What Is a Hopper Window and Where Would You Use One?

By thewriteDuffy •  Updated: 06/07/24 •  5 min read

Have you got a room that needs some ventilation but not enough to justify a big window? Do you want some natural light in a room in your house, but still want privacy? If that’s the case, a hopper window might be the right fit so keep reading!

What is a Hopper Window?

Usually small and narrow, hopper windows are hinged, inward-opening windows that gained their name because they look like a hopper or a chute when they’re opened.

Hopper Windows in a Bathroom.

What’s the Purpose of A Hopper Window?

A hopper window is often chosen to ventilate a room when you don’t want to install a large window – for example to enhance a room’s privacy or due to a lack of wall space. Hopper windows are also sometimes fitted above stationary window styles, such as the popular picture window, to allow for ventilation. 

Bigger isn’t always better or practical when it comes to installing a window. If you’d like to ventilate and reduce humidity and condensation in the basement, laundry, or bathroom of a home, a hopper is an ideal solution. Often installed higher up a wall, close to the ceiling, they can help maintain privacy too. 

If your home benefits from a large picture window or another stationary style, though you’ll probably want to keep this striking feature, the prospect of improving ventilation may be appealing. Discreet and simple in their design, a hopper window can be installed above a stationary window, so the eye isn’t distracted away from the unobstructed view.

What Is the Difference Between a Hopper Window and An Awning Window? 

While both hopper and awning windows solve ventilation problems in a home, they differ in their design,  their direction of opening, and the rooms they commonly feature in.

Hopper windows are hinged, connecting to their frame at the bottom, making them open inwards. Awning windows connect to the top of their frame and open outwards and upwards. 

Hopper Windows vs. Awning Windows.
A Basement Hopper Window vs. A Bedroom Awning Window.

Because a hopper window’s moveable sash opens inward, this style of window is ideal for the security-conscious homeowner. Meanwhile, the outward opening awning window has the perk of preventing rain from dripping into a room when the window is open. This makes the awning a good choice for a bedroom, where you might like to air a stuffy room overnight – even if it’s pouring!

There’s not much between hoppers and awning windows when it comes to ventilation and energy efficiency, so when it comes to choosing between the two, tradition is often followed. Most often, hoppers are installed in basements and bathrooms, while awnings are found in bedrooms, kitchens and living spaces as well. Because awning windows tend to be bigger than hoppers and can open up to provide an unobstructed view, they’re much better suited to rooms where you’d like to make a feature of a pleasant outlook.

Are Hopper Windows Safe?

Thanks to their small size and inward opening, the hopper window offers super security for the home. Almost impossible to climb through and often installed higher-up walls, they are considered a safe style, even when fully opened for ventilation.

Hopper Windows in a Basement.

The hopper window is an excellent deterrent for forced entry into the home. They’re tricky to crank open externally and even if the window is open, the angle to which they can be opened almost always prevents unauthorized entry – there simply isn’t enough space for an adult to crawl through. Because of this, you’ll need to make sure you have other windows that allow for a safe exit from your home in the event of an emergency. 

How Far Do Hopper Windows Open?

Most hopper windows won’t open beyond a 90° angle and they can partially open at an angle of 45°. These angles, though less than those offered by other window styles, still allow for sufficient and effective ventilation, especially in the likes of a bathroom where they’re the only window present. 

It’s the fact that hopper windows don’t open wide that makes them such a popular choice in vulnerable spots in a home, such as a basement. The design of the window, with the hinges set into the frame at the bottom, ensures that it can’t be opened beyond the entry-proof 90° angle, without first inflicting major damage to the structure of the window. 

Conclusion: Should You Use a Hopper Window, and Where?

Super secure and slimline, the little hopper window is a good option for your ventilation and home-safety needs in rooms such as the basement or bathroom. They offer you a way to make stationary windows more functional and their simple, sleek design suits all styles of home.

If you’re still not sure if a hopper window is right for your space, click here to see our list of the 13 most popular window styles for your home including awning windows and tilt and turn windows.


At home, April is a mom, wife, and DIY darling. Among other home projects, she helped her husband Dan renovate their 1986 bungalow and is currently designing and decorating the 2023 custom home they are building themselves. Professionally, April is a writer, author, and online marketer with 15 years of experience writing for newspapers and magazines, building online authority websites, and publishing books.