The sun could be fading your furniture, but this simple switch can help (2024)

If your sleep is often disrupted by sunshine or bright lights outside your window, consider investing in blackout curtains — these resemble typical curtains but include a blackout lining that stops light from filtering into your room, according to our experts. Blackout curtains can also help regulate your sleep quality — studies have found that shifts in light exposure before you rise can disrupt circadian rhythm (the internal process that regulates sleep).

If you want blackout curtains for your home, we spoke to experts about what to consider when shopping for them. We also included their top picks for the best blackout curtains below, including options tested by NBC Select staff.

SKIP AHEAD How we picked the best blackout curtains | The best blackout curtains | How to shop for blackout curtains

Selected.Our top picks

How we picked the best blackout curtains

In addition to blocking out light, blackout curtains can double as decor, much like other shades, blinds or curtains you’d install. Because of this, the one you choose largely depends on your personal preferences and your home’s aesthetic. Experts recommend thinking about the following factors while shopping:

  • Curtain style: Blackout curtains come in many patterns and colors, and some have other elements like fringe or feathers. Your selection is based on your personal style.
  • Drapery style: Curtains can hang a variety of different ways from a rod, so think about what style you like best for your space.
  • Curtain sizing: Our experts say it’s usually best to measure at least 8 to 10 inches from the sides of the window so curtains are wide and block light leaks. For floor length curtains, you want them to be an inch or so above the ground.

Related

select

selectWe tried dozens of bed and bath essentials — these are the best

The best blackout curtains to shop in 2024

The blackout curtains below are all highly rated, and available in various sizes and drapery styles. Options recommended by experts and tested by NBC Select staff are also included.

Best overall blackout curtains: Quince Cotton Slub Blackout Curtain

According to NBC Select social editor Sadhana Daruvri, thisBed and Bath Award winner successfully blocks light and quiets street noise. She says the curtain loops made installation quick and easy — plus, her apartment feels cooler. These curtains, available in four colors and three sizes, have a cross-weave pattern that gives them a natural texture, according to the brand.

Material: 100% cotton | Size: 48 in. wide and 84, 96, or 108 in. long | Drapery style: Fabric loops | Care: Dry clean only

Best affordable blackout curtains: Ecologee Total Blackout Curtains

Another Bed and Bath Award-winner, these curtains fit Daruvuri’s windows perfectly and were easy to install over her curtain rod, she says. They deliver a 100% total blackout, according to the brand, and are thermal-insulated and made from recycled materials. Daruvuri also says that her room felt cooler and less noisy with these curtains, which are available in five colors and three sizes.

Material: Polyester | Size: 40 in. wide and 63, 84, or 95 in. long | Drapery style: Pole pocket | Care: Machine washable

Best high-end blackout curtains: The Shade Store Ripple Fold Drapery

The Shade Store Ripple Fold DraperyPrice is based on 40 in. wide and 84 in. long cotton curtains$1,120.00

Beth Brown, an interior designer and owner of Beth Brown Interiors in Atlanta, and Pamela O’Brien, principal interior designer at Pamela Hope Designs, recommend The Shade Store as a great resource to customize the exact type of blackout curtain you want. “With over eight drapery styles and more than 650 fabric materials, you can basically create whatever type of blackout curtain you have in mind,” says Brown. However, due to the customization feature and their overall quality, both experts say The Shade Store will cost more than your average home goods or big box retailer stores.

Material: Customizable | Size range: Customizable | Drapery style: Customizable | Care: Depends on fabric you choose

Best linen blackout curtains: Pottery Barn Emery Linen Blackout Curtain

O’Brien recommends Pottery Barn’s blackout curtains due to their range of styles and colors “that work well with most people’s houses.” The brand’s Emery Linen Blackout Curtain is “a wonderful linen curtain at an affordable price point,” says Susan Peters, owner and interior designer for 9108 Designs. It’s sold as a single panel and Peters adds that “it doesn’t give off a ‘blackout’ vibe.” The curtain comes with hooks to use with the built-in fabric loops. You can also purchase clips or round rings separately.

Material: Linen and cotton blend | Size range: 50-100 in. wide and 84-108 in. long | Drapery style: Fabric loops, rod pocket or back tabs | Care: Dry clean

Best stylish blackout curtains: PBteen The Emily & Meritt Studded Blackout Curtain

These woven curtains have a gold stud trim and come individually or as a set of two in one of three colors: Nude Blush, Black or Ivory. Peters emphasizes PBteen’s combination of quality and design details. “Don’t let the ‘teen’ part fool you — this curtain is appropriate for all ages,” she adds. “Pottery Barn across the board makes some amazing blackout curtains.”

