Best Window Blinds Reviewed & Rated for Quality
Windows in any room can be a blessing or a curse. They are a perfect way to allow air to travel throughout the room when they are opened. Letting in light to brighten the room, while you gaze out into your yard. That same light can be bothersome as we all know the sun can be excruciatingly bright at times. Creating a glare on a television screen or an opposing window. Your windows will also allow the passerby to occasionally peep into your home. Covering your windows can keep some of the light from the sun out. As well as keeping those nosy ones passing by on the sidewalk from peeking in.
- Bali Blinds
- Reducing Costs
- Windows and Garden
- Color Options
- Skotz MagneBlind
There are a number of options for you to use to cover your windows. A nice set of curtains will do the trick but they often block all the light when closed. Keeping your curtains closed can make the interior of your home seem drab. Another great option would be to use a blind to cover the window. Blinds can be opened all the way to let in a good amount of light or partially to keep the glare down. Even when the slats are open they still provide you with a sense of privacy from those nosey neighbors.
When looking for that perfect fitting window covering you will notice that there are at least a million options to surf through. This can be very overwhelming for some to figure out. To narrow down your search, think of the reason you would like to cover the window. In this day and age, you can find options made specifically for privacy, lighting, and style. Knowing what you are using the coverage for can eliminate some of the styles for you.
Another way to narrow down the search is a buying guide such as this one. Here we will walk you through all of the information you need to make an informed decision. Upon further reading, you will see that we created a list of what we feel are the best options on the market for treating your windows. With each of the products on the list, you will notice that we have highlighted some of their best attributes.
10 Best Window Blinds
Providing you with a solution to lower your monthly bills slightly. This option will hold the warmth in when needed. It is also designed to keep the room cooler when it is necessary as well.
A window treatment like this is better to mount on the inside of the frame. It does, however, come with all the hardware for mounting on the outside as well. Be sure to account for the half inch that needs to be taken off due to the brackets.
Cost and Value
The cost for these may seem slightly high but what you save overtime in heating cost should ease your mind a bit. Offered in several different sizes so finding the right fit should come easy.
These can help control room temperatures.
Made to mount both inside and out of the frame.
Reduces safety hazards as there is no cord.
Plenty of size options to pick from.
Some users have stated that the color will differ when open and closed.
There have been issues with the installing instructions not being clear.
2. Windows and Garden
Here is a design option that can be fun and stylish while still being functional. It will open and close like a traditional cordless covering. You will notice that the top can also be pushed down to allow some light in. This gives you the best both privacy and lighting with one option.
When stylishly designed windows meet your standards you need an option that will provide the flare you are looking for. This product has just the thing for you, available in nine different color choices. Finding the right one for your home should be a breeze.
Cost and Value
With all the bells and whistles you are probably prepared for sticker shock. That just isn't going to happen with this selection. You get a great window cover at an affordable price to the average consumer.
Design allows light in while providing privacy.
Plenty of color options to choose from.
Available for many different window sizes.
No hassle of having a cord.
The fabric for these seems to be thin.
Some have stated that these are not fade resistant.
3. Skotz MagneBlind
This is tool-free installment option for those with metal doors or window frames. The brackets are magnetic making them a quick and easy installing choice.
The slats for these are made from aluminum, which is where their durability will come from. When a door is opened and closed frequently the window treatment can take some abuse. So it stands to reason that you will need one built for torture.
Cost and Value
This is an option that provides you with a hassle-free installment. With the amount of durability it offers, the door can be slammed over and over, without harming the slats.
No tools involved with installing.
Slats are made from aluminum for durability.
Has a hold down bracket at the bottom.
Great for metal framed windows as well.
Some users have stated that the magnets are not strong enough.
There are complaints that it is hard to move up and down.
The Roman style type can add a sophisticated look to your windows with the way it will rest. When opened it creates a layered look which allows your window to stand out so to speak.
These are made from bamboo, which gives them a more neutral look. This makes them perfect for hanging in any room of your home. The bamboo material will also allow light to peek through while still giving you the privacy you deserve.
Cost and Value
This bamboo window covering can become the next valuable addition to your window-related decor. The design is meant to allow light to filter through while still giving you a sense of privacy.
Made to allow light to filter through.
Made from bamboo to add a sense of style.
Easy to mount this option.
Comes in a wide variety of size options.
Some customers have had issues with the cord breaking.
5. Linen Avenue
Being of the cellular type, this option has a two-layer design. To create that warming effect the two layers form an open spacing between them. This spacing resembles the look of a honeycomb. Within this space is where the heat gets trapped. Keeping those drafts at bay when you need it.
Materials used to create this product will allow some light from the sun into the window. This brings brightness to the room instead of making it seem dreary.
