Window Blinds Buying Guide

Are you looking for an inexpensive window accessory to complement the décor of your home? Window Blinds are a cost-efficient and attractive way to go. Not only do Window Blinds come in many different shades, colors and fabrics they are also provide any space with a homey, refined, and finished look.

You can opt for roller blinds to match the color of your walls and ceiling or a vertical fabric or vinyl blind to accentuate a secondary color, trim, molding, or baseboard. No matter the style you choose window blinds will help you room feel more sophisticated and chic.

Horizontal Window Blinds can be raised or lowered very easily, as they include a very basic, but efficient, cord lifting system. Simply lower the blind for privacy at night, and raise to provide the amount of lighting you desire during the day. 

For larger windows, vertical blinds are especially flattering as they have slats that run up and down to accentuate height. There are a number of styles to choose from, many of which you can easily find at discount prices.

A good number of well-known manufacturers, such as Hunter Douglas and American, offer a wide range of blinds, from roller and roman, to woven, vertical or faux wood styles.

Standard Types of Window Blinds

Vertical Blinds

As the name suggests, vertical blinds are individual vanes that hang from the window vertically. The typical makeup of the blind is in 2 parts, the main top rail and the vanes. The blinds can be moved in 2 ways, you can slide the vanes from left to right leaving the window completely exposed, or use the swivel mechanism to open and close depending on the amount of light you want.

Theses window blinds usually come in 3 different material, vinyl, fabric, or aluminum. They are also the easiest to manage and maintain as there is less dust build-up given their vertical structure.

Mini Blinds

Use one inch horizontal vanes. They are used in areas of the home where there is a high volume to traffic as they are easy to manage and maintain. Mini blinds have 2 ways of operating, you can vertically move the blinds to expose the room to direct sunlight, or direct the sunlight in an upward or downward direction.

Most mini blinds come in aluminum fabric but are also available in vinyl. Often referred to as horizontal blinds, they also come in other popular materials including wood blinds or vinyl faux wood blinds. The 2 offer the added benefit of looking more elegant in appearance. The downside being they are larger and heavier leaving a thicker stack when the blinds are raised.

Popular Types of Blinds

Bali Blinds

Bali blinds

Bali Blinds are a great and inexpensive way to freshen up the look of any room and to give your space a face- lift. Bali Blinds come in a wide range of styles, fabrics, and textures and will give your home a casual, airy, and inviting look. Among the most popular Bali looks are pleated, cellular, sheer, roman blind, and wooden blind types.

Pleated Bali Blinds are available with fashionable prints and motifs and beautiful natural-looking fiber blends. These pleats are designed to stay in place and look orderly, all the while, giving your room a calm and free- flowing effect.

Bali roman blinds, on the other hand, come in flat or teardrop looped styles and are among the latest and most fashionable window covering options available on the market today. If you are seeking a more traditional look then Bali vertical blinds are the type of blinds for you.

These vertical blinds are great for large windows, especially for ones that are the focal point of a room. Long vertical slats provide any room with a graceful, luxurious feel and are perfect for dining areas, sitting rooms, and large stately bedrooms.

Vertical blinds are also great for privacy and light control and let you set the tone of a room by simply deciding upon the angle of the slats. Vertical Bali blinds are also available in sheer textures which will allow a soft light to enter without compromising privacy.

Bamboo Blinds

Bamboo blinds

Bring out the nature-lover in you by choosing from hundreds of different beautiful and rustic Bamboo window coverings. Bamboo Blinds can suit any home décor and are great for making your home feel inviting and casual. These cost-efficient window treatments are both a practical and original alternative to slat blinds or drapes. They are most frequently woven with rattan, jute, bamboo, natural grasses, or reeds.

They are available in many different colors and styles—choose a dark, deep brown, olive or chocolate shade to make a statement or a lighter beige or white mesh to accentuate accessories and to give your room a light and airy feel.

Hundreds of valance, hem, and trim options are also available for your bamboo window treatments. These can help bring out the natural quality of the wood while at the same time giving the blinds a distinct style and unique effect. Many will also opt for a drapery panel to emphasize texture and to add timeless elegance to any space.

Bamboo Blinds may look delicate, but they are actually quite easy to use and install and are very resistant and durable. A matchstick blind is also a great insulator and is great to use in any room or setting, whether it be a bedroom, or dining room. Our on-line suppliers offer the best prices and services. 

Faux Wood Blinds

Faux Wood blinds

Faux Wood Blinds are great if you are looking for the rich and inviting feel of real wood at a fraction of the price. Faux wood blinds are usually made from PVC and wood pulp, and are more heavy, flexible, and resilient then wood blinds. Because these window coverings are made from synthetic materials they will stay beautiful longer, and are resistant to water, humidity, damage from the sun, and will not crack or change shape over time.

Faux Wood Blinds are especially good for pool houses or bathrooms and other rooms that are very humid because they will remain in mint condition. These coverings are also very resistant to drastic and sudden changes in temperature, so don’t be afraid to install them in basements, sheds, or even on a boat!

