Enhancing light absorption in thin-film silicon solar cells is important for improving light harvesting efficiency and reducing manufacture cost. In this paper, we introduce a double-sided nanocone hole (NCH) array structure for solar cells by extending a model suggested by Wang et al (2012 Nano Lett. 12 1616). The top-sided NCH structure is mainly used for increasing the antireflection of incident light, and the bottom-sided NCH structure for enhancing light trapping in the near-infrared spectrum. The theoretical analysis is performed on the proposed structure, from which the optimal geometric parameters of the structure are determined. The performance analysis shows that the proposed optimized double-sided NCH structure can yield a short-circuit current of 31.9 mA cm-2 with equivalent thickness of 1 μm, which is 12% and 190% higher than that of the top-sided NCH and planar film counterparts, respectively.