The Best Blackout Shades for 2023

Introduce comfortable darkness and ambiance into your space with light-blocking shades.

The Best Blackout Shades for 2022

Adequate sleep is essential for mental alertness and utmost productivity. So, if you find sleeping difficult, especially in extremely bright rooms, then it’s time to consider getting yourself blackout shades.

Blackout shades can help you get some much-needed sleep — and, perhaps more significantly, keep you asleep while enhancing the energy efficiency of your home. They accomplish this by completely filtering out all exterior light and introducing soothing darkness into your space.

Naturally, if you consider all the options in the market as well as all the criteria you’re supposed to employ in picking out the best blackout shade, making a decision can start to seem pretty overwhelming. This is why we’ve created this guide, to simplify your choice for you.

We have provided you with all the information you need to make the best decision, and we’ve also recommended the best blackout shades in the market for you.

How We Picked

  • Size/Light Porosity

    The right blackout shade should be properly sized and porous enough to allow airflow, while effectively blocking light rays. This is important as it keeps the room conveniently dark but well aerated. This is why we prioritized this criterion during our selection.

  • Material

    Blackout shades are often made with different materials offering different benefits. While they all block light adequately, it’s important to pick a material that suits your space and everyday living.

  • Style/Design

    Apart from blocking out light, a good blackout shade should also have a great aesthetic appeal that blends well with the decor of the intended space. You’ll have to look at the shades on most days so we prioritized this criterion.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

    The best blackout shades are affordable without compromising quality and functionality. This is why we suggested options that offer high value at reasonable prices.

Our Top Picks

Best Pick

Bali Blackout Cellular Shade

Bali Blackout Shades

Highly sophisticated and customizable.

Giving you the power to control the ambiance in your living spaces.

Buy Now

The Blackout Cellular Shades from Bali let you regulate lighting and temperature in your space. These blinds include double or single cells that offer excellent insulation and blackout capabilities.

This feature makes them a wonderful choice for nurseries, media rooms, and daybeds. You also get to choose from various single-cell fabric options or upgrade to double cells for even better insulation against light and temperature.

Runner Up

iFit Blackout Roller Shades

iFit Blackout Roller Shades

Cordless shades that are easily installed.

Its fabric is specifically designed to darken rooms.

Buy Now

The most straightforward and quick shade installation available on the market is provided by the iFit Cut-to-Size roller blackout shade. The cordless design of the iFit shade also makes them child safe. These roller blinds are also made of a polyester textile fabric that darkens rooms. It also has a white coating on the underside for maximum heat reflection.

Most Cost-Effective

Redi Shade Blackout Shades

Redi Shade Blackout Shades

Offer good light-blocking properties.

Customizable light-control features at an amazing price point.

Buy Now for $58.94

Redi Shade's Easy Lift Trim-at-Home Blackout Shades provide the appearance and functions of custom cellular blackout shades at a fraction of the price. For simplicity of usage and kid safety, Easy Lift blackout shades come with a cordless lift as the standard.

More so, due to its blackout honeycomb fabric structure, this blackout shade also offers the best level of UV protection, sun control, privacy, and energy efficiency.

Everything We Recommend

Best Pick

Bali Blackout Cellular Shade

Bali Blackout Shades

Highly sophisticated and customizable.

Buy Now

Runner Up

iFit Blackout Roller Shades

iFit Blackout Roller Shades

Cordless shades that are easily installed.

Buy Now

Most Cost-Effective

Redi Shade Blackout Shades

Redi Shade Blackout Shades

Offer good light-blocking properties.

$58.94

Buy Now

Who This Is For

Typically, the sleep-deprived, night-shift workers, day nappers, and home theater owners are people who will benefit the most from using blackout shades. If you don’t fancy blackout curtains because of the way they appear, you can simply choose blackout shades instead.

What Do People Use/Need Blackout Shades For?
Blackout shades can virtually entirely darken any space they are used in, even during the brightest parts of the day, because they completely block all types of light, including both natural and artificial light.

If you wish to reduce light, blackout blinds are the perfect solution for bright homes. And thanks to recent developments, you can now get blackout shades that are both useful and beautiful, giving your interior decor another level of beauty.

Why You Should Trust Us

While compiling this guide, we studied editorial reviews from reputable publishing organizations with expertise in the field of blackout shades, blogs from well-known window treatment manufacturers, and user testimonials from well-known retail websites.

Also, to focus our search on the most effective shade types, we made sure to evaluate reports from interviews with experts. Additionally, we made sure to omit models with outrageous price tags and those with either little ratings or a considerable amount of unfavorable ratings.

