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Window Treatment Materials 101

The materials used to create blinds and shades are the defining factor in what makes them effective at blocking light, filtering light, absorbing heat, insulating rooms, eliminating UV rays, and protecting your privacy. Knowing the types of materials used in your current blinds and shades and knowing the materials you may want in the future is helpful when you’re ordering new window treatments that must meet certain needs from both a form and function standpoint.

At Blindster, we’re proud to offer blinds and shades that are manufactured using only the highest quality materials. But we also know that not all homeowners and business owners have the same needs when they’re purchasing window treatments. That’s why it’s important to have a good understanding of the differences between blinds and shades that look similar, but ultimately have different textures, weights, and purposes.

Check out the comparison guide below to get acquainted with some of the most popular materials used in modern window treatments:

  • Aluminum

    Aluminum is a tough and durable material that’s used to manufacture no-nonsense blinds that are designed to hold up for many years under harsh conditions. In addition to being highly resistant to fading, cracking, and chipping, our aluminum blinds are also lightweight, which makes them easy to install. Being lightweight makes aluminum blinds perfect for large windows and doors. When open, aluminum blinds allow plenty of light into your home, but they’re also highly effective at protecting your privacy when closed—especially our special Privacy Aluminum Blinds.

  • Wood

    Our wood blinds are manufactured using American basswood, which is harvested from forests in the Eastern United States and Canada. This wood is naturally lightweight and durable, and that means blinds created with this material are suitable for installation in just about any room in your home or business. The rich natural wood grain and texture are highlighted by the beautiful stains and colors available in our inventory. Like aluminum blinds, real wood blinds are incredibly lightweight and easy to install on even the largest windows. Best of all, wood blinds are the perfect match for almost any type and color of home décor.

  • Faux Wood

    Faux wood is a material created by combining vinyl and vinyl compounds in a manner that looks and feels like real wood. Because faux wood is a synthetic material, it’s available at a lower price point than real wood, and it’s also easier to clean due to being less likely to absorb moisture, which can occasionally result in the warping of real wood blinds. Faux wood was originally conceived for use in blinds that are installed in steamy, humid, or moisture-filled rooms, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and garages. But their attractive looks and durability have made them popular choices for every room.

  • PVC

    Like aluminum, PVC is a no-nonsense material that’s lightweight, affordable, and highly effective at blocking out light. PVC is used in large vertical blinds that are designed to be installed on sliding glass doors and other oversized windows that aren’t easily covered by traditional window coverings. PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride, and it’s the world’s third-most widely produced synthetic plastic polymer. Because it’s so widely used and mass-produced throughout the world, PVC vertical blinds are available at an attractive point, making it the perfect solution for covering large spaces without breaking the bank. And just like aluminum and faux wood blinds, PVC blinds can be cleaned with almost any cleaning product without fears of fading or warping.

  • Fabric

    Fabric is used in the manufacture of a huge variety of shades, including Roman shades, cellular shades, sheer shades, roller shades, and pleated shades. Despite the common material, these shades have dramatically different looks, functions, and purposes. Roman shades are among the most elegant in appearance, while sheer shades and pleated shades are designed to filter light. Roller shades often used to block out or eliminate outside light, while cellular shades can function as light-filtering or blackout shades. We also offer solar and exterior shades that utilize proprietary fabrics known as Phifer Sheerweave® and Vertilux® Solar Screen, which are designed to significantly reduce the heat and intensity of the sun’s UV rays while preserving outdoor views.

  • Bamboo

    In addition to American basswood, we also offer wood shades that are manufactured with real bamboo slats and reeds. Bamboo offers a design aesthetic that makes them completely unique and a breath of fresh air for many homeowners. In addition to being eco-friendly, bamboo also brings a touch of the outdoors into your home. Bamboo isn’t just an attractive design material—it’s also highly effective at performing all the functions you want and need from your shades. On its own, bamboo is both light-blocking and privacy-protecting, but these shades can be enhanced with the addition of privacy and blackout liners.

5 Common Misconceptions about Blinds and Shades

Buying blinds and shades may seem like a simple process, but because window treatments can dramatically change the appearance of a room, many homeowners are extremely careful and do their homework before they swipe their credit cards or submit an order. To make the process even more convoluted, there are many misconceptions and myths about blinds and shades that can scare homeowners away from certain types of window coverings altogether.

It’s important to know that window treatments have come a long way in recent years. Many of the drawbacks and shortcomings that were common in past decades have been resolved via extensive product testing and a move to higher quality components and materials. That means that many of the pervasive myths and misconceptions about blinds and shades came about in an era when window treatments were less reliable and more likely to give homeowners trouble.

At Blindster, we’re here to answer any questions and address any concerns that our customers have before and after they place an order. That said, here are some of the top misconceptions about window coverings that all homeowners should know about:

Installing blinds requires special tools, expertise, or a contractor

Blinds and shades may seem complicated to mount and install, but almost anyone can install them with just a few basic tools. For example, most window treatments can be easily installed with nothing more than a drill, drill bit, screwdriver, tape measure, ruler, level, pencil, and step ladder. They also come with installation kits that include things like screws and mounting brackets.

