The Different Types of Window Blinds, Explained
Did you know that the global window blinds and shades market was worth $10.4 billion in 2020? What’s more, experts project that to grow further and reach a staggering $12.4 billion value by 2027!
Such window coverings are popular as they provide an aesthetic way to boost privacy. What’s more, some of these products can also help improve the energy efficiency of windows. The latter is a welcome bonus, seeing as windows can waste up to 30% of your heating and cooling energy.
However, those perks vary across the different types of window blinds (and shades). For that reason, it pays to know more about their variations and the pros and cons of each.
Don’t worry, though, as that’s what you’ll learn in this guide. So, keep reading to learn more about the best blinds for your windows.
Venetian blinds feature horizontal slats threaded together with a lift cord. Pulling that cable makes the bottom of the blinds move upward, causing their slats to lie atop each other.
When entirely raised, the slats fit snugly on top of one another. That allows them to form a neat, rectangular structure at the very top of the blinds.
Alternatively, you can lift the slats on suspended blinds to create a gap between each. You can raise the slats up or down by almost 180 degrees in most cases. Doing so allows you to control the amount of ventilation and sunlight that enters your home.
Many of today’s Venetian blinds consist of slats made of vinyl, aluminum, or wood. However, some manufacturers now also offer bamboo and faux wood.
As their name suggests, vertical blinds feature slats that run vertically. Each slat then connects to a track along the top of the blind. Depending on their exact style, the slats can move from one side to another or part along the middle.
As with Venetian blinds, you can also move the slats on vertical blinds. However, instead of up and down, the slats on vertical blinds go from side to side. That makes them some of the best blinds for bigger-sized or longer windows.
Vertical blinds also come in the same materials as the horizontal ones, such as plastic, wood, or metal.
Panel blinds are similar to vertical blinds in that their sections move side to side along a track. However, they feature fabric panels instead of plastic, wood, or metal slats.
The fabric panels are also much wider than the slats of vertical blinds. In addition, they come with a weighted bottom bar that helps keep their smooth appearance.
Like vertical blinds, panel blinds can also be an excellent option for huge windows. Just remember that you can’t rotate the panels, considering their width. Instead, you can make one section slide on top of the one next to it to allow some sunlight.
Roller blinds, also called roller shades, are window covers that roll and unfurl. However, unlike typical blinds with slats, they feature a single piece of fabric. The fabric then wraps around a horizontal casing installed at the top of the window.
Closing and opening roller blinds are just as easy, though, as you only need to pull their cord lift. What’s more, you can choose among many fabric types, such as cotton, polyester, velvet, or wool. You can also get them in sheer, dimout, or blackout versions.
Reflective Window Blinds
Reflective window blinds come with one side coated with a reflective material. That surface reflects a good chunk of the heat that falls on them. So, for example, it can make some of the sun’s heat bounce back outdoors.
For that reason, reflective blinds can help block some of the solar heat that enters windows.
However, it’s vital to close such blinds completely to expose their reflective surface. So long as completely closed, they can reduce solar heat gains by about 45%.
There are also reversible reflective blinds with one reflective and one absorptive side. They’re reversible since you can switch them around based on the location of the heat. For example, you want the reflective side to face outward in the summer and inward during winter.
Solar Film Roller Blinds
Solar film roller blinds operate the same way as roller blinds, except they don’t use fabrics. Instead, they boast a material similar to those used in solar control window films. Thus, they can help reject solar heat, block ultraviolet rays, and reduce glare.
You can also get tinted or reflective solar film roller blinds. That way, you can keep things inside your home private when the blinds are down.
One thing that sets solar film blinds apart from windows films is that the former is operable. After all, you can close or open them, depending on the time of the day. Plus, they won’t void your windows’ warranty, which can happen if you install window films.
Before buying new window blinds, be sure to consider the size and shape of the windows. That’s because some windows exceed the typical dimensions of ready-to-hang blinds.
Fortunately, according to Newblinds.co.uk, you can now buy made-to-measure, bespoke blinds. These are ideal options for non-standard window shapes and sizes. You can also opt to have your blinds tailored based on the specific material you want to use.
What’s more, you can make your blinds automated with the addition of a motor. With that, you can rotate the slats, slide the panels, or open the entire system using a remote control. You can even schedule when their slats should move, slide, open, or close.
Mix and Match Different Types of Window Blinds
There you have it, your ultimate guide on the different types of window blinds. Now, you know that the horizontal (Venetian) blinds you always see aren’t your only option. You can also get vertical, panel-type, reflective, solar, and even custom-made blinds.
In any case, you can always get different types and mix and match them. That way, they can compensate for what the others lack.
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