How We Picked

After all our meticulous, in-depth research via various online resources, we confirmed the most important criteria that are typically used to determine the best blackout shades. The following are the most important of them:

Material
Blackout shades are often comprised of tightly woven polyester fabric that blocks sunlight and ambient light with the help of an insulating, typically invisible black lining.

Blackout shades can be made from a variety of materials, including synthetic materials like polyester and natural textiles like cotton and linen. Although linen and cotton tend to have a little more upscale appearance, you can also get superb imitation silk and textured poly blends.

We kept this factor in mind when suggesting our top picks, so you can get the best light-blocking shades with great material.

Style/Design
Your blackout shades will be something you have to look at on a daily basis, so you must appreciate the way they look. Based on this, we made sure to suggest shades with appealing materials and contemporary designs.

Price vs Quality
The shades that strike the ideal mix between price, aesthetics, and functionality, in our opinion, are the most ideal ones. As such, we made sure to recommend options that are reasonably priced and still offer a lot of value in terms of quality and usefulness.

How Much Light Gets In
Quality blackout shades will effectively block the advertised amount of light, but appropriate installation is essential. The infamous “light halo,” which happens when tiny slivers of light leak in around the sides of a shade, can compromise even the best blackout shades.

Most times, the best light-blocking shades are cellular shades. These blinds are made of a single layer or two layers of hollow cells, which block light while simultaneously enhancing insulation and reducing noise.

In this guide, we made sure to suggest options that effectively block out light to guarantee the utmost convenience for you.

Easy to Install
We recommended shades that come with easy-to-install mounting hardware. Due to the excess fabric’s tendency to obstruct mounting hardware, roman shades might be trickier to install than roller or cellular shades. Although some people charge for expert installation, we didn’t find any blinds that would be particularly difficult for customers to install themselves.

Color
Color is important for two reasons when selecting a blackout shade: light-blicking and aesthetic appeal. While subtle neutral colors like white, beige, or gray can significantly reduce light, the strongest blackout effects are achieved with dark gray, navy, and black.

Furthermore, the majority of the shades we looked at come in a variety of colors. The shade might not function as well in your home if it has a smaller selection of sizes and/or colors. Therefore, bear this in mind when making a decision.

Easy to Open and Close
In houses with young children or animals, certain types of shades (especially those with continuous loop lift mechanisms) provide safety risks because kids and pets could accidentally strangle themselves while playing with the cords. They might also be harder to open and close.

The majority of the professional reports we consulted suggested cordless lifts if you can’t afford motorized lifts. Most people will find cordless lifts to their liking. We made sure to consider this when suggesting our top picks for you.

Privacy
In addition to blocking out light, a good blackout shade should also offer the right amount of privacy. As such, we prioritized this feature when suggesting options for you to pick from.

Airflow
A good blackout shade should not impede airflow into the space in which it is being used. The insulating effect expected from blackout shades should also not translate to a deterioration in airflow. This is why we prioritized options that facilitate sufficient ventilation while blocking out light effectively.

Thickness and Weight of Shade
Effective light-blocking is also a function of how thick and heavy the shades you choose are. We understand this, and so we suggested window shades with adequate thickness and weight that blocks out light without introducing stuffiness into your space.

Our Picks For You

Best Pick - Bali Blackout Shades

Best Pick

Bali Blackout Cellular Shade

Bali Blackout Shades

Highly sophisticated and customizable.

Giving you the power to control the ambiance in your living spaces.

Buy Now

Who It Is For (Get this if)

If you’re looking for a top-notch blackout shade that can be customized to your specific needs, we think you’ll love the Bali Blackout Cellular Shades.

The adaptability of the Bali Blackout Cellular Shades is what sets them apart. Nearly 80 colors are available, including neutrals and fashionable statement hues to match a range of designs.


Why It's Great

They can be customized to any size, even down to an eighth of an inch. They are a terrific choice for any room in the house, including the living room, the bedroom, and even the home theater, thanks to their practical design.

Potential Flaws

The only possible flaw of our top pick is the fact that you may need to wait for a longer period for custom orders. In all other aspects, however, this pick is a superb choice, so we think it’s worth the wait.

Product Features

The double or single cell fabrics used in the Bali Blackout blinds offer excellent insulation and blackout capabilities, making them a wonderful choice for nurseries, media rooms, and day sleepers.

The cord lock and stop tassel let you precisely arrange window coverage, while the aluminum head rail and bottom rail offer long-lasting durability. Additionally, these blinds come in a range of rich, striking hues that give your windows or doors a customized touch of design while maintaining a neutral background to increase curb appeal.

Both the single-cell and double-cell versions of these blinds have a blackout effect; however, the double-cell versions provide slightly better sound absorption, insulation, and energy efficiency for your home. There’s also a top-down/bottom-up arrangement for ease and adjustable light filtration, and these are standout features.

