12 Most Durable and Low-Maintenance Window Coverings
You don’t want a set of coverings that constantly demands your attention, whether that means they’re always attracting dust or are constantly breaking or splitting after just a few months of your purchase. The wrong coverings require constant shaking, repositioning and draping, especially when they’re made of fabric. And let’s face it: There are so many other things that demand your attention in your home, especially if you’ve got kids and pets, so why add yet another attention hog to the mix?
In your goal to create an effortlessly clean, welcoming and low-effort household, the right window treatments can really do wonders. They also go far when it comes to adding style and warmth to your space.
Where Are Durable Window Coverings Needed?
While it could be argued that just about everyone could benefit from anything durable and low-maintenance in the home, there are some spaces where decorators should prioritize these factors more than others, especially:
- Homes with children and pets
- Rental homes and vacation rentals
- Homes in extreme (or fluctuating) climates
- Moist or damp environments, such as basements
- Businesses where harsh materials are used
- Craft rooms and workshops
- Playrooms and multipurpose living rooms
- Dorm rooms or student housing
- Hotels and commercial environments
- Anywhere cleaning time and maintenance is a premium
The Least Durable and Most High-Maintenance Window Coverings
To get started, let’s discuss which window coverings are by and large considered the worst for the above environments.
- AVOID: Heavyweight Fabric Curtains—While fabric curtains can be great for dressing up a room and creating a plush, warm feel and a high-style aesthetic, the compromise usually comes at the cost of durability. As you probably know, heavyweight fabric curtains are among the most difficult kinds of window coverings to clean. They’re easily damaged by many of your trustiest household cleaning products and tend to attract mold, mildew, dust, odors and mites. Even if you go for a machine-washable style, you’ll likely find that the fabric loses a portion of its drape, feel and durability with every wash.
- AVOID: Sheer Fabric Curtains—For all of the above reasons, you already know that it’s not a good idea to choose fabric curtains if you’re going for minimal maintenance. To take things a step further, we highly recommend avoiding any sheer fabric curtains as well for the simple fact that these coverings are generally made of thin, flimsy material that may not last longer than a single season. They’re also often not sturdy enough to be tossed in the wash, which makes them demanding to clean, especially when dealing with odors.
- AVOID: Blinds Made of Cheap Materials—The clear alternative to porous, moisture- and odor-loving fabric curtains, of course, is blinds. The harder, solid material addresses many of the above concerns, but you need to make sure you’re selecting the appropriate materials. Look for blinds made of real hardwood (ours are made of basswood), polycarbonate or metal. Polycarbonate parts are especially ideal for faux wood blinds because they’re extremely resistant to damage that could occur due to heat, impact and fading. Polycarbonate is also a natural UV filter (hence why it’s regularly used in sunglass lenses).
And Now for the Winners…
Now that you know the three main types of window coverings to avoid if you’re looking primarily for durability and ease of care, let’s take a look at some specific window coverings that are no-muss, no-fuss. All of the following window coverings are available for a great price with quick shipping from Factory Direct Blinds.
1. Wood Blinds: Natural and Attractive—Real wood blinds are the primary choice for home- and business-owners who dream of an attractive, natural look that will endure. Basswood blinds will resist any signs of warping, fading and chipping. Available in a wide range of unique finishes, a set of stylish wood blinds is easy to incorporate into your home décor scheme, no matter if it’s contemporary or classic. Some wood blinds can be equipped with hole punches through each slat, which allows you to slide out each individual slat for deep cleaning.
2. Cordless Shades: Clean and Adaptable—With cordless shades, it’s less about the material and more about the mechanism. These coverings come in a wide range of options—from attractive real wood styles to functional and affordable mini blinds—but earn their low-maintenance ranking because the cordless design means fewer parts and less chance of breaking. Of course, cordless shades are often preferred in environments with kids and pets, as they eliminate a possible choking and strangling hazard.
3. Roller Shades: Chic and Versatile—The simple, clean look of roller shades makes them an attractive and sensible choice for those who are concerned with keeping things neat, clean and simple. This type of window covering has a rolling mechanism with fabric attached to it, which rolls up into a tube when the shades are up. While they offer the warm texture of fabric, they are by and large considered easier to clean and maintain than typical fabric styles, so they’re a great alternative to conventional curtains and drapes.
