A blackout curtain is often requested by parents for a child's bedroom. Or your job means you have to sleep during daylight hours. Perhaps you have trouble sleeping anyway, and find you wake at sunrise.
How many times have you found a colleague irritable at work, and when asked they admit they haven't had enough sleep? And how often have you gone to a meeting knowing you're not at your best because of lack of sleep?
Some of us simply sleep better when it's dark, and the darker the better. If you do need to keep out daylight, there are a number of ways you can do it.
Don't forget blackout shades
Before you make your final choice, have you considered blackout shades?
You can buy both Roman and Roller shades in special fabric which completely blocks out light. If you don't want to use a curtain for whatever reason, then some sort of shade could be the answer.
If the shades are constructed of fabric - such as Roman shades - if you can't find a blackout fabric, then use a blackout lining on the back. These linings are very good, and will provide protection for the shade as well as blocking out the light.
But remember that even if your shades are a good fit in the window, they won't cut out all the light. You'll need a combination of shades and curtains to do that.
Sometimes it also helps to have a roller shade or venetian shade set inside the window recess, and a light blocking shade fitted outside the recess which completely covers the window.
Blackout curtain - special fabric, or lined?
There are two ways you can get blackout curtains.
- Buy curtains made from special fabric which has been treated to stop light.
- Use an ordinary fabric of your choice and use a blackout lining instead of a normal lining.
Special blackout drapes can be bought from many stores and online shops. Some of them come complete with valances, and can be a pair of panels or just a single panel.
Using blackout lining gives you the best of both worlds. You can select the fabric of your choice, and then have the fabric made into a blackout curtain by adding a blackout lining. The blackout linings available today are indistinguishable from normal linings, so your curtain will look no different from normal curtains.
Shutting out as much light as possible
If you find that daylight still creeps in around the edges and from the base of the curtain, there are a few things you can do to rectify it.
Use a valance or cornice box
By fixing a solid board across the top of the window, and having the track and valance attached to it, you can eliminate nearly all the light coming into from above the top of the curtain.
Use Roman or Roller shades as well as a curtain
You may remember from your schooldays that 'light travels in straight lines'. No? Well, never mind. It still does! And that means that if you fit a blackout shade inside the window, and than have a blackout curtain or curtains on the outside with a valance or cornice box, you'll eliminate nearly all the light. Not quite all, but enough to enable you to sleep in peace...