The Pros and Cons of Different Types of Blinds
From horizontal and vertical blinds to roman and roller shades, there are so many different types of blinds. We all love options, but too many options and suddenly shopping feels like a chore. And that's not what we're about.
It's time to put the fun back in functional living space. We're going to help you narrow down the options and find a style that offers the functionality you need. Here's a look at the different types of blinds and the pros and cons of each.
5 Different Types of Blinds and Their Features
There's a reason there are so many different types of window blinds: Each style offers different light control and functionality. Here, we'll provide an overview of the five main types of blinds, including the options and features offered by each style, and the pros and cons of choosing one over the other.
1. Horizontal Blinds
Horizontal blinds are also called venetian blinds. They're made with horizontal slats that hang from a headrail by a cord. The headrail is a metal box that makes up the top part of the blinds. It houses the mechanisms that open and close the blinds. Wood and faux wood venetians often come with a decorative valance that's the same colour as the slats and covers the headrail.
Horizontal blinds feature two cords: a tilt cord and a raise cord. You can angle the slats with the tilt cord to let light in or to direct the light up or down. You can also raise the horizontal slats to any level. As you raise the slats, they pull up toward the top of the window.
Horizontal blinds are available in wooden blinds made from natural wood, faux wooden blinds made from PVC or metal blinds made from aluminium. They also come in different slat widths, ranging from 25-millimetre aluminium mini blinds to 50-millimetre wood or faux wood blinds. Wider slats block out more light.
Wood and faux wood blinds are a popular choice for living rooms and dining rooms, where you can appreciate their elegant style, while aluminium venetian blinds are perfect for conservatories because they won't warp in the heat.
Pros: Horizontal blinds offer the best light control of any blind and are available in a range of styles, colours and slat widths.
Cons: While these blinds can block up to 95% of the light, they are not blackout blinds and won't provide total darkness in a bedroom. Also, this is one of the more difficult types of blinds to clean because you have to wipe down each slat individually.
2. Roller Blinds
Roller blinds, also called roller shades, are made from a single panel of fabric that rolls down from a top bar. They also feature a weighted bottom bar that ensures the blind doesn't blow around when it's closed.
Because these blinds are made of fabric, they're available in a lot of colour options and in whimsical prints. You can find roller blinds made from blackout fabric, light-filtering voile fabrics and two-layer day-and-night fabrics.
If you opt for day-and-night blinds, you'll have more control over the amount of light in your room. The light control you get from a day-and-night roller blind is similar to what you'd experience with horizontal blinds. When the two layers of fabric line up, light is able to filter in through the sheer mesh part of the fabric. When you pull the blinds so the fabric layers aren't aligned, the solid portions of the fabric stack up to block out light.
With blackout or voile roller blinds, your only light control options will be raising or lowering the blinds.
Pros: This window treatment offers lots of styling options, from colours and prints to different fabrics. You can choose between blackout or light-filtering fabrics, and many roller blinds wipe clean, making them easy to care for.
Cons: Even day-and-night roller blinds don't offer as much light control as horizontal blinds because you can't angle them to direct light around your room.
3. Roman Blinds
Roman blinds, or roman shades, are one of the most luxurious window coverings. They're made from decorative fabric with horizontal stiffener rods sewn into the back in several places. The stiffener rods allow the blinds to fold neatly up toward the top of the window when opened. When closed, these blinds lay flat as one smooth piece of fabric.
This elegant window treatment is available in a variety of fabrics, from a faux silk to a rustic weave. You can also find beautiful colours and designer prints. There are multiple fabric linings to choose from, including light-filtering, blackout and thermal linings. In winter, a thermal lining can increase the energy efficiency of your windows and reduce your electric bill.
Pros: These blinds look expensive, but if you opt for a thermal lining, they can actually save you money in the long run. They’re also endlessly customisable since they come in a variety of fabrics, colours, prints and linings.
Cons: Roman blinds don't offer a lot of light control — your only choice will be to open or close the blinds. This window treatment also requires a bigger upfront investment than many of the other blinds on this list, and depending on the fabric you choose, it can be harder to care for. Many fabrics are spot clean only.
4. Perfect Fit Blinds
Perfect Fit Blinds are actually available in many different types of blinds. The one thing they have in common: They attach directly to your window or door, not your window frame. They also sit flush against the glass. Even when you open or close your window or door, these blinds remain flat against the glass from top to bottom — with no dangling or banging about. This makes Perfect Fit blinds a popular choice for patio doors or windows that tilt open.
You can find Perfect Fit blinds in wooden, faux wooden or aluminium venetians, which will have the same features that we discussed in the horizontal blinds section above but with the added benefit of attaching directly to the window.
Perfect Fit blinds are also available in pleated shades or cellular shades. These options are pleated into a honeycomb shape. The pleats fold up flat as you raise the blinds and expand out into that honeycomb shape as you lower them.
Pleated blinds are available with light-filtering, blackout or thermal linings. Just like on roman blinds, the thermal lining on pleated blinds provides better energy efficiency.
Pros: Perfect Fit blinds won't bang about when you open and close your patio doors, and they won't dangle from windows that tilt to open. They're available in a few different types of blinds and with different lining and light control options.
Cons: If you opt for venetian blinds, you won't get total room darkening like you will with honeycomb blinds. But if you opt for honeycomb blinds, you won't be able to angle and direct the light into your room.
5. Vertical Blinds
Vertical blinds are made from vertical vanes rather than horizontal slats. The vanes are weighted and linked together at the bottom to keep them in position. They hang from a headrail and slide open to the left or right rather than opening from the bottom to the top of the window like the other types of blinds on this list.
Similar to horizontal blinds, vertical blinds allow you to angle the vanes and direct the light around your room. Instead of directing the light up or down, these blinds will direct the light toward the left or right of the room.
Vertical blinds are the best option for large windows since you can order them up to 400 centimetres wide. With any of the other options on this list, you'd need to hang multiple panels of blinds side by side to cover a window that large.
Vertical blinds come in a variety of colours to match any decor and are available with a blackout lining.
Pros: This window covering provides exceptional light control, giving you the ability to direct light around your room and enjoy total darkness with a blackout lining. It's also the best option for large windows with a width of up to 400 centimetres.
Cons: Vertical blinds can be difficult to clean because you'll have to wipe down each vane individually.
Love All Your Options
When you understand your options, it's easy to narrow down the different types of blinds and choose the one that's right for you. Then, you can move on to the fun part — styling.
Browse our selection of made-to-measure blinds to find the colours, materials and patterns you love. Then, order free samples so you can see how different types of blinds will look in your living space.