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Choosing the Best Blackout Shade for Optimal Light Control

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Light control is essential to creating a comfortable and functional living space. Too much light can cause glare, increase heat and fade furnishings. In contrast, insufficient light can make a room feel dreary and unwelcoming.

Blackout shades are an effective solution for controlling light in your home. These shades are made from opaque materials that prevent light from entering a room, providing complete darkness when desired. They work by blocking out all light sources, including natural light, streetlights, and ambient light from neighboring properties.

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Blackout shades provide a high level of privacy and help improve sleep quality, reduce energy costs, protect furniture from fading or discoloration due to sunlight exposure, and even enhance audio quality in rooms like music studios or home theaters.

But with so many different types of blackout shades available today, what are the best blackout shades? 

With this guide, you can choose the perfect blackout shades for your specific needs, considering the benefits and factors that should be considered.

Types of Blackout Shades

When it comes to blackout shades, there are several types to choose from, each with its benefits and purposes. 

Here are five popular types of blackout shades to consider:

Roller Shades

Roller shades are a type of window treatment consisting of a single piece of material rolled up and down to cover a window. They are a simple and affordable option for controlling light and privacy in a room.

They are available in various materials, including fabrics, vinyl, and natural materials like bamboo or woven wood. They can be customized to fit any window size and installed inside or outside the window frame.

Roller shades offer several benefits, including versatility, ease of use, and affordability. They are also an excellent option for blocking out light and reducing glare, making them the best blackout shades for bedrooms, media rooms, or home offices.

Cellular Shades

Blackout cellular shades, also known as honeycomb shades, are window coverings made of a series of hexagonal-shaped cells or pockets that trap air inside. The cells create a layer of insulation that helps regulate the temperature in a room by preventing cold or hot air from entering or escaping through the window.

They can be made of fabric, paper, or synthetic materials like PVC. Depending on the material and opacity level, they can be light-filtering or blackout. They can be installed in different ways, such as inside mount, outside mount, and top-down/bottom-up mount, and can be operated with a variety of mechanisms, such as corded, cordless, or motorized.

Overall, cellular shades are a versatile and energy-efficient window treatment option that can help improve the insulation, privacy, and style of any room in your home.

Roman Shades

Roman shades are a popular choice for window treatments due to their versatility and wide range of materials. Common materials used for roman shades include fabric, bamboo, wood, and vinyl, allowing them to be customized according to the particular design preferences of the space.

They come in a variety of styles, such as flat, hobbled (pleated), or waterfall. Most roman shades raise up and down like drapes and can be used to block out light with heavier fabrics or blackout liners sewn into the back. It makes them an ideal choice for rooms that require complete darkness, such as living rooms or bedrooms.

Roman shades also offer minimal light gaps when closed, which adds to their effectiveness at blocking out light while providing an elegant and designer-friendly aesthetic.

Panel Track Shades

Panel track shades are a modern and highly versatile window covering solution. These shades consist of a single panel of material attached to a sliding track system, allowing for easy opening and closing.

They are mounted above the frame and are best suited for large windows and doors. They also provide increased safety since they can be operated with a wand rather than dangling cords. Furthermore, since the single panel can be easily replaced, they offer more convenience than competing options.

In addition to providing a sleek and modern look, panel track shades come in many different styles, colors, fabrics, linings, and insulation levels to suit any interior design needs.

Blackout Curtains

Blackout curtains are fabric window treatments designed to block out light from the sun, streetlights, and other sources. They provide an extra layer of protection over blinds and can create near-total darkness in any room at any time of day or night.

Blackout curtains are often used in bedrooms to reduce exposure to light that could disrupt melatonin production, helping people fall asleep faster and sleep longer. As well as blocking out light, blackout curtains have many other benefits, including improved energy efficiency, noise reduction, and privacy.

Factors to Consider When Choosing The Best Blackout Shades For Your Home

choosing the best blackout shades for your home

When choosing the best blackout shades for your space, several factors need to be considered to ensure that the shade fits the room’s specific needs.

Room Type and Use

Different rooms have different lighting and privacy requirements. The proper blackout shades can help meet those needs.

For example, bedrooms require maximum darkness and privacy to promote restful sleep. At the same time, home theaters need total darkness to ensure optimal viewing. On the other hand, a living room may benefit from some natural light, and a home office may require some privacy without the need for complete darkness.

