Tuesday, July 12, 2022

A Review Of Blackout Curtain Liners




About two months ago we bought a pair of blackout curtain liners. Our bedroom faces full west and especially in summer, we get the sun shining in the room all afternoon and well into the evening. In some ways this is lovely, however, it does mean that this room gets very hot for sleeping. 

I need a cool room to sleep in these days or I simply cannot sleep. It never used to bother me but now it is essential to be cool! Without a good night's sleep, I simply can't function very well the day after. Deep peaceful restful sleep is essential for our good health and I was just not getting enough sleep week after week. 

We do not have air conditioning, it is not a routine thing to have in the UK and would be really expensive to install for the sake of one room.

My original solution was to have a fan going pretty much all night but now with rising energy costs, I am not keen to spend money on an electric fan going all night for months every summer. 

We had a beautiful curtain up but it is not thick and so even when drawn the sun and the heat still got through. Also, the sun has the ability to fade some furniture and fabrics so it is useful to keep the sun off those items of home decor. The added problem was that we were routinely woken up very early with the dawn as the light comes in.

We did not want to change the curtains as we love them and it is expensive to buy new curtains as it is a large window. Equally, we do not want to spend a lot of money on installed fitted blackout blinds or shutters. So I wanted to find a quick and easy solution.


Curtains with blackout liner attached


Blackout Liners For Curtains

I knew about blackout blinds but we did not want blinds up at that window. I then discovered that you can buy blackout curtain liners. These fix into your existing curtains on the inside and provide a layer of material that blocks out the light and the sun. 

We have pencil pleat top curtains and so I looked for blackout liners that would fix to them. I found some, ordered them and hoped they would do the job. 

When they arrived neatly packed I unpacked them and proceeded to fix to our curtains. While there were a few creases I did not feel they needed ironing and since they have been hung a few days the creases dropped out anyway. 

I found the best way is to take the curtains down and lay on the bed. Then lay the liner on top of the curtain 

You simply use the curtain hooks to fix the two curtains together. Once I got the hang of it it took only a few minutes per curtain. 

Then we rehung the curtains. One or two of the fixing hooks did come off during the hanging process but it was an easy fix to simply re-hook them and they have since stayed on with no issues. 

I would say I could have done with a few more joining hooks than I had as they were a bit too spaced apart, so it is perhaps a good idea to buy a few more to give a better closer fit. 


Fixing liner to curtain with hooks on pencil pleat curtains

 

Material For Blackout Curtain Liners

Our curtain liners are truly blackout. When up against the curtain they do not let any sunlight in. They do block and reflect sunlight very well. I have noticed on a hot sunny day if I put my hand behind the curtain and onto the liner that the liners are very warm but the curtain is not. 

Our blackout curtain liners by  Hachette Ltd are made from deluxe polyester and it does feel very smooth and soft to the touch with a slight sheen. They are also quite substantial and heavy for a liner. 

Although there were some creases when first hung up they did drop out quite quickly. I did not feel the need to iron them and in fact would consider that a waste of time and effort. We decided to go for a light grey colour and are happy with it. 


Curtain blackout liner material


Tips For Buying Blackout Curtain Liners

1. Measure your curtains and choose liners that are the same size width-wise as your curtains. However, for the length, you need only buy the drop of a few inches below your window. The reason for this is that you only need the liner to cover the actual window pane so if you have full-length curtains that drop well below the frame you can if you wish only buy the drop for the window itself and save some money. 

2. Choose the best quality blackout liners you can afford. They do vary in quality and the ability to actually blackout the room. Not all are made equal so do check the materials and reviews so that you do get what you need.   

3. Choose liners that are washable. I always think it is a good idea to wash curtains and liners and dry cleaning is more expensive. 

4. Have a few more joining hooks that you think you need as this will give a better fit. 

5. Don't try to fit them while the curtains are up, it is so much harder that way. Lay the curtain on a flat surface and lay the liner on top then once fixed together hang both. 

