Almost all of us have been in a situation where they could really use some sleep and rest, but we aren’t able to get it because of glaring sunlight during the daytime, piercing through your curtains, blinds and shades to make it so that it is practically impossible to sleep during daytime. It might sound like an uncommon need, but if you think about it, you might find yourself needing some power nap even for an hour in the afternoon.
In today’s corporate lifestyle where the trend of working from home is gaining more traction you will find yourself staying up late and burning the midnight oil to meet deadlines. You might even be a shift worker who has to work a couple of nights every week. Either way, to reduce stress and inevitable fatigue getting some sleep during the day might be called for. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how comfortable your bed or couch is as long as the sunlight and glare is beating down on you. This is where blackout curtains come in. Amongst all their functional aspects, the most important one is that they can block almost all of the sunlight out, making your bedroom the most conducive environment for rest.
What are blackout curtains and how do they work?
If it has to be put simply, blackout curtains are curtains that are fashioned out of opaque fabric. The purpose of these curtains, is mainly to block out most of the sunlight to not only reduce the glare, but also make it cool and comfortable for you to rest. Blackout curtains also function like other curtains in the sense that they also regulate the temperature to an extent and provide privacy. The main difference between the other curtains and blackout curtains is that the extent of light filtration you can get out of the curtains.
A common misconception is that blackout curtains work best only as a window covering for bedrooms. This might be an oversimplification. Any room that depends on the lack of sunlight can benefit from blackout curtains. For instance, nurseries can really benefit from blackout curtains. Infants need a lot of rest during their formative years for complete growth of body and mind. Blackout curtains can make sure nothing distracts the child and induces the child to sleep whenever the curtains are closed. They can also be really useful in dens and home theatre rooms to reduce glare and distractions to enhance your viewing experience. If you or anyone you live with has a gaming room, they could use these curtains as well. Another place of usage is your home office. If you want to make a PowerPoint presentation to your clients in your home office, blackout curtains will ensure an unhindered viewing experience. Blackout curtains are also used in hotels and corporate workplaces.
A relatively unspoken benefit of blackout curtains is that they can trap the air that escapes through windows, keeping the place cooler during the summer and warmer during the winter. Around 30 percent of energy loss occurs through windows. Preventing and slowing down that process not only reduces the amount of reliance you place on your thermostat, but it also becomes an energy efficient window treatment that makes financial sense.
What materials are different blackout curtains made out of and how can it impact my decision on which blackout curtain to buy?
Blackout curtains are made out of different types of fabrics. The common characteristic of the different kinds of fabric is that they are all heavier than fabric used to make other types of curtains. Different types of material can give you different benefits and disadvantages. Once you have decided that blackout curtains are the window treatment you need, you should check the different material that blackout shades are made out of to see what suits your needs.
Here are some types of fabric that are used to make blackout curtains –
- AbbeyShea Style -This fabric is made out of 100 percent polyester and is a little less heavy than many of its counterparts. The fabric can be either used as a drapery or lining. They are durable and flame retardant. The primary benefits of the AbbeyShea style is their ability to insulate against heat loss during colder months and preventing the entry of heat during warmer months. They can also give you privacy by being a good absorber of sound. The only downside to this fabric is that the cost of maintenance can be high because it has to be dry cleaned.
- Hanes Drapery Lining – Much like the AbbeyShea, this fabric is also lighter than most of the fabric in the market that is used to make blackout curtains. They can be used a drapery directly or they can also be used as lining. The most unique characteristic about the fabric is its softness. The material in question is also good with insulation of heat and noise. It is also important to point out that the fabric is water resistant and crease resistant as well.
- Trend Style 02692 – This fabric is 100% polyester. It is one of your budget friendly options. That doesn’t mean that the quality of the fabric is in any way compromised. They are often used as draperies and flows naturally as a curtain. The fabric is soft and provides for a perfect woven feel. The fabric must be dry cleaned
- Roc-Lon Blackout Fabric – This fabric is mostly used as a lining for extra protection from the sun. If you come across this while choosing a blackout curtain make sure you it is paired with a complementary fabric. The most important benefit of this (aside from the regulation features) is that they come in different colours, giving you the platform to experiment to find what is best suited for your home and sense of style.
- Europatex Style- Anopsia – This fabric is on the heavier side of things. It is also one of the most expensive pieces of material for blackout curtains. It can be used as drapery or lining. It comes in different colours, giving you different options to choose from. It has a resistance to fading, blocks sunlight and has sound and temperature insulation properties.
Is there a process to choosing the best material for blackout curtains?
Now that you have some idea regarding what different types of fabric can do (you don’t have to stick to the ones above) you can mix and match a few of them (use one as a drapery and the other as lining) to figure out what works best for you. There are a few things to do that can help you narrow down your choices. Figure out what your budget is. Assess how important regulation of temperature is and whether you need it as much as you need blocking of the sunlight. Also decide whether the traditional black colour is what you prefer or if you want some other colour or pattern to suit your home. This should help you pick the best possible blackout curtain for your home.