Curtains vs blinds vs shutters: Which is best for your windows?

Can’t choose between curtains, blinds and shutters for your home? We weigh up the pros and cons of each for you.

Your windows are a key part of the exterior and interior of your home. They help to set the tone for the entire place and can help you turn heads (for the right reasons).

There are surprisingly many ways you can improve your window design, but the most common one revolves around how you cover them. Here, you have three main options: curtains, blinds, and shutters. 

Trethowans
Trethowans

As you can probably tell, this article will act as a guide to all three of these options. Essentially, you’ll learn each’s pros and cons and which one might suit your windows the best. So, let’s get started by looking at the curtains!

The pros and cons of curtains

Curtains are a classic choice in many homes due to a few reasons. Firstly, they’re the best option for retaining heat in your home. Some thick curtains will trap energy inside your property during the winter months. Therefore, curtains can actually help you save money on your energy bills!

Secondly, curtains are popular due to privacy and light-blocking properties. Some closed curtains will completely seal your house off from anybody looking inside.

Curtains also block out way more of the light than the other options, which is perfect for people that need pitch blackness to sleep.

The final advantage of curtains is that they come in a plethora of styles. Not only that but the way you hang the curtains can vary as well. Some people hang them short, others have them hanging right to the floor; it varies! Finally, curtains are very easy to install and remove. Therefore, you can chop and change the designs as much as you like. 

As for the downsides, there’s one that jumps out at you: curtains are very traditional, which can make them quite old fashioned. Walk by any modern homes, and you will see that they don’t tend to have curtains.

Curtains have somewhat drifted out of fashion as people prefer some of the other options on this list. Plus, curtains can be bad for people with pets and allergies as fur and other allergens get caught in the fibres. 

Summary

To summarise curtains, the pros and cons are as follows.

Pros:

  • Cost-effective
  • Easy to install
  • Lots of different variations and styles
  • Traps heat in your home to save energy
  • Great for blocking out light
  • Adds extra privacy to your rooms

Cons:

  • Sometimes deemed quite old fashioned
  • Not the easiest to clean
  • Can be a haven for dust, pet hair, and other allergens

Curtains are most effective in individual rooms in the home. For example, they work really well when used in bedrooms – thanks to the added privacy.

Also, it’s worth noting that the curtains’ nature allows them to function alongside other options. They hand over your windows, rather than being fitted to them. So, you may want to consider adding curtains to your home with blinds or shutters.

Lastly, it’s generally recommended that you shy away from curtains in the kitchen or bathroom. Why? Because they can get soaked by water, which leads to nasty brown damp patches. 

The pros and cons of blinds

Next, we’ll take a look at what’s good and bad about blinds. Instantly, blinds earn positive points for being incredibly stylish. Like curtains, they come in so many different varieties and styles.

Venetian blinds are probably the most well-known, but loads of others also exist. This allows you to find a style that perfectly suits your property and the room the blinds are in.

Speaking of the variety, you can actually get windows with blinds installed between the panes of glass! Some blinds literally fit up against the windows. The sheer innovation means you can have some genuinely funky and quirky styles. 

Another cool feature of blinds is that you can control light levels. They can be closed completely to block out light or opened fully to let it all shine in. However, if you want a little bit of light, you can tilt the blinds slightly open.

You can also get blackout blinds that claim to block all of the light from outside, but these vary in effectiveness. Some people find they work perfectly, while others complain that you can still see a lot in the room. Still, all blinds give you the chance to control the light levels in a room, which is very beneficial. 

From a negative standpoint, you could argue that blinds can be tricky to operate. Some people struggle to open and close blinds as there are several strings to pull. However, modern blinds are much better than older ones, offering more convenient operation mechanics.

You could also argue that blinds are harder to clean than you have to get between each blind. Lastly, some people will say that blinds are more expensive and you can’t install them yourselves. So, if you wanted to change the style, you can’t unhook them and hook on some new ones – like you can with curtains. 

Summary

Before we round things up, let’s take a look at all the pros and cons of blinds in an easy-to-view format.

Pros:

  • Incredibly stylish
  • So many different types available
  • Can alter light levels to set different moods

Cons:

  • Quite hard to clean
  • Difficult to operate 
  • Hard to install
  • Relatively expensive

On the face of it, blinds look like a bad option as the cons outweigh the pros. However, the advantages of blinds are so useful. They are modern, stylish, and will look good in every home.

Plus, while they’re harder to clean, blinds don’t get as dirty as curtains. Usually, you can just wipe the surfaces to get anything off them. As a result, this is why they’re popular in bathrooms and kitchens! 

Additionally, though blinds are more expensive than curtains, they will last longer. This is simply because of the materials used in each product. A set of blinds can last for decades before you feel the need to replace them.

However, curtains will fray at the edges, fade in colour, and may start breaking away. So, you will need to replace them more frequently than a set of blinds. 

The pros and cons of shutters

Finally, we shall take a look at window shutters. For some of you, this is an option you’ve never considered. Or, more accurately, you bundle it in with blinds. While shutters and blinds can look similar, they have some fundamental differences.

Shutters are custom-made to fit your windows and act as a door of sorts. You can open them out or get some on slides that slide open like a patio door. With blinds, you have something that hangs down over your windows – they aren’t built into them. 

Already, you can see how shutters can present some big advantages. To start, they offer additional security for your home. If a window breaks, there’s still a set of shutters to get through! Also, this offers added protection against the elements.

Shutters are excellent at blocking out wind and cold air, keeping your house calm and warm. That’s another point to bring up; they help with soundproofing. The design of window shutters gives you a barrier between the window and the inside of your home. So, sounds from outside have to pass through the window, and then the shutters. 

As you can see, there’s a lot to enjoy with this option. Things get even better when you consider the diversity of styles on offer. Companies like Diamond Window Shutters will offer a full range of bespoke designs for you to choose from. This typically includes full shutters, half shutters, sliding shutters, and many more.

To make things even better, window shutters can be made to fit any windows in your home. If you have windows that are an odd shape, it’s hard to get curtains or blinds made for them. With shutters, the company will take the window measurements and construct a product that fits them!

All in all, there’s a lot to recommend window shutters for your home. On the negative side, they are the most expensive option out of the three. But, this is because more work goes into making them. Also, you could say that they’re a bit bulky, which might be an issue for some homeowners. 

Summary

What are the main pros and cons of window shutters?

Pros:

  • Very stylish
  • Added security for your home
  • Blocks out wind and bad weather
  • Blocks out sounds from outside
  • Can be made to fit any windows
  • Loads of options available

Cons:

  • The most expensive option
  • Hard to install and can’t be taken down on your own
  • A bit bulky and clunky for some people

Window shutters can be perfect for any homes – particularly in the kitchen and living room. They also work excellently on patio windows leading into a garden. If you can afford them, they’d make a unique addition to your home. 

What’s the best choice for YOUR home?

To summarise the entire article, all three of these options can work well for you. Truthfully, you can have all three of them in your house at the same time.

For example, blinds and curtains work well together, but you could have shutters in the kitchen, blinds in the bathroom, then curtains in the bedrooms. Weigh up the pros and cons of each option before deciding which one looks best in each room.

Photo by Fredrik Öhlander