Blinds add convenience and comfort to a home. The best blinds can control light, add privacy, and improve sleep. They can also lower a home’s energy usage by adding a layer of insulation in front of a drafty window. Some even work with a smart-home system, allowing users to adjust them with the touch of a screen or the sound of a voice.
With so many options on the market, it can be tough to compare them all and confidently select just one. Use this guide to learn about important details like style, sunlight-blocking capability, safety, installation methods, and fit to help choose the best blinds for windows for your home.
- BEST OVERALL: Home Decorators Collection Room Darkening Blind
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Bali Blinds 1-Inch Cordless Vinyl Blind
- BEST LUXURY: Pottery Barn Custom Emery Roman Blackout Shade
- BEST MOTORIZED: Custom Home Collection Designer 2-Inch Wood Blinds
- BEST BLACKOUT: Symple Stuff Insulating Cordless Blackout Roman Shade
- BEST PULL-DOWN: Levolor Light Filtering Cellular Shades
- BEST VERTICAL: Blinds.com Vinyl Vertical Blinds
- BEST FOR SLIDING DOOR: GoDear Design Deluxe Sliding Panel Blind
- BEST FOR LARGE ROOMS: Levolor 2-Inch Real Wood Blinds
- BEST FOR BEDROOMS: Bali Blackout Cellular Shades
How We Chose the Best Blinds
Putting together a list of some of the best blinds on the market was no small task. We spent hours doing extensive product research, comparing products based on features, materials, price point, and more.
It was important to offer the best blind choices for each respective category, so we organized the top products by type or feature. Overall, we decided to include room-darkening blinds, blackout shades, venetian blinds, and more to provide ample options for any shopper’s preference.
Then we compared the value and materials, as well as the styling, colorways, and sizes available. For example, some of the blinds included on this list come with customizable or wide size ranges, up to 200 colorways, and materials like real or faux wood, PVC, aluminum, and linen depending upon the desired look and functionality. With those areas covered, we were able to put together this guide to some of the best blinds available today.
Our Top Picks
The following list includes some of the best blinds on the market; there is an option for almost any window. Just be sure to keep the top considerations in mind when comparing these products.
Anyone looking for a reasonably priced product to regulate light but still add a bit of a stylish flair may want to check out Home Decorators Collection room-darkening blinds. These white venetian-style blinds have 2-inch-wide faux-wood slats and feature a cordless design for safety in homes with kids and pets. To adjust the slats, simply twist the wand.
These blinds come in several sizes between 9 and 72 inches wide in 0.25-inch increments. They’re available in lengths of 36, 48, 54, 64, 72, and 84 inches. Necessary brackets for installing within the window frame are included, as is an attractive valance, though brackets for installing outside the window frame are extra.
- Type: Venetian
- Size: Lengths: 36, 48, 54, 64, 72, and 84 inches; widths between 9 and 72 inches
- Blackout: No, room darkening
- Colorways: White
- Cordless venetian-style blinds are suitable for homes with children and pets; nothing to get tangled or snag
- White faux-wood slats provide a simply pleasing aesthetic that looks nice with a host of decor styles
- The 2-inch-wide slats adjust easily to keep light in or out, per user preference
- Necessary brackets for in-frame installation and a sleek valance are included
- Standard in-frame brackets only; may not be suitable for installation in some homes
- Any side-mount brackets may need to be purchased separately
Get the Home Decorators blinds at The Home Depot.
Renters, college students, and other temporary residents who don’t want to break the bank on blinds might wish to consider Bali Blinds vinyl cordless blind. These PVC blinds come in several sizes, including 64 inches long by 27, 29, 31, or 36 inches wide. They come in white and offer an unobtrusive modern look.
These inexpensive window blinds provide privacy with a simple, effective design, relying on a cordless height adjustment and a wand for adjusting slat angle. Mounting hardware to install the blinds on the inside or outside of a window frame is included.
