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Blackout curtains are a nighttime necessity for many because they protect sleepers from excessive light exposure, which can interfere with the circadian cycle and reduce sleep quality and duration. Unlike standard curtains, blackout curtains are constructed with thick foam and fabric layers that can prevent even traces of light from entering the bedroom. Additionally, blackout curtains can have a cooling effect, particularly in places with hotter climates, and can block outside noise.
Most of today’s blackout curtains generally fall into one of two categories. Two-pass curtains have two foam layers attached to the fabric: black foam on the interior and white foam on the exterior. Many owners use a liner with two-pass curtains. Three-pass curtains feature layers of white foam and a layer of black foam in the middle; this gives them a more uniform appearance, and a liner may not be necessary.
This guide will look at different options and considerations for blackout curtain buyers, as well as our choices for the best blackout curtains and blackout liners sold today. Our picks are based on verified customer and owner experiences, as well as intensive product research and analysis.
The NICETOWN Blackout Curtain is our “Editor’s Pick,” because we believe its qualities will please a variety of shoppers and prove to be a great long-term investment. Their blackout curtain is made of 100 percent polyester. It’s a heavy and sturdy fabric, and yet also very soft. They’re thread-trimmed and wrinkle-free, with both sides having the same full color. These curtains are designed to have affluent appeal without the expensive price tag.
As blackout curtains, NICETOWN’s product provides 85 to 99 percent light-blocking capability. They’ll protect your floors and furniture from damage due to frequent sunlight exposure. They’re thermally insulated, making them ideal for blocking excessive heat during hot summer months and very cold air in the winter. The curtains are soundproof, which will provide you with an excellent environment for a nice, peaceful sleep.
The Thermal Blackout Room Darkening Curtain from Utopia Bedding remains our pick for “Best Value Blackout Curtains.” The curtains are widely available for $18 or less, giving it a lower price-point than many competing blackout curtains. Each set comes with two curtain panels. Both panels include seven hooks and two tie-backs; this allows owners to hang them in different ways. The curtains block light almost completely, reduce outside noise by roughly 60%, and thermal insulation that can cut owners’ energy bills.
Five different colors are available with the Thermal Blackout Room Darkening Curtain. Utopia Bedding sells this product exclusively through Amazon.com and other third-party retailers, so customers should defer to the sleep trial and return policies of the vendor they choose.
Our former “Editor’s Pick,” the Thermal Insulated Blackout Curtain from H.VERSAILTEX is still a favorite at Tuck. This year, we choose to acknowledge it as the best blackout curtain for providing peerless thermal insulation. It’s a three-pass curtain with a built-in liner. The curtain is designed to block out 95% of sunlight and offers full protection from UV rays. Additionally, the curtains are highly effective at cooling bedrooms to a comfortable temperature and diminishing outside noise for sleepers.
The panels come with eight grommets and the curtains can be used with a wide range of rods. A total of 31 color options are available for the curtains, as well as four liner colors, to accommodate customers with different decor tastes. H.VERSAILTEX offers a 30-night trial and a 10-year warranty with the Thermal Insulated Blackout Curtain.
This year, Deconovo’s Blackout Thermal Insulated Curtains is our top pick for best color selection. Many blackout curtains are available in one or two length measurements, which can be limiting for customers whose windows fall outside these dimensions. The Blackout Thermal Insulated Curtains from Deconovo are available in three lengths – 45, 54, 63, 72, 84, and 95 inches – as well as 45 inch and 54 inch widths. This range should accommodate most window sizes. Reviewers at Tuck have appreciated the size selection possibilities that Deconovo’s curtains provide customers, and it was previously a top pick for that reason. In addition, we especially appreciate the color range, which will allow you to pair your curtains with virtually any color scheme.
They are constructed with one black side and one silver side and do not include liners, giving them a silky-soft feel and a longer expected lifespan. These curtains are machine washable, as well.
Rose Home Fashion’s blackout curtains are wide panels made up of a rich faux linen material. These curtains offer a graceful, vintage look without the high cost. Enjoy even more savings as these curtains have white color liners sewn in, letting you avoid spending money on sheer panels. These thoughtfully designed curtains will block up to 100 percent of intrusive outdoor light. Additionally, they’re insulated to keep out excessively hot or cold temperatures, letting your room stay comfortable and mild all year.
Rose Home Fashion Blackout Curtains are very durable and long lasting. Their panels, which come with 8 Nickel grommets with 1.6 inch diameter holes, are easy to install and enjoy immediately. Caring for them is simple; just machine wash using cold water. Use non-chlorine bleach only when cleaning, and tumble dry on a low heat setting.
Rose Home Fashion’s blackout curtains come with a 30-day money back guarantee and are backed by an eight-year warranty.
