Last updated: August 11, 2021

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Welcome to our large blackout curtain test 2021. Here we present all the blackout curtains we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

In this way, we would like to make it easier for you to make a purchase decision and help you find the blackout curtain best suited to your needs. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should be aware of when buying blackout curtains.




The most important facts

  • With the help of blackout curtains, you can also sleep undisturbed in the late morning hours and during the day. The opaque curtains also protect the room from sunlight and offer privacy.
  • Depending on the window you want to install the curtain on, you can either choose a normal blackout curtain or a model with suction cups. Blackout curtains with suction cups are not only practical for slanted windows, but also for when you are on the move.
  • Since blackout curtains are simply made of a denser, multi-layered material compared to normal curtains, you can sew them yourself and usually wash them in the washing machine. However, be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions.

The Best Blackout Curtain: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for blackout curtains

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate blackout curtains. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular blackout curtain is suitable for you or not. In summary, these are:

Below we explain what these individual criteria mean exactly.

Size

To find out what size the blackout curtain should be, you need to measure and calculate your window correctly. You can calculate the width of the curtain as follows:

Curtain width = Width of window * Gathers (1.5 - 3 times)

You should also add 10 - 20 cm on each side so that there is no gap between the wall and the curtain. This is how you achieve the maximum blackout effect. It is best to measure the curtain length on the right, left and in the middle of the curtain, as this can lead to different results. Then select the smallest value as the length.

Material

There are a number of things to consider when choosing the right material for your blackout curtain. The following tips can help you choose the right material:

  • Make sure that the material consists of three layers. The middle layer of blackout curtains is black and absorbs light. You can choose any colour for the outer layer.
  • A strong fabric is important for the opacity of the curtain. Materials made of only one layer are also opaque.
  • The curtain should also be flame retardant for safety reasons.
  • An extra coating on the curtain can help to repel heat, keeping the room comfortably warm or cold depending on the season.

Blackout effect

You can choose between different levels of blackout effect in the shops. Some curtains darken the room 100%, others only 90%.

If you want to use the curtain overnight, a 90% or 95% blackout is a good choice, as it lets some light into the room in the morning and makes it easier for you to wake up.

For a particularly strong blackout effect, the curtain should consist of three layers. The outer layers are in a colour of your choice, the inner, invisible layer is black and absorbs the light.

Design

Many manufacturers point out that the colour of the curtain influences the blackout effect. Depending on the material, lighter fabrics darken the room much less than darker fabrics. So when choosing the colour, follow the manufacturer's instructions.

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There are blackout curtains made of light-coloured fabric that are ideal for small rooms and a friendly atmosphere. (Image source: pexels / burst)

Light curtain colours are generally a good choice for small rooms. This makes the room look larger and friendlier. In large rooms, on the other hand, darker colours can set a nice accent. Especially in large bedrooms, where a strong blackout effect is desired, you should therefore go for dark colours.

Fitting

Blackout curtains can be attached to a curtain rod in different ways. For example, they can be hung on the curtain rod with the help of hooks or rings. There may be additional costs as the hooks or rings are not always included in the purchase package.

Fixing method Details
Blackout curtains with hooks Attachment to curtain rod with the help of additional hooks or rings
Blackout curtains with eyelets The eyelets or loops are sewn directly onto the curtain

With blackout curtains with eyelets, the eyelets are sewn directly into the curtain fabric. So you don't need any extra accessories, but can hang the curtain directly. There are also models that have loops attached to the top of the curtain instead of metal eyelets. If you know before buying that you will be moving the curtain back and forth a lot, you should make sure that the loops slide smoothly on the curtain rod.

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a blackout curtain

What is a blackout curtain?

A blackout curtain is a short or floor-length curtain that shields the living room or bedroom from light. While conventional curtains are often sewn from thin, lightweight material, the blackout curtain is made from a particularly opaque and light-proof fabric.

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If you are unintentionally woken up early in the morning by the first rays of the sun or work in shifts, you can regain your deep sleep with the help of a blackout curtain. (Image source: pixabay / pexels)

Besides its functionality as a blackout curtain, it can also be used as a beautiful design element. Blackout curtains no longer have to be dark and heavy like they used to be, but can nowadays be purchased in lighter fabrics and in different patterns.

Who are blackout curtains suitable for?

One function of the blackout curtain is already in the word: it protects against light incidence. But the blackout curtain can offer you even more:

  • Blackout
  • Privacy
  • Sound insulation
  • Heat insulation

This makes the blackout curtain ideal for people who work at night. Especially if there are no built-in shutters, you can still sleep undisturbed during the day with the help of the blackout curtain. It is also suitable for the children's room: this way, the little ones fall asleep quickly even at midday. For the children's room, there are also blackout curtains with particularly beautiful designs, such as detailed punched-out patterns.

Did you know that there are also special blackout curtains for travelling? If you don't want to miss out on a good night's sleep in holiday accommodation, you can take a travel blackout curtain with you. It folds up small and can be easily attached to the windows on site.

In winter, the blackout curtain ensures that the heating air stays in the room and does not escape through leaky windows. But also in summer, the blackout curtain helps you to maintain a pleasant room temperature. If the curtains are drawn in the morning, they protect you from direct sunlight.

What types of blackout curtains are there?

