8 Gorgeous Blackout Curtains That Will Actually Improve Your Sleep (2024)

8 Gorgeous Blackout Curtains That Will Actually Improve Your Sleep (1)

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We updated this article in April 2022 to ensure all products were in stock and to add more information about each, based on extensive testing done by the Good Housekeeping Institute. We added new picks from brands like Hunter Douglas, West Elm and Pottery Barn.

If you work the night shift or are a light sleeper, a set of good blackout curtains is immensely helpful. The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) recently found that many Americans aren’t setting themselves up for good sleep and provided recommendations for how to achieve quality sleep. It emphasized the importance of creating a healthy sleep environment: a good mattress, cool temperatures, reduced noise level and little-to-no light. The NSF recommends using blackout curtains to ensure your bedroom stays dark all night long.

Blackout curtains look like standard curtains but have an extra lining or backing layer. This layer is meant to block outside light from shining through your windows, keeping your room nice and dark and allowing you to achieve great sleep. Beyond blocking out light, blackout curtains can also help your home to stay temperature-controlled, and they can muffle outside noise, contributing to even better rest. We recently tested blackout curtains in the Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab and with consumer testers for appearance and performance to find the best options for your home.

Our top picks:

Best Overall Blackout Curtains

Red Barrel Studio Heritage Velvet Solid Room Darkening Curtain

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Now 60% Off

Pros
  • 8 Gorgeous Blackout Curtains That Will Actually Improve Your Sleep (10)Quality velvet fabric
  • 8 Gorgeous Blackout Curtains That Will Actually Improve Your Sleep (11)Easy to hang
Cons
  • 8 Gorgeous Blackout Curtains That Will Actually Improve Your Sleep (12)Shipping could take 5 to 6 weeks

These velvet blackout curtains were top performers both in the Lab and with at-home testers. Although the curtains aren’t designed to be total blackout, they tested well with near-perfect scores for opacity in Lab evaluations. One home tester was happy with how easy the curtains were to hang, and she thought they provided a total blackout effect in her living room. She also said that the curtains appear high-end and drape nicely, which can be accredited to small weights that line the bottom of the panel. These curtains are made with a soft velvet fabric and are available in 26 neutral and fashion colors like beige, gray and retro green, so you can find the perfect set to match every room in your home.

Panels: Single
Dimensions: Four lengths from 84 to 120 inches, 50-inch width
Curtain header: Combined rod pocket and tab top

Best Value Blackout Curtains

Amazon Basics Room Darkening Blackout Window Curtains

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8 Gorgeous Blackout Curtains That Will Actually Improve Your Sleep (14)

Now 20% Off

Pros
  • 8 Gorgeous Blackout Curtains That Will Actually Improve Your Sleep (15)Tie-backs included
  • 8 Gorgeous Blackout Curtains That Will Actually Improve Your Sleep (16)Matte finish fabric
  • 8 Gorgeous Blackout Curtains That Will Actually Improve Your Sleep (17)Top-ranking for opacity
Cons
  • 8 Gorgeous Blackout Curtains That Will Actually Improve Your Sleep (18)Didn’t hold up well in our Lab’s wash tests

The room-darkening curtains from Amazon Basics performed just as well as many of the high-end blackout curtains we tested in the Lab. They feature a white blackout lining along the back, which according to one home tester, “instantly darkened the room.” These curtains aced our opacity tests as well. Not only did they match premium brands in terms of performance, but the matte polyester fabric also looks expensive in comparison to other blackout curtains we tested at similar price points.

