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Are White Blackout Curtains Effective at Blocking Light?


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Blackout curtains can be an important weapon in your arsenal when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep.This post will have some valuable information for those who are looking for something a bit more aesthetically pleasing than the typical, heavy blackout curtains that we see on the market today. 

In a few words, yes, your white blackout curtains are effective at blocking out light. Blackout curtains work by nature of the density of the material used. The colour has low to no effect at all on how effective they are at blocking out light. This is good news for those of you who are worried about your blackout curtains clashing with the style of your bedroom. 

Now, let’s take a look at the particulars of how blackout curtains work. The last thing you want is for your blackout curtains to match your decor but fail at actually blocking out light. Let’s go a little deeper into how blackout curtains work. 

Why Use Blackout Curtains?

It seems pretty obvious that blackout curtains should block out every last bit of light that is trying to enter your room. Blackout curtains can be the answer to that street light that is blazing all night directly into your bedroom. 

Or perhaps you work the night shift and you have to get your shut eye during the daytime hours. The last thing you want is the sunlight barging in and keeping you awake all day. Or maybe you just like to sleep in and don’t want to wake up at the crack of dawn. That’s fine too. 

Whatever the case, blackout curtains can be the answer to these problems. But blocking out light is not the only thing that black out curtains do. Blackout curtains can also insulate your room more effectively. Since your windows are the main source of heat gain or loss in a home, having thick, heavy curtains covering this glass can help keep the temperature of your room more stable. And in doing so even help keep your energy bill lower.

Due to the nature of blackout curtains, they can also help to muffle outside noises that could enter your room through the thin windows and disturb your peaceful sleep. 

How Can my Blackouts Curtains be White? 

blackout-curtains-made-of

As discussed above, yes, your blackout curtains can be white. But how? 

Well, the ‘blackout’ part of the blackout curtain has nothing to do with the colour of the fabric. Blackout curtains are, in fact, two or more layers of fabric. The multiple layers of the curtains contributes to the efficacy of the blackout curtain. 

The outer (closest to the window) layer of the curtain is in fact a certain type of blackout fabric. This fabric is designed to be heavy and impenetrable by light. It’s a simple liner that is made out of a number of different materials, depending on your preference. 

The most common are polyester or a polyester blend. This is a popular material because it is cheap, easy to manufacture, and readily available. Polyester is effective at blocking out light if it is made correctly. 

Another common liner material is rubber. Rubber is heavier and more expensive. Although it’s very good at blocking out light, adding a layer of insulation and muffling noises from the outside. 

As long as this blackout layer is present somewhere within the layers of the curtain, they will be effective at blocking out light and noise. So on the inside (furthest from the window) you can add an aesthetic layer to your curtain. You can make it any colour or fabric you like. Even white. This way, you can have blackout curtains that work like a charm but don’t mess up your aesthetic inside your room. 

Mind The Aesthetics of Your Blackout Curtains

Something to make note of is if you want sheer curtains covering your windows. Sheer curtains are popular because they still let in some light. That filtered, dappled light gives a special quality to any room. However, if you also want a blackout curtain over this window, you will have to install the blackout lining as a separate entity on the curtain rod. Perhaps even on it’s own rod or track. 

In some homes you might have to consider what your house looks like from the outside when the curtains are closed. Particularly in gated communities or housing estates where the home owners association dictates what your house must look like from the street. 

Never fear, because if you are in this situation you can still enjoy all the benefits of blackout curtains. All you have to do is install an additional layer of fabric on the outside of the blackout layer so that you can’t see the blackout layer from the street. This way, you can easily meet the homeowners association aesthetic requirements while also enjoying the many benefits of blackout curtains. 

Due to all these layers involved in creating effective blackout curtains, they are often heavier than normal curtains. You need to keep this in mind when mounting the curtains to the wall. Make sure the mounting hardware is strong enough to hold up all that fabric. 

Luckily, that added weight does not have to weigh down your interior. With the tips and tricks above, you can have white blackout curtains to match your light and airy interior. 

In Conclusion

At the end of the day, if you follow the above guidelines, your blackout curtains can be whatever colour you want. 

It is not the fabric itself that blocks out the light. There is a blackout liner that does all the hard work. So if you hide this blackout layer within the other layers of your curtains, you can choose whatever colour curtains you like. On the inside and the outside.

If you are looking for blackout curtains for your own bedrooms/rooms then I recommend you read our blackout curtain buyers guide. In the guide we cover what to look for in blackout curtains, show our top three recommendations, their pros and cons and why we would consider using these ourselves.

Niklas Lampi

My name is Niklas and I'm the author and content operator at The Bedding Planet. I've always had a big interest in bedding and more specifically sleep. If I find something that makes me sleep better, whether that's a lifestyle change or a better bedding environment, I'm ready to share it with the world!

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