What is the Difference Between Blinds and Shades?

If you’re just starting to look for window treatments for your house or apartment, finding a place to start can be difficult. Between measuring your windows, figuring out the dimensions of the blinds you want, and installing them, can be overwhelming enough to make you want to just hire someone to do it all for you. But hiring a window treatment company to install your blinds is expensive when you consider the mark-up they will charge for their window treatments and labor.

So, we have created this article as a starting point to help explain what the difference between blinds and shades are. Sometimes people use the terms blinds and shades interchangeably, however they are very distinctly different.

What Are Blinds?

It is very likely that while you’ve seen window blinds before, you have never stopped to think about what they actually are. Window blinds, quite simply, are window coverings made of horizontal or vertical slats. Typically window blinds are made of a few select, time-tested materials like aluminium (like aluminium mini blinds), wood (like real wood blinds), or a pvc-based material (like faux wood blinds).

What are Shades?

Window shades on the other hand are window coverings made of fabric. Because of the materials used, shades operate differently than window blinds and can feature a number of different aesthetic designs unlike typically much more neutral window blinds. Additionally, because shades are made of fabric, they can only be open or closed, unlike window blinds which allow you to adjust the level of light coming from the window.

Choosing Between Blinds or Shades

Choosing the right window treatment depends on a number of factors and personal preferences that have to be considered. Ask yourself the following questions before deciding on blinds or shades:

  • How do I want to control light flow and privacy?

Privacy and light control are the main difference between blinds and shades for windows. Because shades are made with fabric, they cannot be adjusted like blinds can. However, by using light filtering shades, you can choose the level of opacity that your window treatments have, allowing you to have varying levels of light and privacy even when the shades are closed.

  • How frequently are people going to be adjusting the window treatment?

In areas with high volumes of traffic, like doors, it is often advantageous to opt for the most durable window treatments you can find. Because blinds are made from stronger, more rigid materials (like pvc or wood), they tend to last longer than shades which are made of fabric. For offices that share windows or doors, we tend to recommend using blinds as opposed to shades.

  • Do I need more insulation?

One of the advantages that shades have over blinds is their ability to add insulation to your window. For improved energy efficiency in heating or cooling your home, cellular shades can be an excellent option. This is particularly helpful if you live in a place with extremely hot or extremely cold temperatures like the South West or the North East.

  • Do I need to worry about child safety?

Child safety and window treatments are an important thing to consider when you have children. It is estimated that every two weeks a child will be strangled by window treatments that are not set up properly or do not have the cord retrained. If you have children, or children visiting your home, choosing a cordless window treatment is an important choice to keep your family safe.

  • How much money do I have budgeted for window treatments?

If your funding to re-do your window treatments are unlimited, then there is no point in comparison shopping or installing yourself. But if you’re like most people, saving money on your window treatments is a priority. That’s why BlindsOnline.com keeps our prices at wholesale levels for everyone. Getting the right window treatments at the right price is possible without having to pay a premium to big box retailers.

The difference between blinds and shades is subtle to people who are new to shopping for blinds online. This guide hopefully clarifies the question of blinds or shades and points you in the right direction for which window treatments are best for your needs. For answers to additional questions, contact us!

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Discount Cellular Shades

Here at BlindsOnLine, we sell discount cellular shades that either filter or block light so that you can choose the shade that best matches your needs. A major advantage of cellular, or honeycomb, shades is their energy efficiency. The layers of fabric work together to create a strong barrier against the outside temperature, keeping your home comfortable year around.

Another characteristic of the discount cellular shades that we offer include the variations in the pleat sizes, which range from a 1/2 inch to 3/4 of an inch in width. These pleats are the visible distinction on cellular shades, setting them apart from other popular window treatments. From the side, the cellular structure is visible, but from the front, you just see a clean piece of fabric with measured pleats that extends to the bottom of the window pane.

