I Struggled with Poor Sleep Quality Until I Found These Game-Changing Smart Shades

published Feb 16, 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.
Post Image
Credit: Viv Yapp

I wouldn’t say I’m a night owl or an early bird, but rather somewhere in between. I need my sleep, but I don’t rush to bed or wake up fully energized. That all changed when I started working at Apartment Therapy (whoo!) nine months ago and my hours went from Hawaii time to New York time. Suddenly, I was thrust into a world several hours ahead. But, I’m a determined person. I put my mind to it, and now, I’m leaning into being a morning person.

That’s not to say it hasn’t been an adjustment. As excited as I am to start my mornings, some days are better rested than others. It’s been an ongoing process that could always use improvement, but what’s helped me tremendously (in addition to coffee) has been changing my sleep schedule and incorporating naps, especially on days when I’m feeling just a bit more tired.

Credit: Stephanie Nguyen
The vertical fabric blinds came with my house and are one of the many things that I've been wanting to update in this space.

But I was struggling to get into the groove of naps because of one glaring problem: the vertical fabric blinds in my bedroom. They let in a lot of light and noise, which made it impossible to get some rest during the day and even at night. They’re not so nice to look at, either. Honestly, they were dampening not only my sleep quality but also the style of my room. I needed a change. Luckily, SmartWings was able to remedy my situation and help me achieve better rest (and a better-looking bedroom).

I’ve been testing the company’s 100-percent blackout motorized roller shades in my bedroom, and let me tell you, it’s been a game-changer in my quest for better sleep (naps included). It’s amazing how much window treatments can make a difference not only in the look of your home but also in how you live in it (or in my case, how you sleep in it).

For starters, the ordering process was truly a “made-to-order” experience. You begin by selecting the shade you want: roller, cellular, zebra, Shangri-La, woven wood, outdoor, or dual shades. I went with the 100-percent blackout roller shades in white linen, which are a popular choice overall and great to use in the bedroom. 

Then, you get precise with your order by picking out features like fabric type, sizing, valance, how you want the shade to roll out, and which way you want the motor to be on. I liked how each feature included a note to help you with your decision. For instance, if you want solar panels, Smart Wings recommends that you have the motor on the right side so that the USB-C cable can remain hidden (a more aesthetic option).

Because of how much sunlight pours into my bedroom, I got the solar panels and had both shades’ motors on the right side. I also opted for light blockers and chose to have the shades mounted on the inside due to my air conditioner being located directly above my window (which limited the space). A five-channel remote is required for the initial setup, so I ordered one for the two shades in my room.

When it comes to sizing, I strongly urge you to check your measurements. Since these are tailor-made to your window, it all comes down to the right sizing to make or break the fit. Thankfully, the company has a great guide in helping you measure blinds and shades, whether you decide on an inside or outside mount. 

Another thing to note as you put together your order: all these features and customizations will impact the overall pricing of your shades. For example, the basic five-channel remote is $15.99, and solar panels — which are completely optional but ensure you never have to worry about manually charging — cost $49.99 apiece. Even the sizing of your shades will add to your total. At the very basic starting price, a single shade will cost under $200, which for smart shades, is an affordable price point.

Credit: Stephanie Nguyen
This photo was taking on a clear sunny day when I usually go down for a nap (my dog is already on it).

The installation and setup was so easy. The only issue we (my husband and I) faced was that the light blockers had a tough time sticking onto the wall, which the instructions say can happen and it recommends that you screw them into place. 

The photos alone don’t do it justice. Yes, it looks bright but it really isn’t that bad compared to what I was dealing with before. The light that does come through is cool and even which is so different from the harsh and warm strips of light that’d come through my old blinds. And at night, I sleep in almost complete darkness (minus the soft glow of the on button for my air purifier) thanks to these shades and a blue blackout curtain that covers my sliding door.

There’s also something so luxurious about having smart shades that can be controlled by remote. In fact, one of the coolest features about these shades that I opted out of (for now!) is that you can fully tap into that smart technology by having it controlled by an app. Imagine having your whole home synced so that you can make your shades go up or down even when you’re not there (great for when you’re away on vacation or at work and your houseplants need some sun).

Since making the switch, I feel like my sleep quality has improved, especially when I take a daytime nap. No longer is sunlight beaming through or loud chirps of birds heard in the trees nearby. These shades are so functional and aligned with the aesthetic I’m trying to achieve in my bedroom too — blue and neutral tones to calm my mind and achieve some peace and quiet.