Ultimate Zebra Shades Buying Guide: Key Factors to Consider

Ultimate Zebra Shades Buying Guide: Key Factors to Consider

Windows aren't always the first thing you notice about a room, but they make a considerable difference to the overall feel and aesthetic of the room – whether you notice it or not. One of the most popular and effective window treatments is the zebra shade.

Zebra shades are versatile and can be used in a variety of rooms, from the bedroom to the living room. They come in different materials, colours, and styles, so you can find the perfect shade for your home.

Interested in learning more about zebra shades? Keep reading for everything you need to know.


Check out our Custom Window Shades Buying Guide here!

What are Zebra Shades?

In 1990s South Korea, where designers were known for their innovation and creativity, zebra shades were born. The unique design of these shades has made them a popular choice for windows around the world.

Zebra shades are high-quality light filtering roller shades made of one continuous loop of dark and sheer fabric. The name 'zebra' comes from their appearance; the fabric is made up of a series of horizontal stripes, alternating between solid and sheer shades.

The reason these shades are so popular and convenient is that they are totally adjustable. Since each shade is two layers of striped fabric, you can adjust the stripes to line up, partially overlap, or completely obscure the window. This means that you can control how much light comes into the room, and how much privacy you have.

Zebra shades are also versatile in terms of color and style. You can find budget-friendly blinds in a variety of colors, from muted neutrals to bright and bold hues. And, because they are a roller shade, you can choose from a variety of textures and patterns as well.


Are There Any Differences Between Zebra Shades, Zebra Blinds, and Zebra Curtains?

In general, we understand curtains, shades, and blinds to be three separate window treatments. Curtains are drape-like fabric panels hanging from a rod, shades are fabric or vinyl roller shades that pull up or down to cover a window, and blinds are horizontal or vertical slats that can be opened and closed to control light and privacy.

Zebra shades are unique in that they can be thought of as a cross between curtains and shades. They have the drape and fabric panels of curtains, as well as the adjustable stripes of shades. Much like horizontal blinds, they allow light to come in evenly and fill the entire room. This makes them a versatile choice that can be used in a variety of rooms.

This means that you can generally use any term you want when referring to zebra shades – zebra shades, zebra blinds, or zebra curtains – and they also go by the name of combi shades. They all refer to the same type of room darkening window treatment.

Zebra shades

How Do Zebra Shades Work?

As previously mentioned, the whole mechanic behind zebra shades is the alternating stripes of light and dark. The way these shades are built means that you have full light control – and the light covers the entire room, rather than hitting a particular spot (as Roman shades or roller blinds tend to do).

As the solid panels line up with the spaces in between the stripes, the light is entirely blocked and the room is darkened. When the panels are overlapping, the stripes of light will come through, brightening up the room. If you choose a light-blocking fabric, they can be just as effective as blackout roller shades – perfect for blocking out harmful UV rays.

To use zebra shades, there is a chain or cord loop on one side that is pulled to move the fabric loop around the roller. This will adjust the shaded lines to create the desired effect. For the smart home aesthetic, you can also find cordless zebra shades; they come with a motor and remote, making it easier to operate from anywhere in the room.

Benefits of Zebra Roller Shades

When looking for window coverings, you want to be sure that you are getting the most value for money. Zebra roller shades provide a number of benefits that make them a great investment, such as their versatility, customizability, practicality, and aesthetic appeal.

Aesthetic Appeal

Both traditional and contemporary homeowners out there will love the look of zebra shades. With their alternating stripes of light and dark, these shades are sleek, stylish, and timeless; perfect for any decor. You don’t need to use a valance, because there’s nothing ugly or disruptive about the way these shades install.


Unlike some vertical blinds, zebra shades don’t let stripes of light into the room. They line up in such a way that all light can be blocked, and because they are made of fabric, you can customize them with blackout material to make it even more difficult for light to leak through.

And the material isn’t the only part of these blinds you can customize. No matter the size of your window frame – whether your style is large windows, floor-length windows, small windows, or another style altogether – you can size the fabric roller to match.


Wood blinds and other wood-based treatments can be a beautiful addition to your home, especially for a rustic or natural feel; however, if you live in a moist climate, you may prefer to steer clear of wood. Fabric stands the test of time (and mold) much better than wood.

Zebra shade installation is incredibly practical and simple. Most are mounted on two metal hangers, which means they’re easy to take off and put back on. When the time comes to change your window treatment, you won’t be wrestling with glues, screws, or other frustrating mounting methods.

