Windows are the primary source of heat and light invasion into the home. Window Shades and Blinds are vital for covering your windows and controlling how much heat and light get in. Though they both do a similar job; there are a few differences between shades and blinds.

If you are looking to update the window treatments in your home but don’t know where to start, the following guide will help, as we cover all aspects from Venetian blinds to honeycomb, from solar shades to blackout. By the end, you should have a clearer picture of what is best for your home.

What Is A Window Treatment?

  • In literal terms, a window treatment is a covering over a window (exterior or interior) that acts as a functional and decorative purpose. 
  • A Window treatment can go as far as frosted glass, moldings, and valances, but in most cases, when people think of a window treatment, we use it in the home or office – e.g., a blind, shade, shutter, curtain, or even an Awning.
  • Window treatments let light in during the winter and keep it out during summer while blocking direct sunlight, unwanted views, and adding a beautiful ambiance to your home.
  • Window treatments come in a variety of styles and materials, giving you an unlimited (and often very confusing) choice.

Types of Window Shades and Blinds:

This is where things get tricky – there are so many different options! It’s as if a new style of blind or shade crops up every other week!

Firstly, let’s understand the difference between a Blinds and Shades

Blinds

A blind is considered to be a window covering that is made of individual slats. These could be made of various materials (wood, faux wood, or metal). They can be horizontal or vertical and go up and down and be tilted from side to side to get the perfect amount of light into the room. 

The most common types of blinds are:

Vertical Blinds

Vertical blinds have slats that are individually attached to a track that runs the length of the window. There are various choices, from parts in the center of the blind to an opening from side to side.

Vertical blinds are the most commonly used window treatments for sliding glass doors (patio doors), and windows from the floor to the ceiling.     

Venetian Blinds

It is the most common style of blind fitted in the home. They are a classic blind that will likely never go out of fashion!

They consist of slats that run horizontally and are connected by string or strips of material (tapes).

Venetian blinds collapse into one another as the slats are raised using a pull cord.

They are highly versatile and can be fitted in any window, even if it is a slightly unusual shape like an arch.

Mini Blinds

Mini blinds are not dissimilar to Venetian blinds. They have much smaller slats (in width) and are generally around 1 inch. 

The downside is that there is more to clean because the slats are smaller!

Micro Blinds

Micro blinds are the same as Venetian and Mini-blinds except, yep, you guessed it, they are even smaller than mini blinds. Micro blinds usually are around ½ inch rather than their slightly bigger sibling.

Shades

A shade is more of a soft window treatment made from a single piece of material. Despite the wide variety of material and color choices, the fact that shades are single pieces limits their ability to be adjusted side to side and up and down. Shades are controlled vertically by a simple cord or sometimes spring mechanisms that allow the shade's material to fold onto itself when you raise the specter.

Different shades are available on the market, but the following are the most popular: 

Roller Shades

Roller shades are a trendy choice in the home. Window screens consist of a single piece of material that forms a casing that is the width of the window frame. 

Roller shades can be fitted both inside or outside the window recess. If you choose a motorized roller shade, you can operate it using an app on your phone or a remote control that comes with the unit. A manually operated roller shade is the most traditional choice where you can choose how high the shade is on the window using a pull cord that is fixed to either the left or right of the window.

Roman Shades

Roman shades are designed to allow the shade to collapse onto itself to give a pleated appearance when raised. With the help of a single pull cord, the shade is perfectly pleated through a combination of slats and cords.

Roman shades are a fantastic alternative to curtains as they come in a wide variety of materials and colors, giving you endless options for your home. Roman shades are ideal for controlling the light, allowing you to raise or lower the shade with ease. Roman shades made of bamboo are widely preferred by people.

There is even an option for light sleepers to completely blackout the room by choosing a blackout option. 

Solar Shades

Solar shades keep you protected from the sun. They are similar to roller shades, except they prevent solar heat and glare from entering the room. 

Solar shades have a clever design that allows light and air to flow, also allowing you to see out. However, people walking past cannot easily see in giving you the ultimate protection from the sun and privacy.

Please note that solar shades will give you zero privacy at night when you have the light on, and it is dark outside, making them unsuitable as standalone blinds for bedrooms. 

Honeycomb/Cellular Shades

Honeycomb or Cellular Shades, as they are also known, are becoming a prevalent choice due to the many advantages.

As honeycomb shade comprises up to three layers, they are a favorite for homes that need some extra insulation because the air is trapped inside the honeycomb protecting the room from chills and helping save a few dollars on the energy costs!  

The shades are made from a single piece of fabric that easily retracts into a small stack when fully raised, giving you almost the entire window to lookout of. When lowered, the shades provide all the privacy you need, no matter what room they are in. 

As there are no cords, the products are excellent for safety, so you can feel confident knowing your children and pets are protected.

The choices are limitless in terms of colors and fabrics, and you will find a perfect design for every room in your home.   

Pleated Shades

Pleated shades are very similar to a honeycomb. Unlike honeycomb, a pleated shade has only one layer, while honeycomb can have as many as three.

Pleated shades are not as good at providing privacy as their single layer is thinner and almost sheer. A blackout liner can always provide extra privacy.

Pleated shades have the same visual appeal as a honeycomb. However, they are a lot more cost-effective. Pleated shades also do not have any cords, so they are an excellent choice for homes with children and pets. 

