, creating a protruding style. 

Canted bay windows have angled sides that meet the front flat window. These are the most common bay windows.

Circle bay windows come in a circular formation and have large panes of glass below with smaller panes of glass above.

Oriel bay windows extend outward but do not reach the ground. These windows require additional structural support.

How to Style & Utilize Bay Windows

How you style and utilize your bay window depends on your needs and preferences. Some examples of the ways you can style and utilize your bay windows include:

  • Window seat. Create a cozy window seat for someone to enjoy their time reading or watching the world go by. Consider creating a storage space inside the window seat for blankets and other items.


  • Grille formations. Grille formations on windows add style and beauty. Choose grille patterns that you find most attractive.

Bay Window Pros & Cons

There are many pros and cons to bay windows, so you’ll have to consider all of this before deciding whether to install bay windows. For example:


Pro: Bay windows are attractive.

Pro: Bay windows create a cozy nook where you can read or a shelf where you can store things.

Pro: Bay windows add value to your house.


Con: Bay windows can be difficult to match with window treatments.

Con: Bay windows can take up yard space.

Considerations for Bow Windows

Bow windows are similar to bay windows in a variety of ways. Here’s what to consider as you decide whether bow windows are right for you.


Bow windows are slightly more expensive than bay windows as they are made up of more windows to form the bay.


Just like bay windows, bow windows from Woodland Windows and Doors can be made from wood, aluminum, composite, vinyl, or fiberglass.


Bow windows are typically made of four to six distinct windows, placed in a curving row. The more operable windows in your bow window configuration, the higher the cost.

How to Style & Utilize Bow Windows

Styling and utilizing bow windows depends on what kind of windows you have and how deep the bench is created by the bow windows. Bow windows can be used as kitchen sink windows, where they create a small shelf for potted plants and a nice place to look out over the lawn.

Bow Windows Pros & Cons

Bow windows have pros and cons, just like bay windows.


Bow windows allow a lot of light to enter the home.

Bow windows create a small shelf where you can set objects.

Bow windows add value to your home.


Bow windows can be more expensive than bay windows.

Need Help Deciding Bay Vs. Bow Window? Schedule an In-Home Consultation Now!

The professionals at Woodland Windows and Doors are here to help you choose the best windows for your home upgrade. Need help with your project? See our guide to replacing windows for more information. You can also contact Woodland Windows and Doors to get started.

Share Online

Related Posts

Get a Free Quote Today!