The Best Roller Shades of 2023

Some people love how windows let in sunlight and provide a scenic view of their neighborhood, but privacy can be an issue. Draw in aesthetic beauty by day and maintain your privacy at night with these impressive roller shades.

By Mel Childs | Updated Jan 17, 2023 2:55 PM

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The Best Roller Shades Option

Photo: amazon.com

Having your window coverings open during the day isn’t problematic because it is difficult to see into your home during the daytime, plus the sun helps light up the rooms. However, once the sun goes down, neighbors, passersby, and even potential burglars can see into your home. Even if you close your window coverings at night, some don’t offer the privacy you need to keep people from peering into your home.

Roller shades block light effectively, and certain ones do a fantastic job of keeping prying eyes out. This buyer’s guide will help you determine which roller shades best ensure your privacy.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Chicology Cordless Snap-N-Glide Roller Shades
  2. RUNNER-UP: Suaky Cordless Blackout Window Roller Shades
  3. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Seeye 72-Inch Corded Roller Blinds
  4. EASIEST TO INSTALL: Allbright Easy to Install Thermal Insulated Shades
  5. BEST INNOVATION: Yoolax Motorized Smart Roller Shades
  6. BEST ECO-FRIENDLY: Radiance Cordless Light-Filtering Bamboo Reed Blind
  7. BEST VERSATILITY: Luckup Waterproof Roller Shades
  8. BEST FOR LARGE WINDOWS: Bali Blackout Cellular Shades
  9. BEST FOR SLIDING DOORS: Graywind Motorized Blackout Roller Shades
The Best Roller Shades Option

Photo: istockphoto.com

How We Chose the Best Roller Shades

We researched the most sought-after roller window shades in their respective categories and found that the materials used in manufacturing them, opacity, design, dimensions, ease of installation, and other special features are what make the best ones stand out.

Based on extensive product research, our list includes window shades made from materials like polyester, silver, aluminum, metal, PVC, and fabric for lasting durability. We also took heat insulation, noise resistance, ultraviolet (UV) protection, and style into consideration, among other factors.

Our list also includes a selection of roller window shades that can be installed inside or outside a window frame, that have a cordless design for added safety, and have motorized operation for hands-free use. Some have smart-home capabilities like voice-activated assistance, too. Most of the window treatments range in size from custom shades to specific measurements and have been rated easy to install by users.

Our Top Picks

When choosing roller shades for a home, the tips above will help narrow the choices of the best roller shades for privacy. The top picks below were selected based on these considerations and other factors, such as eco-friendliness and innovation.

Best Overall

The Best Roller Shades Option: Chicology Cordless Snap-N-Glide Roller Shades
Photo: amazon.com

If privacy is what you want, privacy is what you’ll get with these Chicology home roller shades that can be mounted inside or outside a window casing. These cordless shades help ensure that children and pets will be safe from strangling cords. The polyester fabric is an excellent choice for those concerned about allergies from dust.

These shades are easy to clean using a slightly damp towel or a vacuum with an upholstery attachment if they should get dirty. Chicology offers 28 color choices and 53 size options to match any space. The latter of these three options includes blackout as well as solar technology. Add these roller shades for privacy in RVs, kitchens, and on doors with glass.

Product Specs

  • Material: Stainless steel and polyester fabric
  • Opacity options: Blackout, full-privacy fabric
  • Dimensions: 72 inches high; customizable width, between 21 and 72 inches
  • Ease of installation: Easy

Pros

  • Polyester and stainless steel construction is easy to install and maintain
  • Comes in multiple colors and styles; solar and blackout technology included
  • Versatile construction; suitable for all kinds of windows, from RVs and kitchens to doors
  • Easy pull-down operation slides the blinds smoothly up and down

Cons

  • Not enabled for smart technology and is not motorized for hands-free use
  • Only 1 side of the shade is colored; may affect the blackout technology

Get the Chicology roller shades at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Chicology.