Cost and Value
An option that comes at a higher cost than the others we have looked at so far. There are plenty of benefits to back the cost, like keeping those drafts under control. The fact that your room can still be brightened will speak for itself.
Can be mounted either inside or outside of the frame.
Comes with all the hardware needed for installing.
Plenty of colors to pick from.
Allows light through to brighten up the room.
Some have stated that the colors are slightly off.
6. Achim Home Furnishings
One product, three style options, like what you see but not how it works? You can choose between several style options when looking into this particular selection. Whether you like the cord or you don't this is the choice for you.
Made to fit the entire window without making the room seem dark. These will slightly filter the light that enters the room. Not enough light for you? Select the top down version to give you some privacy while allowing a larger amount of light into the room.
Cost and Value
Falling right in line with the pack for cost, this manufacturer sets itself apart with all the style options. You can choose to go with the cord or without. When you need more light but also like your privacy, these also come with the top down feature.
Can be corded or cordless.
Covers the full window while filtering light through.
Can be purchased with the top down feature.
Plenty of sizes available.
Some customers have stated that the quality of this product could be better.
7. Dez Furnishings
For those who like their bedroom dark, this is perfect for you. These feature a blackout system. Which drastically cut the amount of light that enters the room. Making the room overall darker than most.
Easy to Operate
This is truly a one-handed design, making it so simple a baby could use it. When you want it lowered simply pull down on the bottom.When it needs to be opened, push the bottom up. It really couldn't get any easier.
Cost and Value
For an overall room darkening experience, this is the way to go. The blackout feature will keep you sleeping like a baby into the mid-morning hours.
Has the blackout feature for blocking out the light.
Super easy one hand operation.
Comes in four color choices.
Has different sizes available.
Customers have commented that some of these are not very durable.
Complaints that the sizing is slightly off from the dimensions listed.
With the roller version, you get the clean appearance when the covering is rolled up. You won't see all that bunched up material like you would with the Roman style. Giving your window treatment a considerably more inviting look.
Here you get to choose from having a sheer design allowing light to flow through the window. The other setting allows for more privacy while blocking more light when you need it.
Cost and Value
Although this one comes at a higher cost you will notice that you are receiving a high-quality item. With upgrades to the roller system design, you can use this hassle-free. Two different settings will eliminate the need for purchasing added curtains for coverage as well.
Upgraded roller system for opening and closing.
Can be a sheer cover or privacy cover.
Comes in different color options.
Can be mounted in or out of the framework.
Some people have stated that installing these can be difficult.
9. Keystone Fabrics
Made for larger scale windows or even outdoor spacing you can block the glare of the sun. This is a one-piece design which is unusual for covering larger windows. On the positive side, you won't be rehanging the panel pieces that hit the floor.
Means of Operation
Finally, we get to show you an option that will involve a remote and motor. Both of which will control the opening and closing of this choice. You don't even have to get off the couch to let the light in, as long as you don't lose the remote.
Cost and Value
Here we have the most expensive option on our list. We all know that technology comes with a higher price than other options available. For those with a tech-savvy home, this is just thing you have been searching for.
One piece construction for blocking light.
This is made for larger sized windows.
Can be installed in your outdoor living space as well.
A motorized option for opening and closing.
Some have had issues with the durability of the motor.
There are complaints that this is not for privacy.
Here is a one-piece construction that will allow you to control the amount of light and privacy you have in the room. With the different size options available to you, you can cover windows of all assorted sizes.
Fun to Use
You heard correctly we stated that this one can be fun. You can link this with your home system. Virtually asking Alexa to operate your shade for you. It also has the capacity for you to create a schedule for opening and closing. Which is great for those who travel a lot.
Cost and Value
I'm sure you have already guessed that this will be an expensive version of window coverage. But it made the list for the technological potential. With the changing times, everyone seems to be seeking convenience.
Can be linked to your home system for operating.
Plenty of size options available.
Mounting can be done both in and out of the frame.
One solid piece design for covering the window.
There are complaints that this is difficult to setup after install.
The remainder of this buying guide was written to provide you with the criteria we used to create our list. We like to do this so that you can see all of your options. To finish up the guide we have included a frequently asked question section. These are included to put you ahead of the game when it comes to shopping. As for making the actual decision, well let’s just say that we will leave that part up to you.
Criteria Used in Choosing the Best Blinds
The phrase “window covering” covers a vast array of options on the market. I know that we all know what a curtain is but when it comes to shades and blinds that is where we get confused. Which is why we found it to be beneficial to differentiate the two for you. A shade is a one-piece window cover which can only be raised and lowered. While it’s partner in crime, is made from individual panels called slats. This allows them to be raised, lowered, or opened from the middle as well as adjusted for lighting.
