Blackout Shades: 4 Common Questions About Light Blocking Window Treatments

Posted in  Interior Shading Fabrics   on  November 6, 2023

In an era where light pollution and electronic screen glare are increasingly prevalent, the demand for efficient window covers that can block out unwanted light has surged. This blog dives into the realm of blackout shades and answers some common questions about room darkening window treatments. A noteworthy leader in this realm is SheerWeave® by Phifer. SheerWeave’s multiple styles of blackout shade fabrics are lauded for their unparalleled quality.

What Are the Benefits of Blackout Shades?

Blackout shades, an innovation in window treatments, are more than just a means of room darkening. Consider some of the following benefits when choosing your next window treatments.


An increasingly popular benefit of blackout shades is the daytime privacy factor they deliver. Blackout shades provide the ultimate privacy experience and peace of mind. While the color and weave opening in light filtering fabrics can affect the level of privacy offered, blackout shade fabrics are designed with a solid or laminate on one side for total light blockage. When the shade is lowered, there is no visibility through blackout shades from the inside or the outside whether it’s day or night.

Energy Savings

Light blocking fabrics are an excellent way to reduce solar heat gain which means a more comfortable environment for you and less work for your air conditioner. This can result in significant savings in areas with extreme UV exposure like the U.S. South or SouthWest.

UV Protection

Blackout shades offer the ultimate in UV protection by blocking 100% of the sun’s rays. This ensures the prolonged longevity of your home interiors by preventing fading. Your skin will also reap the benefits of less exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays.

To demonstrate our commitment to sun protection, Phifer is a Corporate Council member and proud supporter of The Skin Cancer Foundation, the leading organization for educating the public and medical professionals about skin cancer. 

Where Are Blackout Shades Most Useful?

For those who have home theaters or require pitch-dark environments for their bedroom, blackout shades can be pivotal. However, many rooms within a home can benefit from the total light blockage provided by blackout shades.

SheerWeave photo courtesy of Blind Designs SA

Living Rooms

While everyone loves a sun-drenched living room with big picture windows, certain times of the day transform that warm sun into a blinding glare making it impossible to see anything on your TV screen. Blackout shades can be crucial in creating that cinematic experience. However, you don’t have to choose between either enjoying that outdoor view or having the perfect dark room for movie watching. Dual shade systems allow you to have it all; learn more about them here


Blackout shades in the bedroom can improve sleep by blocking light pollution. For night shift workers, blackout shades can ensure a more restful sleep while the outside world is wide awake. SheerWeave’s opaque blackout fabrics block 100% of the sun’s rays and are designed to provide the total light blockage you need for your bedroom. Click here to browse our comprehensive range of colors and textures that are sure to match your personal style. 

SheerWeave photo courtesy of Blind Designs SA


Speaking of sleeping, no one gets more shut-eye than a newborn infant so your baby’s nursery should be a cozy sanctuary. Blackout shades can help create the ideal environment where your little one can get their best naps without intrusion from the outside world. SheerWeave® offers a versatile range of sun control fabrics that can be used to make the perfect nursery window shades no matter the décor.


No room in a home requires more privacy than the bathroom. Using blackout shades in bathrooms can ensure total privacy and provide peace of mind that no neighbors might accidentally see more than they should. Additionally, SheerWeave Style 7100 is the only blackout fabric that’s infused with Microban®, an antimicrobial agent that helps control the growth of mold, mildew and bacteria, making it the ideal choice for a damp environment like a bathroom. 

SheerWeave photo courtesy of Blind Designs SA

What Types of Window Treatments Offer Total Light Blockage?

Pleated Shades

Pleated shades offer a blend of functionality and aesthetic appeal. These shades are made out of either paper or spunlace non-woven polyester fabric. They are easy to trim and install yourself which makes them an economical option. However, their limited width options require overlapping to cover larger windows which might result in unwanted light leaks.

Cellular Shades

Cellular shades are designed with pockets, resembling a honeycomb, that trap air, providing both insulation and blackout capabilities. They have a similar look and feel as pleated shades and can be trimmed and installed in the same way.

Roller Shades

Blackout roller shades or blinds, as the name suggests, operate on a roll of fabric that unravels to cover your window. Roller shades provide a clean and modern look compared to other styles. Their seamless design means that no light will leak through and prevent a totally dark room.

Whereas pleated and cellular shades are typically only available in a limited color palette, blackout roller shades are available in a multitude of colors. SheerWeave Styles 7400, 7700R, and 7800 even emulate the look of textured cloth while still achieving total light blockage.

SheerWeave Style 7400

SheerWeave Style 7800

What's Trending in Blackout Shades in 2023?

In 2023, the blackout shade market has seen a surge in cordless options utilizing an internal mechanism that allows the user to pull the shade up or down without the need for external - and potentially dangerous - cords. With the wave of smart home devices, motorized blackout window covers have also gained traction. Operated via remote control or even smartphone apps, they offer convenience and modernity. Additionally, there's an increasing demand for portable blackout blinds that often install with stick-on or hook-and-loop methods. With the same darkening capabilities as their peers, they are perfect for hotel stays or when you're on the go.

Key Takeaways

- Blackout shades offer more than just darkening capabilities. UV protection, privacy and aesthetic appeal are just a few benefits they provide.

- Living rooms, bedrooms, nurseries, and bathrooms can all benefit from blackout shades.

- The choice between roller shades, cellular shades, and paper shades depends on individual preferences and requirements.

- From cordless and motorized blackout shades to portable blackout blinds, 2023 has produced a plethora of options that offer convenience and a modern touch to any interior. 

- Phifer's SheerWeave blackout shade fabrics are the benchmark for quality and performance in the blackout shade market.

Ensure you choose the right blackout blind or shade that caters to your needs while adding a touch of elegance to your space. For more information on our variety of fabric options for blackout roller shades - CLICK HERE. Still have questions? Give us a call, live chat with us on our website or contact us to learn more.

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