Bay vs. Bow Windows, What’s the Difference?

Bay windows have sharp angles and three window pieces. Bow windows featured a curved structure and at least four different window pieces.
Written by Annette Maxon
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
When comparing bay vs. bow windows, bay windows consist of three window pieces and an angular structure, while bow windows usually have at least four window pieces built into an arched structure. Bow windows extend further from the house, letting in more natural light and views. 
Whether you’re upgrading your home or simply want to take advantage of all that beautiful natural light, swapping your windows for bay or bow windows is a great place to start. But when it comes to choosing between the two types, it may be hard to figure out the difference. 
That’s why the
super app
for car and
home insurance
, is here to help you decode the differences between bay vs. bow windows. Here are the pros and cons of each, whether home insurance covers the costs of window upgrades, and how to save money when remodeling your home. 

Differences of bay vs. bow windows

Take a look at your window (or imagine your future window). How many sections does it have? The answer to this question is key to deciding on a bay vs. bow window.
Bay windows
have a central picture window with two different windows to the left and right.
Bow windows
often use the same window type but have a more rounded structure. 

What are bay windows?

Bay windows consist of
three window sections
that extend out from the house. The center window is a picture window, and it’s surrounded by different side windows. Keep in mind that these
side windows are often the same
One of the hallmark features of bay windows is their angled lines. Often, the side windows extend from the house at
45 to 90-degree angles
. Bay windows are a great way to add extra floor space to a room since the angular shape can be used for a range of purposes. 
Whether you opt for bookshelves, a reading nook, a seating area, or space to keep your plant collection, know that a bay window adds to a house’s square footage. 


Bay windows are beautiful and tend to add to your home’s curb appeal. But they bring other benefits outside of adding to a house’s aesthetic! 
Here are some of the
pros of bay windows:
  • Add to the square footage of a house
  • Increase the amount of natural light
  • Provide additional ventilation
  • Create additional space that can be used for a variety of purposes
  • Increase the house’s resale value


Like all good things in life, bay windows aren’t for everyone. One of the biggest downsides is the price. Installation can be expensive, often setting you back
depending on where you live. 
What’s more, this window type requires having enough space outside of the window. Remember that the window extends outward from the house, so your property needs ample space to allow for this.
The biggest problem that comes up even after the windows are installed is finding the right
window treatments
. Not only are they expensive (you’re buying treatments for three windows!), but it can be difficult finding treatments that fit your space.

What are bow windows?

Unlike bay windows,
bow windows
feature an
arc shape
with at least
four casement windows
. The key difference when comparing bay vs. bow windows is the shape—unlike the angular bay windows, bow windows are rounded.
Like bay windows, bow windows increase the square footage of your home and allow more natural light in—but they’re even more expensive. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons. 


So, what are the good things about bow windows? Here are the biggest pros of this window type:
  • Increases the square footage of the house
  • Allows more natural light
  • Can help improve your view
  • Provides additional ventilation
  • Adds to the house’s resale value
  • Adds curb appeal to the house


The biggest downside to bow windows is the expensive installation costs. Be prepared to pay anywhere from
depending on where you live.
Why is the price so high? Unlike bay windows, bow windows require windows that can accommodate the
curved window structure
. Not just any window will do! Plus, the curved structure makes installation more complex and drives up the overall cost.
Also, be ready to face the challenge of finding window treatments. The arc shape makes this difficult but you will also need to get treatments for at least four windows (potentially more, depending on the number of window panels in your structure). 

Does home insurance cover window replacements?

It depends. If your windows were shattered during a storm or vandalism damaged your home, for example, then
home insurance
may help cover the repair costs. 
However, if you’re needing them replaced due to
general wear and tear
, you’ll need to pay for the replacements out of pocket. The same goes for upgrades—home insurance
will not cover
the costs of upgrading your standard picture window to a snazzy bow window. 
Since window replacements aren’t cheap, switching to a more
affordable homeowners insurance policy
is a fast and fool-proof way to start saving money to put towards your new windows. 
All you need to do is download the insurance
super app
, Jerry. In minutes,
will find you the
best policies
out there. Once you’ve made your pick, Jerry will deal with the hassle of canceling your old plan and buying your new one. There’s no faster way to save money than that!
makes choosing new insurance as easy as grocery shopping. Even though I had a car accident within the past 2 years, Jerry found me a great deal with Nationwide–I went from paying $340 to $90 a month!”—Pan N. 
Let Jerry find you the best homeowners insurance policy for your needs
* checking your rate won’t affect your credit score
Shop Now
* checking your rate won’t affect your credit score


Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings — it's 100% free