Double Pane vs Triple Pane Windows: A Detailed Comparison

Whether you’re constructing a new home or renovating your existing one, the building process comes with many new terminologies and concepts. One of them is window panes.

Your general contractor is after you to choose between double and triple pane windows so the installers can start their work. But you’re unfamiliar with the difference between the two.

How do they compare? What kind of climates and requirements do they suit? How do you choose between double pane vs triple pane windows? 

Our guide below will help.

Double Pane Vs Triple Pane Windows

What Are Window Panes?

Double pane or double glazed windows have two glass panes separated by a layer of krypton, argon, another gas, or air. A spacer holds the two panes together to create an insulating gap between them.

Windows filled with gasses are more expensive than those with air. Since the gas is denser, it makes your home more comfortable. Window manufacturers usually use these gasses:

  • Argon: It is the most affordable and standard window pane gas.
  • Krypton: It is common in triple pane windows because it does well in thin gaps.
  • Xenon: Since it’s the most expensive, xenon is not as commonly used but provides the best insulation.

Double pane windows offer better insulation than their single pane counterparts. The insulation layer between both panes reduces heat and noise transfer, resulting in better noise-proofing and energy savings.


  • Has a decent cost-to-benefit ratio
  • Good resale value
  • High insulating value
  • Sound reduction inside the house


  • Expensive choice for outbuilding widows
  • Not an ideal replacement for old single pane buildings

What Are Triple Pane Windows?

Triple pane windows have three layers of glass compared to the two in double pane windows. The extra glass layer makes the window more noise-proof and energy-efficient.

Gas or air-filled spaces separate the three glass layers. These windows have low-emissivity coatings, limiting the heat transfer through the glass.

Although triple pane windows are more expensive, they are a worthwhile investment as they offer more savings in the long run.


  • Higher energy efficiency than double pane windows
  • Better sound insulation
  • Increased security
  • Improved comfort


  • Require more maintenance
  • Expensive

Triple Pane vs Double Pane Windows: What’s the Difference?

Double and triple pane windows can be compared based on various factors, such as sound insulation, glare reduction, cost, energy efficiency, aesthetics, and more. Here’s how they both compare.

Features Double Pane Windows Triple Pane Windows 
Window Materials Vinyl, fiberglass, and wood Vinyl, fiberglass, and wood 
Energy Efficiency More than single pane windowsMore than double pane windows 
Cost Less expensive More expensive 
Noise Reduction Better than single pane windows Better than double pane windows 
R-Value 2.0843.226
Uses Moderate climates in the west and south-facing rooms Extreme climates, noisy places, and east or north-facing windows 

Energy Efficiency

Triple pane windows are more energy-efficient than double pane windows due to additional insulating air space and an extra glass layer. Since triple pane windows have an extra layer of glass, they trap more air between both layers.

The extra space also houses more insulating gas, like krypton or argon, to enhance the window’s insulation capabilities. Triple pane windows also have Low-E coatings, reflecting heat inside the room to prevent heat loss.


R-value represents the thermal resistance of a material, indicating its ability to resist heat flow. The higher the R-value, the more resistant the material is to heat flow.

A material’s R-value depends on many factors, such as thermal conductivity, density, and thickness. Materials with a higher R-value have good insulation and reduce heating/cooling costs.

The R-value of a window increases with the number of panes. Double pane windows with half an inch of air have an R-value of 2.084. Meanwhile, triple pane windows with the same amount of air have a higher R-value of 3.226.

But some windows have a low-emissivity insulating film, which increases the R-value. The film is often composed of a silver or metal oxide material to reduce energy transmission. Here’s a table showing the R-value of windows with different panes and coating.

Number of Panes Air/GasCoatingR-Value 
1None None0.9
21/2-inch of airNone2.084
31/2-inch of airNone3.226
2Filled with argonLow-E coating3.846
3Filled with argonLow-E coating5.433

Sound Insulation

Let’s clear a misconception before moving on. Sound-proof windows are not a thing.

