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Is A Conservatory Or Sunroom Right For Your Home?

Conservatory in a Japanese house

When the weather is chilly, but you want to soak up some of the natural light, where do you go? Adding an extension to your home can allow you to enjoy all the benefits of natural light without worrying about having to bundle up outdoors. A conservatory or sunroom is the perfect addition for that reason. The question becomes, what’s the difference? And which is best for your home?

Here, we break down conservatories vs. sunrooms so you can choose the home upgrade that’s best for your needs.

Consider the Conservatory

You may think of a greenhouse when you hear the word conservatory, and you’re on the right track. However, a few differences separate the conservatory from a greenhouse or growing space.


A conservatory, also known as a winter garden, is designed with horticulture in mind, the goal being to keep plants safe from cold, harsh weather while providing ample sunlight for growth. You can find solace in the expansion and breathe in the fresh, clean air year-round in the comfort of your home.

What makes a conservatory different from a greenhouse is that the plants are placed in free soil beds instead of pots, and the term tends to carry a more architectural connotation.


A conservatory is designed to bring in light that enters through the panels and gives plants ample nutrition. Thanks to the glass roof panels, natural light can warm the room and create that warm, fuzzy feeling even in winter.


Typically, a conservatory features transparent materials, like glass, to make up the panels. Over time, you will need to find replacement conservatory roof panels to maintain the amount of sunlight and insulation so that your plants can thrive. If maintained properly, you may find your flowers in bloom longer than they would be outside, potentially year-round, if the conditions are right.

 Sunroom with dining area in an Australian house

Surrender to the Sunroom?

Whether you love the sun or just want more light in the family room, a sunroom offers you the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors from the safety and comfort of the indoors.


A sunroom is an extension of the living room with much more sunlight streaming in and an outdoorsy feel. Unlike a conservatory, the sunroom is designed to bring in significantly less light. However, there will still be more light than the average room with a few windows on the walls; you’ll get a robust amount of sun streaming through ceiling windows.


Unfortunately, your average sunlight won’t let in as much natural light as a conservatory, but you can install glass panels to remedy that if you wish. However, the sunlight that does enter the room will be comforting and controlled to prevent a sweltering overabundance in warmer months.


Depending on the design, a sunroom may have glass panels. In most cases, the roof is opaque to limit direct sunlight entering the room. This reduces the glare in the space, so you can spend more time in the room unhindered by an abundance of natural light. The room can also be designed to lower energy bills by using the right materials to either warm or cool the room. Vents can be strategically placed to help with airflow and circulation.


If you’re looking to make a comforting addition to your home, a conservatory or sunroom may be in the cards for you. Overall, a conservatory is best for the plant-loving outdoorsy folks, while a sunroom is perfect for the indoor type who wants a glimpse of the spacious outdoors.

Take the time to look into what works best for you and your goals for designing your home.