Blinds VS Shades: Choosing the Right Window Treatment

Whether you are renovating, redesigning, or simply just purchased a new home, you must be asking yourself the most common of first questions—which window treatment fits best for your room and house? Let’s break it down for you.

It’s crucial to do your homework about both window treatments before outwardly spending your money on any option. We’ll break down the pros and the cons of both blinds and shades so there will be no surprises.

This article will provide a deep and intricate contrast and comparison of blinds and shades. By the time you finish the blog, you’ll come out as a pro and know everything from which fits you and your home best, to how to clean, install, and pick the best option for you. 


  • Pros and Cons of Blinds
  • Pros and Cons of Shades
  • Types of Blinds
  • Types of Shades
  • Privacy
  • Durability
  • Safety
  • Cleaning
  • Installation
  • Price
  • Noise Level
  • Cellular Shades vs. Blinds
  • Bottom Line: Which Window Covering Is Right for You?

Pros and Cons of Blinds

What are blinds? Blinds are a common type of window covering made of slats and louvers connected by vertical strings. This option allows the slats to close firmly to reduce light exposure in your rooms and provide intimacy and privacy from those passing by. Blinds as well permit the slats to open at any degree you like effectively giving you control over the light amounts in your rooms and permitting you to see the outside world.

Additionally to their adjustability, blinds testify to their versatility by providing the option of being raised entirely through either a main string or electronically to maximize sunlight exposure and can be set down to minimize to any extent the light and ensure privacy.

Blinds in the past were able to be raised via a main string, but today electronic options are prominent via remote or phone apps; regardless, the choice is always in your hand.

Pros of blinds:

  • Functionality: In terms of privacy, blinds are certainly more versatile. Naturally, there will always be a slight crack between the slats letting in minimal light, but you can always adjust them to fit the perfect light-to-darkness ratio.
  • Options: Blinds offer different materials and types providing even additional options, for instance, some common preferences would be: wood blinds, vertical blinds, mini blinds faux wood, vinyl, fabric, and much more.
  • Durability: Blinds made out of the harder materials listed above prove durability in stricter conditions with loud noise pollution or with moisture climates.
  • Easy Installation: Mind you, these blinds are easy to install—even by yourself

Cons of Blinds:

  • Blocking Light: Blinds unfortunately always let in some extent of light, which can be agitating to those who love their full darkness. Keep this in mind when searching for bedroom window treatments
  • Noisy: Blinds can make quite a lot of noise when opening and closing especially when there’s the wind which can knock them off the window back and forth.
  • Cleaning: Naturally, blinds get dusty in between the slats, and cleaning between them could be a hassle for some. This isn’t as much of an issue with shades.
  • Design: Some blinds can be stunning and complement your home design in every way, but many can look simple, boring, and even industrial. Keep an eye out for a fitting option to your room’s design.

Pros and Cons of Shades

Shades are a different type of window covering unlike blinds as blinds are comprised of adjustable slats, and shades are a consistent single unit usually made of fabric.

When shades are pulled down they block all light and the view up until the opening if not at all; however, you can choose material options that filter more light

Similar to blinds, shades are lowered and raised via a main cord or electronically.

Pros of Shades:

  • Options: Similar to blinds, there is a wide array of material and style options for shades including roman shades, cellular shades, solar shades, roller shades, bamboo, sheer, and plenty more.
  • Insulation: Options such as Cellular shades can effectively trap cold air, and make your home heating process not only easier but as well more cost-efficient.
  • Versatility: Shades do not offer many options for light and privacy adjustments like blinds; although, when shades are fully closed, you are guaranteed complete privacy along with relative darkness. A common choice for bedrooms is blackout blinds, which can darken an entire room when you want to take an afternoon rest, watch a show or movie or just sleep in.
  • Cleaning: As shades don’t have individual slats to clean and are one continuous unit, shades are definitely easier to clean. You can wipe down or vacuum the window treatment in one go.
  • Installation: Similar to blinds, shade instillation is an easy ten-minute activity.
  • Noise: Shades are generally made of softer materials in comparison to heavy blinds_that means when you open or close them they are smoother and more silent, as with wind, you don’t hear them as loudly as in the case with blinds.
  • Design: Shades are certainly more aesthetic depending on the style of your room and home, they can offer a more contemporary and modern look than the cozier blind option.

Cons of Shades:

  • Adjustability: Shades simply do not offer as many options as blinds do. It’s either darkness or light, unlike in the case of blinds you can control the light in the room much more effectively and enjoy control.

