The Best Editor-Tested Blackout Curtains That You Can Buy Right Now

updated Jun 30, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Photo of living room featuring black out curtains and best list 2023 seal
Credit: Brian and Nicki Rohloff

Blackout curtains: Some love them, some hate them. However, if you can’t get enough sleep, have a hefty electricity bill because of drafty windows, or prefer your room on the darker side, blackout curtains could be your new BFF. They serve a variety of purposes, from blocking out unwanted light to insulating the temperature in your space, and can save money and energy as well as cut down on those sleepless nights. Blackout curtains can also keep your home cooler during the warmer months by keeping out rays and holding in air-conditioned air, which is beneficial if you’re gone during the day and would prefer not to walk into a home that feels like it’s been slow roasting for eight hours. Another huge plus, which can’t necessarily be said for other highly functional home essentials, is that blackout curtains can act as decor statements, adding to a room’s design rather than taking away from it. We’re big fans, so we put a range of blackout curtains to the test to find the best of the best.

The Best Blackout Curtains

What to Consider When Shopping for Blackout Curtains

What’s your main goal? Are you mostly interested in blocking out light or insulating your space? Are you hoping to use the blackout curtains on their own or to layer behind sheer or decorative curtains? Do you want them to absorb outside noise as well? Take stock of your priorities and read on to determine your best approach to shopping for blackout curtains.

Light Blocking

First things first: Blackout curtains should be able to do as their name suggests and keep natural light from shining through. Beneficial for nurseries, home theaters, and your dream home in the Arctic Circle, blocking out light can help you and your family stay on consistent sleep schedules, let you enjoy movies sans glare, and even customize and redirect the lighting in your home. Want to hang an investment painting but you’re afraid the noontime sun rays from the adjacent window may damage it over time? Blackout curtain. Have a fabulous accent wall you want to direct rays to during golden hour? Blackout curtain, drawn halfway.


It could be time to face the fact that your windows aren’t impenetrable shields between you and the outside world. Whether preventing cool winter drafts from creeping in or precious heat and AC from slipping out, blackout curtains add a weighted, usually thick layer of insulation. If this is your goal, consider curtains that fall to the floor, fully closing in around the window for optimal fortification (of your home and bank account — considering the money you’ll save on electricity bills). Blackout curtains can also insulate your home from outside health hazards like seasonal allergens, urban pollution, and smoke.

Noise Reduction

That’s right — you can even use your curtains to block out or lessen outside noise. Not only does this add to their function in home theaters, but it can also mean the difference between a comfortable night’s sleep in your small city apartment and moving out of your urban abode entirely. Keep honking cars, music, and voices to a minimum without raising the volume of your sound machine, and keep your space as private as you like.


The material you’ll mostly see when it comes to blackout curtains is polyester or some sort of blend. It can be crafted to meet the specific needs of the curtain’s design and tailored to be more sound- and/or light-proof. Polyester can also yield durable and shiny velvets, among other luxe materials, for a beautiful look that’s also easily washable — essential if you’re simultaneously blocking out pollen or pollution.

Tip: If you have pets, especially cats, who like to claw at curtains, polyester and polyester blends are ideal for hiding or preventing snags.


Curtains aren’t cheap, especially those of high quality or longer lengths. Polyester tends to bring the price down a bit, but expect to pay between $35 to upwards of $200 per panel for long, high-quality blackout curtains that will last. That said, this isn’t the case for our best budget-friendly pick (more on that below)….

What We Look For in Blackout Curtains

We tested a wide range of blackout curtains and judged them on the following criteria:

  • Performance: Do they block light? Do they insulate heat and AC? Do they reduce outside noise or block pollutants?
  • Appearance: Do they lend to a room’s decor? Are they something worth displaying proudly?
  • Durability: Are they washable? Will they fade over time?

The Best Blackout Curtains

Forget draping big, dark curtains just for the sake of blocking light — SunZero’s Nordic Theater-Grade Blackout Curtains allow you to keep the integrity of your space’s indoor lighting and decor scheme. They effectively block light no matter which color you choose – even pearl white — and trust us, there are plenty of shades to pick from. The all-polyester curtains are available in 17 colors and seven lengths, making them a solid choice for windows of all sizes. Make no mistake, these are 100 percent blackout curtains with a black backing that absorbs light and will make your living room or bedroom the perfect setting for movie night or restful sleep.

