The Differences Between Bow & Bay Windows [Infographic]

By May 28, 2020Windows, Infographic
Bay window styles , are bow windows outdated , bow windows vs bay windows , bay window sizes , what is the difference between a bow and a bay window , kitchen , modern

Chances are you have heard of bow windows and bay windows. However, if you are like most people, you are wondering, “What is the difference between a bow and a bay window?” Perhaps you are pondering, “Are bow windows outdated?” Maybe you are curious about bay window sizes or whether they can be added to your kitchen.

There are numerous meaningful differences between bow and bay windows both in terms of visual aesthetics, functionality, price, and other factors. Without further adieu, let’s take a look at the most important differences between bow and bay windows to help you pick the type that is best for your home.

May Infographic 02Bow Windows Vs. Bay Windows Style

Bay window styles are highlighted by three distinct windows featuring a single expansive fixed window along with flanking windows to the sides. Bow windows are comprised of a minimum of four windows along with a combination of vented options and even some fixed options.

Aesthetic design in relation to your home:

If you live in a home with a modern aesthetic, the angular design of the bay window will complement your home’s beauty quite well. If your home is not considered modern but Victorian style or another dated style, bow windows might be best for your living space. Bow windows stretch around corners for a wide view of your home.


Bay windows are built to function similarly to regular windows and allow the use of opening mechanisms. Bow windows are not built with opening mechanisms. However, there is the potential for opening mechanisms to be added to bow windows for an added cost though it might compromise the window curve.

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Bay Window


Bay windows are optimal for exterior wall spaces. Most bay windows are at least 40 inches in size. Bow windows are also suitable for exterior walls. However, bow windows can also be positioned in corners or spaces where a minimum of 80 inches of space is available.


Bay windows let in comparably less sunlight than the bow variety. However, the flip side is the fact that bay windows provide more privacy than bow windows. If your primary concern is letting an abundance of sunlight into your home and obtaining a nice view of the outdoor setting by your home, bow windows are the better option.

Exterior considerations

Bow windows are typically wider so they can be installed around a home’s corner. Bay windows extend out beyond the house, typically between a 90-degree angle and a 150-degree angle from the home. This means the bay variety protrudes out beyond the point of the typical bow window. Therefore, homes near streets or sidewalks are best suited for bow windows.

Additional functionality

Bow windows are designed in a manner that creates a ledge to hold household décor along with other sundries. Bay windows are built with a ledge that allows for the placement of knick-knacks, even permitting one to sit down in a small window seat.

Bay window styles , are bow windows outdated , bow windows vs bay windows , bay window sizes , what is the difference between a bow and a bay window , kitchen , modern

Bow Window


  • Bay windows and bow windows have their own unique merits, providing a unique blend of function and form for homes of every size.
  • Though bow windows tend to be a bit more expensive than bay windows, they provide expansive views of your property’s beauty, letting the sunshine its light directly into your home.
  • If you desire windows that open/close to let the fresh air into your home, bow windows are optimal.
  • If you are looking for a window seat to read a book or listen to your headphones while breathing in the fresh air, the bay variety is best for you.

RWC Windows, Doors, Kitchens and Baths is at Your Service

It is clear there are significant differences between bow and bay windows. If you are thinking about adding either type of window or new doors to your home, our team is here to help. RWC Windows, Doors & More will help you choose the perfect new windows or doors for your unique living space. Our installation team will do all the work on your behalf. In fact, we even go as far as customizing doors for each unique customer. We also perform bathroom renovations and kitchen remodeling. Give us a call at 973-227-7123 to learn more about our services. If you prefer to contact us online, simply fill out our convenient web-based contact form.

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