Runner-Up

The Best Roller Shades Option: SUAKY Blackout Cordless Window Roller Shades
Photo: amazon.com

For those who want a high level of privacy, these roller shades by Suaky provide plenty, plus they look good and offer many other great features. The eco-friendly fabric and multiple layers in this shade block out 100 percent of light and offer a high level of privacy. Alternatively, shoppers can choose a light-filtering option if they want some light to come in. This shade can be mounted either inside or outside a window casing. The latter choice provides an even greater level of privacy and light filtering.

These shades are cordless, so they are a good choice for homes with pets and children. Great for use in the office or the bedroom, this product is also customizable to meet most design needs. This shade doesn’t completely block out light when installed using an inside mount. However, resolve this issue by measuring for an outside mount. This roller shade comes in several neutral colors.

Product Specs

  • Material: Polyester fabric
  • Opacity options: Blackout, full-privacy fabric
  • Dimensions: Customizable based on color and fabric
  • Ease of installation: Easy

Pros

  • Eco-friendly 100 percent blackout fabric; good for living rooms, bedrooms, dens, offices, and classrooms
  • Light-filtering capability maintains privacy while allowing some daylight in
  • Cordless, making it a good choice for family homes with children and pets

Cons

  • Some users say the custom measurements were wrong and did not fit their windows

Get the Suaky roller shades at Amazon.

Best Bang For The Buck

The Best Roller Shades Option: SEEYE Blackout Roller Shades
Photo: amazon.com

This Seeye blackout roller shade offers plenty of conveniences—including waterproof fabric, blackout, easy cleaning, and privacy—at a reasonable price. It is available in black or beige and can add privacy to a kitchen, office, bathroom, den, nursery, or garage. This roller shade is installed using an inside or an outside mount. It might not be the easiest shade to install, but that’s a small trade for the price.

This Seeye shade should stay clean with its anti-static, dustproof, and waterproof properties. The shade also helps reduce noise from outside and can help balance the temperature in a room because of its thick fabric. It takes only a damp cloth or a feather duster to remove dirt and dust from this shade.

Product Specs

  • Material: Waterproof polyester
  • Opacity options: Blackout
  • Dimensions: 72 inches long; customizable width, between 20 and 44 inches
  • Ease of installation: Easy

Pros

  • Waterproof, dustproof, and antistatic construction allows for ample durability and longevity
  • Available in 4 color choices: black, beige, gray, and white
  • Suitable for the kitchen, office, bathroom, den, nursery, or garage
  • Thick, sturdy textured fabric keeps room temperature balanced and reduces noise

Cons

  • Some users report size inconsistencies upon installation of these roller shades

Get the Seeye roller shades at Amazon or Seeye.

Easiest To Install

The Best Roller Shades Option: Allbright Easy to Install Thermal Insulated Shades
Photo: amazon.com

If you like the energy efficiency of cellular shades but prefer a roller shade, then look to this Allbright blackout roller shade. Available in beige, gray, and light gray, this shade suits bedroom, kitchen, or bathroom use. It blocks out 100 percent of light plus some heat, and provides great privacy. It can also help keep out noise.

The chic design includes polyester with a silver backing to help balance indoor temperatures in the summer and winter. One of the great advantages of this product is ease of install for both inside and outside mount styles. Some of the parts are fragile, so handle installation carefully to avoid damage, and add the included safety device that holds the roller shade’s chain for child- and pet-friendly window coverings.

Product Specs

  • Material: Polyester, silver backing, and aluminum
  • Opacity options: Blackout
  • Dimensions: 72 inches long; customizable width, between 20 and 58 inches
  • Ease of installation: Easy

Pros

  • Blacks out 100 percent of light and some heat; ample UV protection
  • Suitable for mounting on the inside or outside of a window casing
  • Has a built-in safety device that protects children and pets

Cons

  • Some of the hardware is delicate and may break easily
  • Some users say the fabric unravels and threads may stick out along the shade’s edge

Get the Allbright roller shades at Amazon.

