Curtains in front of blinds in a bedroom

15 Types Of Curtains And Blinds

Originally contributed by • last updated 3/29/2021

Zachary Anderson
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Unsplash

Looking to install new window coverings in your home but you're not quite sure where to start? Do you stare blankly at the salesperson who asks if you prefer pleated or cellular shades? Sound familiar?

If so, we've got you've covered with this in-depth guide to the common types of curtains and blinds to set you on the right path toward making the perfect choice for your home.

Blinds

When thinking of window coverings, the first that may come to mind are traditional horizontal blinds that are raised and lowered with either a cord or wand. But there are plenty of other blinds styles on the market that might be better suited for different windows and doors.

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Venetian Blinds

Cordless Faux Wood Blinds
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Select Blinds

As one of the most popular window coverings among homeowners and designers, Venetian blinds are a timeless style that work well with any window. The classic horizontal slats come in a variety of designs, including solid wood, faux wood, and aluminum.

Similarly, you can also choose between blinds that are either cordless or corded. Corded is the typical style most people are accustomed to, but it's important to remember that cord-free blinds offer just as much as their corded counterpart.

In fact, they are often considered safer alternatives to cords that can pose a safety hazard to children and pets. 

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Vertical Blinds

Vertical Blind Kit
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The Home Depot

Venetian blinds don't always work for every situation. Take, for instance, a large window that nearly runs the length of an entire wall, ceiling to floor. Horizontal blinds with narrow slats just aren't practical.

That's where vertical blinds come in. Just as their name suggests, these blinds are vertical and instead of retracting up and down, they move side to side. Much like Venetian blinds, vertical blinds are offered in a variety of different sizes, colors, and materials, making them the perfect window coverings for sliding doors or large windows.

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Panel Track Blinds

Adjustable Sliding Panels
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Chicology

Similar to the vertical blinds, panel tracks are great for covering large surfaces. But the main difference between the two is the size of the vertical panels.

Panel track blinds are much larger in width and are a modern cross between curtains and vertical blinds. Much like its horizontal and vertical counterparts, panel track blinds provide plenty of privacy, as well as light-blocking potential.

While vertical blinds are offered in vinyl, fabric, and faux wood, panel track blinds are almost always exclusively fabric.

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Shutter Blinds

MorView Shutters
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Blinds To Go

Shutters are another type of horizontal blinds. But they are quite different from Venetian blinds in that its slats, commonly called louvers, are much more sturdy and durable.

Similar to other cord-free types of curtains and blinds, shutters are child and pet-friendly due to their simple, cordless design. They come in a variety of materials, including PVC, wood, and faux wood. 

While these are all great pros, one downside of shutters is that they're quite expensive, especially in comparison to Venetian blinds.

Similarly, shutters are fitted to a window frame as opposed to the window recess and, therefore, take up more space. But on the flip side, louvers are easier to replace on shutters than slats are on Venetian or vertical blinds. 

Shades

If blinds aren't your cup of tea. Perhaps shades might work better for your home. Below you'll find four of the more popular styles to explore.

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Pleated Shades

Premium 2" Pleated Shade
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Blinds.com

The pleated shade is one of the more unique types of curtains and blinds on the market in that it doesn't have slats. Rather, it is one continuous fabric folded into an accordion that when raised mimics Venetian blinds.

Pleated shade fabrics tend to be sheerer than other shade styles and thus let in more light. While this may be a deal-breaker for some, it should be noted that pleated shades are one of the most cost-effective window covering options.

They are also cordless so they're safe for both kids and furry friends.

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Cellular Shades

Honeycomb Shades
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Alta Window Fashions

Cellular shades — often referred to as honeycombs — are another type of fabric shade that adds elegance to any window. They get their honeycomb name from their hexagon cell slat design.

Cellular shades are offered in a single-cell, with one layer of hexagons or they can be doubled for two layers of hexagons, which further mimic the honeycomb design.

Due to this option of a double layer, cellular shades tend to block up more light than their pleated equivalent.

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Roman Shades

Bella View Legacy Roman Shade
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American Blinds

Roman shades are one of the most elegant types of curtains and blinds. They can be purchased in a variety of fabrics, colors, and patterns to match the aesthetic of any room in your home. Much like pleated and cellular, roman shades are cordless and operate vertically. 

When lowered, these shades lay flat. And when raised, they rest in soft peaks at the top of a window. This means that these shades don't disappear completely as their counterparts do.

However, roman shades are considered to be energy efficient as they tend to keep in heat during winter months thanks to their thick, lined material. 

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Roller Shades

Roller Shades
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HunterDouglas

Roller shades are quite similar to roman shades in that they are both one large piece of material that provides privacy and blocks out light. But where the two differ is in the way they are opened and lowered.

While both types of shades retract vertically, roller shades operate in the way their name suggests — they roll up and down. This is opposed to roman shades that fold up into pleats when raised. 

Roller shades are typically made of vinyl or fabric and come in an array of colors and patterns for an affordable price. These shades excel at controlling natural light in a room, but what they aren't as proficient in is limiting the number of harmful UV rays that enter your home.

That's where solar shades come in. Solar shades look and operate the same as rollers but are set apart by their woven, screen-like fabric that helps control the temperature of your home and block out UV rays effortlessly.

Curtains And Drapes

Curtains and drapes are often interchangeable terms, but there is quite a difference between the two.

Curtains tend to be more sheer where drapes are often much thicker, with an extra fabric liner. However, what the two do share is similar headers, which range from a pinch pleat to a grommet with metal hoops. 

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Ripple Fold Curtains

LaTeDaWindows
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Etsy

Typically on a track, which therefore eliminates the need for curtain rod pockets or hoops, the ripple folder header sees pleats that are tightly close together. This allows soft ripples that are effortlessly modern.

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 Pinch Pleat Drapes

Two Pages
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Amazon

The pinch pleat header features a pleat that is permanently gathered for an elegant look. They can be hung with either pockets or metal hoops. Tailored pleats are very similar but often have a three-fold design as opposed to the two-fold of the pinch pleat.

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 Box Pleat Drapes

PremierDrapery
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Etsy

Craving a more modern look than a pinch pleat can provide? Then perhaps the box pleat, which is folded in the front and back to create a flat fold, may be more up your alley.

The simple lines of this curtain style — also commonly referred to as an inverted pleat — are further modernized through the use of metal hoops to attach the fabric to curtain rods.

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 Rod Pocket Curtains

Voile White Panel
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The Home Depot

As the name suggests, this style of drapery has one long pocket that lets a curtain rod slip right through. 

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 Goblet Curtains

Drapery Styles
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The Shade Store

The goblet gets its name from the fact that its rounded fold resembles a goblet. How cool! It is typically hung on a curtain rod with hoops.

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 Tab Top Drapes

TheBestLinen
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Etsy

Tab top curtains scream shabby chic. Its sewn-on fabric loops make these curtains super easy to hang, and moreover, effortless to slide open and close. 

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 Grommet Curtains

Grommet Curtain
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Pottery Barn

Grommet drapery comes equipped with metal-reenforced holes in the top of the fabric so that the drapes weave in and out of the curtain rod. This style is one of the most popular for its chic, modern design.