Many window treatments are also lightweight and can be installed by a single person. Best of all, Blindster has measuring and installation instructions for all the window coverings that we sell.

Custom blinds are expensive

At Blindster, all our window treatments are custom. We take customer-provided measurements and cut blinds and shades that fit their windows perfectly. In fact, making sure all our window coverings are custom-sized and custom-cut is the only way to ensure that our customers get the fit and effectiveness that they want out of their new blinds and shades.

Options are limited for window coverings

The number of optional components and features available for window coverings is impressive. In addition to standard options like blackout and privacy liners, today’s blinds and shades include options for things like cordless operation, top down bottom up operation, continuous cord loop operation, and a huge variety of colors and textures.

It’s impossible to pick the right color, pattern, or texture when shopping online

While it’s true that things like different computers, monitors, browsers, and color profiles can make a color appear different onscreen compared to what it looks like in real life, Blindster offers a great way to get an up close and personal view of colors, patterns, and textures without any risk: samples.

We offer samples of a huge variety of our products and customers can order multiple at one time, making it easy to compare them against your furniture and existing décor to get the right color for your home.

It’s hard to keep blinds and shades clean

Some blinds and shades are more likely to accumulate dirt and dust than others, but they’re all easily cleaned. For blinds and shades that can be damaged by harsh cleaners and solutions, a feather duster and spot cleaning with a mild cleaner is often all it takes to get out stains, built-up dirt, and other debris.

However, many types of window coverings are highly durable and resistant to even the most intensive cleaning. Aluminum mini blinds and vertical blinds, for example, can be removed from their mounts and cleaned in a bathtub, while faux wood blinds can be cleaned with stronger chemical cleaning solutions without the risk of damage, discoloration, or fading.

Best Window Treatments for Different Climates

One of the best ways to insulate your home and make it more energy efficient is to install blinds and shades on your windows. But what’s best for a home in the humid South may not be the best option for a home in the dry Southwest. In addition, windows in geographic regions that get 300+ days of sunshine per year should be insulated and covered differently than windows in regions that get much less sunshine and experience cold or freezing temperatures for several months.

While any window covering is better than no window covering when it comes to insulating your home and protecting your furniture and your family’s privacy, maximizing the effectiveness of your blinds and shades by picking ones that are suited to your area’s climate can go a long way toward making your home more energy efficient 365 days per year.

For a list of the best window treatments for different climates, check out Blindster’s top picks below:

Sunny and Dry

Homeowners who live in warm, dry, and sunny climates have a wide range of options to choose from. The biggest need for many people in these area is reducing the amount of heat that enters their windows, eliminating harsh glares, and reducing the effects of UV rays.

Ideal window treatments for this geographic region include:

  • Solar ShadesMany homeowners in warm, sunny climates want to maximize the perks of living in such an area by filling their homes with natural sunlight. However, they also want to minimize the warming effect caused by sunlight and the damage its UV rays can do to their furniture and even their skin.Our Premium and Deluxe solar shades are made with Phifer Sheerweave® fabrics, which are highly durable while significantly reducing heat and glare while preserving your view of the outdoors. They’re also designed to cut down on the intensity of the sun’s UV rays, increasing the lifespan of your furniture and protecting fabric, wood, and other materials from fading.
  • Sheer ShadesIf solar shades aren’t a good fit for your home, but you still want to maximize natural sunlight to heat and light your living room, bed room, or dining room, sheer shades are an excellent alternative.These window coverings are a mixture of shades and blinds with fabric vanes floating between soft, knitted fabric sheers. Raise the vanes to get soft, diffused, and filtered light in your home that has 99 percent fewer UV rays than unblocked sunlight.

Cold and Rainy

Areas like the Pacific Northwest and the Northeast often receive large amounts of rainfall and snowfall. In the winter, windows can become a major source of heat loss for homes in these regions. At Blindster, we recommend heavy blinds and shades that can provide maximum insulation to keep warm air in and cold air out during the fall, winter, and early spring.

Some of the top window coverings for rainy and cold areas are:

  • Roman ShadesRoman shades are thick and heavy like a winter coat. And just like your favorite winter clothing, these window treatments are designed to ward off cold air and keep drafts at bay. Our Premium Roman shades are available in four groups—A, B, C, and D—with dozens of colors to choose from in each category.When combined with energy efficient or newly insulated windows, these shades are the ultimate in keeping your home protected the harsh elements outside. Raise them during the day to naturally heat your home when the sun is out and lower them at night to seal the warm air indoors. Finally, pair them with a blackout liner for extra privacy, light reduction, and insulation.
  • Wood BlindsNothing completes the look of a stately New England home or a rustic cabin nestled in the Pacific Northwest quite like wood blinds. Our real wood blinds are made from kiln-dried American basswood, which is harvested from forests in the Eastern USA and Canada. For many homeowners, there’s no substitute for the subtle textures and colors found in actual wood grain, and that’s why we use only the highest-quality wood in our manufacturing process.Real wood blinds are great at insulating homes and acting as a barrier between your living room, bedroom, or office and cold, rainy drafts outside. The best part about installing wood blinds in wet and cold climates is the fact that they seamlessly match almost all furniture and décor that’s native to those areas.

