What to Consider Before Buying Blackout Drapes

Sometimes we all need to be totally left in the dark.

Everybody needs light in their life, but there are times when instead of letting the sunshine in, we want to keep it out. A good set of blackout drapes can prolong nighttime lighting when you want to sleep in or darken things up for a daytime nap. Work nights or swing shift? Blackout drapes are a lifesaver. Before buying, be sure to measure the width of the window to determine what size drapes you’ll need. Here’s what else to consider.

Multiple Sizes

Machine washable; comes in 16 different colors. WONTEX

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Thick and dense materials are the key to complete darkness. Felt, velvet and suede, with a polyester lining, offer a posh look and protection from the glowing sun. Linen is lighter and more moveable. Cotton, wool and polyester have thermal properties that filter out light while also insulating your home. The right drapes can also function as a sound barrier to the noise of the outside world. Acrylic foam or a layer of aluminum on the window side provides added insulation from heat and sunlight.

Extra Long

Not only do these keep a room dark, but they help to dampen outside noise, too. NICETOWN

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Naturally, you’ll want to choose a hue that goes with the decor of your room. Still, as a general rule, the darker the material, the darker it will make the room. White and eggshell may block out only 90 to 95 percent of the light, but they will leave the space looking less dark and foreboding.

Protects Against Sun Fade

The microfiber fabric is triple-weave; thick enough that it doesn’t need a lining to do its job. BGment

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Since it’s nearly impossible to avoid attracting dust and odors, a thorough cleaning may be necessary every three to six months. Polyester, cotton and linen generally can be put in the washing machine on a cold, gentle cycle. Air dry them, iron them while they’re still damp and hang them quickly to keep them from wrinkling. Denser fabrics like velvet and suede as well as silk and linen will need to be sprayed or dry cleaned to prevent them from fading or shrinking in the washer.