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Blackout curtains can be an important weapon in your arsenal when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep.This post will have some valuable information for those who are looking for something a bit more aesthetically pleasing than the typical, heavy blackout curtains that we see on the market today.
In a few words, yes, your white blackout curtains are effective at blocking out light. Blackout curtains work by nature of the density of the material used. The colour has low to no effect at all on how effective they are at blocking out light. This is good news for those of you who are worried about your blackout curtains clashing with the style of your bedroom.
Now, let’s take a look at the particulars of how blackout curtains work. The last thing you want is for your blackout curtains to match your decor but fail at actually blocking out light. Let’s go a little deeper into how blackout curtains work.
Why Use Blackout Curtains?
It seems pretty obvious that blackout curtains should block out every last bit of light that is trying to enter your room. Blackout curtains can be the answer to that street light that is blazing all night directly into your bedroom.
Or perhaps you work the night shift and you have to get your shut eye during the daytime hours. The last thing you want is the sunlight barging in and keeping you awake all day. Or maybe you just like to sleep in and don’t want to wake up at the crack of dawn. That’s fine too.
Whatever the case, blackout curtains can be the answer to these problems. But blocking out light is not the only thing that black out curtains do. Blackout curtains can also insulate your room more effectively. Since your windows are the main source of heat gain or loss in a home, having thick, heavy curtains covering this glass can help keep the temperature of your room more stable. And in doing so even help keep your energy bill lower.
Due to the nature of blackout curtains, they can also help to muffle outside noises that could enter your room through the thin windows and disturb your peaceful sleep.
How Can my Blackouts Curtains be White?
As discussed above, yes, your blackout curtains can be white. But how?
Well, the ‘blackout’ part of the blackout curtain has nothing to do with the colour of the fabric. Blackout curtains are, in fact, two or more layers of fabric. The multiple layers of the curtains contributes to the efficacy of the blackout curtain.
The outer (closest to the window) layer of the curtain is in fact a certain type of blackout fabric. This fabric is designed to be heavy and impenetrable by light. It’s a simple liner that is made out of a number of different materials, depending on your preference.
The most common are polyester or a polyester blend. This is a popular material because it is cheap, easy to manufacture, and readily available. Polyester is effective at blocking out light if it is made correctly.
Another common liner material is rubber. Rubber is heavier and more expensive. Although it’s very good at blocking out light, adding a layer of insulation and muffling noises from the outside.
As long as this blackout layer is present somewhere within the layers of the curtain, they will be effective at blocking out light and noise. So on the inside (furthest from the window) you can add an aesthetic layer to your curtain. You can make it any colour or fabric you like. Even white. This way, you can have blackout curtains that work like a charm but don’t mess up your aesthetic inside your room.
Mind The Aesthetics of Your Blackout Curtains
Something to make note of is if you want sheer curtains covering your windows. Sheer curtains are popular because they still let in some light. That filtered, dappled light gives a special quality to any room. However, if you also want a blackout curtain over this window, you will have to install the blackout lining as a separate entity on the curtain rod. Perhaps even on it’s own rod or track.
In some homes you might have to consider what your house looks like from the outside when the curtains are closed. Particularly in gated communities or housing estates where the home owners association dictates what your house must look like from the street.
Never fear, because if you are in this situation you can still enjoy all the benefits of blackout curtains. All you have to do is install an additional layer of fabric on the outside of the blackout layer so that you can’t see the blackout layer from the street. This way, you can easily meet the homeowners association aesthetic requirements while also enjoying the many benefits of blackout curtains.
Due to all these layers involved in creating effective blackout curtains, they are often heavier than normal curtains. You need to keep this in mind when mounting the curtains to the wall. Make sure the mounting hardware is strong enough to hold up all that fabric.
Luckily, that added weight does not have to weigh down your interior. With the tips and tricks above, you can have white blackout curtains to match your light and airy interior.
At the end of the day, if you follow the above guidelines, your blackout curtains can be whatever colour you want.
It is not the fabric itself that blocks out the light. There is a blackout liner that does all the hard work. So if you hide this blackout layer within the other layers of your curtains, you can choose whatever colour curtains you like. On the inside and the outside.
If you are looking for blackout curtains for your own bedrooms/rooms then I recommend you read our blackout curtain buyers guide. In the guide we cover what to look for in blackout curtains, show our top three recommendations, their pros and cons and why we would consider using these ourselves.
The fabric used for blackout curtains makes all the difference: our dim-out and blackout fabrics are all weaved and textile. A black yarn is inserted in the middle of the two sides of the fabric and the blackout effect (between 90 and 100%) depends on the color and the structure of the fabric.
This is why we have categorized all curtains and their performances. For example, a MOONDREAM dim-out curtain or blackout curtain in light colors such as eggshell or white will block out 90% to 95% of the light.
To block out 100% of the light you better choose either a blackout curtain in a dark color or a coated fabric curtain (in any color). MOONDREAM’s 100% total blackout curtains provide optimal protection from sunlight and offer a total blackout effect across the entire colour range.
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3 - How are blackout curtains made?
MOONDREAM uses 2 kinds of fabric, a 100% textile fabric weaved with a black yarn or a 3-pass coated fabric.
The performances of each curtain, as explained in point 2, are determined by the fabric itself and eventually the color.
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4 - How to attach blackout curtains?
