Whether you’ve recently moved into a new home or you’re just trying to get a little more privacy from those neighbors across the street, we can all agree that the right window treatment can make a huge difference on the day-to-day. Some window treatments can even save you up to 25% on your energy bill.

However, with so many options on the market, how do you decide on the right one for your space? We created a guide to walk you through the difference between shades vs. blinds to help you make the most informed decision possible. Let’s dive in.

What’s the Difference Between Blinds vs. Shades?

White Roller shades pulled halfway down in a living room full of natural light and wood floors

So, what’s the difference between blinds and shades? The short answer is that blinds have slats that can be tilted opened or closed. Shades, on the other hand, are constructed from a singular piece of fabric that can be pulled up or down.

How to Decide Between Shades vs. Blinds

Both shades and blinds provide excellent privacy and protection from the sun. To make the decision between the two, most people take aesthetics, price point, and how they prefer to control the amount of light in their space under consideration.

Many prefer shades for the variety of available styles. Shades are available with operating systems like top down/bottom up, cordless, and motorization. In terms of fabrics there are fabrics that block light, filter light and even side track systems that provide next level room darkening. . A key reason so many people choose shades is because they practically disappear when raised and they are also excellent at insulating homes from heat or cold.

Blinds are preferred by some for their often lower price point and ability to twist open and close. The ability to twist open and close means that you are able to look out of the blind without having to raise or lower it which many people appreciate.

To make the choice between the two, it’s important to know what your options are. Since we focus on shades here at EcoSmart Shades, we’ll walk you through the types available for purchase.

Types of Shades

One advantage to purchasing shades is that they’re highly customizable based on your needs and preferences. We broke our offerings down into three categories that can be mixed and matched based on your needs. For example, many cellular shades are motorized and built with blackout fabric. However, others might prefer roller shades that are chain-operated and made from a more transparent light filtering fabric. It’s all about what you prefer!

Cellular Shades vs. Roller Shades

Cellular shades are constructed from fabric cells that expand and contract as the shade is raised and lowered. Also referred to as “honeycomb shades” for their cell-like structure, this style of shade provides privacy while trapping air in each of its cells– insulating your home throughout the year. 

Roller shades on the other hand are constructed from a piece of fabric that can be easily rolled up or pulled down. Roller shades don’t offer the same level of insulation as cell shades, but they work well for blocking UV rays and preventing heat absorption in the warmer months. Roller shades are designed to reduce heat gain while preserving your view. 

Read more about the difference between cellular shades and roller shades.

Corded vs. Motorized vs. Top Down/Bottom Up

Corded shades are beloved for their unique ability to bring style and function together. Their continuous corded loop and internal pulley system allow for the shade to be easily raised and lowered, depending on your preference.

Many choose to add motorization to their shades using either a plug-in power supply or rechargeable battery pack. These shades can be controlled using a remote or our optional WiFi hub.  

The Top down/Bottom up style of shade makes it easy to move your shades to your preferred position. These shades can be raised from the bottom or lowered from the top so that you have complete control over your shade’s positioning. Lowering from the top down allows you to have natural light while maintaining privacy.

Blackout vs Light Filtering Shades

White light filtering cellular shades in a bedroom window

For many, it’s important to have the ability to completely block light from a specific room. If this is your desired preference, blackout shades are sure to deliver. These shades are a popular choice for bedrooms, and are a stylish and highly insulating addition to any space. 

For those looking to reduce sunlight to a soft glow, light filtering shades are your best bet. These shades diffuse sunlight evenly throughout the room, reducing intense light and the glare that often comes with it.

Blinds vs. Shades: Still need help choosing? 

Before taking the leap and ordering a product you think you’ll like, consider your needs in each space. This may differ depending on the room you’re shopping for. If you’re looking to block light in your bedroom, blackout shades are most likely your best bet. However, if you’re simply looking for added privacy in your living room, you may want to consider light-filtering cellular shades.

If you’re curious about our variety of shades available, give us a call and one of our shade gurus can help you find the best option for your home. If you think you’ve found the style you’re looking for, be sure to order free fabric samples to make sure you love it.