Are Blackout Curtains the Same as Thermal? (Answered!)

Whether you are a night shift worker or a person with a troubling sleeping schedule, good window coverings like blackout curtains will never let you compromise the sound sleeping experience in the daytime. 

Additionally, the best resting experience with the right amount of warmth in the winter and comfort in the summer can only be ensured by curtains with insulating and thermal properties in them. 

Both blackout curtains and thermal curtains are highly functional in their usage but being knowledgeable about both of the attributes can really help choose practically and effectively.

Are Blackout Curtains the Same as Thermal?

Blackout curtains are not the same as thermal curtains. The main differences lay in the purpose of the making and in the functionality of these curtains. However, these curtains have similarities in the case of blocking the heat, barring the lights, muffling the sounds, and keeping the room warm.

What are thermal curtains? 

Thermal curtains are window covering that work as insulation and are very energy efficient. They are made out of cotton, polyester and have layered materials.

Thermal curtains are mainly for keeping the room warm in the winter but they also keep the room cooler in summer by not letting the cool air of the air conditioner escape. 

In addition, on the window side of these curtains, acrylic foam is placed as a coating to protect it from UV rays. Thermal curtains also help to muffle the sound and darken the room to some extent. 

Are blackout curtains the same as thermal? 

Blackout curtains are not the same as thermal curtains. Blackout curtains differ from thermal curtains in terms of sustainability, materials, and purpose. 

As blackout curtains are made out of materials that are very tightly woven together, it allows very little sunlight to penetrate through the curtains into your room. 

Blackout curtains by blocking the sunlight also block the heat out in the summer. In doing so, these curtains can reduce the heat and work just like thermal curtains. In this way, blackout curtains might work the same as thermal. 

Are all blackout curtains thermal? 

Not all blackout curtains are thermal curtains. Blackout curtains’ main purpose is to block out all the lights and thermal curtains are made mainly for insulation and for keeping the temperature favorable for the summer and winter. 

Consequently, all blackout curtains cannot be thermal. Although some blackout curtains offer some type of insulation for the home like thermal curtains, they still cannot keep the heat in or out like the thermal curtains. 

However, there are some blackout curtains that are made with insulating materials and work as thermal curtains.

What is the difference between blackout and thermal curtains? 

Blackout and thermal curtains are great additions for your home when it comes to using your curtains as decorative pieces and as functional pieces as well. Blackout curtains and thermal curtains have major similarities in them however, they are also different in many aspects.


The major difference between blackout and thermal curtains remains in the purpose of their making. Blackout curtains are made primarily for blocking out lights.

On the other hand, the main purpose of making the thermal curtains is to keep the room nice and warm in the winter and fresh and cool in the summer.

Materials and Fabric: 

Blackout curtains and thermal curtains also differ in the case of the materials used in the making process. Blackout curtains are made with felt fabric, velvet, dense fabric, and triple weave fabric.

On the other hand, thermal curtains are made with polyester, cotton, wool, insulating materials, linings, and tripled or doubled layered heavy fabric.

Cleaning Process: 

The cleaning process is really different for blackout and thermal curtains which make these curtains different from each other. 

The laundry or cleaning process for the blackout curtains is to do spot cleaning and you should spot clean with wet cloths. Blackout curtains should never be put in a washing machine and should never be bleached or ironed. 

On the other hand, thermal curtains can be both dry-washed and hand cleaned. These curtains can be put into washing machines once a year unlike blackout curtains and can be bleached. 

Heat Resistance:

The heat resistance capability is very much different in both blackout and thermal curtains. Thermal curtains are made to resist heat and cold. 

With thermal curtains’ second, third, or fourth layer of woven fabric, they can resist heat more and can provide better insulation.

Blackout curtains will only offer to keep the heat down in the room up to 24 percent which is nothing compared to thermal curtains’ resistance to heat.

Sound and Light Resistance:

In the case of sound resistance, thermal curtains with multiple layers can block sound more effectively than blackout curtains. This is because blackout curtains are not designed to reduce sound.

In case of resistance to light, thermal curtains’ materials are not fit for fully blocking lights whereas blackout curtains are the perfect fit for blocking all the unnecessary lights. 

What is better, blackout or thermal curtains?

Both blackout curtains and thermal curtains are highly functional in fulfilling their focal purposes. 

When it comes to blocking out all the unnecessary lights, sunlight, and streetlights, nothing can compete with blackout curtains. In addition, when it comes to proper insulation, thermal curtains are the better option. 

Nevertheless, thermal curtains can be considered a bit more convenient as with their multiple layers, these curtains offer thick materials, insulation, and resistance to sound and heat. 

Do blackout or room darkening curtains keep heat out? 

Blackout or room darkening curtains can certainly keep the heat out. As the blackout curtains are very tightly woven, they have less gap between them. 

Blackout or room darkening curtains’ materials actually reflect the heat or block the sunlight which in turn helps to keep the temperature low in the room. 

Blackout curtains’ capacity to keep the heat out also depends on the color of the material. The lighter the color is of the blackout curtains, the more it is apt to reflect the heat outside. Consequently, the living space is cooler in the summer. 

Do blackout curtains block cold? 

Although not as effective as thermal curtains in case of blocking the cold, blackout curtains can surely block cold to some extent.

Curtains that are made solely to block out the lights or sunlight from coming into your room are not built with thermal materials in them. 

Blackout curtains are usually made with two layers, unlike thermal curtains which can have four to five layers. Therefore, blackout curtains will eventually block out cold and will try to keep the warmth in the room. However, it does not provide proper insulation. 

Do blackout curtains block sound? 

Blackout curtains can block sound up to 30-40 percent. Heavy blackout curtains with coating on the window side can offer to muffle the sound. 

They can absorb the echoes and tone down the traffic noises. Nevertheless, they are not highly effective and functional.

In addition, as blocking the unnecessary lights from coming into your room are the main focus of the blackout curtains, it is not totally soundproof like the sound-proofing curtains. 

If you want the blackout curtains to be fully functional and also to be able to muffle the sounds, you can buy blackout curtains with thicker and flexible materials to make them soundproof.

Do blackout curtains save energy? 

You can definitely save energy by using blackout curtains. Blackout curtains with their thick and multiple layered materials can keep the heat out in the summer and can maintain the warmth level in the winter.

By doing so, they can really save the amount of energy that is getting used by the ACs and heaters. Consequently, your blackout curtains can save the unnecessary loss of energy by 25 percent. 

These curtains can be a great substitute for insulation so that you do not have to pay for insulation and thermostats. This will eventually cater to reduce the electricity bills

How do blackout curtains save energy? 

Blackout curtains save energy by toning down or by reducing the usage of thermostats and air conditioners. 

In winter, thirty percent of the heating energy derived from the thermostats or radiators gets wasted. As the blackout curtains are tightly woven, very little air can slip through the curtains and thus reduce the usage of radiators.

Normally, in summer, seventy-five percent of the sunlight can come into your room just through the window which can cause the temperature to go up. 

By having some good blackout curtains, you can really reduce the percentage of UV light and sunlight coming into your room and thus you can keep the room cooler. Consequently, you will be able to save much of the energy.

To sum up, to keep the traffic lights, streetlights, ultraviolet rays, and sunlight at bay, blackout curtains are the perfect solution and addition to your home.

However, if you want maximum functionality and practicality with minimum energy and money waste, then you can look for ways to combine both curtains’ materials.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do Blackout Curtains Block Noise? Are They Soundproof?

How to Get Creases or Wrinkles Out of Blackout Curtains?

How to Measure for Blackout Curtains?

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