Finding the best blackout curtains for your specific needs can be a lot more challenging than most people anticipate. But only because there are so many options to pick from than ever before!
You have blackout curtains to help you get better sleep at night, to make watching movies in a media room a lot easier, or just to have more control over the lighting in a space.
Today’s top blackout curtain sets are a lot better made than they ever used to be in the past, featuring a wide array of different colors, fabrics, and prints. This gives you all the utility you’d expect from a top set of blackout curtain without having them feel so utilitarian.
In fact, because there are so many different design and fabric options out there offering blackout capabilities, you’ll have next to no trouble whatsoever finding a set perfect for the home decor aesthetic you are shooting for.
Below we touch on not only some of the key things you want to look for in a new set of blackout curtains, but also highlight some of the very best options available on the market today.
You can’t go wrong with any of the options included in the quick reviews we touch on below, but at the very end we also share with you our favorite overall pick – the blackout curtain set we recommend most.
Let’s dig right in!
How to Buy the Best Blackout Curtains
As we touched on a little bit earlier, finding the very best blackout curtain set is going to be a little bit more challenging than most people anticipate.
Up until somewhat recently, you really only had a handful of different blackout curtain options you could pick from. Almost all of them were very utilitarian looking in nature, bland, and unappealing – and that’s because these curtains were designed to be “hidden” by traditional curtains that would spruce up a room.
Now, these options definitely still exist today and are available if that’s something you are interested in. On the flip side of things, however, there are a lot of top-quality options that will not force you to make the choice between utility and design – combining the light blocking features of traditional blackout curtains with high style and attractive aesthetics.
Here are the features you’ll want to look for in today’s modern blackout curtains.
Light Blocking Capabilities
Right out of the gate, you’re going to want to decide just how much light you want your new blackout curtain set to actually blackout in the first place.
The overwhelming majority of quality options today are capable of blocking anywhere between 80% and 90% of light, though there are certainly some “total black” curtain that can block out 100% of the light.
When a lot of people set out to purchase blackout curtain sets they operate under the assumption that they don’t want ANY light whatsoever making its way into a room. In reality, however, most people wouldn’t mind a little bit of ambient light peeking through during the day – especially if it means that they don’t have to waste money and energy on lightbulbs to illuminate a space just to move around in.
The secret sauce behind the light blocking capabilities curtains offer is an internal layer of black thread woven between the traditional curtains or their stylistic pattern. Different patterns will blackout different amounts of light, some more effectively than others, and this is something you’ll want to investigate as well.
Fabrics and Materials
The next thing you’ll want to consider before you pull the trigger on a set of blackout curtains is the fabrics and materials they’re made of.
Some people look at curtains and only want to add a bit of visual style to a space while blocking out the light, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Other people, however, are going to want to make sure that curtains – especially ones that dominate a space with plenty of windows – are going to add color, texture, and “weight” to the atmosphere of a space.
As we highlighted above, the overwhelming majority of blackout curtains are going to use black fabric/textiles that are woven into the material of the curtains to block out the light. This means that you will have an almost endless amount of choices to pick from when it comes to color, style, weight, and overall texture.
Don’t be shy about being bold with your window dressings, choosing something a little bit more stylistic even if it is going to be primarily a utilitarian fixture you add to your interior.
While not strictly designed with energy efficiency in mind, the truth of the matter is that any blackout curtain set designed to stop light from getting into a space is also going to have heat blocking and insulative properties as well.
This may or may not mess with the energy efficiency plan you have regarding your property and is certainly something you want to consider.
Obviously, thicker blackout curtain sets are going to have higher insulative properties than those that are relatively thin. Blackout curtain sets that block out more light are going to cut down on the amount of heat transferred into a space, and that might mean that you are spending more on energy to heat a space that would have had at least a little ambient heat pumped in from the sun previously.
As we mentioned above, the thermal impact that blackout curtains have will not be overwhelming but it isn’t going to be negligible, either. This is certainly something you’ll want to think about before you jump right in.
