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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 solution for those struggling to sleep because of outside light sneaking into their bedroom.

We have the best picks for the best curtains to make a bedroom pitch-black.

A variety of factors are considered when choosing a curtain. Many of the curtains have thermal insulation and sound-blocking qualities. We took customer ratings and other factors into account 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

The price range for most curtains is $30–$50. The curtains come in a variety of prices. We took all of these factors into account when we picked our picks.

The products listed generally fall into the following pricing:

  • $ = under $25
  • $$ = $25–$75
  • $$$ = $76–$120
  • $$$$ = over $120

Best overall blackout curtain

NICETOWN Complete 100% Blackout Curtains

  • Price: $$
  • Type: rod pocket

The Nicetown Complete 100% Blackout Curtains are one of the most reviewed curtains on Amazon. They are made from a material called polyester. They have six length and two width options.

The curtains have a black liner that adds an extra layer of light blocking. The company says that this heaviness makes it easier to reduce noise and thermal insulation.

The curtain has a rod pocket at the top that is designed to fit curtain rods. They can be hung from rings and hooks to add more length to the fabric.

If you are looking for a curtain that will block all light from entering your room, you might like these curtains. Reviewers said that the curtain 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.

Pros

  • There are multiple colors and sizes available.
  • Extra light blocking is done by sewing in a black layer.
  • Street noise is made up of extra layer muffles.
  • Effectively blocks heat to increase energy efficiency

Cons

  • on the more expensive side.
  • Pets have hair.
  • It is prone to static.
  • It was made of synthetic polyester.
  • After washing, needs to be ironing.

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 curtain. The curtain has a thermal insulation liner that is designed to reduce noise.

Customers can choose between three different lengths and 10 different colors.

The curtain has a design that makes it easy to slide the curtain rod into the top edge. This can make installation easier. The design of the grommet creates a pleats.

Reviewers say that the curtain blocks out light and provides insulation between the window and room. Reviewers say the curtain is not as big as they thought.

You might be able to score a discount if you watch for one of the many sales at Wayfair.

Pros

  • There are multiple lengths and color options.
  • easy installation
  • It is affordable.
  • Machine is clean.

Cons

  • Sometimes colors are different than they are online.
  • The shower curtain can have some things added.
  • Certain colors sell out quickly.

Shop for 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 is made of cotton, linen, and a polyester Blackout liner, which makes 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 has different hanging options, which makes it easier to decide on how your nursery will look.

Pros

  • It was made of cotton, linen, and polyester fabrics.
  • Blocks noise and light.
  • There are four different hanging options.
  • There are multiple lengths and colors available.

Cons

  • higher price
  • The colors are suited for kids rooms.
  • curtains are sold individually and not in a pair

Shop for the Pottery Barn KidsEvelyn Linen Blackout Curtain online.

Best white blackout curtain

Rosdorf Park Jetset Solid Blackout Curtain

  • Price: $$
  • Type: rod pocket

The white curtain that you purchase from the Rosdorf Park Jetset Solid Blackout Curtain is designed to block light without throwing off the overall aesthetic of your room.

The curtains come in a variety of shades of white, including Off White and Ice.

The curtain panel is hung on a rod pocket. The insulated blackout design is intended to keep heat inside. It is only dry clean.

Reviewers are very happy with the white color options, they look formal. The curtains are heavy and have a silky look.

Pros

  • There are two shades of white and other colors.
  • The energy-efficient
  • Highly effective at blocking out light.
  • Heavy duty material.
  • A look of pleats.

Cons

  • sold individually
  • Only dry clean.

Shop for the Rosdorf Park Jetset Solid Blackout 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. The curtain is made out of 100% polyester and has a slight sheen. The curtain comes in a variety of colors. The curtain is hung.

The design of the curtains is matched with the technology, making it a great option for those looking for both design and utility.

This product can be purchased with a liner. The version with the liner is the best option if you want a true blackout experience. The curtains are suitable for poles up to

The curtain needs to be dry cleaned because of its nature. It can be washed to make it shine.

Pros

  • A velvet look is worn by a stylist.
  • There is a range of colors and lengths.
  • Individual and pairs sold.
  • There are available unlined and blackout curtains.
  • can be hung in two different ways

Cons

  • pricey
  • Only dry clean.
  • The version that is not black is more expensive.
  • Only one width size is available.

Shop for the West Elm Worn Velvet Curtain online.

Best thermal insulated blackout curtain

Deconovo Room Darkening Thermal Insulated Blackout Grommet Window Curtain

  • Price: $
  • Type: grommet

The benefits of curtains with an insulation quality are that they prevent drafts. This can help regulate temperature in the summer and winter.

