Having windows in your home provides some wonderful benefits – allowing natural light to brighten interior spaces, giving views to the outside world, and opening up air flow. However, windows can also come with some disadvantages too. During the day, intense sun rays can overheat your rooms and fade furniture and floors. At night, outdoor lights and noises make their way in, disrupting sleep. And of course, those gaps around the edges of window frames allow heating and cooling to escape, driving up energy costs.
This is where high-quality insulating blackout curtains can make all the difference! Blackout curtains are designed to tackle all of those window-related problems. The thick, opaque fabrics completely block outside light to darken rooms. The dense weaves muffle and absorb noise. And the layered construction seals in conditioned indoor air for insulation. But not all blackout curtains live up to these promises equally. To choose the best ones for your home, you need to understand what makes some curtains better at insulation than others.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about picking out the most effective insulating blackout curtain panels to reduce light and noise, retain heat in winter or keep rooms cooler in summer, and save on bills. Here’s what we’ll discuss:
- The main factors that determine how well blackout curtains can insulate
- Reviews of the top insulating blackout curtains on the market
- Tips for properly installing your curtains to maximize their performance
- Answers to frequently asked questions about insulating blackout curtains
Read on to transform your rooms into dark, quiet, temperate sanctuaries with the perfect set of insulating blackout curtains!
Key Factors That Impact Blackout Curtain Insulation Abilities
Not all blackout curtains are equal when it comes to blocking light, muffling sound, and retaining heat or cool air. The construction and design details make a big difference in how effectively the curtains will insulate your windows. Here are the main factors to evaluate:
Fabric and Weave
The actual fabric the curtains are made from, along with the tightness of the weave, are critical. Heavily woven, dense fabrics like velvet, wool, thick cotton, linen, sateen, or brocade do the best job of blocking light penetration and stopping air flow. The tight weave doesn’t allow light or air to pass through the small spaces between threads. Sheer and loosely woven fabrics with big gaps between threads will allow substantially more light and air exchange with the room.
Unlined curtains made with a single panel of thick, opaque fabric still provide decent light blocking and some insulation. But lined curtains, featuring a separate full blackout lining on the backside of the main curtain fabric, offer the maximum light blocking and insulating capabilities. The lining acts as a second barrier to light and airflow.
Opt for blackout curtain panels with ** thermal or insulated linings** for even better insulation. These linings have a layer of heat-reflecting metalized film or down alternative batting sandwiched between fabric to create an insulating buffer between indoors and outdoors.
Grommets vs. Back Tabs
Curtains with grommets (small reinforced holes at the top for the curtain rod to slide through) are better at reducing heat and cooling loss. The rod fits tightly inside the grommets for a snug, gap-free fit across the top edge.
Back tabs, which are strips of fabric sewn onto the back top edge to slide onto the rod, allow more air flow and light leakage since they don’t seal as tightly. Go with grommets over back tabs when possible.
The color of the curtains impacts insulation as well. Darker colored curtains, like shades of gray, brown, navy, or black, are better light blockers. The darker pigments absorb and block more of the incoming light.
Lighter colored fabrics, like off-white, cream, or light blue allow more light to pass through and reflect indoor light out. Darker colors also absorb and retain more heat from sunlight.
Opacity vs. Transparency
This one is straightforward – opaque fabrics that you can’t see light through easily will insulate much better than translucent or semi-sheer materials that diffuse and transmit light. Opt for opaque over transparent or gauzy fabrics.
Density and Weight
Heavier, denser fabrics, measured in higher GSM (grams per square meter) or OZ (ounce per square yard), offer more insulation than lighter weight, loose weaves. They have more material packed together to create a better barrier and absorb more sound. Aim for heavier, dense curtains.
If you have larger windows, you need thicker, heavier curtains to properly cover them. A flimsy small curtain on a big window leaves more areas exposed and allows light, noise, and temperature exchange. Measure windows before buying curtains or get adjustable lengths.
Energy Efficiency Needs
Those living in very cold or hot climates need curtains with maximum insulation to reduce heating and cooling costs. Look for the thickest lined blackout curtains you can afford.
In more temperate climates, lighter blackout curtains may be sufficient if total light and climate blocking isn’t as necessary. Evaluate your needs.
In general, insulating blackout curtains cost quite a bit more than regular drapes or curtains due to the elaborate constructions. Make sure to allocate enough funds in your budget to get quality curtains that still fit within what you can reasonably afford.
While insulation and blackout abilities are the main considerations, you still want curtains that are visually appealing for your room’s decor. Make sure to get curtains in styles and colors that will coordinate with your existing furnishings and design scheme. Function and form go hand in hand!
Now that you know what specs and features to evaluate, let’s look at some of the best insulating blackout curtains available and how they compare.
Reviews of the Top 5 Insulating Blackout Curtains on the Market
Here are our picks for the top insulating blackout curtain panels that excel at blocking light, reducing noise, retaining heat in winter and keeping rooms cooler in summer.
