How to Blackout a Room with Curtains

The human body is fascinating. For example, there are two types of cells in our eyes that react to light. I will spare you the scientific details, but when they do their thing with dim light (like in the dark), a cell type triggers our system to fall asleep.

The other type, on the other hand, reacts well to proper lighting. That is why light entrance into your room is often bound to wake you up in the morning; that cell has an affinity for light.

Now, we can agree that after a long tiring day at work, you want to retire to the comfort of your room and have a good night’s rest. That way, you’re hoping to get refreshed for the task ahead the next day.

However, there you were trying to sleep, but suddenly a car headlight flashes into your room, or the street light is going about its own business, yet intruding into your room.

Perhaps you’re a medical practitioner; you have worked the whole night, and you’re planning to sleep the entire morning, but then there’s the entrance of sunlight that wakes you up before time. What do you do?

It’s common knowledge that a dark room is best for sleep, so blackout your room.


There are three simple answers to that question: blackout curtains, blackout window films, and cellular blackout shades. Our focus, however, is on blackout curtains.

Blackout a Room with Curtains
Source: PinterestBlackout a Room with Curtains

But before we talk about blackout curtains, let’s take a bit of a history lesson. During World War II, soldiers often made the house they were staying in show no light as a safety procedure. That way, they are less likely to become a target for air raids or bombers. Many years ago, what served as a safety device has become a practical way of saving energy, ensuring better sleep time, having some fun, and perhaps soundproofing.

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Blackout curtains are responsible for the complete shielding of light from passing through the fabric into the room. Do not mistake this for room darkening as that may refer to, say, 90% darkening of the room, but what a blackout curtain does is to shield out light completely. So while your room does not become pitch dark, it affords you the perfect room condition for quality sleep in bedrooms and nurseries.

Blackout curtains
Source: Pinterest – Blackout curtains

You can also use blackout curtains for in-house theatre; they will help prevent glare from interfering with your ability to see the television or projector screen. They are also helpful for photography. For example, if you have a hobby in photography, you can turn a room into a photography studio using these curtains. Another instance where you can use blackout curtains is in your home office or computer workspace; you don’t have to worry about interfering glare when working on your computer screen.

How to Install Blackout Curtains

As the name implies, blackout curtains may be considered just another type of curtain. So, installing blackout curtains is not very much different from how you install regular curtains. Just as with traditional curtains, you need to determine how high you want your blackout curtain before drilling your brackets into the wall. Thread your curtain onto the curtain rod and hang it on the brackets.

How to Install Blackout Curtains
Source: Pinterest – How to Install Blackout Curtains

The major difference between your regular curtains and blackout curtains is in their requirements.

Blackout curtains require a heavy-duty rod and a pair of brackets because they are heavier. Hence, before installation, you need to be sure the rods and brackets are strong enough to bear the weight of the curtains.

Aside from the usefulness of blackout curtains earlier mentioned, other pros of usage include effective soundproofing (which is useful if you live on high traffic streets or in close living environments, like an apartment); tasteful decoration (you don’t have to compromise on style and look because you want to black out your room.) Arguably, with blackout curtains, you can save energy, consequently saving up on monthly bills. How so? They may assist in keeping the room warm to a certain degree during winter by providing some insulation, keeping the heat in the room.

installing blackout curtains
Source: Pinterest – Installing blackout curtains

The Downsides to Using Blackout Curtains

  • They are curtains and would require cleaning. Well, it depends on how you see it; one may wonder how cleaning your curtain may be considered a disadvantage. While it’s hygienic to clean until the curtains are dry and ready for reinstallation, you may have to deal with light for the meantime (well, except you have a replacement.)
  • Besides, blackout curtains, as impressive as they are, are not the top best options out there for blacking out your room.
  • Another disadvantage to using blackout curtains is if you have to wake up early with the rising sun. Using it may cause you to sleep some more.
  • Depending on how well you can manage blackouts, you may need extra lights in the room.
  • Then again, there have been reports that some find darkness depressing – so, not a good idea.

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Can You Transform a Standard Curtain to a Blackout Curtain?

In an event where you already have a curtain that you don’t want to get rid of (for whatever reason) before coming to know about blackout curtains, it’s lovely news to hear that you can transform standard curtains into blackout curtains.

With ready-made blackout curtain linings, you can attach them to your existing curtain and enjoy the benefit of no sunlight, unwanted car lights, or street lights blaring into your room. What’s more interesting about this news? The attachment does not require sewing, and you can get it done by yourself. It doesn’t require a unique set of skills and can be done in under thirty minutes.

transform standard curtains into blackout curtains
Source: Pinterest – Transform standard curtains into blackout curtains

How to Attach Blackout Linings to Curtains Without Sewing

Blackout linings are not particularly choosy as they can be used with both tape heading and eyelet curtains. To go about the attachment, you simply need to use the rings and hooks already supplied in the pack and follow the steps I’ll now provide for you.

Before we get into the details of the simple three steps to follow, you should get these few things ready:

  • an iron (in case you want to straighten out any creases formed from folding the fabric into a polybag)
  • a clean flat surface (a large table will do just fine, or a clean floor could also do the trick)
  • a small step ladder (of course, you’ll need to take down your curtain and put it back up when you’re done with the attachment)
  • a ready-made blackout curtain lining with the supplied curtain hooks and rings

After that you have everything ready, follow these three simple steps to attach a blackout lining to your existing curtain:

Attach Blackout Linings to Curtains without Sewing
Source: Pinterest – Attach Blackout Linings to Curtains without Sewing

a) Take down your curtain and remove it from the floor. Then, lay it face down on a flat surface. Unpack the curtain lining from its bag, iron to remove folding creases before positioning the lining panel on the curtain. Ensure the header tape is towards you.

b) The lining has header tape pockets in which you should insert the curtain hooks. Then, while inserting two curtain rings between each pair of eyelets, thread the curtain pole through the eyelet curtains.

Having done that, turn the lining panel on the other side such that the header tape is facing downwards and then hook onto the curtain rings. You can do this in two ways: after the eyelet and pile curtains have been fitted at the window or when the lining is still on the flat floor.

c) At this point, you need to hang the curtains. You should then adjust the curtain hooks on the header tape to improve the curtain drapes and look.

…and the job is done.

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More About Blackout Curtains

Blackout curtains come in different styles, colors, patterns, prints, fabrics, and diverse options you can choose from when you decide to purchase one. They can also be custom-made to suit your taste.

Blackout curtains styles
Source: Pinterest – Blackout curtains styles

You can also choose the style of control mechanism you’d love depending on your house condition. That is, you can choose from the standard pull-cord or wand or cordless options. What do I mean by depending on your house condition? For instance, if you have small children or pets living in the house, cordless curtains will be most appropriate for your peace of mind and their safety. Beyond the presence of children, cordless affords a certain kind of sleekness.

Therefore, before purchasing your blackout curtain, you should first decide what is ideal for you.

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