Are Room Darkening Roller Shades Worth It?

Custom roller shades allow you more control over the amount of light and privacy you need for any space in your home. In many cases, the right rollers can also create more comfort (e.g., cooler, darker spaces), and some can even help cut down on your energy costs throughout the year.  

As far as light control goes, window treatments typically fall within one of three categories: light filtering, room darkening, and blackout. Where do room darkening roller shades fall on the light-control spectrum? Room darkening shades are known for being not too dark, and not too light. They can help set a tranquil mood, and offer the right amount of privacy any time, day or night.  

Benefits of Room Darkening Roller Shades

If you want to prevent light from getting into a room, then custom blackout roller shades or custom room darkening roller shades should meet your needs. Either of these two kinds of window treatments can effectively reduce or block the amount of light that enters a room. You can help create different moods in any of your spaces – some types of shades (like cellular/honeycomb) can also help block out exterior noise.

Are Roller Shades Good for Room Darkening?

While room darkening shades offer more light control than light filtering shades, they don’t block out light as fully as blackout shades (i.e., room darkening shades block out up to 95 percent of incoming light, while blackout shades can block out up to 99 percent).

What’s the Difference Between Room Darkening and Blackout Shades?

Roller shades are known to let light in through gaps between mounting hardware and the top of the shade. To achieve a full blackout effect with your window treatments of choice, you’ll probably need to mount them above your window frame or use a valance. Woven-wood shades, and shades made of lighter materials, will typically need a liner to effectively block out light and to provide privacy at night. As mentioned, room darkening shades do a great job of blocking out up to 95% of incoming light, while blackout shades can block out up to 99%. 

Speaking of blackout shades, did you know that our Cordless Blackout Cellular Shades were selected 2021’s best blackout shades by the New York Times’ Wirecutter Reviews?

Wirecutter says:
“We like cellular shades because they look good, effectively block light, and are easy to install. Our panel unanimously agreed that the Select Blinds’ Cordless Blackout Cellular Shades [are] the [ones] they’d most like in their homes. The polyester shade looks and feels noticeably better in quality than other shades we considered. Among the shades we tested, it has one of the widest selections of sizes and colors, and it’s covered by a three-year warranty, the longest of any model we considered.”

How do I Stop the Light From Coming Up On the Side of My Roller Shades?

There are some things you can do to help keep light from seeping in from the sides of your roller shades. Some ideas include:

Select Blinds Customer and Staff Favorites

Ready for some trendy, stylish suggestions? Here are some popular Select Blinds roller shades, known for their effective room-darkening capabilities:

Classic Fabric Room Darkening Roller Shades (Essential Tier)*

Darken your spaces nicely and keep things private indoors with the velvety smoothness of these affordable, rich-looking, light blocking rollers.

*Our Essential Tier products include simple designs in familiar styles. Made of materials known for strength, and easy cleaning, Essential Tier products are a great starting point for first-time home owners or renters that are looking for budget-friendly solutions.

Lifestyle Room Darkening Roller (Signature Tier)*

Keep the mood lighting down low while darkening your space (think perfect home theater!) with these affordable room darkening rollers. Available with optional side and bottom tracks to block 100% of incoming light.

Light Blocking Side Tracks (Signature Tier)*

These Light-Blocking Side Tracks can be installed on either side of your roller shade to help maximize coverage and light blockage. Purchase them to accessorize most windows!

*Our Signature Tier products feature thoughtful designs in trendy styles. Made with durable materials, Signature Tier products are the perfect place to start when looking for a beyond basic solution that is also affordable.

Premier Room Darkening Dual Shade (Premium Tier)*

With this stylish alternative to roller shades, you can deepen your windows’ dimensions with these unique room darkening dual/zebra shades. Dual layers of sheer and room darkening fabric operate with a roller mechanism like roller shades, then easily align to lighten or darken rooms.

*Our Premium Tier products feature lasting designs in timeless styles. Made of high-quality materials, Premium Tier products are the ideal choice for an excellent investment that’s made to last. Some upgrade features may be included.