Durability: Shades, being softer fabrics, are much more sensitive to situations. They can be damaged more easily and can start molding in moist environments such as kitchens and washrooms.

Types of Blinds

When it comes to blinds, there are an endless amount of material options. You can purchase blinds made of faux wood, real wood, vinyl, metal or any other natural materials.

The width of slats can vary from two and one-half inches to one-inch mini blinds.

You can as well consider large sliding/folding blinds, amazing for balcony doors and large windows.

Vertical Blinds

You can choose from an array of different colors and designs for your blinds, although many decide on neutral colors. The choice is ultimately yours.

Of course, you can digitalize your home along with your blinds by motorizing them and controlling your blinds via remote control or phone applications. Giving you control from anywhere, and at any time.

Shade Types

Shades come in a wide array of choices as well, ranging from vinyl, wood, fabric, faux wood, polyester, bamboo, silk, cotton, and much more. Due to the wide variety of material options, their light conditions and light control vary to the same extent. You can always choose blackout shades offering ultimate darkness in the brightest times of the day or sheer shades which provide privacy as well appropriate light distribution. 

During the freezing winters, warm air circulation around your home comes in contact with the cold windows. When this takes place, the air can consequently cool and cause the ideal home temperature to drop which can waste your electricity and make pricy bills. Cellular shades are the ideal option to prevent this case, these shades are made specially to add insulation to your windows and regulate room climate control. Here ate Urban Window Treatments, we highly recommend this if you live in a cold city such as New York. 

You can as well consider pleated shades, which in essence look similar to blinds, but you can necessarily peek between the cracks—kind of the best of both worlds.

Pleated shade

Roller shades are specifically designed to react to a quick tug that springs the shade open and rolls it effectively closed—a very satisfying option.

Roller shade

Roman shades, are a very trendy and common choice due to their delicate folds when the open and their warm effect on rooms.

Roman Shades

Shades can vary in options including even silk and cotton, which comes to show the extent of choices you can choose from.

If you are a person fond of choices and flexibility, you can always choose shades that open either up to down, down to up, or side to side. 

Shades that open from the top and bottom

Now that we’ve gone over the basics of both blinds and shades, you are ready to get into the technicalities of the two. 


When you are considering a window treatment you must always consider its privacy features as well.

Blinds, hands down provide more privacy. You easily can adjust the heights and amounts of exposure easily. Additionally, you can adjust the slats to your liking to allow the preferred amount of light-to-privacy ratio. One downside could be that the room is never fully dark resulting in the room feeling more exposed.

Shades get versatile when it comes to the thickness of their material which can ensure additional darkness and light blockage, or lighter materials which can be more opaque and let in more light as a result.

Top-down shades offer choices between choosing from which side the shade can be opened. This can be an ideal option if your living room or bedroom is on the first floor and you want sunlight but just not pedestrians looking into your private moments. For example, lowering these shades can let you sit in privacy, yet the rest of the room will be in full bare light.

So blinds definitely are more private, but shades also have options to seal out the outside world. 


As blinds can be made of harder materials ranging from woos, vinyl and metal, tend to offer a more durable option in comparison to their shade counterparts which are made from more delicate and fragile materials which can consequently result in tears and other inconveniences.

The thin fabric of shades

Blinds are the better option for places of high noise pollution such as by busy streets or high moisture places such as washrooms and kitchens as they can both block out noise and as well not deteriorate as easily under wet conditions such as shades.

As blinds are durable they aren’t invincible, slats can bend and get crooked from mistreatment and time. Slats can as well be damaged if not cleaned appropriately. 

Durability? Definitely blinds!


Window treatment blind cords infamously send children to the ER as a result of suffocation and other related injuries. These accidents happen suddenly, and quickly and can severely impact one’s life. These are simply the facts. 

As both blinds and cords come with the option of cords, there is no winner when it comes to this. To ensure safety, make sure the cords are not at the child’s height or reachability. You can always tie the cords a few times to shorten them, and of course, consider motorized options as well.

When we discuss safety, non of the two wins, be careful, use common sense and be wary. 


Installing blinds in today’s time of the internet and YouTube has never been easier, if you find yourself struggling don’t hesitate to call Urban Window Treatments. By using blind brackets, you can slide in the window treatment accordingly to the design and instructions. 