Not only are Faux Wood Blinds beautiful and cost-efficient, they are also very easy to maintain and will insulate a room as well as a wooden blind could. Faux Wood Blinds are offered in an astonishing number of colors, finishes, and textures.

Finding the exact shade for you is made simple and easy. Merchants such as American Brand Blinds has great faux wood blind pricing as well as special pricing on many items

Matchstick Blinds

Matchstick blinds

Matchstick Blinds are the perfect way to give a rustic feel to your home. Recreate the peaceful and calming qualities of nature with these woven wooden blinds made from bamboo, rattan, grasses, and weeds. These blinds have the care-free natural feel of the outdoors, but also have the balance, quality, and precision that high-quality manufactured goods are known for.

There are many colors to chose from as well. Opt for white mesh or beige tones to emphasize space, or darker colors such as olive brown and black to accentuate furniture and accessories. Many matchstick blinds come with a valance and can be combined with curtains for a flowing effect. Hems and trims can also be combined with Matchstick blinds for a personalized touch.

While Matchstick Blinds are known for being beautiful and their practicality should not be overlooked. These blinds can suit any décor taste, color preference, are easy to clean, and allow you be creative!  If you are artistic you can even stencil in your own designs on the blind itself!

Mini Blinds

Mini blinds

The narrower slats tend to provide a room with a sleeker, toned-down look, while larger slats tend to command attention. Mini Blinds can be complemented with the addition of a valance or swag to give a distinct and original style to the room. For extra-durability look for aluminum slats, which come in either 6, 8, or 9 gauge, and which will help reduce the risk of permanent blind damage.

Aluminum Mini Blinds are also known as Venetian blinds and are very resilient, so they are great to install in a busier space, especially where children are present. These window coverings are made with horizontal slats that can be raised and lowered to alter levels of privacy and lighting or slanted for a softer, filtered lighting effect. You can opt for slats that are either traditional 1 inch or 2 inches wide based on the décor of the room.

Upkeep for Mini Blinds is a breeze. These window coverings need only be dusted sporadically or lightly vacuumed with a small attachment. While mini blinds are durable, they should still be handled with care during cleaning and when they are opened or closed, so bending does not occur.

Roller Blinds

Roller blinds

Roller Blinds are an attractive way to update your home with good looking and functional window treatments at sale prices. Well known manufacturers like Prestige and Comfortex offer many Roller Blind styles and colors that work simply and dependably. Whether you choose treatments with a valance and decorative hem or not, roller blinds are a beautiful way to update your decor. A well made Roller Blind offers good value

Roller Blinds by Prestige, M&B and Levolor offer up to date styles with good value at discount prices. A durable metal roller – regular or reverse roll – with a concealed chain driven clutch, holds the roller blind in place and allows it to start and stop easily and precisely. Look for a well made Roller Blind that provides good value, is easy to install, and convenient to operate.

Roller Blinds come in a varying selection of fabric types, from semi sheer, to opaque, and in a wide range of colors. Each type of fabric provides different amounts of light and privacy control, including blackout fabrics and colors. For a decorative touch choose a Roller Blind from a variety of hem styles and trims like brush, loop or gimp.

The many styles and colors of Roller Blinds available online can be coordinated with the colors and fabrics in your home including wallpaper, furniture, and rugs. You can choose semi sheer fabric or lace if privacy is not a concern. A cotton and polyester Roller Blind will protect from the sun while allowing in filtered light. Roller Blind types with blackout fabrics offer complete privacy and protection from the sun as well as insulating properties.

The functionality and style of Roller Blinds has made them a popular choice for home decorating. Check out these online merchants to see the many fabric types and colors to choose from.

Select a spring roller or beaded chain roller . Use a blind as part of window treatments in the living room, family room, or kitchen. Quality names like Hunter Douglas, American, and Prestige offer the endless choices of Roller Blinds at low prices.

Roman Blinds

Roman blinds

Hunter Douglas, Graber, and American Blinds will give you great prices and discounts on high-quality and luxurious looking Roman Blinds. Roman Blinds are an ideal way to freshen up a room and will add style and grace to virtually any space.

Choose a Roman Blind made with sheer fabric for a flowing and open look, or a heavier opaque fabric to make a statement, or for an increased level of privacy and light control. Some of the most popular and elegant fabrics for Roller Blinds include textured rayon and polyester blends, which are very resistant, very attractive, and easy to clean.

Roman Blinds are great if you are looking for a covering style that is functional and convenient that still gives your home a timeless and casual drape-like effect. Roman Blinds are very easy to raise and lower by means of a cord lock system and you need not fumble with settings and angles.

You may opt for the tasteful flat fold roman style, which hang smoothly and simply, or for the roman teardrop style, which involves hanging rows of looped fabric, and which will give your space a stylish and refined atmosphere.

Roman Blinds are among the most versatile window coverings. Use them anywhere—from the kitchen and dining area to the sitting room and bathroom. If you choose to use Roman Blinds in a space where children or pets are present, no problem; just be sure to tuck cords away safely as to avoid excessive pulling and blind damage.