- Type: Venetian
- Size: 64 inches long by 27, 29, 31, or 36 inches wide
- Blackout: No
- Colorways: White
- Multiple sizes available to suit a variety of windows
- An affordable option for renters and other temporary residents
- Cordless design for safety; suitable for homes with children and pets
- Easy to install; can be mounted inside or outside the frame
- Only available in white; may not suit some users’ tastes
Get the Bali vinyl blinds at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Lowe’s.
Window coverings can add real style to a space, so those looking for a luxe appearance as well as privacy might find Pottery Barn’s Custom Emery Roman blackout shade the way to go. These fabric shades are an upscale blend of 73 percent linen and 27 percent cotton, and they’re available in six subtle colors: oatmeal, gray, ivory, navy, walnut, and white. They come in widths between 20 and 50 inches, in 1-inch increments. Lengths include 48, 66, and 84 inches.
Beyond the good looks, these shades block out sunlight for light control, and the cordless system makes them safe for homes with kids and pets. Mounting hardware for installing inside or outside the frame is included. Keep in mind that these window blinds are spot clean only.
- Type: Roman shade
- Size: Lengths include 48, 66, and 84 inches; widths between 20 and 50 inches
- Blackout: Yes
- Colorways: Oatmeal, gray, ivory, navy, walnut, white
- Attractive linen texture adds a touch of luxury to a space
- Color options—oatmeal, gray, ivory, navy, walnut, and white—are subtle yet stylish
- Cordless design is safe for homes with pets and kids; won’t snag or catch on anything
- Blocks sunlight and harmful UV rays from penetrating through the window
- Cotton-linen fabric can only be spot cleaned; cannot be laundered or dry cleaned
Get the Pottery Barn blinds at Pottery Barn.
Motorized blinds offer true convenience, whether for hard-to-reach-windows or simply the luxury of adjusting light and privacy from the comfort of an easy chair. Custom Home Collection Designer’s 2-inch wood blinds fill the bill via a motorized system that lifts, lowers, and tilts the blinds with a handy remote control. These blinds work on battery power or can be plugged into a wall outlet for user flexibility.
Though motorization is a pricey feature, these window blinds are relatively affordable considering that the slats are made of real wood. And with dozens of colorways available, there are plenty of options to suit a host of decor styles. For further versatility, the blinds also offer a variety of valence styles.
- Type: Motorized venetian
- Size: Lengths between 12 and 120 inches; widths between 9 and 120 inches
- Blackout: No
- Colorways: Dozens
- Available with a motorized lift system for hands-free use
- Many different colorways offered to suit a host of different decor styles
- Size can be completely customized to suit any window space
Get the Custom Home Collection blinds at The Home Depot.
Blackout shades with added insulation like this Symple Stuff option are a boon to those who sleep during the day and/or need a bit of help maintaining room temperature. This insulating cordless blackout Roman shade is made of 100 percent cotton with large honeycombed cells to trap air and light, making most rooms more comfortable.
These Roman shades feature a cordless design for convenience and safety in homes with pets and kids. They come in seven colors, including chocolate, gray, ivory, khaki, light gray, navy, and white. To suit a variety of window sizes, the shade is available in widths between 20 and 72 inches in 1-inch increments; however, the only option for length is 72 inches.
- Type: Roman shade
- Size: Length of only 72 inches; widths between 20 and 72 inches
- Blackout: Yes
- Colorways: Chocolate, gray, ivory, khaki, light gray, navy, white
- Cotton fabric with honeycomb cells to keep sunlight and drafts at bay
- Neutral colors available—including white, chocolate, gray, light gray, ivory, and khaki—to suit a host of decor styles
- Cordless design for safety; suitable for homes with children and pets
- Only available in 1 length; may not fit in some window spaces
Get the Symple Stuff blinds at Wayfair.
Anyone who prefers a pull-down blind might want to give Levolor’s light-filtering cellular shades a look. The top-down, bottom-up design lets users lower the upper portion of the shade or raise the bottom to regulate light and privacy. These shades allow sunlight in to illuminate a room while the honeycomb design helps keep cold air outside.
