Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for health and wellbeing. However, too much light in the bedroom can disrupt sleep patterns and cause insomnia. Finding the right window treatments to block light in the bedroom is key to creating an optimal sleep environment. There are various effective options when it comes to selecting bedroom window treatments to block light.
Why Block Light in the Bedroom?
There are several reasons why blocking light in the bedroom is important:
- Promotes quality sleep: Too much light exposure at night disrupts the body’s natural circadian rhythms and melatonin production, making it harder to fall and stay asleep. Blocking excess light sets the stage for deeper, uninterrupted sleep.
- Eliminates early morning wake-ups: Sunlight and other light sources signaling “daytime” to the brain can cause premature awakening before you feel rested. Blocking early morning light allows you to sleep soundly through sunrise.
- Allows sleeping in: For those who want to sleep late on weekends or days off, blocking morning light is key to staying in the coveted state of slumber past sunrise.
- Provides control over sleep environment: Having the ability to block light grants control over your sleep setting, letting you create an optimally dark environment for your individual needs and preferences.
- Creates a soothing vibe: A dark, cocoon-like sleep space devoid of light promotes relaxation and sleepiness, supporting the overall goal of restful sleep.
Bedroom Light Sources to Block
There are several common sources of light intrusion in the bedroom that window treatments can effectively block:
- Early morning sun
- Daytime sun
- Late afternoon/evening sun
Outdoor Artificial Light
- Street lights
- Spotlights and security lights
- Neighbor’s exterior lights
- Parking lot lights
- Lamps and overhead lighting
- Night lights and digital clocks
- TVs, computers, and other electronics
- Light from other rooms
- Vehicles passing by
- Driveways and parking areas
Successfully blocking these and other light sources can transform a sleep space into a darkened sanctuary ideal for a peaceful night’s rest.
Different Types of Window Treatments to Block Light
There are a variety of effective bedroom window treatment options when it comes to blocking light, each with their own advantages:
Blackout curtains are specifically designed to block outside light, making them an ideal choice for bedrooms. They are made from tightly-woven, light-blocking fabrics and often have a backing for extra light blockage.
- Offer superior light blocking compared to regular curtains
- Available as ready-made panels or as custom treatments
- Come in a variety of colors, patterns, and designs
- Can be easily drawn closed at night and opened during the day
Like blackout curtains, specialized blackout blinds prevent light infiltration. Blinds with blackout properties contain slats constructed from dense, light-blocking materials.
- Available in various styles like roller, cellular, pleated, etc.
- Provide flexibility to control the amount of privacy/light blockage
- Let air pass through when opened unlike solid curtains
- Easy to install and maintain
Blackout roller shades or honeycomb shades are made of multi-layered light-blocking materials that fully prevent light transmission. Their compact installation makes them ideal for blocking odd-shaped windows.
- Slim profile is space-saving and unobtrusive
- Offer superior light blockage for daytime sleeping
- Can layer with curtains or blinds for extra blackout capacity
- Easy DIY installation with no complicated hardware
Room Darkening Shades
While not to the same level as blackout shades, high-quality room darkening shades still substantially block light while allow some visibility out and airflow through the fabric weave.
- Provide substantial light dampening for many users’ needs
- Available in many colors and patterns to suit room decor
- Let some natural light filter through when needed
- Cost effective option for blocking most light
Solar Screens/Window Film
Solar screen mesh or window film is installed over the glass to reflect sunlight and diffuse harsh exterior light sources. This approach blocks light while still allowing you to see outside.
- Daytime privacy while preventing that “closed in” feeling
- Lets air and some natural light pass through
- Can help reduce cooling costs by blocking solar heat gain
- Available as DIY films or professionally installed screens
Insulated Window Treatments
Insulating cellular shades, curtains, and blinds act as both light and temperature blockers. Their thickness and sealed air pockets prevent light and weather elements from entering a room.
- Combine light blocking with energy efficiency
- Available in many styles including cellular shades and honeycomb blinds
- Can help reduce outside noise and draftiness
- Provide privacy along with light blockage
For maximum light blockage, pair treatments like blackout curtains with cellular shades or solar screens. This blocks gaps where light could potentially sneak through.
Special Considerations for Different Window Types
Certain window types present unique challenges and considerations when choosing light-blocking window treatments:
Skylights and Sunroofs
Skylights let in abundant natural light – a perk during the day but an obstacle to dark sleeping quarters. To block excess sunlight and nighttime light pollution, install opaque window shades or solar screens on skylights and sunroofs. Opt for blackout cellular shades for the highest level of light blockage.
Sliding Glass Doors
To block light through large sliding glass doors, hang wide blackout curtains that fully cover the door and can draw completely closed. Alternatively, install two opaque sliding panels with blackout cellular shades in between to act as lightblocking doors. For outside light control, consider solar screen films or external shade coverings.
Bay windows with multiple panes can present a light-blocking challenge. Cover each window section separately with blackout curtains. Use layered window treatments like blackout cellular shades beneath curtains to avoid any gaps. Alternatively, utilize one long blackout shade designed specifically to accommodate the angles of bay windows.
Bathroom windows allow unwanted early morning light to infiltrate. Dim light and ensure privacy by installing opaque water-resistant window films or cellular shades that prevent light transmission. Or hang moisture-resistant blackout curtains made of antimicrobial fabric over bath windows.
Bedroom Light Blocking Tips and Ideas
Utilize these extra tips for effectively blocking light in the bedroom:
- Make treatments overlap with the wall an extra 2-3 inches on all sides to prevent light seepage around edges.
- Hang floor-length curtains high and wide to cover the entire window area when drawn – this prevents bottom and side gaps.