Material: Cotton canvas | Size range: 52 in. wide and 63-108 in. long | Drapery style: Pole pockets | Care: Dry clean

Best bedroom blackout curtains: NICETOWN Blackout Curtain Panels

These thermal insulated drapes, which I’ve used, can block up to 99% light, according to the brand. Brown agrees that they can be a good option for the bedroom. The curtains are available in 24 fade-resistant colors and they come with two panels per package to accommodate various types of windows and styles.

Material: Polyester blend | Size range: 29-55 in. wide and 45-96 in. long | Drapery style: Grommets | Care: Machine washable

Best blackout curtains for kids rooms: Pottery Barn Kids Evelyn Ruffle Bottom Blackout Curtain

Our experts agree that Pottery Barn Kids has good quality blackout curtain options for a nursery or child’s room. “They have really set a high bar for the style of blackout curtains by selling an abundance of unique, stylish curtains in various colors,” says Peters.

One of her favorites is this curtain. While ruffles add fun details, they’re also available with a simple pleat design if you’re looking for a basic style.

Material: Cotton weave | Size range: 44 in. wide and 63-96 in. long | Drapery style: Four-in-one top treatment, choose from pole pocket, belt loop, clip rings or drapery rings | Care: Dry clean

Best blackout curtain liner: Rose Home Fashion Thermal Insulated Blackout Curtain Liner Panel

Placing a blackout curtain liner under your regular curtain can be an effective (and often more economical) way to get the blackout effect, according to Peters. “You can buy any curtains that fit your style and pair them with a blackout curtain or blackout curtain liner,” she said. Our experts recommend this blackout liner that comes with two panels and drapery rings, and blocks out light up to 99%, according to the brand.

Material: Fabric | Size: 27-50 in. wide and 59-92 in. long | Drapery style: Fabric loops | Care: Machine washable

Other best blackout curtains

West Elm Fair Trade Blackout Curtain

“This selection accomplishes all of your needs for a beautifully designed blackout curtain that’s still reasonably priced,” says Beth Brown, an interior designer and owner of Beth Brown Interiors in Atlanta. You can buy individually or in a set of two, along with separate ring clips.

Material: Polyester | Size: 44 in. wide and 80-104 in. long | Drapery style: Pole pockets | Care: Dry clean

Amazon Basics Blackout Window Curtains with Grommets

“This is a super economical choice that ships quickly and comes in a multitude of colors and patterns,” says Brown. “Given the fabric type, they do a nice job of blocking outside noise and insulating rooms for energy efficiency.” They come with two panels and Velcro ties to pull them back. Plus, they’re made in an Oeko-TEX standard factory. And with their reasonable price point and range of styles, Brown says they’re an ideal choice for rooms that change often — like kids’ rooms — or for renters.

Material: Polyester and a triple weave fabric | Size: 42-52 in. wide and 63-96 in. long | Drapery style: Grommets or rod pockets | Care: Machine washable

Related

select

selectThe best mattress topper for you depends entirely on your sleep position

How to shop for blackout curtains

The best blackout curtains for your room depend on several elements, including drapery style, size and price point. “It’s important to think about how these curtains are being used and where they’ll be located in the home to evaluate what makes sense for your long-term lifestyle needs,” says Brown. Below are some factors experts recommend thinking through while shopping.

Curtain style

If you’re looking for patterns, ruffles or any other stylish elements, Brown suggests looking in the kids and teens sections, even if you’re not shopping for a kid’s room.

“Blackout curtains for grown-ups tend to be more plain — kids’ options usually offer a little something more to them,” she says. Buying curtains from kids’ sites can also save you a little money since they’re usually much cheaper than adult styles, she adds.

No matter what style you choose, always read the fine print before making your final purchase to avoid potential disappointment. “Be sure that you see the word ‘blackout’ in the description as opposed to ‘room darkening’ or ‘light filtering,’” says Peters. “These other two options may not block as much of the light from your room.”

While there are multiple drapery styles and curtain sizes to choose from, experts agree these all depend on your personal preferences and the shape and size of your windows.