With the option to upgrade to Bali's Z-Wave motorized adjustments, which can be operated from up to 65 feet away, you can also start cordless controls for child and pet safety. If you’re considering smart window treatments, then you’ll be glad to know that even your mobile device can be paired with the Z-Wave function.

Product Specifications

Dimensions: Custom
Material: Fabric
Mounting Type: Inside/outside mount

Runner Up - iFit Blackout Roller Shades

Runner Up

iFit Blackout Roller Shades

iFit Blackout Roller Shades

Cordless shades that are easily installed.

Its fabric is specifically designed to darken rooms.

Buy Now

Who It Is For (Get this if)

If you’d rather have roller-style window blackout shades, then consider purchasing the iFit Blackout Shades.

Why It Is Great

The iFit Blackout shades are made from high-grade, aesthetically pleasing textiles, and they provide you with custom quality without the custom price.

Additionally, iFit roller blackout shades are very easily installed and child-safe.

Potential Flaws

The only drawback of this option is that its pull tab is not very durable, but if you put your hands on both sides of the bottom hem, you should have a stronger grip on the blackout shades.

Product Features

The front of the iFit blackout shades are made of smooth material and the shades are available in five neutral hues, from somber black to stark white. For perfect light blocking and heat reflection to keep your home cool in the summer, the back is made of white thermal-coated polyester material.

These roller shades don't have cords like the earlier versions. All you need to do is gently pull the bottom to open or close them. Putting your hands on either side of the lower hem will provide you with a stronger grip even though the plastic pull tab may not be so resilient.

However, for quick and simple installation, iFit shades are typically pre-mounted to the headrail.

Product Specifications

Dimensions: Varies
Material: Polyester
Mounting Type: Inside/outside pre-mounted headrail

Most Cost-Effective - Redi Shade Blackout Shades

Most Cost-Effective

Redi Shade Blackout Shades

Redi Shade Blackout Shades

Offer good light-blocking properties.

Customizable light-control features at an amazing price point.

Buy Now for $58.94

Who It Is For (Get this if)

If you’re shopping for blackout shades on a tight budget, you’ll be glad to know that there are several great, reasonably priced options available. One of the best is the Redi Shade Easy Lift Cellular Shades, which are fantastic as well as cost-effective.

Why It Is Great

The most appealing feature of the Redi Shade Easy Lift Cellular Shades is their budget-friendliness. You’ll also appreciate the fact that it’s cordless and has a satisfying trim-at-home design that you can customize to fit your needs in your space.

Potential Flaws

Even though the Redi Shade Easy Lift Cellular Shades are advertised as customizable, they come in a limited number of sizes and colors.

Product Features

The Redi Shade Easy Lift Cellular Shades are created from crisp polyester fabric and have a honeycomb construction that completely blocks outdoor light and increases the energy efficiency of your home. These blackout shades are also safe and secure in households with children and pets thanks to the cordless lifting mechanism, which also gives them a neat, fitted appearance.

You should note however that only white and beige and four sizes are offered for these shades. You can't go wrong, though, if your windows are a typical size and you're looking for a neutral color at a reasonable price. The trim-at-home feature enables you to cut them to a bespoke fit if they aren't the precise right size.

Product Specifications

Dimensions: Four sizes available
Material: Polyester
Mounting Type: ‎Inside Mount
Special Feature: Blackout, Cordless

Almost Made The Cut - Pottery Barn Blackout Shades

Almost Made The Cut

Pottery Barn Blackout Shades

Pottery Barn Blackout Shades

Best choice in terms of luxury.

Its cordless roller style enables easy use and maximum light-blocking capacity.

Buy Now for $58.94

Who It Is For (Get this if)

If you’re willing to splurge on a blackout shade, Pottery Barn's Emery linen cordless roman black shade should be among the top choices you consider.

Our light-blocking shades enable you to transform day into night, whether you're trying to get some sleep or creating the atmosphere for a movie night.

Why It Is Great

We particularly love how the expertly designed roman-style drape enriches any space, and how a cutting-edge roller mechanism enables you to quickly and cordlessly pull the shade.

Potential Flaws

The only drawback to this pick is that it is expensive. However, when you consider the luxury and value it provides, the price is worth it.

Product Features

The Roman Blackout Shades have a poly-cotton lining on the back and a front combo of 73% linen and 27% cotton for complete room darkening and ultimate privacy when you need it, as well as insulation and sound absorption.

The length of each panel is 64 inches, and it comes in five different widths, ranging from 26 to 48 inches. The Roman-style design will fold any extra cloth at the bottom of your windows into neat pleats that are shorter. There are five neutral hues available: white, ivory, dusty blue, oatmeal, and charcoal. Additionally, the child-safe, streamlined design is enhanced by the cordless lift mechanism and hidden handle.