6. Do be careful to buy the correct liners for the style of your curtains whether they are pencil pleat or another fitting. 


Sunlight through curtains with and without blackout liners


Were Blackout Liners The Solution?  

The outcome is much better than I hoped! You can see the difference easily in the photo above. Part of the curtain liner is drawn back and you can see the light easily coming through while on the other side it is very dark. This photo was taken at midday midsummer with full sunlight flooding in the window. 

When the curtains are drawn the sunlight does not get through at all and it is now so dark in there so we are no longer woken at 4am. Even better the heat in the room is reduced. 

It is the height of summer now so it is not cold in the room, but now is a more comfortable temperature and I no longer have to keep the fan going for hours. 

The curtains still draw well and although heavier, do now look better. 

While no substitute for full-on air conditioning, for when you want to keep your existing curtains and do not want to spend a lot of money on having blackout blinds or shutters installed, blackout liners are in my opinion a great solution for keeping the sun out of a room.   

Another real bonus to these curtains is that while they certainly do block summer sun and heat, I am advised they also keep the heat in the house during winter. This is wonderful news in a time of rising energy bills, anything that will conserve heat in winter is excellent. As I have not yet used the liners during winter I cannot say from my own experience but will report back.  


Showing the blackout liner behind the normal curtain 



Here is a selection of blackout liners to consider



So in my experience blackout curtain liners are a simple and easy relatively inexpensive solution to the problem of too much sun in any room. 


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11 comments:

  1. That looks like a very affordable solution to a problem many may have! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. It is now much darker in the room so no more waking up at 4am and the heat in the room is less. Yes it is an affordable solution to the problems we were having and we are happy with it!

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  2. I have a new apartment which faces due west. I am having to close the blinds in the afternoon to keep the sun out as it is way bright and heat-producing. I do have air conditioning, but would rather not have to run it all the time, so these black out curtain liners would certain help keep the afternoon sun from pouring in and heating up the place. Thanks for your review of a needed solution, Raintree Annie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes from my experience using a set of good quality blackout liners on your curtains is worth considering. Its great you have air conditioning but adding blackout liners might help with not having to run it all the time. Thank you!

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  3. Mary Beth GrangerJuly 12, 2022 at 10:33 AM

    Sounds like a great solution

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, yes it is working well for us this summer. I will report back if it helps with keeping warmer in winter.

      Delete
  4. Thanks for this excellent review of your blackout curtain liners, Jasmine! I knew about blackout curtains (and have considered them from time to time), but never knew about blackout liners. I can see why you wouldn’t want to replace your beautiful bedroom curtains, and how lovely that even light colored blackout liners do such an effective job! The photos you included are really helpful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thankyou, yes I only recently found out about the blackout liners too. I have known about blackout curtains for a while but we did not want to replace our curtains. So the blackout liners are great for us or anyone in that situation. Yes we decided we did not want black liners as felt they would look odd against our curtains and these light grey ones do such a good job ! I took the photos to show what a difference there is in the amount of light and sun that gets through the original curtains compared to when we fixed up the blackout curtain liners!

      Delete
  5. I didn't realize blackout liners were available. That is truly fabulous! We have blackout curtains in several rooms. I've tried a few different blackout blinks or shades, but the smell was worse than the heat/light, so they have always had to be returned. Like you, we want our room to stay dark while we are sleeping. That was especially important when my husband worked nights and had to sleep during the day. I do love the added benefit that the rooms stays a lot cooler.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are really pleased with the blackout curtain liners and it means we do not have to change our curtains! The ones we bought are made of nice heavy soft touch material and very effective at keeping the sun light out. You make a great point that night workers need to keep the bedroom dark during the day and they would be great for that purpose. Thank you!

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  6. I had no idea these existed. This is an ideal solution when, as you mentioned, replacing drapes is not an option. I actually double draped one of our sons windows to block the heat, (I had extra drapes), but honestly, this is a much better solution!

    ReplyDelete

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