If you’re tired of the sun shining through your window each day, disrupting your swell slumber, and causing you to get up on the wrong side of the bed, you’re in the market for some new curtains. In addition, certain curtains can add the vibe or practicality you want in other rooms of the house. However, this decision isn’t as easy as it sounds. Blackout curtains, room darkening curtains, and light filtering curtains all offer different solutions to the same problem, yet each have specific pros and cons. Whether you need them for sleep, privacy, or something else, here’s a guide to each one.
As the name would imply, blackout curtains block 100 percent of the sun’s rays. This gives you total darkness and makes these curtains perfect for bedrooms, nurseries, dark rooms, and media/theater rooms. All of these curtains are dark or black fabrics, so if you fancy a lighter color scheme, your best bet is to attach them between the curtain. You can also attach white liners, for uniformity when viewed from the street. To put blackout curtains on your existing drapes, you can use clips or install a double rod, whichever you find more convenient.
Another awesome perk of installing blackout curtains is that they act as a thermal barrier for your home. This is particularly helpful during winter when you want to keep warm air in your home. Most curtains that double as thermal and blackout are wool, which is one of the best fabrics for keeping in heat. Because most heat escapes through the windows of your home, this helps mitigate the damage, lowering your utility bill in the process.
One of the problems you might find with hanging your blackout curtains on the same rod as your drapes is that you can still get a halo of light around the edge. If you have this problem, multi-layer treatments are a solution. These types of window treatments involve blackout curtains of various sizes that create a light-impregnable barrier. When properly installed, you won’t have to worry about any light getting in, giving you the total darkness you require.
Room Darkening Curtains
When you want a look or a feel more subdued than blackout curtains, room darkening curtains are the answer. These curtains don’t turn a room into a cave. Instead, they let some light in, but not enough to disrupt your sleep. What makes these curtains different from blackout curtains usually lies in the liner, which isn’t nearly as thick as the one found in blackouts. You won’t have the halo around the edge like some blackout curtains, yet you’ll still have enough light to suit your needs.
One of the other great features of room darkening curtains is that they can substantially reduce costs and the wear and tear on items in your home. When pulled, room darkening curtains block out UV rays that can raise the temperature of your home. During summer, you won’t have to run the air conditioner all day long, and when the sun goes down, you can open them and the windows to let the cool air inside.
On top of cutting your bills, these types of curtains can also reduce the rays that damage wood flooring and furniture. Without these rays, the wood retains its luster and shine, rather than a dull, faded look.
Light Filtering Curtains
Light filtering curtains let in more light than blackout curtains or room darkening curtains, yet offer a comfortable medium from traditional drapes or blinds. The main purpose of these curtains is to provide privacy to your dining room or living room, while still giving you the light you need, without turning on lighting fixtures.
Like the other choices, you have plenty of options to customize your light filtering curtains. These typically come in four types. Chiffon curtains are soft and silky, but sheer to let the most light inside. Twisted yarn curtains offer a wrinkle-resistant fabric that also dries quickly after a wash. Light filtering curtains with vanes almost act like blackout curtains, but they have small spaces that allow light to shine through. Last but certainly not least, vinyl mesh light filtering curtains filter out UV rays while still allowing a bit of sunshine.
Perhaps the best part of light filtering curtains is that you can use them to complement curtains or drapes you already have. When you want to let some light in, spend less money, and keep your interior setup, light filtering curtains are the ideal choice.
Regardless of which curtains you choose, you want them to add a touch of flair to the room and accent your existing decor. Fortunately, each type comes in a variety of patterns, colors, and fabrics to meet your needs. Whether you want to let the light in or turn your home into a cozy cave, these curtains can turn your darkness problem into a thing of the past.