When I (Slumber Yard member McKenzie Dillon) lived in my old house, my bedroom was located on the second story facing east, directly in the path of the rising sun. This might not have been so bad, except the only thing that stood in between me and the sun was a “wall” of giant glass panels. Instead of a normal concrete or brick wall, my wall was made out of sliding glass doors because it led out to a balcony. And while I loved that balcony, I didn’t love being greeted at sunrise every morning with a mighty powerful sun glare.
You might be wondering, why didn’t you buy window curtains? Unfortunately, I realized the sun was no match against them after two failed attempts with two different sets of regular curtains. My only saving grace turned out to be blackout curtains.
After buying blackout curtains, my room was not only darker, but it stayed warmer in the winter by trapping the heat inside, and cooler during the summer by blocking heat from coming in. This also makes them ideal for anybody looking to save energy every month during both the cold and hot seasons.
Some brands claim their blackout curtains also help reduce noise from the outside, which I can’t fully back because mine certainly didn’t. With that being said, some companies might manufacture their curtains with technology that does the job. So it might be worth a try if you live in a busy neighborhood or off of a noisy highway.
Blackout curtains were first used in Britain during during WWII for the complete opposite reason they’re used for today — to keep interior light from shining outwards. The objective was to prevent Nazi pilots from seeing the light coming from occupied buildings, because that put citizens at risk of being bombed. With their life depending on it, you bet your bottom dollar they designed their blackout curtains with layers of black cotton fabric to be pretty imperviable.
Companies still use black cotton fabric in their blackout curtains, but the fibers are woven extra tight so it blocks 99.9% of light. Alternatively, there are blackout curtains with woven fibers between two layers of fabric so you can’t see the black cotton, but you still reap all of its light-blocking benefits.
You can find blackout curtains at almost any major retailer including Amazon, Walmart, Target, Macy’s, or Bed Bath & Beyond. I purchased mine at Bed Bath & Beyond and spent about $50 on each curtain, which is moderately priced compared to some of the $100 curtains you can find. With that being said, you can find perfectly good blackout curtains for $20, and some go for even less. It all depends on your budget, and how big of a space you need to cover.
Blackout curtains are available in an array of different colors and designs from ivory to black, so you don’t have to settle for a dark color just for the sake of blocking out light if you don’t want to. If you don’t already have a curtain rod and curtain rod brackets, you’ll want to purchase those separately. As far as we know, most blackout curtains won’t come with them included.
Hanging blackout curtains are pretty much the same as hanging up average curtains, and it should take you no longer than 25 minutes or so.
If you’re already in love with the curtains that are currently hanging on your windows, you have the option to save money and purchase blackout liners instead. They can either clip on to the inside of your curtains, or they will come with loops that you can slide your curtain rod through. Just make sure you measure your curtains so you don’t waste time and money on blackout liners that don’t fit.