A Variety of Choices
Vertical: This variation has single hanging slats in a fashion just as the name states, vertically. In order to open or close, those slats are placed inside of a track. You will notice that some will open from one side to the other, while others will split in the mid-section. This is the variety that you will often see hanging over sliding doors or larger sized windows. Another version of these are would be the panel type. One major difference between the two is the width of the slats. In this case, the slat width in the vertical option is typically skinnier.
Venetian: Here is the more popular option, found hanging in the homes of many. The Venetian style is one that has slats, but they are either linked together by a cord or other material. Unlike the previous option, the slats for these will run horizontally. These are operated by the pull of a cord for both opening and closing. The Venetian comes in two other variations as well the micro and the mini. The difference from one to the other will be the size of the slats.
Pleated: Made to look and function much like the Venetian style these will remind you of an accordion. It is a solid piece of fabric or paper-like material made to be set at the desired height. Which allows you to let in or block out some of the light from outside.
Cellular: Here we have an option for both insulating purposes as well as providing you with some noise reduction. Made from two pieces of material that are constructed to create an opening in the center. This opening aids you in controlling the temperature in a room. Providing a cooling effect in the summer and a warming sense in the winter. Since these are a double layering system they tend to muffle some of the noises from outside.
Roman: You will find that the Roman style comes with plenty of options. Some will even have a lining for blocking light entirely or for temperature control. This style is known for dressing up a window but does come with a downside. Once opened all the way the material at the top will bunch. This can sometimes interfere with looking out the window.
Roller: When thinking of a roller version, one might remember the older version that was seen in homes years ago. You know the ones that were notorious for springing open when a door was slammed. With the passing of the years, the roller style option has been developed to become a much better window covering. You will notice that with advances in technology, the systems for opening and closing these have by far improved. Another great find is the solar variety, these are made to control both the temperature and lighting in a room. This is all done without interrupting the beautiful view from the window.
Once you have decided your style type you will have to move onto the materials. The option that you choose may vary by the room you will be placing them. The saying “different strokes for different folks” fits the bill for choosing material types. THere are plenty to sift through so finding the best option to suit your needs really shouldn’t be that hard.
Wood: Here is an option that will match virtually any decor as there are a plethora of wood types and finishes available. Although these will accent any room in the house they do have their downfalls as well. Wood is known for absorbing moisture which can cause these to warp or crack over time. Which makes placing them in a bathroom nit such a great idea. There is another option that was made to imitate the look of wood. Faux wood closely resembles the wood in looks, without the downfalls. These are made from a blend of synthetic materials so moisture will not problematic.
Plastic: This material choice is the more cost-effective route to choose. You will notice that they come in a wide variety of color and sizes. These will certainly hold up their end of the bargain for covering the window. If style is what you are after, these are not always the best way to go. You will notice that the slats are made to be thin, which makes damaging them easier. Keeping them out of the reach of small children and pets can be a great method of preservation.
Metal: Metal is definitely more durable than the plastic. They are sold in various colors and sizes as well. The slats for these can be found in varying thicknesses. The thicker the slats, the more durable they will be. You can hang these in any window of any room in your home.
Paper: Much like the plastic type, a paper option is a way to go for saving a few dollars. These can be found in a decent variety of color options. As these are constructed of paper, you will notice that they are not the most durable option for window treatment on the market.
Fabric: Here is a material selection that comes in two different options. The first is natural fabric, more commonly known as cotton but can also include seagrass and jute. The natural fabric is used in several style option and is easy when it comes to cleaning. One thing that some have found discouraging with this option is the fact that they do tend to fade over time.
As with anything else, the years have changed the types of fabrics commonly used. Now you can choose a synthetic made fabric for your window coverings as well. This option carries a higher level of durability as well as style options. Many who choose a synthetic fabric are seemingly happy with their resistance to fading.
Other Important Features
Pre-Made or Made to Order
When it comes to settling on the size, you have two different ways to achieve this. The pre-made version will have the more common sizes for windows available. Most of these will allow you to make small changes to better fit your window. When choosing the pre-made option, there is normally little to no wait time, as most stores will carry these in stock. When looking for a more custom fitting window treatment the made to order variety is the way to go. Choosing this option allows you to control exactly what your treatment is made from and how it will operate. This is especially handy for those oddball windows in your home. We have found that this is the more expensive route to go and the waiting period can be lengthy at times.
Controlling the Light
With this feature, you have the opportunity to essential blackout the room. The material used to achieve this will almost keep all of the light generated from the outside from entering the room. These are perfect for use in the bedroom or rooms where you need a sense of privacy.
