What Is A Round Window ?

Round windows, also called circular windows, can give a room a distinctive look and add architectural interest to a home.

Some round windows are large enough to replace standard double-hung windows, some work as small accents and others are partial rounds that go over a rectangle window to create the illusion of an arch. Round windows can be fixed or operable and work with numerous design styles.

Round windows

If you want to add a round window to your home, here’s what you should know before taking the plunge.

Types of Round Windows

Rather than only one type of round or circle window, there are a few variations. Some of the most common round windows are the circle, hexagon, and octagon, all named after the shape they resemble.

There are also half-round, quarter-round, elliptical, and half-elliptical. You can place these styles atop a standard rectangle window to create an arched look.

Do Round Windows Open?

Some round windows open, but most don’t. The round windows that do open have a horizontal pivot. They feature a handle on the top or bottom that you can push to open the window.

How Much Do Round Windows Cost?

Round windows come in many sizes, which affects the price. A small fixed round window can be as low as $200, but larger ones exceed $1,200. Round windows are much more expensive than a standard single or double-hung option.

The most common size for round windows is 24-36 inches in diameter.

Round Windows: Pros and Cons

Round windows can add architectural interest to your home and work in tight spaces. But a typical round window doesn’t open.


  • Come in many sizes – You can purchase round windows big enough to replace a standard double-hung window and small enough to work as an accent in your closet.
  • Energy efficient – Since most round windows don’t open, they have a tight, energy-efficient seal and are not prone to leaks.
  • Add architectural detail – If you want to add an accent to your home, round windows will add interest.


  • Most don’t open – Most round windows are stationary, meaning they don’t open.
  • Expensive – Circular windows cost more than standard single or double-hung windows.
  • Secure – If you’re looking for windows a burglar can’t break into, round windows are hard to break and climb through.

What House Designs Have Round Windows?

The round window debuted in churches in Germany and Italy during medieval times. These church windows featured intricate designs, known as “rose” windows.

Not long after, the round window found its way to ships. Circular ship windows are called portholes since they give passengers a view of the water. Many ships still feature porthole windows, which is why they are a big part of nautical design.

Today you can find round windows on many types of houses – from modern to traditional. The most common spots for round windows are the attic, bathroom, and closets.

What are the Best Round Window Alternatives?

If you need a small accent window but don’t like circle windows, here are some alternatives:

  • Hexagon or Octagon – If you’re bored of a circle design, consider the hexagon or octagon window.
  • Awning window – Awning windows come in various sizes ranging from square to wide rectangles. These windows open up and outward with a hand crank.
  • Hopper window – Like awning windows, hopper windows are wide and narrow, fit for awkward spaces. They open inward and down by pulling a handle or turning a hand crank.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

Are there blinds for round windows?

Many companies make blinds for round windows. These blinds are not as popular as the standard rectangle variety, so they’re a little more challenging to find. If the big box stores don’t carry what you need, check blinds.com. If they don’t have your size, you can custom order.

What kind of shutters do you use with round windows?

There are three types of shutters for round windows – stationary, single, and double-hinged. Stationary shutters don’t move but allow some natural light in the house. A single hinged shutter opens from one side while a double-hinged shutter opens outward on both sides.

How do you cover quarter-round windows?

To cover your quarter-round window, you can purchase specialty blinds. You can also add a privacy film over the glass to block light.

How can I make a round window more energy efficient?

If you want to increase the energy efficiency of your round window, consider insulating shutters. You can also apply solar window film to the glass and seal the window with plastic film during the winter. If none of this helps, window replacement is your next best option.

Final Thoughts

Round windows are specialty windows, more expensive than standard options. These windows originated as intricate features on churches in medieval times. They then became popular as portholes in ships, which is where they get their nautical influence.

You can install a round window in any home. They’re ideal for places a standard rectangle won’t fit or where you’d like to add architectural interest.