Blinds vs Curtains: Which Should You Choose?

Both blinds and curtains have their pros and cons. But which is the better option for your home when decorating your windows? It depends on a range of factors as to whether curtains or blinds are better in your home. In fact, you may find that individual rooms benefit from different forms of window treatment. This post delves more into some of the main properties to consider and the differences you can expect between blinds and curtains.


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Both blinds and curtains come in a variety of different styles. When choosing the perfect style, there are a few main things to consider

  • Which style fits the age/period of the building?
  • What other colours are in the room?
  • What other textures are in the room?

Blinds tend to have a more minimal and cleaner feel. They typically sit within the interior window casing, hanging from a headrail attached to the lintel (although you can buy exterior blinds as found at companies like ABC Blinds). Most blinds are designed to be subtle and come in neutral colours. Invented and popularised after curtains, they tend to have a modern look and can look out of place in some older properties. Some consist of roller sheets while others have slats. It’s worth noting that vertical slats may make a window feel taller, while horizontal slats can make a window feel wider.

Curtains do not hang inside the casing, instead hanging in front of the window casing from a rail on the wall above the window. By choosing a rail and curtains that are wider than the frame, you make a window appear wider when the curtains are drawn. Similarly a window can be made to look longer by choosing longer curtains. While minimal curtain designs exist, people tend to make much more of a visual statement with curtains. They are available in lots of colours and patterns, and they can be much more heavily textured (although you have to be careful not to add too much texture to an already heavily textured room). Compared to blinds, they may bring a softer and warmer feel to a room. Traditional styles of curtains may also look better in period homes compared to blinds. 


Blinds are the clear winner in this case. While slatted blinds may need to be more regularly cleaned than curtains due to collecting dust on their slats, the process of cleaning them is much easier than curtains. You can simply face the slats towards you and then wipe them down with a wet cloth. They are unlikely to develop stubborn stains – a mixture of water and vinegar could be enough to get rid of mould. Check out this guide at Good Housekeeping for more tips on how to clean blinds. 

Curtains tend to have to be taken down and cleaned in a washing machine. Larger curtains and certain sensitive fabrics may not be able to fit in a regular washing machine and may need to be professionally cleaned. Because curtains are made of fabric rather than a hard material, they can develop stubborn stains much more easily, which can be harder to get out. This sometimes makes blinds a better choice in homes with young kids and pets.


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Both blinds and curtains can provide different levels of thermal and sound insulation depending on the style. However, curtains tend to be superior in their insulation qualities. 

Both regular blinds and regular curtains may only offer an r-value of 1 – meaning that most heat and sound will travel through them. Some thicker blinds can offer an r-value of 3. Curtains can meanwhile provide an r-value of up to 6. Such curtains are typically thick and hang down to the floor in order to prevent less heat escaping. The thickness of these curtains can also help them to muffle out the sounds of busy roads or noisy neighbours more effectively than blinds. If you want to trap in heat and keep out outdoor sounds, choose these curtains. 

Light control

The main purpose of blinds and curtains is to limit how much light is let in through a window. But which offers the best form of light control? Well, it depends on what level of light control you’re looking for. Both blinds and curtains can be purchased in different styles – some more translucent and some more opaque.

For example, voile curtains and roller blinds are designed to allow light in when closed. On a summer’s day, this can allow you to maintain privacy while still letting light in. Blackout curtains and blackout blinds are meanwhile designed to block out all light from outdoors. Such options are great in bedrooms for improving sleep quality by allowing privacy and blocking out all street lights and car lights.

When it comes to offering the most versatile light control, slatted blinds tend to be the best option. Curtains and roller blinds can either be pulled over the window or left open. Slatted blinds have this function while also allowing you to open or close the slats. This gives you much more control over how light enters your window – it’s ideal if you sometimes want  dark, sometimes want light and sometimes want a dim level in between. 


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If sticking to a tight budget is important, you may find that blinds are a better option. Your average blinds are generally cheaper than your average curtains. Similarly when it comes to fitted curtains vs fitted blinds, fitted blinds often come at a lower cost. Of course, a high quality blind is going to cost much more than a low quality pair of curtains, so you need to consider which quality of each you are prepared to settle for.  


Which lasts longer – blinds or curtains? Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer to this as it depends on the quality of manufacture. Generally speaking, a cheap set of blinds is not going to last as long as a cheap pair of curtains. However, a high quality blind could potentially last much longer than high quality curtains. If you’re looking for the longest lasting option across all quality levels, then high quality blinds are your best option.

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