8 Best Energy-Saving Thermal Curtains and Insulating Blinds of 2023
Don’t settle for expensive regular curtains that do nothing but look pretty and shade your space. Explore the eight best energy-efficient curtains that not only look fancy but save you a lot of money in electric bills.
We also have one that protects your expensive furniture and paintings from sun damage, all while giving you a nice, dark and quiet place to sleep during the day. Whichever you choose, these drapes will treat you and your windows well for years to come.
8 Best Energy-Efficient Curtains of 2023
We have a mix of drapes with blackout technology and triple weave fabric, thick curtains that absorb sound waves, and insulating curtains.
But don’t worry, we made sure these practical curtains are still stylish and available in darker shades for optimal light blocking. Lastly, all of the products are machine washable for your convenience. We’re sure you’ll find the best fit for you.
Still unsure which is the best energy-efficient curtains is for you? Continue reading for everything you need to know about each item on our list.
Nicetown makes good quality, energy-efficient curtains – we actually have two of their products on our list!
Our top pick combines the triple-weave technology of our budget pick with the noise reduction capabilities of our noise reduction pick. The result? The Nicetown 100% blackout curtains also keep the room pretty much soundproof any time of the day.
Unlike most thermal insulated blackout curtains, this set uses double layers on each of its curtain panels. The extra layer provides more sound buffering and light exclusion.
It also means more privacy since you can’t see silhouettes outside even if your lights are on – you can directly shine your phone’s flashlight on the curtain, and you won’t see it on the other side.
The double-layer design of these best energy-saving curtains also offers extra insulation during cold winter months!
The only drawback is the finishing.
Unlike the previous pick that uses the same material on both sides, this pick does not. You can choose from over 20 shades for the inside, but the outer layer stays black. It’s not a significant concern since it’s a classic color. Then again, it throws some people off, knowing the outside doesn’t match the inside.
All things considered, our top pick is the best of both worlds when it comes to thermal insulated blackout curtains. Just be prepared to spend a little extra for two curtain panels.
NICETOWN’s budget blackout curtains keep out 85-99% of light. Of course, darker colors keep more light out.
More than the light-blocking capabilities, these curtains also act as sunscreen, blocking UV light. As you know, this type of radiation does some severe damage to your skin. And it can also damage your furniture by fading colors or cracking leather (1).
“Although visible light, electric lighting, heating, humidity, age of fabrics and fabric dyes all play a part in the process, UV radiation is attributed to 40% of furnishing damage.”
These curtains save you a lot of money by keeping you and your belongings safe from sun damage. The triple weave technology, on the other hand, keeps your room partially insulated. In turn, the curtains help regulate the indoor temperatures, allowing your heating/cooling system to function efficiently.
What this curtain does not do, however, is block noise. It can reduce outside noise enough, so you don’t need to turn the TV volume too high. But not so much that you can’t hear anything during your midday nap.
Finding the perfect fit for your window is easy because there is a wide range of sizes to choose from. Plus, with over 30 colors to choose from, you don’t have to worry about finding the right color to complement your living room and bedroom aesthetic.
3. Utopia Bedding Thermal Insulated Blackout Curtains – Noise Reduction Pick
Blocks out: 99% sunlight, 60% noise
- Heading type: 8 bronze grommets (1.6″)
- Size options: 4
The Utopia curtains hit two birds with one stone – it can block out both light and noise!
These blackout curtains keep 99% of sunlight out while buffering 60% of noise, making them perfect for night owls that want peace and quiet during the day. It’s also an excellent choice for nurseries to keep babies napping happily.
Just like the budget pick, these blackout curtains also block out harmful UV rays and keep your space cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
All that blocking power is possible thanks to really thick and thermally insulated polyester. That said, these curtains are heavy. Fortunately, they hang off stainless bronze grommets, making them easier to slide open and close. Plus, the set comes with matching tiebacks.
Appearance-wise you’ll appreciate the polished stitching and wrinkle-free fabric that comes in eight elegant colors. Another cool thing is that they use the same material on both sides of the thermal blackout curtains. So you know it looks good even looking in from outside.
However, these energy-efficient curtains only come in four sizes. Your best bet is to buy the next biggest size and tailor it to fit your window.
Aside from that, these windows won’t give you a hard time with maintenance. They may be heavy, but you can still machine wash them under cold water and let them tumble dry on low. These thermal insulated blackout curtains also do well with occasional steaming.
The Wontex thermal insulated curtains are similar to the budget pick in that they use a unique triple-weave blackout polyester material. These curtains are also versatile in terms of sizes and colors. But let’s break down the difference, shall we?
First of all, you don’t have to worry about skin irritation while handling the curtains or your dog cozying up in the hem. This is because these blackout curtains pride do not use any chemicals or artificial coatings.
The second difference lies within the layers.
This thermal insulating curtain set uses 3-layer technology that blocks out 100% of street lights. But, unfortunately, that isn’t enough to completely block out the sunlight during the day. At best, things appear opaque from both sides, meaning you don’t get complete privacy.
On the bright side, the same technology prevents quick fading of the material so you can use them for a long time. These curtains are also wrinkle-free and machine washable in cold water but don’t do well with tumble drying.
