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Can Bedroom Doors Swing Out?

Whether it be in a house, apartment, or condominium, Bedroom doors will have doors that swing in toward the room. This isn’t by accident. There’s a reason that bedroom doors, in particular, swing in toward the room.

There are no laws against having doors that swing outwards. However, we recommend all of your doors swing into the room in case of an emergency; the door will have free access to open into the room.

In this article, we’re going to cover all the reasons and why you should have your bedroom doors swing in.

Can Bedroom Doors Swing Out At All?

Bedroom doors can swing any way the homeowner wants. However, it’s not recommended that they swing out but rather swing in.

The IRC (International Residential Code) doesn’t rule out having swinging doors. We recommend you check your local codes to make sure the doors can have the flexibility of in or out.

Here are a few reasons why we recommend the door swings in toward the room rather than swing out. These few instances can be life-saving and can also help improve walking space.

In Case Of Emergency

In case of an emergency, you never want to be locked in a room with no way to push out.

For instance, if a door that swings in, you’re able to barricade yourself in the room and put things in the front of the door in case of a burglary or even a fire that you’re trying to escape.

If the door swings out, the person outside the door controls the situation of what’s on the other side. They’re able to put things in front of the door that forces you to be stuck in the room.

Chair Blocking The Door

Referencing the picture above, this could never happen to a person if the door swings in. This chair technique is often used to lock people into rooms where the door swings out.

We always want to put ourselves in complete control of being able to pull open a door.

Pushing our way out could be life-threatening, especially if any heavy objects directly blocking the doorway.

In case of a water leak or fire emergency, the door may be stuck shut from the contents outside the door.

Doors Could Block Closets & Walking Space

Homeowners or apartment owners typically have rooms that are within 5 feet of each other. If the door swings out, it will likely cause a blockage in the hallway or traffic jam for the person in the next storeroom.

Furnace Closet Doors

As shown in the picture above, this is a furnace door that swings out into the hallway. This is an extreme example as most furnace doors will swing into the hallways.

However, we really wanted to emphasize how having a door that swings out will more than likely be in the way or clog up the walking space in the hallways. Smaller rooms like closets or furnace rooms won’t have the space to have doors swing inward. Therefore these doors must swing outwards.

Additionally, if the door swings out, and there’s a closet door on the other side, it will over time be a pain as you’re consistently closing a door to open another one.

In our example above, if one closet door is open and the bedroom door swings out, there’s a good chance that they’ll hit each other.

If a heavy door is installed, swinging outwards could cause a loud bang or damage to the door if not opened carefully.

For the sake of minor inconvenience, we recommend having the door swing into the room.

Benefits Of Doors Of Swinging Out

Bedroom doors that swing out aren’t necessarily all bad. We have found some positive use for the bedroom door swinging into the hallway.

More Space In The Bedroom

If the bedroom door swings into the hallway, it essentially will save room in your bedroom. Especially if the door swings into a corner of a room, you’ll gain the 2-3 feet of space back that normally would be blocked by the door,

It may not seem like much, but having a lamp in the bedroom corner is crucial, especially if there isn’t much space. Simply having a door swing in a different direction can help save inches or even feet in a small room.

Check how much space is actually being obstructed by the door and what can be done to maximize the space of your room.

If there’s an opportunity to change the door hinges and put them on the other side of the door, this may be an option for homeowners.

Parents Can Control The Door Hinges

If you ever run into an issue where you need to remove your children’s door, having the hinges on the outside will make it easier to do so. Hinges on the outside of the door allow for easy access and replacement.

Rather than having to squeeze in a tight door frame to release the hinges for ease of access. This is one of the small benefits of having the door on the outside swinging outward.


We recommend the bedroom doors swing inward solely for emergency and worst-case scenario reasons. The bedroom doors swinging outward could provide some space benefits; however, they may not be best for the reasons listed in the previous points above.

In closing, be sure to check your local codes to see if they specify any regulations about having doors that swing out into the hallway.

Typically it’s up to the homeowner to decide the doors, but we always recommend checking with the inspector before purchasing a home or apartment to ensure you comply.

What are your thoughts about having a bedroom door swinging outward?

In the comment section below, let us know if you think it’s not a big deal to have doors swinging outward or if you believe they should all swing in. Do you think it should always be outward?