Best Innovation

The Best Roller Shades Option: Yoolax Motorized Smart Blind for Window with Remote
Photo: amazon.com

Those with a smart home may want to add a smart shade like this motorized one from Yoolax. The PVC/vinyl/fabric shade is excellent for the office, the bathroom, or the kitchen. It comes in neutral colors like gray, white, and coffee in fabric or vinyl, with a blue and purple option for pops of color. The shade blocks out sunlight and sound. It also provides some insulation.

The shade operates using a motor that can run for 3 to 6 months after an initial charge of 6 hours on the CR2450 battery. The motor can be somewhat noisy when in use, but open and close these smart shades easily with Alexa and Google Home devices. The shade also comes with a remote to operate them instead. The Yoolax shade is customizable in size, how it rolls, and the power preference of the user.

Product Specs

  • Material: PVC/vinyl/fabric
  • Opacity options: Blackout
  • Dimensions: Customizable sizes, with height ranging between 20 and 100 inches and width ranging between 22 and 97 inches
  • Ease of installation: Easy

Pros

  • Multichannel remote and smart functionality lets users roll shade up and down conveniently
  • Provides insulation, noise cancellation, and UV protection; available in 14 neutral and colorful hues
  • Suitable for use in any space, including an office, bathroom, and kitchen
  • Includes all mounting brackets and hardware; can be inside or outside mounted

Cons

  • Pricey compared to similar motorized smart blinds on the market
  • Unlike other roller shades, this item has limited water resistance

Get the Yoolax roller shades at Amazon or Yoolax.

Best Eco-Friendly

The Best Roller Shades Option: Radiance Cord Free, Roll-up Reed Shade
Photo: amazon.com

For those who want to minimize sunlight and maintain their privacy while using environmentally friendly materials, look to the Radiance cordless light-filtering blind. Made of bamboo and available in a cocoa color, this shade is eco-friendly and safer than most for children and pets since it is cordless.

Roll up the shade by hand to any length and secure it with included fasteners to keep it in place. This shade lets in more light (and possible peering eyes) than other roller shades, but it’s suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, so you can add shade or a privacy screen to a patio. It is easy to install using an inside or an outside mount.

Product Specs

  • Material: Bamboo
  • Opacity options: Partial coverage
  • Dimensions: 72 inches long; width options are 48, 60, or 72 inches
  • Ease of installation: Easy

Pros

  • Environmentally friendly compared to similar roller shades; made from natural bamboo
  • Suitable for indoor or outdoor use; can be installed with an inside or outside mount

Cons

  • Not motorized; must be rolled up and fastened by hand

Get the Radiance roller shades at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Overstock.

Best Versatility

The Best Roller Shades Option: LUCKUP 100% Blackout Waterproof Roller Shades
Photo: amazon.com

These chic polyester shades from Luckup provide privacy and block 100 percent of UV rays. They also keep a room cool with a thermal insulation coating. As a bonus, they are windproof and waterproof. Available in gray, these shades are perfect for use in the kitchen, bedroom, or bathroom.

These blinds also are child-friendly despite having a chain pulley for raising and lowering. If a child or pet gets tangled in the chain, the chain will disconnect to prevent injuries. The many features of these blinds might lessen their durability and may require some special care, particularly when using the chain. But they can serve several purposes in multiple rooms and install easily using an inside or an outside mount.

Product Specs

  • Material: Fabric
  • Opacity options: Blackout
  • Dimensions: 79 inches long; customizable widths, ranging between 20 and 44 inches
  • Ease of installation: Easy

Pros

  • 100 percent UV-blocking construction that also keeps out unnecessary heat
  • Waterproof and weatherproof construction; suitable for use in the bathroom, bedroom, and kitchen
  • Chain disconnects when tangled; safe for homes with children and pets
  • Easily slides in and out of the mount if required

Cons

  • Time and use may wear down this shade, limiting its durability

Get the Luckup roller blackout shades at Amazon or Luckup.