Our Moondream light blocking curtains are mainly designed with grommets which makes it really easy to hang them. Just keep in mind when you choose your curtain rod that the inner diameter of the grommet is 1.6 inch.
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5 - Do white blackout curtains work?
Our white blackout curtain blocks out the light to 90%-95%, especially if the room is east facing (where the sun rises).
But if you go with our white 3-pass coated blackout curtain it will block out the light to 100%, no matter the orientation of the room.
Available in several sizes and shades of white, our white blackout curtains are suitable for all window sizes.
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6 - Are blackout curtains energy efficient?
Like every curtain, a blackout curtain will also help to insulate the room to a certain degree. Keep in mind that if you really need to insulate a room, you should better choose a blackout and thermal curtain.
With this kind of curtain you’ll get a blackout as well as a thermal effect. Please see our thermal curtain buying guide for more information.
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7 - Are blackout curtains soundproof?
Absolutely not, they are too thin and light weighted for that. If you are interested in a blackout curtain and sound insulation, please have a look at our 3-in-1 soundproof curtains. They insulate against noise, heat, cold and light.
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8 - What is the difference between a blackout curtain and a room darkening curtain?
A blackout curtain offers blackout effect up to 100% whole a room darkening curtain blocks out the light around 90% to 95%. Please see our comparison chart to understand which curtain offers the right light blocking effect for you.
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9 - Are blackout curtains toxic?
At MOONDREAM we chose to use OEKO-TEX certified fabrics. OEKO-TEX is an independent testing and certification system for textile products that is recognized worldwide. The Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX® takes into account if the curtain fabric has been produced without the use of any harmful substances.
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10 - Are blackout curtains necessary for babies?
They are not necessary but will help to create a quieter and sleep inducing atmosphere in the room.
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11 - Can blackout curtains be washed?
Yes, the MOONDREAM blackout curtains can be washed at a low temperature and in a gentle wash cycle. The most important is to make sure that the grommets are rust proof, and ours are.
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12 - Can blackout curtains be ironed?
Yes, please check the composition of the fabric and select the correct temperature.
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13 - Can blackout curtains be dry cleaned?
Yes they can and it’s the cleaning method we recommend to avoid any damage and impact on the performance.
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> Buy Blackout Curtains
Whisper White Solid Cotton Blackout Curtain
- SOLD PER PANEL
- 100% Cotton
- 3 Pass Blackout Lined For 100% Blackout Feature
- 3" Pole Pocket with Hook Belt & Back Tabs
- Dry Clean Only
- Weighted Hem
- Curtain Hooks are NOT included (available for purchase)
50W x 84LPole Pocket with Back Tabs & Hook Belt
7 best blackout curtains of 2021, according to experts
While the days are getting shorter as the weather gets colder, Daylight Saving Time will shortly come to an end, which means more sunlight earlier in the morning. Blackout curtains can be a priceless investment for anyone trying to get some uninterrupted sleep in the morning. Instead of allowing the sun to shine through, these window treatments can block up to 99 percent of light, keeping the room dark and protected from daytime brightness and allowing you to snooze.
In general, blackout curtains are an ideal choice for bedrooms, nurseries, home theaters or any room in the house where you want to limit exposure to natural light. The term blackout curtain often refers to drapes made of a double-lined, tightly woven fabric designed to block out light completely, explained Beth Halpern Brown of Beth Brown Interiors, an interior designer and home decor expert in Atlanta. However, there are other benefits besides keeping the morning sun out of your eyes, including :
- Absorbing outside noises
- Insulating the room from drafts or heat
- Protecting furniture and decor throughout the room from ultraviolet rays, which cause fading
How to shop for blackout curtains
Brown explained that what makes for the “perfect” blackout curtains for your room depends on various elements, including their fabric, required maintenance, style and your 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 works best and what makes sense for your long-term lifestyle needs,” she said.
But it’s also important to 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,” said Susan Peters, owner and interior designer for 9108 Designs. “These other two options may not block as much of the light from your room.”
Best drapery style
Blackout curtains come in a variety of drapery styles, including:
- 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,” said Pamela O’Brien, principal interior designer at Pamela Hope Designs. “Rod pockets and grommets are more difficult to open and close while rings glide along a rod easily.” She also notes that with blackout lining, drapery can be rather heavy so sewn-in or at least pinned-in rings are best.
Blackout curtains function best when they minimize light leaks, obviously, explained Lesley Myrick, owner and principal designer at Lesley Myrick Interior Design and a former project manager at a couture drapery workroom. “So look for curtains that are wider than your windows when closed and also higher than your windows,” she said. “This extra coverage outside of the actual windowpane will help create a true blackout feel.”
Blackout curtain fabric versus liners
Although some curtain panels are made from blackout fabric, Myrick noted, she’s found the best results come from curtains with built-in blackout liners. “Because blackout-lined curtains are made with more fabric, they're heavier — which means that proper drapery hardware to handle the weight is essential,” she said.
However, you can also opt to buy a specific liner made to completely block out light. “This is accomplished through a coating that’s applied to the fabric and blocks the little pores in the weave,” added Brown. “This material is thick and offers thermal insulation benefits, blocks out noise and creates ultimate privacy.”
Best blackout curtains to shop in 2021
There are countless blackout curtain options on the market across styles and price points. The experts we consulted recommended a few standouts for quality, performance and style.