All the best thermal curtains we’ve mentioned have good color choices. But if you’re looking for stylish, patterned window treatments, H. Versalitex insulated curtains are your best bet – the brand is known for luxurious products that don’t break the bank.
Little details like the bronze-colored grommets add a vintage vibe to the design. But with over 20 colors and patterns, these will fit any space from modern to eclectic. Meanwhile, ten size options make it easy to find a good fit for most windows.
But these thermal insulated curtains aren’t just for show. They are also functional – they can block out 100% UV rays! And thanks to the triple-weaved fabric, sound buffering is increased so you can turn up the music late at night without bothering your neighbors.
As for blocking light, these curtains are a hit or miss depending on the color and pattern. Darker colors do a great job, but lighter shades like beige and white are opaque at best, so it’s not ideal for bedrooms.
But don’t worry, the company has excellent customer service and allows returns within 30 days. And when you finally find the best insulating blinds, you can count on a 10-year quality warranty for them. All things considered, you can’t lose with these curtains.
All other curtains on our list have grommet-type headings for clean lines from top to bottom. But, if you prefer to rock a pleating design, the Sun Zero curtains fit the bill.
Instead of grommets, these energy-efficient curtains have rod pocket headers. But don’t worry, these panels will still fit most standard curtain rods. And you still get a wide range of color options.
Size-wise, however, keep your fingers crossed that one of the four options is compatible with your window.
Another thing to consider is that the rod pocket aesthetic heading is not very practical. They are harder to slide open and shut because the fabric gets compacted in some areas at the top. Add the weight of the curtains into the equation, and you got yourself an arm workout adjusting your curtain panels.
However, the workout is worth it in the long run since the curtain panel is excellent for blocking light and conserving energy. It uses room darkening technology to achieve these. In the end, you save 25% of the energy, making this one of the best energy-saving curtains out there.
At this point, the differences in the thermal curtains boil down to the details.
The BGment stands out with its specialized fabric technology, which keeps your bedroom or living room warm and toasty during cold winter months.
However, unlike the top pick, these thermal curtains for winter have one layer of this specialized fabric, which doesn’t provide total blackout even with dark colors. That said, these curtains are lighter and easier to machine wash and tumble dry.
The softer material also doesn’t have harsh chemicals, making it safe for your hands and kids that like to play hide and seek behind the curtains.
Aesthetically, this thermal curtain set comes with six silver grommets that fit standard curtain rods. You get a more modern look similar to the budget pick, with wider spacing between pleats. The hardware is durable and rust-proof, so you don’t have to worry about the wear and tear of sliding and washing the curtains.
Last on our list is the Deconovo Thermal Insulated Blackout Curtain. This elegant and minimalist curtain comes in just one panel. You might think this isn’t worth the money. But here’s why you should consider it anyway.
The single panel curtains are perfect for narrow windows and patio doors. Yes, you can buy a pair and keep the other as a spare. But having individual curtains is excellent for mixing things up and defining a specific space. After all, you don’t always want to keep things symmetrical. Plus, it’s excellent for an odd-numbered window count and extra wide windows.
On another note, this curtain panel has a silky feel, adding subtle luxury to a space. The 100% polyester material also keeps dust and mites from accumulating, saving you from frequently throwing the panels into the washing machine.
Having just one curtain doesn’t mean you get less quality. These panels can roll with the paired curtains, able to do a little bit of everything that a reliable blackout curtain should. Even light colors block out the light well. And all panels can keep UV rays out, reduce noise and insulate your space.
Buying the Best Energy Efficient Curtains: 5 Things You Should Consider
Color aside, almost all the window treatments on our list look the same. But the most significant differences in thermal curtains lay in the fabric technology. Each one uses a combination of materials that work together to get different results.
Let’s break things down to see what makes a blackout curtain effective and energy-efficient.
Having a lot of windows and glass doors let in a lot of natural light. But they also allow a lot of heat escape, lessening the efficiency of your home. Luckily, there are ways to save energy using special window treatments.
While regular curtains are great for aesthetics, they don’t block the airflow that ultimately keeps precious heat inside your home (2).
“Conventionally hung or unsealed draperies are not efficient energy savers. They will reduce window heat loss no more than 10 percent.”
Thermal curtains work as environment-friendly insulators by preventing airflow through the fabric. When heat stays inside the room, your wood-burning stove or energy-saving aircon don’t have to work twice as hard to regulate your room’s temperature.
Airflow is blocked in two ways. The first is by using interwoven fabrics with condensed tops like the Sun Zero curtains, effectively preventing 25% of energy loss. Another way is through multiple-layer materials like our top pick. The NICETOWN 100% Blackout Curtains have two high-density layers. This technology also lets you have a completely dark room.
Curtains, in general, are big and hard to clean. And thermal curtains are even harder to maintain because they’re extra heavy. That’s why we made sure to choose machine washable insulated curtains.
The NICETOWN thermal curtains even allow tumble drying on a low setting, so you don’t have to hang them out the whole day after a wash.