Sunny and Rainy

Florida is known as the Sunshine State, but anyone who lives there knows that rain showers are a frequent occurrence—as are high levels of humidity. All the moisture in the area can cause some types of window treatments to fade, warp, or even mildew over long periods of time, especially if they’re exposed to the elements due to open windows or doors.

These window treatments are designed to hold up against both the sun’s damaging rays and the effects of frequent high humidity:

  • Faux Wood BlindsFaux wood blinds are created using synthetic materials, such as vinyl and vinyl compound materials. However, they look and feel extremely similar to real wood. But unlike wood blinds, faux wood blinds are designed to stand up to harsh conditions. Real wood is susceptible to warping and discoloration due to things like constant sunlight exposure and humidity, but faux wood was specifically designed to be used in humid conditions such as bathrooms, kitchens, and garages.With these blinds, you’ll have peace of mind in even the wettest and sunniest climates. Feel free to leave your patio doors and windows open and let in a fresh breeze, as the hardy construction of faux wood blinds means that they’ll be no worse for the wear even after years of exposure to moisture and high humidity.
  • Aluminum BlindsWant blinds that are easy to clean, resistant to fading, and durable enough to hold up for many years? If so, you can’t go wrong with our aluminum blinds. These window coverings are extremely common in homes, apartments, and businesses throughout the world for good reason. They work well in virtually any climate and thrive under even the harshest conditions.In addition to being highly effective at blocking out light and protecting your privacy, aluminum blinds are also ideal for warm and humid climates. Like faux wood blinds, aluminum blinds won’t mold or mildew and can be easily cleaned with solutions that might damage other types of window coverings.

Avoid These Common Mistakes When Buying New Window Treatments

You’ve finally decided to take the plunge and buy new window coverings for your home. You’ve done your research, taken the time to weigh the pros and cons between blinds and shades, and envisioned each room with new window treatments. With all the hard work done, there’s nothing left to do but click the order button, right?

At Blindster, we know that buying blinds and shades isn’t something most people take lightly, especially given the fact that it requires careful measurements and is often a DIY installation project. But we also know that many homeowners are happier with their new window coverings over the long haul when they approach the buying process carefully and don’t leave out any important steps along the way.

If you’re thinking about purchasing new window treatments for your home, do your best to avoid these common mistakes:

Focusing exclusively on looks over function.

It’s no secret that your new window coverings will make a huge impact on the appearance of your home. In fact, new blinds and shades can dramatically change the look of a living room, bed room, or dining room—even with no other alterations or changes. But picking window treatments exclusively based on their appearance can sometimes lead to disappointment, especially when they’re purchased for a room that gets large amounts of sunlight, heat, and glare. It’s important to strike a balance between form and function when you buy new blinds and shades, as beautiful window treatments that don’t meet your individual needs may soon find themselves being returned or replaced.

Not ordering samples before placing your product order.

We know that many homeowners are reluctant to buy window treatments due to the difficulty of truly understanding what a blind or shade’s color, texture, and pattern look like when they’ve only been viewed on a computer screen or tablet. That’s why we offer samples of all our window treatments. Our samples are designed to make it easy for you to compare the colors of the window coverings you’re interested in with everything else in your home, including furniture, décor, and paint. Getting the perfect color can be a tricky and time-consuming process, but samples make it easy to get the right match.

Taking imprecise measurements of your windows.

Our window treatments are custom cut to fit windows exactly, whether they’re going to be installed inside the window frame or on top of the window. That’s why it’s vital that you give us the most precise measurements possible. When blinds and shades aren’t cut to properly fit windows, they can leave large gaps that let in harsh glare and sunlight. And for inside installations, they may not even fit inside the window frame. Make sure you have the tools necessary to properly measure your windows, including a tape measure and step ladder (if necessary), and consult our measuring instructions for all types of window coverings before you begin the measuring the process.

Not checking out all options and add-ons for your blinds or shades.

Our standard blinds and shades are designed to meet the needs of most homeowners, but we know that many people have specific features and options that they need to be satisfied with their purchase. Before you place your order, take the time to browse the many options we offer with our window treatments. Things like cordless operation, top down/bottom up operation, privacy/route-less slats, blackout liners, edge binding, and a huge variety of textures, colors, and patterns can make a big difference in your overall satisfaction with your new window treatments, so it’s important that you check out all the available options before you make your purchasing decision.

Choosing one-size-fits-all window coverings for every room in your home.

