Do you live in an old house with single pane windows? I can’t bear (or afford) to replace all of the leaded glass windows in my house. But in the dead of winter and summer I’m desperate to regulate the temperature with thermal curtains.
I’ve been on the hunt for a pair of curtains that will help to keep the hot sun and the winter chill out. In one room I’m embarrassed to say that my current solution is to put sheets of foam insulation in the windows behind the shades. You can’t see it on the inside. One small room in my house has seven single-pane windows. It’s hard to get the temperature right in there.
After staying a hotel and seeing what a difference thick drapes can make I wanted to find some I could afford.
Tips for Finding The Perfect Thermal Curtains
- Determine the Rod Height First – Curtains typically come in three sizes 84 inches, 96 inches and 108 inches. These are the kind of curtains that you will not want to hem. They are very heavy and usually lined with something thick that makes hemming more difficult. Before you hang the rod keep, remember that a curtain hung above the window frame makes the window look bigger.
- Look for Heavy Fabrics – In order to get the most bang for your buck you want your main fabric to be heavy. That’s a big part of what makes it thermal. I found linen curtains that were labeled thermal, but linen is such a thin fabric that they couldn’t have as much thermal power. Some of the fabrics that work well are velvet, polyester and thick cotton duck.
- Blackout does not equal thermal – Look for curtains that have a thermal layer between the lining and the outer fabrics.
- Consider Mounting Options – If you are truly needing curtains that are thermal, that probably means that you plan to open AND close them. Many of the drapes in my house never open and close because I have shades that control the amount of privacy and light.
You can read about all the different mounting types and see examples here. The most common mounts are rod pocket, tab top, grommet and hooks. Keep in mind that rod pocket curtains can be difficult to open and close when drapes are very thick.
My Favorite Thermal Curtains
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- These velvet drapes are double wide and have three mounting options. They come in multiple colors and lengths.
- These cotton black-out drapes come in four colors and many different lengths.
- These Ombre curtains from JC Penny come in five different colors and they have a thermal weave lining. They are a bargain.
On the even more budget friendly side I found these options.
- Deconovo curtains – These come in about 25 colors and a variety of sizes. They are super affordable and you can hang them with the tabs or through the rod pocket. You can get a pair for less than the cost of a single panel normally.
- Versailtex curtains – These come in 12 colors and many sizes, too. They can also be mounted as tab or rod pocket curtains.
I bought both of these Amazon curtains and I recommend measuring them before you hang them. I read a few reviews that said the size was not 100% correct. I have seven windows to cover and part of the space is behind a desk. I was willing to trade a bargain for 1/2 inch accuracy.
I don’t recommend white in either of these brands, but I like the off-white color.
I’ll be sharing close up photos of the fabric and the finished room once I get them hung. I’ll also share the temperature difference. Drapes or curtains are the most cost-effective thermal solution. I looked at Indow Window inserts, which I have in my bedroom and love. However, they are not as thermal as a heavy drape. Stay tuned!