Sleep Better with Black-Out Curtains: Sources for Buying & Making Them

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Being awoken by the sun is actually good for you, but there are times when darkening a room aids in sleep especially for napping children, shift workers or others with non traditional sleep schedules and for blocking artificial night time light such as from a streetlamp. Blackout curtains also are energy saving (keeping heat from escaping in the winter and the hot sun from heating up your room in the summer) and help block or muffle outdoor noise.

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Blackout Curtains with Liners

Traditional blackout curtains have a liner behind them to block light. You can find blackout curtains in all kinds of colors and patterns, even light-hued ones. Search online for "blackout" or "thermal" curtains.

  • Eclipse sells blackout curtains through a variety of retailers including Target, Walmart, JC Penney, Kohls, Amazon, etc.
  • IKEA sells one lined blackout curtain,the MARJUN.
  • Overstock.com has a wide selection of blackout curtains in solids and prints.
  • Bed, Bath & Beyond carries several brands of blackout curtains including Insola and SoundAsleep.
  • Home Depot carries Martha Stewart, Eclipse and Home Decorators brand blackout curtains.
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Just the Liner, Ma'am

If you already have curtains you love, but want to transform them into blackout curtains you can buy liners à la carte and add them to existing curtains with clips, hooks or by using a double curtain hanger (like this). If you're shopping online search for "blackout liner" or "blackout lining". Here are a few to get you started:

  • West Elm sells blackout liners in 5 lengths ($29-69).
  • IKEA has one liner, GLANSNÄVA, in one length (56x94") but it could be hemmed for shorter windows ($24.99).
  • Martha Stewart for Home Depot has one liner measuring 54x80" ($27.47).
  • Kmart offers a drape liner in two lengths, 60" and 80" ($21.99/$23.99).
  • Pottery Barn Kids sells blackout panels in 3 lengths ($39-$59).
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Alternative: Use Heavy, Dark-Colored Curtains

If it works with your decor, you can buy heavy and/or dark curtains to give the effect of blackout curtains, but without an additional liner. Velvet, wool or tightly woven cotton, polyester or canvas in dark colors are your best bet. A few options:

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Blackout Roller Shades

Roller shades generally block out more light than many fabrics, but you can also buy blackout versions for even more blockage. Try pairing them with sheer curtains for light when you want it and darkness when you don't.

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DIY 'em

You can purchase blackout fabric to make your own blackout curtains if you're so inclined. Fabric.com sells both lining fabric and blackout drape fabric. JoAnn's sells blackout liner fabric as well. Check out these sites for instructions, tips and inspiration for making your own blackout curtains:

(Image credits: Alexis Buryk; IKEA; Pottery Barn Kids; West Elm; Blinds.com; I Am Momma Hear Me Roar)

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As Apartment Therapy's Family Editor, Carrie covers design and modern homelife with children. A lapsed librarian, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two kids and is in contention to break the record for most hours spent at the playground.

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