Choosing Blackout Shades: A Guide to Selecting Perfect Window Treatments

Living room with closed Classic Vinyl Blackout Roller Shades in White
Classic Vinyl Blackout Roller Shades in White

Blackout shades hold a special place in our heart. In fact, SelectBlinds was created back in 2003 because our founder was on a quest to find blackout shades for his daughter’s bedroom.

These window treatments come in a wide range of product categories, from curtains to roman shades. Whether you’re searching for a blackout shade or wanting to learn more about them, keep reading to see how to choose the right one!

Why We Love Blackout Shades

Our blackout window coverings are great for creating restful rooms, and we’re not the only ones who think so. Our Cordless Blackout Cellular Shades were rated Best Blackout Shade in 2023 by New York Time’s Wirecutter. Check out just a few of blackout shades’ benefits!

Woman opening her Cordless Blackout Cellular Shades in her bedroom
Cordless Blackout Cellular Shades in Classic White

Sleep Better with Blackout Shades

Dark rooms have been shown to help people fall asleep faster and even improve their health! Whether it’s through vinyl material or mylar-lined cells, blackout window block up to 98-99% of outside light and can create a buffer against noise. This makes them perfect for bedrooms and nurseries.

They Increase Privacy

Blackout shades not only reduce light pollution, but they also prevent any outside views looking into your home. You can have peace of mind knowing your private rooms are staying private.

Blackout Shades Are Energy-Efficient

Too much light can raise room temperatures and eventually fade your furniture or floors. By blocking out incoming light, blackout shades can result in lower energy costs on top of increased protection against UV rays. Give your AC a break and cool down rooms naturally.

Dining room with Premier Woven Wood Shades in Quince with a Privacy Liner
Premier Woven Wood Shades in Quince with a Privacy Liner

How to Choose the Right Type of Shade

The most important factor to consider is where is the shade going in the house. For each room, ask the following questions:

What level of light control do you need?

If you’re shopping for the kitchen, you may want a room darkening shade that can be adjusted to let light in through the slats during the day, like dual shades or faux wood blinds.

Bedroom featuring 2" SelectWave Cordless Faux Wood Blinds in White
2″ SelectWave Cordless Faux Wood Blinds in White

Whereas blackout cellular shades or roller shades are one solid piece of fabric and don’t have the same flexibility. However, trishades, or Top Down Bottom Up Cellular Shades, are the exception because you can let light in by raising or lowering the headrail or bottom rail. Read a category breakdown based on light-filtering ability here.

Living room with Cordless Blackout Top Down Bottom Up Shades in Dark Brown
Cordless Blackout Top Down Bottom Up Shades in Dark Brown

Does the room often have humidity?

Not all window coverings do great with exposure to moisture. Some fabrics can absorb moisture and even odors, like cellular shades. Woven wood shades also are not recommended because their natural materials can warp from water exposure over years.

Window treatments made from vinyl are best for rooms that occasionally get humid because they are water or moisture resistant.

What if I like a shade that isn’t room darkening or blackout?

Classic Roman Shades in Wheat with a blackout liner in a kids bedroom

Several window shades, like roman shades, have an option to upgrade to a room darkening or blackout liner. The liner restricts light from going through the shades’ fabric.

Pictured: Classic Roman Shades in Wheat with a blackout liner

Want to reduce even more light?

Have you been wondering where that last 1-2% of light is coming in? Typically, there’s a glow around the edges of the window covering, especially if you have an inside mount.

No window covering is 100% room darkening, but here are a few ways you can block out even more light:

  • Mount your window covering on the outside to prevent extra light from filtering in through the sides. You’ll want to add a couple inches to the width and height so it’s larger than the window opening. Check out our Measuring Guide for instructions.
  • Layer curtains over your blinds to cover up the sides.
  • For side-by-side windows, consider our two-shades-on-one-headrail options. There will still be a gap, but it will be smaller than putting two shades side by side on separate headrails.
  • Add a cassette, or deco fascia, instead of having an exposed roll on a roller shade.
  • Select a valance on roman shades so the fabric falls closer to the window.
  • Inside-mounted cellular shades have about 1/8″ light gap on each side compared to rollers/sheers/duals which have 1/2″ – 3/4″ gap on each side.
Minimalist Bedroom with Select Blackout Roller Shades in Black
Outside Mounted Select Blackout Roller Shades in Black

The More You Know

Do you see why we love blackout shades now? They improve sleep, lower energy costs, increase privacy, and look amazing! If you’re ready to start customizing your window treatment, head to our website!

If you have more questions, get free assistance from our Design Consultant Team by calling (888) 257-1840. They’re easy to talk to!

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