When and Where to Use Draft Stoppers

Keep winter's icy cold winds at bay with ready-made or do-it-yourself draft stoppers.

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A simple and quick fix for improving insulation and regulating room temperature, draft stoppers provide a barrier along the lower edge of doors, underneath windows, across the front of fireplaces boxes — anywhere breezy gaps need to be sealed.

What is a Draft Stopper?

A draft stopper (a.k.a. a draft blocker) is a snakelike, cloth tube stuffed with batting, rice, beans or other material. Laid across cracks under doors and around windows, a draft stopper acts like fabric weatherstripping. It prevents cold hair from blowing inside, as well as keeping warm air from escaping. It’s also an outstanding soundproofing tool and can shut out fumes and odors.

Types of Draft Stoppers

When we think of draft stoppers, we generally picture the classic, sausage-shaped kind. However, there are other practical and easy ways to plug air leaks in your home, such as:

  • Installing thermal drapes and curtains;
  • Attaching silicone door sweeps;
  • Adding rubberized weatherstripping around sliding, garage and pet doors;
  • Inserting chimney balloons or foam rubber wedges inside fireplaces;
  • Filling in wall insulation gaps.

Do Draft Stoppers Save Energy and Money?

Because draft stoppers keep air from flowing freely in and out of your home, there is no doubt they can save you big bucks on your energy bills. Don’t throw money out the window. A simple draft stopper is the air-tight, energy-conserving solution that you’ve been looking for.

When to Use a Draft Stopper

Use a draft stopper any time you want your home to stay warm and cozy. You’ll notice almost immediately the difference in a room’s temperature when you do. Winter is the optimum time to break out your draft stoppers, but they can also keep you cool by blocking out hot air during the summer months.

Store Bought vs. DIY Draft Stoppers

There are plenty of fun and inexpensive draft stoppers on the market, from cute animal-shapes like the Giraffe Door Draft Stopper by Maxtid to magnetic versions such as the Evelots Door Draft Stopper and this practical fireplace blanket.

Or better yet, make your own! Draft stoppers are super-easy and cheap to construct.

First, choose a piece of sturdy material to sew into the cylinder casing. Be sure it measures a few inches longer than the width of the door or window. Next, choose the filling — batting, fleece, rice or even cedar chips for a fresh, natural scent. Then stuff the tube and stitch the ends closed. Your draft stopper is ready to do its job!

Pro Tip: Don’t overfill the tube. If it’s too stiff, it won’t fit snugly against the door or window.

All prices and links were current as of publication.

Toni DeBella
Toni DeBella is a freelance travel, lifestyle and digital content writer based in a medieval hill town in central Italy. Her work has been featured in such publications as Fodor's, The Telegraph, Walks of Italy, Italy Magazine, Frommers.com, Touring Bird (via [email protected]) and more. Most recently she authored the 2020 edition of DK Eyewitness Sicily travel guide. When Toni is not roaming around Europe, you'll find her tending her alley-side container garden or honing her clay-court tennis game.