Choosing the right window treatment isn’t just about taste. While design and aesthetics are definitely important factors, an informed decision requires a deeper understanding of differences between curtains and blinds. Both offer a range of practical and functional differences that may be more or less suited to a particular room.
To help you get a better understanding of the differences, we’ve put together a list of the pros and cons of curtains and blinds.
Blinds: The pros
Blinds are great for filtering and blocking light. Block-out blinds, for example, are an excellent choice in bedrooms, as they will block the maximum amount of light so the sun doesn’t wake you early in the morning. Venetian blinds are also a good choice when it comes to controlling the light as you can adjust the angle of the slats.
If space is at a premium, blinds are a better choice. While curtains pool beside a window and tend to billow out over a window, blinds will roll up neatly and invisibly into the window frame. They also tend to hang down flat over the windows and won’t create an obstruction in a small room.
Since blinds are typically made from durable and fade-resistant materials (especially high-quality blinds), they tend to be more long-lasting than curtains. With a little care, they will look brand new for years to come.
Blinds are also much easier to clean than curtains. With most blinds, it’s simply a matter of wiping them regularly with a microfiber cloth to clear away any dust. This, combined with their durability, makes blinds a great choice in wet areas like kitchens and bathrooms.
Blinds: The cons
Depending on the style and materials, blinds can end up being more expensive than curtains. While there are a range of discount blind options, these are generally not high quality and they have a tendancy to warp, bend or break. This can be particularly common for cheaper aluminium and plastic blinds.
Pull cords can also fray, tangle or break and opening mechanisms, tracks runners and rollers (especially cheap systems) can be easily damaged. And this may mean ongoing hassle and expense for repairs and maintenance.
Pull cords for blind systems can also be a safety hazard if you have young children in the house.
Curtains: The pros
Curtains are often better than blinds when it comes to insulating your home. They block draughts better than blinds and heavy curtains will help to reduce heat loss through your windows during the winter months.
Curtains are great for large rooms as they will absorb sound and help to muffle any echoes.
Depending on the curtain fabric, washing is fairly simple. If you get machine washable curtains, it’s simply a matter of running them through the washing machine and line-drying them.
Curtains also tend to require less maintenance and repairs than blinds due to the simpler opening and closing mechanisms.
Curtains can be a safer choice if there are children in the house, as blind pull cords can be a strangulation risk for kids.
Curtains: The cons
If you have pets at home, then curtains may not be the best choice. Cats tend to love scratching and climbing curtains, while dogs sometimes tear at them. Curtains also tend to attract pet hair, which can mean they will need regular cleaning.
Additionally, curtains don’t deal with moisture well, especially in wet or humid areas like kitchens or bathrooms.
Compared to blinds, curtains don’t give you as much control over the light. Curtains are either open or they’re closed, while blinds will let you angle the slats to control the light. This means that curtains may not be the best choice for bedrooms or other areas where light control is important.
Because of their bulky and billowy nature, curtains aren’t a great choice for small rooms. They take up more space than blinds and tend to overwhelm smaller spaces.
When deciding between curtains and blinds, you should think about the dimensions of the room.
- How big is it?
For smaller rooms, blinds are a more effective use of space. Curtains, on the other hand, can give a sense of grandeur and elegance to a larger room as well as helping to reduce echo.
- How dark do you need it to be?
Curtains can be a great choice for letting in some light while prioritising privacy. This can make them a good option for bedrooms. However, if you need complete darkness to sleep, blinds are better at blocking out light.
Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer when it comes to which is better. It depends on what you need out of a window treatment for that specific room. Use the list above to help you find your answer. Sometimes, you may need a combination of both curtains and blinds to get exactly what you want.