Best blackout curtains overall: West Elm
West Elm Fair Trade Blackout Curtain
Available in three different sizes, these simple 100-percent polyester curtains with pole pockets can be hung on their own or layered behind a more festive material to make them blackout. Sometimes you just need a straightforward, effective, and tried and true choice, explained Brown. “This selection accomplishes all of your needs for a beautifully designed blackout curtain that’s still reasonably priced,” she said. “This dense drape blocks light, absorbs noise and insulates against heat and cold. By blocking sunlight, it also protects curtains, rugs and furniture from fading.”
Best affordable blackout curtains: Amazon Basics
Amazon Basics Room Darkening Blackout Window Curtains with Grommets
Instead of a stiff liner, these 100-percent polyester blackout curtains are made of a triple-weave fabric and feature two panels, as well as 1.5-inch grommets. They are also machine-washable, come with Velcro ties to pull them back and are made in an Oeko-TEX standard factory. “This is a super economical choice that ships quickly and comes in a multitude of colors and patterns,” said Brown. “Given the fabric type, they do a nice job of blocking outside noise and insulating rooms for energy efficiency.” Plus, with their reasonable price point and range of styles, she noted that they’re an ideal choice for rooms that change often, like kids’ rooms, playrooms or those who are renting.
Best high-end blackout curtains: The Shade Store
Ripple Fold Drapery
For buyers looking to spend a bit more on their drapes and curtains, Brown explained that The Shade Store is a great resource to customize the exact type of blackout curtain for any room in your home. “With over eight drapery styles and more than 650 fabric materials, you can basically create whatever type of blackout curtain you have in mind,” she said. However, “given its focus on customization, The Shade Store will cost more than your average home goods or big box retailer stores.”
Best style blackout curtains: PBteen
The Emily & Meritt Studded Blackout Curtain
Bring an edgy feel to your room with these pure cotton canvas woven curtains complete with delicate gold stud trim and pole pockets. They require dry cleaning only and are available individually or in a set of two — and come in three colors. “These studded blackout curtains are insanely chic,” said Myrick. “They'd bring a little edge and polish to a room.”
And Peters agrees with PBteen’s combination of quality and design details. “Don't let the ‘teen’ part fool you, this curtain is appropriate for all ages,” she added. “Pottery Barn across the board makes some amazing blackout curtains.”
Best blackout curtains for the bedroom: NICETOWN
NICETOWN Blackout Curtain Panels
For your bedroom, these thermal insulated drapes will block up to 99 percent of light, according to the brand. Available in 24 fade-resistant colors and ten sizes, these wrinkle-free blackout curtains come with two panels per package to accommodate various styles and window sizes. Plus, more than 60,300 reviewers on Amazon have given these machine-washable curtains a 4.7-star average rating.
Best blackout curtains for kids rooms: Pottery Barn Kids
Evelyn Linen Blend Ruffle Bottom Blackout Curtain
Many of the experts we consulted agree that Pottery Barn Kids offers adorable 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,” said Peters. One of her favorites is this cotton weave curtain with four-in-one top treatment so you can pick from pole pocket, belt loop, clip rings or drapery rings depending on the look you want. “The ruffles add some beautiful detail to the bottom of these girly curtains.” However, if you’d like something more gender-neutral, they are also available with just a simple pleat design.
Best blackout curtain liner: Rose Home Fashion
Rose Home Fashion Thermal Insulated Blackout Curtain Liner Panel
A creative way to bring both function and unique style to your windows is using a blackout curtain liner under your regular curtain. “With this feature, you can buy any curtains that fit your style and pair them with a blackout curtain or blackout curtain liner,” said Peters. This insulating blackout liner comes with two panels and drapery rings, is machine washable and blocks out up to 99 percent of light, according to the brand.
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Lauren Levy is a contributor with work published on The Knot, PopSugar, CafeMom, Mom.com, Bridal Guide and Care.com.
Curtains blackout white
We’ve read through this guide, and we’re still confident in all our picks.
January 29, 2020
If outdoor light interrupts your sleep, you may rest better using blackout or room-darkening curtains. After testing 20–using a strobe burst and a light-sensitive camera–we’ve found our favorites: the Freemansburg Solid Blackout Thermal Curtains, if you want a stylish option that blocks most light; or the Sebastian Insulated Total Blackout Window Curtains, if you need cavelike darkness (and don’t mind shiny fabric).
If you need to darken a room but also want good-looking curtains, we recommend the Freemansburg Solid Blackout Thermal Curtains, which are sometimes also sold under their former name, the Bellino Textured Blackout Curtain. Unless you’re extremely light sensitive, these should block enough light to help you sleep at night, and the fabric looks much better than any total-blackout style we’ve seen. We’ve tested many blackout curtains and found that the ones that block the most light often have cheap-looking fabric, but the fabric on these looks and feels high quality. Although the curtains may let a little light in during the day, they’ll still block more light than many curtains we’ve found. We also prefer these to total blackouts for napping kids, whose sleep rhythms can be disrupted in the day by a room that is too dark. They come in 14 colors and five lengths, so they’ll match a range of interior styles.
The Sebastian Insulated Total Blackout Window Curtains are among the few curtains that completely blocked all light during our testing. They’re the best choice for people with extreme light sensitivity and for shift workers (or anyone else) who sleeps during the day and needs a pitch-black bedroom. They aren’t the prettiest of our picks—the fabric is very, very shiny—but they look better than the other total-blackout curtains we’ve found. We’ve tested them twice, and when installed properly they’ll keep a room cave-dark. Available in six colors and five lengths, these should work with most windows.