Best For Large Windows

The Best Roller Shades Option: Bali Blackout Cellular Shades
Photo: homedepot.com

For those with floor-to-ceiling windows, a wall of windows, or panoramic views, the Bali blackout cellular shades can provide ample UV protection and insulation. They’re made with double- or single-cell fabrics for full blackout capabilities for maximum privacy, suitable for living spaces, bedrooms, nurseries, and media rooms. For added user-friendliness, these custom shades come in numerous sizes for any space in a home.

These cordless, spunlace blinds also come with aluminum head and bottom rails for long-lasting durability and longevity as well as ease of installation. Plus, for homes with children and pets, the cord lock and stop tassel prevent tangling or breakage. Bali also included hold-down hardware to keep the shades in place as well as a continuous cord loop for larger shades to operate smoothly. These blinds come in many sizes and colors to suit any space’s current style, and a motorized option is available if preferred for hands-free operation.

Product Specs

  • Material: Spunlace fabrics
  • Opacity options: Blackout
  • Dimensions: Customizable sizes, with both height and width ranging between 9 and 144 inches
  • Ease of installation: Moderate

Pros

  • 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 allow for ample user-friendliness
  • Comes in many colors and sizes to suit any space

Cons

  • Pricey and trickier to install than comparable blackout shades on the market

Get the Bali roller blackout shades at The Home Depot, Lowe’s, JCPenney, or Blinds.com.

Best For Sliding Doors

The Best Roller Shades Option: Graywind Motorized Blackout Roller Shades
Photo: amazon.com

Those with large sliding doors that tend to let sunlight in will want to consider the Graywind motorized roller shades. These large shades are made with a 100 percent blackout texture with a waterproof back layer to protect against rain, wind, and moisture. These blinds are also cordless, making them safe for children and pets. Plus, they are Restriction of Hazardous Substances certified, making them extremely environmentally friendly.

As an added plus, these blinds have motorized operation controlled via remote control, Alexa, Echo, and Google Assistant, and they only require charging every 3 to 6 months. Finally, these shades come in 14 neutral colors to match a home’s current space. However, be advised that these blinds require a 2.46G Wi-Fi hub for smart-home capabilities.

Product Specs

  • Material: Polyester
  • Opacity options: Blackout
  • Dimensions: Customizable sizes that vary by style
  • Ease of installation: Easy

Pros

  • Smart-home compatibility; works with Amazon Alexa, Echo, and Google Assistant
  • Waterproof back layer; suitable in case of rain, wind, or moisture
  • Cordless operation makes it safe for homes with children and pets
  • Motorized operation allows for hands-free use; a remote control is included

Cons

  • Pricey compared to similar blackout shades available on the market

Get the Graywind blackout shades at Amazon.

Jump to Our Top Picks



What to Consider When Choosing the Best Roller Shades

When choosing the best roller shades, think about more than how gorgeous they are or how they improve a room’s ambiance. There are many other factors to consider, such as the type of material, the opacity, and how to mount the shade. This makes an immense difference when it comes to privacy. Here are some key things to consider when shopping for roller shades.

Material

When it comes to improving the privacy from your window treatments, the material you choose can make a big difference. Modern roller shades come in more materials than the retro vinyl ones that were popular in the past. Materials include polyester, wood, cotton, bamboo, linen, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), and PVC fiberglass.

When choosing the best material for shades in your home, make sure the fabric isn’t too sheer, since silhouettes will still be visible through sheer shades. Also, if you or someone in your family suffers from allergies, it’s a good idea to choose a material that won’t agitate them.

Opacity

Density of roller shades is another important consideration. The opacity of a roller shade controls light-filtering effectiveness in a particular room. Improving room darkening is excellent for nurseries to avoid disturbing babies as sunlight moves throughout the room during naptime. Room-darkening shades can also be great for those who have a home theater room.

To ensure that roller shades provide maximum opacity, look to see if their description says they are blackout shades. These shades offer maximum privacy and will help with noise reduction and temperature control.

Sizing and Installation

Once you have chosen the perfect window covering, it helps to know whether you want an inside mount or an outside mount for the shade. An inside mount hangs the shades inside of the window casing. This type of mount lets in a small amount of light. It might even compromise privacy by allowing someone to see through the space between the window casing and the shade.

