Window treatments are installed in windows for a myriad of reasons. Some are installed to increase the curb appeal of the house, while some are meant for increasing energy efficiency.

Room Darkening vs Blackout Curtains

Another important aspect of window treatments is they can be used to protect the privacy of the house. Room Darkening and blackout curtains are the two window treatments most suitable for this.

There are a few basic differences between room darkening and blackout curtains. While both of these curtains are used to block out light, room-darkening curtains still let in a minuscule amount of light into the room.

These curtains also keep the house a little less warm than blackout curtains, which don’t let out any heat at all. 

Let’s take a detailed look at a comparative analysis of room darkening vs blackout curtains. 

Blackout vs Room darkening curtains 

Of all the reasons curtains are installed in your home, added privacy is one of the chiefest. Two types of curtains are suitable for this reason, blackout curtains and room-darkening curtains.

There are a lot of similarities between these two curtains. This is one of the main reasons there is a room darkening vs blackout curtains debate in the first place. 

Both of them are used to block out as much light as possible and make the room dark. Both of these curtains are heavy and don’t usually flow with the wind, allowing maximum privacy.

Apart from these similarities, these two window treatments have quite a few differences as well, which is what we will discuss today. 

Let’s take a look at the differences between room darkening and blackout curtains. 

1. Blackout Curtains 

Blackout Curtains 

What are blackout curtains? Blackout curtains are used to make a room completely dark so that no light passes through their fabrics. These curtains come especially handy if you have a window that faces the sun throughout the day.

Let’s take a look at the advantages of blackout curtains. 

Pros: The advantages of having blackout curtains in your rooms are as follows:

They make the room completely dark:

If you want your room to be completely dark, then blackout curtains should be your go-to window treatment. What do blackout curtains do?

They don’t let any light be passed through them, no matter how sunny it is outside, you won’t be disturbed by it. 

They help you sleep well

If you want a curtain to help you with interrupted sleep, then you are in luck. Blackout curtains making rooms completely dark ensures you have a sound sleep, undisturbed by the light shining on your eyelids.

These curtains come in especially handy if you have to work night shifts, and need a good day’s sleep. 

They soften the noise

Blackout curtains can block out the light due to them being quite thick. There is another big upside of these windows, as the thick fabric also softens the noise coming from outside.

This also helps you sleep uninterrupted. 

They prevent glare on screens

When you are watching TV, or working on your computer, there is nothing more annoying than the glare of the sun on the screen. If you don’t have the correct type of window treatments, these glares become pretty hard to deal with.

Since blackout curtains completely block out light, there is no chance of having the glare of the sun on your screen. This also makes these curtains the perfect fit for home theaters. 

They are energy efficient

The thick fabric of blackout curtains doesn’t allow air to pass through them easily, trapping it inside the room. This property comes in especially handy during winter, as your room remains warm throughout the season, keeping you comfortable. 

Cons of Blackout Curtains

Although there are a lot of advantages of blackout curtains, these window treatments have a lot of disadvantages as well. Let’s take a look at them before you decide to buy one of these

They are heavy

Since blackout curtains are very heavy, they can be a bit tough to handle, maintain, and wash.

Also, due to their weight, these curtains can put a lot of stress on ordinary curtain rods, and hence need special rods to hang them. 

You will always need lights

As you can see nothing when blackout curtains are closed, you will always need electric lights to navigate in the room. This might result in your electric bills being increased. 

They are not available in lighter colors:

One of the factors that determine the best window treatments is how they complement the interior color of a room.

If you want a lighter-colored blackout curtain for your room, then you are out of luck, as these curtains only come in darker colors. 

2. Room Darkening Curtains

Room Darkening Curtains

What are room darkening curtains? These curtains are also used to block out as much light as possible, but unlike blackout curtains, they do let in a small amount of light.

Let’s take a look at the advantages of these curtains.

Pros of Room Darkening Curtains

Room darkening curtains are one of the most popular types of window treatments in the world and for good reasons. The pros of having room-darkening windows in your rooms are as follows:

They don’t make the room completely dark:

As room-darkening curtains let in a small amount of light through their fabrics, you will not be completely in darkness when you are in the room. This will help you better when you navigate through the room.

They are cheaper:

The main reason room-darkening curtains let in a small amount of light is that they are a bit lighter than blackout curtains. As a result, they are a bit more affordable than blackout curtains. 

They also provide increased privacy:

Despite the room-darkening curtains letting in about 5% of the light incident upon it, they still provide a great level of privacy. No matter how much light someone shines upon these curtains, they will not be able to see anything in the room. 

Cons of Room Darkening Curtains

Like all other window treatments, room-darkening curtains also have a few disadvantages. These are 

They are also quite heavy:

Although room-darkening curtains are lighter than blackout curtains, they are quite heavy in their own right. As a result, they also can be quite stressful for regular curtain rods. 

You might need light to move through the room:

Yes, room-darkening curtains do let in a little light, but it is still not enough for you to move around the room without any light sources. 

Here are some of the main differences between blackout and room-darkening curtains to help you make your decision. 

Blackout CurtainsRoom Darkening Curtains
They virtually don’t let in any lightThey let in a little light
They are heavierThey are a bit lighter
They are costlierThey are more affordable
They make the room warmerThey don’t make the room as warm as blackout curtains

Author’s Opinion

If there is anything that is to be learned from the above comparative analysis of Room Darkening vs Blackout Curtain, is that despite their similarities, these two curtains serve different purposes.

If you want to ensure your sleep is not disturbed in any way, or you want to remove glare on your screens, go for blackout curtains. 

On the other hand, if you want your room to be a little less warm and want to see where you are going in the room, you can choose room-darkening curtains. 

Read our other comparison Articles


1. Can you see through room darkening curtains at night?

It is nearly impossible to see through room-darkening curtains during the day. So, doing so at night will be not possible at all. 

2. Is it healthy to sleep with blackout curtains?

Yes, it is healthy to sleep with blackout curtains in your room. Doing so allows you to have a more improved sleep, which improves your physical and mental state as well. 

3. Do blackout curtains make you more tired?

There is a disadvantage to keeping your room too dark all the time. Yes, it will improve your sleep, but keeping the room pitch black all the time will make you a lot more tired. 

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