For incomparable flexibility, these shades are available in more than 350 colors and cell sizes as well as overall sizes ranging from 6 to 144 inches wide and long. This level of customization should allow most users to find the right size, color, and amount of filtering for their needs. They’re also available in both cordless and cord-loop designs, depending on the size and weight of the fabric chosen.
- Type: Pleated honeycomb
- Size: Lengths and widths between 6 to 144 inches wide, 0.125-inch increments
- Blackout: No; light filtering
- Colorways: More than 350 options
- More than 350 color and cell size options offered for ample customization
- Top-down/bottom up design allows light to enter from below or above
- Available in both cordless and cord-loop designs depending on user preference
- A small gap at the top of the blind may not keep out all sunlight
Get the Levolor light-filtering blinds at The Home Depot or Wayfair.
Sleek looking and less dust prone than horizontal blinds, the Blinds.com vinyl vertical blinds are a popular pick. They feature 3.5-inch vinyl slats and a durable aluminum track for ease of use and minimal maintenance. They’re available in more than 50 colors and finishes, allowing shoppers ample options to suit their style.
These blinds are customizable as well to open left to right, right to left, or split in the middle. While the standard opening mechanism includes a chain, shoppers can upgrade to a wand for improved safety in homes with children and pets. Valances, wands, smooth finishes, and embossed colors are available at an additional cost.
- Type: Vertical
- Size: Length from 9 to 108 inches; width from 6 to 120 inches
- Blackout: No
- Colorways: More than 50
- Low maintenance; vertical design is less prone to collecting dust than horizontal blinds
- Users can choose between chain or wand operation, depending on household
- More than 50 colors available, including white, ivory, gray, blue, green, tan, black, brown, and even a mirrored option
- Valances and wands are available but cost extra
Get the Blinds.com blinds at Blinds.com.
If a sliding door lacks privacy and vertical blinds don’t meet the room’s style needs, check out the GoDear Design deluxe sliding panel blinds. They use a polyester-and-paper-blend fabric that installers can cut to any height, so they’ll work on patio doors or large windows. These blinds filter light but don’t block it altogether, so they’re well suited for providing privacy without making the room overly dark.
They feature adjustable tracks that will fit a range of widths. While they don’t twist open like vertical blinds, they do have two wands so the user can pull the panels to either side of a doorway. They are also cordless, so they’re a safe choice for homes with kids and pets. Several different patterns and earthy colors, including marble, mica, pecan, and twisted roll, are available.
- Type: Vertical
- Size: 1 height of 96 inches; adjustable between 48.8 and 86 inches wide
- Blackout: No
- Colorways: Marble, mica, pecan, twisted roll
- Nontraditional approach to vertical blinds ideal for sliding doors
- Provides ample privacy without making the room too dark; light and dark colorways offered for additional customization
- Panels can be cut easily to fit; track adjusts for user-friendliness
- Slats don’t twist open; may be tricky for some users to handle
Get the GoDear Design blinds at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Lowe’s.
For large offices, bedrooms, and living rooms, the Levolor 2-inch real wood blinds are a worthy choice. The authentic hardwood blinds come in sizes ranging from 10- to 120-inch lengths and 7- to 144-inch widths as well as 56 neutral and colorful finishes to suit the decor of virtually any space.
These custom blinds come with either a traditional or contemporary valance. Optional routeless privacy slats and cloth tapes add an additional level of privacy and protection from harmful UV rays. There’s also an optional motorized tilt feature users adjust with a handy remote control.