Ease of Cleaning
At the end of the day, your curtains are going to be like any other fabric or textile in your home. They are going to need to be cleaned on a regular basis.
Some blackout curtains are 100% machine washable and machine dryable whereas others are dry clean only or hand clean only, requiring you to take specific cautionary measures to make sure that you don’t break them down prematurely.
This is something think about, particularly if you already find yourself doing more laundry than you would like. Most folks aren’t going to want to have to make a special trip to the dry cleaner every couple of months just to have their blackout curtains maintained.
Top 5 Blackout Curtains
Here are our picks for the best blackout curtains:
1. NICETOWN Thermal Insulated Grommet Blackout Curtains
Ready to go right out of the box, these high quality blackout curtains not only feature a variety of different colors and designs on the exterior but they also include and interior blackout liner that feels soft and durable – while working to blackout between 85% and 99% of light and UV rays.
On top of that, these specific blackout curtains are also capable of reducing noise, eliminating glare, and work to trap heat thanks to their insulative properties. You’ll be able to better regulate the temperature of your interior spaces in the heat of summer and the cold of winter, improving the overall energy efficiency of your home, too.
The six individual grommets make these curtains easy to install without having to do a lot of fiddling around. Featuring triple thread seams on the exterior and 100% wrinkle free, they are totally machine washable and can be dried in your dryer as well.
2. NICETOWN Patio Blackout Curtain Shades
Similar to the options we highlighted above, the difference with these blackout curtain sets is that they are a little bit longer and a little bit wider to give you just a bit more light protection than what you find otherwise.
Designed to go all the way down to the floor, adding a bit of visual style and interest to your interior spaces, you won’t have to worry about light “leaking” when you use these blackout shades.
Also including the same thermal properties, insulative benefits, and sound dampening features of the other blackout curtains set that we highlighted above.
3. Blackout Window Cover
Not at all your traditional set of blackout curtains, this window cover is specifically designed to block out pretty much ANY light on imaginable from making its way into your home.
Installation is going to be a little bit tricky at first (only because you have to make sure that you put enough anchor points around your window frame), but the secure hook and loop system guarantees that the solid black blackout cover stays in place without any wiggle room.
It’s insulating and thermal properties are off the charts because of this secure installation method. No heat, no UV rays, and no light whatsoever are going to make their way into your space. At the same time, you’ll be able to better insulate the inside of your spaces without having to worry about heat seeping through your windows, too.
4. NICETOWN White 100% Blackout Lined Curtains
It’s the two different individual layers of fabric that help set this particular set of blackout curtain apart from the rest of the pack.
On the surface you’ll see beautiful, luxurious fabric in a solid color pattern (with more than a dozen different colors available) – basically high-end curtains that look like they belong in a home design or decor magazine.
Behind that beautiful exterior, however, is a 100% black liner that has been so directly into the opposite side of the luxury layer. This is going to provide you with the ability to block ALL exterior light completely. It’s also going to provide soundproofing features, insulative benefits, and even UV light protection as well.
5. SBARTAR Cellular Shades
Another blackout solution that’s a bit different than your traditional curtain set, this interior window shade gives you all of the functionality and utility of traditional blackout curtains while also offering you an easy way to let in more light whenever you want to.
Made up of a cellular material (cool, reflective silver on the exterior side and white on the interior), the shades use the same reflective materials featured on spacecraft to blackout and reflect sunlight, heat, and UV rays.
Because of the unique design of this blackout shade you can install them inside or outside of the window frame. This gives you a lot more control over their blackout capabilities but also helps you to install them with a more minimalist look, letting you put curtains on either side that aren’t necessarily blackout curtain while still controlling the amount of light that gets into a space.
The Best Blackout Curtains
When you get right down to it, the Nicetown Thermal Insulated Grommet Blackout Curtains are the best option available for the overwhelming majority of folks out there that not only want to block out the light but also want insulative and noise reduction benefits.
Easy to install, attractive to look at, and high-performing – not to mention easy to clean and maintain – these blackout curtains will not blow up your interior design budget, either.