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What Is The Difference Between Shades and Blinds?

Difference Between Shades and Blinds

Should I purchase shades or blinds? Is there any difference between shades and blinds? If you are looking for an answer to these questions, then the details we will be provided in the following sections will help you understand the differences and choose window treatments that are right for your home.

A Closer Look At The Differences Between Shades and Blinds


Many people use the words Window Blinds and shades interchangeably when referring to window coverings but the real fact is that they are distinct categories of window coverings. Let us look at the difference between Window Shades and blinds in this section.

# Blinds

Blinds are made up of horizontal slats and are a form of hard window covering.

# Shades

On the other hand, shades are made up of pieces of fabric.

If you look at them from the perspective of functionality, we find that both serve the same purpose of covering the windows. However, shades and blinds vary greatly in terms of their operations, style, pricing, and many other features.

Let us delve deeper and explore the difference between shades and blinds from the point of different features they have.

Functionality and Features That Explain the Difference Between Shades and Blinds

#1. Privacy and Light Control

Privacy with Light Control

Blinds have slats that you can tilt to adjust light control. On the other hand, shades are manufactured using a continuous piece of fabric so you can only open or close them.

However, with shades, you can opt for a fabric that filters light so that you get natural light into your home and at the same time can maintain complete privacy. Since blinds are made of hard, opaque materials like wood and aluminum, you have to open up the view and compromise privacy in order to get more natural light.

#2. Complexities of Cleaning

How to Clean Shades and Blinds

How to clean shades and blinds? Is the method same for both? Which one is more difficult to clean? Let us find answers to these questions.

Let’s look at blinds first. When cleaning blinds all you will have to do is wipe the slats down using a soft cloth and possibly furniture polish. On the other hand, if shades are dirty or dusty, then a vacuum’s brush attachment can be helpful in lifting the dust, or you can do a spot cleaning using warm water. If there is a lot of grime and dirt, then shades will require a professional cleaning.

Thus, if you are planning to install window coverings in a busy area, or if there are kids and pets in your home, then using blinds will be a better option from the standpoint of cleaning your window coverings.

#3. Durability

What is the difference between shades and blinds in terms of durability? Blinds are usually made using hard materials such as aluminum, PVC, and wood, and as such, they are in a better position to withstand wear and tear in comparison to shades.

Thus, you should avoid using shades in areas of high traffic or with a lot of dirt and debris, as the material is more vulnerable to staining or tearing.

#4. Style

  • Both shades and blinds provide you options which you can use to make a style statement in your home.
  • The wide variety of options available for shades and blinds means you will never have problems in selecting a style which matches the decor of your home.
  • Blinds are very utilitarian and have a traditional look.
  • For something softer and inviting, faux wood or wood blinds are a good choice.
  • Shades, on the other hand, are generally seen as more modern and have a cleaner look as they are just one piece of fabric.

#5. Insulation

If your aim is to select a window treatment that is able to prevent energy loss from your home, then shades (cellular shades to be exact) will perform better in comparison to blinds.

Cellular shades have a honeycomb design which holds air pockets in the fabric that trap air for insulating your home.

#6. Child Safety

Child Safety Window Treatments

There is no difference between shades and blinds in terms of child safety, since if they are corded, then they will pose safety risks for your little ones. Opt for motorized or cordless blinds and shades to remove such risks from your home.

#7. Pricing

When looking at differences between shades and blinds in terms of their pricing, you need to be aware of the fact that pricing will vary depending upon the type of blind or shade you decide to use. For instance, a very basic type of Roller Shade can be very affordable, while roman shades with motorized lifts and superior quality fabric can be quite expensive. In addition, there are several custom options to choose from when you are buying shades, and as such, they tend to be more costly in comparison to blinds.

#8. Installation Process

  • Installation procedure to be followed for shades tends to vary depending upon kind of style you select.
  • But, most types of blinds have similar bracket and after installing one you will have a clear idea of how to install rest of the blinds.
  • Now that we have a clear idea about the difference between shades and blinds let us move on to the topic of mixing window treatments in one room such as curtains and blinds on the same window.

Mixing Window Treatments in One Room – Possibilities and Complexities

#1. Shades and Curtains

Shades and Curtains

Shades are stylish enough to be used on their own, but you can also add them below Sheer Curtains or top them with a valance to augment the decor of your rooms.

#2. Blinds and Valance

Blinds and Valance

Similarly, when you are using blinds, you can try topping them using valances or sheer curtains for softening their rigid appearance.

Let us look at few of the other things you can do to mix different window treatments to achieve a completely personalized look and feel at your home.

  • Layer Draperies and Shades: You will be able to achieve true depth as well as an elegant appearance by layering draperies and Fabric Roman Shades.

Layer Draperies and Shades

As Roman shades leave small gaps close to the window frame, light can come in from those gaps. Add decorative side panels and drapery to get complete darkness in a room.

Wood Blinds and Fabric Valances

If the color of your blinds is more neutral, then you can easily add a splash of colors by using a fabric valance. The other good thing about fabric valances is that they can add softness as well as conceal blinds while they are fully raised.

A Final Note

As we can see, the differences between shades and blinds must be taken into consideration when purchasing window treatments so you can make the right selection. You can also utilize our expert advice so that it becomes easier to decide which will be the right option for your home, shades or blinds.

  • Try mixing window treatments in one room if it will help to enhance the aesthetic appeal of any particular room.

So, get in touch with our team on our toll-free number ( 1-866-881-8682 ) and have an open discussion on what would be right for your home, within your budget.

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