Panels: Two
Dimensions: Three lengths from 63 to 96 inches, two widths at 42 and 52 inches
Curtain header: Either rod pocket or grommet

Best Blackout Curtains on Amazon

Nicetown Thermal Insulated Solid Grommet Blackout Curtains

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8 Gorgeous Blackout Curtains That Will Actually Improve Your Sleep (20)

Pros
  • 8 Gorgeous Blackout Curtains That Will Actually Improve Your Sleep (21)Affordable
  • 8 Gorgeous Blackout Curtains That Will Actually Improve Your Sleep (22)Variety of colors and sizes
Cons
  • 8 Gorgeous Blackout Curtains That Will Actually Improve Your Sleep (23)Fabric is thinner that some other curtains

Nicetown’s blackout curtains are Amazon’s #1 best seller for curtain panels and have amassed over 70,000 five-star ratings. The blackout curtains are available in more than 30 colors — from pastels to black — and can be purchased in 13 combinations of length and width. Home testers noted that the fabric was thin in comparison to other blackout curtains they’ve tried and noted that they didn’t find the curtains to be particularly strong at muffling sound or providing insulation. Lab experts agree that the curtains are thin but found them to be efficient at blocking most outside light, thanks to the curtains’ unique structure with blackout yarns woven right into the curtain panel, rather than lining the back.

Panels: Two
Dimensions: Twelve lengths from 45 to 96 inches, four widths from 29 to 55 inches
Curtain header: Grommets

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Best Velvet Blackout Curtains

West Elm Worn Velvet Curtain

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Now 15% Off

Pros
  • 8 Gorgeous Blackout Curtains That Will Actually Improve Your Sleep (25)Luxurious look
  • 8 Gorgeous Blackout Curtains That Will Actually Improve Your Sleep (26)Great at blocking light and sound
  • 8 Gorgeous Blackout Curtains That Will Actually Improve Your Sleep (27)Insulating
Cons
  • 8 Gorgeous Blackout Curtains That Will Actually Improve Your Sleep (28)Heavy fabric requires supportive hardware

West Elm offers its curtains with an optional blackout lining, which makes them the perfect pick if you want a cohesive look throughout your home and need only some to feature blackout properties. The curtains are made of a thick worn velvet fabric with a polyester blackout lining that we find to look and feel luxurious. They performed well for blocking outside light in Lab tests, and one home tester hung the curtains in her living room and said she noticed an improvement in noise and temperature. The worn velvet curtains are available in cream, blue and grey, but West Elm does carry other blackout-lined velvet options including cotton velvet and luster velvet curtains in different colors.

Panels: Single or two
Dimensions: Three lengths from 84 to 108 inches, 48-inch width
Curtain header: Combined rod pocket and tab top

Best Linen Blackout Curtains

Pottery Barn Emery Linen Blackout Curtain

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Pros
  • 8 Gorgeous Blackout Curtains That Will Actually Improve Your Sleep (30)Most opaque linen curtain tested
  • 8 Gorgeous Blackout Curtains That Will Actually Improve Your Sleep (31)Three hanging options
Cons
  • 8 Gorgeous Blackout Curtains That Will Actually Improve Your Sleep (32)Expensive

These textured blackout curtains are made of a blend of high-quality linen and cotton fibers for a luxurious yet natural look. They are available in seven muted colors and six sizes. When we tested the curtains in the Lab, we noticed that the fabric weave is a little loose because of the textured linen fibers, which allowed some light to trickle through during testing. This is common to all linen blackout curtains, though, and we found these Pottery Barn curtains to perform better overall in Lab tests for opacity than other linen options we analyzed. One home tester tried hanging the curtains on a standard tension rod but found the curtains to be too heavy for her setup, so it’s important to note that you should hang these with supportive anchors and hardware.

Panels: Single
Dimensions: Three lengths from 84 to 108 inches, two widths at 50 and 100 inches
Curtain header: Combined rod pocket, tab top and ring

Best Blackout Curtains for Nursery

Rosdorf Park Solid Room Darkening Grommet Curtain

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Pros
  • 8 Gorgeous Blackout Curtains That Will Actually Improve Your Sleep (34)Strong opacity scores
  • 8 Gorgeous Blackout Curtains That Will Actually Improve Your Sleep (35)Tiebacks included
Cons
  • 8 Gorgeous Blackout Curtains That Will Actually Improve Your Sleep (36)Available with white overlay only

Since babies are often sleeping when it’s light out, it's ideal to make sure their space is dark enough to sleep. These curtains function like standard blackout curtains but are designed with a white tulle overlay to provide a softer appearance, perfect for a nursery or kid's room. Take note that curtains can be an entanglement hazard for babies and young children, so opt for a shorter length instead of one that touches the floor.

