Blinds are more than just interior accents. If the room is too bright due to excessive sunlight during the summer, you use blinds to keep the room cooler and shady. If the room is too dark and you need a little light to seep in, you can control the amount of light by adjusting the slats of the blinds. If your idea of relaxation and a good night’s sleep involves a noise-free and darkroom, you can also depend on blinds.
With all of these, it is quite imperative to have one. But how do you choose the best type of blinds for you?
In this post, we will give you a rundown of the most common types of blinds out there as well as buying guides and useful FAQs for the types of blinds. If you are thinking of shopping for blinds to install in your home, consider reading this post as a useful detour.
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How many types of blinds are there?
Window treatments like blinds, shades, and shutters come in many forms and variants. Blinds alone come by the hundreds but the following are the most common/notable ones.
1. Persian blinds
These blinds are often pitted against Venetian blinds because they have the same slatted form and privacy and light control function level. The main difference, however, is that the slat of Persian blinds are vertical, used mainly for larger sliding doors and windows.
2. Shoji Blinds
This one is a popular Japanese window treatment traditionally made of rice paper. Other materials used in making shoji blinds would be bamboo and faux wood. This type of blinds come in two major designs: window shade and panel track blind design.
Window shade shoji blinds look like bamboo floor mats installed in small windows like those found in the kitchen. They are finely slatted, allowing just the right amount of natural light and a flattened view for more privacy. Panel track blind design on the other hand are sliding window panels used in large windows or as room dividers.
3. Vertical Blinds
As the name suggests, vertical blinds feature vertical slats running along from the top of the blind down to the windowsill. They are usually made of aluminum or faux wood materials. They are installed on small windows and are popular picks for long and tall, high to ceiling windows and windows by the patio.
Vertical blinds at the same time, are regarded for their high customizability feature. They are often made into wide blinds to cover large sliding glass doors and as BiFold door blinds.
Related: How To Fix Vertical Blinds That Won’t Rotate
4. Venetian Blinds
They are also very popular blinds that have stood the test of time. They are distinguishable for their horizontal slats usually made of wood, plastic, aluminum, or metal material. They are rolled up and tied down using a cord which also holds up the slats together. You just have to unlock the slats before you could tilt them up or pull them down.
Venetian blinds are one of the most versatile window treatments out there, making them a good fit for any room in the house including kitchens.
5. Mini or Micro Blinds
They are the micro versions of Venetian blinds and as such are also called micro Venetians. They are also made of fine wood, fabric, plastic, or metal but the slats are just an inch or a half-inch in size and the gaps are so fine you would not even see one from afar.
Micro/mini blinds are used for small windows, in more compact rooms, in sliding patio doors, and in bathrooms. They do not tilt like the others but slide together, instead.
6. Panel Blinds
We have covered a bit of this one under the shoji blinds. Generally, these are large panel blinds made of fabric. Instead of tilting, they are opened back and forth in a sliding manner, mounted on the window frame, and offer you an entire outdoor view when opened. Panel blinds are usually installed in patios, large windows, and glass doors.
7. Pleated Shades
Typically made of soft fabrics and even paper, pleated shades provide privacy and light control by folding in together to flatten the outside view. They are one of the most inexpensive and easiest to install shades. They can be mounted DIY by attaching them to the window frame either through a blind mount or via adhesives.
They are the perfect privacy or blackout shades because they do not have slats in between. They are usually installed in bedrooms as well as bathrooms and kitchens.
8. Cellular Shades
They are commonly confused with pleated shades because well, they are pleated and they are also made from the same material. The difference is that cellular shades have front and back sections that are open in the middle, shaped like honeycombs. This is the reason why cellular shades are also called honeycomb shades/blinds. They serve as air pockets to provide more room insulation.
Aside from keeping your home warm in the winter and cooler in the summer, they prove to be good sound insulators too.
9. Sheer Shades
If you want a light diffuser, this one is a good choice. If you aspire for that warm, mid-day glow, you can install the traditional sheer shades. If you want less light but not totally blockout, darkening sheer shades are available.
As for control, sheer shades come in traditional corded control but now also features a motorized control and a remote-control mechanism. They may look delicate but sheer shades are sturdy with the look of horizontal blinds but in many modern designs.
