baby in nursery with Sleepout Portable blackout curtains

Exploring the Differences Between Room Darkening and Blackout Curtains: Which is Best for Your Needs?

The right curtains can have a big impact on the overall look and feel of a room. They can provide privacy, block light, and help to regulate the temperature in a space. Additionally, the right curtains can add a touch of style and elegance to a room, making it more inviting and comfortable. It's important to choose the right curtains for your home because they can play a significant role in the overall aesthetic and functionality of your space.

Did you know that the right curtains can even play a role in sports or athletic events? When we sent Sleepout Curtains to members of the 2022 Olympic team we were blown away by their response and that five of them won gold medals.

Room darkening curtains (left) versus Sleepout 100% blackout curtains (right)

What are room darkening curtains?

Room darkening curtains are a type of window treatment that is designed to block out a significant amount of light without being 100% blackout. Most “blackout” curtains are simply room darkening curtains without any certifications toward their blackout fabric capability. Room darkening curtain are a step up from traditional curtains, which typically only block out a small amount of light and are a popular choice for bedrooms and other rooms where people want to be able to sleep or relax in a little bit of darkness. 

One of the main benefits of using room darkening curtains is that they can help to regulate the temperature in a room. By blocking out the light, they can also block out heat, which can make a room feel cooler during the summer months. Additionally, room-darkening curtains can provide additional privacy and security for a home.

Sleepout Portable light grey blackout curtains

What are blackout curtains?

True 100% blackout curtains like the Sleepout Curtain are a type of window treatment that is designed to block out all light. They are typically made from heavy, opaque fabrics that are able to completely block out the light, even in the brightest of rooms. Blackout curtains are often used in bedrooms, but can also be used in other rooms where people want to be able to sleep or relax in complete darkness such as nurseries.

There are several benefits to using true 100% blackout curtains:

  1. Block all light: 100% blackout curtains are able to completely block out all light, making them a great choice for bedrooms and other rooms where people want complete darkness. This is especially important for young children, night shift workers, and those with sleep issues. 
  2. Improved sleep: Because 100% blackout curtains can provide complete darkness, they can be beneficial for people who are sensitive to light or who want to sleep during the day. Complete darkness helps to improve the quality of sleep, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  3. Energy efficiency: 100% blackout curtains can help to regulate the temperature in a room, as they are able to block out heat as well as light. This can help to reduce energy costs by reducing the need for heating and cooling.
  4. Increased privacy and security: 100% blackout curtains can provide additional privacy and security for a home. Because they are able to block out all light, they can make it difficult for people outside to see into a room, providing added security.

Sleepout Portable light grey blackout curtains in nursery window

Comparing room darkening and blackout curtains

When it comes to light blocking capabilities, true 100% blackout curtains are the clear winner. Because they are made from heavy, opaque fabrics, blackout curtains are able to completely block out all light, even in the brightest of rooms. On the other hand, room darkening curtains are able to block out a significant amount of light, but may not be able to completely block out all light in a bright room causing early morning wake-ups or issues with sleep hormone regulation. 

In terms of energy efficiency, both room darkening and blackout curtains can be beneficial with 100% blackout curtains providing the most energy savings. Because they block out all light, they can also block out heat, which can help to keep a room cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. This can help to reduce energy costs by reducing the need for heating and cooling.

In terms of price, room darkening curtains are typically less expensive than blackout curtains. This is because they are made from lighter fabrics and do not need to block out as much light. However, the price difference between the two types of curtains can vary depending on the specific brand and style. 

In terms of durability, both room darkening and blackout curtains are typically very durable. True 100% blackout curtains like the Sleepout Curtain are more durable and last for years and years longer because they are made from heavier & high-quality fabrics.

Neutral colored baby nursery with traditional blinds in the window

Choosing the right curtains for your needs

When choosing between room darkening and true 100% blackout curtains, there are a few factors to consider. One of the main factors is the amount of light that you want to block out. If you want complete darkness in a room, blackout curtains are the way to go. However, if you only want to block out a significant amount of light, room-darkening curtains may be a better option.

Another factor to consider is the amount of privacy and security that you want. Both room darkening and blackout curtains can provide additional privacy and security, but blackout curtains may be more effective because they block out all light.

It's also important to consider the specific needs of the room where the curtains will be used. For example, if the room gets a lot of natural light, blackout curtains may be a better choice because they can block out all light. On the other hand, if the room is not particularly bright, room-darkening curtains may be sufficient. Additionally, if the room is in need of better temperature regulation, both room darkening, and blackout curtains can be effective at blocking out heat and light.

In terms of style, both room darkening and blackout curtains come in a wide variety of styles and colors, so you can choose the option that best fits your personal aesthetic.

Toddler hiding in Sleepout Portable grey blackout curtains hanging in nursery

Conclusion

The main difference between room darkening and blackout curtains is the amount of light that they are able to block out. Room darkening curtains are able to block out a significant amount of light, but may not be able to block out all light in a bright room. On the other hand, blackout curtains are able to block out all light, making them a great choice for bedrooms and other rooms where people want to sleep or relax in complete darkness.

When choosing between room darkening and blackout curtains, it's important to consider your specific needs. In our case, we discovered that putting in the effort for true 100% light-blocking capability made a MASSIVE difference in our sleep. This is often true of parents too whose children may be easily awoken in the morning. The right choice will depend on the amount of light that you want to block out, the specific needs of the room, and your personal sleep preferences. 

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