A Wide Selection of Window Treatments, Including Discount Cellular Shades

In addition to cellular shades, you’ll also find a wide selection of other discount window coverings, from simple aluminum mini blinds to wood blinds and skylight shades. Each product we carry is manufactured from high-quality materials so that the end result is more than just a low-price shade–it’s a quality home decorating idea. And, regardless of your personal style, you’ll find something to suit your taste here.

When ordering your discount cellular shades, you’ll want to take accurate measurements of each window in your home and submit the results with your online order. These measurements will be used to process your custom order, so that the shades or blinds arrive at your home ready for installation. Our website has detailed measuring and installing videos for every product so there is no need to worry about getting the right shades to fit. Once we receive your order, you can expect your custom shades to ship in about five days.

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Cellular Shades—A Buyer’s Guide for BlindsOnLine.com

Shades are no longer what they used to be. Today, you can get highly functional and fashionable shades without breaking the bank in the process. Cellular shades are a popular shade style because they offer clean lines and can filter light in just about any room of the house. They also serve multiple purposes, allowing you to cover glass doors, arches and even skylights. Use cellular shades in the living room, kitchen, sunroom and even the family room. #HomeRenovations Continue reading Cellular Shades—A Buyer’s Guide for BlindsOnLine.com

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Wood Window Blinds – The Real Deal To Keep Cool


Wood window blinds are simply the best & a coolest window treatment available in the market today. They are natural and impart a warm feel to the room; add to it, the availability of wood window blinds and shades in many patterns, style, color, material and size.

It is clear just from the very initial ideas that wood blinds are the best cohort when it comes to decorating the space and keeping everything cool; but if you need more grounds to make them your favorite, here are the major ones:

  • Because of the natural material, wood blinds develop a relaxing atmosphere
  • They look great from both the sides – inside & outside
  • They can easily be painted in any color to match the décor of your room
  • Wood is a great insulator against cold & heat due to their solid wood construction
  • It greatly helps reducing energy costs by keeping the space colder in summers and warmer in winters
  • It offers unrivaled privacy and protection from the sun rays harming your furniture in the room
  • They are light-weight and easy to maintain with minimum tear & wear
  • They are long lasting to serve you in excellent condition for several years

Wood blinds and shades certainly are the most wonderful and eye-turning solution to stop the sun from bothering you.

Real Vs. Imitation

Many people prefer buying discount faux wood blinds rather than real wood for varied reasons with price factors topping the list. While faux wood excellently mimics the real wood, it is not as attractive as real. However, if you are using wood blinds in humid places like kitchens or bathrooms, the real wood may warp, but faux wood blinds made of plastic polymers stays the same.

If it’s only the price keeping you away from the real charm of wood blinds, discount window blinds in real wood are also available in the market. You can even look for woven wood shade for a variety.

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Cool off with Cellular Shades

If you haven’t heard the northeast has been experiencing record temperatures this summer, just last week the mercury reached 106 degrees in New York’s Central Park.  Due to the extreme heat we have had many customers have been inquiring about the insulating qualities of Cellular Shades (also known as Honeycomb shades) for windows and skylights.  I have always known that these shades were effective in keeping the air cool in summer and warm in the winter but this extreme weather has people talking about how effective these shades really are.
I just received a call from a good customer let’s call her Mrs. “C”; she was in a panic because her motorized cellular shade had just run out of battery power and was stuck in the up position.  She explained to me that with the shade down in her living room the temperature was 15 degrees cooler than with the shade up.  Not only was the room uncomfortable even with the air conditioning at full blast but, she was wasting her money by making the air conditioner work harder than it had to.  Because of the insulating qualities of cellular shades it is common for these shades to pay for themselves over time.  Yes, the savings that you receive on your energy bill from the insulating qualities of cellular shades will more than pay for the shades over a period of years.  Let’s not forget that these shades not only can save you money on your energy bill but, also offer a beautiful and functional window covering that will provide both privacy and light control. As for Mrs. “C”, once I explained how to change the batteries in her motorized shade the crisis was averted and Mrs. “C” was able keep cool once again.  So if you are in the market for a beautiful window covering that will keep you cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, check out the great selection of cellular shades also known as honeycomb shades.

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