Difference Between Room Darkening And Blackout Curtains

Imagine that you have moved to a new space and you are shopping for your new place. You finish all the furnishing and you are yet to finalize on the windows.

So, just like any other person visit a store and you are asked what you would want. You already know that you need minimal light and a cool temperature for your place.

They give you two options to choose from, room darkening treatment or blackout curtain window treatment.  Would you know the difference?

If not, then this is the ideal place for you. If you would, then you are welcome to expand on your knowledge.

We can all agree that windows play one of the most important roles in a room’s aesthetic feel. Most people, while shopping for curtains or blinds consider not only the temperature but also the amount of light that is coming in.

This plays a huge role in determining the general feel of the room. For instance; a home movie theater will tend to have darker curtains or blinds than the bedroom this is because of the room’s purpose.

Some of the most frequently used terms in window treatment are Room Darkening and Blackout Curtains. These two are very similar to each other since they serve almost the same purpose which is privacy, light, and heat control.

However, there is a thin line in differentiating the two terms as much as most people automatically assume that room darkening means blackout.

We usually see these two terms being used interchangeably and most of the time it is the least of anyone’s concern as long as the sole needs of the customer are met to their ideal satisfaction.

This can however be quite confusing to customers who seek to shop or order these products online.

Room darkening simply means any curtain or blind that regulates the amount of light entering a room not necessarily making it pitch dark but reasonably dark.

Blackout curtains on the other hand are used to eliminate any amount of light that ought to come into the room.

Room darkening and black out curtains further helps get rid of uncomfortable heat in the room by maintaining comfortable room temperature mostly in case of an extremely hot surrounding.

Blackout blocks almost all the light. This does not mean that blackout is pitch black; no type of window treatment can achieve that unless when fit within the curtain box or window casing to filter out the little light seepage that peeks through the tiny spaces.

In short, room darkening should apply to any window treatment that dramatically reduces the shade of the light of the room to the bare minimum.

This can be very confusing and therefore most people end up with one in place of the other.

Having defined what the two terms mean, this article seeks to shed some light on the major differences between the two window treatments and in what kind of environments that they are commonly used.

Material used

The material used to create room darkening blinds and curtains is heavy but can let in enough light to illuminate the room.

Although the fabric is not supposed to allow the most light in, it is tailored in a way that some light can still permeate the fabric to give minimal illumination.

This form of treatment is ideal for people who sleep through the night and are not bothered by subtle light.

Blackout curtains are however tailored not to let in any light into the room this is because they consist of several layers of the fabric.

This treatment is mostly used in rooms whose aesthetics requires a pitch-black feel.

For instance, theaters and home television rooms. They are also ideal for people who are easily irritated by light or sleep throughout the day.

  1. Price

As earlier stated in (1.) Room darkening curtains are made from a thin layer of fabric while the Blackout curtains are made of a few layers of fabric hence making them more expensive than the Room darkening blinds.

  1. Temperature Control

One of the most important qualities that people look for while looking for window treatment is the ability to regulate temperature and keep the room cozy and comfortable without necessarily using an AC.

Blackout curtains are more effective for temperature control compared to Room darkening curtains since the fabric used is usually thicker and heat resistant.

It is further important to note that room darkening treatment helps in temperature control as well just not as much as Blackout curtains do.


Having said all that, one needs to note the difference between the two treatments before window shopping and purchase.

It is also very advisable to research on your own the kind of feel you would want to achieve for the room you are shopping for considering various variables like furniture, room color, and more so the kind of aesthetics you seek to achieve.

If you can, kindly consult an interior designer prior since it could give you an idea of the ideal treatment in line with your wants or needs.

If not in a position to afford one, you can consult with the assistants on the particular store you seek to purchase from before making the final decision for they are well conversant with the product and can advise you on what works best for you and falls within your budget.

Always consult the distributor or seller on the care procedure and the dos and don’ts.



Blackout curtains, blinds, and shades are most suitable for areas like bedrooms, media centers or theaters, television rooms, children nurseries, studios, and any other place that require total darkness.

Room darkening window treatment is suitable for most environments since we could all use some light at one point or another.

This can be suitable for living rooms, offices, and other places that minimal lighting is not a problem.

We wish you a successful window treatment shopping experience and take into consideration the key factors we have stated above.

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