This Blackout Curtain Alternative is the Best Solution for Your Bedroom



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All couples have their disagreements, and for me and my fiancé, it’s the bedroom curtains. When we tested positive for COVID-19 about a month ago, rest was of the utmost importance. So, he hung a thick, unsightly blanket over our bedroom’s sole window to block out the sun’s harsh rays and get some much-needed R&R. “I love it,” he told me mid-recovery. “We should definitely get some blackout curtains.” The problem was, I hated the idea of blackout curtains

As a California-based journalist who has lots of clients on the East Coast, I quite literally wake up with the sun. (Let’s be honest, sometimes before then.) Sure, I set an alarm and many subsequent “I-snoozed-too-many-times” alarms; however, there’s something about seeing the sun’s rays that gives me the visual cue that it’s finally time to wake up. Though I’d prefer wispy sheers in our bedroom, I’m always happy to compromise. But, blackout curtains? That would throw a wrench into my early rising routine. Plus, it’s hard to know what do with them: If you keep them closed, your bedroom will look a bit drab all day long. But, leave them open? Well, your neighbors will have a front row seat to your Zoom calls, Netflix marathons, and less-than-exhilarating laundry folding sessions.

I knew there had to be a solution that could satisfy both of our preferences, so I did a little digging and found exactly what I was looking for: room darkening curtains. Unlike blackout curtains — which feature a thick, tightly woven fabric backing to stop the sun’s rays in their tracks — room darkening curtains are lined with a lighter material. While blackout curtains trend to block 100 percent of light, a room-darkening set eliminates 95 to 99 percent of the great outdoors’ natural glow. (Sure, 95 to 99 percent might sound like a lot of light you’re missing out on, but it’s still enough to tell that it’s actually daytime.) Best of all? Room darkening curtains reportedly have the same insulating, sound-proofing powers of their blackout counterparts.

Similar to the blackout variety, the are a lot of room-darkening curtains to choose from. Ultimately, I grabbed Threshold’s Faux Silk panel and it’s been bliss ever since. This pick from Target is essentially the Goldilocks of curtains: They make it easy to sleep in on the weekends, but they’re not so dark that I feel like our bedroom is a bat cave. As for my fiancé? Though he was a bit skeptical about the middle-of-the road choice, he’s been sleeping soundly with these less-than-blackout curtains. On the style front, the faux silk treatment of Threshold’s panels give my windows an elevated flair — much more than its $33 price tag would suggest. And, since this option is available in two colors and four sizes, you’re bound to find a perfect match.

The only thing I don’t love about this set is that it’s just… one curtain. You do need to buy a section panel for a nice, symmetrical look. (That said, you could always spring for one longer panel if you want to keep expenses to a minimum.) I’m currently waiting for my second curtain to arrive, but if using this lone drape on my window is any indication, the wait will be worth it.

Kelsey Mulvey

Contributor

Kelsey Mulvey is a lifestyle editor and writer. She has written for publications like Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, Wallpaper.com, New York Magazine, and more.





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