Everything You Need to Know Before Buying Blackout Blinds
IN THIS ARTICLE
- Blackout Blinds vs. Light Filtering and Room Darkening Options
- Biggest Benefits of Blackout Styles
- Types of Window Shades
- How To Measure Blackout Blinds
- Blackout Blinds FAQs
Although most window treatments are designed to control the amount of light coming into a room, the majority will still allow some light to shine through. Not so with blackout blinds – as the name suggests, these window coverings are specifically designed to block out all light, making them an ideal choice for anyone looking for complete darkness.
Blackout blinds are designed to block out the sun in its entirety. As you can imagine, they're a popular choice for bedrooms, home theaters, media rooms, and home offices, where complete darkness is essential for a good night's sleep, daytime naps, or uninterrupted work.
But before you run out and buy blackout blinds, there are a few things you need to know. In this buyer's guide, we'll take a closer look at what light-blocking blinds are, the different types available, and the benefits they offer. We'll also provide some tips on how to measure blackout blinds for your home.
Blackout Blinds vs. Light Filtering and Room Darkening Options
First of all, let's talk about a few key differences between common window treatments. There are three main types of treatments in terms of light control: light filtering, room darkening, and blackout.
- Light filtering window treatments allow some light to come through while blocking out the sun and other external light sources. Homeowners often choose light filtering blinds for their energy efficiency and gentle glow. They're a popular choice for daytime privacy in living rooms and are available in a variety of styles, including blinds, shades, and curtains.
- Room darkeners are designed to block out 95 to 99 percent of all light, and they are popularly used in bedrooms, media rooms, and home offices. Room darkening window treatments are typically available as blinds or shades.
- Blackout window treatments are designed to block out 100 percent of all light. As we mentioned earlier, blackout blinds are a popular choice for bedrooms, nurseries, media rooms, and home offices where complete darkness is essential.
Often, the key factor in what makes a window treatment a "blackout" option is the type of fabric or material used. Blackout blinds and shades typically have a thicker fabric or material that blocks out more light than traditional light filtering or room darkening options.
It's important to note that even blackout window shades will not completely darken a room to where it is pitch black. They will, however, eliminate all direct light from the sun and other external light sources, making them a great choice for anyone looking for complete darkness.
Biggest Benefits of Blackout Styles
Believe it or not, there's more to gain from using blackout window treatments than just darkening a room. There are plenty of benefits to be had – like absorbing harmful UV rays, improving sleep, and reducing noise.
If you have young children that keep you up all hours of the night, or you work a night shift, using blackout window blinds will give you the level of darkness needed to have a proper sleep during the day. Even if you're not trying to sleep, the darkness makes watching movies, meditating, or simply relaxing a lot more enjoyable.
In addition to improving sleep, blackout window treatments can also help reduce noise levels. Students often use blackout blinds in their dorm rooms to help drown out the light and noise from outside so that they can focus on their studies.
Another great benefit of blackout window treatments is that they can help protect your furniture and carpets from the sun's harmful UV rays. Over time, these rays can fade your furniture and carpeting, so using blackout window treatments helps to prevent this from happening.
Let's take a look at a few more benefits.
Increases Melatonin Levels
When exposed to darkness, our pineal glands will begin to produce melatonin. This is why blackout windows are ideal for people who need to relax or sleep during the day; the darkness allows the body to produce more melatonin, leading to a better quality of sleep.
Helps Prevent Depression
Astonishingly, studies have found that even a small amount of light coming into your room at night can increase your risk for developing depressive symptoms. Blackout roller shades can help to prevent this from happening by completely blocking out all light from entering your room. This will allow you to maintain your natural circadian rhythm, leading to a more balanced mood and improved overall health.
Reduces Metabolic Dysfunction
More studies have found that just a single night of sleeping while exposed to light can disrupt our metabolism and lead to a number of other health issues. By using blackout window treatments, you can prevent light from entering your room and disrupting important metabolic functions like hormone production and glucose regulation.
Blocks UV Rays
One of the biggest benefits of using blackout window treatments is that they can help to block out harmful UV rays. Over time, exposure to these rays can cause damage to our skin, leading to wrinkles, age spots, and even skin cancer.
Blackout window treatments can help to prevent this from happening by blocking out the majority of UV rays. This will help to keep your skin looking young and healthy for years to come. Not to mention, your furniture and carpets will also enjoy ample protection from the sun's damaging UV rays.
Types of Window Shades
Once upon a time, homeowners had very limited options when it came to window treatments. Now, however, we are overwhelmed with options – which material to choose, what style to pick, and should we get a cordless or corded shade?
New and innovative styles are coming to the forefront of window treatment design, like cellular shades, roman shades, and zebra sades. You now have the ability to customise your window treatments to fit your specific needs; you can choose from a selection of materials, colours, and even textures.
This applies to blackout curtains and blinds, too. You may decide to go with an outside mount blackout blind, which will cover the entire window and help to darken the room. Or you might choose an inside mount blackout blind, which is a smaller treatment that fits between the window frame and the glass.
There are also a variety of different fabrics to choose from, each with their own benefits. Let's take a look at the different treatment styles so that you can decide for yourself.
