Differences between filtering and darkening blinds

If you are looking to shield your home from sunlight by using curtains or blinds, there are two good options to take into consideration and which are also useful to reduce your energy bills.

  • Room-darkening blinds
  • Filtering blinds

Both models, which are very similar and can provide the same benefits, will offer your home comfort and practicality, while also being aesthetically pleasing.

They can sometimes be used together to improve their performance and enhance their distinctive characteristics. 

Let’s take a look at the differences between the darkening and filtering solutions, in order to choose the most suitable for your home.

As well as their abilities to darken and filter sunlight, it’s useful to remember the other characteristics that might be important for you to consider.

  • Practicality: easy to clean, non-creasing fabric.
  • Weight: the material needs to be heavy so that the blind or curtain can “hang straight.”
  • Style: a solution that perfectly meets your wishes and the design of your interior.

Darkening systems: main features

Darkening window fixtures provide a great solution to protect your rooms from intense sunlight, especially in the morning, to enable you to wake up gradually, or during the summer.

Thanks to their darkening abilities, they can be perfect for windows without shutters and are also ideal in rooms with screens and mirrors where you want to avoid reflections.

Darkening systems are also suitable in situations where, in addition to regulating sunlight, you want guaranteed and absolute privacy.

There are many different models, all of which are capable of darkening your room as much as you like while also giving you comfort and ease of use:

  • classic darkening curtains: they are usually made of heavy fabric and can be an elegant furnishing accessory;
  • darkening blinds: sophisticated and functional, they have a sleek appearance that will enhance your rooms. They can be used over the glass or inside double glazing;
  • darkening roller blinds: perfect for large rooms where it’s important to avoid reflections on screens;
  • double-layer blinds: visually very impressive, they can be designed with two different colour fabrics layered on top of each other. This will allow you to play with different textures to reach your desired intensity of light;
  • darkening thermal or energy blinds: they have a special layer, designed with a honeycomb structure, offering insulating, reflecting and darkening qualities. They can shield from the sunlight and help to maintain a constant temperature inside a room. They can be designed as panel, roller or standard blinds.

Darkening blinds can also have a manual or automatic opening and closing system.

Manual blind systems can be controlled with a cord or a rod, while automated ones are operated with a switch or a remote control. The latter solution will give you the option of managing your blinds from a distance.

After looking at all the advantages, it’s also important to mention their only downside, which is their higher price compared to traditional curtains – a higher price that in our point of view is certainly worthwhile.

Filtering blinds: main features

Filtering blinds are another good solution if you need shielding from sunlight. They are often used in offices and public places and, in the last few years, they have been used increasingly to create pleasant domestic environments as well.

Unlike room-darkening blinds, they won’t black out a room completely, but they can filter light to guarantee you a reduction in incoming light as well as helping to control the temperature of a room.

To put it simply, filtering blinds block the heat transmission caused by sunlight.

The material chosen for these blinds will determine the level of light filtration, and for this reason it is very important to have a clear idea of the amount of light needed for the different spaces. 

Filtering blinds will guarantee you:

  • energy savings 
  • versatility
  • practicality

Also, for this type of blind, you will have a choice between manual and automatic models operated by remote control – a very convenient solution when installed in places that are difficult to reach, like skylights.

Filtering blinds can also be ordered custom made, but this will increase their cost.

Room-darkening and filtering blinds: a combined approach

As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, a very popular solution on the market these days are models combining darkening and filtering blinds.

With this approach, the darkening fabric will protect your room from too much sunlight and but this solution will also be perfect for protecting your privacy as, while you will still be able to see outside, the view inside will be darkened.

Another very functional solution is to use darkening roller blinds together with mosquito nets – a system that allows air circulation while also keeping away flies and other unwanted insects.

However, if you are still unsure about the right solution for you, we would advise you to contact a professional who will be able to guide you in the choice of the perfect type for your rooms. 

Sunbell Ufficio marketing



Sunbell, the future of blinds design
Born in 1977 thanks to the intuition of its founder Giuseppe Zuelli, Sunbell is a leader company  in the sector of technological advanced blind systems and it established itself for the strong connection between product development and design. High-end technology applied to solar shielding and a  ‘Made in Italy’ style are at the heart of all Sunbell projects, thanks to an innovative production process, in constant development.