Are you looking for a touch of interior design inspiration? Or do you need to let light into your RV or trailer? Either way, a porthole window could be just what you’re looking for.
But with a host of designs, colors and finishes on the market, how do you make the right choice?
A good place to start is with some product reviews – so read on! We’re going to take you through ten of the best porthole windows out there. And our buying guide will help you choose the one that’s best for you.
If you’re looking for a porthole window for a boat or RV, check out this one from Amarine Made. It’s tough, smart and practical.
It comes in a choice of matte black or white finishes. Whether you want something to blend with your paintwork or contrast with it, one of these will probably work. It’s cast in durable ABS plastic with stainless steel fixings, so it’s hard-wearing. And it will stand up effectively to the elements.
The coating is UV-resistant. It won’t stain or discolor, even in strong sunlight. The synthetic fittings and rubber seals will also stand the test of time. Install this porthole, and it should give you years of trouble-free outdoor use.
And though usually installed in boats or vehicles, it’s very versatile. We’ve also heard of people successfully positioning it in walls or doors at home.
The window section of the porthole is 7 inches in diameter, while the whole thing is about 10 inches across.
The glass is tempered and it’s a quarter of an inch thick. It has a slight tint – handy if you want to reduce the heat from the sun.
And the two fittings can be loosened to allow you to open up the window and take in the air. Unfortunately, though, there isn’t a screen to keep out insect life. And the design is such that it’s difficult to add one.
Installation in your boat or RV is easy – it’s designed to click into place. The countersunk fastening holes are pre-drilled too, saving you a job.
But note that the trim ring isn’t included in the package. That means you’ll need to find one separately – which is a bit of a hassle.
Overall, this is an attractive and practical option, at a very reasonable price.
If you prefer a little more sparkle to your porthole, you’ll like this one from RedSkyTrader. It’s made of shiny aluminum, making it lightweight and durable. If you install it outside, you won’t have to worry about rust. And there’s no plastic or paintwork to discolor in the sunshine.
It measures just over 11 inches across. The outer ring brings the total width to just under 12 inches. The glass isn’t tinted, so you’ll get true colors when you look through it. It won’t, though, cut out any glare from sunlight on water.
It’s hinged so it can be opened, with two smart latches to hold it in place. The outer rim is decorated with rivets, giving it an authentic look. It will work beautifully to give a maritime flavor to your home décor. We’ve even heard of some people using it as a picture frame by taping a photo to the back!
It is, though, a little on the flimsy side, and the glass isn’t tempered. If you’re looking for something that can be installed on a boat or vehicle, this won’t be the best choice.
But the all-weather finish does mean it can be used to good effect in a garden. If you’re looking for something to allow little people to look through a fence, it’s perfect. And the aluminum will look the business, particularly on a sunny day.
With a similar look to the RedSkyTrader window, this one from Nautical Specials is much bigger. It measures a generous 20 inches across, large enough to provide a good view of any seascape.
It’s constructed of aluminum and hand-made, so you’ll be getting a touch of real quality. It’s hinged too, so you can open it and let in a sea breeze. Two latches hold the window securely in place when it’s closed.
The metal surrounds come in a range of different tones. For those who like a bit of bling, there’s a shiny chrome and rose-toned antique gold. Or if you prefer a matte finish, there’s bronze or “antique green”, which has the appearance of verdigris.
The glass is clear, and there’s no tint. The outer rim is studded with round headed rivets, giving it a realistic naval look.
But this is designed for effect rather than function. It will look wonderful as a decoration on your wall. It’s a lovely choice if you’re looking for an unusual frame for a maritime print. And the large dimensions will make a real statement in any room.
But it’s not sturdy enough to be used on a boat or trailer. There are no rubber seals to keep out rainwater, and the glass isn’t strengthened to withstand the elements.
If you’re looking for a porthole as an interesting decorative feature, this is a great choice. But if you need something practical for your vehicle, look elsewhere.
If you need something that will work effectively at sea, check out this porthole window from YaeMarine.
This one is rectangular, and it’s fairly big. It measures 15.75 inches across by just under 8 inches high. The glass panel is 12.3 inches wide by 4.5 inches tall.
Two hinges at the top allow you to flip it open and breathe in the fresh air. At the bottom, two robust latches hold it securely in place when it’s shut.
It’s made of tough ABS molded plastic and the tempered glass is four millimeters thick. The rubber seal and synthetic parts are all designed to resist corrosion. It’s finished in matte black for a smart appearance.
