The Best Types of Blackout Curtains for Better Baby Sleep: A Comprehensive Guide

Blackout curtains have benefits for all ages, but the biggest benefit is better sleep. Most people use blackout curtains to avoid light, which can help regulate sleep patterns and help you get higher quality sleep with less external stimulation. Still, that’s not the only reason why blackout curtains are great. Energy efficiency, noise reduction, and enhanced privacy are just some reasons why blackout curtains are a staple in so many households.

They’re also amazing for babies. 

Are you struggling to get your little one to sleep during the day? Blackout curtains can be a game-changer for creating a dark and soothing environment for naps and nighttime sleep, making them a lifesaver for parents everywhere. In this post, we'll go over the top blackout curtains on the market and provide a comprehensive guide for choosing the best option for your baby's bedroom.

Mom holding baby hanging Sleepout Portable blackout curtains in nursery window

Why are blackout curtains important for baby sleep?

Babies and young children need a dark and quiet environment in order to get the restful sleep they need to grow and develop. Sunlight and outside noise can disrupt their sleep and lead to poor quality rest; blackout curtains solve this by blocking out light and noise (and sometimes regulate temperature), creating a peaceful sleep environment for your little one.

Think about your own ideal sleep environment: probably quiet, cool, and (mostly) dark, right? Babies are no different, except that their bodies (and sleep schedules) are even more delicate, making blackout curtains even more important for them. 

Sleepout Portable flat lay on white nursery rug

Types of blackout curtains

Thermal Insulated blackout curtains: These curtains are lined with insulation, and designed to keep heat in during the winter and out during the summer, making them energy-efficient and cost-effective.

Grommet blackout curtains: These curtains feature metal grommets along the top, which make them easy to install and adjust.

Think like a shower curtain. These are easy to adjust, but the metal grommets along the top also mean holes, which add opportunities for light leaks to affect your sleep; not ideal when looking for a blackout curtain.

Tab-top blackout curtains: These curtains have loops of fabric along the top, which can be easily hooked onto a curtain rod. Some Portable blackout curtains (like ours!) also have tab-tops that lay over the top of window glass and overlap with the windowsill, to serve a similar purpose.

Rod-pocket blackout curtains: These curtains have a pocket along the top, which can be easily slipped over a curtain rod.

Baby playing with Sleepout Portable blackout curtain in white bright nursery

How do I find the right blackout curtains for my family?

Size is one of the most important factors – after all, a blackout curtain would be useless if it didn’t fit your windows. There’s also color and fabric to consider. 100% blackout fabric seems like a no-brainer, but it’s surprisingly hard to find (and very expensive when you can). Finally, checking out the materials is super important for products that will be in your little’s rooms. Keep an eye out for harsh chemical treatments, or toxins that might off-gas into your home as the curtain is exposed to the sun. Speaking of sun, there’s also thermal insulation to consider. 

This is a lot to take in, but luckily, Sleepout curtains cover all of these bases. Let’s chat about the options: Sleepout Portable, and Sleepout Home.

The size of the curtain

Sleepout Portable was made to be travel-friendly, but we still wanted to make sure that our panels would fit all kinds of windows. Each curtain measures 52” x 76" (about 4.5 x 6.5 feet). Sleepout Home is a bit different – because it’s being used with a curtain rod (so it can’t be moved), we wanted to give the panels more length. 

Sleepout Home Blackout Panels are each 50" x 84" (127 cm x 212 cm), and the Sleepout Rod is adjustable and measures from 48" to 84" (122 cm x 212 cm), depending on how long you need it to be for your window.

The size of the curtain is important, but it isn’t everything: construction also plays a role in how well a curtain will work for you. Sleepout Portable and Sleepout Home both have tab-tops, which help stop light leaks at the top of any window. For Sleepout Portable, you can tuck the tab-top underneath your windowsill for a tight seal, or lay it over the top of the window for the same effect. Sleepout Home’s tab-top is great for tucking over the curtain rod to block all the light. 

Sleepout Portable doesn’t have a curtain rod, but Sleepout Home does—it also has a rod-pocket! We tested a bunch of curtain rod solutions, but we found this to be the best by a long shot. No holes to create light leaks means that you get a true 100% blackout effect. That’s what you’re paying for, after all! A rod pocket is great because it can also fit multiple curtain rods, which is especially useful if your home came with curtains already installed. 

Blackout fabric

Blocking light not only helps babies sleep longer, but also improves the quality of their sleep – and ours. REM sleep, the deepest sleep we get during our sleep cycle, only happens after already being asleep for some time, but it’s a crucial part of feeling well-rested. Sleep disturbances (like sunlight) might not always wake a baby up right away, but even if we don’t see it, they still have an effect on sleep quality. The problem is, most “blackout” curtains are not truly blackout, they are made with woven fabric that only blocks 75-90% of light. Both of our curtains are made from ecru cotton flocking, and soft microfibre finish. Sleepout Portable is a beautiful sterling grey. Sleepout Home is available in a darker, charcoal grey and a white cream – yes, you can totally have blackout curtains in light colors!

Unlike most other “blackout” curtains, our fabric is also 100% blackout for the best possible darkening effect. To prove it, we put typical blackout curtain fabric to the test with a 10,000-lux light therapy lamp. It took 3 layers of blackout curtains to match the Sleepout Curtain's 100% blackout fabric.

Materials

You’ll find zero toxins here. All of our products (including our curtains) are OEKO-TEX®, SGS®, and Greenguard® certified, which means they are high quality, non-toxic, and free from harmful substances. Our suction cups are also BPA-free. Quality and safety were our top priorities when creating our products, and we’re proud to say that all of our products meet the most stringent safety and quality standards.

Thermal Insulation

Both of our curtains are thermal insulating thanks to Thermaguard™ technology, meaning that they keep outside elements out. Preserve your cool air in the summer and your heat in the winter without cranking the thermostat, and save money and energy in the process! As a bonus, they’ll also block sound from outside, which means you won’t have to worry about your neighbor’s lawn mower (or snow blower, depending on the season).

Thermal insulation is especially important for baby’s sleep cycles. Maintaining a consistent and comfortable temperature will help babies sleep for longer stretches of time, and even all the way through the night. Babies have a difficult time regulating their body temperature on their own, so it's important to keep the room at a comfortable level that is not too hot or cold. A temperature between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit is generally recommended for babies while they sleep, so using blackout curtains can help maintain that temperature without fighting the elements, and spending a fortune on heating and cooling to do it.

Mom holding toddler hanging Sleepout Portable blackout curtain in nursery

What will work for you?

Ultimately, the perfect curtain for you depends a lot on your unique situation and preferences. It can be overwhelming to know where to start, what to look for, or even figuring out what “blackout” really means – will it really black out my room? My baby’s room? We’ve heard from thousands of people that our blackout curtains really do help them sleep better – from parents to shift workers, we help people sleep better every day. Because when baby sleeps better, so do you.

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