4 Best Window Blinds and Shades for Sliding Patio Doors

The best answer to this question?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We can’t tell you the best thing to do because it all depends on your personal window treatment tastes.

So today, we’ll give you some ideas and pros and cons so you can make the best decision for yourself.

Vertical blinds are the most popular and usually the best choice. You can get vertical blinds with PVC, fabric, faux wood, or embossed PVC vanes.

With vertical blinds, you can also choose where they stack. They can stack only on the left or right. But they can also open from the center and stack on both sides. And if you want, they can stack in the center of your sliding door too.

Check out some of the pros and cons of each type of blind and shade:

1. PVC Vertical Blinds

PVC is the most economical window treatment for your sliding patio doors. Remember, because these blinds are so much taller than most shades or blinds, you’ll pay more on average.

But if you go with PVC instead of faux wood or fabric, you save the most money.

2. Fabric Vertical Blinds

You get both light control and privacy with fabric. As an option, you can get fabric with PVC backing to make the vanes steadier and block light better.

As an alternative to PVC inserts, you can also get weights added to the bottom of their vanes. These weights make them move and hang just like PVC vanes.

On one end of the spectrum, you can get fabric vertical blinds that simply diffuse light. On the other, they can significantly darken your room.

One of their biggest advantages? It’s the fact their vanes come in so many colors and textures that they match your home’s décor, regardless of what you already have.

3. Faux Wood Vertical Blinds

It looks equally ornate to real wood, but it’s just as durable as PVC and doesn’t require as much maintenance!

Another benefit faux wood has versus real wood is it resists moisture and is easy to clean. They also most closely match our most popular horizontal blinds: Fauxwood Blinds.

4. Embossed PVC Vertical Blinds

On a budget, but still want great style for the dollars you spend? Embossed PVC vertical blinds are just what you need.

You get more style and texture with embossed PVC, but it’s still very economical like regular PVC.

You can’t go wrong with any of these vertical blind options for your sliding patio doors.

And remember, you can get up to 10 FREE samples from Blindster before you order.

That way, you know exactly what looks good in your home before you pay us anything!

Learn How EASY it is to Install Blinds Yourself

Yikes – you don’t want to scratch your trim, poke unnecessary holes in it, or have crooked, awkward-looking blinds. What an embarrassing mess that would be! But here’s the good news: you can install blinds or shades on your own. And no, contrary to what you might hear at other stores, you don’t need to have someone experienced do it for you. You don’t even need experience yourself.

At Blindster, we know buying blinds online is a little different process than you’re used to. That’s why we have measuring and installation guides for every single type of blind we sell online.

So we can’t possibly tell you how to install every type of blind in a single blog post. But let’s take the instructions for one of the more popular kinds of shade people love to buy:

• Premium Light Filtering Double Cellular Shades – instructions with visuals are found here

Estimated Time

It should take you around 15-20 minutes (for blinds/shades requiring 3-4 brackets). The more brackets you have to measure, the longer it takes to install your shade.

What You Need

Here’s the complete list:

• A power drill
• Tape measure
• Pencil

Short, isn’t it?

It’s So Easy – Just 4 Simple Steps!

This is all you do:


1. Choose the Correct Fastener

1 1/2” #8 hex head wood screws are included. If you’ll be mounting these shades into aluminum or concrete, you will have to purchase your own fasteners.


2. Mark the Locations of Your Brackets

They should be about 2” from either end of your headrail. If you have more than 2 brackets, space them evenly between the two outside brackets.

If you have very wide shades, you may get up to 8 brackets. It doesn’t matter how many brackets you get, but do make sure you space them less than 25” apart and as evenly as possible.

If you have an outside mount shade, use a level to check for levelness.


3. Install Your Brackets

For outside mount shades, screw your brackets into your wall. For inside mount shades, screw your brackets into the top or back of your window frame.


4. Install Your Shade

The front groove of your headrail should be inserted into the front ridge of your bracket. Then, you simply rotate your shade towards your window’s glass.

Your headrail should snap into place without a problem. Double-check just to make sure your shade has locked into place like it should.

5. Enjoy Your Blinds/Shades!

Wow, wasn’t that easy?

See, you don’t have to be a master handyman to install your own blinds.

Anyone with just a little spare time can do it.

Enjoy your shades!

