The Best Blackout Curtains for the Bedroom

Searching for the most effective room-darkening drapes? Start with our guide to the key considerations to bear in mind—and don't miss our top picks!

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The Best Blackout Curtains

Photo: istockphoto.com

Blackout curtains do more than just block out natural light. Top-quality blackout curtains also filter out some noise pollution (another disruption to your body’s natural rhythms) and promote energy savings. Ahead, learn what to look for when selecting curtain panels and why we consider the below to be among the best blackout curtains available.

  1. BEST OVERALL: PONY DANCE Blackout Window Curtains
  2. BEST VALUE: Eclipse Blackout Curtain for Bedrooms
  3. BEST FOR LARGE WINDOWS: NICETOWN Grommet Top Blackout Curtain
The Best Blackout Curtains

Photo: amazon.com

Choosing the Best Blackout Curtains

Blackout curtains come in a range of fabrics, styles, and colors to suit any bedroom, home office, and living room. As you compare options, focus on the following considerations.

Size

Most blackout curtains come in standard widths (42 or 52 inches per panel) and a range of lengths. However, you can find blackout curtains in extra-small and extra-large widths and lengths, depending on your window’s shape and size and the rod you choose to install with it. Follow these tips to maximize light-blocking effectiveness:

  • First, raise your curtain rod above the window so no light can seep in from above.
  • Similarly, extend the rod two to three inches on either side of the window frame. You can choose to use wraparound rods, which connect the ends of rods to the wall, to block even more light from entering.
  • Then, once the rod is installed, measure from the top of the rod to the bottom of the window frame—or floor, depending on how far you want your curtains to extend.

Style

The two most common styles for blackout curtains differ in how they hang: grommets versus a rod pocket.

  • Rod pockets allow the fabric to slip directly over the curtain rod, preventing more light from entering your room. This tends to have a classic, sleek finish.
  • Grommets often feature wide holes for curtain rods to pass through. With this style, it’s extra important to position the rod high enough on the wall so that the grommet holes do not hang over the window and let in light. These metal accents, however, are favored for a slightly more modern, contemporary touch they bring to the windows.

Some blackout curtains also feature a weighted bottom hem or magnetic strip to further seal off any light seepage. If you choose this, install these curtains according to brand instructions, making sure the magnetic strip is not visible when curtains are drawn back.

Opacity

With blackout curtains, pay attention to the material, color, and the denseness of the weave—all affect the curtain’s ability to keep light out. Manufacturers often specify the percentage of light blocked out by a curtain. A higher number isn’t necessarily always better. In bedrooms, for instance, it’s usually best for blackout curtains to block between 85 and 98 percent of light—not 100 percent—because a small amount of ambient light helps to navigate the room in the dark.

Bear in mind also that curtain opacity is dependent on how much light is entering your home, whether it is natural or artificial, and whether it shines directly into your room. If you want to get as close to 100 percent light reduction as possible, aim for black or darker fabric. While lighter fabrics can still block out a significant portion of light, black absorbs heat, light, and sound better.

The Best Blackout Curtains

Best Overall

The Best Blackout Curtains Option: PONY DANCE Blackout Window Curtains
Photo: amazon.com

For sleek and effective blackout curtains, look no further than this set from PONY DANCE. Its polyester panels come in three standard sizes (52-inch by 45-inch, 52-inch by 54-inch, and 52-inch by 72-inch) and 10 classic colors. Though the spectrum ranges from black to pure white, the manufacturer recommends darker shades for the best light-blocking power. On those, you can expect 85 to 95 percent light blockage and a significant decrease in ambient noise, too. The rod pocket installation is versatile, so you can hang the curtain directly on the rod or use your own curtain clips.

Best Value

The Best Blackout Curtains Option: Eclipse Blackout Curtain for Bedrooms
Photo: amazon.com

The industry leader’s curtains are constructed with Thermaback Technology, a special foam coating that increases insulation to block both light and sound. At Eclipse’s Blackout level, this particular set is designed to block 98 to 99 percent of light—and 40 percent of noise—from entering your room. This opacity level is ideal for bedrooms, where you need enough darkness to sleep but not so much that you can’t navigate around obstacles at night. Choose from five rich colors and three lengths: 42-inch by 63-inch, 42-inch by 84-inch, and 42-inch by 95-inch. Reinforced metal grommets provide easy installation.

Best for Large Windows

The Best Blackout Curtains Option: NICETOWN Grommet Top Blackout Curtain
Photo: amazon.com

Sliding patio doors and large picture windows can finally achieve some privacy thanks to the extra-large panels offered by NICETOWN. Yes, this blackout curtain panel comes in six sizes, from 52-inch by 63-inch all the way to 100-inch by 108-inch. The fabric itself is triple-weave polyester, blocking up to 95 percent of outside light sources. The silver grommets allow easy installation, while its 14 bold colors offer plenty of options to match—or add contrast to—your living space.