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The Best Blackout Curtains for a Pitch-Black Bedroom

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blackout curtains

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A quick look at the best blackout curtains

  • Best overall blackout curtain: NICETOWN Complete 100% Blackout Curtains
  • Best budget blackout curtain: Wayfair Basics Solid Max Blackout Thermal Grommet Curtains
  • Best blackout curtain for the nursery: Pottery Barn Kids Evelyn Linen Blackout Curtain
  • Best white blackout curtain: Birch Lane Furst Extra Wide Solid Blackout Thermal Rod Pocket Curtain
  • Most stylish blackout curtain: West Elm Crushed Velvet Curtain
  • Best thermal insulated blackout curtain: Deconovo Room Darkening Thermal Insulated Blackout Grommet Window Curtain
  • Best blackout curtain for night shift workers: H.VERSAILTEX 100% Blackout Bedroom Curtains

Whether there’s a giant streetlight outside your window, you work the night shift, or you want to get your little one to nap during the day, you probably know how tough it can be to sleep in a room that isn’t dark.

That’s where blackout curtains come in. As you can tell from the name, blackout curtains completely block sunlight from entering your room. They can be an amazing solve for those struggling to sleep because of outside light sneaking into their bedroom.

Read on to find our top picks for the best blackout curtains to create a pitch-black bedroom.

How we chose the best blackout curtains

Choosing a blackout curtain requires considering a variety of factors. Blackout curtains come in various sizes, colors, and fabrics, and many have thermal insulation and sound-blocking qualities. We took all of these factors, as well as customer ratings, into consideration when choosing the best curtains.

  • Effective light blocking. Just because a curtain is marketed as blackout does not mean it will do the job of blocking out 90–100 percent of the light coming into a room. Along with scrutinizing products and reading customer reviews, we paid close attention to products which included product review photos that show the curtains working.
  • Ease of installation. All of the products reviewed can be easily installed by most people.
  • Texture, fabric, and style. Blackout curtains come in a variety of textures and fabrics, from polyester and cotton to velvet and linen. This list has a variety of options to fit a buyer’s desired look and function.
  • Customer reviews. All the products we review here are top-rated or best sellers and have at least 75 percent 5-star reviews. We also took into consideration negative reviews and included the unfavorable aspects of products in order to give you a well-rounded understanding of each product.

Pricing Guide

Most blackout curtains fall in the $30–$50 price range. However, curtains come in a variety of prices depending on the fabric, quality, and brand. We have taken all of these factors into account when determining our picks.

Available sizes vary slightly, but the products listed generally fall into the following pricing:

  • $ = under $25
  • $$ = $25–$75
  • $$$ = $76–$125
  • $$$$ = over $125

Healthline’s picks for the best blackout curtains

Best overall blackout curtain

NICETOWN Complete 100% Blackout Curtains

  • Price: $$
  • Type: Rod pocket

The NICETOWN Complete 100% Blackout Curtains are one of the most highly reviewed blackout curtains on Amazon. They are made from polyester, come in 11 solid shade options, and come in six length and two width options.

These heavyweight curtains have a sewn-in black liner that adds an extra layer of light blocking. The company says this heaviness also lends itself to noise reduction and thermal insulation.

The curtains have a rod pocket, which is a long pocket at the top of the curtain designed to fit curtain rods. However, they can also be hung from rings and hooks to add extra length to the fabric.

If you’re looking for a reasonably priced blackout curtain that will dependably block all light from entering your room, you might enjoy these curtains. Reviewers are overwhelmingly pleased with the curtain, saying that it provides a full blackout.

Reviewer photos show that, even in daylight, light leaking is extremely subtle and only along the edge of the curtains. Many reviewers also say this is a great curtain for night shift workers who need to sleep during the daytime.

Buy the NICETOWN Complete 100% Blackout Curtains online.

Best budget blackout curtain

Wayfair Basics Solid Max Blackout Thermal Grommet Curtains

  • Price: $$
  • Type: Grommet

The Wayfair Basics Grommet Curtain is a great option for someone looking for an inexpensive-yet-dependable blackout curtain. This machine-washable polyester curtain has a thermal blackout liner designed to provide noise reduction and thermal insulation.

Customers can choose between three different length options and 10 color options, including white.

