Despite the heavy, dark image that the name evokes, blackout curtains can still be aesthetically appealing. They come in a range of fabrics, styles, and colors to suit any bedroom, home office, and living room. As you compare options, focus on the following three considerations.
Most blackout curtains come in standard widths (42 or 52 inches per panel) and a range of lengths. However, you can find blackout curtains in extra-small and extra-large widths and lengths, depending on your window’s shape and size and the rod you choose to install with it.
The two most common styles for blackout curtains differ in how they hang: grommets versus a rod pocket.
Rod pockets allow the fabric to slip directly over the curtain rod, preventing more light from entering your room. This tends to have a classic, sleek finish.
Grommets often feature wide holes for curtain rods to pass through. With this style, it’s extra important to position the rod high enough on the wall so that the grommet holes do not hang over the window and let in light. These metal accents, however, are favored for a slightly more modern, contemporary touch they bring to the windows.
While some curtain claim to be “blackout,” pay attention to the material, color, and the denseness of the weave—all of which affect the curtain’s ability to keep light out. Look for brands that offer triple-weave polyester fabric and provide a specific percentage of light blocked. Blocking between 85 and 98 percent of light is best for bedrooms, for example, where you may want a tiny bit of ambient light in order to navigate the room in the dark.
Even when a brand advertises 100 percent light-blocking, this claim is dependant on how much light is entering your home, whether it is natural or artificial, and whether it shines directly into your room. If you want to get as close to 100 percent light reduction as possible, aim for black or darker fabric. While lighter fabrics can still block out a significant portion of light, black absorbs heat, light, and sound better.