During lighter summer nights and bright mornings, when the sun gets up earlier than you want to, blackout window dressings in the bedroom are a key ingredient to help you achieve a full night’s sleep. They’re also valuable if you work night shifts or are a light sleeper. Darkness helps us to fall asleep quicker as well as improving the quality of sleep, and blackout blinds can also help with your home’s temperature-control – keeping rooms cool by reducing warm sunlight entering via a window.

How to choose the best blackout blind for your needs.

The great thing about blackout window coverings is there is so much choice. We advise that you begin your buying journey with us by deciding the type of blackout blind that you’re after. During our in-home design consultation we can talk you through all of the various options and benefits of each.

Decide on the type of look you want at a window – whether it’s the clean and simple look of a roller blind, a fabric Roman blind, curtains, vertical blinds or a pleated blind effect, achieved with Duette® and Pleated blinds.

Even if you have an awkward shaped window, we can fit a blackout blind in most shapes – that’s just one of the benefits of made-to-measure. And because we fit the blinds in your home our experienced fitters will make sure everything is measured correctly, and fits and works as it should.  

There are also variations in the level of black and dim out that can be achieved, the best option being a Total Blackout (BlocOut™) blind and blackout fabric fitted with an Intu in-frame system.

And no – they don’t have to be black (or even a dark colour for that matter) – blackout blinds come in all sorts of colours and patterned fabrics.

Here’s the low down on the best blackout blinds for 2020.

BlocOut Blinds

While standard blackout blinds can significantly darken a room, light can still sneak in through gaps at the edges of the blind. But not with our award winning BlocOut™ blinds

These blinds combine a superior quality blackout fabric with precision-engineered side rails and bottom bar. Blinds slot into the frame which ensures the window is fully covered with nowhere for the light to enter and it cuts out any draughts. They can be spring operated, chain operated or motorised. They look really stylish offering a neat appearance at the window.

Blackout Rollers

A blackout roller blind is one of the most popular types of window covering for darkening a room. They’re available in a wide range of designs to suit every taste and can be made-to-measure to fit any size window – even large expanses of glass window. With roller blinds a key consideration is getting the measurements right and fitting the blind properly either in the recess of the window frame or on the outside to cover the edges. As experts we can help you to make the right decisions and get a snug fit.

Adding a motor to raise and lower blinds at the touch of a button is another great idea. This is really useful if a bed or furniture is in front of a window or if you have lots of windows in one room. You can also set the blinds to automatically raise at a particular time of day, which can help you naturally wake up in a morning.

Blackout Duette® Blinds

As well as offering unrivalled climate control, Duette® blinds come as a blackout option.

Also known as thermal blinds, Duette® blinds have two layers of fabric in a unique honeycomb structure and special coating. By trapping warm air, they’ve been shown to reduce up to 78% of heat entering a room.

Styling Bregje Nix

Blackout Curtains

Double dressing your windows is a luxurious way to keep unwanted light out. Layer curtains lined with a blackout fabric over a blackout roman blind for a hotel luxe look. If you already have blinds or curtains that you love, simply add an extra window dressing in a style and colour that complements it for an instant update. 

When layering blinds and curtains, you can keep it simple with a plain blind under a patterned curtain, or for a more ‘designer’ look mix different patterns. When clashing patterns, it is important to make sure that they have at least one thing in common, whether that is colour or pattern style.

In-frame System

Our sleek and uber-stylish Intu® blinds and Perfect Fit frame solutions are perfect for any room of the house and can be fitted with a wide range of blinds. There are no free handing cords, so they look neat at windows and are one of the safest options for kids’ bedrooms.

Shutters

Shutters can block out both light and noise. Choose from a selection of materials to suit your home and window style – whether it’s a bay window, full length door or unusual shape. A combination of shutters and blackout blinds – fitted into the window recess behind the shutter – will keep your bedroom in complete darkness for as long as you want to get some well-earned sleep.

Expertly fitted

We expertly fit all our bespoke blinds and shutters because it’s not enough to enjoy great quality blinds, we want to make sure they are installed correctly and work perfectly for years to come.