If you’re replacing all the window coverings in your home or outfitting a new home, you may be tempted to just bulk order a single style to save time. While this can be an effective option for some homeowners, it’s not always the best option, especially when different rooms in your home have different needs due to sun exposure, décor, color, and even purpose. For example, you may want to maximize natural sunlight in your kitchen and dining room, which makes our selection of Sheer Shades a great choice due to their soft sheer fabric and light-filtering vanes. But in your bedroom, living room, and home office, you may need greater privacy afforded by Roman shades, pleated shades, and wood blinds.

Not considering the differences between inside and outside installations.

Although most people install their window coverings inside of their window frames, outside mounts are great options for certain homes and on certain windows. If you’re used to inside mounted blinds and shades, don’t immediately order that style without first evaluating your windows and the room where your new window coverings will be installed. If you have small windows that you want to look larger, outside installation is the perfect solution. It’s also a great way to cover unattractive window frames, casings, and moldings. Inside installations, on the other hand, won’t cover your windows or make them look larger, but they offer a more built-in and low-profile look that many homeowners prefer.

Wood Blinds vs Faux Wood Blinds

When it comes to elegance, beauty, and a timeless style that complements virtually any home décor, you simply can’t go wrong with wood or faux wood blinds. And whether you prefer 1” blinds, 2” blinds, supersized 3” blinds, cordless lift, or dark or light wood stains, Blindster has the perfect wood window treatments for your home.

But what if you’re having trouble deciding between wood blinds and faux wood blinds? At first glance, it can be difficult to tell them apart. Although they may look extremely similar, real wood blinds and faux wood blinds have unique pros and cons that all homeowners should understand before they place an order.

If you’ve got your heart set on wood blinds, but can’t decide on real vs faux, check out our comparison guide below:


Wood Blinds


Faux Wood Blinds

  • Made from real wood

As the name suggests, wood blinds are made from real wood. For many homeowners, there is simply no substitute for the real thing. The texture and fine details are exactly as you would expect in a product made from real trees.


  • Great at insulating rooms

Real wood is thicker and denser than faux wood, which also means that it’s more effective at insulating rooms. Installing wood blinds in your windows can help keep cold air out during the winter and cold air in during the summer, making your home more eco-friendly and helping to reduce your utility bills.


  • Manufactured using North American wood

If you’re concerned about purchasing products that are made using local materials and supplies, you’ll love our wood blinds. They’re manufactured using wood harvested from forests in the Eastern United States and Canada.


  • Natural wood grain patterns

Although faux wood blinds are designed to look like the real thing, there are some subtleties and intricacies of real wood grain that simply can’t be replicated, especially upon close inspection. Our wood blinds feature beautiful wood grain patterns, textures, and colors that will add beauty and luxury to any room in your home.


  • More color options

The color and stain of blinds can make a big difference in how they complement a room and match furniture and décor. If you’re looking for the most color and stain options for your home, you’ll want to stick with real wood blinds. Our 2” Premium Wood Blinds are available in 28 unique colors, while our 2” Privacy Wood Blinds are available in 17 colors.


  • Lightweight and easy to raise/lower

Weight can become an issue when blinds are manufactured to oversized specifications in order to cover large windows. Real wood blinds are relatively lightweight and are much easier to raise and lower, even at their maximum size limits, than many types of faux wood blinds.

  • Made from composite materials

Faux wood blinds are made from a blend of materials, including a composite wood material, PVC, vinyl, and vinyl compounds. Although they may contain very little in the way of real wood, they are designed to look and feel extremely similar to the real thing. For many homeowners, it’s virtually impossible to tell the difference unless they are inspected up close.


  • Highly resistant to warping and fading

Not being made from real wood gives faux wood blinds an advantage in harsh conditions, especially in areas with high humidity, sunlight exposure, and heat. Because they are manufactured using highly durable composite materials, faux wood blinds are much less likely to warp, fade, or discolor, even after years of exposure to harsh elements.


  • Easy to clean and maintain

Cleaning real wood requires care and special solutions that won’t damage the wood or soak into it, causing potential warping and fading. Faux wood blinds are much more resilient to a wider variety of cleaning products and solutions, making them much easier to clean and maintain.


  • Lower price point

Although our real wood blinds are priced competitively, faux wood blinds are even more affordable. If you’re looking to outfit an entire home or business with new wood blinds, choosing faux wood is a great way to save money without compromising on the look you want.


  • Available as shutters

In addition to our wide variety of faux wood blinds, we also offer a beautiful faux wood shutter that’s perfect for any room in your home. Lightweight and durable, our Fauxwood Plantation Shutters are manufactured with a hollow-bodied structure, making them easy to install yourself. Like our other faux wood blinds, these shutters are resistant to moisture, heat, and sunlight, making them ideal for rooms with high humidity or that receive frequent sun exposure.

Benefits of Faux Wood and Wood Blinds

Buying the right blinds and shades for a home is a highly subjective and personal decision, and the number of options available in 2016 can make it difficult for many homeowners to make a choice. However, two types of window coverings that are consistently popular due to their affordable prices, elegant appearance, and overall durability are wood and faux wood.