- Type: Horizontal
- Size: Adjustable between 10 to 120 inches long and 7 to 144 inches wide
- Blackout: No
- Colorways: 56
- Comes in small and large sizes; largest option is 120 inches long by 144 inches wide
- Over 56 neutral and bright colors and finishes available
- Users can choose between traditional or contemporary valance options
- Multiple features can be added; motorized operation, routeless privacy slats, and cloth tapes
- No blackout capabilities; may not keep out as much light as other options
- Some users report trouble using the wand; may get stuck from time to time
Get the Levolor wood blinds at The Home Depot, Lowe’s, or Blinds.com.
For those who have large windows in their bedroom, the Bali blackout cellular shades can provide ample UV protection and insulation. These cordless, spun-lace blinds boast aluminum head and bottom rails for ease of installation and long-term durability. Plus, for homes with children and pets, the cord lock and stop tassel prevent tangling or breakage.
These custom blinds are made with either double- or single-cell fabric for full blackout capabilities, bringing maximum privacy and darkness to a room used for sleeping. For added user-friendliness, these shades come in numerous sizes for virtually any size window.
Bali also includes hold-down hardware to keep the shades in place as well as a continuous cord loop for larger shades to operate smoothly. There are colors galore available to suit any bedroom’s decor scheme, and a motorized option is available if preferred for hands-free operation.
- Type: Horizontal
- Size: Customizable sizes, with both length and width ranging between 9 and 144 inches
- Blackout: Yes
- Colorways: Over 250
- Provides UV protection and insulation for keeping out the sun and heat
- Available in double- or single-cell fabrics depending on user preference
- Hold-down hardware and continuous cord loop for ample user-friendliness
- Comes in many colors and sizes to suit any space
- Pricey and trickier to install than comparable blackout shades
Get the Bali blackout blinds at The Home Depot, Lowe’s, JCPenney, or Blinds.com.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Blinds
Before choosing the best window blinds for any space, there are some points to consider. With so many options for material, size, and fit, as well as different features some models may include, there’s quite a bit to know. The following points can help prevent flying blind when shopping for this kind of window covering.
Types of Blinds
Each type of blind has unique advantages that make it suited to certain windows and/or rooms. For example, the best window blinds for living rooms typically let in some light while providing privacy, while the right choice for bedrooms will often block all light and visibility and also provide thermal insulation. Here are some examples of the most popular blind types.
Venetian blinds are traditional horizontal blinds, having horizontal slats, pull cords, and twistable wands to adjust the amount of light they allow in. They have been updated and improved, and today’s venetian blinds are made of higher-end materials and have better designs.
Slats may be made of wood, vinyl, and even aluminum, making them more attractive and durable. They also feature cordless designs, allowing users to adjust their height by simply lifting or pulling the bottom of the shade. This design is easy to adjust, allowing users to choose their illumination and privacy level. Many colors and finishes are available, depending on manufacturer.
Most venetian window treatments don’t add much insulation value to windows, and they seldom have blackout-level light control. They’re the most affordable option for blinds, costing far less than most other styles, which makes them the best blinds for folks on a budget.
Roman blinds can add a lot of style to a room. They are typically made of fabric, and they fold onto themselves as they open. They come in a variety of colors and patterns.
Roman blinds do an excellent job of blocking out sunlight and even add some insulation benefits. Since these window treatments are fabric, many manufacturers add a lining to them. These blinds can reduce temperature variance in a room if they fit tightly in the window frame—a desirable feature in areas with hot summers and/or cold winters.
Depending on the material and lining chosen, Roman shades can be expensive; however, they can give a room a pop of design interest.
Mostly used on sliding patio doors, vertical blinds use long slats that twist to filter light and slide to the side to open. These blinds are notoriously finicky and can be a hassle for folks with children, dogs, or cats. Twist too far or open them the wrong way and the mechanisms that make them move can break.
Today, however, there are updated versions of vertical blinds with wide, sliding fabric panels that are less prone to breakage. The main disadvantage of these blinds is that most don’t adjust for light: They’re either open or closed. They’re more durable than the old-school vertical blinds, though, and the best versions come in a variety of materials with various opacities. Some let in light but do not allow prying eyes to see inside when closed.
