The complete buyer’s guide to modern blinds and shades for your windows. We’ve tried to make this guide as comprehensive as possible to help you learn all about the different types of blinds, and buy all types of blinds from selectblindscanada.
Before using this guide, however, it may be helpful to ask yourself a few questions – and make a few considerations.
For example, what will be the primary purpose of your blinds? Will they be decorative or more blackout blinds to help keep sunlight out? Do you prefer a vertical blind or horizontal blinds? Do you require manual blinds such as a roller blind or roman shade, or would motorized blinds be more suited to your needs?
A. Understanding Different Window Treatments
More often than not, the term ‘blinds’ refers to both blinds and shades. While all different types of blinds and shades serve the same basic function as indoor window coverings, there is a fundamental difference that separates the two. So, before we go any further, let’s make sure we understand what makes them different.
Indoor blinds come in a variety of different types, materials, and sizes. All blinds have individual slats, which adjust up and down. Blinds can also tilt from side to side, which allows you to control the amount of light entering the room.
For most blinds, a cord located on one side of the blinds allows you to adjust the blinds up and down. A rod located on the other side of the blinds controls the tilt of the blinds, allowing you to open the slats, or close them.
Shades also come in many types, materials, and sizes. Unlike blinds, they’re made from one piece of material, instead of individual slats. For this reason, they can be adjusted up and down, but not side to side.
B. Different Types of Blinds
1. Vertical Blinds
Vertical blinds have individual slats that run along a track at the top of the blind. Depending on the style, vertical blinds either open from side to side, or by parting in the middle. These blinds are a popular choice for patio doors and floor-to-ceiling windows. But, they can still be used over smaller windows as well.
Materials: You can get vertical blinds in many materials to suit your budget and design including wood, faux wood and PVC.
Easy-to-clean: Vertical blinds not only look great, but they’re also easier to clean.
Sliding doors: If you’re outfitting blinds for a sliding door, vertical blinds are a great solution.
Large windows: If you have huge windows, vertical blinds are a great solution (compared to horizontal blinds which can bow or bend over time… I know from personal experience).
Small windows: Venetian style blinds are best for smaller windows and single doors.
2. Venetian Blinds
Venetian blinds are the most popular style of blinds. They are horizontal blinds featuring horizontal slats that attach with string or strips of cloth known as tapes. As Venetian blinds are raised, the bottom slat is pressed into the slat above it.
These blinds can be custom-fitted for any window including arched windows (yeah, really).
3. Mini Blinds
Mini blinds are very similar in operation to Venetian blinds but they feature slats of a smaller width than traditional Venetian blinds. The slats are usually about 1” thick. Here’s an example of mini blinds.
Personally, I prefer thicker blinds. Mini blinds can look ratty after a while. The thicker wood or faux wood are far more elegant but they cost more money.
Another disadvantage of mini blinds (and micro blinds) is that they’re more difficult to clean. There are more slats to clean and it’s more finicky work.
4. Micro Blinds
Micro blinds are an even tinier version of mini-blinds. These types of blinds feature slats that are ½” thick.
5. Panel Blinds
Panel blinds are another popular choice for patio doors, as well as very large windows. Panel blinds feature sections that move along a track, which allows you to open and close them.
6. Pleated Shades
Pleated shades (sometimes referred to as pleated blinds) feature a piece of material that’s pleated so that the shade forms an accordion-like pattern that can be raised or lowered. These shades have a similar look to Venetian blinds, while also “softening” the look of the window. But, they cannot be adjusted from side to side, like blinds. Pleated shades are usually made from fabric or paper.
7. Cellular Shades
Cellular shades, also know as honeycomb shades (or honeycomb blinds) look similar to pleated shades and are also made from similar materials. However, unlike a pleated shade, cellular shades are made of two different pieces of material.
The front and back sections the cellular shade are open in the middle, which creates a pocket that provides insulation. Cellular shades are available in a variety of different cell sizes designed to fit the needs of different windows. These shades are a great way to help your home stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Cellular shades also provide sound insulation, as well.
8. Roman Shades
Roman shades (also known as Roman blinds) are a very traditional window covering made from fabric or materials like jute or seagrass. There are several different styles of Roman shades available, but they all share one thing in common: As a Roman shade is raised, it folds into itself, similar to how a Venetian blind operates. Since the fabric of a roman shade continues to fold into itself, it can create quite a large stack of fabric at the top of the window when they’re raised completely. So, while Roman shades offer a beautiful and timeless look, they do remove a portion of the viewable space of your window when raised.