And remember, if you have any problems, you can always contact our friendly customer service team at 888.256.8672 (M-F 8-5 CST).

Blinds with Holes Vs. No Holes/Routeless Blinds

Did you know blinds can lift and operate without any cords running through the middle of their slats? Today’s blinds come with so many more features and options than the ones of decades ago.

Buying blinds is a simple process but there are a lot of options and features to consider. That’s a good thing for you because now you can get a custom-made window covering that better meet your needs.

So let’s talk about why you might buy routed or routeless blinds.

Routed Blinds

First, let’s discuss these because they’re what you’re used to. Routed blinds have holes (generally called route holes) in each of the slats that a lift cord passes through. You know how you pull the cord to raise and lower these blinds.

Some of their pluses and minuses:

Pros of Routed Blinds:

1. Slats generally stay in place better because of the lift cord
2. Usually, they are less expensive than routeless blinds

Cons of Routed Blinds:

1. The holes the lift cord passes through can allow people to peek through (if they chose)
2. These holes also allow more light to enter, which makes sleeping or watching TV during daylight hours a little more difficult

Routeless/No-Holes Blinds

Just like their name says, these blinds have no holes in their slats. They are “routeless” – they have no routes for the lift cords to pass through the slats. However, there are notches on the back of your blinds’ slats so that the lift cords will settle into these notches to hold the slats in place when the blinds are open. You might also hear them called “de-light” or “smart-privacy” blinds.

Here’s what they do and do not do well:

Pros of Routeless Blinds:

1. No holes in the slats gives you maximum privacy and keeps light out during the daytime so you can sleep and watch TV easier
2. Since less light passes through, you also get a slightly better insulating effect

Cons of Routeless Blinds:

1. Because the slats are not secured by lift cords, they’re a little more difficult to control
2. The slats will shift when the blinds are opened, closed and lifted or lowered. When you tilt the slats open, you will have to adjust the slats back into place so that the notches align with the ladders. The easiest way to adjust the routeless slats on an inside mount blind is to tilt the blinds open, then hold one of the inside ladders while gently moving the blind side to side until the slats fall into place.
3. Routeless slats can be easily removed or dislodged by children or pets. Although it is also easy to put routeless slats back into place.

Additional Things to Think About

So that’s the pros and cons of each.

You may also want to consider that routeless blinds generally work better when mounted inside your window (the frame helps keep them in place). Also, you generally don’t want them on doors because they get pushed and blown around more, which knocks the slats out of whack. Finally, they’re also a little more expensive than standard routed blinds.

Which is Best for You?

So that’s really the pros and cons of each of these blinds.

Neither is “better” than the other.

Each works well in different situations.

Now you have the information to make the best decision for your personal needs!

The Efficient Honeycomb Shade Vs. The Affordable Pleated Shade

Nothing is simple anymore, is it?

That’s a good thing and a bad thing.

Today, we want to make that decision process a whole lot easier for you by comparing honeycomb and pleated shades.
Let’s take a look at them.

Honeycomb Shades

Honeycomb Shades

These shades have hexagonal (6-sided) cells. You can get single-cell or double-cell honeycomb shades. They’re made of a single continuous piece of fabric, and their style fits any room or décor you have.

Additional benefits of honeycomb shades:

Save on energy costs – They’re the best kind of insulating shade
Enjoy your view – They almost completely disappear when raised
Great privacy – You can get them in a blackout option, which hides 99% of all natural light when they’re lowered
Totally safe – If you have kids or pets, you can get them with cordless operation which guarantees their safety
Peaceful sleeping – They have a unique internal structure that reduces noise

Rooms they work best in:

1. Bedrooms
2. Living areas

Pleated Shades

Pleated Shades-2

They’re actually pretty similar to honeycomb shades. The big difference is that, while honeycomb cellular shades have 2 or more layers that form compartments which trap air, a pleated shade has just one layer of material.

Pleated shades, also called pleated blinds, do not have slats. They are one continuous layer of fabric.
Their benefits:

Beautiful visual appeal – Equal to that of honeycomb shades
More cost-effective – Much more so than honeycomb shades
Good light – Pleated shades let in more light than honeycomb shades and almost completely disappear when raised.
Privacy control – The single layer of fabric does not always provide privacy. Many pleated shade fabrics are very sheer. However, you can add privacy or blackout liners to most pleated shades.
Safe for kids and pets – They also have a cordless or cordless top down/bottom up operating feature to eliminate cords.

