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Curtains vs blinds – All you need to know

One of the most common questions we get asked about window treatments is: which is better, blinds or curtains? In this guide we look at the curtains vs blinds debate to help you decide what’s the right choice for your home.

One of the most common questions we get asked about window treatments is: which is better, blinds or curtains? In this guide, we look at the curtains vs blinds debate to help you decide what’s the right choice for your home.

Whether you’re looking to make a style statement, improve privacy, or control light in your home, you might be wondering: are blinds better than curtains? Keep reading to find out more.

What’s the difference between curtains and blinds?

Let’s kick off with a little summary of what we mean when we’re talking about curtains vs blinds. Both options offer a range of styles, but here are some of the main differences between curtains and blinds.

What are curtains?

Typically, curtains are:

  • Made up of fabric which can come as a single curtain or in a pair – depending on the size of the window.
  • Used to block out the light when drawn.
  • Designed to cover the windows for privacy, or remain open to simply dress the window.
  • Available in a huge variety of fabrics, colours, patterns and lengths.
  • Hung loosely from the top of the windows on a track, rod or pole.

What are blinds?

Generally speaking, blinds are:

  • Designed to closely fit a window.
  • Used to block out or control the amount of light in a room.
  • Made up of a series of slats or sections that fit together.
  • Available in a range of styles from Venetian blinds and Roman blinds to roller blinds and vertical blinds.
  • Operated using a built-in opening and closing mechanisms, such as strings, beaded chord, stick pole or remote control.
  • Often created using firm materials (although some types like Roman blinds use soft fabric).

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Which is better… window blinds vs curtains?

There is no definitive winner between blinds vs curtains, as it will depend on your home, your windows, and what you’re looking for the blinds or curtains to do.

Bedroom with floor to ceiling grey curtainsWe’ve put together the pros and cons of the two options to help you decide between window blinds vs curtains…

Pros of choosing curtains

  • A huge range of colours, patterns and designs available.
  • Available in a number of different thickness options (from thin, sheer material to heavy, thermal fabrics).
  • An excellent way to save energy as they can cover the whole window with no (or fewer) gaps.
  • Adds a noticeable style statement, especially when using bold colours or patterns.
  • Provides a soft, cosy layer to the interior design of your home.
  • Perfect option for traditional homes.

Cons of choosing curtains

  • Difficult to moderate light in a room as they can only be open or closed.
  • Not as durable as window blinds.
  • Can actually reduce energy saving if positioned covering a radiator.
  • Generally not suitable for kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Bespoke or made-to-measure curtains are often more expensive than bespoke blinds.
  • Curtain fabric can quickly become outdated with changing interior design trends.

Pros of choosing blinds

  • Most blinds offer flexibility to filter different levels of light in a room.
  • Lots of colours and designs to choose from.
  • Many styles of blinds are quite classic and more timeless than curtain fabrics.
  • Available in different slat sizes and thickness options.
  • Often cheaper than bespoke curtains.
  • Generally quicker and easier to keep clean.
  • Blinds offer a cleaner, more minimal look and feel to your home.
  • Considered to be more durable than curtains.
  • Can be used in any room in your home.

Cons of choosing blinds

  • Not a great choice for completely blocking out light, unless you opt for blackout blinds.
  • Limited range of materials and textures available compared to curtains.
  • Blinds using slats aren’t good for insulation and energy saving.
  • The finished look of blinds isn’t generally as soft and cosy as curtains.

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Living room blinds vs curtains

If you’re considering getting living room blinds or curtains, there are a few factors you should consider to work out which is the best option for you and your home. Often the living room is where you’ll spend most of your time relaxing at home, so you’ll want the space to feel homely – something that is often better achieved with curtains.

Roller blindsHowever, when considering curtains vs blinds for a living room with sleek and minimalist style, blinds can often provide a more appropriate aesthetic.

Roller blinds vs curtains

When it comes to a plain and simple window treatment, you can’t beat roller blinds. Available in a range of colours and materials, you can choose a style to match your home’s interior design. However, when windows only have roller blinds they can look a little bare.

For the best result, many homeowners choose to combine roller blinds with curtains – often curtains that never get drawn. That way you can have the quick and easy functionality of a roller blind, and still keep the soft aesthetic finish of curtains.

Blackout blinds vs curtains

Now, for rooms where you want to completely block out the light, you’ll find yourself with the options of blackout blinds vs curtains. And in reality, blackout blinds and blackout curtains both offer excellent solutions for achieving maximum darkness.

However, if we’re going to nitpick, many blackout blinds will have a very small gap around the edges that can let light in – albeit minimal. Blackout curtains, on the other hand, tend to cover the entire window frame and then some, which means they can completely block out the light.

If your heart is set on blinds then consider choosing blackout blinds that are fitted into fixed running tracks that are fitted to either side of the window frame to create a seal that stops any light from escaping.

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Blinds vs curtains energy efficiency

When it comes to insulation and energy efficiency in your home, blinds and curtains do perform differently. As a general rule, curtains are considered for keeping in the heat and keeping out the cold – especially if you opt for blackout thermal curtains, which offer maximum insulation for your windows.

Living room with pink curtainsMany types of blinds can offer some insulation, particularly Roman blinds that cover the whole window frame, however, blinds with slats generally let heat out and cold in. So, for blinds vs curtains energy efficiency, we’d have to say that curtains win on most occasions.

Cost of curtains vs blinds

To help you plan a budget for your curtains vs blinds project, here are some cost guides we’ve put together that you might find useful:

FAQs

Are blinds better than curtains?

Having reviewed the pros and cons of window blinds and curtains, it’s clear that the final answer depends on what you’re looking for. If you want to maximise energy efficiency in your home, choose from a wide range of textures and fabrics, and complement a soft and traditional interior design style, curtains are probably your best option.

On the other hand, if you want to have as much control of light in your rooms as possible, keep a sleek and minimalist style, and have a limited budget, then it sounds like blinds might be your preferred option.

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