10. Roman Shades
It is one of the most popular and at the same time one of the most traditional window treatments out there. Roman shades are made of fabric, raising and folding into itself like the other popular window treatment, Venetian blinds. When it raises, it will have pleat stacks. While it looks classy, the pleat stacks on top affect the room view.
Modern roman shades now come with thermal linings for insulation and blackout linings for greater privacy and light control.
11. Roller Shades
It is as popular as the roman shades, often made of fabric material too. It is one of those window treatments that can be mounted in many ways and can be complemented with additional covers like cornices, fascia, and valances. Like the roman shades, it can also be sported with blackout and thermal linings.
They are also called diner shades with larger horizontal slats for greater insulation and more control over the amount of light that comes into the room. Roller shades are usually corded but now features motorized designs.
12. Tie-Up Shades
This one is considered as the crossover of curtains and shades. They are made of natural and synthetic fabric. It looks more like a curtain with a bottom tie that you could pull for the shade to roll up. You will have to tie it afterward. Country style tie-up shades remain to be the most popular style of this type of window treatment.
13. Solar Shades
These shades are specifically designed for light control without blocking the entire outside view. They are beneficial in sustaining natural light inside the room and blocking off excessive UV rays from the sun. They are usually installed as interior shades but some use them like smaller outdoor shades.
They are usually made of lightweight, woven polyethylene material. It looks like an office standard, however, making it an unpopular choice in home interiors. They are not easily customizable too.
14. Outdoor Shades
This one is a waterproof shade installed in the home’s barbeque area or on the patio. They are usually made of reeds, woven wood, or wood grain. With these materials, they can withstand harsher climates and other elements.
They are like finer metal screens with very small slats. They are also very functional since they let air in during hot months, regulate light without blocking the view, and can be rolled down during the rainy season.
15. Skylight Shades
This type of shade comes in cellular, pleated, or roller style. As the name suggests, they are specifically designed to cover skylights in the attic. Of the three styles, the cellular style is the most popular because it is known to provide greater insulation.
Skylight shades are rolled up and pulled down by using a stick or rod. Modern designs are now automatic skylight shades, operated through a small button attached to where the traditional cord should be.
16. Smart Blinds
In the advent of smart home technology, smart blinds were invented too. They come in traditional design but the high-technology versions are to look out for. Smart blinds can be operated using a phone application. You can control just one panel or all smart blinds in all of your home’s windows. You can also set a timer for the blinds to open and close at a designated time of the day.
The best part is that you can buy remotes that will retrofit your existing blinds to smart blinds. The initial cost is expensive but you will get more money-saving features in the long run.
17. Blackout Roller Blinds
To add more privacy and light control especially in the bedroom, adding a blackout lining or fabric to your existing roller blinds is a good choice. Blackout linings can be easily clipped on the top rod of roller blinds. They are fitted even on the sides so that no light can penetrate inside.
Blackout linings come in plain or patterned designs. They are made of thicker or opaque fabric.
18. Day and Night Blinds
If your room happens to face the road and other loud areas, you can depend on the day and night blinds for privacy, sound insulation, and light control. Aside from this function, they also come in sleek designs. They are made of double fabric usually opaque fabric panels combined with an adjustable sheer fabric with a cord on the side.
Operating it with the cord gives it its name. If you pull the cord down, the slat gaps will close making it look like blockout blinds. You can also control the light that will enter the room through the cord.
19. Blackout Blinds
For extreme privacy day and night and comfort when sleeping, blackout blinds are ideal choices. Not only do they totally block light from entering, but they also function to reduce outside noise. With thermal linings, they also offer good room insulation year-round.
They come in many styles and variants, including the blockout roller blinds. They do not have slats and are usually made of strong synthetic and natural fabrics.
20. Electric Blinds
They might be pricey initially, but they will be more cost-efficient in the long run. They have great energy-saving features through its motorized buttons that will let you control how large the slat gaps will be to allow more light or set it into a blackout mode.
With just one button, the blind will automatically roll vertically or up and down. Motorized blinds are run by lithium batteries. The batteries could last for at least five years.
21. Real Wood Blinds
As the name suggests, this type of blind is made of real wood, stained, and painted variably to match the interior design of the home. Unlike faux wood, real wood blinds are more lightweight, matching large windows. You have to consider where to install them though. Wood will crap and is not resistant to warps when exposed to moisture. As such, real wood blinds are not good for high-humidity rooms like the bathroom or kitchen.