Rooms they work best in:

1. Living areas
2. Dining rooms
3. Kitchens

Comparing Honeycomb Vs. Pleated Shades

So those are the benefits of each type of shade. To make a quick comparison between them, think of it this way:

1. Honeycomb shades are beautiful, elegant, and save much more energy than pleated shades, but they also cost more
2. Pleated shades are just as gorgeous as honeycomb shades, don’t save as much energy, and don’t always provide privacy but cost less

That’s the 5-minute guide to comparing these two types of shades.

Which makes more sense for your needs?

How to Clean Your Honeycomb Shades

Ahh, honeycomb shades. They insulate your home and reduce energy costs, often operate with cords, cut noise, and their top down/bottom up operation option makes managing your light and privacy easy.

Even though they provide all this wonderful functionality, they also need just a little bit of care from you.
Fortunately, the care you do have to provide is fairly minimal and easy to do.

Here’s what you do:

1. Clean with Your Vacuum

Use the hose on your vacuum cleaner to remove the dust. Use the weakest suction power you can so you don’t damage your honeycomb shades.

If you don’t want to use your vacuum cleaner, you can also use a microfiber cloth to wipe them down.

2. Remove Stains

Now it’s time to remove any stains on your honeycomb shades. Ideally, you want to clean these as soon as you notice them – before they have time to set.

First, you mix a very small amount of weak dish soap (you can also use weak clothes washing detergent) with a lot of water (better too weak than too strong). Strong detergent of any kind can damage your shades.

Now it’s time to test it. Find a hard-to-notice spot on your honeycomb blinds and clean it. Remove the cleaning agent as fast as possible with a towel.

If you see a mark left behind, mix an even weaker cleaning solution, until you get one that works.

If you don’t see any mark left behind, then you’re ready to begin cleaning.

3. Clean with the Solution You Made

Now that you know your cleaning solution is safe for your blinds, it’s time to do the cleaning. Use a sponge and apply a small amount of soap and water to each stain on your shades.

Repeat this again if you need to. Always remove any cleaning solution you apply quickly with your towel. Keep doing this until you remove all the dirt.

Stop immediately when you notice your blinds are clean. Using more soap and leaving it on longer than necessary risks damage to your honeycomb shades.

4. Ongoing Maintenance

You can make cleaning your honeycomb shades even easier by cleaning them regularly, rather than waiting until they’re in a dire state. Every time you vacuum your home, vacuum or dust your honeycomb shades too. Clean stains immediately as instructed above.

If you follow those quick, easy steps, your honeycomb shades will always look new and beautiful, making a great impression on your family and guests for years to come!

The Ultimate Guide to Buying Custom Window Treatments Online

How can you buy window treatments online? It really depends on which company you choose to buy from.

Some companies make it easier than others.

At Blindster, it’s our goal to make sure the process is as simple and painless as possible for you. All blinds are of the same quality, or better, than any leading brand name you can think of.

And they cost you much less!

Here’s how it works:

1. Browse the main navigation menu to find the types of blinds or shades you want
2. Order up to 10 FREE samples you can ship to your home to see how they’ll look
3. Use our free tool to customize your blinds to your liking
4. Contact our customer service team at 1-888-256-8672 with any of your questions

5. Measuring

This is one of the keys when ordering your blinds. You have to measure accurately.
Not handy?

No worries! You don’t have to know anything – except how to use a tape measure and read the measurement.

All you have to do is go to the Measuring & Installation page to learn how to accurately measure each type of blind or shade.

And if you’re still not sure, call the customer service team – they’re more than happy to help.

6. Free Shipping

Almost every product you order from our inventory is completely free to ship. Only for blinds and shades 94” wide or greater and vertical blinds 94” and taller incur a shipping fee of $70 or more per order.

7. Installation

Now that’s it time for installation, again visit the Measuring & Installation page for instructions on how install each type of blind or shade.

8. Your Blinds Don’t Fit? Thank Goodness for the “Fit or Free Guarantee!”

So let’s say that after the entire process, you try to install your blinds. But you realize they’re way too wide, long, thin, or short.