But if you live in a noisy neighborhood, you should opt for triple pane windows since they reduce outside sounds. The window manufacturing industry uses the Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating system to measure sound insulation.

A higher STC rating translates to better sound insulation. Triple pane windows have a higher STC rating, so they offer better soundproofing.


The cost of triple pane windows is higher than double pane windows. On average, triple pane windows cost anywhere from $400 to $3,000 or higher. The total cost will depend on the window size and type.

Meanwhile, double pane windows cost $800 on average, but the price can be as high as $1,500. The cost of double pane windows is lower because it has one less layer and requires a smaller amount of gas.

Glare Reduction

Although both double and triple pane windows offer glare reduction, the latter does a better job of it.

The additional layer of glass reduces the sunlight passing through the window. So, there’s a lesser likelihood of glare.


Condensation occurs when warm and moist external air comes in contact with a window pane’s cooler surface. Upon contact, the warm air cools down. It then reduces its moisture-holding ability, forming water droplets on the window’s surface.

The additional glass layer makes triple pane windows less prone to condensation. The extra layer traps the warm air and prevents it from contacting the cooler surface.


Triple pane windows require more maintenance than double pane ones. Here are some maintenance requirements for these windows.

  • Cleaning: You must clean triple pane windows regularly with a sponge or a soft cloth and a mild detergent solution to remove debris and dust.
  • Inspection: Make sure you inspect triple pane windows for signs of damage, such as chips and cracks.
  • Caulking: Air and water leaks can form if the window’s caulking deteriorates. Caulking the window periodically prevents these problems.
  • Weatherstripping: To create a tight seal, you must weatherstrip around the window pane’s edges. It helps prevent air leaks so that no moisture enters the window.

Keep in mind that double pane windows also have similar maintenance requirements. But they’re not as extensive or frequent as those for triple pane windows.


Triple pane windows are harder to install compared to double pane windows. One, they’re heavier, requiring a more precise alignment. Two, these windows have thicker glass, which makes it challenging to fit them in the window frame.

Triple pane window installation also has additional steps, such as weatherproofing and sealing, to ensure air tightness. The higher price point also warrants more caution during installation to avoid costly repairs and replacements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Triple Pane Windows Worth It?

If performance and energy efficiency are your priorities, triple pane windows are worth it. They do cost more, but they are worth the investment.

How Effective Are Triple Pane Windows?

Triple pane windows can save up to 50% more energy than single pane windows. They also reduce noise and glare significantly.

How Do the Double Pane vs Triple Pane Glass Materials Compare?

Both double and triple pane windows are made of the same materials. However, triple pane windows have an additional layer of glass that makes them thicker and heavier.

Are Triple Pane Windows Good For Cold Climates?

Triple pane windows are a good option for cold climates because they are resistant to condensation and make your home more energy efficient. These windows also add monetary value to your home

Double Pane vs Triple Pane Windows: Which Is Better?

After comparing the double pane vs triple pane windows cost, R-value, performance, noise reduction, and glare, it’s evident that triple pane ranks better in most regards. But that doesn’t mean it’s always the best choice.

It is important to consider your budget when choosing a triple pane vs double pane window. If you are on a tight budget, opt for double pane windows. These windows also have a better aesthetic appeal since they’re less bulky than triple pane windows.

Meanwhile, triple pane windows are a better choice if you live in a noisy neighborhood, want to save energy costs, and don’t have budgetary constraints.

Luke Miller

Luke Miller is a writer, real estate professional, rental property investor, and home renovation enthusiast based in Phoenix, Arizona. He grew up in Iowa in a self-sufficient household where he learned the skills to do everything from plumbing, drywall, to basic handyman repair for everyday problems. He enjoys sharing his vast experience and his continuous learning with fellow DIY enthusiasts.

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