Blinds Vs. Shades: Which Is Best For Your Home?

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Brad Smith
Written By Brad Smith

When it’s your first time choosing new window treatments for your home, the sheer volume of options and styles available may overwhelm you. However, blinds and shades are the most popular options, designed to block the sun and hot temperatures from your home, improve your home’s aesthetics, and increase energy efficiency. 

However, blinds and shades are each designed differently and have different features. They’re each available in various types and styles. So how do you decide which one is best for your home? In this article, we’ll compare the two to help you make an informed decision.

Qualities Of Blinds 

Blinds are hard window treatments made from wood, aluminum, plastic, or metal. They are available in vanes or slats that either run vertically or horizontally. Horizontal blinds are stacked at the window’s top when opened, while vertical blinds are stacked at the window’s sides. Slats can be tilted at an angle to provide some privacy or control the amount of light entering the house. 

In terms of functionality, blinds are of two varieties; corded and cordless blinds for windows. Corded blinds have an attached string pulled to either open or close the blinds, while cordless blinds don’t have any strings. Instead, they have a bottom rail that’s pulled up to open the blind and down to close it. 

Types Of Blinds

windows blinds

Vertical Blinds

Vertical blinds are mainly designed for large glass windows. They have vertical slats with two strings to the sides to help slide them open. They’re more versatile and are available in many colors. However, their large size makes them difficult to clean, unlike other blind types.

Roller Blinds

Roller blinds are a fabric blind type available in either one or two rollers. Two roller blinds are used with a voile layer for light infiltration. Roller blinds are the most versatile and are available in different materials, colors, patterns, and light infiltration. They’re also water-resistant and easy to clean and maintain. However, roller blinds are expensive, and since they are made from a thin fabric, they increase energy inefficiency.

Roman Blinds

Roman blinds are luxurious blinds made from thick fabric and are designed with rods to help form even folds. They’re available in different fabrics, patterns, and textures. Their thick nature makes them a good choice to improve energy efficiency in your home. However, their luxurious nature means they’re expensive and not suitable for moist environments like kitchens or bathrooms.

Qualities Of Shades

Shades are a soft window treatment with a rolled continuous material that covers your window’s opening. Shades are made from soft pieces of fabric, and unlike blinds, shades don’t have vanes. Instead, they resemble a flat fabric that gives a nice appearance when closed. When open, they either roll up at the window’s top or neatly stack at the window’s top. Shades can’t be tilted like blinds to regulate light but can be partially lowered to block light and offer privacy. 

Types Of Shades

The most common shade types for windows include roller shades, cellular shades, and tie-up shades.

windows shades

Roller Shades 

These shade types are fitted inside your window railing. Roller shades consist of a pulley system with a cord that rolls the shade up and down. With proper maintenance, these shades can last for years. Plastic rollers are relatively cheap compared to their counterparts with cordless lifting mechanisms.

Cellular Shades 

Cellular shades, also called honeycomb shades, are made from soft fabric cells that expand and contract when the shade is raised and lowered. They provide excellent insulation, thus creating favorable indoor temperatures and increasing energy efficiency in your home. When lowered, they offer maximum privacy and help reduce glare when the sun is too bright.

Tie-Up Shades 

Tie-up shades, also called stagecoach style, don’t use cords or rollers. Instead, they’re raised manually to the desired length and then tied up with ribbons to hold their position. They’re affordable, durable, and available in various colors and designs. However, they’re inconvenient as they require you to roll and unroll them when adjusting their position manually. 

Pros And Cons Of Blinds And Shades



  • Relatively Cheaper
  • Easily adjusted and controlled
  • Easily cleaned and maintained
  • Excellent in light control


  • Energy inefficient
  • Poor privacy
  • Vanes accumulate dust
  • Fewer styles and designs available



  • Available in many designs
  • Energy efficient
  • Increased privacy
  • Easier to use and durable


  • Inconvenient to adjust and control
  • Expensive
  • Difficult to maintain 


Before deciding on which window treatment to settle for, considering your energy efficiency, light, view, and privacy is essential. The comparisons above can help you decide which coverage is best for your home. If you’re still unsure what to go for, consult an expert for help.

smith brad omni

Written by Brad Smith

CEO & Lead Interior Designer

Brad Smith is an experienced interior designer and the founder of With a Master's degree in Interior Design from Pratt Institute and a passion for creating safe and healthy living spaces, Brad shares his expert insights and innovative design ideas with our readers. His work is driven by the belief that home is where every story begins.