If you’re shopping for new window coverings, you probably have both fashion and function in mind. You want window coverings that will elevate your home’s style – but you also want them to keep your home well-insulated, full of natural light, and protected from any prying eyes. Depending on your needs, your choice of window coverings will likely come down to blinds and shades. But what’s the difference between blinds and shades, really? Read on to find out which type of window covering is best for your needs.
The Difference Between Blinds and Shades
What Are Blinds?
Window coverings are typically divided into two categories: “hard” coverings and “soft” coverings. Blinds fall into the former category. Take a look at a set of blinds, and it’s easy to see why they’re considered “hard” coverings. Blinds are composed of slats that are stacked, either horizontally or vertically, and controlled by a manual pull cord. Remember those dusty old metal slats that covered your dorm room window during your college days? Chances are, they were blinds. Fortunately, the market has come a long way, and there are a wide variety of stylish blinds to match any home aesthetic.
What Are Shades?
Shades don’t have slats and are often made of fabric, which is why they fall into the “soft” category. While blinds have slats, shades are typically made of one continuous roll – almost like a rug – and can be drawn up or down. Shades offer a smooth, flowing look, and customers can choose different levels of fabric opacity depending on their preferences.
The Difference Between Blinds and Shades: Light Control
“Hard” and “soft” materials aside, light control is the biggest difference between blinds and shades. You can open and close blinds whenever you like, allowing more light to filter into your home at certain times of the day. And while you can certainly raise your shades, they don’t allow as much variation in light control as you’ll get with blinds. Overall, shades are better at gently diffusing light for a warm look. They’re also an excellent option if you want to completely black out a room like a home movie theater, which might benefit from total darkness.
The Difference Between Blinds and Shades: Maintenance
Think back to those dusty blinds from your college dorm room. Blinds tend to gather dust a bit more quickly than shades, creating slightly more maintenance work. Of course, shades aren’t immune to dirt and dust, but they’re easily spot-cleaned or even vacuumed depending on their placement. Either way, you won’t have to spend too much time cleaning your window treatments regardless of your choice.
The Difference Between Blinds and Shades: Insulation
If you live in an area with hot summers, you know the value of effective window insulation. A thick Roman shade can block the sun’s rays, keeping your shaded room significantly cooler than a room exposed to full sunlight. Shades can also help hold warm air inside during the wintry months, helping to reduce your energy bills. While blinds provide some degree of insulation, they can’t provide quite as much as shades.
Now that we’ve explored the difference between blinds and shades, how will you decide which option is the best for your home? Check out the full selection of products at American Window Company. Our team of experts can help you locate the ideal window covering for your needs. We offer a vast assortment of products, including shutters, blinds, and shades. Plus, we offer cordless and motorized products for your convenience.
Are you in need of high-quality window coverings? Check out American Window Company. Since 1999, we have offered an extensive collection of high-quality windows, doors, shutters, blinds, and more. We are a small, family-owned business that is committed to providing excellent workmanship and on-time installation. In addition, we are properly licensed and insured to protect our employees and provide our customers with peace of mind. For a free estimate or more information about our products and services, please contact us today.