4. Cellular Shades: Affordable and Stylish—Cellular shades are known for their warmth and light filtering ability, which is created due to their unique, honeycomb-style design. Light control is a breeze with these types of coverings, as is maintenance and cleaning. Their very simple design coupled with the fact that they sit tightly in the window makes them perfect for homes with kids and pets. They won’t touch the floor and are less likely to become dust magnets.
5. Roman Shades: Warm and Classic—Once considered old-fashioned, roman shades have come back into fashion in a huge way, and we’re thrilled! These shades feature a flat piece of material that is pulled up accordion-style using a cord. Their simplicity makes them extremely low-maintenance and easy to care for. They are also an excellent pick for those who love the elegant, classy look and feel of fabric window coverings but don’t want to risk the dust and draping issues that come from regular curtains or drapes.
6. Zebra Shades: Fresh but Timeless—Light, bright and inviting, zebra shades are popular among those who love to let a little light in but still appreciate privacy. These types of shades get their name because they’re made of lightweight fabric vanes that go between two sheer panels, creating a zebra-like look that’s similar to the appearance of horizontal blinds. The great thing about many of our remote-operated zebra shades is that they have wire-free, rechargeable and easy-to-use motors, offering the best in low-maintenance, effortless luxury. Worried about components breaking? Our remote-controlled shades are backed by a limited lifetime warranty to protect your purchase.
7. Bamboo Blinds: Earthy and Enduring—Like basswood, bamboo offers an incredibly durable, attractive appeal but with a bit more of an earthy luxury. Bamboo is one of the most eco-friendly, sustainable décor options on the market, so you’ll feel good about adding them to your space. They excel in the quality department, too, as bamboo is incredibly strong and adaptable to many unique climates. In fact, this eco-friendly material is actually considered more durable than red oak or maple, so it’s a fantastic selection for spaces where kids and pets play. They also provide an undeniably stylish and natural look in any space.
8. Mini Blinds: Adaptable and Easy to Clean—Mini blinds are just like regular window blinds but have smaller slats, creating smaller vertical lines for an intriguing appearance. They are extremely easy to clean with a simple dust or wipe-down and come in various highly durable, long-lasting materials that keep them in play for many years. On top of that, mini blinds can be ordered with more durability enhancing features, such as cordless construction to eliminate extra components that need cleaned periodically.
9. Pleated Shades: Airy and Tailored—These tailored-looking shades are about as bright, light and airy as it gets! They’re made of a 100 percent woven polyester fabric that provides the same warmth and feel of typical fabric window dressings but offers a more durable, structured and finished aesthetic. The polyester is easier to dust, vacuum and spot-clean and offers none of the standard draping and shaping issues of regular fluid fabric. What’s more, these shades are cord-free, so they’re safe for your kid-friendly household.
10. Faux Wood Blinds: Affordable but Strong—We’ve already covered a few of the advantages of faux wood blinds above, but there’s even more to the story for those who dream of lasting, durable covers. Like real hardwood blinds, faux wood blinds are exceptionally durable and easy to clean thanks to their strong, rigid surface. But faux wood takes things a step further in the durability department by adding supreme resistance to changing temperatures and humidity. Therefore, if you need a set of blinds that will stay in excellent shape, even in the basement or bathroom, it’s best to go with faux wood blinds. These coverings are an excellent investment for the durability-seeker!
11. Vertical Blinds: Classic and Simple—Vertical blinds don’t get enough love in the window treatment world, but we think they should! They are effortlessly low-maintenance and quite easy to clean—just dust, vacuum or wipe them down when dirt and dust accumulate. If you’re looking for a minimal-maintenance, floor-to-ceiling option or something for larger windows, then vertical blinds are a fantastic option. Most of our vertical blinds are made of extremely durable and long-lasting PVC material, but some fabric options are available.
12. Top Down, Bottom Up: Versatile and Sleek—These amazingly versatile blinds can be raised from the bottom or lowered from the top, which allows you to move the entire covering to virtually any position on the window. This allows for the ultimate in customization in terms of light and privacy. These types of coverings are available in many materials and configurations that allow them to be supremely low-maintenance and easy to clean.
Quality Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive
In conclusion, there are many unique factors that contribute to a covering’s durability and maintenance requirements, such as materials and the mechanisms used to open and close them. As you can see from our incredible selection, cost is not necessarily an indicator of these qualities. While you might shell out thousands for custom, designer curtains that need regular attention, you can get a set of durable blinds for a fraction of the cost and worry much less about care. In other words, style and practicality doesn’t have to be expensive, especially when you shop at Factory Direct Blinds!