“The Deconovo curtain is an affordable curtain that is designed to block out light, muffle outside noise, and insulate against heat in the summer and cold in the winter. Since you won’t have to blast your heat or AC as often, you could save money on energy costs.”

The curtain panels have silver grommets for hanging. The block light shades are good, but you might prefer the darker shades, like Black and Navy Blue, for the maximum power. The curtain has three size options.

Reviewers say the curtains are thick and look good. The curtains block heat in the summer.

The curtains can make it harder to cool down the room in the summer because they block the air flow.

Pros

  • It is affordable.
  • There are 28 color options.
  • There are 12 sizes available.
  • Machine is clean.
  • To be The energy efficient., it is thermally insulated.

Cons

  • sold individually
  • Not as good as other options.
  • The colors that appear online can be different.
  • prone to wrinkling

Shop for 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 know the importance of finding curtains that block out the sun. Keeping the daylight out can mean a difference between a good night of sleep and a bad one.

The curtain comes in 15 colors. Dark colors like Jet Black, Chocolate Brown, or Navy Blue will block out light and make it hard to sleep.

Reviewers are happy with the product, saying that the darker colors give a full blackout. Reviewers say these curtains are great for daytime nappers.

Pros

  • The energy efficient.
  • It is affordable.
  • There are 19 color options and 9 sizes.
  • Machine is clean.
  • The fabric is soft.

Cons

  • Only rods up to 1.5 inches in diameter are accepted.
  • The panels are not always the same size.
  • “stitching isn’t the best”
  • When you order, the colors vary.

Shop for the H.VERSAILTEX 100% Blackout Bedroom Curtains online.

It is important to be clear on what you need in a curtain because not all curtains are made the same. Before you make a purchase, you should consider materials, style, and installation requirements. For an in-depth look at elements, read below.

Material and type

Most of the curtains on the market are made from a material called polyester. Cotton and linen are used in some of the more expensive products. Most polyester curtains are a good choice if you are looking for a cheap curtain.

The curtain material is used to determine the amount of care required. Machine washed curtains are most simple. Some may need to be dry cleaned. Before buying, make sure you know how much work you want to do to clean your curtains.

There are many types of curtains, including tailored pleat.

The rod pocket and grommet are the primary curtain types. The rod pocket style tends to have smaller pleats than the grommet style. Make sure you buy a proper rod size for the curtain you purchase.

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

“It doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice style for a heavy-duty curtain. When the time is right, a variety of styles and colors of broncos can be used to block out light and enhance the design of a room.”

When buying fabrics and colors, make sure you consider the entire room. Light colors tend to be less effective at blocking out light than darker colors.

The human body is designed to sleep in the dark. In the modern world, blue light filters through our eyes from screens and streets are usually lit at night. 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.

The curtains on the bedroom and nursery can limit the light that can be seen during nap time. They can help children sleep and nap by reducing outside noise.

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 the amount of light in the bedroom, you can help your body sleep by stimulating melatonin production and signaling to your brain that it is time to sleep.

How do I properly install blackout curtains?

“The curtains are hung on rods. To block out light effectively, you should hang the curtain rod above the window so that the light doesn’t shine over the curtains. Even if the curtains are great at blocking out light, they will still let light in.”

If you install grommet-style curtains, you should pick a curtain rod that is larger than the one you want to display.

Do blackout curtains actually work?

Depending on the type of curtains you buy, they can be very effective at blocking light from entering your room. They can block out a lot of light, including streetlights, and even daylight, if you are sleeping.

They can help insulate your room from the heat of the outdoors and help lower the temperature of your room by shining the sun through the window. They have extra layers that can help muffle or reduce noise outdoors.

The effectiveness of their work depends on the quality of the curtain and the lining material. The back lining of the curtains should be made of an opaque material, such as apolyester, in order to make them truly be blackout curtains.

How can I clean blackout curtains?

Cleaning instructions are the most important factor in how you clean your curtains.

Some curtains can be washed in cold water, while others need to be washed with soap and water in order to keep them effective. Make sure you check the instructions when you buy to make sure you know how to clean your curtains.

You can always use a lint roller or vacuum cleaner to clean off dust, pet hair, and dander from your curtain in between cleanings. Mild detergents can spot clean curtains, but be careful with detergents, some curtains may bleach or stain with certain chemicals.

“A better night’s sleep can be achieved by using curtains to enhance your sleep environment.”

Most curtains provide insulation and noise reduction, making them a great option for people who sleep during the day.


Lucia Whalen is a writer and multimedia journalist who is also a co-owner of Trashy Magazine. Her writing has appeared in publications such as Atlas Obscura. She is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism.