Using blackout curtains in your home

Our guide to creating the ideal environment for a great night's sleep with blackout linings.

Finding the right levels of light in your home is one of the keys to well-being and maintaining a healthy circadian rhythm. Some people are more sensitive to having too much or too little light than others, and children can be particularly sensitive to lighter evenings and mornings, disrupting their sleep patterns and resulting in everyone being tired.

One way to ensure that everybody is getting enough sleep is to choose curtains with a blackout lining that ensures proper darkness in your bedroom or nursery when it’s time to close your eyes. Useful for light control during the longer summer days and heat retention in the winter, we think blackout blinds and curtains are well worth considering for your home.

Here are our tips for measuring, choosing and styling your blackout curtains.


Where should I use blackout curtains and blinds?

Blackout curtains are a great option for your bedroom, nursery, or even your living room if you live next to a main road with lots of traffic or light pollution. In nurseries and children’s rooms, drawing and opening the curtains can become important in your morning and bedtime routines, and there are some wonderful fabrics available to ensure that they combine fun and practicality, like our wonderfully whimsical Away We Go fabric by Prestigious Textiles, or much-loved classics like Jane Churchill's Nursery Tales fabric collection.

For adult bedrooms, the choices are endless, whether you prefer a vintage feel like Clarke & Clarke’s Alderley fabric or a simple block stripe like Jim Thompson’s Hampton Stripe.

Both curtains and blinds can achieve complete blackout if done correctly. Layering both on a window can not only look great but be more effective in achieving complete darkness.

How do I measure to ensure maximum blackout?

Of course, the key to maximising the effect of blackout linings, and ensuring a peaceful night’s sleep, is to ensure that there are no spaces for light to leak in. This means that getting the right measurements for your curtains is very important.

In order to get full blackout coverage, your curtain rail should be positioned above your window by at least four inches, and the length should allow the curtain to finish just below the windowsill.

Make sure your curtain pole or track also extends a couple of inches to each side of the window frame, so that no light can filter through the sides. For more tips read our measuring guide for curtains and measuring guide for blinds.

Will I be limited style-wise if I opt for blackout linings?

The beauty of using a made to measure service like ours, is that blackout linings are available on a huge variety of different fabrics, to suit every taste, style and purpose. View made to measure blinds and made to measure curtains to see the choice available.

Some people worry that a blackout lining will cause their curtains to be very stiff, but the lining that we use is one of the softest available, without any effect on its ability to block out light. 

If you have a unique fabric that you’d like to use, or you’re looking to add a blackout lining to curtains you already own, our lining fabrics are available to purchase on their own in a choice of cream or white – so your choice is endless when it comes to finding the right blackout option for your home.

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