For some people, having a very dark bedroom is imperative to a good night sleep. With the different styles of window coverings and options growing every year, it can be hard to know which ones to choose and what you can expect. Whether you're looking for options to help your kids sleep during the day, you're a shift worker, or you are just extremely sensitive to light, we have created this list of the 3 most popular types of room darkening shades to hopefully help simplify your options.
1. Roller shades
Roller shades are a popular room darkening option because they're a great price point and come in a ton of fabric and colour options. Since roller shades are one large piece of fabric, they do a great job of blocking out the majority of the light entering a room. They're also customizable to your personal style with various valance and control options.
Roller shades do however have their downsides. The biggest complaint about blackout roller shades is that they have fairly large gaps on either side of the shade where the fabric meets the window opening. While these gaps are not large enough to effect your privacy, they can let in some extra, undesired light. If you're someone who is extremely sensitive to light or you are trying to sleep during the day, this may not be the best option for you.
2. Custom Drapery
When we hear drapery, we often think of the pre-made, store bought panels that can be found in large box stores. While a pre-made panel can do a pretty good job of blocking out the light, they cannot compare to a custom drape made to the optimal height and width for the ultimate blackout option. This is why we see drapery so often in hotel rooms where it's imperative that the hotel caters to the sleeping requirements of even their most light sensitive guests.
Custom Drapery has also come a long way since the days of the orange retro curtains that we grew up with. Now we have a huge selection of beautiful fabrics to pick from, which when combined with a high quality liner and the correct fabric fullness, will create a luxurious look that will also offer energy efficiency and act as a sound barrier from the outside.
This option is more costly then the others due to the amount of fabric and labour involved to produce them, but we know that if you decided to go this route, you would not be disappointed.
3. Cellular shades
Cellular shades, (also known as honeycomb shades) are a fantastic option for room darkening due to their versatility. Not only are they one piece of fabric so that they won't let in light, but the fabric fits snuggly in the window opening which cuts down on unwanted light coming in from the sides of the shade. Due to their insulating nature, they will help to block any sound coming from the outside.
The cellular shades most popular feature is the ability to bring the fabric down from the top or up from the bottom, (shown in the above image). This is an especially great feature for bedrooms as it allows you to let in the natural light from the top of the window, while not giving up your privacy down below. These options combined with their midrange price point, make these shades our favourite pick for blackout.
Realistically these options are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to room darkening shades and what options are available. If you're interested in finding out more, please feel free to contact us to set up a free in-home consultation. The good news is that some of our shade options do such a great job of blocking out the light that the question stops being about if it's dark enough to sleep, and starts being about if you will want to wake up in the morning.
Chelsea created WestStyle Blinds in 2017. She has worked in blinds and design for the past 13 years including some time spent working as a product representative for one of Canada's largest blind manufactures. Chelsea is a native to the Okanagan Valley and she received interior design training at the Pacific Design Academy in Victoria, BC.