The 5 Best Blackout Shades to Get a Great Night of Sleep (2019 Review)
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If you’re looking to add some privacy to your home or to protect your sleep from morning sunshine, blackout shades can be a great option. They can block out a lot more light than regular curtains, and on top of that, some are very energy efficient.
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Here's a quick look at our top choices for the best blackout shades:
There are many options out there that satisfy different needs. To make your search easier, we’ve made a list of some of the best blackout shades that the market has to offer.
Blackout Shades Reviews
These premium-grade shades are reserved for those that really want to best block out the sunlight. Made of high-quality material, these shades are among the most durable choices out there. Of course, this comes at a price, which not everyone may be ready to pay.
The 75” x 58” blackout shade from First Rate Blinds can be a smart investment for a home you plan on living in over the long term. It’s by far one of the most capable options out there, as it does everything you can expect of premium-grade shades.
The cellular shades block out 100% of outside light, making them perfect for nurseries, bedrooms, or home theaters. They feature a top-down/bottom-up system that makes them easy to use and completely child safe, as there are no cords to be found.
Made of 100% polyester fabric, as well as a metalized inner lining, these shades offer great durability. They’re very sturdy, so they should last for a long time to come.
Probably one of the best features of these shades is their fully customizable size. After each purchase, First Rate Blinds will get in touch with you to figure out the exact measurements needed and cut to order the perfect shades for your application within a precision of 1/8 in.
This can ensure seamless window coverage that will not only block all sunlight but also look very sleek and modern.
Now, there is a big drawback with these shades, which has been previously hinted, and that’d be the price. They’re expensive to say the least, so you might want to think about whether they’re worth the investment.
If you’re renting, these shades might not be ideal, as you’ll be paying a lot of money for something that most likely won’t fit your future home. Also, if you’ve never tried any blackout shades before, you can also start with a cheaper option.
In any event, if you want to invest in your own home, this can be a great choice. And if you’re the sort of person who demands and can afford the best, your search could end right here.
These are affordable blackout shades that should fit the needs of most people looking to solve their problems with sunny rooms. They’re easy to customize and use, and only have a few minor drawbacks that are expected of blackout shades in this price range.
The BOBOTOGO Blackout Shades are cordless and feature the top-down mechanism, making them safe for homes with pets and small children. They block out UV rays and create enough shade, but they aren’t as effective at darkening a room.
If you want to create total darkness for rooms such as your home theater, this might not be the best idea. On the other hand, it’s good enough for a bedroom or a nursery if you want to bring a measure of protection to rooms that are exposed to a lot of sunlight.
They are not available to order, so you’ll have to cut them to size yourself. This shouldn’t be a big issue, but some users complained about them being somewhat hard to cut. Also, there are no instructions included, but, as if people need help installing shades, the manufacturer provides them online. Here are the steps for setting them up.
- Clean your window frames and let them dry, making sure there’s no dust.
- Cut the pleated shade to create the right fit for the window.
- Remove the protective layer of the double-sided tape.
- Stick the blinds to the clean window frame.
- Raise and lower the blackout shade by using the included clips.
You’ll get six blackout shades in an order, so keep that in mind while calculating how many of them you need. The BOBOTOGO works if you’re renting, as it’s easy to set up and remove if needed. The material does a better job than most paper shades, so this can be a good step up.
Their affordability makes them great for trying out blackout shades for the first time. You can figure out if you need something better later on. Chances are you won’t.
As a highly affordable option, the original Redi Shade pleated blackout shades do a surprisingly good job of blocking sunlight and creating total privacy. Of course, you can’t expect the best quality and features for this price, but you’re not going to get better value than these.
Unlike most other paper shades, the Redi Shade blocks 99% of sunlight. It’s another cordless option that you raise and lower by using the included clips. The main issue for this is that they don’t always fold back nicely; you might have to do this by hand at times to prevent them from wrinkling and tearing.
The material isn’t the best as the paper is likely to crackle with time and it’s pretty easy to tear. If you have pets, especially those that like to climb and jump around the room, this might not be the best choice.
One of the best features of these shades is their energy efficiency. Since they’re very good at blocking out sunlight, you might be able to save quite a bit on air conditioning in the summer. This is due to the protective layer on the outside which reflects sunlight instead of absorbing it.
It’s also easy to set up and very versatile. You can use it as a standalone shade or add it to other shades in series.
So who are these options for? If your room is on the sunny side and you don’t want to wake up at 5 a.m. during the summer, this can be a great option. Also, if you’re on a budget, this is as affordable and effective as it’s going to get.
On the other hand, if money isn’t an issue and you want the absolute best shades, you can certainly do so with the rest of this review. One thing is for sure with the Redi Shade original pleated, you will get your money’s worth, and the quality is there as well in light of the low price.
Blackout shades are available in all sorts of sizes and configurations. These drapes are for use with curtain rods, which some might think of as classier. They are affordable, easy to use, and do a great job of ensuring privacy. On the other hand, some of the features may not live up to the marketing. Let’s find out more.
Made of polyester fabric, the curtains measure a massive W100" x L95", including the grommets, which are 1.6" in diameter to fit any curtain rods. They are also available in 8 other sizes, including as small as 52” x 18” and up to 100” x 108”.
The fabric is very soft, but it’s not wrinkle-free out of the box, and pulling at them might lead to more wrinkles over time.