One of the most versatile window treatments, roman shades can be made from a variety of materials, including fabric, bamboo, wood, or vinyl. They are typically one piece of fabric that raises up and down like a drape, and they come in a variety of styles, including flat, hobbled (pleated), or waterfall.
Roman shades are also available in a blackout style. Blackout roman shades use a heavier fabric to block out the light completely, and the shade can be raised or lowered as needed.
Pleated shades are similar to roman shades, but they have a series of pleats rather than one large drape. This style is available in both blackout and non-blackout varieties.
The honeycomb shade is a newer style of window treatment that has quickly become popular. The shade is made up of small, hexagon-shaped cells that form a honeycomb pattern. This style is available in both blackout and non-blackout varieties.
A cellular shade is made up of small, round cells that create an air pocket between the cells. The air pocket in each single cell helps to insulate the window and keep the room cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
An excellent innovation for window treatments is the motorised shade. This style can be raised and lowered with the touch of a button, making it perfect for hard-to-reach windows or windows that are high up on the wall.
Top Down Bottom Up
Most window treatments can be raised from the bottom up, but there are a few that can also be lowered from the top down. The top down bottom up style is perfect for those who want to let in natural light while still keeping the privacy of the room. It is also a great option for those who want to avoid having to adjust the height of their blinds every time they want to let in or block out the light.
Corded blinds can pose a safety hazard, especially for small children and pets. For this reason, many homeowners are choosing cordless blinds. These shades are either motorised or operated with a rod, and they are available in a variety of styles.
Woven Wood Shades
For a natural, even Bohemian look, woven wood shades are a great option. These shades are made from a variety of materials, including bamboo, jute, seagrass, and maize. They come in both blackout and non-blackout varieties. Some people also prefer to go with a hardwood shade.
These are just a few of the many types of window shades that are available on the market today. They can also be mixed and matched; for instance, you might choose to install a cordless blackout cellular shade, or a cordless top down honeycomb.
With such a variety to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which style is best for you – but with a little bit of research, you're sure to find the perfect shade for your home.
How To Measure Blackout Blinds
Once you've chosen a style of blackout blind, there are a few more decisions to make before installing: the size and fit of the blind, the type of mount, and the placement of the cord.
The size and fit of the blind will depend on the size of your window, as well as whether you want a single cell or double cell shade, or even a mini blind. You'll need to measure both the width and height of your window in order to get an accurate measurement. If you're ordering a custom-fit blind, be sure to include the thickness of the mounting brackets in your measurement.
For the type of mount, you'll need to decide between a inside or outside mount. An inside mount is when the blind is mounted on the inside of the window frame, while an outside mount is when the blind is mounted on the outside of the window frame. The main difference is that an inside mount will have a smaller visible window frame than an outside mount.
And finally, the placement of the cord is also important to consider. Most blackout blinds have a cord on the right side, but some models offer a cordless option or a cord on the left side. Perhaps the most important thing to consider is the height of the cord – it should be high enough that children and pets cannot reach it.
All you need to do after measuring your window and making these decisions is to find a retailer that offers blackout blinds in your chosen style and size. They will be able to help you with the rest of the decisions, including the type of mount and the placement of the cord.
Whether you're a shift worker, a light sleeper, or just like to have some peace and quiet in your bedroom during the day, blackout blinds are a great way to get it. They can also be helpful if you have a sunny window keeping your room too bright in the morning.
If you're ready to block light, save energy, and get a good night's sleep, then a set of blackout blinds is the way to go. Take a look at our extensive range – and happy browsing!
Blackout Blinds FAQs
What are the best blinds to blackout light?
Blackout blinds are specifically designed to block out 100 percent of external light. They can be made from a variety of materials, such as blackout cloth, vinyl, or metal. Generally, shades will be better at blocking light than blinds, but some blackout blinds are specifically designed to be extra effective.
Is it good to sleep with blackout blinds?
Yes, blackout blinds can be helpful for people who want to sleep in complete darkness. They are also good for shift workers or people with light sensitivities. Blackout blinds can also help with health issues like depression, sleep problems, and metabolic disorders.
Are blackout shades worth it?
While blackout shades are not a necessity, they can be helpful for people who want to sleep in complete darkness or who have light sensitivities. They can also save energy and keep rooms cooler in the summer, making them a valuable addition to any home.
Does the light from the TV show through blackout shades?
No, blackout shades are specifically designed to block out all external light. This includes the light from televisions, lamps, and other electronic devices.
What are the benefits of blackout blinds?
Blackout blinds offer a variety of benefits, including:
- Blocking out 100 percent of external light
- Reducing energy costs
- Keeping rooms cooler in the summer
- Helping with sleep problems and light sensitivities
- Reducing the glare from windows
They also help with health issues like depression, sleep problems, and metabolic disorders.
What are blackout blinds made of?
Blackout blinds can be made from a variety of materials, including blackout fabric, vinyl, or metal.
How do you clean blackout blinds?
Blackout blinds can be cleaned in the same way as other types of blinds. Simply remove them from the window and dust or vacuum them as needed. A damp cloth can also be used to clean them, but make sure they are completely dry to prevent mold or mildew from forming.