Compared to faux wood blinds, real wood blinds are more expensive but they can be trusted for their longevity, lasting for at least 10years.
22. Faux Wood Blinds
By the name faux, you already know that this type of blind is not made of real wood but has its natural look, nonetheless. Faux wood blinds have become more popular than real wood blinds in the passing of time because they are not prone to cracking, warping, or even splitting.
Other than this, they are cost-efficient since they are not prone to scratches on the surface and are specifically designed to withstand moist and high humidity. Aside from its functionality in privacy and light control, being made out of PVC vinyl and composite wood make faux wood blinds durable, easy to clean, and very customizable.
23. Conservatory Blinds
This one is a roof blind used for glass ceilings. They provide shade, air circulation, and light control. There is a huge array of blinds that you could choose from to customize and turn into conservatory blinds.
The most popular choice for conservatory blinds would be the sophisticated yet classic rolls of roman blinds, the anti-glare and light control feature of Venetian blinds, and the good air circulation offered by vertical blinds.
24. BiFold Door Blinds
As the name implies, BiFold blinds are installed on BiFold doors or panels. They are easy to install since you can just clip them where they should be. They provide great privacy and light control for sliding glass doors and windows. Since they are fitted accurately on the frames of sliding doors, it will just sway with the door without flaps.
BiFold door blinds are finely slatted, only allowing small light to seep through. Others come in the style of roller blinds, pleated blinds, and Venetian blinds. They are also easy to clean and completely child-safe.
25. Wide Blinds
You can always use two or three blinds for a very large window but it is a gamble when it comes to the fitting. Chances are, you would not have the right light control with unmeasured gaps in between the joined blinds. To address this, you have to choose wide blinds.
Wide blinds are customized blinds, usually vertical or roller blinds, specifically constructed to go beyond standard window lengths and widths. Wide blinds are perfect for the floor to ceiling windows or large window designs that give privacy and light control with just one blind.
Related: Should Curtains Touch The Floor?
Window Blind Materials
It is important to note that the types of blinds are categorized depending on the type of material used in making them. When it comes to blinds, here are the seven blind materials used to make them.
- Aluminum: it is an inexpensive material, lightweight and easy to clean; vulnerable to bending; used mainly for Venetian blinds.
- Leather: It is not a popular choice but it gives a unique look to Venetian blinds; expensive but creates sturdier slats.
- Fabric: also a cheap choice; constructed as one piece, does not have slats in between, and are used as blackout linings; common fabrics used are silk, wool, polyester, and cotton.
- Wood: It is a common yet expensive choice; hauled for its natural strength and versatility; easy to maintain, not prone to bending, perfect for classic and rustic designs.
- Vinyl: It is an inexpensive and easy to clean material; will suit any time of interior.
- Bamboo: eco-friendly; the material used for woven blinds; sturdy, durable, and can withstand humid locations; perfect material for insulation.
- Faux wood: It is easy to maintain; can withstand moisture and humidity; will not warp, crack or bend; versatile like vinyl, classy as wood, inexpensive as aluminum.
Blinds vs Shades
When it comes to window treatment, it is always a hard pick between blinds and shades because first, is there even a difference? We have often heard them used interchangeably but blinds and shades actually refer to two types of window covers. Both functions to add privacy to the home or to regulate the amount of light that seeps into the room.
Blinds generally refer to any structured window covering with slats that can be opened or closed by tilting them. The slats may be horizontal or vertical. Blinds are usually made of vinyl, aluminum, bamboo, woven wood, and faux wood.
On the other hand, shades would refer to any solid window cover that is made out of softer materials like fabric or synthetic fiber. The most popular shades would be roller shades and roman shades.
Sometimes, blinds and shades are combined and installed as one window treatment. Shades are usually draped over blinds to work as thermal lining or blackout lining. Thermal lining shades are typically those made of sheer fabric as well as cotton or polyester. Blockout lining shades are those that are thicker and opaque like leather, wool, or polyester.
Blinds Buyer’s Guide
Like any other product, shopping for blinds should also go through some considerations. If you happen to be a newbie in blinds shopping, here are some pointers to consider before cashing out one.
Materials and energy-saving properties
For the materials, you have to take into consideration the climate of your location. Outdoor blinds will best suit high-humidity locations while wooden blinds will be good for locations with cooler climates.