Whether you choose wood or faux wood blinds with 1” slats, 2” slats, or extra-large 2.5” slats, you’ll get window coverings that immediately enhance the beauty and overall appearance of any room in your home. In addition to improving the appearance of your windows and being highly effective at blocking out light, both wood and faux wood window treatments also perfectly complement a wide variety of home décor and furnishings.

If you’re considering real or faux wood blinds for your home, but want to know the benefits of each type of window covering, our comparison guide can help you make an informed and confident decision.

Benefits of Real Wood Window Treatments

2 Inch Premium Cordless Wood Blinds

Real wood window treatments bring a timeless and classic beauty to any room where they’re installed. These types of blinds and shades have been used for many years in homes and businesses throughout the U.S., and their popularity shows no signs of slowing down. Some of the top reasons that our customers love these window coverings include:

  • Durability

High-quality wood blinds and shades are resistant to some of the most common types of wear and tear that shades face on a daily basis—especially when they are installed in homes where children and pets are present. Aluminum blinds in particular can be at risk of bending or breaking when too much weight or pressure is applied to slats, which is something many cat and dog owners know all too well. Wood blinds, on the other hand, are much harder to break.


  • Insulation

Wood blinds are very effective at insulating rooms. Windows are one of the primary places where homes lose heat during the winter and take on hot air during the summer. Protecting your windows with thick wood blinds can go a long way towards making your home more energy efficient and reducing your utility bills.


  • Ease of use

One of our newest products, the 2” Premium Cordless Wood Blinds, features a cordless lift system that makes raising and lowering these window treatments a breeze. Just lift on the bottom rail to set these blinds at the perfect height. And because these blinds aren’t equipped with lift cords, you’ll have even more peace of mind if your home has small animals or young children.


  • Beautiful wood stains and colors

Although our entire selection of window coverings is available in a large variety of colors and patterns, it’s hard to beat the timeless beauty and elegance of natural wood grain. Our best-selling wood blinds—our 2” Premium Wood Blinds—feature nearly 30 stunning stains and colors to choose from, including Nutmeg, Sumatra, Red Maple Leaf, and Sunkissed Oak. Best of all, these blinds have been treated with a special multi-coat finish process that includes a UV inhibitor, protecting the wood and finish from fading and warping, even after years of sun exposure.


  • Light-weight materials

Real wood blinds and shades are very lightweight, making them easy to operate and lift/lower. That can be a big bonus for homeowners who suffer from arthritis or have pains and disabilities, and for people who need to install large numbers of blinds and shades for projects such as large apartment buildings with multiple units.


Benefits of Faux Wood Window Treatments

 Jesse Arnold2

Faux wood blinds are quickly becoming some of the most sought-after window treatments on the market. To most observers, they look identical to real wood blinds, while offering some distinct benefits and advantages, such as:


  • Moisture-resistance

Faux wood blinds are a better option for homes that frequently experience high humidity or for rooms where the accumulation of moisture is a frequent issue, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. They also stand up better to extreme temperatures, making them ideal for homes in very hot or cold climates and areas of the country where temperatures can widely vary within a 24-hour period.


  • Lower cost

While there are many inexpensive options of real wood blinds, faux wood blinds are even more affordable and economical. Some of our highest-quality faux wood blinds, including our 2 ½” Premium Faux Wood Blinds and 2 ½” Deluxe Faux Wood Blinds offer all of the elegance and beauty of their real wood counterparts, but at a lower price. In addition, our most affordable faux wood options, such as our 2” Super Value Faux Wood Blinds, are among the most inexpensive blinds in our inventory, making them perfect for homeowners on tight budgets.


  • Even better durability

Because faux wood blinds are manufactured using composite materials, including vinyl and PVC, these blinds can hold up to extended periods of wear and tear without bending, breaking, cracking, or warping. In addition, they’re also much more resistant to damage from cleaning solutions and liquids, which means homeowners don’t have to be nearly as careful when wiping away dust, dirt, pollen, and other debris from their slats.


  • Appearance is nearly identical to real wood blinds

Don’t let the word “faux” fool you—high-quality faux wood blinds look virtually identical to the real thing. There aren’t any dead giveaways that modern faux wood blinds aren’t real wood blinds. The colors, stains, and wood grain patterns are remarkably authentic. Three of our faux wood offerings, including our 2” Premium Faux Wood Blinds, our 2” Premium Cordless Faux Wood Blinds, and our 1” Premium Faux Wood Blinds, are available in 12 distinct colors, including Real Grain Bamboo, Real Grain Cinnamon, Cherry Embossed, and Mahogany 357.

Comparison Shopping – Buying Blinds Online vs In-Store

During the past decade, online shopping has taken the world by storm. People purchase everything, from movies and books, to large televisions, and even cars over the Internet. No service or product industry has been unaffected by this revolution in the way we browse for items, purchase them, and ultimately bring them into our homes—and that includes the industry of window coverings.

At Blindster, we pride ourselves on being one of the largest online retailers of blinds and shades in the world, but we also know that many homeowners are reluctant to purchase their window treatments sight unseen. That’s why we make every effort to provide our customers with the clearest pictures of our products and the most accurate and informative descriptions to help make the buying process as easy as possible.

