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How To Choose The Best Blackout Blinds

How To Choose The Best Blackout Blinds

If you find that natural light keeps you or your children awake at night and you want to say ‘good night’ to unwelcome light, then Warwickshire based Leamington Blinds have the perfect solution.

We supply and install a huge variety of made to measure blackout blinds in different designs and styles that are ideal for any room in your house. We specialise in total blackout blinds, blackout blinds for Velux windows, nursery blackout blinds, bedroom blackout blinds and even blackout thermal blinds that help reduce heat loss through draughty windows.

Is it good to sleep with blackout blinds?

Blackout blind fabrics are usually quite thick compared to other window blinds, and surprisingly, are not always black in colour as many people think! So are you someone whose job or lifestyle means you need to get your rest during daylight hours? If so, then choosing the best blackout blinds from the many exciting and vibrant designs Leamington Blinds have to offer not only improves your sleep, but can look fantastic in your home too.

With so many different options to choose from, and so many different styles to consider, picking the right style of blackout blinds for your home can be a difficult choice. Our experts here at Leamington Blinds have put together this guide to help you understand all the different types of blackout blinds, how effective they are, and what other benefits there might be to having blackout shades in your home.

8 FAQs on blackout blinds:

  • What are blackout blinds?
  • Why do I need blackout blinds?
  • How effective are blackout blinds?
  • Which blinds are best for blackout?
  • Blackout blinds and curtains
  • Blackout shutter blinds
  • Are blackout blinds eco friendly?
  • What blackout blinds are right for me?

These are the most frequently asked questions that our blind experts get asked. In each section we’ll take you through everything you need to know about blackout shades, and help you decide what option is going to be best for you.

Living Room Purple Pleated Blackout Blinds

What are blackout blinds?

Blackout blinds are simply window blinds that block out light and are also referred to as ‘room darkening blinds’ or ‘dimout blinds’, as many types of blackout blinds don’t quite achieve a total blackout.

Blackout blinds are generally made from a thicker material than standard blinds which helps block out the light. They can also come with an additional blackout lining to further improve performance.

Why do I need blackout blinds?

You don’t always need blackout blinds in every situation, but there are a lot of good reasons to consider them as an option.

Here at Leamington Blinds we find ‘blackout blinds for bedroom’ are a particularly popular choice, as lots of people (myself included!) struggle to sleep without total blackout blinds keeping out all the light.

That’s particularly true if you live in an area where there are lots of lights, whether that’s streetlamps, shop signs or neighbours with security lights.

Nursery blackout blinds are also really popular and many parents choose blackout blinds for their babies nursery to help their little ones get off to sleep easier in the lighter summer evenings.

Pink Spotty Roman Blackout Blinds for Child's Bedroom

How effective are blackout blinds?

The effectiveness of your blackout blinds is going to depend on a few different things, mainly the type of blind you get, and the way that it’s installed.

For a complete blackout blind, you’ll need something that completely covers your window area, without big gaps at the sides or top.

That means that some blinds are going to be better than others if you’re trying to keep your room dark.

Which blinds are best for blackout?

So, if not all blackout blinds are equal, which are actually the best blackout blinds?

Total blackout blinds

Total blackout blinds are a special kind of roller blinds that provides complete blackout coverage. Where normal roller blinds can be made with blackout material or lining, they can still let light in around the edges of the blind.

But total blackout blinds are different. They have an innovative zip-edge system which completely secures the blind, leaving no space for any light to creep through.

So if you need complete light blocking blinds, total blackout blinds are by far the best choice.

Standard blackout roller blinds

Roller blinds are generally one of the most popular types of blinds, and if you want blinds that mostly block out light, they could be a good choice for you.

Roller blinds often come in blackout fabrics, or are easy to convert to blackout by having a blackout lining included, which will keep out the light behind the blind.

However, this style of blind usually lets light in over the top of the roller, which can be an issue if you’re looking for total blackout roller blinds.

This can usually be fixed if you have cassette blackout blinds. The cassette covers the roller section, blocking out that strip of light across the top and keeping your room nice and dark.

Paisley Patterned Roller Blackout Blinds

Roman blackout blinds

Roman blinds are another popular choice, and just like roller blinds they’re easy to convert with a blackout lining.

Furthermore, blackout roman blinds can be hung a little higher above the window recess than roller blinds, so they don’t have the same issues with letting in light at the top of your window.

Venetian blackout blinds

Venetian blinds are often made from material that naturally blocks out light. Aluminium and wooden venetian blinds are obviously more solid than fabric blinds, so you don’t need to think about getting extra blackout material for them. For that reason wooden blackout blinds are very popular.

However, because venetian blinds are slatted, it’s easier for light to break through the slats and into the room. That’s why total blackout venetian blinds are pretty hard to come by.

Honeycomb blackout blinds

Also known as duette blackout blinds or concertina blackout blinds, honeycomb blinds are a good option if you’re looking to keep the light out.

Most honeycomb blinds are blackout by default, due to the doubled material that creates their unique shape. That means you don’t need to add a blackout lining to them.

They also tend to fit a window snugly (so long as they’re properly installed!), so you’re not left with big gaps at the top or down the sides where light can creep in.