- For recessed windows, purchase deep curtain rods so blackout curtains fully cover the depth of the window.
- If curtains allow too much light around their edges, install white or aluminum slats along the sides and bottoms to close gaps.
- To block light from under doors, roll towels or rugs against them or install sliding light-blocking door covers.
- Replace normal blinds with blackout varieties featuring dense slats to prevent light filtering.
- Layer a blackout cellular shade behind light curtains to enhance privacy and light blockage.
- In kids’ rooms, install light-blocking accordion fold doors over closets to prevent light leaks.
- Apply darkening tint film to windows to reduce up to 80% of incoming daylight.
Recommended Fabrics and Materials to Block Light
When shopping for light-blocking window treatments, look for products made from these effective opaque fabrics and materials:
- Blackout fabrics – Thick, tightly-woven light blocking fabrics made from materials like polyester, vinyl coated fiberglass, acrylics, and recycled sustainable fibers.
- Polyester and nylon – Durable synthetic blackout fabrics like polyester and nylon laminated with blackout linings.
- Vinyl – Blackout roller shades and blinds with 100% PVC vinyl slats to eliminate pinholes.
- Fleece – Soft, napped blackout fabric that completely blocks light.
- Fiberglass – Lightweight yet effective coated fiberglass blackout fabric.
- Insulating fabrics – Cellular shade fabric with thermal layers to also block temperature.
- Cork – Natural woven shade material made from cork oak trees that insulates and blocks light.
- Wood – Real wood or faux wood window shade slats that fully prevent light infiltration.
DIY vs. Professional Installation
You can either DIY your light blocking window treatments or hire a professional for installation:
- More budget friendly option
- Allows creativity and control in choosing products
- Quick and easy for many basic installations like curtains, adhesive films, and blinds
- Ensures proper installation for optimal light blocking
- Ideal for treatments like solar screens requiring special tools
- Perfect if lacking time for DIY or if windows are hard to reach
- Provides an expert assessment on the best light blocking options
If opting for professional installation, be sure to hire a certified expert skilled specifically in light-blocking treatments. Get references and check reviews.
Cost and Where to Purchase Light Blocking Window Treatments
You can find quality light blocking window treatments in a wide range of budget-friendly prices:
- Lower cost options: Aluminum mini blinds, roller shades, and vinyl room darkening shades ($20-$60)
- Mid-range options: Blackout cellular shades, solar screen film, ready-made curtains ($60-$150)
- Higher end options: Custom blackout curtains and shades, automated shades ($150+)
Blackout treatments are available at:
- Online retailers like Amazon, Blinds.com, Home Depot, Overstock
- Big box stores like Target, Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond
- Specialty blind and curtain providers
- Local fabric stores for DIY curtains
- Window treatment specialists
Refer to individual manufacturer websites for product costs. Various factors like size, materials, and customization impact price.
Professionally installed treatments cost more but result in optimal light blocking tailored to your windows. Get quotes from installers to compare pricing.
Bedroom Lighting Alternatives to Aid Sleep
Instead of overhead lights, utilize these alternative bedroom lighting options after dark to promote sleep:
- Salt lamps – Give off a warm, soothing amber glow
- Smart bulbs – Allow color changing and dimming via app controls
- Candlelight – Provides a tranquil ambiance; LED flameless candles are also an option
- Night lights – Use strategically placed low-level night lights to safely navigate the room
- Fairy lights – Mini string lights add a delicate glow and visual interest
- Floor lamps – Stylish floor lamps give targeted low-level illumination when needed
- Bedside lamps – Enable reading before bed while avoiding overhead brightness
- Blackout lighting – Portable blackout lighting fixtures completely contain their beams
By using these types of lighting judiciously, rooms can remain dark overall yet offer options for safe visibility and ambiance at night.
FAQs About Bedroom Window Treatments to Block Light
What is the most affordable way to block light from windows?
Some budget-friendly options for blocking light include aluminum mini blinds, pleated shades, blackout cellular shades, and installing a DIY light-blocking window film. Layering a regular curtain over a shade can also help block light at a lower cost.
Should blackout curtains or shades touch the floor?
Yes, for maximum light blocking blackout curtains and shades should just slightly graze the floor, with space for air circulation beneath them. This prevents light gaps near the floor. Using a floor-length rod and puddle drapes helps blackout curtains reach the floor.
How do you make regular blinds blackout?
To make standard blinds blackout, replace slats with new blackout slats featuring thicker, light-blocking materials. You can also spray paint slats black or insert slat inserts to fill gaps. Attaching blackout fabric to the backside of blinds can help block light shining through.
Do blackout shades need a liner?
Quality blackout roller shades and honeycomb shades are specifically constructed using thick, light-blocking materials, so no extra liner is needed. But you can add a separate blackout shade liner for extra assurance of pitch black darkness.
Should you get blackout curtains or shades for babies?
Both blackout curtains and shades work well in nurseries to create restful sleep and nap environments. Shades are simpler for raising and lowering through the day. But curtains can fully enclose a window area when darkness is needed. Layering both treatments provides the highest level of light blockage.
Getting adequate restful sleep is vital for health, mood, and mental sharpness. Eliminating excess light in the sleep sanctuary is the first step towards achieving quality slumber. Luckily there are numerous effective bedroom window treatment options for blocking outside light pollution as well as indoor lighting. With choices like room-darkening cellular shades, light-blocking curtains, blackout blinds, and window films, you can transform even the brightest spaces into sleep-friendly darkened havens. Experiment with these light-blocking window treatment materials and ideas to create your ideal sleep-promoting environment. Sweet dreams!