Basically, you can distinguish between two types of blackout curtains:

  • Blackout curtain for normal windows
  • Blackout curtain with suction cups

Depending on the type of window to which the blackout curtain is to be attached, either a normal blackout curtain or a model with suction cups is suitable. Below we give you an overview of the exact advantages and disadvantages of the two types of curtain.

Blackout curtains for normal windows

When we talk about normal windows in the following, we mean anything that is not a slanted or skylight window. Whether your window is floor-to-ceiling, vertical or horizontal doesn't matter for now. It should only be installed in a straight wall without a slant.

Blackout curtains for regular windows look like regular long curtains, but are made of an opaque material.

There is a wide range of normal blackout curtains available both online and in shops. No matter what colour your walls are or what pattern your bedding is, you will find a blackout curtain to match.

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With chic blackout curtains, you can have that hotel feeling at home in your own bedroom. (Image source: pexels / ntwrk)

Furthermore, blackout curtains for normal windows can be chosen between different mounting options: They can be attached to the curtain rod using eyelets, loops or hooks. Such normal blackout curtains are not suitable for slanted windows. In this case, they would not lie directly against the window and there would be gaps, allowing light to enter the room. In addition, the normal blackout curtains require time-consuming cleaning.

Advantages
  • Large selection
  • Various mounting options
  • Can be customised
Disadvantages
  • Cannot be used for slanted windows
  • Cleaning is time-consuming
  • Cannot be taken on the move

Depending on the model, you can either put them in the washing machine or take them to the dry cleaner. Because the curtains are large and heavy, they cannot be taken on the go.

Blackout curtains with suction cups

Blackout curtains with suction cups are attached directly to the window frame without drilling. When attaching them, make sure that the suction cups and the window are clean. Since they can also be used when travelling, many manufacturers use a wipe-clean fabric that can be cleaned quickly. You can use blackout curtains with suction cups for the following occasions:

  • Normal windows
  • Roof windows/ Slanted windows
  • On the road/ Travelling

This makes them the true all-rounder among blackout curtains. Especially for families with children, the purchase of a blackout curtain with suction cups is worthwhile. You can not only use it for naps at home, but also take it with you to relatives or to a holiday home.

Advantages
  • Attachment without drilling
  • Quick cleaning
  • Versatile use
Disadvantages
  • Fewer design options
  • Not a complete blackout
  • Not decorative

Unlike regular blackout curtains, there is less choice of blackout curtains with suction cups. They often come in one colour, in dark shades and are therefore less decorative. Also, you can only achieve complete blackout with a model that fits your window exactly. Since manufacturers' specifications are not always accurate, you may have to try out several curtains until you find the perfect measurements for your window.

What alternatives are there to blackout curtains?

Instead of a blackout curtain, you can also install a blackout roller blind on your window. Both blackout curtains and blinds are particularly suitable for bedrooms and living rooms. In the bathroom, on the other hand, privacy films can also be applied to the window. These darken the room only minimally, but provide privacy because the room can no longer be seen from the outside.

Blackout blind

A blackout roller blind has a better climate balance than a blackout curtain because it protects the room better from sunlight. Since most blackout roller blinds are made of water-repellent material, they can also be easily wiped clean with a cloth. During the day, they are also barely visible because they disappear into the box at the top of the window.

Advantages
  • Better climate balance
  • Easy to clean
  • Hardly visible during the day
Disadvantages
  • Difficult to adjust individually
  • Less blackout effect
  • No sound insulation

However, blackout blinds are difficult to customise. You need to know the exact dimensions of your window to avoid making a mistake. If the blind does not fit into the frame, you cannot adjust it with a needle and thread like a curtain. In addition, roller blinds darken less than curtains because the blackout roller blind and the window frame are often not flush. In addition, a roller blind does not provide sound insulation.

How are blackout curtains washed?

In general, you should follow the manufacturer's washing instructions. However, most blackout curtains can be washed in the washing machine like normal curtains. Individual cases must be taken to the dry cleaner. Professional cleaning is also advisable in the case of heavy soiling.

Washing blackout curtains in the washing machine

  1. Remove all curtain fasteners before washing. Curtains with sewn-in metal eyelets can be put in a laundry bag to prevent them from damaging the washing machine.
  2. Then wash the curtains at 30 - 40 degrees with mild detergent. They should only be spun briefly after the wash cycle. It is therefore best to switch off the spin function beforehand.
  3. After the short spin, the curtains should be air-dried. Due to the special material and possible coatings, they must not be put in the dryer.
  4. Ironing is not possible with all blackout curtains. Pay attention to the care instructions regarding the setting of the iron.

What accessories do I need for blackout curtains?

Depending on the type of blackout curtain you have chosen, you will need different accessories. Sellers also differ in what they supply directly. Therefore, before you buy, find out which accessories are not included with your blackout curtain and calculate these extra costs.

Accessories for normal blackout curtains

  • Curtain rod
  • Hooks and rings (if no eyelets or loops are sewn in)
  • possibly tiebacks for tying during the day

Accessories for blackout curtains with suction cups

  • Suction cups (if not supplied)
  • Disinfectant wipes to clean the window before attaching the curtains
  • Scissors for cutting to size

Can I sew blackout curtains myself?

Of course, you can easily sew blackout curtains yourself. Especially if you want your blackout curtain to be made of a certain material, you can go to the fabric shop and sew it yourself. Unlike lightweight curtains, you choose a heavy, dense fabric for the blackout curtain. This makes sewing easier because the fabric does not wrinkle and is less likely to slip.

Image source: 123rf / 33861148

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