Before you begin work on any installation, verify you have all the proper tools and materials. You may need a pencil, a tape measure, a screwdriver or a drill with a 1/16” drill bit. Use a level and have a steady and reliable ladder.

If you prefer a profesional to do it for you on your behalf, don’t hesitate and call Urban Window Treatments at +1 (800) 338-0385.

A useful tip that we recomend is to buy the appropriate related equiepment from the same place you purchased the window treatment.

Which window treatment wins on installment? It varies, but is most certainly a tie. 


Of course, following installment you now have your window treatment up and pride is high, but you must now keep them clean as when you purchase it. The cleaning effort level very much depends on the window treatment of your choice.

Blinds are definitely more difficult to clean as each and every individual slat requires cleaning attention. Unlike in shades, where you can clean it all at one shot.

If you notice that your blinds have dust on their slats, you can run a moist cloth or thin vacuum piece between each slat to deal with the issue at hand. Try to avoid wetting the cloth too much, as it can make a muddy mess when the dust and water collide, creating a bigger mess. 

Cleaning the blinds

Instead of cleaning every slat individually, you can as well close the blinds and clean them all at once, similar to how you’d do so with a shade.

If you let the blinds air dry, you’d notice spots which really defeats the ultimate purpose of their original cleaning, we reccomend just wiping them softly down with a dry cloth.

Generally, shades are easier to clean, but as there are such wide varieties in the store, its more difficult to give specific and direct instructions about them as we did with the blinds.

Roller shades, bamboo shades, and solar shades should be first lightly vacuumed using your upholstery attachment. We recommend working in a side-to-side motion to guarantee it’s clean from every side.

Similarly, with other materials, we do not recommend cleaning fabric shades with water. First dust the, then vacuum to rid it of extra dust and hair. Pay attention to their folds. If the fabric is very dirty for some reason, you can read more from the manufacturer or just simply buy new ones.

So, which are easier to clean, blinds, or shades? Many say blinds, as it can be soaked effectively and not damagingly in a bathtub, and we seemingly agree as the solutions to clean blinds are more immense and versatile than shades. 


Prices for each of the window treatments can differ greatly. They can be affordable or expensive depending greatly on where and what design and material you’re purchasing, call us today and we’ll discuss pricing and options based on your personal preference today. 

Noise Level

Many do not cover the noise amounts each window treatment can make, we’ll go over it below.

Some shades, can snap up and make quite a lot of noise, while others smoothly make their way, blinds end to cause slightly more noise, very much depending on their material and weight, which both are a result of each other. 

Additionally, if you have a window open to let in the fresh spring afternoon air, the blinds can make quite the racket as a direct result of the winds which can be a disturbance to some. 

The process of adjusting blinds very much depends on the blind type, but we will agree that shades ultimately make a much quiter noise with their smooth features and direct functions. 

Blinds VS Celluar Shades

A common question usually asked is

“What is exactly the difference between blinds and cellular shades?”

Cellular shades are made with a honeycomb double-insulated fabric that insures extra insulation. Their unique construction lowers energy costs by effectively insulating your windows and rooms seamlessly. Additionally, its aesthetic appeal is uncanny.

Blinds, on the other hand, are not one continuous unit as cellular shades, but rather are comprised of many different slats that re connected to each other via thin strings which can be controlled accordingly. It provides insulation but to a lesser extent in comparison to cellular blinds. 

Bottom Line: Which Window Covering Is Best for You?

We’ve gone over all the basics and principles of blinds and shades. Let’s conclude and decide which fits you best.

At the end of the day, the choice is ultimately yours based on aesthetic, convenience, and efficiency purposes. 

Shades offer a clean and modern look, slick and smooth, as blinds offer a cozy and warmer vibe that can fit any preference. The two come in a wide variety of materials, colors, designs and styles which can fit your home design accordingly. To some, shades are too strict as they don’t allow options, and blinds look industrial or institutional. But both get their jobs done

Blinds offer much more than shades, as they are homey and leave options open, allowing you to control room light conditions and privacy conditions while not being restricted as firmly as shades do.  

Shades offer aesthetics and complete darkness and complete privacy as blinds do these functions, but not as boldly as shades do. Shades can be versatile in the sense that you can purchase top-down shades to change things up.

Undecided? Can’t make up your mind? Come see Urban Window Treatments huge array of options today, give us a call and come for a private booked tour and begin your room design journey with a professional kick.

Contact us today at +1 (800) 338-0385 and visit us at 239 E 80th St New York, NY 10075.

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