I have spent the past few months personally testing the 10 most popular blackout curtains on the market – testing for effectiveness, aesthetic, materials, and more. From day slumber needs to ideal napping environments to cozy home theaters, these are my top picks that should work for almost any situation.
NICETOWN Thermal Insulated Grommet Blackout Curtains
The Nicetown thermal blackout curtains offer a strong option for both blocking light and maintaining room temperature, something that not all brands succeed at accomplishing, especially at an affordable price point. Added bonus, the Nicetown curtains look great (in my opinion) – making it the only design on this list that is a triple threat: great for blocking light, maintaining heat and good design.
Very effective for blocking out light, great aesthetic, lots of size and color options.
Not 100% light blocking (read below for other option if you are looking for this)
Deconovo Room Darkening Thermal Insulated Blackout Grommet Window Curtain
In my experience the blackout curtains from Deconovo were the most effective curtain at a budget price point. They have a few size options and plenty of color options, so I found it easy to find a set that went well in my bedroom. Note that they sell each panel separately in the listing, so buy two if you want a standard curtain set-up.
Great value, many color options available
Fewer size options (length/width) available
NICETOWN 100% Blackout Window Curtain Panels
If you’re sleeping during the day, or just love that feeling of total darkness, these curtains outperformed any curtain that I tested. They do a nice job of temperature regulation as well – they really have a heft to them where it just feels like nothing is getting through.
Absolute darkness, no matter the time of day. Great temperature insulation
More expensive than other blackout curtains the market
Our Testing Method
With two young babes and a home that streams in light (even in the PNW) during summer months, we have resorted to all sorts of options to keep our space dim and cool during the warmest times of the year. Thankfully for all of us, there are variety of blackout curtains to solve most lighting and sleep dilemmas with some being more effective than others.
When evaluating these curtains, I considered all of the following:
Level of Blackout
Though all the options sport the name “blackout curtains”, the amount of light that they block does vary tremendously – as it should! Before you start shopping, you should consider whether you are looking for a total blackout option, or more of a light filtering option that will dramatically reduce light coming through.
Level of Insulation
Blackout curtains can act as an insulator as well as a light-blocker. I evaluated how well curtains block temperature, as well as gusts of air, from passing through. The insulation can be a factor in both the summer and winter months.
The quality of the materials vary widely with blackout curtains, both in type and quality. Often this is reflected in the level of blackout and level of insulation, but some manufacturers will opt for quantity of material over quality to achieve those outcomes. I research the materials, as well as personally test, to gauge the quality of each curtain.
As in any product category, you want to make sure you get quality when you pay for quality. There are few blackout curtains for sale that would really break the bank, but I still incorporated a price evaluation, particularly when measured against the materials.
This is definitely a more subjective measure, but the aesthetic of the curtain is very important! There is a level of aesthetic variety with any curtain, but particularly with blackout curtains, where some brands will opt for functionality over appearance. A less aesthetic appearance isn’t always a deal breaker, it really depends on where and how you plan to use the curtains.
The Nap Test
My last test for all the blackout curtains was consistent, but by no means scientific. I have a light sleeper under my roof, who also happens to nap daily. To test most of the curtains I hung them in his room and measured two things: 1. How long it took him to fall asleep, and 2. How long he slept once he was down.
Since I am admittedly new to the blackout curtain world, I was impressed by the number of quality options currently on the market. Any of the options mentioned in this round-up will work for most people and families, though it seems extra care really needs to be taken in the day sleeper category. With that said, it really comes down to preference of look and feel, and your budget. I hope that I have been able to narrow down that process for you!