When it comes to covering windows, either for privacy or decoration, there are two options available to you. You can either go with curtains or blinds. Both of these choices have their advantages and disadvantages. You need to choose depending on what you’re trying to achieve, the conditions, and your budget. Here, we are going to be comparing factors to consider when choosing between curtains and blinds to find out which is best.
Curtains Vs Blinds Comparison
Blinds are comparatively less expensive than curtains. You can cut down on material costs by opting for plastic blinds, which are the cheapest in the market. Wood or high-quality vinyl is more expensive. However, even the top quality of blinds is cheaper than curtains. This is because blinds are easier to make. They also require less material, and mastery, than is required to make curtains. Curtain prices include huge labor costs.
Other than this, the installation cost of curtains is also much higher. For blinds, a professional would take about $345 – $750 for eight windows. It would take him about 10-20 minutes to install the brackets, attach the blinds, and fix the mechanism that controls the slats. For curtains, however, the cost would be $1000 – $2000 for eight windows. This is because it would take a professional about an hour to install curtains. He first has to mount the bracket, then slide the rod into the bracket, and then secure it. Sometimes, even the follow-on checkups are required in the case of windows and that might cost you extra.
One can also install your blinds himself as they are easy to fix. There are helpful videos on social media platforms such as YouTube, teaching people how to do this. However, curtains are quite bulky which is why they need professional installation. Furthermore, it is not a one-man job to install a curtain; rather 2 to 3 people are required.
Comparing Light control
Blinds filter out light, while curtains simply block it. Due to this, if you’re looking for light control, blinds are a better option. Venetian Blinds are available in the market which can offer you this feature. These blinds can be moved in 2 directions to offer you more choices for light control.
Pulling at the cord that hangs from the top, allows you to lower and lift the blinds vertically. To control the horizontal movement, and to tilt them to your desire, you have to use the tilt wand. Even though blinds over more light control, they are incapable of completely blocking out light. The slits in the blinds mean some light will always filter through.
Comparing Ease of Cleaning
There’s no doubt about it that blinds are easier and cheaper to clean. To clean your blinds, simply wipe them clean with a microfiber cloth. If you’re having trouble getting between the slats, simply close all the blinds. Then wipe them down in straight sweeps from the top to the bottom. Once you’re done wiping them clean, just use the tilt wand to turn them 180 degrees. Repeat the process on the other side.
If your blinds are heavily stained, it is possible to damage them if you scrub too hard. Instead, make a solution of 25 percent vinegar, and 75 percent water. You can just moisten the cloth with the solution and wipe the stains clean. If your stains are very stubborn, spray the solution on the blinds and let them sit for about 10-15 minutes. Wipe with a clean, wet cloth.
For curtains, however, the cleaning process is a lot more time-consuming, and expensive. For one, some curtain fabrics cannot be cleaned at home. Dry cleaning is expensive and carrying the curtains to and fro from the cleaners can be exhausting. For the curtains that can be washed at home, they should be washed one panel at a time. After that, they should be dried on a clothing line because they will shrink in the dryer. Even then, no matter how careful you are, there is always a possibility of the curtains getting damaged. In a nutshell, the time and effort required to clean curtains are a lot more than the case of blinds.
You can read more cleaning tips here – Curtain Cleaning Tips to Make Your Life Easier
Comparing Life Expectancy
It’s simple, blinds last longer. Not only are curtains harder to clean and maintain but they are also subject to wear and tear. Well-maintained blinds can last up to 15-20 years. The material of blinds also makes them hard to stain. Curtains, on the other hand, cannot last more than 6-8 years. They sweep against the floor so their bottoms start tattering. The life of curtains also decreases every time they are washed.
Even if you wash them only once a year, they will start to tear after about 3-4 washes. Curtains also mold, especially in humid areas. There is no way to prevent molding because curtain fabrics are extremely absorbent and heavy. Since curtains are moist and aren’t moved as much, they are perfect breeding grounds for bacteria. Moths and bugs may also eat away the curtains.
Comparing Insulation and Soundproofing
Curtains and blinds both provide insulation in the winter months. However, heat can escape through the slats in the blinds. This makes curtains more effective insulators. Curtains can decrease the heat loss in the room by 37% whereas blinds decrease the heat loss by 14%. Curtains made of heavy fabrics like velvet, further aid in decreasing heat loss.
During the summer months, blinds help the room cool down better. You don’t need to close the blinds because heat escapes through the gaps between the slats. You can keep the room cool and stop sunlight from coming through at the same time. In curtains, however, there are no gaps. Due to this, you have to keep the curtains open at all times. Blinds increase heat loss by 45% whereas even the lightest curtains only allow 35%.
Both blinds and curtains help block out sounds from outside. However, heavy curtains are the most effective. Sounds can enter through the slats in the blind, making them comparatively less useful.
Comparing Design Options
Curtains win in this department. Blinds are only available in a small variety of materials which includes metals like aluminum, plastic, wood, and vinyl. Curtains, however, have numerous fabric choices. If you want light breezy curtains, you can choose silk, chiffon, polyester, gauze, and linen. If you want more fall and structure, you can choose silk. For heavy insulating curtains, velvet is the favorite choice. In the case of designs, blinds do have a lot of options. There are vertical blinds, Venetian blinds, panel blinds, pleated blinds, and roman shades to name a few. Nonetheless, curtains have even more design options.
You can buy double panel curtains, single panel, window scarves, window tier, valance, or a window liner. You can also buy a window treatment set. These are usually expensive and fancy and include 2-panel curtains along with a valance. Sometimes they also include tiebacks, a curtain, and a pelmet.
Blinds do have patterns but that option is rarely available in the market. You can only easily get them in solid colors, and even then, it would be brown, white, cream, or black. If you want to have a unique color for your blinds, you need to have them separately painted. However, curtains can be made from any fabric. You can buy any printed, embossed, embroidered, and beaded fabric. Afterward, simply have them made for you.
Comparing Space Options
All designers agree curtains and blinds look best in certain places. Curtains are best on windows in walls that have no furniture in front of them. Furniture in front of the wall, not only makes curtains difficult to move but also scrunches up the fabric behind them. On windows over beds, dressers, or other pieces of furniture, blinds are the best choice. Blinds are limited to the windows, so don’t have that problem. While you can always choose sill-length curtains, they don’t look good.
There are further tips on choosing the right curtain size for your windows. Follow here – How to Choose the Right Curtain Size for Windows
Blinds and curtains are both very good options for windows. There are certain features each of them is good at but in the end, it depends solely on your choice. If you can afford it, you can have the best of both worlds, by installing both at once. The curtains will provide heat in cold months, and the blinds will offer light control. If you don’t want both, you can compare the pros and cons of both options, against your requirements. Hopefully, we will have helped you make an informed choice.