How We Rate Blackout Curtains

Last updated: March 6, 2019

Overview & Methodology

Blackout curtains are judged by 3 standards: 

  1. Blockage
  2. Material (polyester – dust mite resistant) & Safety
    1. dense material to drown out the noise
    2. Insulated material to keep the heat and cool inside (energy saver)
    3. Chemical coat to make it last longer? Is it safe?
    4. Triple-weave Fabric
  3. Insulation
    1. Layers of acrylic foam?
    2. Thermal abilities

Blockage

One of the main reasons why people purchase blackouts curtains is to prevent light from beaming in the room when they sleep. This is not just during the day, as some people live in streets where the street lights are just across their rooms.  We are not just talking about natural light here.

As we have mentioned in our previous ratings, a dark room is conducive to sleep.  A hormone in our body, when it detects light, sends a signal to our brain that it is not yet time to go to sleep.  That is what’s called a circadian rhythm. If you’re a shift worker and sleep during the day it would be difficult for you to have a restful sleep unless your room is dark.  Not only that, it can also block harmful UV rays from beaming in through your window, so when purchasing ensure that you measure up to the sides of your window.

During the day as well, most people are awake, thus there will be outdoor noise, a contributing factor to keeping you awake.  A good blackout curtain also muffles the sound from the outside. A dark and quiet room is the key to catching some much-needed rest.  

Material & Safety

Materials used for blackouts curtains should be of more quality than that of regular curtains. There are even some that have a thin layer of polyurethane foam insulation sheets in between the fabric of the curtain. Here are some guidelines that we look at when rating a blackouts curtain in terms of materials:

  • Is it made of polyester material?  Polyester is a good material due to the fact that is dust mite resistant.  Curtains are more prone to that than that of our pillows or mattresses as they are placed by the window.  If it’s dust mite resistant, it less maintenance for the owners.
  • Is it made of a dense material that can help drown out the outside noise?
  • Does it have insulating material?  Having a curtain with insulating material have a variety of advantages.  It can saves energy as it keeps the room warm during winter and cold during summer.
  • How was the material woven?  Having a triple weave fabric has 2 advantages that we see:
    • The blackout portion is already woven in the curtain.
    • Mold Resistant
    • Not prone to sun damage
  • There are also other blackout curtains that are coated with chemicals to ensure durability.  Some of those chemicals contain neurotoxins and endocrine disruptors.

Insulation

Blackout curtains don’t just block out the light, muffle outside noise.  Almost a third of home cooling & heating loss occurs through the window, using blackout curtains they are also good energy savers given that you purchase the right product.  It is also proven that blackout curtains work better than your regular blinds. Since they are a far cry from regular curtains, they have insulated linings. These linings ensure the following:

  • Heat does not radiate from the window during hot summer days.
  • Cold is concentrated in your house.
  • The warmth from the heater is concentrated in your house during winter.

This can save you up to 10% of heat/cold loss when using regular curtains or blinds.

Additional Resources

The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Read our full medical disclaimer.