Blackout curtains have a lot of benefits that make them an essential addition to your home. These kinds of window treatments are lifesavers for those who work night shifts with young children or who just want better quality sleep. 

Aside from controlling the light entering a room, blackout curtains are also effective in filtering out external noise. This is largely because blackout curtains are made from thicker fabrics. If you want to work in a room free from noise, consider having blackout curtains, or curtains that are made from thicker fabric.

Since humidity outdoors translates into hotter rooms, a good blackout curtain can help minimize heat inside the home. A hot room consumes a lot of energy, whether that be an electric fan or air conditioning, hence, having blackout curtains can help you reduce energy costs. 

Undoubtedly, blackout curtains are a good investment for your home. They are both good for your health, your energy consumption, and your home’s aesthetics. 

Do Blackout Curtains Really Work?

Blackout curtains, or more specially - black velvet curtains, are selling like hotcakes. But it begs the question: do they really work?

Blackout curtains perform specific functions in order to achieve darkness. To understand how they work, let's take a look at the science behind it.

The main material consisting of the anatomy of blackout curtains are the tightly-woven fabric. The manner in which it is woven effectively blocks the light and UV rays from penetrating in the room. 

However, there are also blackout curtains available in the market today that are not as effective as the genuine one. Hence, you must be careful in selecting or else, light will still enter your room. 

Do Blackout Curtains Block 100% of Light?

The answer to this question comes down to two things. 

The Quality of The Fabric Used

First, the fabric that the curtains are made from should be a thick, high quality, heavy duty fabric. Cheaper, thinner fabrics will not block light as effectively and you will have light breaking through into the room 

Proper Installation of Blackout Curtains

Second, the manner in which they are hung or installed makes a huge difference. If they are installed correctly, then blackout curtains will effectively block 100% of light. 

Installation Tips For Your Blackout Curtains

So how do you make sure blackout curtains are properly installed? Here’s what you need to know:

1. Measure Your Windows Properly

If you fail to measure your windows properly, there’s a good chance that your blackout curtains will not be as effective, leaving gaps for light to break through. It’s safe to say, proper window measurements are non-negotiable when installing window treatments, especially blackout!

Once you get the measurements, make sure that they are compatible with your curtain of choice. That is, if they will effectively cover the whole window.

2. Select The Appropriate Poles And Hardware

Curtain hardware is not only good for aesthetics. It also makes sure that your blackout curtains are properly installed. Hence, it is important that you assess which option will look best in your room. Most importantly, ensure that your choice of hardware can bear the weight of the blackout curtains.

Whether selecting a curtain pole, curtain rings, or finials, it pays to choose hardware that will blend well with the curtains themselves. 

3. Hang High

It’s okay to hang your blackout curtains higher, high curtain poles will make your windows appear tall.  The general rule is that the curtain pole should be 4-6 inches above the window frame.

What Are The Best Fabrics For Blackout Curtains?

Here are some of the things you need to consider when selecting the fabric for your blackout curtains. Remember that these tips will help you achieve the light-free room that you want!

Heavy Micro Fabrics

This type of fabric is the single most important aspect in determining the best blackout curtain. A heavy microfiber fabric helps in increasing the insulating abilities of blackout curtains.  This will be beneficial for both eliminating unwanted light and heat control.

Polyester

A good fabric of choice for blackout curtains is Polyester. First, it is durable. Since it is durable, it is undeniably strong. Second, Polyester fabric is much cheaper, but it also gets the job done.

This fabric also makes a good choice for blackout curtains because it is easy to clean. Furthermore, it is not also prone to shrinking and wrinkling.

Do Blackout Curtains Make The Room Hot?

Science explains that there’s no evidence that blackout curtains make rooms hotter. As we have touched on above, blackout curtains are a good choice if you want to save money on your energy consumption. Here we look at two components of why this is the case: color and material:

The Color of Blackout Curtains Matter

When choosing a good blackout curtain, make sure you opt for one that has a lighter color. Why? Blackout curtains with dark-colored fabrics absorb more light. Light will effectively convert into heat.  Logically, the darker the curtain, the warmer the room. So, those who choose lighter colors will not absorb much light, but are still effective in blocking them from entering any room.

Will the color affect its ability to block light? Certainly not. Remember that it’s the fabric that will make the difference.

The Material of Blackout Curtains Matters, Too

Opt for a double-lined and tightly-woven fabric for your blackout curtains. Choosing the right one will have a major impact on the humidity of the room. It pays to get the balance between comfort and material. 

The material of your blackout curtains will determine how well they block light and absorb/repel heat (depending on the season) . 

Simply put, the wrong choice of material can make a big difference to the temperature in any room, and by extension, your heating and cooling bills.

Darkening vs Blackout Curtains  (The Differences)

Aside from blackout curtains, you might also consider darkening curtains. There is a thin line between blackout curtains and darkening curtains.

To ascertain their uses, you have to decide how you would want your room to look like. Regardless of their differences, both types of window treatments work best for privacy and light control.

To help you decide which one to choose, we came up with a table to show you the pros and cons. Here you will see the distinct differences (as well as similarities) of both darkening curtains and blackout curtains.

Blackout Curtains

Darkening Curtains

Pros

Cell

Improves energy efficiency by insulating  a room

Typically costs less because fabric is not as thick as blackout curtains

Has thick fabric that blocks external sounds

Privacy still ensured

Total privacy at any room

Blocks external noise

Blocks sun rays and UV light

Partially darkens the room

Cons

Cell

Heavy to install

May not provide the level of darkness desired in a room

Usually available in darker colors which means styling them to suit your interior will be difficult

Will require sturdy hardware since they can be heavy

The rule of thumb here is you always go back to what you are trying to achieve. If you want pitch black darkness, go for blackout curtains. If you want dark but not pitch black, darkening curtains may work for you.

What Are The Alternatives To Blackout Curtains?

If you still want to have a dark room but would rather not have the negatives of curtains, there are alternatives to blackout curtains. Here are our top alternatives to blackout curtains:

Blinds

Blinds are great for blocking out some sunlight. They allow some light in while blocking out the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. Blinds are available in a variety of materials so you won’t have a hard time finding the right style for your room.

A classic example of this will be the ever-trusty venetian blinds

Shutters

Shutters are also good at blocking out light. Thus, shutters make a good alternative for blackout curtains. Because they are normally made of wood, they are also strong and look fantastic in any room. Read our ultimate guide in choosing the best window shutters. 

Shades

Shades are also a good alternative for blackout curtains. Shades such as cellular shades, roller shades, and roman shades are your best options. They are good for their practicality, flexibility and the usage of high quality materials. Read our comprehensive explainer on shades to expand your knowledge on the effectiveness of shades in all their forms.

A great example of a blackout shade is the Umbra Complete. It promises 100% room blackout and will be much cheaper than blackout curtains. Another great benefit of the Umbra Complete is that there is no drill required for its installation. Instead, it uses magnets sewn into the blackout window cover.

The Bottom Line

Blackout curtains really serve their purpose in blocking out unwanted light in your room. It is not just for vanity, but the elimination of light will have an impact on your health and well-being. This being so, window treatments like blackout curtains should be considered as an addition to any home. 

Blackout curtains are one of the most useful window treatments in the market today. We hope this short article has been useful in deciding if they are right for you. Either way, a dark bedroom will help give you the best sleep for you and your family!


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