Luxe Modern Room Darkening Skylight (Luxury Tier)*

For those high-up skylight windows, they should be a breeze to cover with these room-darkening honeycomb shades. Several alluring colors, with optional motorization and upgrades!

*Our Luxury Tier products include superior design in distinct styles. Made with unique materials and quality craftsmanship. Luxury Tier products are for the homeowner looking to indulge in sophisticated customization. Some upgrade features are included.

Let Us Help You Put More “DIY” Into Your Dream Home

Relaxing white living room features corner stone fireplace lined with tan walls accented with lower wall white wainscoting framing large windows with gorgeous view. Luxury interior.

Personalize your house and turn it into your dream home – we can help! No need to break the bank to do it, either. Sharpen those interior DIY design instincts, and save yourself plenty of money in the process. You got this! Custom-craft a home that you’re proud to live in. It’s easy, and you’ll find all the helpful resources you’ll need at Treat your windows right with the right window treatments.

Go Window Shopping for Some Stylish New Roller Shades! >>

See Why Happy Customer Jo Ann Refers Her Friends to Select Blinds

Select Blinds customer pairs floor length curtains with grey roller shades

Have you ever created the perfect looking room? How about the perfect looking window?

With windows, the trick is finding coverings that both look good and provide privacy. And when we say “look good” we mean not just in the window, but as part of the room itself. Sometimes it all just comes together, with the perfect coverings combining with everything else to form a setting that just seems…right.

For Jo Ann A., that’s just how things are in her dining room.

Jo Ann entered our contest for a chance to win a $250 Visa gift card (join our Happy Customer Program) with photos of her Select Room Darkening Roller Shades with Cassette. As you can see from the pictures, they certainly look good in her dining room.

We liked Jo Ann’s photos so much, in fact, we decided to learn a little more about what went into choosing them.

First, we wondered why she went with the Select Room Darkening Roller Shades with Cassette.

“I wanted that type of window covering because when the sun sets it was that side of my house and it gets hot. Also, I want to have a privacy because ever since Hurricane Michael hit us last October, we had some damage and until now we had no fences and I don’t want my neighbors or strangers seeing us eating and seeing whats inside my house.”Happy customer pairs Select Blinds grey roller shades and custom drapery

That makes a lot of sense. Room Darkening shades provide an amazing amount of privacy, and they will help keep rooms cooler by keeping them darker. Those are both great qualities, but we wanted to know what Jo Ann likes best about her shades. She said she appreciates how easy they are to roll up or down, but that’s not all.

“I loved them especially with cassette they look awesome and it looks great in my windows. I’m in love with it and even my husband is enjoying it and fell in love with it too! I’ve never before felt so excited to be in that room every day just to look at it.”

How great is that? The shades have become a focal point for Jo Ann.  As an industry leader in making window treatments safe for kids, we are also excited over her choosing a cordless option.  The shades and drapes go together so nicely, which makes sense since Jo Ann said her love for the shades led to getting new curtains.

“I had an old light-colored curtains but when I tried it on it just doesn’t look awesome so I have to go find curtains that would look great with my new roller shades and I got a lot of compliments from my friends/family and they even asked where I got my shades and gave them your website.”

(Note: Check out our selection of curtains here.)

We totally get how getting some sweet new shades could send you down the rabbit hole of needing more new stuff to bring out the best in them. It turns out that the shades have helped to bring the best out of Jo Ann’s home and she couldn’t be happier about her experience.

White flowery wall art near window with Select Blinds roller shades and custom drapery

“All I can say is you all did a great job.  You all make sure that customers are very satisfied and happy. My first experience having a roller shade is way above my expectations and they make my house look great❤❤❤ (editor’s note: the hearts were Jo Ann’s).

“Thank you very much for making my room/house look great again and I’m thinking of replacing all the blinds in the rest of my house soon. You all did a great and awesome job!”

We appreciate that, Jo Ann, but the real credit goes to you. Great choice and we can’t wait to see what you do next!