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Window Blinds & Window Shades - Comparison Chart

Purchasing window blinds and window shades can be an extremely frustrating exercise. There are many styles, manufacturing techniques and materials used to make window blinds and window shades, as shown in Figure 1.

window blinds - styles

Figure 1 - Window blinds - styles

There are eight primary factors that differentiate the different window blinds and window shades that are available in today's market.

  1. Window Blinds & Window Shades - Cost

This is a comparison of this specific window blind or window shade as compared to the others in the chart. It is not a relative comparison to all window treatments.

  1. Window Blinds & Window Shades - Life

The cost of window blinds or window shades does not necessarily have a direct relationship to its life. It should also be noted that the same type of window blinds or window shades can have different levels of quality from the same or different manufactures. In this case we have used an average quality for the specific window blinds or window shades to designate its life as compared to others.

  1. Window Blinds & Window Shades - Blackout

Window blinds or window shades cannot provide total darkness in a room. This is because light will always penetrate through the vertical sides as there is no sealing method between the edge of the blind or shade and the wall or window trim. True blackout can only be accomplished by the use of blackout drapes or hurricane shutters. The blackout designation as shown in the chart is the ability for the specific window blinds or window shades to allow light to penetrate its surface area.

  1. Window Blinds & Window Shades - Light Control

While window blinds and window shades can always be moved to a completely open or closed position this category defines whether the window blinds or window shades in the closed position can be opened to different levels to allow more or less light into the room.

  1. Window Blinds & Window Shades - Cleaning

Some material surfaces are easier to clean than others and some physical window blinds or window shades have construction that makes them awkward to clean. Again, this heading is a comparison of cleaning of the window blinds and window shades listed. Hence, a rank of 1 does not necessarily mean it is easy to clean, it only means it is the easiest to clean.

  1. Window Blinds & Window Shades - Visibility

This category ranks the window blinds or window shades in their ability to provide a view of the outdoors through the blind or shade, while the window blinds or window shades are lowered.

  1. Window Blinds & Window Shades - Insulation

How does this style of window blinds or window shades compare in allowing cold to penetrate the room through, the surface of the window glass and does it contain the heat within the room.

  1. Window Blinds & Window Shades - Materials, Colors, Textures

Compared to the other window blinds and window shades, can you purchase the specific window blind or shade in a wide choice of materials, colors and textures?

Installation was not considered, as most window blinds and window shades are relatively easy to install if they were measured correctly when ordering. It should be noted that the difficulty or complexity of the installation is also subject to the trim on windows, whether the window blinds or window shades are inset in the window frame or sit on the wall surface and the material of the wall or trims.

Table 1 provides a comparison of the most common window blinds and window shades available. There may be others, but in most cases, they are simply slight variations of one of the window blinds or window shades that are listed.

Where 1 is the best and 5 is the worst. In the case of cost 1 is the lowest cost (best) and 5 is the highest cost (worst).

Table 1 - Window Blinds & Window Shades - Comparison

Style

Cost

Life

Blackout

Light Control

Cleaning

Visibility

Insulation

Materials,
Colors,
Textures

Blinds

               

Aluminum

2

3

2

1

3

2

4

5

Vinyl

1

3

3

1

4

2

4

1

Wood

5

1

2

1

2

2

2

5

Vertical

1

4

2

1

3

2

3

1

Fauxwood

3

2

2

1

1

2

3

4

Shades

               

Cell

3

4

1

4

5

5

1

5

Roller

1

3

3

5

5

5

4

2

Roman

4

3

2

5

3

5

3

4

Pleated

2

3

2

4

5

5

3

3

Woven

3

3

3

5

3

5

4

2

Other pages that may be of interest: Window Decor