By precisely crafting your window dressings to the exact size and shape of your windows, we can ensure that your blinds and shutters are perfect for your needs – no more mistakes with measuring or putting up with a blind that doesn’t quite fit your window (especially if it’s a large or unusually shaped one).

If you’re thinking of blackout blinds for your home but you’re not sure where to start, let us know and our local Apollo designer will be more than happy to help you find your ideal solution.

Find your apollo

It’s almost time for the clocks to spring forward – meaning lighter nights and, for some, difficulty falling asleep. The total BlocOut™ Blind available from Apollo Blinds can achieve higher levels of darkness than ever before. It combines a superior quality blackout fabric with a frame (precision engineered side rails and a bottom bar) for the blind to slot into. This ensures the window is fully covered with no gaps for the light to shine through.

So why are blackout blinds a must-have for the home?

THE PROBLEM WITH LIGHT – THE UK IS GETTING LIGHTER AND IT’S BAD FOR OUR HEALTH

Matt Thomas from Apollo Blinds highlights how the UK is getting lighter, how darkness aids sleep and the benefits of BlocOut™ blinds.

“While the longer periods of natural daylight from spring to autumn can prevent people (especially children) from falling or staying asleep, as a nation our issues with ‘light entering a room’ go beyond the natural light of the sun.

Artificial light in the UK is getting brighter and more widespread, as revealed by recent images of the Earth taken from space. In fact, levels of unnatural light have reached their highest ever in the UK, with some experts suggesting light pollution is a problem on the scale of global warming.

And it’s easy to see why this is happening: Safety concerns have led us to illuminate our residential areas with street lights and security lights; there are more cars on the road than ever; and we’re becoming a ’24-hour society’ with many shops, gyms, bars and clubs open until the early hours – some never closing.

The future is bright – but there’s a dark side to our well-lit world. This ‘perpetual daytime’ is having adverse effects on our health as well as well as the natural cycles of animals and plantlife.”

The link between health and sleep is well-documented. Similarly, most people are aware that darkness helps us to fall asleep more quickly as well as improving the quality of sleep.

Studies suggests that sleeping in a very dark room has health benefits beyond getting enough shut eye.

Dr Richard Stevens, a leading breast cancer researcher highlights links between some preventable diseases such as depression, diabetes, obesity, even cancer and the amount of darkness a person is exposed to at night.

He said: “The point to emphasise is that while sleep is deeply important to well-being, so too is exposure at night to dark.” Other research has shown women night-shift workers to be at higher risk of breast cancer.

Darkness produces the sleep hormone melatonin that is responsible for repairing cells, consolidating memories and also keeping tumours in check.

THE SOLUTION – TIPS TO BANISH LIGHT FROM BEDROOMS

Introduce BlocOut™ blinds from Apollo Blinds – While standard blackout blinds can significantly darken a room, light can still sneak in around spaces at the edges and bottom of the blind. Apollo’s BlocOut™ blinds combine a superior quality blackout fabric with a frame (precision engineered side rails and a bottom bar) that the blinds slot into. This ensures the window is fully covered with nowhere for the light to enter.

Ban electronics Smartphones and tablets emit blue light the worst kind for interrupting circadian rhythms. Give yourself an hour of tech-free time before bed and forbid them from the bedroom.

Invest in a red light – The eyes are less sensitive to red light so fit one to a bedside lamp to limit the effects of light if getting out of bed in the night.

More about BlocOut Blinds

BlocOut™ blinds are cordless and child-safe. A highly innovative roller blind system, which combines an aluminium cassette/frame with precision engineered side-rails and top-quality blackout roller blind fabric will provide homes with an unmatched level of darkness.

Independently thermally tested by the British Board of Agrément (BBA) BlocOut™ blinds are also proven to save up to 43% on average heating costs by reducing heat loss through the window.

Available in a wide range of fabric colours and designs with a choice of three frame colours.

Prices start from £95 for a 400mm wide x 300mm drop blind