These shades are also an excellent solution for complete privacy. The solid panels make it difficult for anyone outside to see in – ideal for bedrooms and bathrooms where privacy is needed. And, when it's time for some fresh air, the stripes of light will let in enough natural light without compromising your privacy.


Finally, zebra shades are one of the most versatile window blinds on the market. They can be used in any room, with any window, and they easily provide your preferred amount of light and privacy. It's rare to find a room in which zebra shades would not be a practical and aesthetic fit.

There are many benefits to installing zebra shades in your home, and there aren’t many downsides. This is why so many people have fallen in love with zebra blinds over other treatments.

Factors to Consider When Buying Zebra Shades

To ensure you make the right decision, consider the following factors when buying zebra shades:

  • Room Type and Purpose: Take into account the specific room where the zebra shades will be installed. Bedrooms may require more light control for a restful atmosphere, so blackout blinds that provide an entire shade may be ideal. For living rooms, zebra shades offer a balance of natural light and privacy. Consider the purpose of the room and how the zebra shades will contribute to its overall functionality.
  • Size and Installation: Accurate measurements are crucial for a seamless fit. Measure your windows carefully before purchasing zebra shades to ensure they will cover the desired area effectively. Additionally, consider the different installation options available, such as an inside mount (within the frame) or an outside mount (above the frame), depending on the window type and your personal preference.
  • Material and Durability: These shades are available in various materials - from sheer to solid fabric - each with its own benefits. Consider factors such as durability, ease of maintenance, and aesthetic appeal when choosing a material. For high-humidity areas like bathrooms or kitchens, moisture-resistant materials may be preferred. Also, take into account the level of sunlight exposure in the room to ensure the material can withstand potential fading or damage.
  • Style and Aesthetics: Zebra shades offer a wide range of colours and patterns to match your room's decor. Look at your existing colour scheme and design elements in the space to choose zebra shades that seamlessly integrate with the overall aesthetic. The right choice can enhance the room's ambiance and create a cohesive look.
  • Budget: Choosing high-quality zebra shades for your home will provide long-term value and durability as well as balance the look of your space by choosing the right materials.

Zebra shades offer a unique combination of style and functionality compared to other types of shades. They have a dual-layered fabric design with adjustable sheer and solid stripes, providing versatile light control.

Unlike roller shades, which are a single layer of fabric that rolls up and down, they offer less flexibility. Cellular shades, on the other hand, can provide better insulation with their honeycomb structure, while zebra shades offer moderate insulation. Roman shades have different folding designs and provide various light-filtering options.

Ultimately, the choice depends on your preference for style, light control, insulation, and budget - but zebra shades are certainly a viable option for most homes.


Can You Customize Zebra Window Shades?

Fabric is incredibly easy to customize, and as such, you can order zebra shades in different colors and patterns to suit your taste. You can also have them cut to fit any window size. This makes it possible to get a truly unique look for your home, and one that is specific to your needs and preferences.

Our zebra shades, for instance, come in both blackout and regular fabric varieties. This means that you can choose the level of light filtering and privacy that you need, depending on the room and situation. You can then customize them further by choosing custom colors, sizes, and prints.

If you're interested in ordering some for yourself, check out our custom blinds – we've got a wide variety of blinds to choose from, all backed by warranty at checkout, so you're sure to find the perfect set for your home.


What are the disadvantages of zebra shades?

It should be noted that zebra shades can only offer limited privacy when fully open, and they do not provide the depth of darkness that blackout shades can provide. They also require regular cleaning to maintain their appearance.

What is the difference between zebra blinds and zebra shades?

Zebra blinds and zebra shades are essentially the same product. Unlike traditional roller shades, they feature a unique design with alternating horizontal stripes of sheer and solid fabric. When adjusting using a cord or motor, the fabric rolls through the bottom bar, causing the stripes to overlap and control the amount of light entering the room.

Are zebra shades worth it?

If you’re looking for a versatile and stylish window treatment that provide just the right amount of light control, then zebra shades are worth considering. They offer a balance between privacy and natural light and can enhance the aesthetics of your space.

Can you see through zebra shades at night?

Zebra shades provide varying degrees of privacy depending on the position of the sheer and solid stripes. When the solid stripes align, privacy is increased. However, at night, with lights on inside, visibility from the outside may be possible, although it will be limited.

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