When measuring your windows for inside mount shades, measure horizontally from the top, middle, and bottom, followed by vertical measurements from left, middle, and right. The final measurement needed for installation is the depth of the window. Make sure the frame provides 2½ inches of depth for the headrail and mounting brackets. Ensure that all measurements are precise within the nearest ⅛ of an inch.

With an outside mount, the shades attach over the window on the outside of the window casing or frame. Since there are no gaps, this type of installation is best for privacy and for preventing light from shining into the home. For those with shallow window casings, it might prove to be the only option.

For an outside mount, measure vertically and horizontally, and check to be sure the room has at least 2 inches of space between the window frame and ceiling. Also, add at least 2 inches of overlap on each side of the window opening for the best coverage.

Style and Color

Along with opacity and material, style and color can improve privacy. Darker colors will block out light, and this, coupled with the blackout feature, can darken rooms as much as possible. It will also make it hard for someone to see inside your home, especially if you install them with an outside mount.

Of course, you can also choose lighter shades for a room, but keep in mind that lighter shades might not provide the privacy needed unless they contain the blackout feature. Or shoppers can customize the look; some manufacturers allow customers to place a choice of images on the roller shades.

Features and Upgrades

Roller shades typically come with strings. However, some products offer other options, like a chain pulley style, which allows for a continuous pull forward or backward that opens and closes the shades. Keep in mind that both a chain mechanism and a string mechanism might present safety hazards for pets and children. See the safety section below for more details.

A spring mechanism allows users to pull the shades up and down with little effort, using a handgrip located at the bottom of the shade. These types of shades will lock into place as they are moved up and down. This cordless option is a good choice if you have pets and children in the home.

Shoppers can opt to get motorized roller shades which allow them to operate the shades with a single press of a button. For those who want to add flair to the look, consider adding a decorative valance that hides the rolling mechanism and gives the blinds a soft, chic look.

Cleaning

One great thing about roller shades compared to blinds and other window treatments is that they are easier to clean. Use a damp cloth to wipe the dust away from vinyl shades. If the shade is soiled, use a mild detergent and a microfiber cloth to remove the dirt.

A vacuum or a feather duster can remove dirt from fabric roller shades. Avoid submerging them in water, however. This might ruin the rolling mechanism inside the shade and damage the fabric. It’s also a good idea to avoid using water to spot clean them.

Safety

When choosing the best roller shades, keep safety in mind, particularly for users who have small children or pets in the home. Children and pets can get tangled up in the cords or chains on roller shades that open and close using this mechanism, leading to strangulation or other injuries. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately eight children per year under the age of 12 die from strangulation by window covering cords.

FAQs

Roller shades come in a greater variety of colors, materials, and styles than they did many years ago. Some have excellent safety features, while others might effectively keep out heat, noise, and light. The top roller shades included in this guide offer help for making solid decisions about the best shades to buy. A few answers to commonly asked questions may also help you make a decision.

Q. Do roller shades roll over or under?

The choice of installing shades to roll over or under is up to you. However, keep in mind that installing shades to roll under is a better solution if privacy is a priority.

Q. Should shades be lighter or darker than walls?

It depends on your decor. Some people might choose a color that contrasts with their wall or even try to match the shades to the wall. But when it comes to blackout capability, darker styles will always make a space darker while light-colored shades will reflect more light into a room.

Q. Should all shades in a house match?

It is up to you. However, if privacy is your goal, make sure that all your shades have the same opacity. And, for the sake of curb appeal, aim to get roller shades that are white on the side that faces the street.

Q. Are roller shades light filtering?

Roller shades filter light, but light filtering depends on the type of roller shades. For maximum light filtering of nearly 100 percent, consider roller shades noted as blackout shades in their product descriptions.

Q. Are roller shades energy efficient?

Roller shades with higher opacity can block out sunlight, which can improve energy efficiency in the summertime. However, if the fabric is not heavy, it won’t offer much energy efficiency in winter.

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