If you want an eye-catching color-blocked look and excellent room darkening, IKEA’s Marjun Curtains are a solid choice. They’re the least expensive of our picks, and though they don’t provide 100 percent darkness, they come pretty close—they even block a bit more light than our favorite darkening curtains. The downside is they come in only gray, blue, or lilac and only in one length, making them the least versatile curtain we recommend.
The Crate and Barrel Silvana Silk Blackout Curtains are the most beautiful curtains we recommend, but they block the least light. The fabric is higher quality and drapes better than the other curtains we tried, so they’re perfect for adding luxury (and some room darkening) to your home decor. This is our only pick made with natural fibers; the front is a blend of silk and linen, while the liner is 100 percent polyester. They look better and feel lighter than any other blackout curtains we’ve tried, but don’t expect them to create a totally dark room.
Everything we recommend
Why you should trust us
As a Wirecutter staff writer, I focus on making the bedroom comfortable and functional so you can get the best sleep. I co-wrote our guides to sheets and bed pillows, and I’ve written much of our other bedding coverage, including guides to blankets and duvet covers. I’ve also personally shopped for blackout curtains because I’m married to a light-sensitive sleeper.
Several sleep experts helped me get a full picture of how light and noise affect us when falling asleep, the struggles of shift workers, and how dark a room should be for sleeping and napping children. I spoke with Michael Perlis, PhD, director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at University of Pennsylvania; Jerome Siegel, PhD, director of the Siegel Lab at UCLA’s Center for Sleep Research; Jodi Mindell, PhD, professor of psychology at Saint Joseph’s University and author of Sleeping Through the Night: How Infants, Toddlers, and Their Parents Can Get a Good Night’s Sleep; and Rachel Manber, PhD, a behavioral sleep medicine specialist at Stanford University Medical Center. I also spoke to Berek Awend, a former sales manager at Blackoutcurtains.com who previously owned a blinds store, to find out how to measure for and install blackout curtains to get the best coverage.
Who should get these
Our experts told us that most people would benefit from a darker room while they sleep. Whether you need total blackness or just a very dark room depends on your own reaction to light. “Individuals differ in their sensitivity to light, so I don’t think one answer fits everyone,” Siegel at UCLA told us. But for shift workers who sleep during the day, Manber from Stanford said total darkness is essential.
Most curtains we’ve tested for this guide are labeled as blackout curtains, but often they’re simply room-darkening (and sometimes not very good at that). True blackout curtains and shades, when installed properly, will block all light, even daylight, while good room-darkening curtains will block most light at night but are less effective during the day. If you want to darken a room for children napping during daylight hours, Mindell, author of Sleeping Through the Night: How Infants, Toddlers, and Their Parents Can Get a Good Night's Sleep, told us room-darkening curtains are probably better because a little bit of light actually helps preserve their sleep rhythms.
Some people use these curtains to block outdoor light for a home theater—and the Sebastian Total Blackout curtains we recommend will work for that purpose—but our focus in this guide is on improving sleep. We also have a guide to blackout shades.
How we picked and tested
We’ve researched 56 blackout curtains since 2017, and our criteria for narrowing down the best have always been simple:
Effective light blocking: If a curtain is labeled as blackout or room-darkening and it doesn’t make a room significantly darker, it’s not doing its job. We read countless user reviews to see if the curtains we considered lived up to that promise.
Attractive fabrics: Most of the blackout curtains we’ve found are made with synthetic fabrics, which are better at blocking light, but many of them are ugly. Blackout curtains have a specific job to do, but they’re still a prominent piece of home decor so they should look as smart as possible. We focused mostly on solid-colored curtains available in at least a few shades to work with a variety of styles.
Easy to buy: We found a lot of custom-made blackout drapes, which can start at $500 a panel and take a while to have made. We looked for more affordable options and also for curtains that are consistently available. To make sure the curtains we recommend will stay in stock, we mainly focused on retailers selling the same styles year after year.
Available in a variety of sizes: Windows come in all shapes and sizes, so we looked for curtains in a variety of lengths and widths. Wide panels are essential for proper installation—all of our picks are at least 48 inches wide, and most are more.
Many manufacturers say their blackout curtains will help insulate drafty windows and reduce noise, but we didn’t focus on these factors or test for them. If your windows are letting in a lot of cold air or noise, curtains will only marginally help. We cover a few other measures you can take to block light and noise from the bedroom (such as weatherstripping windows and doors) here.
In 2017, we tested 13 curtains, and in 2019 we tested 11 (including retests of our original picks). I examined every curtain for construction and fabric quality, then photographed how much light came through each curtain.
In both years of testing we used a studio strobe light to flash an intense burst of light directly into the back of the curtain fabric while we simultaneously took a picture from the front; we used very light-sensitive settings to try to capture any light that came through. In the resulting pictures, the blacker the photograph, the better the curtain was at blocking light. With this testing method, only three of the 20 curtains we’ve tested over the years proved to be true total-blackout curtains, with just a few others coming very close.
Our pick: Freemansburg Solid Blackout Thermal Curtains
The Freemansburg Solid Blackout Thermal Curtains offer the best combination of light blocking and good looks of any curtains we’ve tested. They come in a wide range of colors and lengths, and the 50-inch width is generous enough to fully cover most windows. They’re also available from a few different retailers, and we think the price is reasonable.
