Room Darkening vs. Blackout Shades

Jessica Cruz | 21 Feb 2017 | Shades

Room Darkening vs. Blackout Shades - What's the Difference?

Light blocking fabrics are available in two different grades, room darkening and blackout.

Room darkening fabrics will block most of the light coming into your room. These are great for a light sleeper that's easily bothered by outdoor lights but doesn’t want complete darkness. The fabric used in room darkening blinds will have fewer layers than blackout fabrics. The thinner fabric allows some light to pass through but still blocks 95% of light.

Blackout shades are perfect for night shift workers that need complete darkness while sleeping during the day. Blackout fabric has multiple layers that block 100% of the light. While the fabric blocks all light, some light may get in through light gaps on the side of your shades. These gaps allow the shade to raise and lower without rubbing the side of the window frame.

For complete blackout, you can cover these gaps with draperies, or add light blocking side channels. These vinyl strips block the light leakage between the window and shade. If you’re not a night shift worker and just like to sleep in a pitch black cave, this combo is the best option for you.

If you’re not sure whether blackout or room darkening is right for you, be sure to order free fabric samples and compare in person.

Need More Help?

Find more information about blinds and shades at or speak with a designer at 800-505-1905.

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