If you’re a homeowner who prefers shopping in-store, or if you just need a little extra encouragement before submitting an order for your ideal window coverings, check out our list of reasons to buy online:

  • Quickly compare several blinds and shades at once.

One of the biggest perks of online shopping is the ability to quickly and easily compare huge numbers of products in a short amount of time. Whether you’re sorting them by window covering type, features, optional components, installation options, installation sizes, or prices, being able to access our database of products with the click of a mouse or the touch of a finger means you can narrow down your search in minutes.


  • Shop from the comfort of your home.

In terms of modern conveniences, it’s hard to beat the ability to shop from home. No more getting in the car, driving to a store, finding a place to park, fighting crowds, flagging down a salesperson, going through a checkout line, hauling your purchase to your vehicle, and driving back home (and not to mention using gas in the process). With online shopping, you never have to leave the couch (or put on real pants) and your new blinds or shades will arrive at your home within days, custom cut and ready for installation.


  • Take advantage of sales immediately.

Everyone loves a big sale—and everyone really loves a big sale where they save hundreds of dollars without ever leaving the couch. With brick-and-mortar stores, keeping track of sales can be difficult, as certain locations may not participate, or there may be other stipulations such as limited inventory at each store, required coupons to get the savings, or difficulty finding the items that have a reduced price. With online sales, there’s no hassle—you simply navigate to the page of the blinds or shades you want, add them to your cart, and check out. It’s that easy.


  • Never worry about store hours again.

Whether you’re a night owl or your work schedule means you’re asleep during traditional business hours, you know that trying to run errands and buy things for your home can be difficult when all of the local stores are closed. Online shopping at Blindster, on the other hand, has no opening or closing hours. Our website is up 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can browse our selection whenever you’re ready to outfit your home with new window coverings, whether that’s at 3 p.m. or 3 a.m.


  • Get the measuring and installation instructions you need fast.

Measuring your windows and installing blinds and shades may seem complicated, especially if you’re never done it in the past. At Blindster, we know that many homeowners are reluctant to change their blinds and shades because of the perceived difficulties of this essential step, but we also know that having the right information at your fingertips can make the process a breeze. You can quickly and easily access and download the measuring and installation instructions for virtually all of the blinds and shades we offer even before you buy them, which means you can have the tools and equipment you’ll need on hand long before your new window coverings arrive.


  • Check out every color and pattern with the click of a button.

Getting the right color or pattern for your blinds and shades is crucial. When your window coverings match or complement your home’s furniture, style, and overall décor, the results look beautiful and help boost your home’s beauty and visual appeal. But when the colors or pattern don’t match, it can throw your entire home’s visual balance off-kilter. If you’re shopping for window treatments in a store, you may have access to only a single display color or a small swatch of colors. But when shopping at home, you can easily view every available color and compare it to other colors throughout your home to find the best options.


  • Order free samples of multiple products to help narrow down your choices.

For many homeowners, the biggest concern when it comes to purchasing window treatments online is their fear of buying the wrong blinds or shades due to not being able to see them in person. At Blindster, we understand that concern, and that’s why we allow our customers to order up to 10 free samples from any product in any category. Choose from our faux wood blinds, aluminum blinds, Roman shades, roller shades, cellular shades, sheer shades, and more when you’re comparison shopping and trying to determine the best window treatments for your home. The samples are yours to keep and can help you make the right choice when you submit your order.


  • Instantly read thousands of reviews to help you make the right decision.

When you’re in a store browsing for window coverings, it can be difficult to tell if the blinds or shades you’re considering are as high-quality as they appear. Will the fabric fray after a couple of years? Will the paint or wood stain crack, chip, or fade? Will the lift mechanism break and become difficult to operate? In most cases, the sales associates won’t be much help, as you’ll need an unbiased opinion from someone who owns the product and installed it in their own home. Almost every window covering on our website has dozens of reviews from people who own the product and have first-hand experience with it, making it easy for you to read about other people’s experiences with the blinds or shades you’re thinking about buying.

Blindster’s Frequently Asked Questions Part 2

Welcome to another edition of Blindster’s frequently asked questions. Although we strive to make the researching, comparison shopping, measuring, buying, and installation process as easy and efficient as possible for our customers, we know that many people still have questions about window treatments before and after making a purchase.

It’s our goal to make our customers as satisfied as possible with their purchasing decisions, and the best way to do that is to provide as much information about blinds and shades as we can.

To learn more about some of the most common questions and concerns our customer service representatives receive, or to just expand your knowledge of common window treatment types and terminology, check out the questions below:

  1. What is the best way to remove blinds from a window?

Whether you’re replacing them or cleaning them, you will occasionally need to remove your blinds from your windows. Removing your blinds is an easy process that only requires a few tools and a few simple steps:


  • Raise your blinds all the way to the top

Raising the blinds makes them compact and much easier to handle and store away if you’re planning on replacing or selling them.


