Your Guide to Windows with Built-in Blinds

Windows with built-in blinds feature two panes of glass with blinds or shades in the middle – saving homeowners from having to install separate window coverings.

While windows with integrated blinds seem like a great idea at first glance, there are some drawbacks. 

Windows with Built-in Blinds

Here’s what you should know if you’re considering this window style.

How Built-in Blinds Work

Built-in blinds, also known as integral blinds, integrated shades, or between-the-glass blinds, are just how they sound – a window with at least two glass panes and blinds sandwiched in the middle. The blinds open via a slider on the window or by a remote control.

Depending on the window manufacturer, you can choose a blind or a shade and pick from multiple colors.

The Benefits of Built-In Window Blinds

Windows with built-in blinds aren’t for everyone. Here’s a look at the pros:

Safer for Small Children

As a parent, a cord on blinds is a big deal, even more when it’s close to a toddler or preschooler bed. If you’re worried about your child getting wound up in cords, built-in blinds are a decent solution.

The Glass Protects the Blinds

Blinds are easy to destroy. At some point, you’ve probably pulled a set of blinds off its tracks or witnessed a pet or small kid rip through the slats. 

You don’t have to worry about damage with integrated blinds since glass protects them.

Less Dusting

Blinds between the glass require less cleaning than regular versions. Those that are sealed and don’t have an access panel require almost no cleaning. 

Versions with an openable panel will accumulate dust at a quicker rate. 

The Cons of Windows with Built-in Blinds

Even with such convenience, integral blinds have some drawbacks.

More Expensive than Regular Windows

Windows with integral blinds are more expensive than those without. The price difference varies by manufacturer, but you must account for this cost when replacing windows.

Far Fewer Design Options

Not all manufacturers offer blinds or shades between the glass. Even those that do, like Pella, only offer them in certain window lines, limiting your choices in many ways.

You may be unable to find integrated blinds in the frame material or the window style you like. 

Windows with Built-In Blinds Lose Energy Efficiency

If you want to maximize energy efficiency, there are better choices than in-between the glass blinds. Many of today’s energy-efficient windows feature an insulative gas filling between glass panes – this isn’t the case for integrated blind windows. 

Windows that allow access to the built-in blinds are even less efficient because they don’t have an airtight seal.

To keep maximum energy efficiency with integrated blinds, you must opt for triple-glazed glass. With triple-glazed glass, blinds can occupy the first space, and a gas filling can go in the second space. 

You Can’t Switch Out the Style

If you’re a person who likes to switch up their interior design scheme, these windows aren’t for you. Integrated blinds can last as long as the window – up to 20 years. So, skip these windows if you can’t imagine picking a window treatment and keeping it for two decades.

Who Sells Windows with Built-In Blinds?

You can find windows with built-in blinds from the following manufacturer and stores:

  • Pella
  • Andersen
  • Home Depot
  • Lowes

Integrated blinds are only available in some window styles. For example, Pella only offers integrated blinds and shades in four window lines.

How to Clean Windows with Built-in Blinds

Clean the window glass with a glass cleaner and microfiber cloth. For windows with built-in blinds and an access panel, clean your blinds with a vacuum hose attachment when they accumulate dust.

For windows with built-in blinds that don’t have an access panel, your blinds shouldn’t accumulate dust, and you don’t need to clean them.