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What are thick curtains called?

Thick curtains that are designed to block out light and insulate rooms are usually referred to as blackout curtains or room darkening curtains. These thick and opaque window treatments come in various colors and materials, but all serve the same key functions of preventing light infiltration and helping regulate room temperatures.

What are thick curtains called?

Key Characteristics of Thick Blackout Curtains

Thick curtains that black out rooms feature some defining qualities:

  • Dense, non-transparent fabric – Blackout curtain fabrics are tightly woven with dense fibers that light cannot penetrate. Common materials include polyester, velour, faux silk, velvet, suede, and layered fabrics.
  • Backing or liner – Many feature a solid backing, foam, felt or suede liner on the reverse side to further block light. Backings add weight and improve insulation.
  • Overlap curtains – Pairing curtains that overlap when closed provides complete window coverage so no light escapes between gaps.
  • Bottom weights – Weights sewn into bottom hems allow the curtains to hang straight and create a tighter seal against window frames and floors to prevent light seepage.
  • Side channels – Curtains designed for outside mounts have channels or side hems to insert curtain rods to offer full coverage from all sight lines.

Why Choose Thick Blackout Curtains?

There are several benefits homeowners seek when purchasing substantial darkened curtains:

  • Maximize privacy – The room darkening abilities create complete privacy day or night.
  • Dim lights for restful sleep – Blocking outside light allows rooms to become pitch black – ideal for those who want minimal light disruptions when sleeping during the day.
  • Insulate rooms – The dense materials provide thermal insulation, helping keep interiors cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
  • Limit noise – Multi-layered fabrics help muffle outside noise pollution for quieter indoor ambiances.
  • Control lighting – Preventing intense daylight creates flexible lighting options for home theaters, nurseries, and more.

Where to Use Blackout Curtains

Here are prime locations to install thick blackout curtains:


Bedrooms are the most common placement to create dark, tranquil spaces for uninterrupted rest. Infants to seniors can benefit from limited lighting and noise.

Home Theaters

By blocking daylight and noises, it creates an ideal cinema-like setting.


Gentle lighting ambiances are easily controlled to establish optimal napping environments.

Shift Worker Bedrooms

Mitigating daylight supports the circadian rhythms of those who sleep during daylight hours.

Guest Rooms

Offering full privacy and light blocking promotes better sleep experiences.

Hospital Rooms

To limit stimulating lights and sounds from hallways and outdoors.

Popular Styles of Blackout Curtains

Homeowners can choose from an abundant selection of thick blackout curtains in various styles:

Rod Pocket Blackout Curtains

The most common style featuring top sewn pockets that insert onto standard curtain rods. Available in wide range of colors, patterns and materials.

Grommet Top Blackout Curtains

Instead of rod pockets, these have evenly spaced grommets across the top hem for a more modern, stylish aesthetic. Work with decorative poles.

Tab Top Blackout Curtains

These have button tab tops to neatly slip onto specialty tab top or ring style curtain rods without needing rings or grommets.

Back Tab Blackout Curtains

Equipped with bands of fabric tabs on reverse sides that can attach via button or velcro to loop or ring style curtain rods. Conceals all hardware.

Split Blackout Curtains

Includes two separate curtain panels with overlapped middles when closed to entirely cover windows. Allows for flexible openings.

Optimal Blackout Curtain Placement

To properly block light, it is ideal to mount blackout curtains:

  • As close to windows as possible
  • High enough to stack curtains above window height when open
  • Wide enough to overlap window frames by at least 2 inches on sides and top
  • Long enough to puddle onto floors for complete coverage

Using outside or ceiling mounting positions can help customize placements for optimal blackout abilities.

Caring for Blackout Curtains

To prolong thick blackout curtains:

  • Vacuum gently using appropriate fabric nozzle attachments when dusty
  • Spot treat spills and stains immediately with mild soap and water
  • Machine or hand wash gently on cold when excessively dirty and allow to fully air dry
  • Do not overload curtain rods to prevent sagging, tearing and hardware issues
  • Avoid excess pulling, twisting and exposure to direct sunlight when possible

Key Takeaways on Thick Blackout Window Curtains

  • Blackout curtains feature specially designed dense, opaque fabrics to completely block outside light infiltration.
  • Added backing liners, tight seals, and heavyweight materials insulate rooms from light, noises and temperature variations.
  • They are commonly used in bedrooms but also practical for nurseries, home theaters, and hospital rooms that require minimal lighting.
  • Homeowners can choose convenient rod pocket styles or more decorative grommet top and back tab options to coordinate with their interior decors.
  • Proper blackout relies on optimal curtain placement, mounting and reasonable care.


