Chances are pretty good that you have heard of blackout curtains, and you may have even encountered them in a hotel room at some point. More and more people are starting to use blackout curtains in their bedroom and other rooms in their homes to block out sunlight, noise, and heat. However, if you are not familiar with this curtain, you might wonder why people like them so much. Questions like what they are good for and whether they work may come to mind. This article answers these questions and more so that by the end, you can decide whether or not you want to incorporate them into your life.
Blackout Curtains Explained
How Are Blackout Curtains Made?
Blackout curtains, also often referred to as blackout drapes, usually consist of a more decorative fabric front and are double or triple layer lining. The linings feature a dense weave, and some of the best blackout curtains have a foam or rubber backing to insulate your windows better. Thanks to this dense lining, the front-facing fabric front can be made from various materials.
What Is the Purpose of Blackout Curtains?
Blackout curtains serve several purposes. The first and most obvious is that they block light coming in from a window. Thus, they block natural sunlight rays and bright lights caused by nearby streets or another outdoor lighting at night.
The dense fabrics used to make blackout curtains are also great for energy conservation as they can insulate your windows. In addition, they can help keep you warm in the winter months by trapping your heating inside a room. In the summer, blackout curtains are also good for keeping heat out and help keep your home cool. Regardless of the time of year, blackout curtains can help save you money and reduce your energy costs.
Lesser known, but just as important, blackout drapes create a barrier strong enough to block a significant amount of noise, too. This can be beneficial in a home theatre setting or if your bedroom is near a busy street.
Where Are Blackout Curtains Used?
You can often find blackout curtains in a hospital room, hotel room, or theatre because they are great for blocking light at any time of day. In homes, people tend to hang blackout curtains in nurseries and bedrooms to enhance sleep. However, more and more, they are being used in other rooms of the house, such as living or dining rooms, for energy conservation purposes.
Are Blackout Curtains Good For You?
Aside from saving money on energy bills, blackout curtains can be good for you. Sleeping in complete darkness can improve sleep quality which in turn is good for your overall health. Note that complete darkness in a room is less disruptive to your sleep pattern. It allows you to sleep longer without being awoken by outside light or noise.
Adversely, this means a blackout-style curtain is not ideal for people who already have trouble waking up in the morning or are not looking to sleep for more extended periods.
This style of curtain is particularly beneficial for people who work overnight shifts and sleep during the day. A blackout curtain is also suitable for blocking window light in a kid’s bedroom or nursery during nap time.
Do Blackout Curtains Work?
Coming to the million-dollar question, do blackout curtains live up to the hype? The best blackout curtains completely block all light from penetrating a room. The woven fibres are completely opaque, and you will not be able to see through them at all. Additionally, you might be surprised at how well they work when it comes to blocking sound and trapping heat.
What Do Blackout Curtains Look Like?
The best blackout curtains look like regular curtains but may appear a bit stiffer. Due to the thick lining, they often have less flow and motion. However, considering they are made to help stop light from entering a room, you probably don’t want them to move around in the breeze.
What Is the Difference Between Blockout and Blackout Curtains?
While they both serve the same light blocking purpose, blockout and blackout curtains and linings are slightly different. Blockout is a detachable lining that you either hang from a separate curtain rod or connect onto the back of your existing curtains. A blackout lining is almost always a dense white material with a thick weave. In contrast, blackout curtains combine the liner and fabric into one curtain and come in different colours, not just white.
What Is the Difference Between Blackout and Thermal Curtains?
Some, but not all, blackout curtains are also considered thermal curtains. Thermal curtains have a rubber or foam backing, specifically designed to trap heat in and keep the cold out in the winter or vice versa in the summer months. Blackout curtains are specifically designed to reduce and block light in a room. However, you will find that many also feature foam backing to accomplish this goal.
What Fabric Is Good For Blackout Curtains?
Depending on how a blackout curtain is lined, virtually any fabric can be used for the front-facing layer. Typical fabrics used for blackout linings include triple-weave fabrics, thick polyester, microfiber, or a type of blackout fabric explicitly designed for this purpose.
Blackout fabric comes with either a 2-pass or 3-pass label denoting its ability to block light. Both are multi-layer linings, where a 3-pass typically has an additional layer of the lining that includes foam or rubber to reduce further the levels of noise, heat, and light that filter through.
What Colour Should Blackout Curtains Be?
Counterintuitive to their name, blackout curtains do not have to be black. While the dark fabric is typically better for stopping light, any colour can be used as long as it is the correct type of fabric. This is especially true if there is a rubber or foam back lining on the curtains, as this will provide an extra and effective layer to block light.
Try Out Blackout Curtains at Home
After reading through our deep dive on blackout curtains, we hope you have all the information you need to decide if they are something you could benefit from. For example, could blackout curtains help you improve your sleep quality or save on heating bills?
Let us know what you think in the comments below.