April 26, 2023 By Hunter Douglas

If you're in search of the perfect window coverings, you've likely come across the decision between "Shades" and "Blinds." These two types of window treatments are popular and offer unique benefits for your home. In this comprehensive guide, we unravel the differences, advantages, and disadvantages of Shades vs. Blinds, helping you make the right decision to meet your needs.

Difference Between Shades and Blinds

It's common for people to use the terms "Shades" and "Blinds" interchangeably, but these are two distinct types of window treatments. Let's clarify the fundamental differences:

Blinds are rigid window coverings composed of horizontal slats that can be tilted to control light.

Shades are made from a single piece or multiple pieces of fabric. They have only two positions: open or closed, although a light-filtering fabric can allow natural light to enter while maintaining privacy.

How to Decide Between Blinds and Shades

When choosing between Blinds and Shades, a fundamental question to ask is, "How do I want to control privacy and block light?" The answer to this question will be determinative of your choice. Blinds offer a tilting solution for adjustable light control, while Shades have a simpler open-and-close operation. Your choice should be based on your specific needs.

Other Factors to Consider

  1. Cleaning: Blinds can be easily cleaned with a cloth and a specific product, while Shades require different care.

  2. Durability: Because rigid materials, Blinds tend to better withstand wear and tear compared to Shades.

  3. Style: Both types offer a variety of style options, from classic to modern and colorful designs.

  4. Insulation: If energy efficiency is important, consider cellular shades, which provide additional insulation.

  5. Child Safety: If there are children at home, avoid accessible cords by opting for cordless systems.

  6. Price: The cost can vary depending on style choices and customizations.

The Blind Truth About Blinds

Parkland® Wood Blinds  Color: Allspice

Blinds come in both horizontal and vertical slats or louvers and have the primary function of controlling the amount of light coming through. Parkland® Wood Blinds are handcrafted from genuine hardwood and feature a variety of slat sizes, upgrades and decorative tapes. Their multi-step finishing process offers maximum protection and a rich appearance.

Another option to consider is alternative wood blinds that withstand heat and humidity. Choose the realistic TruGrain® finish of EverWood® Alternative Wood Blinds for the luxurious look of wood blinds. They’re guaranteed against fading, yellowing, warping or bowing, even in extreme temperatures and direct sunlight.

The Many Shades of Shades

Hunter Douglas offers many types of shades with unique functional benefits from light diffusion to energy efficiency, along with a variety of design options and much more. Innovation is the hallmark of the Hunter Douglas brand, and homeowners everywhere enjoy this attention to quality and detail.

Cellular Shades

Duette® Honeycomb Shades Fabric: Alexa Metallic  Color: Ceti

Duette® Honeycomb Shades are the first shades to be engineered with a unique cellular construction that adds an extra layer of insulation at the window.

Sheers and Shadings

Silhouette® ClearView® Window Shadings  Fabric: Coastal  Color: White Diamond

Silhouette® Window Shadings transform sunlight through your windows with soft adjustable fabric vanes that appear to be floating between two sheer fabric panels. Simply tilt the vanes to achieve your desired level of light and privacy.

Pirouette® Window Shadings  Fabric: Satin  Color: Magnolia

Pirouette® Window Shadings feature soft, horizontal fabric vanes attached to a single sheer backing, allowing for enhanced views to the outside while maintaining privacy and the full beauty of the fabric appearance on the inside.

Modern Roman Shades

Vignette® Modern Roman Shades  Fabric: Cascade  Color: Bashful

Vignette® Modern Roman Shades are our take on traditional Roman shades. They roll or stack with consistent folds and no exposed rear cords for enhanced child and pet safety.

Woven Wood Shades

Provenance® Woven Wood Shades  Fabric: Jute Forest  Color: Pecan

Provenance® Woven Wood Shades are made from natural materials like bamboo, grasses, reeds and woods, so each individual shade has a very unique look. Since they are designed mainly to filter light, they’re best for areas where you don’t need complete privacy or light blockage.

So What Do I Choose? Blinds? Shades?

Before deciding between Blinds and Shades, consider all of these factors, including your light, privacy, and energy efficiency needs, as well as your preferences. If you have amazing views, you may want blinds with larger slats or blinds that retract completely into the headrail. There is no one-size-fits-all answer, as the choice will depend on your preferences and requirements.

If you look directly into your neighbor's home, you may consider a shade that lets in light but doesn't draw attention to your less-than-perfect view. If you are considering curtains, we offer a comprehensive guide on curtains vs. blinds and how to choose.

Whatever your situation, our local experts are ready to help you choose window treatments that work for your specific situation. The first step is to request a consultation. We will match you with an expert in your area who will contact you to discuss your needs. This consultation is a great way to start your Hunter Douglas journey and learn more about our products.

At Hunter Douglas, we offer a wide variety of modern, innovative, and high-quality Window Treatments, including Wood Blinds, Faux Wood Blinds, Roman Shades, Roller Shades, Cellular Shades, and more. If you have found the perfect solution for your needs, please feel free to request complimentary fabric samples and confidently measure your windows.

However, if you are still undecided about the style of Blinds or Shades that is most suitable for your home, do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our Hunter Douglas experts. We are ready to assist you in making the best decision, taking into account your personal preferences and the characteristics of your space. With an informed choice, you can ensure that your new window coverings meet all your needs satisfactorily.


We can connect you with a window-treatment expert in your area. No obligation.
Enter your full name
Enter a valid email address Enter your email
Enter a valid phone number Enter your phone number
Enter a zip code Enter a valid zip code
characters remaining

To help the authorized Hunter Douglas expert in your area contact you in the manner most convenient for you, we will be sharing the information you submit above. For more details, please see our privacy policy.