“Light had been disrupting both my boyfriend’s and my sleep patterns for months. He’d wake up way earlier than he meant to, and I’d struggle to fall asleep with our regular, non-blackout curtains,” says senior commerce editor Alicia, who got SunZero’s 52” x 63” curtains for her short windows. “The blackout curtains evened us out, and we’re no longer waking up exhausted due to too much light, whether it’s man-made or natural.”

Sold individually or in pairs (if you want to save money), each curtain comes packaged in a sturdy box that’s nice enough to keep for storing small items. “I was surprised by how stylish and lightweight the curtains were,” says Alicia. “We have a flimsy curtain rod that was almost pulled down by the regular curtains, but Sun Zero’s don’t strain our tension rod.” The curtains have grommet holes, making them incredibly quick and easy to hang, and once they’re up, you immediately get the added bonus of up to 50 percent reduction of lost energy, up to 45 percent noise reduction, and of course, 100 percent light blockage.

Read our full review of the Sun Zero Nordic Theater-Grade Extreme 100-Percent Blackout Curtains.


  • 100% polyester
  • Grommet header
  • Available in 17 colors
  • Size range: 52” x 54” – 52” x 120”
  • Machine washable on cold; tumble dry on low

Who It’s Best For: Those looking for affordable 100 percent blackout curtains, even with short windows.

Good to Know: Use a steamer to smooth out any wrinkles in the curtains from being folded, and they’ll look good as new.

Our budget-friendly pick, SUN+BLK 100% Recycled Total Blackout Curtains, are the real deal when it comes to achieving total blackout in any room without breaking the bank. In testing, AT contributor Kendall was so impressed by their ability to block natural light that she even draped a panel directly over a forcefully bright spotlight, the bulb of which shouldn’t be looked at with the naked eye, and there wasn’t even a sparkle detectable behind it.

These aren’t any heavier than your average curtain — in fact, they may even be lighter weight — nor do they have that unappealing plasticky look or feel typical of inexpensive curtains. On the contrary, they are among the most attractive blackout curtains we tried. They are backed with an extremely thin and flexible layer of foam, which absorbs any and all light rays from behind while allowing the recycled polyester outer material to remain lighter in color. Lastly, the rod pocket heading allows the curtains to work with your curtain rod’s design (especially if you have one made for blackout curtains) without giving way to any sneaky rays that can come through grommets or other heading styles.


  • 100% polyester
  • Rod pocket header 
  • Available in 5 colors
  • Size range: 40”x 63″ – 40” x 95”
  • Machine washable on cold; tumble dry on low

Who It’s Best For: Those ready to invest in interior design-friendly blackout curtains; those who want a luxe-looking velvet; those who prefer rod pocket headings.

Good to Know: SUN+BLK has a range of similarly designed blackout curtains, but the 100-percent recycled ones are our pick for their more luxe-looking woven texture.

Drafty windows are the enemy of anyone who loves a warm, cozy space in the winter. And if you invest in central heating, they can also be the enemy of your bank account. Whether or not you simply get chilly when you sleep, West Elm’s Worn Velvet Blackout Curtains are a saving grace during cold weather. These brushed, low-pile velvet curtains have pleated rod pocket headings that give them a strikingly luxe appearance while allowing them to block heat from escaping.

After testing for a month in New York City’s winter, Kendall noticed that her space was significantly warmer without increasing the heat output. For those who enjoy the historical relic that is radiator heat and don’t get to choose the temperature, layering these blackout curtains over strategically opened or closed windows effectively lets you customize when and where you feel the warmest. Kendall also noticed that the thick hem at the panel’s end creates a seal between the window and the floor, making floors warmer and more comfortable. The price of each panel is well reflected in its weighty, plush, and glamorously robust look and feel. In testing, the curtains didn’t fade, shrink, wrinkle, or otherwise distort after multiple washes, which is necessary since the knit weave — gross as it may sound — collects quite a bit of the pollution from outside.