As far as the sun blocking quality goes, these are not exactly blackout but rather room-darkening curtains. They feature two layers of fabric that are sewn together and do a decent job of darkening the room. Even though the manufacturer promises 95% sunlight blocking, the actual performance might be a bit lower.
On the upside, the drapes are good at blocking heat and also help to protect against the cold air, which can save you some money on cooling and heating. They can also absorb about 10% of noise and dust, providing a quieter and cleaner room.
They come in a variety of colors, so you can choose the one that will fit with your room. However, some of the colors may not arrive looking exactly like they’re presented in the advertising. For example, the off-white is more of a light gray, so keep that in mind when choosing your color.
Overall, it’s a great option for the price. It’s also very versatile, as you can use it behind your windows, doors, and patio. In addition, the quality is good enough to ensure durability.
If you’re on the hunt for some good outdoor curtains, the PONY DANCE patio curtains might be a good choice. They do a good job of protecting your privacy and controlling heat and sunlight, with only a few minor drawbacks that may not bother you at all.
These curtains are made of triple-woven micro-fabric and measure W52" x L84". The grommets’ inner diameter is 1.6", so it should fit all standard rods. The only issue with the grommets is their quality. Even though they’re metal, they feel a bit flimsy, and some users have complained about them breaking not long after installing.
As far as the sunlight blocking goes, these do a decent job. They can block out 85-95% of sunlight and can be used indoors or outdoors. They also block out heat quite well, so you may not have to worry about letting the outside heat into your home if you leave the door open as you relax on your patio.
The fabric is also waterproof and mildew-resistant, which is what makes them a great choice for your patio. They’re also sturdy enough for a routine windy day. They come in eight different colors to fit most home styles.
As far as the quality goes, it’s pretty good for the money. Aside from the potentially faulty grommets, the stitching around them isn’t the best either. Some users had issues with the curtains coming off the grommets, but those were only a tiny percentage of all users.
Blackout Shades Buyer’s Guide
As you can see, not all blackout shade will suit everyone’s needs. Each of them comes with its set of benefits and shortcomings. To find the best blackout shades for you, focus on the features that matter the most. Here are the ones that we took into account while creating this list.
Blackout shades come in a variety of materials such as paper, polyester, plastic, and wood. You should choose the material based on how good of a job each of them does at blocking the light, as well as the price and the particular application. For example, polyester shades are generally more effective than paper, but they are also more expensive. Wood is impervious to light but you can just tell that wood shades are going to be heavy and pricy with a more involved installation.
Fabric shades often have additional features such as a light-filtering lining or sun-repellant layers. From what you could see in the reviews, you can find shades that have all these features at a fairly low price.
It all depends on the room and the amount of light that you want to block. For example, your bedroom may not need to be pitch black to ensure a good night’s sleep. If that’s the case, even an 85% light reduction can make sure sunlight doesn’t wake you up.
On the other hand, for rooms such as the nursery and home theater, you’ll want to darken to room as much as possible. In this case, drapes may not cut it and you should go for shades that cover up entire windows.
It’s important that you measure your windows before you choose the shades. This will let you know how much trimming you’ll have to do to create a good fit. Some manufacturers may offer to customize the shades for you, but you’ll have to pay a bit more for this.
When shopping for curtains and drapes, make sure to check the size and how pieces in one order. Armed with the measurements, it becomes a simple task.
For paper and fabric shades, it’s important to remember that the color doesn’t only affect the visuals of your room; it will also affect the amount of light that gets blocked. You will find that most manufacturer’s sun-blocking measurements are based on dark color shades only. The lighter shades may not perform up to specs unless we’re talking about plastic or wood shades.
There’s a variety of mechanisms for lifting or lowering the shades. As far as window shades go, the two main types are corded and cordless. If you have pets or children, you’ll want to avoid the corded ones. Not only can they tear or break easily, but they are also a safety hazard.
Most cordless shades come with the top-down sliding mechanism. Some of the more expensive choices can be adjusted from the top down and bottom up. This can add a lot to the convenience and ease of use, so put this on your list of priorities if it appeals to you.
If you tend to move a lot, you wouldn’t want to spend a lot of time and money on the shades. Your next home’s window frames will most likely have different measurements, and unlike curtains, blackout shades have to be the exact same size or you’d just defeat the purpose.
On the other hand, if you think of the shades as an investment in your home, there are many premium blackout shades that that come with equally premium features. If you’re willing to spend more on blackout shades, go right ahead.
Even though noise reduction and dust resistance might not be the main features when choosing blackout shades, they’re nice to have and might come in handy. In addition, some shades are capable of blocking or retaining heat, which can lower your cooling and heating costs.
As far as the abundance of features goes, First Rate Shade’s blackout shades are by far the best on our list. They have everything you might need to ensure absolute privacy and sunlight blocking. They come cut to size, so you won’t have to do any work to fit them into the frames. They’re easy to install and use and offer great convenience that most solutions can’t match.
Of course, they aren’t going to fit everyone’s budget, and many users might consider them to be overkill anyway. If so, the Redi Shade original pleated blackout shades may do the trick. They’re more than affordable, offer almost the same sunlight-blocking capabilities, and you can set them up in a matter of minutes.
Lastly, if you need a versatile solution that you can use both indoors and outdoors, the PONY DANCE Patio Curtains should fit your needs. The quality is good for the most part and they have features that make them suitable for outdoor use and do a decent job of blocking sunlight out of your rooms.