Blackout Shades, Curtains, and Drapes
Blackout curtains or shades perform a very useful role in a home, particularly in places where you want privacy or light blocked like a bedroom. But of course, everybody wants window dressings that are attractive and work in the space while still being functional. Some avoid practical curtains thinking you have to compromise on style but that is not the case. There is a huge range in different prints, fabrics, and colors to suit any kind of room. Here is a look at why people use them and some information that is useful to know about them.
What is the difference between drapes, curtains, and shades?
While the terms can be and are used interchangeably there is actually a small difference between the three types of window dressing.
Blackout curtains – Curtains have one fabric layer and usually let some light in unless you specifically buy blackouts. Then they have the blackout fabric built in the back so they block out the light. Curtains are lighter than drapes or shades. You can get them in various lengths and they usually come in pairs. They hang from poles or rods on various options like rings, a fabric sleeve or grommets.
Blackout drapes – Drapes have more than one layer of fabric. In the case of blackouts, one of those layers is the blackout material to block the light. They come in pairs also but drapes are lined and are heavier than curtains. They come in different lengths but tend to be longer and are often made from heavier materials.
Blackout shades – A shade tends to be one panel of fabric, soft attached to a frame or rod. They come in a range of sizes and fall usually to within the window frame not past it like curtains or drapes. A cord or roller is used to lift it. Blackouts have the blackout material lining to block the light.
Why use a blackout window dressing?
There are at least six excellent reasons to switch to blackout curtains in at least some of your home if you are still undecided.
- Darker rooms make easier sleeping when the sun is coming up or when children have to go to bed when the sun is still out. They are great for nurseries and for shift workers who struggle to sleep with the sun shining in.
- Blackout curtains also block out some of the sound keeping the room quieter.
- They also prevent cold air from getting in and stop the heated air inside from leaving so in winter the house is warmer. In the summer the sun blocking keeps the place cooler.
- Number 3 means you pay less on your energy bills so using these shades saves you money.
- Using less energy also means you are doing more to help reduce the impact you have on the environment.
- Blackout shades can also help stop sun damage and fading caused when it stands for too long in the light.