1. Nicetown Thermal Insulated Blackout Curtains
Nicetown blackout curtains are constructed using three layers for maximum light blocking, noise reduction, and insulation.
The front polyester fabric layer is tightly woven with a matte finish to block light. The middle insulating foam layer blocks noise transmission and buffers temperatures. The back insulating blackout lining seals out light and muffles sound.
Together, these three layers create an insulating barrier between window glass and your room’s interior. The dense layers prevent outside light and noise from entering, and trap your indoor heated or cooled air.
Nicetown blackout curtains are also energy efficient and reduce heating and cooling costs. Hanging them over windows provides noticeable improvement in regulating indoor temperatures year-round.
These curtains feature durable metal grommets across the top hem to keep edges aligned and prevent light gaps for superior blackout capacity. The grommets also allow the curtains to slide and stack easily.
They are offered in a nice selection of rich neutral colors like gray, brown, beige, and rust to complement any room decor. Sizes range from small windows to large picture windows.
For the impressive three-layer insulation and noise reduction at a budget-friendly price point, Nicetown thermal blackout curtains are a great choice. The quality and performance rival much more expensive options.
2. Naturally Nestled Blackout Thermal Curtains
For superior insulation against cold and noise, Naturally Nestled Blackout curtains are an excellent pick.
They are constructed from two distinct layers- a thick and heavyweight 100% polyester front fabric and plush velveteen blackout lining.
Sandwiched between these layers is a down alternative batting that provides a super-insulating buffer between indoors and outdoors. The batting is hypoallergenic, breathable, and recycled.
Together, this creates an extremely effective thermal barrier to retain heat in colder weather and block outdoor noise. The heavyweight woven front fabric also blocks 100% of incoming light.
These blackout liner curtains are available in three versatile neutral colors – snow white, wheat, and slate gray. The colors allow them to match any room décor.
They can be purchased in all standard curtain sizes, from small to extra long panels. The reasonable price combined with top-notch construction makes them a very appealing choice.
If you want serious insulation against cold winter temperatures and noisy environments, these Naturally Nestled curtains deliver exceptional performance.
3. H.VERSAILTEX Insulated Blackout Curtains
For an affordable blackout insulating curtain option, H.VERSAILTEX curtains are a great solution.
The manufacturers utilized a triple-weave construction with three layers of fabric to maximize light blocking and thermal insulation abilities.
The polyester front panel blocks outside light. The foam middle layer dampens noise. And the backing works together with the other layers to trap indoor temperatures.
This unique three layer design creates an insulating air pocket between the window and room to contain your ideal indoor climate. Hot air stays in during winter, cool air stays in during summer.
These blackout curtains feature a rod pocket top rather than grommets. While rod pockets allow a bit more air flow, these curtains are wide and long enough to compensate. Hooks inside the pockets keep the panels perfectly aligned.
With their budget-friendly price point and triple layer construction for insulation, H.VERSAILTEX curtains offer exceptional value. They are a great option for those wanting quality sound dampening and heat retention at a reasonable cost.
They come in many stylish colors like sage green, coral red, or midnight blue to match any décor.
4. Primade Thermal Insulated Blackout Curtains
Primade insulating blackout curtains are specially engineered for maximum light blocking and heat retention thanks to their innovative design.
The outer and inner layers of tightly woven polyester prevent any light passing through. Sandwiched between these layers is insulating foam to significantly reduce outdoor noise and prevent air flow.
The back features noise dampening blackout fabric to absorb sound and give the curtains a luxurious look.
Together, the multiple heavyweight layers create outstanding insulation against cold winter air and unwanted sound. The foam also helps retain cool air inside on hot summer days.
The flat neutral colors like gray, brown, ivory, and sage allow them to blend into any room décor beautifully. You can choose from standard curtain lengths or get specialty cut-to-size panels for perfect window coverage.
Primade insulated blackout curtains deliver exceptional performance and high-end looks at very reasonable prices. If you want serious insulation at a mid-range cost, these are great curtains to invest in.
5. SHACOS Thermal Insulated Curtains
For superior insulation at affordable prices, SHACOS blackout curtains are a perfect solution.
The manufacturers designed these curtains for maximum temperature regulation using an innovative triple weave construction.
The front polyester panel is tightly woven with a beautiful velvet-like finish to completely block outside light. The middle foam layer provides thick thermal insulation. And the backing is lined with plush blackout fabric for noise absorption.
This unique three layer composition keeps your indoor climate contained – preventing cold and noise from getting in, while trapping cooled or heated indoor air.
These dense and thick curtains truly excel at insulation thanks to the heavyweight materials and smart layered construction. Many customers report noticeable improvements in indoor temperature regulation after hanging these curtains.
SHACOS thermal blackout curtains come in four classic colors like coffee brown, charcoal gray, cream, and white. They filter in soft natural light while keeping interiors insulated.