These performed well in Lab tests with a near-perfect score for opacity — a small amount of light is visible through the weave when you look closely, but they provide a full blackout effect overall. Consumer testers agreed that they were great at blocking outside light, and they were a favorite of one testers' young children who loved the "princess" look of the tulle overlay.

Panels: Two
Dimensions: Four lengths from 63 to 108 inches, 52-inch width
Curtain header: Grommets

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Best Patterned Blackout Curtains

Eclipse Fret Blackout Window Curtain

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Pros
  • 8 Gorgeous Blackout Curtains That Will Actually Improve Your Sleep (38)Affordable
  • 8 Gorgeous Blackout Curtains That Will Actually Improve Your Sleep (39)Total blackout
  • 8 Gorgeous Blackout Curtains That Will Actually Improve Your Sleep (40)Insulating
Cons
  • 8 Gorgeous Blackout Curtains That Will Actually Improve Your Sleep (41)Narrow panels

Home Depot's Eclipse blackout curtains feature a white blackout foam backing, which lends them structure while remaining lightweight. They performed excellently in our Lab opacity tests: No light was visible through the curtains, even through the white pattern. One home tester said that the curtains helped his office without any air conditioning stay cool. They don't appear as high-quality as some other blackout curtain picks, but they are affordable and provide great blackout coverage. More colors and styles can be found online as well.

Panels: Single
Dimensions: Two lengths at 63 and 84 inches, 42-inch width
Curtain header: Grommets

Best Custom Blackout Curtains

Hunter Douglas Custom Drapery

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Pros
  • 8 Gorgeous Blackout Curtains That Will Actually Improve Your Sleep (43)Customized fit and appearance
  • 8 Gorgeous Blackout Curtains That Will Actually Improve Your Sleep (44)High-quality materials
  • 8 Gorgeous Blackout Curtains That Will Actually Improve Your Sleep (45)Total blackout option
Cons
  • 8 Gorgeous Blackout Curtains That Will Actually Improve Your Sleep (46)Not readily available

If you’re interested in tailoring blackout curtains to meet your specific needs and to match your particular home decor style, try booking a consultation with Hunter Douglas, a drapery specialist. They offer drapes in hundreds of color and fabric combinations and can create their curtains in a variety of different lenghts and widths to fit your windows perfectly. The price of blackout curtains varies between sizes, fabric and features, and Hunter Douglas will cover pricing with you during your consultation. Our Textiles experts love that the drapes are available in both light-filtering and room-darkening options, so you can choose how opaque you’d like the curtains to be. We tested the room darkening curtains in the Lab and were impressed by their perfect opacity scores and how high-quality they looked and felt. The curtains are heavy and do require specialized hardware for hanging, so they are a bit difficult to install on your own, but Hunter Douglas can handle the installation process for you.

Panels: Any number
Dimensions: Customizable lengths from 24 to 235 inches, widths from 36 to 210 inches
Curtain header: Pinch pleat

How we test for blackout curtains

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The Good Housekeeping Institute tests an array of fabric-based products in our Textiles Lab to find the best performers — from best sheets to pillows to sports bras. Our experts have been testing curtains for years and have collected hundreds of data points over time. We recently tested blackout curtains in the Lab and with at-home testers, collecting dozens of additional data points related to appearance and performance.

Each blackout curtain sample was tested in our Lab for opacity against a standard light source in our lightroom, which is designed in a way that prevents outside factors from impacting results and allows for accurate blackout curtain testing. Lab experts also apply their knowledge while examining the blackout curtains for appearance, hand feel of the fabric, drape and overall quality.

After being examined in the Lab, the blackout curtains were sent home with testers who documented their personal experiences with the curtains. Testers hung the curtains in their homes and analyzed how well the curtains could block out light and sound and regulate temperature. They also provided their thoughts on the quality of the blackout curtains and gave insight as to how easily the curtains could be installed, removed and, in some instances, washed. By analyzing our Lab and tester data, we were able to put together our list of top blackout curtain picks.