A more popular feature choice, temperature controlling window caver can help to reduce heating and cooling bills. In the warmer months of the year, they are proven to keep a room cooler. On the other hand, during colder periods, they will keep the heat in. This is achieved by placing a special lining behind the fabric or outer material. In some cases an open cell designed id also used, this will depend on the actual coverage that you decide to go with. People often choose these to prevent having to add plastic to their windows.
Cord or No Cord
As we all know, there are covers that come with a cord for opening and closing. Which is nice as you can set the height you want the coverage to be placed. Anyone who has used these cords knows that often times they can be problematic as well. Which is why manufacturers have developed options without the cord. Eliminating the cord ups the level of safety in your home in regards to smaller children. You will notice that there are still cords connecting the slats but the long hanging cord has been done away with. Instead, you use the bottom piece to open, close, and control the slats.
In this day and age, almost everything comes in an automatic version, the same can be said for your windows. Choosing which one works best for your household will be a matter of opinion and style choice. The automatic version will have a motor connected to the window treatment. This motor is typically operated bt a remote control, which will open, close and adjust your slats they way in which you choose. On the other hand, you have the manual version, which you control with your hands. In the event your home is like mine, remotes are hard to keep track of, making manual the way to go.
When it comes to obtaining measurements for sizing your window treatment selection some can find this to be confusing and overwhelming. Here you will find some steps you can take to avoid the stress of finding the perfect measurements. First, you need to decide whether you will mount them inside of the frame or out. Once you have come to a decision for mounting follow the guidelines below.
- Start with measuring the width of the frame(on the inside). Keep in mind that not all windows are perfectly shaped. Always making sure to take three measurements top, bottom, and of course the middle. Tip: In the event, your measurement differ, choose the smallest one as your number.
- Now we move on to the length of the window. This is done from the inside of the trim, at the top, to the sill of the window. Again just to be sure, we are taking three measurements, right, center, and left. Selecting the smallest of the three if they differ.
- The last step is the depth of the window, by measuring this you ensure that there is room for the brackets to mount the covering. Often times this is forgotten about, causing customers to return their purchase and start over again.
- The first step to this process is deciding whether you want them mounted to the frame or outside of the frame. For mounting to the frame, measure the width from one frame edge to the other. In order to find the width for mounting outside of the frame, measure from point to point on the wall. These points should be an equal distance from the frame on either side.
- To get an accurate measurement for length, again we will be taking a reading from the center, left, and right keeping the shortest of the three. When performing the measurements for mounting on the frame, start at the top of the frame continuing down to the sill. For mounting outside of the frame, start just above the frame and continue to the sill. Should you choose to have the covering hang lower than the sill, choose an optional point to measure to.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the best way to clean blinds or shades?
A: It is always best to check the manufacturer’s directions for cleaning before using any type of cleaning product on your window coverings. We have found that there are several great ways to clean the slats. You can use the wand of your vacuum with the brush attached to suck the dust off. Using a feather duster to brush the dust off. There is also what is known as the dry sponge cleaning. Simply wipe the slats with the dry sponge to clear away any dust or dirt. When cleaning materials such as fabric, it is best to consult the directions. In most cases, these can be dry cleaned.
Q: How does the cordless option work?
A: The theory behind the cordless version is a relatively simple one. SOme look at them as if they are complicated but indeed they are not. Rather than using a hanging cord to control the up, down, or closing options you will use the bottom of the covering. Pulling down to close, pushing up to open, while tilting back and forth to control the slats.
Q: Is a shade the same as a blind?
A: Although they serve the same purpose, these two window options will differ slightly. A true shade is a one solid material piece option. With the sole function of going up and down. Their counterpart is made with slats for controlling the amount of light allowed through. They are also made to open from the middle or by sliding side to side. In the end, both of these options are made to do the same thing.
Q: Which material is the most durable choice?
A: The best option for a durable material would be fabric. Synthetic fabric to be exact, as they offer the most resistance to fading. Since these are exposed to direct sunlight for long period, fade resistance will play a huge factor. As for slats, the metal or faux wood materials hold the highest durability. Faux wood can withstand humidity better than actual wood, while metal can be more resistant to bumping.
Q: Which option is best pre-made or made to order?
A: The answer to this will depend on several factors. First, you will need to consider your budget, the made to order option can get quite pricey for some. Next comes the size of your windows, pre-made window coverings are great for more commonly sized windows. In the event that your window is an odd size, then the made to order might be the way to go. Last is your sense of style, if you don’t need anything fancy, pre-made coverings will fit the bill.
Q: Which style is best for covering a patio or sliding glass door?
A: For larger doors or windows, it is best to go with the vertical style. These can be found with slats or panels, they are best suited as they move along a track. This allows them to open side to side rather than up and down. You will have plenty of color options to choose from for style. In some cases, you can even find these to be automatic.