Pleated blinds have accordion-shaped faces that fold on top of one another when lifted. They come in two main varieties: standard pleated and a honeycomb/cellular design. Both are good options for most windows, but each has advantages over the other.
- Standard pleated blinds come in a wide range of colors and patterns, and they tend to be less expensive than honeycomb style since they tend to let in more light.
- Honeycomb blinds trap air between two or three layers of fabric, adding an additional barrier between temperature-controlled spaces and the window, which helps increase energy efficiency. They’re also much better at blocking sunlight than the standard option.
Honeycomb blinds have cords, but they’re routed between the fabric layers where pets and kids can’t get at them. Standard pleated blinds expose the cord at every other pleat.
Roller blinds have come a long way from the cheap plastic sheets that often didn’t operate well. They not only work better, but they are also available in a variety of fabrics, colors, and patterns. Light-blocking capabilities depend on the fabric, but some are extremely efficient at blocking the sun.
However, roller blinds are not adjustable for light or privacy beyond just raising or lowering them. Yet they can also be fairly expensive because, depending on the material, they may add a real decorative touch.
Anyone with a tech-savvy smart home can set up smart blinds to work with their digital voice assistant. Through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, the height and slat angles can be adjusted for the perfect amount of light—and users needn’t even be home to control them! Most smart blinds are roller style, but they’re also available in venetian or hybrid styles.
These blinds install like any other, with the addition of a Wi-Fi-controlled motor in the top bar. The installer can then set up the motor to work with a mobile app on a smart device or a virtual assistant like Alexa or Google Assistant, which allows users to control the blinds with voice commands. Smart blinds can then be programmed to open and close on a schedule, making them among the best blinds for maximizing security and privacy.
Automatic blinds are similar to smart blinds, except they don’t tie into smart-home devices. They’re usually roller shades that use motors in the top bar to move the height and slat angle with a remote control.
They cost more than standard blinds but less than smart blinds since they don’t need Wi-Fi capability.
The best blinds come in a variety of materials. Plastic versions are the most common because they’re inexpensive, lightweight, and relatively easy to maintain. Metal blinds are also popular for their affordability and low maintenance.
Some higher-end blinds boast real-wood slats, but they’re considerably more expensive than metal or plastic. For a meet-in-the-middle material, polyvinyl chloride (PVC, as it’s more commonly known) blinds can offer the look and texture of wood while costing considerably less and requiring far less maintenance.
For those who prefer a textile, many manufacturers offer fabric shades. These options are more expensive than plastic or metal, but they’re usually competitive with wood. Fabric window shades typically insulate the window and prevent light transmission better than other options.
Size and Fit
When choosing the best blinds for windows large or small, the right size and fit is essential. Those who prefer blinds to sit inside the window frame can measure from side jamb to side jamb to get the width, and top jamb to sill to get the overall height. Generally speaking, the width of the curtain should be as close to the actual width as possible without being larger. For instance, for a 30.25-inch jamb measurement, a 30-inch blind will be fine, while 30.5 inches would be too wide. For length, choose a length just slightly longer than the overall height of the window frame.
Anyone who prefers their window shades to sit in front of the frame may want to choose a size 2 or 3 inches wider than the window itself to allow for overhang on either side. Also, add at least a few inches to the overall height to account for mounting these blinds higher than the opening.
Today’s window treatments are a far cry from the simple curtains and plastic blinds of old. Extra features may include:
- Soundproofing: Soundproofing is a great choice for those who wish to block out road noise, neighbors, or that noisy garage band next door. These blinds minimize sound transfer, making them a good choice for window blinds for living rooms, bedrooms, or media rooms.
- Blackout: Natural light is great, but for folks who work nights or like to sleep in, sunlight could disrupt their sleep. In these scenarios, blackout curtains that fit well within the window will block light from entering the room, improving sleep quality.
- Room darkening: Like blackout curtains, room-darkening blinds regulate the amount of light that penetrates through the window. These blinds don’t block out as much light as blackouts, but that is by design.
