Buyer's Guide: Room-Darkening Blinds and Shades

When shopping for window coverings that block out natural light, your mind probably automatically goes to blackout curtains. But there are so many other window treatments out there that can be used for light control in your home, including room-darkening shades and blinds.

What are room-darkening shades and blinds, you ask? These coverings effectively darken a room using light-blocking fabrics and materials, but still allow you to welcome natural light if you so desire. Usually, these styles block out about 95 percent of the light, but some may block even more.

room with darkening blinds installed

Room-darkening treatments differ from blackout shades in that they don’t block out as much light, as blackout curtains can block out 100 percent of light in some scenarios. How do window coverings darken a room? Usually, it’s the material itself that blocks out the light, and sometimes a light-filtering liner is added to the back of the blinds or shades to block out more light.

The great thing about these coverings versus blackout curtains is that they come in many styles, color options and materials. No, you don’t need to buy solid black blinds to keep the light out, just so long as you pick a covering labeled “room-darkening.”

Why Buy Room-Darkening Window Treatments?


These kinds of blinds and shades are excellent for rooms where you sleep — they prevent the sun from waking you up too early, and create a comfortable, dark environment when you need to sleep during the day — but there are several other reasons you might want to consider limiting natural light from entering the room. Too much UV exposure can cause your furniture and flooring to fade over time, so they can help protect your expensive investments.

bedroom cream room darkening shades

Additionally, controlling the light in a room can also help control the temperature in your home. Soft, filtered light doesn’t heat the air as much as unfiltered light, so it’s a good way to maintain natural lighting in your home without raising temperatures during the summer.

Things to Consider When Buying Room-Darkening Blinds


So now that you know why to buy these kinds of shades, let’s talk about how to buy them. There are four primary things to consider before purchasing any window treatment: size, material, color and style. Installation is also a factor, but most modern styles are simple to install.

  • Size — Sizing your window coverings is relatively easy, so long as you partner with a company that offers custom blinds, like Factory Direct Blinds. Once you measure your windows for blinds and shades (outlined in our complete blinds and shades measuring guide), you can plug in your desired width and height before checkout so that you get the perfect size for your exact window.

  • Material —Room-darkening window covers come in many different materials selected specifically for longevity, style and performance, including aluminum, wood, faux wood and even polyester fabric. In fact, fabric shades can have excellent room-darkening capabilities, especially if they’re finished with light-filtering liners.

  • Color — Room-darkening blinds and shades vary more than blackout shades in terms of color choices. You’ll even find sheer blinds and shades in our selection. Know that the color you choose should not affect how much light is filtered through; it’s the materials and design that do the filtering. We have light-filtering blinds and shades in white, brown, blue, black, green, tan and more. We even have patterned Roman shades that filter out light.

  • Style — Another thing to consider when shopping for room-darkening shades and blinds is that they come in tons of unique styles, including roller shades, vertical blinds and even sheer shades. Different styles have different benefits, so you should take your time when picking the right option for your home.


office space windows view

Once you have all these things ironed out, head on over to our selection of room-darkening window treatments to find a style that perfectly suits your desired look. At Factory Direct Blinds, we’re happy to help you find the perfect coverings at a great low price, and we offer free samples of many of the products in our selection.

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