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Keep your home cool and safe with a blackout curtain

Many of us had our first experience with blackout curtains when we stay in a hotel. These heavy, light-blocking products make it seem like the middle of the night when closed. But its benefits go far beyond helping you sleep. After testing, BestReviews found that quality blackout curtains can protect you and your home from unwanted UV rays, provide privacy, help regulate temperature, and even offer some sound insulation.

Blackout curtains can be made from many materials, ranging from foam-lined fabric to thick polyester or cotton microfibers. They can weigh up to three times as much as regular curtains and are most effective when made of light-absorbing colors like black or navy blue.

Upon evaluation, the BestReviews testing lab concluded that the best blackout curtains effectively block out the most sunlight. If you want to quickly measure the quality before you hang them, you can hold the curtains up in daylight to see how much sunlight gets through. The lab also found that the heavy fabric often used in manufacturing was well-suited to significantly dampen outside ambient noise, such as traffic, while also absorbing some interior noise.

The word “blackout” implies darkness, and these curtains are very good at blocking light and creating a night-time atmosphere during the day. However, due to their thick construction, they offer more benefits than simply reducing the amount of light coming through a window.

  • Blocks UV rays: While glass blocks most UVB rays, the UVA rays that cause premature skin aging can still get through. Blackout curtains prevent this.
  • Protect your home: Infrared heat radiation and UV rays passing through windows can fade carpeting and damage furniture, woodwork and more. Blackout curtains also prevent this.
  • Keep your home cooler in summer: While blackout curtains can’t reduce the temperature in your home, they can block the warm sunlight and help keep the temperature inside. This can save you money on your cooling bills during the summer.
  • Catch the heat: Just as they prevent heat from entering your home in the summer, blackout curtains can prevent it from escaping in the winter. Using blackout shades in the cooler months can lower your heating bill.
  • Reduce ambient noise: Softer surfaces absorb sound. Hanging blackout curtains can decrease the overall noise level in a room, both by dampening outside sounds and by absorbing internal sounds.

Beth Allen, DIY and home improvement expert at BestReviews, says hanging blackout curtains isn’t difficult, but it can be difficult to slide the heavier material along a curtain rod. Because of this, Allen suggests using clip-on rings to make the panels easier to hang and move more smoothly when you want to let in some light.

To personalize your blackout curtains, Allen suggests adding decorative trims to help them blend better with the room’s décor. You can do it by sewing or just gluing the edge. This also adds a little accent to make your blackout curtains more interesting to look at.

When washing, Allen says it’s best to use cold water and air dry if possible. Unless the care label specifically states that tumble drying is an option, the heat from the dryer can damage the curtains and cause them to become damaged prematurely.

Modern Blackout Curtain Eclipse Fresno: available in Amazon

This is a polyester blackout curtain (single panel) that promises 98%-99.9% light blocking ability. It can reduce unwanted noise and help regulate temperature. The curtain is available in six colors.

BGment Bedroom Blackout Curtains – Available in Amazon

If you’re looking for blackout curtains to fit any decor, this set of two comes in over two dozen colors. Each panel has eight grommets that can accommodate a 1.6-inch bar. These curtains are machine washable and can be tumble dried on a low heat.

Utopia Bedding Blackout Curtains: available in Amazon

These bedroom curtains are available in a wide variety of sizes so they can fit any window. They are made of triple-weave polyester and are 4-inch hemmed at the top and bottom with a 1-inch hemmed on the sides.

Rutterllow Blackout Shades: Available in Amazon

These blackout curtains have six 1.6 inch grommets for hanging. Depending on the color, they can block 80-95% of sunlight. Like other offerings, these curtains can also reduce unwanted noise and work as a thermal barrier.

Deconovo Blackout Shades: Available in Amazon

These blackout curtains feature a silver coating that makes them an exceptional thermal barrier. They also block light and UV rays, provide privacy, and reduce unwanted noise. They come in 10 colors, including red, teal, and sky blue.

Flamingo P Blackout Shades: available in Amazon

This offering promises to block 100% of sunlight and unwanted UV rays, making it a versatile option for bedrooms, home theaters, dens, or anywhere else that needs to be darkened. Double-layer construction is the secret to this highly-rated two-panel set.

Deconovo Insulated Blackout Curtain: available in Amazon

You get one panel per package with this offer. The curtain is soft solid color with elegant fabric which can add a touch of class to your room. It is available in more than two dozen colors and comes in a wide variety of sizes.

Nicetown Blackout Curtains: available in Amazon

The extra heavy design of these blackout curtains allows them to block up to 99% of light, depending on the color chosen. They are cut with thread and without wrinkles. Unlike other options, these curtains are the same color on both sides.

Utopia Bedding Bedroom Blackout Curtains: available in Amazon

Instead of grommets, these blackout curtains have six back loops per panel that create a sleeker look. The curtains are made with a dense polyester fabric that blocks out light, reduces unwanted noise, and serves as a thermal barrier to lower your heating and cooling bills.

Eclipse Fresno Modern Blackout Thermal Shade: available in Amazon

This blackout curtain is sold as a single panel. It is made of 100% polyester and can block up to 99.9% of sunlight and UV rays. Thermaback technology offers thermal and acoustic insulation advantages.

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foster allen is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help you simplify your buying decisions and save you time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, reviewing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for the most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

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