What Is the Difference Between Blackout and Blockout Curtains?

blockout curtains


Before we find out what the differences between blackout and blockout curtains are, how important is good sleep to you?

Very, we bet.

There really are few things that are as good as an uninterrupted weekend sleep-in or nap. And one of the easiest, most straightforward ways of doing just that, is with the help of blackout curtains.

Right about now, you’re probably thinking ‘But I do have curtains!’ And we wouldn’t blame you. However, are those curtains doing their job right? Are they the right fit? Do they still allow some light to flow through even though that’s not what you want?

Chances are, your curtains aren’t designed for this purpose. Of course they will offer some privacy and some respite from sunlight, but that’s where it ends. It’s for this very reason that we think opting for custom-made curtains with the right materials can be a game-changer.


But now you’re probably wondering what the difference between blackout and blockout curtains are. They sound the same, surely they are the same too?

Well, you wouldn’t be entirely wrong. They certainly sound similar, and as it turns out, they are similar in functionality too. What sets them apart though, is that blackouts are total blockout curtains. That means, 100%. 

That’s not to say that blockout curtains aren’t up for the task. They offer about 99% blockout, so really, they both stand shoulder-to-shoulder. 

If you’ve never really heard of these terms before, you’re not alone. Most people only know of ‘curtains’, because that’s what we just know them as. So let’s take this opportunity to broaden our scope and get to know them a bit better. In this case, specifically blockout curtains. 

1. What Are Curtains?

If for some inexplicable reason you have no idea what curtains are, they’re single blocks of fabric panels. 

They’ve been around for decades, and are one of the most widely used window furnishings around. While the world has since transitioned to blinds and shutters as alternatives, many still want to include curtains as well.

The reason is simple. Curtains make any space feel instantly homey, and have an elegant, sophisticated look to them. Not to mention, serving as the ideal hiding place for when the little ones play hide-and-seek!

Today you’ll find curtains come in two types: Blockouts and sheers. Their defining traits are built into their names themselves, with each offering their own benefits. For the purpose of this article we’re going to be focusing on blockouts.


2. What Are Blackout Curtains?

When it comes to their use, blackout curtains are quite straightforward. Their purpose is simple. To block out light 100%. This means, no amount of light passes through the fabric. Hence, the name ‘blackout’.

Because of the thick fabric, they also come with an added bonus; the ability to muffle sound. Now they won’t be able to completely keep any outside noise out, but they do function as a barrier. So if, for instance you live near a high-traffic area where vehicles travel all the livelong day, this could help.

Since they help create total darkness in a room, they aren’t for all circumstances or people. However, there are some select instances in which they fit the bill. Take a look below at those who typically benefit from blackout curtains:

  • Night-shift workers:
    Been burning the midnight oil? As a night-shift worker, you’re pretty much a night owl who needs your daytime zzzs. This is challenging, considering the rest of the world is up and about, and it’s noisy and bright. Blackout curtains can help you forget that it’s the break of day.

  • Babies and toddlers:
    Any parent will challenge you to come up with something tougher than putting their little ones to sleep. The last thing you want once you’ve managed this Herculean task, is for them to wake up. Blackout curtains come to the rescue once again, by keeping out light and muffling sound for their daytime naps.

  • Those With Light Sensitivity:
    You may not know it, but many around us have to live daily with light sensitivity. Harsh sunlight is tough to handle, and can trigger headaches as well as migraines. When suffering from these ailments particularly migraines, light and sound are the two main things to keep away. Once again, blackout curtains can help you here.

    If you’re thinking about how to hang blackout curtains, there’s no set rule. Curtains in general make use of curtain rings, hooks and more, which determine their drape. This is entirely your preference.


3. How Do They Work?

We know it sounds like there’s some sort of special secret to them, but these curtains aren’t exactly an enigma. They owe their functionality to two pieces of fabric that are then combined together. 

The first piece of fabric or the front of the curtain is your star performer. It is the main curtain, the one that everyone sees as soon as they walk in. These fabrics come in various textures, patterns and colours, and offer a great deal of diversity.

Then the second piece of fabric is the extra ‘backing layer’, which is always made out of a thick fabric that’s been tightly woven. This is the ingredient that makes the curtain functional as a blackout. Because of this added layer, the curtain then becomes a bit thicker and heavier than most.

It’s this layer that also helps reduce noise pollution, although their main job of course, is to keep out light. Transform your everyday living room into a mini movie theatre for instance, by creating the right setting thanks to these curtains.


4. What Are Blockout Curtains?

Frankly, these curtains share 99% of their DNA with their blackout siblings, hence also work effectively to block out light.

They’re also built thickly, so they’re excellent for insulation and maintaining a comfortable room temperature. Again, something tired parents everywhere will be relieved about. 

Blockout curtains are incredibly useful for all of the same people we covered above. But they’re also useful for those who have home studios or media rooms. Not only do they keep these rooms dark, they also keep them cool, which is important for equipment.

We recommend taking the time to browse through our wide choice of handmade blockout curtains before making a final choice.

5. How Do They Work?

Just like blackout curtains, these curtains also come with two layers of fabric. Overall, they weigh ever so slightly less, as the backing layer is lighter. This doesn’t affect its functionality in any way.

Once again, the backing layer serves to filter out light and noise while regulating temperature. In a sense, these curtains can also be called thermal curtains because of this ability. If you want to come home to a nice, cool environment, we recommend drawing them close when you leave.


6.Blockout (Room Darkening) Curtains Vs Blackout Curtains

In short, if you’re wondering which of these to go for, there’s no need to stress too much. These curtains are pretty much exactly alike, so you won’t be making any big compromises by choosing one over the other.

In terms of cost, our DIY curtains are incredibly budget-friendly. With our easy-to-follow, straightforward guides you can measure and install your curtains yourself, so say goodbye to tradies.

Additionally, manufacturing all our products locally means unnecessary costs in-between are also cut-out. At the end of the day, our goal is to ensure everyone has access to economical, high-quality, long-lasting, custom-made curtains. These are just some of the ways we achieve that.

We understand if you’re not sure how to find the best curtains online for your space, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team. We’re here to lighten your load, and help you as best as we can. We’re always reachable and have a great many ideas to share, so make use of us!

What Is the Difference Between Blackout and Blockout Curtains?
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