  • Remove your blinds from the brackets

Release the headrail of your blinds from the mounting brackets by pushing it out of the clips that are holding it in place. Check your installation manual to find the easiest and most effective way of completing this step to avoid accidentally damaging the headrail or mounting brackets.


  • Remove the mounting brackets from the wall, window frame, or other surface

Use a manual or electric screwdriver to detach the mounting brackets and any optional extension brackets from the mounting surface. You can also remove optional components, like hold down brackets and cord cleats, at this time.


  1. How can I shorten a blinds cord?

By default, blinds cords are generally around half the length of the blind itself. If your cords are still long for your window or door, it’s possible to shorten them. To do so, completely lower the blind until it’s in a closed position. Then, untie the knots at the end of the cord and cut it to the desired length plus one additional inch. Use the remaining one inch of cord to feed through the tassel or cap and tie another knot to secure the cord.


  1. How do I shorten mini blinds?

If your blinds are too long for your current window, or if you plan on moving them to a small window, you may want to shorten them for a better fit. Like shortening the lift cord, shortening your blinds is a relatively simple process that can be done in an hour or less by following these steps:


  • Release the string ladders

The first step to shortening your blinds is to release the string ladders on the bottom rail. Then, untie the knots of the lift cord inside the bottom rail on both sides of the blind.


  • Remove extra slats

After coming up with the ideal length for your blinds, remove the bottom rail and the number of slats necessary for the blinds to reach that length. Keep these slats in a safe location in case you ever move your blinds again and need to reinstall them for extra length. You can also use them to replace any broken slats in the future.


  • Replace the bottom rail and cut the extra string length

With the extra slats removed, slide the bottom rail back onto the string ladder and cut any extra lengths of string above the rung that hangs below the bottom rail. Then, insert each of the lift cords through the bottom rail hole and secure them by tying a knot. Finally, replace the bottom rail plugs to complete the shortening process.


  1. What are cellular shades?

Cellular shades are a popular type of window covering that are made using pleated fabric that’s arranged to create honeycomb pockets or compartments that fold into themselves when the shade is raised and help provide extra insulation when the shade is lowered.


Cellular shades are available with varying layers of honeycomb pockets, and the more layers a shade features, the more insulation and energy efficiency it provides. At Blindster, we offer a wide variety of cellular shades, including premium light filtering, premium blackout, and deluxe cordless day/night shades.


  1. What are cordless blinds?

As the name suggests, cordless blinds and shades are window treatments that can be operated without the use of a cord. Cordless blinds and shades are popular options because they’re easily operated by hand and provide a sleek and uniform appearance without the appearance of multiple cords located on every window. They’re also popular options for homeowners with small children or pets who worry about the potential hazards of blinds cords.


  1. What are faux wood blinds made of?

Faux wood blinds are designed to look identical to real wood blinds, but often at a lower cost and with easier maintenance and easier cleaning. These blinds are manufactured using vinyl and vinyl compound materials, and some are manufactured using a combination of synthetic materials and real wood to provide an even more realistic look and feel.


  1. What kind of shades should I purchase for a basement window?

Although they may receive slightly less sunlight than other windows in your home, your basement windows can be a source of unwanted heat and light. Before you purchase window treatments for your basement, it’s important to understand a few facts.


First, basements tend to have a higher humidity than other rooms in your home—and that can be bad for cellular shades and real wood blinds, as moisture can accumulate and damage the materials. Second, basement windows tend to attract large amounts of dirt and dust—especially if the basement itself is unfinished.


For basement window coverings that will be easy to clean and maintain, Blindster recommends faux wood blinds, roller shades, or blackout shades for the ultimate in light control, privacy, and insulation to protect your basement from heat and sunlight.

How Vertical Blinds Work


Vertical blinds are aptly named for their wide slats that hang vertically from the headrail at the top of your window. They are no longer the ugly, one-color-fits-all version from the

past; they now come in a wide variety of colors, fabrics and plastics to fit any décor.  Verticals are some of the most durable blinds you can furnish your windows with, so they are

perfect for doors or windows that see a lot of traffic. While the mechanisms that operate these blinds may seem complicated, they’re actually relatively simple to understand.

brown vertical

Vertical blind’s mechanisms perform two basic functions, they either completely slide the blinds out of the way, stacking them in the corner, or they simply tilt the slats to allow more light to come through.

The first function is operated with a blind wand. The blind wand is typically a long, thin plastic or metal piece that is attached to the last slat on the blind. Each slat is attached to a sliding plastic piece that is inserted into the track that runs along the headrail.

By pulling on the blind wand to the right or left, you can move all of the slats at the same time to either open or close the blinds. The tilting mechanisms are either operated by turning the blind wand or by pulling on a separate cord that is attached to the headrail. The blind wand or cord is connected to a mechanism that causes the axle that runs along the head rail to turn. This axle is also attached to small gears that connect to each slat and as the axle turns, it twists the gears and opens or closes the slats to more light.


