The best blackout curtain
Sometimes you just need to sleep without being interrupted by that pesky thing called sunlight. Whether you work a night shift or just need a little extra rest, blackout curtains can help you keep the sun's rays out of your bedroom until you're ready to face the day.
If you have no idea how to begin shopping for blackout curtains, fear not. The following buying guide can help you know all you need to know about getting the best blackout curtains money can buy. We've even included reviews of some of our favorites, including our Best of the Best, the Best Home Fashion Thermal Insulated Blackout Curtains.
Considerations when choosing blackout curtains
Some people refer to any type of light-blocking curtains as blackout curtains, but they don't necessarily all meet the true definition of blackout curtains. True blackout curtains block out nearly 100% of the light. You may not need to have all of the light blocked from your room. If you do, though, make sure you get actual blackout curtains, and not a lesser model.
There are different levels of light-diffusing and blocking curtains available, which are listed below.
This type of curtain is semi-opaque. They only let in a moderate amount of light, filtering out most of it. They let in more light than most of the other light-diffusing and blocking curtains. They also offer minimal insulation.
Room-darkening curtains are similar to blackout curtains, though they still let a slight amount of light into the room. These are good if you want to sleep during the day, but still be able to navigate the room.
These are used primarily for insulation purposes. Because of their thickness, they are also useful for dampening sound. They can reduce energy costs as well and block out a fair amount of light, though the primary function of these curtains is insulation.
Blackout liners go behind your regular curtains and serve the same function as blackout curtains. One advantage to blackout liners is that they cost less than purchasing full blackout curtains, and you can keep your current style as well.
As mentioned above, these curtains block out all of the light from outside. They are the best choice if you want your room as dark as possible. When shopping in person for blackout curtains, your best bet is to hold them up to any light source and see how much, if any, light appears to get through the fabric.
Blackout curtains cost between $20 and $100 for a basic set. Although more elaborate sets can cost up to $500, most people can find what they need in the lower range. Price is based mostly on materials used, and the size of the curtains themselves.
Q. Do blackout curtains actually back up their claim of near-100% light blocking?
A. For the most part, yes. However, there's no true way to measure if 100% of the light is being blocked. Furthermore, improper hanging or closing of your blackout curtains might allow for ambient light to enter.
Q. How long can I expect my blackout curtains to last?
A. Because blackout curtains are made of thicker material than most curtains, they tend to last longer. There is no set amount of time that curtains should last, though most blackout curtains should last you for a number of years.
Q. Is hanging blackout curtains more difficult than hanging other curtains?
A. It shouldn't be. Although blackout curtains can be thick and heavy, they are still hung in the same manner as other curtains. This means that you should be able to hang them just as easy as you would hang any other curtains. It's advisable to use a wraparound rod to hang them, to make sure that no light enters through the sides.
Q. How should I wash my blackout curtains?
A. That depends on your specific set of blackout curtains. While the majority of them will be machine washable, you need to check the label and packaging to be sure. Those that are not machine washable will likely need to be washed by hand.
Blackout curtains we recommend
Best of the best: Best Home Fashion Thermal Insulated Blackout Curtains
Our take: Though they cost a pretty penny, you're paying to have the best.
What we like: Thermal insulated curtains with superior light-blocking ability.
What we dislike: The price is high, but worth it.
Best bang for your buck: Eclipse Curtains Fresno
Our take: A serviceable product for a reasonable price.
What we like: Surprisingly good noise reduction ability.
What we dislike: The curtains are bulky.
Choice 3: Royal Hotel Soho
Our take: A dependable light-blocking option.
What we like: Lots of variety in terms of color choices.
What we dislike: They don't block out as much sunlight as most of the other models on the market.
Adam Reeder is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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