How to Choose the Best Blackout Blinds

Blackout blinds are one of the most effective window treatments to help you sleep better at night, especially if your bedroom is near streetlights or a highway. The tight weave of the fabric blocks out sunlight, ambient light and even some light from outside noise. Unlike curtains, which are often too sheer or can flutter in the breeze, these darkened shades present a seamless look from both inside and out and won’t add any extra heat to your home. They also tend to be more durable and affordable, allowing you to upgrade your windows over time.

While blackout shades are available in a wide variety of styles, it’s important to focus on the type that best suits your decor and operation preferences. For example, many of the shades that you’ll find in stores feature long cords, which can become tangled, damaged by pets and endanger children. However, you can easily find alternatives to these dangling options that are easier to use and safer for kids.

Typically, cellular or pleated shades are the most effective and attractive. These types of blackout blinds include a layer of honeycomb cellular fabric, which creates air pockets and helps to insulate the room. They’re also designed to be more energy efficient, keeping your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. The thick material can also block out drafty cold air and outside noise, making them a good option for bedrooms, home offices or nurseries.

If you’re shopping for blackout blinds types of window shades, it’s also important to consider the thickness of the material, as this can have an impact on your comfort level and if the blinds will stand up to wear and tear over time. The thickest and most well-made blinds are likely to be the most expensive, but they’ll also offer the best functionality and a longer lifespan.

You’ll also want to think about how you plan on using your blackout blinds and whether or not you’re willing to invest in motorized, remote-controlled or smart home integration. You can find both battery-operated and electric blinds that can be controlled by voice with Alexa or Google Assistant, which makes them much more convenient than traditional ones that require you to manually roll them up or down. They may also come with a wide range of customization options, including color and size variations, to fit most windows.

Another option is to buy a set of stick-on blackout blinds that you can take with you wherever you go. The best of these are made of a thick material that keeps the sun out, and they’re easy to use thanks to their suction cups or adhesive velcro straps that attach to the windows. They’re a great alternative to buying costly and bulky blinds that you might need at a hotel or on a plane or cruise ship. These darkening blinds are also a good choice for camping trips and vacation homes. They can also be used as a temporary way to darken your living room while you renovate.