Blackout vertical blinds

If you’re looking for a blackout window solution, vertical blinds are probably not going to be your first choice. In a similar way to venetian blinds, vertical blinds are made up of slats, which can often let light slip through.

The do tend to have a larger overlap than venetian blinds, which can be slightly more effective, but they’re also not made from blackout material by default. So if you’re looking for vertical blackout blinds, you’ll need to be careful about the material you choose.

yellow blackout vertical blinds


Blackout pleated blinds

Pleated blinds might not be an obvious choice for blackout, but they can actually be quite effective as well as stylish.

If you decide to go for pleated blinds, you will need to ensure they are made from a suitable blackout fabric or material. Adding a blackout lining isn’t really an option for these blinds as you need to preserve the pleated edge, so make sure they are blackout before you order.

Perfect fit blackout blinds

Probably the best way to achieve total blackout conditions in your room, is to opt for blackout perfect fit blinds.

Perfect fit does exactly what it says – fits perfectly! So if you choose a perfect fit blind in a blackout material, you’re ensuring that your window is completely covered. 

Perfect fit blackout blinds are probably the best option for blackout blinds, because they fit within the window frame itself, making it nice and snug with very little room for gaps around the edge that can let the light through.

External blackout blinds

If you’re looking for a luxury blackout blind option, an upcoming trend is external shading. This is a really modern option, and means that you have electric blackout blinds that you can control by remote or even your phone.

Having blinds on the outside of your windows is a great way to get a total blackout effect. Because the blinds are over the windows and not inside them, there is absolutely no space around the outside where light can creep in. 

This is a really popular option if you’re interested in smart home solutions, or just want a really high end finish to your house.

External blackout blind

Blackout blinds and curtains

Another popular blackout option is doubling up your window shading by combining blackout blinds and curtains.

By having both shade types at your window, you don’t need to worry so much about small strips of light coming through at the edges of your blinds. You can cover these with your curtains for complete blackout coverage.

Blackout shutter blinds

One thing that people are always on the lookout for is a balance between light control and style, and that’s why so many of them are interested in blackout shutters.

Can you get blackout shutters?

Shutters are made from sturdy materials like wood, PVC, faux-wood or vinyl. Obviously these materials naturally keep out the light, but because they’re not one solid piece there’s a fairly high possibility that light will come in between the slats.

So, strictly speaking, there’s no such thing as blackout shutters, but there are ways you can alter your shutters to make them better at keeping out the light.

How much light do shutters block?

A good set of plantations shutters that have been properly measured and installed should keep out quite a lot of light. 

It’s unlikely you’ll ever achieve total blackout, but the higher the quality of the shutters and the installation, the more likely you are to get close.

Can you put blackout blinds behind shutters?

This is actually a great way to achieve the look you want and still have the blackout option you need. Perfect fit blackout blinds are a great choice to have behind your shutters, to provide the light-blocking effect without getting in the way. 

Because they fit into the frame of your window, perfect fit blinds enable you to have plantation shutters as well, giving you the best of both worlds.

blackout shutters in living room

Are blackout blinds eco friendly?

One of the additional benefits of blackout blinds, is that they are more of a green option than many other types of blind. That’s because they help prevent you losing heat through your windows, and on the flip side, keep the sunshine at bay when it’s hot.

Can you get thermal blackout blinds?

While thermal blackout blinds are not technically thermal blinds, you will find that blackout blinds generally keep in a lot more heat than standard blinds because of the extra level of insulation from the heavier blackout lining.

The extra lining is also great for keeping the sunshine off your windows, so you can use blackout blinds to keep your room cool in the summer, and warm in the winter. 

That means that blackout blinds are energy saving too, and prevents you from losing heat through your windows when it’s cold.

What’s the most eco friendly blackout blind?

If you’re really concerned about your carbon footprint, or if you simply live in a house that gets quite chilly, one of the best options for you is the duette blackout blind.

These blinds insulate your windows with a double layer of fabric, with a pocket of air in between, giving them their honeycomb shape.

This air pocket provides an extra level of insulation in the same way as in a double glazed window. It’s incredibly simple and surprisingly effective at keeping the heat in your room and not losing it through the windows.

Duette Blackout Blinds Honeycomb Structure

Which types of blackout blinds are best for me?

When making a choice about which types of blackout blinds would best suit your needs, you should first decide on the level of blackout you want to achieve, then consider the finished look you want to create. Our favourite options to get a great look and a blackout finish are:

  • External blackout blinds – nothing looks quite as stylish as these blinds, they’re incredibly easy to use and they give you a total blackout effect
  • Plantation shutters and blackout blinds – this combination gives you a classic, elegant look, with the blinds behind providing the blackout solution
  • Perfect fit blackout blinds – affordable, easy to install, a huge range of designs, and fit so perfectly to your window frame that it blocks out all the light

At Leamington Blinds we supply and install almost every type of blackout blind you can imagine! Plus we offer a FREE measuring & installation service for customers in and around Warwickshire. Simply get in touch for a free quote, and we’ll help you decide what the best option is for your home and budget.

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