There are few things more important than a restful night’s sleep.
However the night isn’t quite as dark as it used to be, and our bodies haven’t been able to catch up with the light pollution we face in the modern world, which has led to a massive rise in the need for special curtains known as blackout curtains.
Blackout curtains are specially designed to allow for less light into the room than standard curtains or blinds.
These blinds achieve this by being double lined and tightly woven, often using thicker or heavier fabrics and made to allow as little light as possible through them, while still being able to function as conveniently as normal curtains.
What do they do?
The clue to their primary function is in their name, and their primary function is to blackout a space and make it as dark and peaceful as possible.
They can be used in various situations to help reduce light pollution or help you to sleep more peacefully, and work well in urban environments or during certain times of the year when the morning light rises much earlier than normal.
They can also be useful for people working nights or odd shift patterns, helping them to rest even during the middle of the daytime.
The benefits of using blackout curtains
There are many benefits to using blackout curtains. The summer months in particular can lead to early mornings, longer days, and uncomfortable nights.
Blackout curtains help reduce these problems in a variety of ways and also have several other benefits such as;
- Helping to keep a room cool during the summer by preventing sunlight from entering your space
- Add thermal insulation to vulnerable and inefficient windows to help keep your room warmer during the winter
- Help to reduce noise from busy roads nearby or other disturbances due to their thickness
- Improve sleep quality by allowing you greater control over the light conditions and temperature of your bedroom
- Help you to save money, by reducing the heat lost through windows during winter months
The drawbacks of using blackout curtains
Although blackout curtains have a range of very compelling benefits, they also come with a few drawbacks which make them a poor choice for certain rooms or individuals. Some of these drawbacks include;
- Making a room too dark in the day, making rooms feel smaller or less airy and pleasant
- A heavier weight which makes them harder to install and can mean a more study curtain rail is required
- Often coming in darker and heavier colors meaning they may not suit all aesthetics and interior design sensibilities, limiting your choice of decoration or spoiling your planned color scheme
Are blackout curtains good for you?
Whether or not you’ll personally benefit from blackout curtains depends on a range of specific factors relating to your home’s location, the orientation of your bed and windows, the surrounding conditions and light levels, your mental health as well as how easy you find it to sleep and wake in the mornings.
While blackout curtains can help make it much easier for you to fall asleep, especially if you’re suffering from light pollution, they can also make it much more difficult to wake up in the morning which can have a detrimental effect on your health and circadian rhythm.
Our bodies detect light as it enters our space during the morning, and it helps us to wake up much more easily and gently, so losing this can make your nights easier but your mornings harder which is definitely something to consider before installing blackout curtains.
There is also the fact that these curtains will reduce the light that can enter your home, which can have a negative effect on mood quality and sense of wellbeing.
Making sure you’re aware of all these factors is the best way to ensure you get the most out of your blackout curtains.
Are blackout curtains heavy?
While they don’t have to always be very heavy, blackout curtains can certainly weigh more than normal curtains or light reducing curtains which are far less likely to cut out light.
Blackout curtains can eliminate up to 90% of light and to be able to do this they do need to be woven more tightly which naturally leads to a heavier weight.
What are blackout curtains made of?
Blackout curtains can be made of various materials depending on their specific type and use.
Home use blackout curtains may only be made of tightly woven polyester or button, however, some can be made of heavy microfiber using a triple weave configuration.
Hotels and other environments which value a far greater level of light reduction will sometimes even use blackout curtains that contain foam-backed panels or totally opaque fabrics to totally block out light.
This type of drapery is often much heavier and intended to allow travelers and guests as much rest as possible, and this is ok for hotel rooms as guests seldom spend much time in the room during the day so light levels are far less important.