Drapery style

Drapery style — or how the drapes hang from a curtain rod — is one of the most important things to consider when shopping for blackout curtains, according to our experts. Here are the different types:

  • Grommet: Rings or holes in the fabric that the curtain rod goes through
  • Ring: Fabric panels that hang from rings at the top, attached either by clips or smaller grommets
  • Single-rod pocket: A channel is sewn into the fabric that allows the curtain rod to slide through
  • Fabric loop: As the name suggests, small loops of fabric are sewn to the top of the panel for the curtain rod

“Using draperies with rings is much more user-friendly, and if you want blackout-lined drapes, you will likely open and close them every day,” says O’Brien. She adds that rings tend to glide along a rod easily, while rod pockets and grommets are “clunky, more difficult to open and close and don’t look as pretty and polished.” Ultimately, though, this decision comes down to personal preference.

O’Brien also says that curtains with blackout lining are heavier than typical curtains, so investing in a good quality drapery rod is important. “Don’t buy the thinnest, least expensive rod — you don’t want it to sag or break,” she says, adding that shoppers should look for a rod that has a larger diameter of about one inch that can hold more fabric. And while there’s a price jump, both O’Brien and Brown recommend a traverse rod, which features a baton or string that you pull to open and close the curtains for additional ease.

Curtain sizing

Minimizing how much light leaks into the room can be a matter of sizing. “You don’t want to buy drapery that’s exactly the size of your window because light is going to leak out along all the edges,” said O’Brien.

Depending on the length of your ceiling and where the window is located, Brown suggests measuring at least 8-10inches from the sides of the window, if possible, so the curtains are wider than your actual windows. And as a rule of thumb for floor-length curtains, Brown recommends they “kiss the floor,” meaning curtains should be an inch or so above the ground. Our experts emphasized that hiring a professional to measure the right size curtain can help avoid mistakes and costly replacements.

Frequently asked questions

The term “blackout curtain” often refers to drapes made of a double-lined, tightly woven fabric designed to block out light completely, Brown explains. There are also built-in blackout liners made to completely block out light, which is accomplished through “a coating that’s applied to the fabric [that] blocks the little pores in the weave,” says Brown. “This material is thick and offers thermal insulation benefits, blocks out noise and creates ultimate privacy.”

Besides keeping the morning sun out of your eyes, there are other benefits:

  • Absorbs outside noise: Blackout curtains can have a “muffling effect” that softens the outside noise, O’Brien says.
  • Insulates the room from drafts or heat: Because there’s a thick liner attached to blackout drapery, O’Brien says they can help keep your room a little warmer by limiting the cold air seeping through the window (it’s even more effective if you choose a thermal curtain). And by blocking direct sunlight, they can also make the room a little cooler during the warmer months.
  • Protects furniture and decor from fading: Ultraviolet rays from the sun can cause interior surfaces like furniture, fabrics and carpeting to fade or become damaged. By blocking sunlight, blackout curtains create a decent barrier between the sun and your furnishing.

Blackout curtains are best made out of heavy, close-knit fabrics, such as polyester. These materials are solid enough to block light, and are also heavy enough to help insulate the room against cold and noise.

Blackout curtains can come in all colors, and all are effective — the “blacking out” effect is caused by the curtain’s interior, meaning that the exterior can be any color and still work well at blocking light.

Meet our experts

At NBC Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and without undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.

Why trust NBC Select?

Mili Godio is an editor at NBC Select who covers a variety of home, sleep and wellness products, including space heaters, washable rugs and laundry stain removers. For this article, Godio spoke to three experts in interior design about how to shop for the best blackout curtains, including considerations on how to shop for the best ones. She also compiled their recommendations, along with top picks from Select staff.

Catch up on NBC Select’s in-depth coverage of personal finance, tech and tools, wellness and more, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok to stay up to date.

Mili Godio

Mili Godio is an updates editor for Select on NBC News.

Zoe Malin

and

Ashley Morris

contributed

.

The sun could be fading your furniture, but this simple switch can help (2024)

References

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Kimberely Baumbach CPA

Last Updated:

Views: 5907

Rating: 4 / 5 (41 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Kimberely Baumbach CPA

Birthday: 1996-01-14

Address: 8381 Boyce Course, Imeldachester, ND 74681

Phone: +3571286597580

Job: Product Banking Analyst

Hobby: Cosplaying, Inline skating, Amateur radio, Baton twirling, Mountaineering, Flying, Archery

Introduction: My name is Kimberely Baumbach CPA, I am a gorgeous, bright, charming, encouraging, zealous, lively, good person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.