Whatever the problem is with fit, you can simply return your blinds to Blindster. We’ll remake them at no charge. You do have to cover shipping and any price difference (which is rare).

9. Still Not Satisfied? Return Your Custom Window Treatments in 60 Days for a Refund

You can return your blinds any time within this period for a refund. You do have to pay shipping costs and volume/contract orders of over $1,000 can only be returned for defects and warranty repair.

But, you can feel good because all returned blinds get donated to a local charity.

Worried about Ordering Your Blinds Online?

After reading all the protection put in place for you, you don’t need to be! Buy with confidence. Browse our selection now using the menu at the top of this page. Be sure to call our customer service team if you still have doubts. We will be happy to take your order.

Top 4 Most Energy Efficient Blinds

Is it a little too chilly, or a little too cold in your home?

There’s lots of things you can do to insulate your home from the elements outside, like:

• Install gaskets inside of your electrical outlets
• Replace insulation in your attic
• Make sure your doors have quality weather-stripping
• Change your window coverings

Did you know your blinds have an insulating effect too?

A post at Green Building Advisor explains they can affect your temperature by as much as 5 degrees.
That’s enough to get your attention!

And that number could increase even more if you have old blinds, or none at all.

Which of Blindster’s window treatments work best for insulating your home?

Some of the top choices:

1. Premium Light Filtering Double Cellular Shades

With an R-value of 4.60, these shades are one of our best insulators you can buy. They also block 99% of all UV light too.
And if you want privacy also, they’re perfect. You get complete privacy even if your lights are on at night.

1Open Premium Solar Shades

These shades get awesome reviews – 4 ½ stars (out of 5) with 101 reviews.

2. 1% Open Premium Solar Shades

This is one of our newest products. The fabric has a 1% openness factor, which means it blocks 99% of all harmful UV rays. But you still get an excellent level of privacy too.
You can’t get much better in terms of light and heat reduction. Better yet – it conforms with CPSC child safety guidelines so you don’t have to worry about any serious injuries to pets or children.

Deluxe Light-Filtering Double Cellular Shades

3. Deluxe Light-Filtering Double Cellular Shades

If you want awesome insulation, always go with double-cell shades over single-cell ones. In particular, these have a hefty insulating R-Value of 4.50 and block 98% of all UV light.

You can also get them with top down/bottom up and cordless operations so you know pets and kids will never experience a serious injury.

Their installation is easy for anyone with basic handyman skills, and it’s almost impossible to find another shade priced better.

4. Premium Blackout Double Cellular Shades

With an incredible R-value of 5.0 and 99.9% natural light blockage, you just don’t get any better energy efficiency than you do with these shades. Some customers are surprised to find they keep their rooms darker than expected!

They even effectively take on the warm Florida sun. They also come with crash-proof cord locks and conform with CPSC guidelines.

If you’re looking for energy efficient blinds, those 4 are our top choices. Click the link for each, do some research, and decide which works best for you.

The Ultimate Guide to Sheer Shades

So what is a “sheer shade” anyway?

It’s actually pretty simple, and you’ll love them because they’re so stylish.
Sheer shades combine the beauty and style of fabric window coverings with the functionality of horizontal blinds. Sheer fabric covers the front and back of the shade with adjustable fabric louvers in between.

sheer fabric facings

What’s the big deal about sheer fabric facings?

Decorate Your Room with Light

Several things:

1. Decorate Your Room with Light

The soft fabric gently diffuses and disperses light throughout your entire room. When open, sheer shades add a touch of elegance and style to any room in your home.

2. Gorgeous Look

Sheer shades ratchet the look of your home up a notch. Sure, many blinds and shades do this already. But sheer shades outdo them even a little more. They’re a perfect fit for your home. Compare our Sheer Shades to the Hunter Douglas Silhouette Shades.

3. Easy to Use

It’s simple to operate sheer shades – all you do is pull the cord. You can have it on either the right or left side.

4. Work Well in Any Home

You can buy sheer shades in all sorts of different neutral colors that work for any home.

5. Awesome Light Control

When you close sheer shades, they block out light very well, some are even blackout. Also, because their louvres are made of fabric, you don’t get too much glare from them either.

6. Privacy

Because they’re so good at blocking light, sheer shades protect your privacy as well. You won’t have to worry one bit about anyone being able to see inside.