When properly installed, the Freemansburg curtains are more than sufficient for darkening a room. They weren’t the best curtains we tested at blocking all light, but they did an impressive job, letting in just a hint of light during our photography tests. They aren’t as effective as the IKEA Marjun and Sebastian Total Blackout curtains (two of the few true blackout curtains we’ve found), but they blocked more light than the Crate and Barrel Silvana style and most of the others that we’ve tried in two years of testing.
The 100 percent polyester Freemansburg curtains are the best-looking synthetic blackouts we’ve found that are actually effective at stopping light. In our tests, synthetic fabrics consistently block more light than natural fibers like cotton, linen, and silk–even if those fabrics are backed with synthetic linings. They never look as good, though—the polyester often looks cheap and very shimmery. The Freemansburgs have a simple matte weave that’s more understated and easy to live with than other polyester curtains we’ve considered, but they’re still not as lovely as the silk and linen Crate and Barrel Silvanas.
The 14 color choices—the most of any of our picks—also make these the most versatile curtains we found. They’ll match most decor. The polyester IKEA Marjun curtains look nice, but they come in only three colors, and only one 98-inch length. The Freemansburg panels come in four lengths (84 inches, 96 inches, 108 inches, and 120 inches), and the generous 50-inch width offers plenty of coverage for maximum light blocking.
Confusingly, our test set of Freemansburg curtains arrived labeled as the Bellino Textured Blackout Curtain. We spoke to Joss & Main and confirmed that the manufacturer recently changed the name. They’re still sold under the Bellino name at JCPenney and Home Depot (which also offer a 63-inch length but fewer colors in all sizes), but Joss & Main had the best selection and some of the best prices—you can pick up two 84-inch panels for about $80.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
Some user reviews note that these snag easily, especially when hanging them, and we did notice a couple of snags out of the packaging. But our wear tests didn’t cause any additional snags, so we think taking extra care when putting them up is probably all you need to do.
Our pick: Sebastian Insulated Total Blackout Window Curtain Panels
If you need to make your room completely dark, even during the day, the Sebastian Insulated Total Blackout Window Curtain Panels are the best we’ve found. They’re one of only three we’ve ever found that blocked light completely, but their fabric looks very shiny. The front of the Sebastian curtains is fairly opaque, but the real light blocker is the lining—a thick layer of tightly woven polyester that looks more substantial than the linings of our other picks. This combination of materials blocked every trace of light, and several owner reviews noted that these curtains were effective enough to use in home theaters.
We’ve tested the Sebastians twice in two years, in a light and a dark color, and though they look a little better than another total blackout curtain we found (the Emery Total Blackout), they’re still far less stylish than the other picks on our list. The fabric is so shiny it almost glitters. The panels come in five colors and five lengths (63-, 84-, 95-, 108-, and 144-inch versions). Long-term testers have told us these curtains are very effective for blocking light, but the wrinkles they have out of the package do not smooth out even after living on a curtain rod for a couple of years. You might want to give these a light pressing before hanging.
Budget pick: IKEA Marjun Curtains
IKEA’s Marjun blackout curtains are the least expensive curtains we recommend, they’re nearly as good at blocking light as the Sebastian Insulated curtains, and the fabric and color-blocked design looks better. But because they only come in one size (and only three colors, gray, lilac, and blue), they won’t fit in with as wide a range of interiors as our picks with more available colors. For around $50 for a pair of 98-inch curtain panels (which you can hem to fit if necessary), we think they’re a bargain, as long as you like the style.
The Marjun curtains are made from thickly woven 100 percent polyester and backed with blackout material. These are sturdy, well-made curtains that should last for years. The color blocking along the bottom adds a little more personality to a room than our solid-color picks too. One Wirecutter staffer has been long-term testing them in her NYC apartment since our original guide published in 2017 and liked them enough to hang them in both her and her daughters’ rooms.
Upgrade pick: Crate and Barrel Silvana Silk Blackout Curtains
If you want a stylish curtain that makes a room a bit darker, the silk and linen Crate and Barrel Silvana Silk Blackout Curtains get the job done. They’re some of the nicest-looking curtains we found, but they block the least amount of light of our picks. They still performed better than almost half the blackout curtains we’ve tested since 2017, though. They’re the only curtains we recommend made with natural fibers—the silk threads give them a subtle sheen that catches the light beautifully, while the linen adds some texture. They look put together but not fussy.
The Silvana curtains do have a polyester lining, which helps block more light than the silk-and-linen front would on its own. In our light test photos we could see the shape of the flash through the curtain, but the light was muted. These won’t be as effective at blocking light as our other picks, so if you need total darkness during the day they’re not the best choice. But they should block street lamps and less direct light at night. The Silvana curtains are available in three neutral colors and three lengths (84 inches, 96 inches, and 108 inches). They’re the narrowest of our curtain picks, with 48-inch-wide panels, but that’s still more generous than several we’ve researched and tested. A pair of panels will fit most windows, but to be sure, measure yours and add 12 inches on each side for proper installation. Like the Freemansburg curtains, these had a couple of minor snags out of the package, but they survived our wear tests—brushing them vigorously with a corn brush. These are also the only curtains we recommend that are dry-clean only.
