Shades Vs. Blinds: Which One Is Right For Your Window?

Are you looking for something to cover a window? There are so many options. I like to use a combination of shades or blinds WITH a drape. But why would you choose shades vs blinds?

There are clear reasons why I recommend shades in some windows and blinds in others. Maybe these tips about when to use blinds vs shades will help you dress your window. The best solution really depends on where the window is, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, etc.

What’s The Difference Between Shades And Blinds?

Starting off with the basics first, shades are a solid surface and blinds have slats or dividers. Common types of shades are roller shades and roman shades. They can be mounted inside the window frame or above the window frame.

Common types of blinds include vertical blinds, wood blinds and bamboo blinds. Vertical blinds are very often used in front of sliding glass doors or other larger windows. Vertical blinds have a very contemporary look.

When Are Blinds Better Than Shades?

Blinds are better when you need to open and close window coverings frequently. I have had both blinds and shades in my home. Blinds are easier to open and close easily.

Shades go up and down but you have to treat some shade with care when you are pulling them up and down. My roller shades often come off the brackets if you pull at the wrong angle or with too much force, which makes opening and closing them a pain.

Roman shades are easy to raise and lower BUT if you have several windows together it’s tricky to get them to open at exactly the same level. I prefer to keep my roman shades in place so they look even across all of the windows. They are best if you want to set and forget them.

I like blinds in rooms that don’t require darkness. Blinds work great in bathrooms, living areas and kitchens because these aren’t places that you want to get total darkness. I have bamboo blinds in my living room and dining room because they provide a little bit of privacy and they allow light to filter in.

When Are Shades Better Than Blinds?

Shades work better in windows where you need more light control and darkness. For example, in a bedroom where you want to block out light, SHADES are the way to go. Blinds are not good for blocking as much light, the light always seems to get through the cracks. They are better for filtering light.

I have black-out shades in all my bedrooms. I love a good and dark bedroom when I’m trying to sleep. I will take any advantage I can get when it comes to sleeping.

Shades also work better if you are using them for temperature control. Because they are solid, they help to keep the heat and cold out better than blinds.

How To Dress Your Window

I hope this helps you with your window covering choices. Use shade for temperature control and light blocking. Use blinds if you want to filter light and open and close them frequently.

The best solution for most windows, if you can afford it, is to put both a blind/shade and a drape. Read this if you are looking for affordable custom roman shades. Trying to decide how to choose the right curtains for your room? Check out this post.

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  1. Wow, Andrea, this is a great post and I love how you compared the 2. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I have new bamboo blinds in my living room and dining room that I love, but oh how I wish I had not spent the money on having them lined! I think they would have looked so much better from the outside without the lining. These are great tips for anyone trying to decide on their window treatments!

  3. Thank you for making this comparison between shades and blinds here, Andrea. I love the content you post on this website, and I hope you’ll continue doing that.

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