This curtain has a grommet design, which means the top edge of the curtain has small holes that you slide the curtain rod into. This can help make installation easy. The grommet design also creates a pleated look.

Reviewers say this curtain does its job, blocking out light and providing a layer of insulation between the window and room. Some reviewers say the curtain is thinner than expected.

Keep an eye out for one of Wayfair’s many sales — you might be able to score a discount.

Buy the Wayfair Basics Solid Max Blackout Thermal Grommet Curtains online.

Best blackout curtain for the nursery

Pottery Barn Kids Evelyn Linen Blackout Curtain

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: Rod pocket

If you’re a parent, you know how precious a good night’s sleep is for you and your baby — and just how elusive that goal can feel at times.

Pottery Barn’s Evelyn Linen Blackout Curtain Panel, which is made of cotton, linen, and a polyester blackout liner, doesn’t just fully block out light – it’s also made to block out noise, making it easy to turn your nursery into a dark, quiet, naptime cave.

The curtain panel has a simple-yet-elegant design that comes in four different length options and seven different colors, with multiple pastel options that fit a variety of nursery aesthetics.

The curtain also has four different hanging options, giving you some flexibility when deciding how you want your nursery to look.

Buy the Pottery Barn KidsEvelyn Linen Blackout Curtain online.

Best white blackout curtain

Birch Lane Furst Solid Blackout Thermal Rod Pocket Curtain

  • Price: $$$$
  • Type: Rod pocket

While purchasing a white blackout curtain might seem counterintuitive, the Birch Lane Furst curtain is designed to block light without throwing off the overall aesthetic of your room.

The curtains come in two primary shades of white (Off White and Ice) along with Silver, Storm Gray, and Peacock.

This polyester single curtain panel is hung on a rod pocket, which creates pleating. The insulated blackout design is also intended to provide energy savings by keeping heat indoors. Keep in mind that it is dry clean only.

Reviewers are very happy with the white color options, saying they appear truly white and look formal. Some also say the curtains are very heavy and have a silky look.

Buy the Birch Lane Furst Extra Wide Solid Blackout Thermal Curtain online.

Most stylish blackout curtain

West Elm Worn Velvet Curtain

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: Rod pocket

The West Elm Worn Velvet Curtains are described as having a luxurious, vintage look with a blackout design. Made out of 100% polyester, this curtain looks like worn velvet and has a slight sheen. The curtain comes in a variety of colors, including Pink Grapefruit, Ivory, Metal, Regal Blue, and Olive. The curtain is hung by a rod pocket.

While this is one of the more expensive blackout curtains available, the design matched with the blackout technology makes it a great option for those seeking both design and utility.

This product is available unlined or with a blackout liner. If you’re looking for a true blackout experience, you might want to consider the version with the liner.

Due to the nature of the fabric, this curtain must be dry cleaned. It can also be ironed to create smoothness and shine.

Buy the West Elm Worn Velvet Curtain online.

Best thermal insulated blackout curtain

Deconovo Room Darkening Thermal Insulated Blackout Grommet Window Curtain

  • Price: $
  • Type: Grommet

One of the great benefits of blackout curtains is that most come with an insulating quality that prevents drafts. This can help you with temperature regulation in both the summer and winter.

The Deconovo curtain is an affordable curtain designed to block out light, muffle outside noise, and insulate against heat in the summer and cold in the winter. That extra layer of insulation could mean lower energy costs, since you won’t have to blast your heat or AC as often to keep your room at the temperature you like.

Each curtain panel has six silver grommets for hanging on a rod. While all the shades offered block light, you might prefer the darker shades, like Black and Navy Blue, for the maximum blackout. This curtain comes in three size options.

Reviewers say these curtains are very thick and many are pleased with the high-quality look. Many also say the curtains do a good job of blocking heat in the summer.

However, one customer says that while the curtains help regulate the temperature in colder months, they tend to block airflow in the summer — which can make it harder to cool down the room.

Buy the Deconovo Room Darkening Thermal Insulated Blackout Grommet Window Curtain online.

Best blackout curtain for night shift workers

H.VERSAILTEX 100% Blackout Bedroom Curtains

  • Price: $
  • Type: Grommet

Night shift workers (or, let’s be real, anyone who likes to sleep in) know the importance of finding curtains that block out daylight. For those who have to sleep during the day due to work, keeping the daylight out can mean the difference between a night of restful sleep and a miserable one.