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The difference in opacity between a $100 standard curtain and our $45 best overall curtain pick on a sunny day.

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This blackout curtain did not make our top picks, as it didn't score well for opacity because of the amount of outside light trickling through the fabric.

How to choose the best blackout curtains

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To get the most out of your window treatment shopping experience, it's important to understand what to look for.

Select your header style

There are four common kinds of headers:

  • Grommet curtain headers are made with metal rings punched along the top for a rod to slide through.
  • Rod pocket curtains have a slit opening that the rod slips into for easy installation.
  • Tab top curtains use large fabric loops to hang off the curtain rod.
  • Pinch pleat curtains feature fabric that is pinched along the top to create fullness and often include small loops for curtain hooks.

Pick your opacity type

When shopping, check the label for these blackout curtain linings:

  • Blackout-lined blackout curtains use heavier polyester that make the drapery stiff but achieve a complete blackout.
  • Foam-backed blackout curtains keep the soft folds of the drapery but don't guarantee complete blackout.
  • Thermal-lined blackout curtains use heat-trapping fabrics like flannel but don't guarantee complete blackout.
  • Privacy-lined blackout curtains use a polyester and cotton weave to maintain the curtains’ softness and filter light out.

✔️ Check the dimensions

For optimal darkness, you want curtains that are wide enough to stretch across from one side of the window frame to the other. The curtains should also be long enough to hit both above and below the window. For the best blackout performance, proper installation is key, so be sure that once you've picked a curtain in the right size that you install your hardware so that your curtains can completely cover the window frame. Following all of these steps to prevent light from seeping in around the edges of the curtain will help ensure maximum blackout.

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Does the color of the blackout curtains matter?

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Blackout curtains do not have to be black, or even dark for that matter. The “black” in blackout curtains refers to the room darkening effect of the curtains, not the color itself. Most retailers offer blackout curtains in neutral colors like greys, blues and browns. But you can find blackout curtains in a wide assortment of colors and patterns — even white! If you pick quality blackout curtains, the color of the curtains shouldn’t impact their performance because the blackout lining or backing is doing the darkening, not the outward-facing colored panel.

Why trust Good Housekeeping?

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Lexie Sachs is the executive director of the Textiles, Paper and Apparel Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Fiber Science from Cornell University and more than 15 years experience in the textiles industry, including merchandising and product development for home products. Lexie joined Good Housekeeping in 2013 and has extensively tested all types home and apparel products — including bedding, shapewear, washable rugs and more — using specialized lab equipment and with hundreds of consumer testers.

Amanda Constantine joined the Good Housekeeping Institute in 2022 as a home and apparel reviews analyst. She has a Master of Science in Consumer Sciences from The Ohio State University, along with undergraduate degrees in apparel merchandising and marketing communications. Prior to joining Good Housekeeping, she served as a lecturer at The Ohio State University, teaching fashion and textiles courses and conducting research.

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Amanda Constantine

Home & Apparel Reviews Analyst

Amanda (she/her) researches and reports on products in the Good Housekeeping Institute's Textiles, Paper & Apparel Lab, ranging from clothing and accessories to home furnishings. She holds undergraduate degrees in apparel merchandising and product development and advertising and marketing communications, as well as a master of science degree in consumer sciences from The Ohio State University. Prior to joining Good Housekeeping in 2022, Amanda was a lecturer for the fashion and retail studies program at Ohio State, where she taught fashion and textiles courses.

8 Gorgeous Blackout Curtains That Will Actually Improve Your Sleep (54)

Lexie Sachs

Executive Director, Strategy & Operations

Lexie Sachs (she/her) is the executive director of strategy and operations at the Good Housekeeping Institute and a lead reviewer of products in the bedding, travel, lifestyle, home furnishings and apparel spaces. She has over 15 years of experience in the consumer products industry and a degree in fiber science from Cornell University. Lexie serves as an expert source both within Good Housekeeping and other media outlets, regularly appearing on national broadcast TV segments. Prior to joining GH in 2013, Lexie worked in merchandising and product development in the fashion and home industries.

8 Gorgeous Blackout Curtains That Will Actually Improve Your Sleep (2024)

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