The extremely affordable prices make these high-performing curtains obtainable for any budget. If keeping heating or cooling costs down is your priority, these are fantastic insulating curtains to invest in.
Tips for Installing Blackout Curtains Correctly
To ensure your insulating blackout curtains offer the very best light blocking, noise absorption, and temperature insulation, they need to be installed properly. Follow these tips:
Use a steel measuring tape to carefully measure the exact height and width of your windows. Make sure to measure to the furthest edges of the frame.
When ordering curtains or panels, get them at least 2 inches wider and longer than those window measurements. This prevents gaps at the edges where light and air can escape.
For wide windows requiring multiple panels, measure the entire width and divide by the panel widths available to determine how many you need. Measure and purchase each panel at the proper extended length.
For curtains with grommets, install curtain rod extenders on each side, so the rod sticks out at least 4 inches beyond the window frame. This allows the curtain edges to cover the entire window area when closed without any light or air gaps.
Get Extra Wide Rods
For curtains with back tabs, purchase an extra wide rod that extends 6 inches or more past each side of the window frame. This compensates for the looser light sealing of back tabs.
Mount Rods High Enough
Install curtain rods at least 6-8 inches above the top of the window frame. This allows the long curtains to stack properly when open, and fully cover the window opening when closed. Hang the rod too low and it leaves an exposed gap.
Distribute Panels Evenly
For wide windows using multiple curtain panels, arrange the panels evenly across the curtain rod. Avoid bunching them either left or right. Evenly dispersing them helps insulation.
Pull Tightly Closed
When closing the curtains, pull the panels tight across the rod. This eliminates gaps between panels or between panels and rod where air and light can leak in. Any gaps undermine the insulation.
Seal Bottom Edges
Use velcro, magnets, or hem weights along the bottom edge of curtain panels to keep them hanging straight down and aligned. This prevents air gaps between panels or between panel bottoms and the floor.
Keep Closed When Possible
To maximize the light blocking and insulating benefits, keep your heavy blackout curtains fully closed as much as possible during the day and night.
Open them sparingly to avoid compromising their performance. Use lighter sheers if you need more daylighting.
Use a handheld vacuum with a soft brush attachment to gently remove dust from curtains about once a month. Dust buildup on the fabric fibers degrades their light blocking capacity over time.
Following these installation and use tips will ensure your insulating blackout curtains function as effectively as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions About Insulating Blackout Curtains
Here are answers to some of the most common questions about using blackout curtains for insulation and noise reduction:
Do blackout curtains really keep a room cooler in summer or warmer in winter?
Yes, high-quality insulating blackout curtains create a thermal barrier between the window glass and indoors. The thick, multi-layered heavyweight fabric absorbs heat or cold before it can transfer into the room, keeping your interior climate contained. Properly installed good blackout curtains make a noticeable difference in room temperature regulation.
How much can blackout curtains reduce noise entering my home?
It depends on the specific curtain, but the best can block 25-35 decibels of outside noise, making a significant impact in quieting your interiors. The dense, heavy fabric absorbs sound waves rather than transmitting them. Backings with foam or insulation also help dampen noise. Blocking noise makes sleep and relaxation much easier.
Can blackout curtains be cleaned if they get dusty or dirty?
Most blackout curtains can be gently washed in cold water on a delicate cycle and air dried. Always check the label first though. Vacuuming with a soft brush monthly also removes dust that may compromise curtains over time. Proper care keeps them functioning at their best.
Do blackout curtains look nice enough to use in my home?
Yes, today’s blackout curtains come in many gorgeous styles and colors that can blend beautifully into any room. Unlike old-style hefty dark curtains, modern insulating blackout curtains look light, elegant, and attractive while still functional. If you don’t like a visible liner, get curtains with unlined backs. There are attractive options for every decor taste.
Should blackout curtains fully touch the floor for the best insulation?
For maximum efficacy, insulating blackout curtains should cover the entire window length. However, leaving a small 1-2 inch gap at the bottom for air circulation can help prevent moisture buildup issues in some climates. Use panel weights or velcro strips to keep edges aligned if not touching floors. Fully covering windows is ideal, but small gaps at bottom are okay.
Lock In Comfort With the Perfect Blackout Curtains
Being able to control light, noise, and indoor temperatures in your home results in big benefits for comfort, privacy, sleep, relaxation, and energy savings. But this all hinges on selecting and using the right insulating blackout curtains.
As you have learned, all blackout curtains are not equal. To choose window curtains that will truly black out light, muffle sound, and provide insulation against heat or cold, you need to evaluate the fabrics, construction, color, and features carefully. Installing them properly so they completely seal your windows is also crucial.
We hope these reviews of the best insulating blackout curtain brands and models help point you in the right direction. And the installation tips will ensure your new curtains perform optimally.
Darkening your rooms, reducing noise distractions, and regulating home temperatures is easy with the perfect set of blackout curtains. Your indoor sanctuary awaits! Transform those pesky windows from liabilities into assets with the ideal insulating blackout curtains.