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grey curtain hanging against light blue background Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Best Blackout Curtains of 2022

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grey curtain hanging against light blue background Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

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Editor's Choice Product image of Design Solutions Quinn 100% Blackout Insulated Curtain Panel
Best Overall

Design Solutions Quinn 100% Blackout Insulated Curtain Panel

The Design Solutions Quinn curtain blocked all the light in our tests while looking elegant and feeling well-made. Read More

Pros

  • Blocks light
  • Looks good
  • Feels well-made

Cons

  • None we could find
Editor's Choice Product image of Amazon Basics Room Darkening Blackout Curtains with Grommets
Best Value

Amazon Basics Room Darkening Blackout Curtains with Grommets

Amazon's curtains come cheap and will get the job done, but they are nothing special in the looks department. Read More

Pros

  • Blocks light well

Cons

  • Looks and feels like a rain jacket
Product image of Sun Zero Oslo Theater Grade Extreme 100% Blackout Curtain Panel

Sun Zero Oslo Theater Grade Extreme 100% Blackout Curtain Panel

SunZero's curtains do a decent job blocking light, but they look cheap. Read More

Pros

  • Blocks light pretty well

Cons

  • Looks like knock-off silk
Product image of Emery Linen Blackout Curtain

Emery Linen Blackout Curtain

Pottery Barn's natural fiber curtains are gorgeous but not great at blocking light. Read More

Pros

  • Beautiful
  • Natural fibers

Cons

  • Mediocre light blocking
  • Not machine washable
Product image of Eclipse Dayton Blackout Grommet Single Curtain Panel

Eclipse Dayton Blackout Grommet Single Curtain Panel

The Eclipse curtains look so-so and did a so-so job blocking light. Read More

Pros

  • Decent job blocking light

Cons

  • Nothing special to look at
  • Only comes in two sizes

Sleep is a critical aspect of mental and physical health. If early-morning sunlight (or late-night street lights) are preventing you from getting a good night’s rest, it’s time to do something about it. One simple fix for light in your bedroom is to put up blackout curtains. As with everything sold online, not all curtains are created equally.

We tested a dozen popular brands to find the best curtains you can buy right now. After evaluating each curtain based on its light-blocking abilities as well as its aesthetic characteristics, we determined that the very best blackout curtains are the Quinn 100% Blackout Window Curtain Collection (available at Bed Bath & Beyond). The Quinn curtains block light fully and will look cute in your home.

Here are the best blackout curtains we tested ranked, in order:

  1. Design Solutions Quinn 100% Blackout Curtain Collection
  2. AmazonBasics Blackout Curtain
  3. Sun Zero Blackout Curtain
  4. Emery Linen Blackout Curtain
  5. Eclipse Dayton Solid Color Blackout Grommet Single Curtain Panel
  6. Silvana Ivory Silk Blackout Curtain Panel
  7. West Elm Linen Cotton Curtain
  8. BGment Rod Pocket Blackout Curtain
  9. Nicetown Blackout Curtain
  10. Threshold Aruba Linen Blackout Curtain
up close of woven, gray curtain
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

We liked the look and feel of the Quinn curtain in addition to how well it blocks light.

Best Overall
Design Solutions Quinn 100% Blackout Insulated Curtain Panel

Bed Bath and Beyond’s Quinn blackout curtain took no prisoners in snagging the top place. There was simply no question about the winner: The Quinn curtain was the only one that looked nice and fully blocked light in both tests. Although the curtain is made of rayon and polyester, the gray, woven exterior of the curtains made it appear similar to more expensive curtains made of linen. Our aesthetic experts said the curtain would make a home look comfortable and stylish. The interior polyester lining of the Quinn curtain did a good job ensuring not a ray of light got through even under the direct beam of a floodlight. The curtain costs anywhere from about $40 to $75 depending on what size you need. This is a standard price tag. Other curtains we tested cost anywhere from under $10 to several hundred dollars.

Pros

  • Blocks light

  • Looks good

  • Feels well-made

Cons

  • None we could find

top of dark blue, smooth curtains
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

Amazon's curtains are dark but didn't look as nice as our winner.

Best Value
Amazon Basics Room Darkening Blackout Curtains with Grommets

If you’re looking for total darkness, AmazonBasics has your back. Nothing got through the Amazon curtains in either light test. But Amazon just couldn’t compete in the looks category. The polyester curtains had the appearance and feel of a raincoat. AmazonBasics’ curtains will get the job done, but they won’t dress up your bedroom. They are cheap though — $25.57 at list price for two panels.

Pros

  • Blocks light well

Cons

  • Looks and feels like a rain jacket

How We Tested Blackout Curtains

Each brand of blackout curtain was subjected to scrutiny based first and foremost on its ability to block light, but also on its appearance and fabric quality. We considered factors like color and size range, but these were deemed less important than functionality and appearance.

The Tester

I’m Sara, Reviewed’s sleep writer. I care a lot about light in my bedroom so I’m excited to help you make yours as dark as possible. In addition to testing blackout curtains, I’ve reviewed the best sleep masks—I told you I cared—as well as pillows and weighted blankets.

The Tests

We began by testing every curtain with a Spectra Professional IV type A light meter. The curtains were hung one by one in a doorway in our lab. Jon Chan, our lab manager, shone flood lights on the curtain from one side while I measured the light that got through the curtain. This gave us objective numbers on light penetration. I then covered my face with each curtain while flood lights shone on me. I made notes of how much light (none, a little, or a lot) got through the curtains.