How to properly hang blackout curtains
To completely block all light, you have to install the curtains correctly. Avoid curved rods or any installation that will place the curtains out too far in front of the window. The curtain panels also need to be wide enough and long enough to eliminate light gaps. Berek Awend, formerly of Blackoutcurtains.com, calls this “the dreaded ‘halo effect.’” His company specializes in commercial blackout needs for photography studios, labs, and medical clinics. They know how to eliminate all traces of light. “When measuring outside the window frame, we suggest measuring 12 inches on both sides and above the opening to eliminate that light,” Awend said. If your curtains aren’t touching the floor, allow at least that much extra space along the bottom of the window as well. Depending on how wide your window is, you may need three panels instead of two.
Care and maintenance
Follow the care labels on your curtains. Many we tested are dry-clean only, and some you can wash on very gentle settings but not iron. Many of the curtains we tested, in synthetic fabrics or natural fibers, came with some wrinkles out of the package. Iron them if you can, or hang them in a steamy shower before putting them up. But it can be a frustrating job and might be worth taking them to the dry cleaner to be pressed and put on hangers—not folded.
We tested Pottery Barn’s Emery linen-cotton curtains in 2017 and Belgian Linen Curtains Made with Libeco Linen in 2019, and both had beautiful fabric, but the linen/cotton curtains didn’t compare with the others we tested for blocking out light, and the Belgian linen curtains were heavy enough to be impractical. They were also the most expensive curtains we tested each year.
The West Elm Linen Cotton curtains, our former upgrade pick, were the best of the natural fiber curtains I tested in 2017 for blocking out light, but when I retested a new panel in 2019 they were the worst of all the curtains I tried. They also only come in white.
Pottery Barn Kids offers a few blackout curtain options, and we tested the Hayden Blackout Curtains because they came in the widest variety of neutral, non-pastel colors. They didn’t block as much light as others we tested from Pottery Barn, West Elm, and Crate and Barrel, and the fabric quality wasn’t as good.
Eclipse is a big manufacturer of room-darkening and blackout curtains, and we tested three different models—the Eclipse Canova (sold at JCPenney), the Eclipse Samara (sold at Walmart), and the Eclipse Fresno (sold on Amazon). The Canova and Samara had linings that felt flimsy and thin, like a disposable plastic tablecloth. The Eclipse Fresno curtains were much better quality, but all three were terrible at blocking light.
Sun Zero is another big blackout curtain manufacturer. In 2019, we tested the Evan (sold at JCPenney) and the Easton (sold on Amazon), and they were absolutely identical, down to the model number on the tags. Neither was very good at blocking light, but more frustrating was the pricing. The Evan’s retail price is about five times as much as the Easton price, depending on the color and length, and while JCPenney has frequent sales they’ve always been at least twice the price when we’ve checked.
More ways to improve sleep
Rachel Manber, PhD, behavioral sleep medicine specialist at Stanford University Medical Center, phone interview, December 14, 2016
Jerome Siegel, PhD, director of the Siegel Lab at UCLA’s Center for Sleep Research, email interview, November 28, 2016
Jodi Mindell, PhD, professor of psychology at Saint Joseph’s University and author of Sleeping Through the Night: How Infants, Toddlers, and Their Parents Can Get a Good Night's Sleep, phone interview, November 17, 2016
Michael Perlis, PhD, director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at University of Pennsylvania, email interview, September 22, 2016
Light-Blocking Window Treatment Ratings, Reviews & Comparisons, Sleep Like The Dead, December 8, 2016
Carrie McBride, Sleep Better with Black-Out Curtains: Sources for Buying Them & Making Them, Apartment Therapy, May 9, 2014
About your guide
Jackie Reeve is a senior staff writer covering bedding, organization, and home goods at Wirecutter since 2015. Previously she was a school librarian, and she’s been a quilter for about 15 years. Her quilt patterns and her other written work have appeared in various publications. She moderates Wirecutter’s staff book club and makes her bed every morning.
Best White Blackout Curtains for Your Room
Most people sleep better when there is no light inside the room, which is why night-time is naturally the right time for everyone to sleep. But then there are the night-owls who sleep during the day. What are they going to do?
If you are one of these people, then have no fear for there is a solution; blackout curtains. These curtains will block the light out of your room entirely, so you can sleep as peacefully as you would at night, in the day.
Blinds, windows, curtains, they can all be made to block the sun out of your room completely, even if it’s in the middle of the day. There are, of course, things you have to keep an eye out for when purchasing the right pair of curtains for your room.
You might be interested in: 70 Of the Best Blackout Shades for Bedrooms
NICETOWN Easy Care Solid Thermal Curtains
Flamingo P 100% Blackout White Curtains
Rose Home Fashion 100% Blackout Curtains
Turquoize Window Treatment Curtains
Turquoize Room Darkening Curtain Panels
What Can Blackout Curtains Do for Your Room?
There is a lot that your curtains can do or your room! For starters, a blackout curtain can prevent sun damage to the furniture and floor in your room. Whatever theme color you have chosen for your room will remain intact for longer since the sun won’t directly hit the furniture and decorations.
They can also help keep the room cool in warmer seasons so you’re not using as much electricity as you would with a fan or air conditioner. These curtains are best for rooms that get hit with direct sunlight during the day. You can pull the curtains, dim the light, and relax in a cooler room.