Blindster’s 2” Premium Light Filtering Sheer Shades

Compare our 2” Premium Light Filtering Sheer Shades to Hunter Douglas Silhouettes. Our sheer shades give you the same window covering at a much lower cost.

And of course, they come with Blindster’s free shipping and 60-day satisfaction guarantee.

Check out our 2” sheer shades.

The 4 Best Ways to Use Your Top Down/Bottom Up Shades

How exciting!

You’re shopping for new blinds and shades, and you’re thinking about getting these interesting top down/bottom up window shades. After all they’re:

• Safe because they often have a cordless option
• Easy to lift up and push down to exactly where you want
• Great for controlling light levels
• Awesome at protecting your privacy

But since they’re unique, you wonder about some different ways you can use them in your home.

Well, here are some ideas:

1. If You Have Top Down Windows

You don’t see this kind of window all that often, but they are around.
Do you want to open them regularly and let the breeze flow through your home?
Regular horizontal blinds block part of the breeze and don’t give you nearly the same privacy. With top down/bottom up shades, you can easily push them down to allow air to flow through.

2. Rooms Where Your Privacy is Very Important

This could mean basically any ground floor room in your home. Depending on the option, some of these shades block up to 99% of all UV light.
All top down bottom up shades give you substantial privacy, but still allow plenty of light into your room when you need it. Simply push the top down, and keep the bottom down too.
Bedrooms and bathrooms are particularly good places for top down/bottom up window shades.

3. When You Need to Have Safety for Your Children

You can buy top down/bottom up shades in a cordless option (you can buy them with cords too if that’s what you want). If you have kids, this gives you an extra added layer of safety by eliminating all the cords.
At Blindster, they’re also affordably priced, so you get peace of mind knowing your kids are safe without breaking the bank.

4. If Your Room Needs a Little Style Too

The style you get depends on where you buy your shades. At Blindster, you can get top down/bottom up shades in a wide array of colors and styles. Styles like single cell honeycomb shades, double cell honeycomb shades, fabric roman shades, bamboo woven wood shades, and pleated shades are available. Some of our shades come with this feature automatically but many of the premium offerings on our website also offer the top down/bottom up feature as an add-on option.

They’ll look great in your bedroom, living room, office, dining room, and kitchen too!

Here are some of the most popular top down/bottom up options at Blindster:

Check out the Premium Light Filtering Double Cellular Shades
Click here for Deluxe Cordless Top Down/Bottom Up Cellular Shades
View the Deluxe Light Filtering Double Cellular Shades
Click to view Premium Roman Shades Group A
Learn more about Premium Light Filtering Single Cellular Shades

Vertical Fabric Blinds: Still Stylish and Affordable

In a recent post, we talked about roller shades. Even though they first came around in the 70s, they’ve evolved and adapted to become suitable for your home.

Did you know vertical blinds actually go back a little further? Edward and Frederick Bopp actually invented them in Kansas City, Missouri in the 1960s. Their company was Sun Vertical, and later that decade they sold both the patent and their company.

Even though they’ve been around for 50 years or so, they’re still a mainstay in many American homes.

Why Should You Buy Vertical Blinds?

Enough about their history. Let’s discuss what you really care about. What value do they give you that other blinds don’t?

A few things:

1. Perfect covering for patio doors, bay windows, and French doors – No other window treatment does it better with the same amount of style. If you have large doors or windows, they’re the perfect solution.

2. Amazingly decorative – You can get the vanes in fabric, faux wood, and embossed PVC. A wide array of colors and textures are available in both modern and retro styles. Whatever look you want to achieve, vertical blinds make it happen.

3. They last for years – Their quality depends on who you buy them from. If you get vertical blinds from a company that uses high-quality production methods, you’ll get years of service from them.

4. Easy to operate and control light – One way they operate is by cord and chain. The cord opens and closes the blind. The chain controls the angle of the louvres. You get high control over the amount of light and privacy you have at any given time.

5. They’re affordable – If you have large windows or doors to cover, that gets expensive in a rush with many blinds and shades. With vertical blinds, you’re able to cover them at a cost that’s much friendlier to your budget.

Decades after their invention, vertical blinds still make a great asset for your home. And with a number of different styles and colors available, you’re sure to find something that suits your personal tastes well!