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Window Blinds vs. Window Curtains

Window treatments are a must in Thailand homes. They help block out unwanted heat, control lighting, provide privacy and compliment your décor. 

There are a variety of choices of window treatments to choose from, curtains, horizontal and vertical blinds, fabric panels and wooden blinds. Both blinds and curtains have their benefits and disadvantages. Once we go over some of the positives and drawbacks of both types of window treatments, you will have a better understanding of what is best for your home. Then you can have more confidence in choosing the best choice for your home.

Window Blinds are less expensive:

Blinds are less expensive per window compared to curtains. However, it's not just the material we are talking about. It’s the time it takes to install per set. 

Installation per set of blinds with the right tools can take around 10-20 minutes per set. The price range for blackout window blinds per set can cost about 750-2200 baht (regular standard sizes). 

The price can be cheaper if you choose cheaper options like dimout fabrics or sunlight fabrics (fabrics with no UV coating). Usually, the overall value per set would include the price of the blind plus the time it takes to install per set.

Curtains are usually a bit pricier if you add up all the necessary processes per set. One set of curtains must include the curtain(fabric), Rings (curtain hooks), curtain pole and mounting brackets. 

The cost of blackout curtains including all necessary hardware would cost about 1000-4000 baht per set. Installation for curtains would require a more skilled technician and can take around 30-60 minutes per set. 

The installer will have to install the mounting brackets, insert the curtain onto the rod, secure the rod onto the mounting bracket and style the curtain to make an attractive arrangement. If the curtain is wrinkled due to handling, the installer must steam or iron the curtain so that curtain looks more sleek and free of wrinkles.

Window Blinds have more features, but Curtains have more total blackout

Blinds offer more options for light control. Blinds like Combi (Zebra blinds) which have horizontal stripes throughout the designs let you control the amount of light that can pass through the window. The fabric is rolled throughout the blind in an overlapping rhythm. 

By slightly adjusting the operational cord, you can adjust the openness of the gaps between the fabric’s layers. The bigger the gap, the more sunlight will pass through. The smaller the gaps, the less to no amount of light will pass. 

This is a great feature for multi-proposed rooms that are used for different occasions. However, while blinds offer more features of light control, their design does not mean total blackout. The positioning of the blinds is about 5-7cm away from the wall or mounting frame. On outside frame installation, the light may pass through the gap between the blind and the wall. 

On recess installations, there are gaps on both the left and right sides of the blinds. This is caused by the space between the control mechanisms and the fabric. 

For curtains, when installed outside the window frame, total light is blocked. Please keep in mind that some fabrics are not considered 100% blackout. So even when closed, some light is seen on the fabric.

Blinds are easier to clean and maintain

Most blinds have a harder surface and are easier to clean. For example, Venetian blinds can easily be cleaned with a cloth by swiping it all along the slats. You can also use a duster or brush as well. Water can also be used to clean this blind because it is either made of wood or PVC slats. If the installation is at an out-of-reach area, it also be removed from its fixing and cleaned on any workstation or table.

Cleaning curtains can be a bit more tedious. Because of its texture, it will not be convenient to clean the whole curtain. Usually, we just suggest you clean the area that is dirty or stained. Use a damped cloth with a light cleaning solution (25% white vinegar and 75% water), and scrub the affected area. Let it moist for a few minutes. Use a damp water cloth to rinse off all traces of the cleaning solution. Air dry to prevent shrinkage of the curtain. On some fabrics, light ironing can be done.

Please check with your local seller if it can be ironed. However, if the whole curtain is stained and needs to be cleaned, it will take more time to remove it from its proper fixing and hanging components. Make sure all metal parts are removed from the curtains (some curtains have embedded curtain eyelets curtains cannot be cleaned as a whole set) before you clean it. The best method for cleaning a full set curtain is dry cleaning.

Blinds last longer

Good quality blinds (not cheap DIY blinds you find are your home improvement stores) will last longer than curtains. Blind’s materials consist of either treated wood slats, coated fabric, plastic or synthetic materials making it more durable. 

These materials are more resistant to discolouration and staining. Because they are more rigid, they can withstand wear and tear more than fabric curtains. The operating of blinds helps protect the fabric longer than curtains. 

Most blinds come with a pull cord or ball chain to operate the motion of the blind. Users never have to touch the actual fabric, so the fabric is less likely to be stained or torn due to usage. Fabric curtains are more prone to wear and tear because to operate the curtain, you have to manually pull onto the fabric to open or close the curtain. Certain types of fabric like velvet, linen and cotton are more prone to mould and stains as well.

Curtain offer better installation for your home

Both blinds and windows help block heat from entering your home. The thicker the fabric, the more heat it can block, therefore is better at energy efficiency. Due to the designs of blinds, more heat can enter the room because of the small gaps within each type of blinds. 

Curtains, which allow in less heat, will insulate the room better because there are no gaps between the slats or fabrics. Some new types of curtains are coated with thermal acrylic foam which greatly increase thermal insulating. 

In addition to thermal insulating, curtains offer better sound proofing than blinds. Fabric curtains are better at absorbing sound because there are no gaps between the slats or installations. Sound will have less space to seep through the curtain than blinds.

Curtains offer more designs

What curtain lacks in functions; they gain in designs. Curtain designs can be tailored to almost any type of décor. Choices ranges from different textures, styles, patterns, materials, levels of transparency, and colors. 

Curtain also offer creative décor techniques like French country, Victorian, classic and many more. Although blinds do come in different colors, textures and patterns, the materials for blinds are limited. The main choice of fabric for blinds is polyester.

Mix and Match is the best choice

Both blinds and curtains have great benefits for your home. It is best to choose curtains for areas that don’t have moisture, are less prone to stains and need better sunproofing. Rooms like bedrooms and living rooms are recommended. 

Rooms with high moisture percentages like kitchen and bathroom should use blinds for their easy-to-clean and multi-function features. However, sometimes combining them can bring out the best of both. Installing roller blinds in the back and curtain in the front can turn your boring window into a multi-functional light adjusting, heat blocking, and privacy setting window treatment.

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