Vertical Blinds

Vertical blinds

Vertical Blinds offer the widest range of selection in terms of color, texture, fabrics and style, and can enhance the effect of virtually any home décor. Vertical Blinds can be installed with or without a valance, are made of either vinyl or fabric, and come with matte or sheer pearlized finishes, so the sky is the limit!

Blind types include knit, jacquard and polyester or polyester cotton blends that are offered with or without backing. Vertical Blinds are not only an inexpensive alternative to draperies, but they are more energy-efficient and easier to maintain.

The vertical panels allow for minimal dust build up and fabric types need only occasional dusting or light vacuuming. You may also appreciate the look of soft fabric with the easy, “wipe clean”, maintenance and durability of vinyl.

Vertical Blinds give a uniform look to any space, are available with child-safe mounted tension pulley and tassels, offer room darkening privacy, and protect from the damage of ultra-violet rays. Vertical Blinds are a practical and beautiful choice for every room in your house and the low prices make this decorating option affordable.

A wide variety of Vertical Blinds are available online from reputable manufacturers such as American, Graber, Levolor, Hunter Douglas and Kirsch. These sites will help you find the Vertical Blind that is right for your home, for anything  from a large patio door to a small discreet window. 

Vinyl Blinds

Vinyl blinds

Vinyl Blinds are almost so common you don’t even know they are around. They have become a mainstay in most homes across the country and across the world. Why you ask? Well they do two things very well: 1. They cost extremely less than most other blinds. There are some other blinds that come close in price but can’t beat out the second reason why vinyl blinds are so common. 2. These blinds resist moisture better than any other blinds on the market today and that is a huge plus.

Yet you can’t talk about the advantages without mentioning the potential downfalls of Vinyl Blinds. So here is the list. They aren’t the real thing, such as wood. Whatever you do to them they will never be the “real deal” and won’t have the same type of warmth factor other blinds may have.

Next, they are limited to color choices and cannot be stained to a particular color like wood. There are also size restraints and limitations to Vinyl Blinds and this is something some people can’t live without. Now, last but not least is that they are flimsy compared to other expensive blinds.

Now with all of that in mind it’s still up to you to decide if these blinds are for you and your home. They make good economical sense, but sometimes you want more than that.

How To Measure Window Blinds ?

Ok, you worked hard and your room redecorating is almost done, but you want to top it off by putting up great looking window blinds or curtains!  Saving a few bucks is also a motivator for many of us to, “do it ourselves”. You might wonder,” What if I measure incorrectly and waste my hard earned money on blinds that don’t fit?”  Well the key to this not happening is to learn how to measure correctly and ask questions if you don’t know or aren’t sure! No guessing when measuring!

There are just a few basics to cover before tackling your blinds measuring job.

1. use a metal tape measure to insure that there is no unwanted slack in your measurements.

2. Always measure to the nearest 1/8 inch and don’t round up or down!

3. Be careful when you write down the width and height measurements because it is easy to mix them up!  Always indicate the Width(W) measurement first and then the Height (H), WxH.

4. Measure each window individually even if they all look exactly the same. In most cases they won’t be! You will also want to take multiple measurements of both the width and height, but we will cover that later.

5. Next, step back and decide if you want to install your blinds inside the window opening, not covering up the molding/trim (Inside Mount) or outside of the window opening, covering the molding/trim (Outside Mount).

If you have read this far then you are just about an expert and we are almost done! Something to consider when you are trying to decide on Inside or Outside mounting for your blinds is the depth of the window opening.  Most people opt for an Inside Mount because it gives you a neater look. For Inside Mount your window frame should measure at least 2 inches.

If you have a very shallow window depth then you will need to use the Outside Mount and the Outside Mount can be used to cover up things and it does make the window look larger from the inside.

When measuring for Inside Mount you need to first make sure that there are not any obstacles, like handles or cranks, that would get in the way of your hanging blinds.  If there are then you would be wise to opt for Outside Mount. Next, measure the width in 3 places (Top, Middle, Bottom). Always use the NARROWEST measurement. Your last step is to measure the height. 

Again, measure the height in 3 places and this time use the TALLEST measurement. It also would be wise to double check with your chosen blind supplier to make sure that these measuring techniques should be used for the exact type of blind that you want to install.  

When measuring for Outside Mount you need to have at least two inches of flat space above the window frame to accommodate for the blind mounting brackets.  When you measure you will be measuring from the wall on one side of your window frame to the wall on the other side of the window frame. The distance from the wall to the frame is called the overlap. 

For most applications you will want to just use a width overlap of 1 1/2 to 3 inches on each side depending on the type of blind that you have chosen. For the height you will want to use a 2 to 3 inch overlap at the top (For the Mounting Brackets) and 1 1/2 inches at the bottom.

If you understood what you just read then you have enough knowledge to successfully measure your windows for your new blinds!  Once you have decided on which blind supplier you are going to use it would be best to take the information that you just learned and coordinate it with that suppliers measuring techniques for a specific type of blind to insure a perfect fit.

PriceCheckHQ Editorial Staff

PriceCheckHQ Editorial Staff

Editor at PriceCheckHQ
The editorial staff at PriceCheckHQ is a team of writers and experts led by Ian Bishop.
PriceCheckHQ Editorial Staff

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