Since the creation of blackout curtains, their quality has improved greatly. Manufacturers went from using plastic-polyester material to an entire fabric solution for sunny days.
You may feel like a vampire sometimes when the sun wakes you up earlier than you wanted it to. But with some blackout curtains, the sun won’t penetrate your windows until you want it to, which can mean more fulfilling hours of sleep, even if you did sleep late.
The common idea is; in order to block out the light, you need a dark color, right? But what if you didn’t need a black curtain to block out all sunlight? What if you could just use a white curtain?
Fortunately, there are white blackout curtains which work as well, if not better, as dark-colored curtains. You don’t even have to stop at white, there are blackout curtains in all colors so whatever your choice of decoration, there is a complementing curtain out there for you.
White curtains do have a sort of elegance to them. If you want to brighten your room but keep out the sunlight during the hotter times of the day, then fret not, for there’s a white blackout curtain for that.
Curtain vs Drapes
Yes, there is a difference. Curtains are constructed with one layer of fabric, while drapes are more than one layer of fabric.
The light-darkening features in a curtain are infused directly into the fabric. This can make the curtains thicker, but they still remain lighter and appealing, in comparison to drapes. Drapes are naturally the better option to block out sunlight, but they don’t suit everyone’s preference.
Curtains have a thinner, simpler look to them than drapes do. Drapes are heavier, and therefore have a bolder statement in the appearance of the room. For people who enjoy this appeal, there is no harm in getting blackout drapes. Other people tend to enjoy the light-hearted look to curtains which blends nicely into the rest of the room’s decor.
Blackout vs Dim-Out
These two terms have different meanings and should not be mistaken for one another. Blackout curtains stop light from entering the room completely. These curtains are used in bedrooms or media rooms, where no light is permitted to come. They can also protect furniture, walls, and floors from getting sunburnt.
Dim-out blinds don’t block out all of the sunlight. Most curtains are dim-out curtains, as they let in a little light, but blocking out the bulk of the sunlight. Some still get in, so their effect isn’t as prominent as a blackout curtain’s performance.
In order to keep your curtain strong and reliable, you have to keep it clean. This ensures that your curtain is ready for the outcome of each and every day. You don’t have to wash your curtain on the daily, you can even do it every month and you’ll be fine.
Your worst enemy is dust in this case. You don’t want it building up in your curtain creases and ruining the white appeal to it. Before you clean your curtains, open them so they are stretched out nicely. This will guarantee there are a few creases as possible. Use your vacuum with its rush attachment and run it down the curtain. Clean out the whole curtain this way to make sure there no dust remains.
A blackout curtain is installed the same way any regular curtain would be. What you want to keep an eye out for is the size of your blackout curtain. It’s better to get a curtain that is slightly bigger than the actual window you are purchasing it for. Make sure there is still material on both sides of the window and some extra 20cm hanging underneath the window. This will ensure your window is properly covered.
Your track or curtain pole should be 20cm over the window so the curtain blocks out all possible light from all angles. In total, there should be 20 extra centimeters hanging out in each direction for the best performance.
Top 5 Best White Blackout Curtain Reviews
Here is a look at some stellar performers that will keep your room dark and cool at the same time:
#1. NICETOWN Easy Care Solid Thermal Insulated Grommet Room Darkening Curtains
- Sizes: W29” X L45” / W42” X L63” / W42” X L84” / W42” X L90”
- Material: Triple Weave Blackout Fabric
- Color: Comes only in white
Label: Best Overall Blackout Curtains
These curtains are made out of 100% polyester and come in a pair of two 42” by 84” curtains. They each have 6 grommets on the top which makes installation easy. The curtains remove 85% to 99% of light and UV rays that would usually find their way into your room. You’ll even find that these curtains can reduce the sound from outside that finds its way into your room.
Balance out the room temperature and lengthen the life of your furniture with these curtains. The insulation of these curtains will keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. As soon as you get them, they are ready to be placed up and used. You can machine wash your curtains if they get stained or too dirty to clean with a vacuum, and they’ll survive the heat of an iron.
Who Should Buy This?
Anyone who wants to discover the world through blackout curtains can start with NICETOWN’s own curtains. These curtains are strong and sturdy, plus they come ready-made, so there’s no hassle when putting them up in your room. They can help you keep your furniture safe, your room temperature regulated, and your nights sound-free! For any first-timer, these curtains make the right impression.
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#2. Flamingo P 100% Blackout White Curtains
- Sizes: W52” X L63” / W52” X L84” / W52” X L96” / W52” X L108”
- Material: Front – Duchesse Back – woven blackout fabric
- Colors: white, grey, brown, cardinal, khaki, navy, wheat, indigo plum
Label: Most Stylish Blackout Curtain Option
Flamingo P introduces their innovative high-tech curtains which completely blocks out all sunlight from your room, giving you the dark environment you desire. The secret to their curtains is that they are double-sided. One side of the curtain is the clean white you want it to be., while the other side is a perfect pitch black that keeps out all of the sunlight. The front side is made out of Duchesse fabric and the back is woven blackout fabric with no chemical coatings.
The design is ergonomic, modern, and environmentally friendly. They are also soundproof, thermal insulated, energy-efficient, and solid so no one can see through them! These curtains are sold in pairs, and each curtain has 8 grommets to make installation a breeze. They can fit onto 1 ¼ inch curtain poles. You can machine wash these curtains and bleach them with non-chlorine bleach. They can be tumbled dry and ironed back to their original condition.
