Shades Vs. Blinds: Which Is Best For Your Home?

The choice between shades and blinds depends on a variety of factors, not least the construction and mechanical differences between the two.  Shades are composed of a single piece of fabric that can only be raised or lowered.  Blinds, on the other hand, are typically made of solid, individual slats that can be opened and closed or raised and lowered.  Beyond these differences, here are some other factors to keep in mind.

Light Blocking Ability

If you need a total blackout in your room, shades made of a thick, dark fabric are your best bet.  When closed, blinds will be able to block most light from entering, but due to their construction, there will always be some spaces through which light will enter.  On the other hand, if the room calls for diffuse light, blinds will allow many different degrees of light to enter whereas shades are typically opened or closed.

Ease Of Cleaning

Because shades are made of one large piece of fabric, cleaning may be as simple as vacuuming or spot cleaning with a damp cloth.  However, a deep cleaning may require removing the entire rig and washing in a large tub.  Certain shades may also need to be professionally cleaned. Blinds on the other hand can be fully cleaned by vacuum or cloth as they hang on the wall.  However, meticulously cleaning every slat, especially on large blinds, can take some time and effort.  


If you desire a patterned or textured window covering, shades will definitely be your choice.  Made of fabric, shades will provide you with a never ending variety of designs to choose from.  Blinds can also have texture and patterning, but uniform colours are more prevalent and it may be difficult to find blinds with the patterns you want.  


With blinds commonly being constructed of wood, metal or hard plastic, they’re typically more durable than shades.  Because shades  are normally composed or fabrics, plastics or even paper they will be more prone to ripping, tearing or decomposing.   


There are shades available which are composed of heat retaining materials.  These specialized shades can act as an insulation, especially for windows that endure a lot of very hot or cold weather.  Blinds will give a nominal insulating effect when closed, but their typical construction isn’t optimized for insulation.

Deciding on shades or blinds will depend on a variety of factors that will be personal to you and your home.  Take time to decide what’s most important to you and what functions best in your home.  Compare these decisions with the differences between blinds and shades and the answer to the shades versus blinds question will become evident.



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