Benefits of Exterior Solar Shades

Exterior areas are the perfect places to relax and unwind, but the heat, intense sunlight and lack of privacy can make some homeowners less likely to enjoy these areas as much as they could. Thankfully, exterior solar shades are the perfect option to reclaim exterior spaces, including sunrooms, decks, balconies, porches, and pool enclosures.

If you’ve considered adding exterior solar shades to your outdoor area but need a little more convincing, here are a few unique benefits that you’ll enjoy right away:

• Keep cool in the summer

It’s hard to fully enjoy your outdoor areas during the summer—especially when temperatures soar and the sun’s rays are at their most intense. Exterior solar shades can significantly reduce the amount of heat that is transferred into your exterior area and even the adjacent rooms of your home. That also means your air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard, saving you money on your utility bills.

• Block the sun’s UV rays

The sun’s rays can be extremely damaging to your skin, contributing to everything from premature aging to skin cancer. While many home’s outdoor spaces may have covered roofs, direct sunlight in the morning or evening—or even sunlight reflected off water or other surfaces—can cause skin damage after just brief periods of exposure. Exterior solar shades significantly reduce harmful UV rays from the sun and make it safe for you to enjoy your exterior area no matter the time of day.

• Reduce fading and sun damage to your furniture

Just as the sun can damage your skin, it can also damage your furniture and anything that receives frequent exposure to its rays. Whether it’s the fabric on a chair or the wood grain on a table, constant and intense sunlight exposure can quickly cause furniture to lose its color, luster, and vibrancy, resulting in a dingy and washed-out appearance. By significantly reducing the intensity of the sun’s UV rays, exterior solar shades can help protect your furniture and extend its lifespan.

• Preserve your beautiful view

One of the most appealing parts of having an exterior area is enjoying the view. Whether your exterior area overlooks your pool, your lawn, or your neighborhood, preserving your view is a requirement for any exterior window coverings—and exterior solar shades deliver. Blindster offers exterior solar shades with high levels of transparency, which means you’ll barely be able to see them. But despite their sheer appearance, even the most view-preserving exterior solar shades are still highly effective at blocking out sunlight and reducing heat.

• Increase and protect your family’s privacy

For many homeowners, enjoying their exterior areas means feeling less secure and more exposed—especially if their home is in a neighborhood with small lot sizes and many homes build closely together. Exterior solar shades are the perfect solution for increasing privacy in exterior areas. Because Blindster offers a variety of exterior solar shades, you can find one that perfectly matches your need for preserving your view while also increasing and protecting your family’s privacy.

• Reduce harsh glare during all hours of the day

If your outdoor area is near a body of water, including a pool, pond, stream, or lake, there’s a good chance that the sunlight’s reflection off the water can produce a strong glare during certain hours of the day. Exterior solar shades can reduce the glare and reflection—which means you can enjoy your outdoor area without the need for sunglasses.

• Enhance your home’s beauty

While some homeowners may think of exterior solar shades as being purely functional items, there are actually many stylish and beautiful options for outdoor spaces. At Blindster, we offer a wide variety of exterior solar shades, including many different designs, colors, levels of transparency, and installation options. You can also try before you buy by ordering a free sample of any exterior solar shade listed on our website.

• Can be custom made to fit almost any outdoor space

Outdoor spaces can range from screened and glassed-in porches to sunrooms and large balconies. All of these areas require different sizes and installment options for exterior solar shades, and all of them can be accommodated through Blindster. In addition, exterior solar shades can be installed like traditional shades and mounted flush inside window frames, and they can also be mounted outside the window frame on the wall, the window molding, or even the ceiling itself for maximum versatility and compatibility

• Easily raised and lowered

The benefits of exterior solar shades in the summer may be less important during the winter—especially when it comes to blocking out the sun’s rays. Thankfully, it’s quick and easy to raise and lower exterior solar shades, giving you maximum control over the privacy and lighting of your outdoor area. Keep the shades lowered during the summer to block out UV light and reduce heat, and raise them in the winter to allow the sun to warm your outdoor area.

• Designed to withstand the elements

Unlike traditional indoor shades, exterior solar shades are designed to hold up under tough conditions for years and years. Blindster’s exterior solar shades are tested to endure the harshest elements of nature, including constant sunlight exposure, torrential rainfall, and strong winds. Once your exterior solar shades are installed, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your outdoor area will be protected from the sun’s harmful rays for years to come with minimal maintenance required.

• Protect your outdoor space from insects and pests

Your outdoor area should be a comfortable space free from distractions, but it’s hard to enjoy it when you’re fighting off insects like flies or mosquitoes. Exterior solar shades provide a solid barrier between your family and unwanted pests and reduce your need for bug sprays and other pest-blocking devices.

• Preserve the sounds of nature

For outdoor areas that aren’t glassed-in, exterior solar shades provide protection on par with even tinted windows while also preserving the sounds of nature. That means you can enjoy the sounds of your children splashing in the pool or a pleasant rainfall while also enjoying protection from the sun and increased privacy.