Should I Buy Window Blinds or Curtains?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

When it comes to dressing your windows, you have all sorts of choices these days. While having such a wide selection of styles and designs to choose from is great, it can also be confusing. For example, should you go with window blinds or curtains in a given room? Here are a few tips to help you settle the debate, and make the choice that is right for you.

White plastic blinds.
White plastic blinds.

While many people do not relate the health condition of the residents with the type of window treatments that are to be used in a room, the fact is that some window coverings need to be discounted immediately due to allergies and respiratory issues. For example, a person with severe asthma may not want wooden Venetian blinds or plastic miniblinds used in the room. Blinds tend to be a magnet for dust collection, which would mean they would need to be cleaned daily. As any housecleaner can tell you, thoroughly cleaning blinds is a time consuming task. By contrast, curtain materials that are light and airy are much easier to keep free of dust mites and would be a healthier option for the asthma sufferer.


Another factor in the decision to go with blinds or curtains has to do with the purpose of the room. For instance, bedrooms tend to benefit from the use of blinds, since they are very effective at blocking outside lighting sources. That means no matter when you need to sleep, drawing the blinds will help make the room be much more conducive to sound sleep. Oh the other hand, a window over the kitchen sink may be an example of a window where curtains are preferable, since you want to have access to the natural light most of the time.

Wooden blinds.
Wooden blinds.

A third consideration in the choice between curtains or blinds is the décor of the space. Obviously you want the blinds or curtains to complement what you already have going on in the room. Older homes with tall ceilings and period furniture would do much better with heavy draperies and perhaps window shades. However, bungalows with shorter ceilings and windows would probably benefit from the airy feeling that blinds can give both the room and the window as well, accented by nothing more than a simple valance.

Window treatments often complement an older home's decor.
Window treatments often complement an older home's decor.

Finally, your preference for window treatments will be the determining factor between blinds or curtains. Some people prefer a minimal amount of dressing for a window, but still want it to be functional. If that is the case, then blinds are your solution. If you see your windows as a place to add a splash of color, then curtains are the obvious choice. In the end, blinds or curtains can look attractive and add to the ambiance of the room. Make your choice based on your taste and the functional needs for the room, and you will be happy with the choice.

Blinds can usually block out more light than curtains.
Blinds can usually block out more light than curtains.
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments


Blinds are a must in all my decorating jobs. Curtains are not necessary at all except to dress a window per client taste. A nice compromise for many windows is a good quality blind or shade with a window topper such as a valance or a cornice for a more formal look.


Window blinds and curtains are kind of same in terms of the purpose they serve. While simple curtains are made of cloth, window blinds comes in wooden pieces attached by strings. We are in the process of selecting windows for curved windows.


I like window blinds as they are more attractive to look at.


Recently I have change the drapes we have in my apartment in the city. I was getting sick of all the dust drapes can accumulate. The only problem I had was to find something that would completely blackout the light -- I mean no gaps or any other holes that light can come through.

For me, the best solution was a themoflex. I think this is also known as cellular blind. The reason I like this product so much is that the control is located on the front of the top bar and there are no side gaps since the fabric sits right on the edge.

I'm from New Zealand and this product is really hard to find here and the only place I was able to find it was online.


Window curtain blinds are wonderfully suited for a home that needs to dim the sunlight due to sleep problems or children or home theater rooms. I have found blinds are the best for these window treatments.


We recently swapped all of our curtains for blinds. The vertical blinds we bought provide so much more convenience because they are slim. they even make the rooms look bigger. I wish we had swapped years ago!


What about both? I want both but my man says it's not necessary! :( May go for voiles.


My kitchen is done in darker tones (cabinets,floor & counter). What style & color blind should we put in our kithcen bay window with white trim? --jat


I think blinds can be stylish and have aesthetic merit, not just curtains.

I love my wooden blinds, they give my kitchen a sense of natural and crafted beauty. Plus they are really practical and don't get in the way...which I think curtains would.


Curtains and blinds serve two different purposes in my view. Blinds are for privacy. You close them to keep the outside in check, whether it is because there is too much sunlight, or it is dark outside and you do not want to be on the stage, so to speak, in the evening.

Curtains on the other hand, are used for aesthetic purposes as mdt mentioned above, but partially they also give a little privacy too. During the day when you open your blinds you can not see fully from the outside through the semi-translucent curtains. To me a window with blinds and without curtains looks naked.


It may be that your wife is thinking more in terms of aesthetics than function. Think of it this way. When the blinds are drawn, the appearance of all the windows from outside the house is uniform. That is, no one can tell you have red curtains on one window and blue curtains on another window. From the outside, the windows present a uniform appearance that works better with the exterior elements of the residence.

It could also be that she simply likes the look of blinds and curtains together. And it may be that the inclusion of both elements on the windows provides a greater sense of security for her. The only way to know for sure is to ask her.

From a practical approach, a combination of blinds and curtains often is employed by people who work at night. Being able to draw the blinds and close the curtains helps to shut out daylight, and often make it easier to sleep during the day.


What would be the purpose to having both on every window? My wife insists on this and it drives me crazy. The curtains have no method of being held out of the way, and although they are semi-translucent, I think the purpose of having windows is to be able to see out of them. Can anyone explain this to me?

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