Having trouble sleeping? You're one of more than 160 million Americans that struggle with sleep at least once per week, according to the National Sleep Foundation. One culprit is a little too much light before bed or during sleep which can disrupt your natural sleep cycle (also known as your circadian rhythm). But the easiest fix? A pair of blackout curtains.
Blackout curtains not only keep your room nice and dark, but they can also help insulate your space. Due to their thermal design, blackout curtains are effective at retaining heat inside the home in the winter and keeping the summer heat out during the warmer months. Even better, they can help block noise pollution coming from outside.
How to choose the best blackout curtains.
Contrary to the name, not all blackout curtains are heavy and dark. They come in a variety of styles, fabrics, and designs, some of which will please even the most stubborn decorator. When choosing the type of blackout curtain that's right for you, consider these factors:
Width and length
Most blackout curtains come in standard widths of 42-inch and 52-inch panels and a variety of lengths. If you have difficulty finding the exact length to match your window, hang the curtain rod higher, which will also help keep light from sneaking into your home.
Grommet versus rod pockets
Most blackout curtains come in two mounting styles: grommet or rod pockets. Grommets feature holes for the curtain rod to pass through, similar to a standard shower curtain. Rod pockets allow the fabric to hang directly over the curtain rod. Some blackout curtains even have a weighted bottom or a magnetic strip to further seal off any light.
When selecting a blackout curtain, pay close attention to the fabric, color, and density of the material — all of which can affect the curtain's ability to cut off light and noise. Darker, thicker materials will block more sunlight, whereas more opaque colors block less.
You're also going to want to look for triple-weave blackout curtains that provide specific details about the percentage of light blocked. Be wary of brands that claim to block 100% of all light, as this claim is really dependent upon how much light is entering your home.
Top-Rated Blackout Curtains
These Nicetown curtains are not only among the top-rated blackout curtains on Amazon, but they're also affordably priced. Made from a triple-weave insulated microfiber, the classic gray hue is said to provide 90% shading performance. They have a 4.7-star rating with more than 51,000 reviews and they were selected by the reviewers at Bob Vila and TODAY as the best blackout curtains of 2019.
In addition to being one of Hunker's top picks, The New York Times' consumer products review site Wirecutter rated these as the hands-down best blackout curtains on the market in 2019. And when it comes to style, you have tons of flexibility — these curtains come in 14 colors and are 50 inches wide with a variety of lengths up to 120 inches.
While IKEA's Marjun blackout curtains do not block 100% of the exterior light, these room darkening drapes are perfect for homeowners who want style and performance at an affordable price. These curtains have a 4.7-star rating on IKEA's website, with many customers praising them for their easy installation. The only downside is that they're only offered in one size: 57 inches in width by 98 inches in length.
These curtains are an Amazon favorite with a 4.5-star status and more than 22,000 reviews. They're machine-washable, made with triple-weave polyester, and well-regarded by reviewers for insulating against heat, cold, and noise.
With nearly a 5-star rating on Amazon, customers love the Deconovo blackout curtains for their durability, style, and energy efficiency. They're lined with a silver-coated fabric that reflects the heat outside of the home, while the sturdy triple-weave polyester blocks light from entering. They come in an amazing array of colors — 23 in all — and 13 different sizes.
Target's Room Essentials room darkening curtains come in two sizes and five solid and stylish colors: dark gray, gray, navy, pink, tan, and white. Not only do they block out light but they're also Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX certified, which means they're made with dyes and materials free from more than 300 harmful chemicals and substances. Plus, they're equipped with rod pockets for easy assembly.
The Quinn grommet blackout curtain is one of Bed Bath & Beyond's best sellers. It's made with polyester that's woven and textured to block light, absorb heat, and reduce noise. The curtains come in seven sizes and 12 different colors to add a little style to any space.
Crate and Barrel's luxe silk curtains were voted the chicest blackout curtains by The New York Times' Wirecutter. The high-quality, dry-clean only curtains — made with silk, linen, and a 100% polyester liner — are perfect for dressing up both casual and formal spaces. They also come in three sizes and five subtle (but equally stunning) colors.
The Emery linen/cotton rod pocket blackout curtain panel is one of Pottery Barn's best sellers, coming in six sizes and nine neutral colors from Oatmeal to Blue Dawn. The Fair Trade certified curtains are made with a blend of linen and cotton with flax fibers and a 100% cotton blackout liner for "enhanced light filtration." The dry-clean only curtains come equipped with curtain hooks but have three different hanging options: pole pocket, hanging loops, or ring top.
These Sun Zero blackout curtains have a 4.5-star rating and more than 3,000 reviews. They come in a wide variety of colors (20 to be exact) and 14 different sizes. The company also claims the blackout curtains help reduce energy lost through windows and noise by up to 25%.
If you're looking to block out light without ditching bright and bold style, check out the Eclipse Kendall thermal insulated curtain panel. It comes in four sizes and 23 colors, including classic neutrals and more eclectic hues like lime and turquoise. The machine-washable curtains are made with 100% polyester to keep out sunlight and unwanted heat or cold.