Updated: June 8, 2015

Blackout Curtain Reviews:

Who needs blackout blinds? Isn't waking up with the sun warmly shining on your face the most pleasant way to start the day? It absolutely can be if you hear the chirping of birds, smell the aroma of brewing coffee, and have a solid, restful 8 hours of sleep behind you. For those of us who work at night and need to sleep while the sun is up, or those of us who have children who resist going to sleep in the summer when it is still light out, blackout curtains can be a tremendous relief and a very effective sleep aid. There are various reasons why you would want the comfort and convenience of blackout blinds - from liking to sleep with no ambient light from streetlights, cars, or other homes to wanting to keep your energy costs down. But the big questions are how can I get the most effective light-blocking blinds or shades? And how can I get blackout shades that are functional and attractive?


Before You Buy: What are Blackout Blinds? - Blackout blinds, shades, and curtains block 99 percent of light from entering a room, though they also keep the light from being seen from the outside. In contrast, room-darkening blinds or shades darken the room but do not completely block light. This is a consideration when buying your blinds. If you want real light-blocking, you'll need to look specifically for blackout blinds. Another thing to be aware of is size. If you want blackout blinds, it is counterproductive to buy blinds or shades that are too small! Light can come in from the sides. You will want to make sure to measure your windows. To prevent light seepage from the borders, many people opt to install the blinds outside the window recess. Can you get light blocking blinds that also enhance your decor? Absolutely. Today, there is an unbelievable array of blackout blinds and shades in any number of styles, colors, and textures. While the most common type of blackout blinds are vinyl roll-up blinds, you can also get them in wood, aluminum, and bamboo styles. A Mylar backing provides the light-blocking technology while the different materials provide the style you want. You can also choose from smooth vinyl roll-ups, slats, honeycomb designs, single and double cell blinds, Roman blinds, and much more, depending on your needs and your budget. When many of us think of blackout blinds, we picture very heavy, very dark drapes - which may be very out of place with your bright sunny nursery or your chic bedroom. Blackout window treatments have come a long way in recent years: today, you can find a variety of styles and even a variety of colors, even very light colors. You don't have to sacrifice style for light-blocking comfort. Prices for blackout blinds can vary from well below $50 to well above several hundred dollars. Before you buy, set a price range and stick with it. We'll show you some blackout blinds for different budgets so you can get the quality you want at the price you need. You can browse the best selling blackout curtains online here.


Best Blackout Curtains:

You will find that a few names stand out when you look for blackout window blinds: Bali, Hunter and Douglas, and Levolor are generally regarded as the best of the best. BlackOutBlinds.org recommends the Bali DiamondCell 3/8-Inch Diamond Cell blinds as one of the best. These are very low-key blinds that offer outstanding light blocking, as well as energy efficiency, noise absorption, and UV protection for your art and furniture. The fabric is 3/8 of an inch, offering thick and strong protection. The backing is coated in white on the inside for a neutral look. Bali also offers coordinating hardware and a lifetime warranty. The Bali blackout blinds are available in a number of colors, mostly very calm and natural tones. You can choose whether you want the blinds mounted to the inside or the outside of the window recess, as well as the lift option. These include standard cord lock, bottom up/top down, continuous cord, cordless, and motorized. You may also opt for a valance if you choose. How much do these Bali blackout blinds cost? It depends on the size and your choice of lift option and valance. If, for instance, you choose the 24-inch x 36-inch blinds with the included cord lock lift option, you will pay about $90. If you choose a 40-inch x 60-inch shade with a continuous cord lift, you can expect to pay about $178. You can often find sales at online retailers like BlindsGalore.com that will offer a discount on these prices. Also on the pricy side are Levolor's 9/16 Inch Single Cell Blackout Cellular Shades. These block 99 percent of light from entering a room; they also offer tremendous insulating value with a 3.8 R-Value. The Levolors work any size window, offer a neutral backing, and offer color-coordinated hardware. Again, you can choose from lift options and colors. The base price for a 20- x 20-inch blind is $103 at BargainCellularShade, available via Amazon. You can also get up to 10 free color swatches so you can make the right choice for your home. If you are on a tighter budget, you can choose blackout blinds from larger retailers like Target, Walmart, Home Depot, and JC Penney. A choice that is both popular and budget-friendly is the Redi Shade Black Out Pleated Shade. This is an innovative take on blackout window blinds. The blinds easily install in only seconds, and instead of mounting permanently on a window frame, these stick on the window. You simply remove the backing and stick it to the window. It comes off just as easily. You can get a 6-pack of 36- x 72-inch blinds for $30. These are terrific for home use, as well as travel. If, for instance, you have a baby who is traveling with you, you can instantly create a great sleeping environment no matter where you are. An Amazon reviewer says they are dense, effective, easy to install, flexible, and well worth the money, especially for those who rent and don't want permanently mounted blinds. The key to choosing good blackout blinds, no matter what your budget, is to look for a quality backing material that will block light. If you want insulating properties, look for a honeycomb, single, or double cell design. After the basics, look for style that will fit your home. BEST - We had issues with our toddler not going to bed during the summer months (we live in Portland, Oregon where the sunsets at 9PM and the sunrise is at about 5 AM). We bought the very popular Premium Solid Grommet Top Thermal Insulated Blackout Curtain 84 which fits well in his room and does a great job. It comes in a variety of colors (so you can match the room) - black, chocolate, burgandy, beige, navy, and dark olive. We hang it from the curtain rod already in place and it fits just fine. For about $60 we solved a huge problem and now everyone gets a good nights sleep