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Dark Curtains vs. Light Curtains: Choosing the Perfect Fit for Your Home

06 Feb 2024 0 Comments
Dark Curtains vs. Light Curtains

Hey, I am James, the owner of, a custom curtain store with over 10 years of experience. I get asked all the time is: Should I get dark or light curtains?

This seems like a simple decision, but it can have a big impact on how a room looks and feels. My customers struggle to weigh up the pros and cons of each option.

In this article, I'll share my insight to help guide your choice between dark and light colored curtains. I'll outline some key differences as shown in the table below:

Dark Curtains Light Curtains
Ambiance Create a cozy, sleek atmosphere Give an airy, bright feel
Light Control Block outside light effectively Allow more natural light in
Privacy Offer more privacy Provide less privacy
Maintenance Hide dust and stains Show dirt and marks more

By the end, you will know how to choose the right curtains for your needs - whether you have a lighter or darker than walls in the bedroom, living room or other areas. 

What Are Dark Curtains and Light Curtains?

What are dark and light curtains image

When discussing dark vs light curtains, it's important first to define what those terms mean. In most cases:

  • Dark curtains refer to colors like black, gray, brown, dark red, or dark green.

  • Light curtains include white, cream, light yellow, light blue - lighter neutral or pastel shades.

Different types of curtains factor into the dark vs light decision:

  • Sheer: Made from lightweight, semi-transparent fabrics to filter light. Usually light-colored.

  • Blackout: Thicker opaque fabric that blocks outside light. Often darker colors.

  • Thermal/Insulated: Made to help insulate windows and reduce heat/cold transfer. Can be either light or dark.

So color and fabric density both contribute to whether curtains are perceived as dark or light.

Deep Dive into Dark Curtains: Cons & Pros

black blackout curtains for living room


    • Cozy atmosphere: Dark curtains create a dramatic, elegant feel. Blackout capabilities make bedrooms and media rooms extra cozy.

    • Privacy: Darker curtains can also offer more privacy than sheer light curtains during day and night.

    • Design versatility: Dark curtains are available in various rich designs. So they can complement modern, traditional, or retro interior decor. Plus, dark curtains work best against light walls.

    • Easy maintenance: Darker colors hide dust and stains better than light curtains over time.


    • Space perception: Too much black can make small rooms feel closed in and cramped.

    • Light blocking: Dark opaque curtains block outside natural light, which some find depressing.

    • Heat absorption: Dark fabrics tend to absorb and retain more solar heat during summer months.

    • Sun damage: Dark dyes may fade faster under direct sunlight streaming in.

Shining a Light on Light Curtains

White sheer curtains for living room

Benefits of Light Curtains

    • Bright, airy feel: Light colored curtains create an open and spacious atmosphere. They ample natural light streaming in. Rooms feel larger.

    • Let light in: Sheer fabrics allow the most amount of light in while softening and filtering it. Ideal for living rooms and kitchens.  

    • Cooling effect: Light colors reflect solar heat from windows. Then they keep rooms cooler in summer.

    • Design flexibility: Light curtains are available in various colors and patterns. So they can fit with modern and traditional decors

    • Hide dirt less: Some stains and dust on light curtains may bother those with perfectionist tendencies.


    • Minimal privacy: Sheer and light curtains offer only minimal nighttime privacy. Not ideal for bedrooms or dressing areas.

    • Light control issues: Light fabrics cannot fully darken rooms. Not suitable for blackout needs.

    • Prone to fading: Prolonged sun exposure can cause lighter curtain colors and dyes to fade over time.

Matching Curtains to Your Needs: Dark vs Light Curtains

  • Factor in room use: Bedrooms and media rooms need darkening; kitchens and living areas need brightness.

  • Complement decor: Bold dark hues for modern lofts; soft light shades for beach cottages.

  • Consider size and sunlight: Sheer light curtains for small, sunny rooms; thick opaque dark curtains for larger spaces.

  • Mind the budget: Light curtains are typically more affordable than designer blackout curtains.

Case Studies/Research For Dark & Light Drapes

Recent studies have shown some interesting findings that support aspects of the dark vs. light curtain debate:

  • A sleep study found that people napped longer and more soundly in rooms with blackout curtains compared to lighter curtains. The total darkness led to enhanced melatonin release and better sleep quality.

  • Research on home energy efficiency suggests that darker-colored curtains can reduce heat gain from sunlight by around 45% compared to light curtains. This can cut cooling costs in summer.

  • Surveys tracking consumer curtain preferences reveal that 73% of homeowners opt for light-filtering sheer curtains in living rooms and kitchens to maximize natural light. But 62% still prefer heavier blackout curtains in bedrooms for both mood and sleep.

So in some ways, science backs up the functional pros and cons outlined above.

Expert Opinions For Light Curtains & Dark Curtains

Laura Ashley, celebrated interior designer and home furnishings icon, advises:

When choosing curtains, think about the mood you want to create along with practical needs. Light colors make small spaces appear larger and brighter. But don't overlook the drama and elegance of a richly colored fabric that complements your interiors.

This emphasizes the importance of considering both room aesthetics and functionality when weighing dark versus light curtains rather than just personal preference alone.

The right choice depends on your goals for that specific space in the broader decor context.

Shop Your Perfect Light or Dark Curtains online at Doclewe, starting at $26.99

When choosing between light and dark curtains, there's no definitive right or wrong answer. The best option depends on your personal style, room function and practical needs.

As your custom window curtain provider for over 10 years, Doclewe offers both dark and light curtains to match any decor.

Shop affordable curtains starting at $26.99 in various colors, fabrics, styles and headers. Choose from:

Accent your rooms with elegant darkened theaters or airy light-filled living spaces. Get custom sizes with length alterations for perfect floor-to-ceiling coverage.

Take advantage of free shipping on $199+ orders and effortless online ordering. With over a decade of experience outfitting customer homes with unique decorative touches, the knowledgeable Doclewe team can also provide personal advice to guide your purchasing decision.

Explore your perfect custom curtain match today!

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