This polyester heavy-weight curtain comes in three lengths and 15 colors. However, anyone who regularly sleeps during the day should consider opting for dark colors like Jet Black, Chocolate Brown, or Navy Blue, which will maximize the light-blocking effect.

Reviewers are overall happy with this product, saying the darker colors provide a full blackout. Reviewers also mention these curtains are great for daytime nappers.

Buy the H.VERSAILTEX 100% Blackout Bedroom Curtains online.

How to shop for blackout curtains

Not all blackout curtains are made equal, which is why it is important to be clear on what you need in a curtain. Materials, style, and installation requirements are all elements that you will want to consider before making your purchase. Read below for an in-depth look at elements to consider:

Material and type

The majority of blackout curtains on the market are made from polyester, or at least contain a polyester blackout liner. However, some more expensive products are made of cotton and linen. If you are looking for an affordable, durable curtain, most polyester curtains will be a good bet for you.

The curtain’s material also determines the amount of care required for cleaning. Most simple polyester curtains can be machine washed. However, depending on the design, some may need to be dry cleaned. Make sure you know how much work you want to put into cleaning your curtains before purchasing.

There are multiple types of curtains, including rod pocket, grommet, pinch pleat, and tailored pleat.

The primary blackout curtain types are rod pocket and grommet. Both styles create pleating, though the rod pocket tends to have smaller pleats while the grommet style tends to have thicker pleats. Grommets and rod pockets sizes will be unique to the curtain you purchase, so make sure you buy a proper rod size.

Installation

Buying a curtain online requires DIY installation. You will most likely need to purchase rods to hang the curtains on, and installation is a relatively easy process that requires a drill, nails, and brackets. There are many online tutorials for at-home installation, which shouldn’t take more than 2 hours.

Style

Just because you are purchasing a heavy-duty curtain, it doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice style. Blackout curtains are made in a variety of styles and colors, and they can be a beautiful way to enhance the design of a room, as well as block out light when the time is right.

Make sure you consider the entire room when making your purchase, and choose colors and fabrics accordingly. However, keep in mind that darker colors tend to be more effective at blocking out light than lighter colors.

Benefits of using blackout curtains

The human body is designed to sleep best in complete darkness. However, in today’s modern world, blue light frequently filters through our eyes from screens and streets are typically lit at night. So getting complete darkness in the bedroom can be difficult.

Melatonin is a hormone produced by the brain in response to darkness that plays an important role in timing our circadian rhythm and getting the body settled down for sleep. Research from 2010 suggests that being exposed to light later in the day may suppress melatonin production and interfere with our ability to fall and stay asleep.

Disturbed sleep and light at night may have a myriad of negative effects on our physical and mental health. For example, a 2014 study that looked at data from 100,000 women in the U.K. found an association between what’s called “light at night exposure” and obesity.

Limiting light in the bedroom is especially important for infants and children. Research shows that infants who have too much light exposure could experience anxiety later on due to a disrupted circadian rhythm.

Blackout curtains in the nursery and bedroom can limit exposure to light during naptime and at night. They can also reduce outside noise, which can further help children sleep and nap.

Night shift workers have an especially difficult time adjusting to their sleeping schedules, and needing to fall asleep during daylight can make that even more difficult. However, a 2004 study suggests that night shift workers who re-entrain their circadian rhythms are shown to have improved performance, alertness, and mood during nighttime work. Creating a completely dark room with curtains is one tool that can be used by night shift workers to adjust to an inverted sleep cycle.

By limiting exposure to light in the bedroom, blackout curtains can play an important role in stimulating melatonin production and signaling to your brain and body that it’s time to sleep.

Takeaway

Blackout curtains can be a great way to enhance your sleep environment and contribute to a better night’s sleep.

Along with fully blocking out light, most blackout curtains provide insulation and noise reduction, making them a great option for nurseries, bedrooms, and people who sleep during the day.


Lucia Whalen is a Chicago-based writer and multimedia journalist specializing in the intersection of health, science, and environment; she is also a cofounder of Trashy Magazine. Her writing has been featured in Atlas Obscura, South Side Weekly, MindBodyGreen, and other publications. She is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

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