Homeowners, interior designers, and decorators often debate whether blinds or curtains are better. Which window treatment is the best: blinds vs. curtains, is a subject worth exploring.
Why Compare Blinds vs. Curtains?
Comparing window dressings is necessary to know which is best for your interior space. The installation cost, design, durability, and maintenance are worth considering. There are eight key factors to compare blinds vs. curtains.
Blinds vs. Curtains: Price
Blinds and curtains vary in price. These are the average prices of blinds and curtains.
Blinds: Fabric blinds and faux wood blinds are the cheapest. Generally, you can expect to spend between $300 and $1200 for blind installation, with an average cost of $700.
Curtains: Professional installation of curtains costs between $50 and $600 per window. Luxurious curtains made from silk and velvet cost more than ready-made acrylic and nylon types.
Installing blinds is cheaper than curtains since they need minimal hardware and labor. Curtain fabric, hardware, and customization increase the overall cost.
Design versatility refers to a window treatment’s style, fabric, and color options. Having various designs accommodates personal preferences and interior themes of every home.
Blinds: Popular types of window blinds include mini, vertical, Venetian, cordless, panel, and honeycomb. You can choose from wood, metal, plastic, fabric, or faux wood.
Curtains: Curtains come in various designs, from solid colors to floral prints, stripes, geometrics, and more. The curtain header influences the curtain styles and defines how the fabric drapes and hangs.
Curtains offer more color and design options than blinds. Choose curtains over blinds if you want a unique aesthetic, customized lengths, and embellishments.
Both curtains and blinds have unique safety considerations. The right choice depends on your household’s needs.
Blinds: One of the main drawbacks of blinds for people with kids or pets is the cords. They can get in the way and become dangerous.
Curtains: Curtains are a safety hazard. Kids can get tangled in them, adults can step on them, and pets can pee on them. Curtains aren’t ideal unless they are short and close to the wall.
Cordless blinds mitigate the risk of cord-related accidents, making them safer for households with pets or children. But, curtains are unsafe as they are often pulled on and knocked down by kids and adults alike.
Blinds and curtains need regular cleaning, especially in dusty areas. They can both tear and may need repairs on their hardware over time.
Blinds: It’s ideal to dust window blinds weekly using a microfiber cloth or a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment. Wipe them with a damp cloth and vinegar once a month for deep cleaning.
Curtains: Curtains can be hand-washed or machine-washed, depending on the fabric. You should wash curtains every 2-3 months using the care instructions on the tag or from the manufacturer’s website.
Window blinds are easier to maintain than curtains due to their straightforward dusting and spot-cleaning processes. Curtain fabrics are more delicate and may need special care.
Durability is one of the main factors in the long-term cost of window coverings. If you need to replace one every year and the other every ten years, the ten-year window covering will be cheaper.
Blinds: Most blinds will last a little less than ten years. Replacing them every 6-8 years ensures they function correctly and maintain structural integrity.
Curtains: The lifespan of curtains depends on the fabric. Sheer curtains likely won’t make it three years without getting too dingy or torn to be worth keeping. Others, like heavy drapes, may last ten years.
Curtain materials are more prone to tears, snags, and fading. Window blinds, however, can last many years without bending or breaking. With some handy skills, you can make repairs on damaged window blinds.
Soundproof curtains and blinds make a significant difference in noise reduction. Whether you’re trying to dampen sound from nearby traffic or noisy neighbors, you need to consider which option works best.
Blinds: Thick blinds with a honeycomb construction have great acoustic benefits. However, blinds with slats and an open outer edge allow noise through, reducing their efficiency.
Curtains: Soundproof curtains feature several layers of thick material, which reduces noise pollution from the outside. With an STC rating of 20 or higher, the curtains can reduce noise by up to 25 dB. But, in most cities, this noise level will be exceeded during the day.
Soundproof curtains work better at soundproofing since they’re thick and cover a larger surface area. If you live in a noisy area, you must combine curtains or blinds with other effective measures to soundproof your windows completely.
Blinds and curtains both offer a certain amount of control. Control refers to how you can adjust or manage light and privacy levels. The control levels affect the convenience and functionality of modern window treatment options.
Blinds: Window blinds are adjustable to allow more or less light into the room. You can also angle them to let some light in while maintaining privacy.
Curtains: Curtains offer privacy when closed, especially those made from thick, dark fabrics. But they don’t provide the same level of flexibility as blinds with adjustable slats.
Blinds offer more precise control over light and privacy than curtains. Since curtains are made of lightweight materials, light may still penetrate even when they are closed. Installing blinds is ideal for bedrooms and home theaters.
Curtains and window blinds help regulate indoor temperatures, contributing to the home’s energy efficiency. The effectiveness of insulation depends on the material, design, and how well the coverings fit the window frame.
Blinds: Honeycomb blinds are the best window blinds for insulation. Their unique design traps air, helping to keep the room cooler in summer and warmer in winter. Thick blinds can also keep a good amount of heat inside the house.
Curtains: Curtains that protect against heat or cold are primarily thick and dark. They offer a solid shield in front of the window, preventing heat loss during colder months and heat gain during summer. You can also layer curtains for more protection.
Thick curtains and cellular shades offer better insulation than standard window blinds. Opt for curtains with blackout linings for an extra insulation layer and better light control. Blackout curtain linings are made from thick cotton or polyester with an acrylic foam coating to block out light.
Blinds vs. Curtains: Do I Have To Choose?
If you’re undecided about the blinds vs. curtains debate, that’s okay. Put blinds up first, then add curtains afterward. This will add all the pros of each type of window covering and cut down on the cons.
Choose blinds for high-moisture rooms such as bathrooms or kitchens since they’re less susceptible to mold. Curtains suit living rooms and bedrooms as they offer more design options and better insulation.
What are the differences between blackout curtains and blackout blinds?
Blackout curtains block out all the light, plunging a room into darkness. During the daytime, you’ll have to open the curtains to allow natural light into the room. Blackout blinds, on the other hand, can be adjusted to allow some light while maintaining privacy.
How do you remove window blinds?
If your blinds have a valance, take it out by lifting it off the blinds. They’re mounted with a clip attached at the top of the headrail. Next, open the brackets by lifting the door or hinged side. Brackets feature a tab that keeps the hinged side closed. Now you can remove the window blinds from the brackets. Last, unscrew the brackets from the window frame.
What is the difference between curtains and drapes?
The main distinction between drapes vs. curtains is that curtains have lighter-weight fabrics than drapes. Drapes are also lined with one or two extra layers of material for a flowy aesthetic. Curtains have different lengths, from short cafe curtains to floor lengths.