When choosing between blackout and insulated curtains versus room darkening and light blocking curtains, there are many factors to consider before making your purchase. Here are some ideas on when you should choose blackout and insulated versus when it would be best to select room darkening and light blocking curtains.
Dark Rooms & Ultimate Privacy, Choose Blackout or Insulated Curtains
What are blackout curtains?
If the room you’re outfitting is a bedroom, you may want to consider blackout or insulated curtains that block light from entering the room and provide a dark and private sleeping environment. You want to wake up when you’re ready to wake up, not when the sun comes blasting into the room. Also, with blackout or insulated curtains, you can change your clothes with the peace of mind that no one is peaking in.
Blackout or insulated curtains are also useful for providing privacy at night. In a living room that faces the street, for example, blackout or insulated curtains provide privacy when the room is illuminated by the TV. In the bathroom, where privacy is a must and the last thing you want to do is worry about who can see in, most people will choose blackout or insulated window curtains.
Everyone’s Favorite: Saving Money
Another consideration when choosing between blackout/insulated curtains and room darkening/light-filtering curtains is economic. A dense, blackout curtain may insulate a room, especially when used on large windows. The benefit? During the summer, blackout or insulated curtains trap cool air inside and during the winter, they prevent heat from escaping and cold drafts from entering. These factors may save on your electric bills and will increase the comfort level of your room. Also, blackout or insulated curtains cut down on the amount of unfiltered sunlight that comes through a window, which may prevent fading of floors, upholstery, and rugs.
To Keep Your Privacy While Letting Light In, Choose Room Darkening or Light Filtering Curtains
Room darkening and light-filtering curtains are popular for use in rooms that get a lot of sun during the day. Room darkening curtains filter sunlight without blocking it completely, so a room still benefits from the warmth and illumination natural light provides. Light-filtering curtains and shades also provide privacy during daylight hours, but not in the evening when the room is illuminated from within.
Layer Your Curtains
Many homeowners find that the best way to balance the practical and the aesthetic is to install both blackout or insulated curtains AND room-darkening or light-filtering curtains on the same window. Layering window treatments offer the ultimate in versatility. Blackout curtains layered over light-filtering curtains, for example, provides privacy all day and all night, without sacrificing the beauty of natural sunlight. Layered window treatments also allow you to seal a room against drafts in the winter with a room-darkener and then enjoy a breeze on a summer’s day with an open window and light-filtering curtain.
Finally, consider the curb appeal of your home. Many people prefer their windows and sliding doors to have a consistent appearance when viewed from a distance. You can choose similar styles and colors of window coverings or select similar curtain weights for uniform interior illumination in the evenings. That’s just personal preference so the decision is up to you. If you absolutely love your current curtains and don’t want to change them out for insulated curtains, hang a heavy-duty insulated curtain liners behind your existing window treatments to achieve the same result.
Now that you know what blackout curtains are, you’ll need to decide if you want grommet-top or tab-top. Check out our blog post, Grommet Curtains vs Tab Top Curtains: Which is Right for Your Window?, and choose the right option for your windows.
If you have any ideas on when you would use a blackout or insulated curtain versus room darkening or a light filtering curtains, we’d love to hear it in the comments below!