Curtains that look white AND achieve blackout! We’ll explain where the frustration is coming from.
In the end, we will also show the most beautiful and elegant white blackout curtains with popular, modern looking grommets and in white velvet.
Go directly to our top white blackout curtains reviews:
Frustrations When Searching For White Blackout Curtains
If you have been googling to find the best blackout curtains in white, off white or even light gray or beige, then I know the frustrations you must have been going through.
Seller’s descriptions are very brief: You have been shown curtains that have “blackout” in their name. You have seen manufacturers claims that the curtains remove 99.9% of the unwanted light. You have seen all of it. And you have been frustrated because noone explains the blackout property in any more detail.
Buyer reviews are often disappointing: The frustration grows when you read buyer reviews. These will clearly state sometimes that the “blackout curtains” they bought that were supposed to block 99.9% of the outside light, don’t perform at all. And that is not just for white or beige blackout curtains. Buyers report a “green glow” when they buy light green curtains, or that “they can not sleep during the day” because of too much light. They sometimes estimate only 60% of light is really blocked by such light colored curtains rather than the claimed 99.9%.
What is going on?
We’ve scoured dozens of online shops and looked at hundreds of buyers reviews. It is not that online stores are a terrible place to shop, to the contrary, online shops are a great place to shop for blackout curtains, especially white and off white blackout curtains. Online stores have bigger selection and more items in stock than any department store can have available to look at even in their biggest stores.
But the frustration in finding beige, off white, or white blackout curtains persists, even when buying online. The reason, we found, was two fold. First, manufacturers and stores cite 99.9% blackout and cite independent lab testing, but they don’t specify what color curtains they tested!
And buyers complain about curtains not being blackout enough and they often don’t specify what color blackout curtains they own!
We explain everything, right here.
First, a word about color of blackout curtains influences the blackout effectiveness.
Second, a word about proper panel dimensioning and installation to achieve perfect blackout. You will not find this information nowhere else in one place!
Blackout Curtain Color Matters!
It is a simple fact that light color curtains made of the same material than dark color curtains, will block less light. Period. This holds for woven curtains made of white curtain blackout cloth, as well as curtains lined with a special “blackout liner” such as Thermaback by Eclipse that is supposed to block 99.9% of light.
A Quick Reminder From Your High School Physics Class
Dark fabric, or dark plastic appears dark, or black, because it absorbs most of the light that impinges on it.
Light fabric, or white fabric, on the other hand, does not absorb most of the light, but instead reflects it. But not like a mirror reflects light. Rather, it reflects light in all directions. It is called diffuse reflection, and depicted in the image. Yes, some of the light will be send straight back out of the window by a white or light curtain. But some of the light will be reflected sideways, and significant portion of it will be “reflected” in the direction straight into the room, as depicted in the image to the right.
Upshot: Lighter Color Curtain Lets More Light In
So there, a simple explanation why the curtain made of the very same fabric, but lighter color, will let much more light in. Curtain buyers who reviewed white blackout curtains could well be right in saying that white curtains block only 60% of the light, when the darker, or black curtains block 99.9%.
Such a contrast applies especially to lighter, thinner “blackout” curtains. Why? Because their thickness is designed to make them easy to ship, easy to hang. They can not be too heavy. We’ll suggest examples of such thinner blackout curtains below.
However, when we are talking about white or off white velvet curtains, they are usually thicker and heavier. Thicker white velvet curtains will block out more light than thinner white curtains. This is because in such thicker curtains light will have multiple chances to be either absorbed or sent back out of the curtain where it came from before it will find its way through the curtain and into the room. It is just basic physics.
In fact, we have never found a white velvet curtain buyer complaint about curtains not being blackout enough.
There Is No Perfect White Blackout Curtain
Another aspect to look for when buying white blackout curtains is that they you might be disappointed in the “white color” of the curtain. Why? Because, curtains will never be a perfect white. As soon as the fabric absorbs a bit of light, it can technically not be called white. So the curtains that are named “white” are more accurately described as “off white”
“light gray”, even “ivory” or “beige”, depending on the shade of “off white”. This is a fair description in most cases. It will prevent the disappointment for buyers who are looking for the “perfect white” color which, as we say above, does not even exist, technically.
So now we get the difference between thinner white blackout curtains that will never be fully blackout and thicker white velvet blackout curtains. This difference persists for white, off white, beige, light gray and other lighter color draperies. Let’s now look into both types of such drapes, thinner and thicker.
Thinner White Blackout Curtains
Usually these days, thinner blackout curtains are made of 100% polyester. Thinner curtains feature a special thick liner that makes curtains blackout. Because of the blackout liner layer the curtains will provide solid thermal insulation (important in both winter and summer), and noticeable noise blocking.
You can improve on the imperfect blackout provided by these curtains to a large degree by doubling up on the number of panels. You can hang the curtain panels one behind the other using a double curtain rod. This will also improve their thermal insulation and blocking of unwanted noise.
The best example of thinner white and off white blackout curtains is Eclipse Casey Blackout Energy Efficient curtain. Eclipse Casey comes in “White” color, in addition to darker “Cafe” and other color fabrics.
Thicker White Velvet Blackout Curtains
White velvet blackout curtains are highly sought after. Interior decorators, professional and do-it-yourselvers like white velvet curtains a lot. Why? Because white and off white velvet curtains will match most interior designs. White blackout curtains will match any color of furniture. They will match any wall color. Similarly, light grey velvet curtains will match any colder colors, like blue or dark green, while light beige velvet will match warmer colors like yellow, orange, pink and red.
White velvet curtains emanate beautiful rich appearance, and softness to the touch. They do not require double layers for solid blackout. However, due to their weight, you will want to use a higher diameter to hold them well. Choose a diameter of 1 inch or a bit bigger.