Product Specifications

Dimensions: Four sizes available
Material: Linen-cotton blend
Mounting Type: Inside/outside window

Care and Maintenance

Installation
Installing blackout shades will depend on whether you decide to mount them from the inside or the outside of your window.

For inside mount installation, Measure inward from each of the window frame’s upper corners. For precise measurements, check your owner’s manual as the distance will vary between models. Place the brackets in the desired location above your markings, and then drill pilot holes for the screws. Next, incorporate the brackets with screws.

Hooking the headrail into the front of the brackets will allow you to install the shade. When you hear it lock into place, rotate back. Finally, lower your new shade and test it.

For outside mount installation, place the shade in the desired mounting location on the wall’s surface. Make pencil marks along the top of your headrail where the bracket installation locations will be. For precise measurements, check your owner’s manual as the distance will vary between models.

Next, drill pilot holes where the screws should go after aligning the first bracket with the first marking. Then, screw the brackets into position after repeating the procedure for the second bracket.

Use the center support bracket that came with your window treatment if necessary. Hooking the headrail into the front of the brackets will allow it to be installed. When you hear it lock into place, rotate downward. Finally, lower your new shade and test it.

Measure Windowsill/Frames Before Purchasing
As we stated earlier, you must measure the windowsill or frame correctly before you buy and install blackout shades. Doing this is necessary to achieve the most ideal results during installation, and get blackout shades that fit correctly, and don’t let light flood in through any uncovered corners.

Take note of the instructions provided above for measuring your windows. Also, note that the measurement process will vary depending on whether you’re mounting the shades on the inside or outside of your windows.

Before you start measuring, choose whether you want an interior mount or an outside mount. If you’re unsure, measure both directions before selecting your preferred shades. A steel measuring tape has a significantly higher degree of accuracy than a cloth one, so keep this in mind when measuring. Always round your measurements to the nearest 1/8″. Avoid rounding to a half-inch or inch.

Also, avoid transposing measurements when possible. Always have height and width marked clearly. Place your width measurement first and your height measurement last (W x H).

Accuracy is essential when measuring for inside mount blinds. Fortunately, getting the right measurement is pretty easy.

For width, take three measurements across the top, center, and bottom of the window frame. This is because not all windows are made perfectly. The narrowest of the three widths should be measured. At the left, center, and right sides, take height measurements. Note which of the three measurements is the longest. To determine how deep the shades can be, measure the depth of the window.

Keep in mind that while measuring windows for blinds, you shouldn’t round down. Also, thoroughly check the mounting requirements portion of the product you’ve chosen to be sure your window has enough depth for an inside mount. If not, use an outside mount or choose another product.

Always take various measurements of the window’s width and height. Consult the specific measuring instructions for your product for details on where and how often to measure.

Be sure to account for enough wall space when measuring for outside mount blinds. Estimate the total area that needs to be covered. The window’s height and width should both be measured.

Consider making the width and height three inches larger for optimum privacy and light control. Extending the shades outside the window will also help create the necessary space for the mounts while giving the illusion that the window is larger than it is.

Make room for potential obstructions such as doorknobs, deadbolts, or molding. There are spacer blocks and extension brackets that can enable your shade to extend far enough to avoid protrusions if there are any impediments.

To accommodate mounting brackets, outside mounts need at least two inches of the flat area above the window or frame. To clear the frame molding, projection brackets might be necessary.

Do I Need to Clean my Window Shades?
If you clean your shades at least once a month, the dust won’t build up too much. Well-maintained shades ought to last for many years (even though most of them only have a warranty of around five years).

To get rid of as much dust as you can from the outside of your blackout shades, use the brush attachment on your vacuum. You can use your hairdryer to blow the dirt and dust out of the cells in a cool setting. You can also remove any extra dust by vacuuming. Use a moist, clean cloth to spot-clean any stains.

Pro Tip: To remove dust and debris from fabrics, use a rubber sponge, commonly referred to as a dry sponge. The majority of hardware stores sell these. They are non-greasy, residue-free, and kind to delicate surfaces because they are made of vulcanized rubber.

Also, refrain from putting your heavily soiled fabric shades in the washing machine. Instead, take them to a dry cleaner to ensure they receive a thorough cleaning without being harmed.

Deciding How Dark You Want the Room to be Before Purchasing
It’s important to decide on how dark you would prefer your space to be before you choose a shade. Some shades will typically offer more coverage and privacy than others (although this also depends on you getting the right size for your window to properly block light from any corners).

So, keep this in mind when making your purchase so you buy the shades that work best for your needs.