Who Should Buy This?
Do you need a strong blackout curtain, but you don’t want to give up the beauty of pure white curtains? Keep the style and stick with these Flamingo P curtains. They give the quality blockage a pitch-black curtain would while still pulling off the white aesthetic to hold your room together. Now you can trust your curtains to do the job while still looking their best.
CHECK AMAZON PRICE
#3. Rose Home Fashion 100% Blackout Curtains
- Sizes: W50” x L63” / W50” x L84” / W50” x L96” / W50” x L108” / W50” x L45”
- Material: Polyester
- Colors: Chocolate, dark grey, grey, tan, white
Label: Longest Lasting Option
These ready-made curtains come in twos and each have eight grommets which are 1.6 inches in diameter. These curtains are made with quality polyester fabric with natural sunlight blackout features that help create the desired darkened environment. The curtains are not thin and flimsy, they are thick and durable, capable of lasting through long, sunny years ahead.
The claim is that these Rose Home Fashion curtains can prevent 100% of the sunlight that tries to come into your room. There are two layers of lined blackout curtains in this set, both covered with a white-colored lining. The curtains are insulated as well, so you can keep your summer days cooler and winter chills warmer. The warranty lasts 8 years and there’s a 30-day return policy that ensures maximum satisfaction in your new drapes. The curtains are machine washable and dry, so long as there is no chlorinated bleach being used.
Who Should Buy This?
For anyone who thinks far into the future, these are the right curtains. They will withstand the harsh days, fighting against the sunlight with the same endurance as the day before. They maintain an aesthetic appearance with a performance that is up to par.
CHECK AMAZON PRICE
#4. Turquoize Window Treatment Curtains
- Sizes: W52” x L63” / W52” x L84” / W52” x L96”
- Material: Microfiber Polyester Blackout Fabric
- Colors: Aqua, Burgundy, Coral, Cream, Dove Grey, Greyish White, Navy, New Sage, Plum Purple, Pure White, Sage, Stone Blue, Teal
Label: Best Dim-Out Curtains
These curtains are made entirely out of microfiber polyester blackout fabric. The panels are sold in two and made to last in modern elegance. They are crafted with a triple woven microfiber blackout material making them durable, soft, silky, and perform the way they should. These curtains remove 50% of all sunlight, darken the room, and help create a cooler, darker environment. The UV rays will never reach the furniture or floorboards and you can save energy while your curtains are open, regulating your temperature in the room.
You can hang your curtains in any way you like to shake things up a little once in a while. Slide the rod through the back tabs, thread it through for a closer, more cuddled appearance, or simply use clips and rings. The curtains are machine washable and dry, so maintenance is not a big issue.
Who Should Buy This?
Stylish curtains can be everyone’s priority sometimes. These curtains aren’t entirely black-out material, but they create a beautiful damp look to your room that will liven up the place with a homey, warm, touch. These curtains are great for customers who want a warm feeling in their room. 50% is enough for some people who don’t want all the light gone.
CHECK AMAZON PRICE
#5. Turquoize Room Darkening Curtain Panels
- Sizes: W52” x L63” / W52” x L72” / W52” x L84” / W52” x L96” / W52” x L108”
- Material: 100% microfiber polyester blackout fabric
- Color: aqua, black, burgundy, burgundy red, charcoal gray, citadel, coral, cream, dark denim, dove, grey, greyish white, navy, new sage, plum purple, pure white, sage, seal brown, strawberry pink, teal, turquoise green, beige, baby pink, denim, ballad blue, fuchsia pink
Label: Most Versatile Option
This is yet another product from Turquoize, offering more curtains with more colors and more quality appeal. They are made out of the same microfiber polyester blackout fabric, and they come in a set of two.
These curtains block out 50% of the sunlight, but 100%of the UV rays so your furniture and floors don’t get damaged on brighter days. These curtains are vinyl free, environmentally friendly and breathable. Unlike darker colors, these curtains don’t give off a gloomy look, but instead, brighten the room while keeping the unwanted brightness out. It’s a beautiful irony that fills the room.
Protect your privacy and reduce the sound that comes from outside with these curtains. The temperature of the room is better regulated, therefore saving more energy in the long run, and you still benefit from the darkening qualities of the curtains. The curtain set comes with an 8-year warranty and a 30-day return policy, so you don’t have to worry about dissatisfaction ruining your purchase.
Who Should Buy This?
Customers who feel they need to brighten up their room without allowing too much sunlight inside can opt for this product. These curtains have a little bit of everything, therefore are the most versatile. They can reach the demand of anyone who wants a blackout in their room, or simply a dimmer environment to settle into.
CHECK AMAZON PRICE
Blackout curtains are a great idea for many reasons. If you sleep in late, then block out the sun when it comes early in the morning. If you want to save energy in hotter summers, place darkened shades in your room to keep in the cool. If you notice your furniture fades quickly under direct sunlight, block it with curtains so the colors in your room remain fresh and bright.
Share your experience with blackout curtains in the comments below and share this article if you see someone finding these blinds handy. There’s always time to make some quick changes in your room, and the small things are what make the whole room come together nicely.
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I never use it in my life). Alyosha looked at me without taking off his studying gaze. When I found myself in the lake, not far from him, my brother suggested that I race to the other side.