Many people use these terms “Window Blinds” and “ Window Shades” interchangeably to refer all window treatments. But they are two distinct categories that divide your window covering options in half. Most basically, Blinds are hard window coverings made with horizontal slats, and Shades are window coverings made of one or more pieces of fabric. In function, they bot  archive the goal of covering your window but these two options differ greatly in operations, price, style, and other features. Let’s dive into some of the key differences and why you might choose Window Blinds Vs. Window Shades.

As mentioned before, Window Blinds are hard window coverings, with slats made of metal, wood, vinyl, composite, woven grass or  bamboo. These stats or vanes tumble down the blind as it is lowered or can be pulled across window to stack length wise, to the side. And they are individually formed together to create the complete Blind and are usually controlled by a manual pull cord. Wood, Faux – wood, Woven wood, Mini Blinds, and Vertical Blinds are the most popular blinds. Horizontal Blinds come in aluminum or textured vinyl. They are the least expensive materials. Real wood blinds, made of hardwood, are the most beautiful and authentic. They act as a natural insulator for greater energy efficiency. They are higher priced but still economical. Faux – wood and composite blinds are designed to look like real wood, but made of materials that can stand to high moisture and humidity. Usually aluminum blinds are available  in ½”, 1”, and 2” slats. Vinyl blinds come in 2” slats. For Faux wood and composite blinds, you can choose between 2” and        2 ½” slats. And for Real wood blinds, your slats options are 1”, 2”, or          2 3/8”. All the materials mentioned above come in multiple colours to fit with your interior design goal. Because of their slatted construction, Blinds offer the most  variable light control. You can tilt the slats to direct where the light lands and how much enters. If you want a clear view, you also have the option to raise the Blinds completely. Also blinds can be angled strategically to allow light but block sightlines. One is the best things about Window Blinds is these are one of the least expensive window coverings. For those seeking a financially conscious decision, they may be the most affordable choice. Because Blinds are made out of hard materials like faux wood or vinyl, they are incredibly durable and humidity/moisture resistant, which makes them a  excellent option for high traffic areas and bathrooms.  And also Blinds are pretty easy to clean. They can be wiped down in a cinch with furniture polish and a soft cloth or can simply dusted out using a duster. But Window Blinds won’t do much to keep out the outside temperatures. And when it comes to safety if you have small children or pets, you better choose cordless style blinds. And since the blinds allow light to sneak in between their slats, you can’t get a room to a black out state. Sometimes blinds make noise when you open and close them.

Unlike Blinds, Window Shades are soft window coverings. Instead of slats, they are composed of one continuous panel of fabric to cover a large swath of a window opening, fitting snugly into your window and stacking neatly at the top. Since they are made of fabric, there is a much  wider range of colours and patterns to choose from. Shades are drawn up and down by cords or rolled up with a spring device. Roller shades, Roman shades and Honeycomb shades are the most famous Window shades. Shades are better for diffusing light or darkening a room altogether.  When closed most Honeycomb shades also known as Cellular shades create soft, warm glow without sacrificing any privacy. Vinyl roller shades or lined Roman shades can darken or completely black out a room. Different construction materials vary the privacy level for different type of shades. Roller shades made from s more sheer fabric may prevent a detailed view while still displaying silhouettes, while those made from Vinyl or opaque fabric offer exceptional privacy. And also Window shades can often easily cleaned with a vacuum brush or a gentle spot – clean. But of you have  tough stains or excessive dirt it may need to be handled by a professional. While Blinds come in many styles and materials, Shades usually have a more diverse variety of fabrics, pattern and colours. Window shades like Honeycomb shades, trap air in it’s cells and provide better insulation in winter and summer. Because Shades are made out of softer materials compared to Blinds, help them stay quiet when you open and close them or of the wind from an open window blows them around. Although there are Shades that you can lift from the bottom or pull down from the top, you can’t adjust the amount of light that ships through them like you can by adjusting slats on Blinds. And shades are not suitable for rooms that have high humidity and heat like bathroom and kitchen because the moisture could absorb into the material and cause significant issues like mold and can easily be stained. Also soft materials of these shades can easily rip and are not well suited for rough use.

Still not sure which window treatment is the best choice for you? There’s nothing quite like seeing these window treatments in person. So just pay a visit to our Orange Beach Blinds showroom or give us a call if you need more professional help.

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“Orange Beach Blinds is a family-owned business with more than 25 years of experience in providing professionally measured and installed beautiful, custom window coverings for any budget. We love what we do!”

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