  • 100% polyester
  • Rod pocket header
  • Available in 8 colors
  • Size range: 48” x 84” – 48” x 108”
  • Machine washable on cold; tumble dry on low

Who It’s Best For: Those ready to invest in interior design-friendly blackout curtains; those who want a luxe-looking velvet; those who prefer rod pocket headings.

Good to Know: We recommend getting the length that allows your curtain to hit the ground rather than hover above it to optimize warmth and prevent heat from escaping or drafts from spilling in.

What if you need absolute dark to get to sleep but prefer to wake with a touch of natural light? The boho-inspired Indigo Ink Adalet Collection Ogee Tassel Blackout Curtains kept the artificial city light and luminous moonlight of the evening out of my space while allowing me to rise naturally with the daylight in the morning — a total win-win. Though they don’t offer 100 percent light blockage, I still got some significant darkening, which is extra impressive when you consider that the background of these curtains is close to white. They have an allover printed ogee design with a column of fluffy tassels flanking both sides, which makes them an eye-catching piece that’s sure to draw attention.

In testing, these effectively blocked sharp rays of hot light, kept my space deeply dark at night, and allowed it to be bright and airy during the day. Very little light is able to filter through, so you’ll be comfortable enough to take an afternoon nap, and if street lights are keeping you up at night, they’ll cut down the brightness that disturbs your slumber. With their rod pocket design, these 100 percent polyester curtains are stylish and easy to hang. They’re even machine washable, which I love for achieving clean lines and that well-dressed window look.


  • 100% polyester
  • Rod pocket header
  • Available in 2 colors
  • Machine washable

Who It’s Best For: Those who want decorative curtains with a room darkening effect.

Good to Know: If you want a total blackout effect during the day, add a liner behind the curtains to supplement light blockage. Additionally, the curtain panels are sold separately.

If you’re a highly sensitive sleeper and wake to even slight sounds or visual motion, these deceptively heavy-duty curtains are for you. Beautiful enough to garner compliments (which I shamelessly loved), the linen-looking Peace & Quiet Noise Reducing Blackout Curtains from Pottery Barn are made in a Fair Trade Certified factory and give you three different headings to choose from: rod pocket, back tabs, and the option to clip rings on top. For background, I live above a daycare and have a garden-facing apartment, which means I have gotten to know the barks of my neighbors’ dogs just about well enough to be considered fluent. A single Peace & Quiet panel, made from a dense polyester that’s both visually and tangibly deceptive, eliminated the barks, bird chirps, and Ring Around the Rosie-ing from my bedroom, keeping me calm and protecting my landlord from a broken lease. I wasn’t kidding when I said a good blackout curtain can make or break your city life experience.


  • 100% polyester with acrylic coating
  • 3 hanging options: pocket, back tab, or ring top
  • Available in 4 colors
  • Size range: 50” x 84” – 50” x 108”
  • Machine washable

Who It’s Best For: Those who want blackout curtains that also reduce noise; those who prefer the linen or natural fabric look.

Good to Know: Pottery Barn has a comprehensive guide to dressing your windows on each product page, from finding the perfect length to listing everything needed for installation.

If you love the curtains you already have but wish they could block more light, then a blackout liner could be for you. We put the Best Home Fashion Vapor Other Blackout Curtain Liners to the test and they earned top marks in light blockage and thickness suitable for blackout needs.“These are great,” says Senior Commerce Editor Ian. “They match any aesthetic, were super easy to hang on a tension rod we already had, and they’re great for blocking light.” Rather than replace your current curtains, these triple-weave fabric liners can be paired with them to achieve a blackout effect. Plus, they come in a set of two, so all you have to do is choose the correct size for your window. These curtain liners can also be used on their own, but keep in mind that they’re more darkening than blackout without the use of a curtain over them, so it all depends on your needs. Either way, these liners will help to cut out a significant amount of light so you can set the right atmosphere for any room where you place them.


  • 100% polyester
  • Hooks included
  • Size range: 35” x 60” – 35” x 120”
  • Machine washable

Who It’s Best For: Those who want a blackout effect without needing to purchase new curtains.

Good to Know: Before purchasing the liners, it’s recommended that you measure your current curtain panels, both length and width, to pinpoint the correct liner size.