Not only are they easier to clean, but some, like the Deconovo blackout curtains, are specially designed to prevent dust and mite buildup. On the other hand, the WONTEX insulated curtains are made with fabric that resists fading.
I know our primary focus on buying energy-efficient curtains is functionality. But you also have to consider how they fit into a space.
Curtains can either make or break the overall feel of a room.
It’s a good thing that most of the curtain sets on our list have a wide color palette to suit your style. For example, the H. VERSAILTEX insulated curtains have over 20 color choices.
And for those that have a vintage aesthetic, I’m sure you’ll love the bronze grommet details. Although, when choosing colors, keep in mind that not all of our picks block out 100% of light. And, for these light reducers, darker shades are more effective, kind of like how sunglasses work.
If you get the wrong size and hang insulated curtains the wrong way, you can end up defeating their purpose.
When a curtain hangs too low, warm air that rises can still escape through the gaps (2). You want to add an allowance at the top of the window and to the sides when measuring curtains. Here are some tips on measuring windows and finding the right-sized curtains.
Thermal curtains shouldn’t fit just right because you want to prevent light, sound, and heat from finding a way out. That said, it’s better to get oversized curtains because you can at least adjust the extra fabric to the size of your windows (3).
Among the items on our list, the WONTEX insulated curtains provide the widest selection of sizes, making it easier for you to find a good fit. Regardless of size, most curtain sets come in pairs. But if you need a single curtain panel, the Deconovo blackout curtains are a good choice.
4. Rod Pocket vs. Grommet Curtains
As you already know, there’s more to curtains than meets the eye. That includes the subject of curtain headers. Choosing between grommets or rod pockets is a decision that should also be based on practicality (4).
As seen on the BGment thermal curtains, grommet-type headings are easier to move because the rings slide easily along the rod. Rod pockets on the Sun Zero insulated curtains are harder to move because the fabric gets compressed as you move the drapes. The higher it goes and the thicker the material, the harder it is to pull up. Think of this like pulling up the sleeves of a winter coat, tricky, right?
However, the compact heading of rod pocket curtains has an energy-saving purpose.
They create a top buffer, keeping light and heat from escaping. On the other hand, grommets have higher chances for energy loss because of the loose pleating and ring spaces.
5. Noise Reduction
The noise-reducing ability of drapes goes hand in hand with light blocking. And these two features rely heavily on the fabric material and thickness (5).
Let’s take a look at the Utopia thermal curtains. These are made with high density and thermally insulated polyester, which blocks out 99% of light and reduces noise up to 60%.
You can’t completely soundproof a room using insulated curtains. You can only reduce sound to the point that it won’t bother you.
Since noise-reducing thermal curtains also block out light, they are best placed in bedrooms or nurseries. Unless you have bright lights and a bad view, these curtains won’t do well for office spaces.
Curtains are more energy-efficient because they are thicker and provide better insulation. Specialized fabric in curtains wraps around a window, trapping outside air from entering the room. You don’t want outside air in a room because it makes your heater or air conditioner work harder.
Blinds are flimsier and don’t retain heat well. But in the summer, they do keep rooms cooler because they are thinner.
Yes, a blackout curtain works both ways. Some are not reversible, usually having a black backing fabric that faces the window. This is done to prevent fabric fading on the sun side of the fabric. On the other hand, Premium blackout curtains have matching fabric on both sides with the blackout material in the middle.
Either way, light doesn’t shine from the window into your room and the other way around. So you don’t have to worry about privacy with blackout curtains.
No, it is not bad to sleep with blackout curtains. These window treatments are designed to mimic a night environment, signaling your body to sleep. A study shows that sleeping in dark rooms is beneficial to your health (6). Darkness lowers your alert levels, letting you have a deep sleep, which then recharges your body more effectively.
You can stop lights from coming under your curtains in a couple of ways. First, make sure you have the right-sized curtains. When we say right-sized, we don’t mean ones that fit the window opening perfectly. You need curtains taller and wider than your window frame to block out light in all directions effectively.
You can also tape the top sides to the wall and opt for tiebacks when you want to open them. Or you can add valances that also give a unique look to your curtains.
- UV Transmittance and Fading. Retrieved from: http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/consumer/buildings/basics/windows/fading.htm
- Housing Fact Sheets. Retrieved from: http://chemung.cce.cornell.edu/resources/energy-saving-window-treatment
- How To Measure Curtains. Retrieved from: https://www.homedepot.com/c/ah/how-to-measure-curtains/9ba683603be9fa5395fab90a2ca03be
- Which Curtain Heading Style Should I Choose? Retrieved from: https://www.loftcurtains.com/blogs/curtain-guide/which-curtain-heading-style-should-i-choose
- Soundproof Curtains: Do They Really Work? Retrieved from: https://soundproofexpert.com/sound-deadening-curtains/
- How to Get the Perfect Night’s Sleep. Retrieved from: https://www.sciencefocus.com/the-human-body/how-to-get-the-perfect-nights-sleep/
Tana grew up around island farms and pine forests. Her love for nature lead to her degree in Biology and mission to lessen her environmental impact. Now she grows food in her backyard and shares what she learns from Eco Peanut with others.