The frame is in two pieces. One fits to the interior wall of your boat or yacht, while the second fits to the exterior.
There’s no bug screen with this one, though, so it may not be the best choice if you hate creepy crawlies. One option is to make your own using mesh. Fix it in place with silicone and leave it overnight to set, before trimming off the excess. A final coat of silicone will give it extra strength.
This is a porthole window that’s all business. It doesn’t have any shiny aluminum or stainless steel. But if you’re interested in function over form, it’s well worth considering.
This stylish porthole window is made by hand from polished aluminum. The combination of traditional design and mirror finish will suit both contemporary and classic interiors.
It’s one of the largest windows on our list, measuring 20 inches in diameter. It’s hinged to open up, and there are two latches to hold it firmly closed. All the hardware is in the same polished aluminum finish.
Twelve rivets are studded at regular intervals around the outer ring. It looks exactly like the kind of porthole you’d find on an ocean liner from a bygone era.
This is another window that’s really a decorator’s piece. And we’ve heard of some very creative ways of using it.
Some people have installed it as an interior window. Others have fixed it to the door of their shed to create a nautical theme. And others have positioned a television on the other side of the wall, providing a portal to a changing scene!
Of course, some of the more challenging ideas will make installation a lengthier process. But if you’re just fixing this on a shed or door, it’s very simple to do. Minimal assembly is required, and it’s lightweight enough to be easily maneuvered into position.
And despite the generous dimensions, hand-made construction and polished finish, this is surprisingly easy on your pocket. It won’t keep out the tempest at sea – and we wouldn’t recommend it for a trailer either. But if you’re looking for a stylish feature for your home, you won’t go far wrong with this one.
If you’re looking for a porthole window for your camper or RV, check out this one from CR Laurence.
It measures 13 inches across, and the design is very simple. A round panel of tempered glass is surrounded by an interior frame finished in brushed aluminum.
The glass is tinted, so it will let in light without sacrificing privacy. It doesn’t open up, though. It’s designed strictly for brightening up a dark interior and allowing you to see the world outside.
Installation is fairly straight forward. It’s supplied with a self-tapping screw, which will fix in place fine if you’re working with a flat surface. But if you’re installing the window in a vehicle with a contoured wall, you’ll struggle.
If that’s what you’re working with, invest in some larger hex head screws instead. And enlist the help of a friend to hold the window in place while you screw them in.
There’s a good water baffle to keep out the weather. Adding some silicone to seal the window in place will make you doubly sure of avoiding any leaks.
There’s nothing flashy about this one – the design is simple and functional. If you want a feature to give your room a nautical theme, there are better options out there. But if you’re looking for something to increase light and security in your trailer or camper, it’s a good choice.
The second porthole window from CR Laurence to make our list, this is another one that’s designed for vehicles. The look is classic – a perfectly round porthole with a black aluminum frame.
That aluminum means it’s tough but light weight. And it’s powder coated so it won’t corrode, no matter how bad the weather.
The glass is clear, with a slight tint. It will let in plenty of light, and you’ll be able to see outside clearly. From outside, though, it will be hard so see in – so it’s a great option if you need privacy.
There’s no opening section here, though. If you want something to let in the night breezes, this won’t be the right choice.
The visible area of the glass as seen from the outside is just under 10 inches. From the inside, it’s slightly larger – about 10 inches on the nose. The overall diameter from the outside is 11.75 inches.
It comes with its own clamp ring. This can be used to install the window in walls either 1/8 inch or 1.5 inches thick. The task is pretty easy, but note that this is designed for new installations, rather than retrofitting.
You’ll benefit from getting in a friend to help with the job. Get them to hold onto the porthole while you drive in the screws from the inside. Use some black silicone to seal it in place, and it will be watertight.
But while this is a great choice for a van or trailer, don’t choose it for a boat. The glass and frame aren’t as thick as marine versions.
For marine applications, Seaflo’s rectangular porthole window is definitely worth a look. This one is finished in white for a fresh, clean look.
It’s made of sturdy ABS plastic that’s designed to stay looking good and performing effectively for years. It won’t degrade in hot sunshine, and the color won’t yellow or stain.
The rubber seals and synthetic fittings are designed to resist corrosion – just what you need in the sea air. The latches are made of cast and polished stainless steel, so they’re strong and won’t rust.
And the tempered glass is four millimeters thick. That’s strong enough to stand up to high winds and waves, although it won’t resist a hurricane.
