Blockout/Blackout Curtains: Choosing The Right Ones For Your Home

Did you know Blockout/Blackout Curtains were first used during the Second World War to hide interior light from enemy bombers? Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since then, but Blockout/Blackout Curtains are still seriously useful. Whether you’re looking for a way to block out light in a bedroom, media room, or other space, you want your Blockout/Blackout Curtains to look great and do their job. Sure, their heavy-duty fabric does set them apart from the delicate lace and chintz of sheer curtains, but that doesn’t mean you should compromise on quality and design. 

In your search for blockout window furnishing options, you may also come across blackout screens. These are also known by the names of ‘darkening screens’ and ‘light deprivation screens’, and are not to be confused with blockout blinds or curtains. These are all very different to each other.  Blackout screens for instance, are made up of aluminium and polyester and typically used for shading plant nurseries for specific plants. These will not suit use in your home, which requires something with more functionality and aesthetic. 

There is a variety of options when it comes to blockout window furnishings, including both blinds and curtains. You can opt for the style you like in the fabric you desire, for that real ‘oomph’ at the end of it.

Even though their name might conjure up images of dark, heavy, outdated draperies, the reality is that Blockout/Blackout Curtains now come in just as many colours, styles, and fabrics as regular curtains. Here’s how to choose the right Blockout/Blackout Curtains for your home. 

1. What Does A Blockout/Blackout Curtain Do?

Blockout/Blackout Curtains are far more than a decorative touch. They’ve got several benefits – the most important of these, as you might have guessed, being that they block out unwanted sunlight! Maybe you work night shifts, have a newborn baby, or can’t sleep unless the room is in complete darkness. In any case, sleeping during the day is difficult, and irregular sleep schedules can lead to long-term health problems. Look no further than Blockout/Blackout Curtains for a practical solution, ensuring a totally darkened room and a more restful sleep.

The fabric layering of the curtains also helps with muffling noise pollution – sometimes up to 40%. This is especially useful in built-up urban areas or neighbourhoods with a high population density. If you live near a busy road and are sick of the constant hum of passing traffic, Blockout/Blackout Curtains could give you the sense of quiet and privacy you’ve been searching for.  

But that’s not all. Blockout/Blackout Curtains will also help reduce your energy costs by trapping heat in winter and blocking it out in summer. Often, people aren’t aware that the glass doors and windows of their home are poor insulators, allowing both warm and cool air to pass through freely.  By reducing the amount of energy lost through your windows, blackout curtains will stop you dreading the winters and give you a welcome dent in your power bill, which is sure to have you sleeping easier! 

2. What Makes A Good Blockout/Blackout Curtain?

A Blockout/Blackout Curtain has to prevent light rays from passing through. It sounds a simple task, but there are actually a number of factors involved, and the type of fabric used makes all the difference. Make sure that your Blockout/Blackout Curtains are made from a tightly woven, dense material. The tightness of the curtain’s stitching prevents light bleeding through to the other side, so you don’t want any gaps.

The best Blockout/Blackout Curtains are created by spraying a very fine level of foam across the back of the fabric, which is why the level of blockout provided by a curtain is measured in ‘passes’. For total blockout effect, your curtain will be ‘3-pass lined, indicating that a layer of white foam has been applied to the back of the fabric, followed by a black layer and then another white layer. The layers of white protect the fabric’s decorative layer, while the black layer is the insulator – stopping light and retaining heat.

3. How Do I Choose The Right Blockout/Blackout Curtain?

Blockout/Blackout Curtains are a fantastic window treatment because they blend function with fashion. To complete the look of a space, they must enhance its existing interior design scheme, and so should be chosen with care. There are a few things to take into consideration here. 

The longevity of a curtain is decided by its fabric, so opt for high-quality acrylic fabric or polyester for best results. Because they’re used to ensure darkness, its often assumed that Blockout/Blackout Curtains are only available in dark shades and heavy fabrics. This is not the case! Blockout/Blackout Curtains come in a variety of colours and styles of differing textures and thicknesses, so choose a colour that will blend well with the wall and the room’s internal features. 

Neutral, pastel shades work well in a living room or TV room, as they blend into the background without hogging attention. Richer, deeper colours like maroon or navy are more suited to a bedroom, where they can provide a more sumptuous look of hotel luxury. You can even double mount your Blockout/Blackout Curtains with sheers, to enjoy the best of both worlds! Simply draw the Blockouts across when you require total darkness, and use the sheers in the daytime to make the most of the sunlight while preserving your privacy.