The Ultimate Liner from Thermalogic remains our standout liner for several reasons. It effectively blocks outside light and noise and provides thermal insulation, much like blackout curtains. The liner can also be paired with a wide range of curtain styles, including grommets, pleats, and tailored designs. The liner is easy to install, thanks to built-in hanging hooks and a rod opening, and can be washed and dried in conventional machines.
The Thermalogic Ultimate Liner is available in red and white colors. It is available in three lengths: 56, 77, and 88 inches.
Blackout curtains are used to shield bedrooms from outside light, which can interfere with the circadian cycle and negatively affect sleep quality. They are an essential component for people who need to sleep during daylight hours, including shift workers and small children, as well as people with disorders like insomnia that affect sleep onset and/or maintenance. In addition to blocking light, blackout curtains improve temperature insulation by keeping bedrooms cool during the hot months and warm when it’s cold outside. They may dampen outside noise to create a quieter sleep environment, as well.
This guide will explore the functions of blackout curtains and their benefits for sleepers, as well as buying tips for first-time buyers and our picks for the best blackout curtains based on owner experiences.
Let’s begin by discussing the key differences between curtains, drapes, shades, and blinds.
For the purposes of this guide, the catch-all term ‘blackout curtains’ refers to any curtains, drapes, shades, or blinds that are designed to block outside light, reduce noise, and improve insulation. ‘Blackout’ is a specific manufacturing process, during which foam layers are applied to raw fabric — usually polyester or microfiber — in order to increase the density and opacity of the material. The foam layers are known as ‘passes,’ and most blackout curtains sold today fall into one of the following two categories:
Blackout liners are sold separately and also widely available. They have two sides: a lighter fabric side and a darker, sleeker side. Additionally, some ‘three-pass’ liners have a middle layer of foam or fabric. Some liners are sold by the foot or yard and cut to order. Others are sold in large sections, and require owners to cut the material to length themselves. Most can be installed on existing curtains using drapery hooks or grommets, and they may be hemmed to the curtain as well. In addition to blackout liners, blackout window covers are installed over the window opening using clips or hook-and-loop fasteners.
Blackout curtains are useful for sleep because our natural sleep cycle depends on exposure to natural light. Our internal alarm clock — known as the circadian rhythm — is programmed to make us feel tired at night when the sun goes down, and to wake up in the morning after the sun reappears. People tend to have healthy circadian rhythms in ideal sleep settings, but many have jobs or commitments that require them to be awake when they should be asleep and vice versa. These individuals include:
The most effective blackout curtains can block up to 99% of outside light. Blackout curtains also provide the following uses when installed properly:
Most blackout curtains sold today are machine washable. However, depending on their material composition, some may require hand washing, spot cleaning, or professional cleaning.
When shopping for new blackout curtains and comparing different brands and models, here are a few important factors to take into account:
In addition to store-bought blackout curtains, many modify their existing curtains to block outside light using this simple DIY process:
If successful, the blackout lining should adhere to the curtains and block outside light. You can also follow the same process if you plan to make new curtains as well. Simply hem both sides and the bottom of the curtain panel, and then fold over the top by one inch or less (however much room is needed to use the rod). Slide the lining beneath the top fold and pin in place, and then you will be able to sew the lining inside the curtain.
Blackout window panels are an alternative to curtain linings that do not require any sewing or ironing. Blackout window panels attach to the edges of the interior window frame using clips, hook-and-loop closures, or other fasteners; adhesives can rip paint off the wall. Make sure the panel is flush with the window; otherwise outside light may enter the room.
In addition to buying blackout curtains, there are a few simple ways to cope with annoying light-related issues that impact your sleep. Below you’ll find a few helpful suggestions for common annoyances.
Sleep Masks: Sleep masks create artificial darkness, making it easier for sleepers to relax and fall asleep, even in well-lit surroundings. Additionally, it’s possible to buy sleep masks with additional comfort benefits such as weighted sleep masks, and sleep masks infused in with soothing scents.
Limit Blue Light Exposure: Studies show that certain lighting can affect our body’s natural circadian rhythm. Prolonged blue light exposure, especially near bedtime, can negatively impact your ability to drift off to sleep. It’s best to cut back on your exposure to sources of blue light, such as smartphones and laptops. Additionally, consider buying blue-light-blocking glasses.
Light Therapy: For anyone with seasonal affective disorder (or SAD), light therapy is a very useful recovery method. For those with SAD, as the amount of natural sunlight wanes during winter months, it can throw off an affected person’s circadian rhythms, severely disrupting sleep. The therapy uses high concentrations of abnormally bright artificial light. Daily exposure of about 30 minutes elevates one’s mood and overall well-being.