It’s 15.75 inches wide and just under 8 inches high. It’s hinged at the top to allow you to open it up wide and take some air. The opening section is 12.6 inches wide and 5 inches high.
You’ll need to do a little assembly, but it’s very straight forward. The frame is designed to click into place in the cavity. And the gasket seal gives an excellent watertight finish.
It doesn’t come with its own template, which is a minor irritation. But it’s easy enough to trace around the window. Once in place, it opens and closes easily.
Overall, this is a great option for those looking for a porthole window for their boat. Every part of the construction is good quality, and you won’t be paying a fortune for it either.
Amarine’s portal window for boats is available in a choice of black or white. And there’s something a little different about the design here. Instead of the standard circular or rectangular shape, this one is an oval. For those looking for a window to stand out from the crowd, it’s well worth a look.
It’s constructed from ABS plastic, making it resilient to knocks and bumps. It’s UV-resistant too, so it won’t degrade in the sun, no matter how strong the rays.
The accessories are made from robust 316 stainless steel. Durable rubber seals and synthetic fixings complete the package.
While the shape is unusual, there are still plenty of traditional features to give this a strong nautical look. The hinges and latches are prominent, and round headed rivets decorate the outer ring of the frame.
It’s just over 16 inches at its widest point, and just over 8.5 inches at its tallest. There’s an opening section to let in that fresh sea air. That’s 12.7 inches across at its widest point, and a maximum of 5.1 inches tall.
Installation is made easier by the pre-drilled countersunk holes. You will, though, need to buy your own screws. And it doesn’t include a bug screen. If you want one, you’ll need to make it yourself.
This is a great quality, watertight porthole for marine use. But it will work just as well as an interesting feature in an interior door, or even in a shed. Wherever you put it, the unusual elliptical shape will make it a real showstopper.
If you’re looking for a traditionally styled portal, they don’t come much more authentic than this one from Nagina International.
It’s constructed from solid brass and is made by hand, giving it a beautiful, artisanal quality. Imagine the portholes on a glamorous 1930s ocean liner, and you’ll probably imagine something like this.
The hinge and wingnuts are carefully positioned. When the hinge is at the top, the two wingnuts are perfectly symmetrical. Nine attractive rivets evenly spaced around the outside complete the look.
The wingnuts, of course, mean that this is a porthole that can be opened. But this is primarily a decorative feature. Beautiful though it is, it won’t stand up to the demands of life on the ocean wave.
While the brass is pleasingly heavy, the wiggle in the hinge means it’s far from watertight. And there’s a gap of about 0.25 inches between the opening section and the frame when it’s closed. It doesn’t detract from the aesthetics, but it won’t work on a boat.
As with other decorative porthole windows, we’ve seen many people using this as an innovative picture frame. It will look particularly good holding a picture of a ship or a storm-tossed sea! The glass panel will display a picture just over seven inches wide.
It will work equally well as a porthole in an interior door, where it will make a fantastic talking point.
That brings us to the end of our reviews of some of the best porthole windows on the market right now. But if you’re still feeling unsure, read on for some questions to help you narrow down your choice.
Practical or decorative?
Porthole windows can be divided into those that perform a serious function, and those that are there to look good. Knowing which category you need is the first step to choosing the right one.
If you’re looking for a porthole for a boat or vehicle, you’ll need to check several important features. Will it fit your required wall depth? Is it going to be watertight? Will it let in the right amount of light?
With a decorative item, the choice is far simpler. What finish will work with your design scheme? And is it the right size for the space?
Your choice will soon begin to become clearer.
There’s a surprising amount of variation when it comes to porthole windows. The smallest on our list are around 8 inches, the largest about 20 inches.
If you’re looking for a window that will open up, remember to check the dimensions of the opening section too. And check how much of that is accounted for by the glass panel. With some portholes, a lot of the width is taken up by the frame.
If you want to use your porthole as a picture frame, the size of the glass will be particularly important. Make sure it will fit the picture you want to display.
What about the finish?
While aesthetic appeal is obviously essential for decorative porthole windows, it’s also important for functional ones. Think about how the window will look on your boat, van or trailer. Will a white or a black finish work best? Do you want it to contrast with the paintwork, or blend in?
For decorative windows, think about the effect you want to achieve. Brass or bronze finishes will work beautifully with classic decor. Chrome will bring it right up-to-date, creating a look that’s perfect for loft living and contemporary interiors.
Time to choose!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our tour of some of the best porthole windows as much as we have! Whether you’re looking for something functional or decorative, traditional or modern, there’s an option out there for you.