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Blackout Curtains: A complete buyers guide

What Are Blackout Curtains?

Blackout curtains are special made curtains that have a decorative fabric front with a blackout layer made of foam, coated in between. The purpose of blackout curtains are to make a room as dark as possible while simultaneously providing a nice looking decor around windows and walls.

What Are Blackout Curtains Used For?

Blackout curtains are, as their name suggest, mainly used to block out light in bedrooms, home movie theatres, hospitals, photography darkrooms and nurseries.

They can also be used to thermally insulate windows, which can significantly lower your energy bill, they can muffle out noise coming from the outside, they can be used to protect furniture from sun damage, and lastly, they are great at providing privacy in a room as it’s impossible to see through these curtains even if someone were to use a strong flashlight.

Want to learn more? Check out our post explaining more in-depth what blackout curtains are and what they are used for.

Are Blackout Curtains Worth Getting?

If you are looking for a way to make your bedroom as dark as possible at all hours of the day, then blackout curtains are definitely worth getting.

Sleeping in a dark environment has been shown in scientific research to offer a plethora of benefits including:

  • Falling asleep quicker
  • Deeper and more restful sleep
  • Well-rested and recovered eyes
  • Reduced risk of depression
  • Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Easier to maintain a healthy body weight
  • Anti-aging benefits

So there are certainly good reasons to use a blackout curtain in your bedroom, especially if you sleep during hours when it’s not dark outside.

One drawback of blackout curtains is that you will experience minimal natural lightning during the morning. After 7-9 hours of sleep, there is a window of time where we would actually benefit from natural light sipping into our bedrooms.

To combat this drawback you could simply get one of those nightstand lamps that slowly lights up your bedroom during the correct times in the morning.

To me, the benefits mentioned above highly outweighs this drawback. So, blackout curtains are definitely worth getting in my opinion.

Want to learn more? Check out our post explaining more in-depth whether or not blackout curtains are worth getting.

What Are Blackout Curtains Made of?

Blackout curtains are usually made from polyester or nylon fabric. They are manufactured by coating these fabrics with multiple layers of black foam in-between, creating the blackout effect.

Want to learn more? Check out our post explaining more in-depth what blackout curtains are made of.

Are Blackout Curtains Expensive?

How-to-measure-for-blackout-curtains

How much you will have to pay for blackout curtains will depend on the size of the curtains, the type of fabric used and the brand you choose.

There are many different brands of blackout curtains available and obviously high-end brands tend to cost more than low to mid-end brands.

Blackout curtains usually sell for anywhere between $20-$100 in major retail stores.

Check out our post “are blackout curtains expensive?” to find out more about the cost of blackout curtains as well as a list of the 7 best priced blackout curtains currently on the market.

Are Blackout Curtains Energy Efficent?

As mentioned above, blackout curtains can have a positive effect on your energy bill. It’s been shown that having blackout curtains over your windows can reduce your heating costs by as much as 24%. That’s kind of incredible!

This happens because of the thermal insulation that blackout curtains can provide. Simply adding a layer of insulation on top of your windows can have a big impact on your energy bill.

Check out our post “are blackout curtains energy efficient?” to learn more about the energy efficency of blackout curtains as well as additional tips to make your curtains even more energy efficient.

What Color Should Blackout Curtains be?

In order to completely blackout my room, my blackout curtains must be black, right?

Well, actually no. As explained earlier, blackout curtains are made by coating fabrics, usually nylon or polyester, with layers of black foam in-between.

So, it’s the black foam located in-between the outer layers that stand for the blackout effect, which means that the outer fabrics can be of any color while still being able to stop any light from seeping through.

This is great as it enables us to pick any color we want for our curtains making it easier to achieve the decor that we want in our room.

With that said, according to reviews of some curtain brands people experience that lighter colors such as white, pink and yellow won’t block light as well as darker colors do. So, make sure to check the reviews before you decide to purchase blackout curtains.

Read our post “what color should blackout curtains be?” to learn more about the coloring of blackout curtains as well as how to make your existing blackout curtains into any color you want.

Should I Get Blackout Curtains or Blackout Blinds?

BLACKOUT-CURTAINS-VS-BLACKOUT-BLINDS

When looking for ways to blackout a room, one of the most common decisions that has to be made is whether you should pick blackout curtains or blinds. After all, which are better?

In essence, blackout curtains provide more design choices, better thermal insulation, better noise reduction and more privacy. While blackout blinds are cheaper, better in hot and humid areas, take up less space, easier to install, easier to maintain and often come with a remote control.

Whether you should get curtains or blinds must be decided based on your own needs. In our post “blackout curtains vs. blackout blinds: which are better?” we go more in-depth into the pros and cons of having curtains vs blinds. We recommend that you read that post to easier make your decision.

How to Measure For Blackout Curtains

Finally decided to get blackout curtains? Then you’re probably wondering how to measure for them.

Here’s a quick guide to measuring for blackout curtains:

  1. Decide how you want to mount the curtains.
  2. Choose the curtain rod.
  3. If mounting on the outside of the window frame, extend beyond the window 2 to 3 inches on either side.
  4. If mounting on the inside of the window frame, mount the width of the window frame.
  5. Hang the curtain anywhere from 4 to 20 inches above the top of the window, depending on the aesthetic you’re going for.
  6. From the top position where the rod will be, measure to the bottom of where you want the curtains to hang. This would be either below sill level or floor length level for blackout curtains.

We expand more on these six steps in our post “How to measure for blackout curtains”.

How to Clean Blackout Curtains

Finally, you’ve owned blackout curtains for a while and as with most things blackout curtains collect dust and allergens over time. Therefore, it’s important to know how to clean them so the fabric stays intact and your home fresh.

How you should clean your blackout curtains depends first and foremost on the type of fabric. Most commonly there are two types of ways that blackout curtains are made which uses different fabrics and hence requires different cleaning methods.

Here’s a quick how-to blackout curtains cleaning guide explaining how you should clean your blackout curtains depending on the types you own:

Type of FabricMachine WashHand WashOther Methods
Foam-Coated FabricsUse mild detergent; no fabric softener. Wring them, line dry immediately. No touching.Vacuum Process Spot clean ProcessDeep Clean ProcessDrying Process
Woven Triple-Weave FabricsGently machine wash in front-loaded machine. Wring them, line dry immediately. No touching.Vacuum Process Spot clean ProcessDeep Clean ProcessDrying Process

Read our post “How To Clean Blackout Curtains: A step by step guide” to learn more about cleaning your curtains the correct way.

Are You Ready to Get Your Own Blackout Curtains?

Hopefully this post has assisted you in learning more about blackout curtains and what to think about before buying them.

Now, if you are interested in getting your own blackout curtains we created a short buyers guide called “Best Blackout Curtains For The Bedroom: A Buyers Guide (2021)”, where we list our top three recommendations, what to look for in blackout curtains, their pros and cons and why we would consider using these ourselves.