Window Size and Shape

The size and shape of the windows in the room will also impact the type of blackout shades that are best suited. Large or uniquely shaped windows may require custom shades to ensure proper fit and coverage. Some shades are available in standard sizes that can be cut to fit, while others are made-to-measure for a perfect fit.

Color and Material

The color and material of the shades can impact the overall look and feel of a room. Blackout shades are available in a range of colors, from neutral shades to bold colors, and in different materials like vinyl, fabric, and natural materials like bamboo or wood. Consider the color and material of the shades with the room’s decor and style.

If you want maximum darkness in the room, choose shades with thicker and darker material, as they will be more effective in blocking light.

Installation Method

Various installation methods exist for blackout shades, including inside, outside, and ceiling mounts. An inside mount will fit inside the window frame, while an outside mount will be attached outside the window frame. A ceiling mount will be attached to the ceiling and may require additional hardware.

Consider which installation method is best suited for your window and room. For example, an inside mount can provide a cleaner and more streamlined look, while an outside mount can cover more of the window and provide better light blockage.


When choosing the best blackout shades for you, budget is an important factor to consider. The cost of blackout shades can vary depending on the type of shade, material, and customization options. Determining your budget beforehand is important to choose the best shade that fits your needs and preferences.

Roller shades are often the most budget-friendly option for blackout shades, and they come in a variety of materials and styles. Cellular shades are also a good option for those looking for energy efficiency and maximum light-blocking capabilities, but they are more expensive than roller shades.

Investing in high-quality blackout shades can improve your sleep quality, reduce energy costs, and protect your furniture and flooring from fading, making it a worthwhile investment in the long run.

Benefits of Blackout Shades

Blackout shades offer several benefits, making them a popular choice for many homeowners. 

Here are some of the top benefits of blackout shades:

Improved Sleep Quality

Blackout shades are designed to block out all outside light, creating a dark and cozy environment that is ideal for restful sleep. They are particularly beneficial for night shift workers, people sensitive to light, or those living in areas with streetlights or other sources of external light pollution.

Reduced Energy Costs

Blackout shades effectively reduce the heat that enters or escapes through your windows. They can help keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, reducing the need for air conditioning or heating and lowering energy bills.

Protection of Furniture and Flooring

Exposure to sunlight can cause furniture, flooring, and other interior elements to fade or discolor over time. Blackout shades can help protect your investments by blocking harmful UV rays and reducing the amount of sunlight that enters your home.


Blackout shades can provide a high level of privacy, making them ideal for bedrooms, bathrooms, and other areas where privacy is a concern. They can also be customized to fit your specific privacy needs, with options like top-down or bottom-up shades allowing you to control the light and privacy in your room.

Improved Audio Quality

Blackout shades effectively block out external noise, making them an excellent choice for home theaters, music studios, or any room where noise reduction is important. The thick material of the shades can help absorb sound waves, creating a more peaceful and quiet environment.


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Blackout shades offer several benefits that make them a popular choice for homeowners. These benefits include improved sleep quality, reduced energy costs, protection of furniture and flooring from harmful UV rays, privacy, and improved audio quality. The main reasons blackout shades are an excellent choice for anyone looking to enhance comfort, energy efficiency, and living space style.

Choosing the best blackout shades for your home is an important decision that can impact your space’s overall look and feel. Panel track shades are a great option for larger windows or sliding glass doors. At the same time, blackout curtains offer any room a classic and decorative touch. 

Roller shades are often the most budget-friendly option, while cellular shades can provide added energy efficiency and may be pricier. Ultimately, the best blackout shade for your home will depend on your specific needs and preferences.

Beyond Shades is running an Energy Smart Style Event for our blackout shades, offering up to a $150 rebate on your purchase. It is a fantastic opportunity to upgrade your living space and improve your light control while enjoying significant savings.

Visit bshades.com today to explore our selection of window treatments and take advantage of our limited-time promotion. Our team of experts is always available to answer any questions and help you choose the perfect shades for your needs. 

Don’t settle for subpar light control – invest in high-quality blackout shades from Beyond Shades! Book an appointment with our talented designers today!

Rachel Gregersen
Rachel Gregersen

Owner of Beyond Shades and also an accomplished designer with 25+ years of experience specializing in interiors, architecture, and window fashions, dedicated to meeting clients' unique needs.

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