Blackout curtains offer homeowners incredible versatility when it comes to managing natural and artificial lighting. The discerning fabrics transform intense daytime light into soothing dark coves within interior spaces. Nurseries, bedrooms and entertainment rooms especially benefit from the daylight and noise control attributes. With the abundance of colors and designs available today, finding perfectly stylish blackout curtains to suit your functional needs and aesthetic taste is simple. Their insulating qualities keep rooms more comfortable as well in both summer and winter. Properly installed thick blackout curtains can make homes more livable and enjoyable.


Q: Are blackout curtains good for insulation?
A: Yes, quality blackout curtains provide very good thermal insulation due to their thick, dense materials and backing layers that prevent heat transfer through windows.

Q: What fabric is best for blackout curtains?
A: Fabrics like polyester, velour, velvet or layered fabrics have fibers and weaves that optimally block light penetration. Natural fibers like cotton are too breathable and allow some light through.

Q: Why are my blackout curtains not fully blacking out the room?
A: Check for any gaps of light around curtain edges against window frames, underneath along floor level or between curtain overlaps. Adding additional panels or repositioning can improve coverage.

Q: How do you make existing curtains blackout?
A: Add blackout foam or fabric liners to curtain backs, use overlapping curtains, add insulation backing films on window glass and ensure tight edge-to-edge fits along frames.

Q: Do blackout curtains need to be wider than the window?
A: Making blackout curtains 2 inches wider and longer than window frames allows sufficient overlaps to prevent light escaping between small edge gaps or underneath.

Q: Do blackout curtains block noise?
A: Yes, to varying degrees based on the curtain fabric density and layering. Added mass and barrier layers absorb more noise vibrations. Seal off edges for better acoustic insulation.

Q: Do blackout curtains fade carpet, wood floors or furniture?
A: Minimal light means minimal UV rays and fading potential on surrounding surfaces. Direct sunlight is the primary culprit for fading over time.

Q: Can blackout curtains be made from regular fabric?
A: Yes, but lighter, natural fibers will not optimally darken rooms or insulate. Adding acrylic blackout fabric linings or using thermal blackout film improves effectiveness.

Q: Do blackout curtains need to touch the floor?
A: Allowing blackout curtains to fully puddle onto floors ensures minimal light creeping in underneath from any edge gaps or uneven flooring. Longer is better.

Q: Can I cut blackout curtains to fit smaller windows?
A: Yes, measure carefully and use sharp scissors to custom trim widths as needed. Re-hem edges to prevent fraying and light gaps. Only trim length if the top treatment fits.

Q: Do blackout curtains come in motorized, remote-controlled styles?
A: Yes, many manufacturers offer blackout curtains and shades operated by remotes and home automation systems for incredible convenience. Helpful for hard-to-reach windows or light-sensitive spaces.

Q: How do I choose the right blackout curtains?
A: Consider room uses, window measurements, design styles, ease of installation, and budget. Ensure complete opacity and properly overlap windows using the best possible ceiling/wall mounting position.

Q: Do thermal blackout curtains require special cleaning?
A: Follow any individual manufacturer instructions. Most can be gently washed and tumble dried on cool when dirty. Avoid overloading weight on curtain rods during cleaning.

Q: Do blackout curtains come in organic, ‘green’ fabrics?
A: Many lines use sustainable bamboo fibers and eco-friendly dyes or offer PVC-free blackout options. Check manufacturer product details.

Q: Where can I buy affordable blackout curtains?
A: Big box retailers, online stores like Amazon, or discount home goods stores typically offer the most budget-friendly selections in standard sizes. Custom designs cost more.

Q: How much do professionally made blackout curtains cost?
A: Custom blackout curtains from workroom sewing services may range from $25 per linear foot into hundreds based on fabrics selected and overall treatment complexity. Measure windows carefully.

Q: What are blackout blinds? How do they compare to curtains?
A: Made of dense wood, vinyl, or engineered materials they block light through slats or overlap channels. Offer neater daytime aesthetics for some, but curtains insulate better and allow some outdoor views when desired.


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