Blinds are also low-cost home insulators. If you need your blinds to step up to this purpose, choose blinds that insulate the room well during winter and those that will reflect light and heat during summer.
There are two reasons as to why you are getting blinds. One is to add to the aesthetics of the home and two is to expand the functionality of the house. Consider what you want to achieve and align it with your lifestyle. If you go down the aesthetic route, faux wood, fabric, and leather would be good choices. If you are more into functionality, aluminum, bamboo, and wood are the best fit.
Privacy and light control
The main use of blinds is to control light and to give you privacy. If your aim is to block light from coming in when the sun is at its peak, choose aluminum, leather, bamboo, or wood blinds. Contrastingly, if you want a regulated light amount and privacy is not much of an issue, fabric blinds or faux wood would be a perfect choice.
Traditional blinds usually come with lift cords. In homes where small children actively play, lift cords could be a safety issue. As such, if you are considering buying blinds but have children at home, it might be best to choose cordless/motorized blinds. This type of blinds come with an open and close button which is way safer than the hanging blinds cord.
In here, we are primarily talking about the colors of your home and your interior decorations. If your home has neutral tones, choosing subtle or warm colors as your blinds would enhance your home interior’s beauty. But if you have pastel-color interiors and you want to add more dash of vibrancy, opt for deeper or brighter-hued blinds.
In general, blinds are more budget-friendly than shades. However, we have to acknowledge that there are still high-end blinds to choose from. For example, aluminum blinds are the most inexpensive type of blinds. Installation for 8 windows would range from $350-700. Faux wood and wood blinds are more expensive ranging from $400-850.
Aside from this, take note of the rule that the larger the blinds, the more expensive it would be too. If you are thinking of having your blinds customized, go for it if you have an unlimited budget. But if not, you can still choose from a wide range of blinds design from malls.
What types of blinds are best for bedrooms?
Out of all the types of blinds, five emerge as the best blinds for bedrooms. If you want a dark room, with little to no light seeping in, the best fit is blockout blinds. Duette blinds are also good for blocking lights creeping in from the sides. Roman blinds with blackout linings can also give all that comforting lack of light in rooms. For a balanced light and darkroom, vertical blinds and Venetian blinds are good choices.
Which blinds are best for the kitchen?
There are also best blinds for the kitchen and they are as follows. For energy-saving purposes and added kitchen insulation, you can install cellular blinds. To filter light and add a classic kitchen look, roman blinds are a good fit. For the same purpose but in more versatile, modern designs, get sheer shades.
For privacy purposes and in giving softer tones to a kitchen full of stainless steel, bamboo, woven wood or faux wood blinds should be installed.
How do I choose the right size blinds?
In getting the right size of blinds that you should install per window, you can follow the following steps.
- The first step is to measure the width inside the window’s opening. Measure at the top, bottom and middle, and then take the shortest width of the three. Round down the shortest width to the nearest 1/8.
- For the length, measure the window’s opening to the sill. Measure the center, the left, and the right length. Take the longest measurement and deduct 0.25 to make sure that the blinds rest on the sill.
- For a better fit, measure the window diagonally, afterward. If the two diagonal dimensions have significant gaps, ordering an outside mount might be required.
What are the most modern blinds?
Modern blinds sports upgraded blinds features including insulation and energy-saving properties, more privacy, and of course come in sleeker designs, ergonomic controls, and more customizability features. The blinds considered as the most modern are the following:
- Embossed vertical blinds
- Polyester blinds
- Zebra roller blinds/shades
- Cordless magnetic blinds/shades
- Cordless roller blinds/shades
- Cordless wood blinds/shades
- Cordless window and floor mount blinds
- Customized blinds like wide blinds and thermal blinds
What are the most popular window blinds?
Then and now, some blinds have retained their popularity while some are new on the block. At present, the most popular window blinds are the following:
- Roman blinds/shades
- Woven wood blinds
- Wood and aluminum shutters
- Faux wood blinds
- Cordless blinds
- Venetian blinds
Window treatments are very beautiful additions to the home’s interior not only because they add color and texture to the home but also because of their overt functionality. From its original purpose of privacy, aesthetics, and light control, insulation and energy-saving features are now prevalent among them. Cordless blinds have also added to the popularity of these window treatments.
The various types of blinds reveal that they are here to stay. And if you find yourself considering installing one soon, we have pretty much-covered everything that you need to know about the types of blinds.