Difference between Shades and Blinds:

  • Shades and Blinds do similar roles, yet are a few parameters to distinguish the differences.
  • Blinds are horizontal and vertical structured window coverings usually be tilted open or closed. A shade is a solid window covering made of softer fabrics.
  • Since blinds are made of individual beams, they are preferred over shades. The beams can be raised entirely for an unobstructed view or rotated to let in more or less light when lowered.
  • On the other hand, shades are typically made from single fabric or woven wood panels rather than slats, so they cannot be dropped or raised to control light.
  • Blinds are made of PVC, wood, and aluminum that are durable compared to shades made of fabric or woven.
  • You can clean blinds with furniture polish and a soft, mushy cloth. When cleaning shades, use a vacuum brush attachment or gently spot clean with warm water.
  • Professional cleaning is required for tough grime.

Types of Windows Shades and Blinds based on Light Filtering levels:

Filtering the sunlight and unwanted UV rays are the primary benefit of why most people install shades and blinds. There are three levels of light-filtering shades or blinds depending on the room you are putting them in.

  • Light-softening
  • Room Darkening
  • Blackout

Light Softening Shades and Blinds:

This type of window shade or blind filters the harmful UV rays and light entering the living room to some extent. It helps in reducing the glare into the rooms and puts down the temperature that comes through the windows. These shades/blinds allow you to enjoy the natural light and heat, however, they should only be fitted in rooms where complete privacy is not a concern.

Room Darkening Window Shades and Blinds:

These shades and Blinds are estimated to cut off the complete natural light from the sun and keep the room in total darkness.

These kinds of window coverings are the best choice for bedrooms, dining rooms, bathrooms, and other rooms where you look for complete privacy or near black out. They can also help keep rooms that get too warm be kept at a more comfortable temperature.

Blackout Window Shades and Blinds:

If you want to block complete light from entering the window, choose blackout window shades and blinds. They're the best option for bedrooms, and nurseries' windows as they create a dark environment ideal for sleeping. They can also be beneficial in offices and home theaters.

Choose the Right Material for your Window Blinds and Shades:

  • Blinds and shades come in various materials, from Fabric to Wood, to Plastic and Faux wood.
  • Some materials are naturally better suited for specific rooms, while others purely come down to your personal preference and how you want the interior design of your home to look.
  • For example, we would not recommend a genuine wood product in a room where humidity is high or if there is a chance of the window covering getting wet as the product will likely warp, split and deteriorate. 
  • In a bedroom, the only consideration is how transparent the material will be in maintaining privacy and preventing light from entering.
  • Look at our more in-depth articles on the individual varieties and styles of blinds and shades for more information on materials.

What Are The Best Window Shades and Blinds?

Simply stating what we believe are the best shades and blinds for your home is not that simple. There are multiple factors to consider.

  • What room are the window coverings?
  • Do you need the blinds or shades to be blackout?
  • Is it safe to have cords? (We recommend avoiding cords if you have young children or pets.)
  • What is your budget?

A more appropriate way to establish what the best window shades or blinds are suited for your particular situation is to complete this short quiz - it will tell you the best option based on your specific circumstances.    

You can visit the product-specific page and learn more about your choice of window covering.

Alternatively, we have listed the best window shades and blinds below: 

Modern Window shades and blinds

Foiresoft Basic Zebra Roller Blinds is one of the best modern shades. This comes in white color with both interior and exterior window installation facility. The dimensions of these modern blinds are about 28 inches in width and 55 inches in height.

Foiresoft basic zebra roller blinds are made of polyester, polyester blend, and double-layered. They are made of premium quality material that is ideal for day and night. The advanced features are anti-Static, Odorless, Ventilate, Durable, etc.

Outdoor Window Shades and Blinds

E&K Sunrise Outdoor Roller Blinds and Shades are among the best outdoor window shades and blinds. These shades and blinds come with a Brown color having hallow stripes with a prefixed dimension of 5 inches in width and 6 inches in height.

These shades and blinds are feasible to mount outdoor as they are made of polyethylene, which is fading resistant.

E&K Sunrise Outdoor Shade and Blind are made of top-quality fabric and maintenance-free hardware that lasts for years. It protects from UV sun rays- light filtering, breathable fabric. The blinds and shades cool down your outdoor shade space. These will be your ideal roll-up blinds and shades for outdoor usage.

Commercial Window blinds and shades

Gray Motorized Roller Blackout Window Shades and Blinds are one of the best commercial window blinds and shades. This window covering comes with a remote and voice controller.

Made of triple weaved fabric with valance, and comes in light grey color. 100% Blackout triple weaved material, thermal insulating inner layer, offers absolute privacy & additional energy saving. 

Ideal indoor window treatments for bedroom, living room, patio sliding door, media room, etc. Cordless style, safe for children and pets. RoHS certified and environmentally friendly. With valance, technique increases a sense of advancement.

A high-quality rechargeable RF/ZF motor can be used for 3-6 months once fully charged. Remote Control shades up/down at the tip of your finger, settable third limit position. At most, 15/16 electric blinds sync controlled and will be programmed before shipment. Intelligent Home Solutions are available with this blind and shade.

Conclusion:

  • Windows Shades and blinds are ideal windows treatment for replacing traditional coverings like curtains.
  • Despite delivering the same role in controlling the invasion of heat and light and maintaining the living room calm, they have some differences.
  • Blinds are horizontal and vertical structured window coverings usually be tilted open or closed. A shade is a solid window covering made of softer fabrics.
  • There are multiple types of shades and blinds used for window treatment. Perhaps, different materials are used for specific purposes.
  • Choose wisely the best window shades and blinds that fulfill your utmost needs.
  • It is advised to use child safe blinds for the safety of your kids
  • You can also install pet resistent blinds like dog proof, and cat proof blinds. This can protect your blinds from getting damaged.


For more information on Shades and Blinds, do checkout our web pages periodically.


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