My sleep team colleagues Tracee Herbaugh and Chris Panella were brought into the lab to give their opinions on the curtains’ looks and fabric quality. This was to prevent bias from people who already knew how the curtains performed in terms of light blocking. Plus, they both have a passion for interior design that I lack. Curtains were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 for how fashionable and sturdy they were.

What You Should Know About Buying Blackout Curtains

Blackout curtains are super useful for sleep if you’re at all sensitive to light. They keep your room dark while being less personally intrusive than eye masks. Blackout curtains can also be used in your living room to create dark conditions for movie nights, or to keep rooms dark if you want to avoid direct light on paintings or furniture.

Before you purchase curtains, make sure you measure your windows and select the right curtain size. You should also have a plan for how the curtains will be hung and whether you need to buy the rods and hardware.

If you’re using blackout curtains in your bedroom, consider opening them or taking a quick walk outside after your alarm goes off. Sleep experts recommend getting some sunlight in your system when you wake up because it starts your internal clock for the day and helps your body prepare you to get sleepy at night. This means sleeping with blackout curtains is great, but sitting in a room with them all day could be bad for your sleep.


Other Blackout Curtains We Tested

three curtains hanging together, side ones are a shiny gold middle one is darker
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

All three SunZero curtains performed the same on our tests.

Product image of Sun Zero Oslo Theater Grade Extreme 100% Blackout Curtain Panel
Sun Zero Oslo Theater Grade Extreme 100% Blackout Curtain Panel

It’s easy to find Sun Zero curtains online. Not only are they sold through Amazon and Macy’s, they also arrive when you order Wayfair Basics’ curtains. We tested the Sun Zero offerings from all three retailers and could not find a difference. All the Sun Zero curtains are made of shiny polyester material that looks like it wants to be silk. The Sun Zero curtains were deemed more attractive than the AmazonBasics curtains, but they do a slightly worse job blocking light. They would make an okay option if you deeply hate BBB and don’t want their curtains on principle.

Pros

  • Blocks light pretty well

Cons

  • Looks like knock-off silk

Product image of Emery Linen Blackout Curtain
Emery Linen Blackout Curtain

Pottery Barn’s Emery Linen Blackout Curtain was a real heartbreaker. It’s among the few curtains we tested made from natural fibers, a personal preference of mine. It’s also beautiful. We received the curtain in a soft gray color that we could picture rustling gently in the window of a peaceful beach house. Unfortunately, it didn’t do a great job blocking light. In both our visual and metered tests, the curtain let in significantly more light than our winner. Plus, this curtain is among the few that isn’t machine-washable. If total darkness is a secondary issue and what you really want are beautiful, high-quality curtains, you can spring for Pottery Barn. But if you want actual blackout curtains, or want lower maintenance curtains, we advise going for BBB’s Quinn.

Pros

  • Beautiful

  • Natural fibers

Cons

  • Mediocre light blocking

  • Not machine washable

Product image of Eclipse Dayton Blackout Grommet Single Curtain Panel
Eclipse Dayton Blackout Grommet Single Curtain Panel

The Eclipse Dayton Solid Color Blackout Grommet Single Curtain Panel, which arrived with an Ellery Lifestyle tag, did a good job blocking light. But it was deemed not aesthetically pleasing by our style experts, who said the shiny polyester curtain looked like it belonged in a high school theater. It also only comes in two sizes while most curtains we tested come in at least three.

Pros

  • Decent job blocking light

Cons

  • Nothing special to look at

  • Only comes in two sizes

Product image of Silvana Silk Blackout Curtain Panel
Silvana Silk Blackout Curtain Panel

Crate and Barrel’s Silvana Ivory Silk Blackout Curtain Panel is made of silk and linen (although they have a polyester liner), which might explain why it wrinkled more easily than other curtains we tested. Be prepared to steam or iron them if you buy them. It also did poorly in both our light blocking tests.

Pros

  • Look good overall

Cons

  • Wrinkle easily

  • Don't block light well

Product image of West Elm Linen Cotton Curtain
West Elm Linen Cotton Curtain

West Elm’s Linen Cotton Curtains (with a polyester lining) are stylish, coming in a bright white that looks clean and fresh. But they’re inconvenient. They didn’t block much light, they only come in one size, and they aren’t machine-washable. On the plus side, they’re Fair Trade certified, which means they have met certain environmental and social standards.

Pros

  • Look bright and cheery

Cons

  • Don't block light well

  • Not machine washable

Product image of BGment Rod Pocket Blackout Curtains
BGment Rod Pocket Blackout Curtains

The BGment Rod Pocket Blackout Curtains just didn’t shine. They were average at blocking light and not aesthetically pleasing. The polyester material on the curtains felt cheap and looked dull.

Pros

  • Average light blocking

Cons

  • Looks cheap and dull

Product image of Nicetown Blackout Curtains
Nicetown Blackout Curtains

Nicetown’s blackout curtains were solidly average at blocking light. Our staffers didn’t like the look or feel of the shiny, polyester curtains, and noticed a crease in them after minimal usage.

Pros

  • Blocked decently

Cons

  • Shiny polyester material looks and feels bad

Product image of Threshold Aruba Linen Blackout Curtains
Threshold Aruba Linen Blackout Curtains

The Threshold Aruba Linen Blackout curtain received the lowest score in our ranking because it did the worst job blocking light in our light meter test. It was also rated so-so in terms of aesthetics. It’s slightly rougher-looking than other linen weave curtains we tried.

Pros

  • None we could find

Cons

  • Blocks light poorly

  • Doesn't look good

Meet the tester

Sara Tabin

Sara Tabin

Sleep Writer

Sara Tabin is a sleep writer at Reviewed.

See all of Sara Tabin's reviews

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