- Thermal insulation: A lot of conditioned air, whether heated or cooled, manages to escape through windows. Blinds with thermal insulation help keep hot or cold air where it belongs and work to maintain the desired temperature in the room.
- Remote controls: Many of the best blinds feature remote controls or even Bluetooth tech that allows the user to raise, lower, close, or open the blinds hands-free from the comfort of their bed or sofa.
- Hanging hardware: The best blinds come with all the mounting hardware necessary to put them in place, but some kits are better than others. Plastic brackets are affordable, but metal brackets are usually sturdier and less likely to snap. Usually, the brackets have the ability to sit inside the window or on the outside frame, depending on the installer’s preference.
Installing blinds is relatively easy. The kits that come with blinds usually include all the brackets and screws necessary to put them in place. The only thing the user might need to supply are the tools, such as a level and a screwdriver or drill. General installation instructions are below:
- Decide whether the blinds will sit inside the jambs or outside. Then use a level long enough to reach both sides to draw reference lines (in the case of installing curtains in the jamb, this step isn’t necessary).
- Hold the brackets in place and mark the holes. Use a drill with a small bit to drill pilot holes.
- Switch to a driver bit and install the brackets using the screws provided in the kit.
- Snap the blinds into place in the brackets and install any endcaps, valances, or covers included in the kit.
With the above primer on the different types of blinds and the top picks on the market, you’ve got a great foundation for choosing the best blinds for any window. However, as every situation is different, there may be some lingering questions. Here are answers to a few of the most commonly asked questions about blinds.
Q. Which brands of blinds are best?
According to our research for this guide, the best brands for blinds are Home Decorators Collection, Bali, and Levolor. These brands were rated well by consumers for their constructions and received high praise for their customization, cordless design options, and many colors and sizes. Another positive aspect these brands share tends to be their window coverings’ ease of installation and multiple installation options to fit in any space, permanently or temporarily.
Q. Which blinds are easiest to maintain?
Those who have tried out multiple kinds of blinds will usually attest that vertical blinds are far easier to maintain and clean than horizontal models. Horizontal window coverings hold dust, pet hair, and debris on their slats if not dusted regularly. Vertical blinds won’t accumulate dust or debris as easily and require much less cleaning.
Q. How do you install blinds?
Before trying to DIY blinds yourself, read all the installation instructions. In most cases, blinds come with all of the necessary hardware and brackets for installation. Simply attach these brackets to the window frame or wall and then snap the blinds onto the brackets. Be advised that you’ll need a drill, a pencil, a level, and a pair of safety glasses.
Q. How do you fix broken blinds?
In most cases, there is no way to fix broken blinds. While it’s possible to replace individually damaged slats in some blinds, once the mechanisms become damaged, or several slats bend, the blinds typically must be replaced. To avoid these problems, users should consider cordless or motorized shades since the strings on corded options can snag or catch, potentially causing malfunction and damage.
Q. How do you keep light from coming through blinds?
Buying the right type of blinds is one of the best ways to keep light from coming through and increasing energy efficiency. For instance, if you want no light to enter the room, choose blackout blinds. Then ensure that the blinds fit closely within the window frame without any space for sunlight to leak through the sides, top, or bottom. If you currently have venetian blinds, the best way to increase blackout capabilities is to purchase a set of curtains that can be placed in front of the blinds.
Q. From a design perspective, what color or finish should my blinds be?
It’s ultimately up to you. If you’re into minimalism, gray or white blinds can be best. If you prefer a Scandinavian design, go with neutrals like natural wood or browns and beiges. For an eclectic look, choose colorful fabric Roman blinds. Your design aesthetic will determine what colors work best, but you can also hire an interior designer and ask them to help choose custom blinds. However, if you are looking for blinds that aid in privacy and keep out unwanted sunlight, your best bet will always be blackout blinds or roller shades in a dark color like gray, black, or brown.
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