How Exactly Do Dual Shade Blinds Work?

Architect Dual Shade in Armadillo

Make a dramatic design statement with dual shades! Soft, sheer layers and elegant textured fabric give these transitional window treatments clean, bold lines. They’re the perfect complement to contemporary and minimalist interiors.

These shades go by a few different names, like zebra shades, double roller blinds, dual roller shades, or dual shade blinds. Whatever you know them as, we love dual shades because you can create different levels of filtered light, visibility and privacy!

How Dual Shades Work

You may have seen the phrase “two shades in one” when reading about dual shades. That’s because they’re made from two layers of alternating bands of sheer and semi-opaque or solid fabric attached to a roller.

Opening them rotates the fabric so the bands, or slats, sit directly on top of each other. When fully opened, light shines through the transparent sections and allows a view to the outside. When closed, the non-transparent bands overlap to provide privacy and help protect your furniture from harmful UV rays.

Living Room with Select Light Filtering Dual Shade in Whispering Waterfall
Select Light Filtering Dual Shade in Whispering Waterfall

Types of Dual Shades & Where to Place Them

To start, the majority of dual shades are not recommended for bathrooms or other high humidity rooms because of their fabric material.

Light Filtering

Light-filtering dual shades softly filters in light and creates a soft glow in the room. These shades are best for rooms that you want natural light to flow through, such as a living room or office, even when they’re closed.

Room Darkening

Room-darkening dual shades block out up to 95 percent of incoming light when closed. They are best for rooms that you intentionally want to keep dark, like nurseries, movie rooms or bedrooms.

Do They Provide Any Privacy?

Kitchen with Premier Room Darkening Dual Shade in Fossa
Premier Room Darkening Dual Shade in Fossa

Both light-filtering and room-darkening dual shades provide complete privacy when fully closed. They provide a little more privacy than traditional wood blinds when open because the sheer fabric slightly blurs the view. When the bands close completely, it forms a solid shade to protect your privacy and keep more light out at night. There’s always the option to add drapery or curtains over the dual shade to increase privacy!

The Exception: Solar Dual Shades

Solar Dual Shades are the exception to just about everything you just read. Its 5% openness opaque solar mesh fabric allows you to maintain a view outside, even when closed. Plus, solar shades reflect light, so during the day, it blocks a view into your home from the outside.

Living Room with Solar Dual Shade in Ashy Tan
Solar Dual Shade in Ashy Tan

However, in the evening, the solar dual shade reflect the lights inside of your home, which blocks your outward view and allows visibility from outside the home. If you want privacy 24/7, we recommend layering curtains to block visibility from the outside at night.

The solar shades’ material also allow it more flexibility in where it can be placed. It’s made primarily from PVC material, which makes it water-resistant and a viable option for rooms with high humidity.

Are you ready to earn your design stripes?

Call or chat with one of our Design Consultants to learn more about dual shades! Call (888) 257-1840. They’re easy to talk to!

Take Your Windows Shopping

Sign up now for insanely amazing inside deals!

    No thanks. I'm closing the window on this opportunity.
    We're serious about your privacy. Learn how we protect it here

    Thanks for Signing Up!

    Check your inbox for something special from


    Let's get started on selecting your new window treatments!

    Questions? Contact Us