The Ultimate Guide to Blackout Vertical Blinds - Excell Blinds Liverpool

Have a question? Call us 01512280060

Book an Appointment

Blackout vertical blinds add privacy and elegance to any room you use them in. They are the best choice if you are sensitive to the sun shining through your windows and want to be able to carefully regulate the brightness and temperature in a room. They help you keep out the light and heat during summer and retain warmth during winter. We understand how hard it can be to get quality blackout vertical blinds. This guide will answer all the important questions and help you to buy with confidence.

Where do you use blackout vertical blinds?

Blackout vertical blinds hang from a track, with their slats positioned to the headrail. The blinds slide sideways, similar to curtains via a pulley system to open and close. Adding blackout vertical blinds to your room allows you to regulate the amount of light you let in, helping you to feel comfortable. They are best used in rooms that receive too much light, whether in an office or at home. 

They are suitable for many different types of windows. For instance, you can use them on larger windows, such as floor to ceiling windows and skylights, but there are also options for smaller windows. 

Blackout vertical blinds are also an excellent choice for bedrooms. They effectively maintain darkness in rooms, and thereby boost the quality of sleep. According to a report published by University College London, darkness stimulates the production of melatonin – the hormone that regulates sleep. When the levels of this hormone are high in your body, you sleep better. In turn, getting enough sleep improves your health in a number of ways, including boosting your immune system.

In addition, blackout vertical blinds reduce the impact of noise. Thus, they are a good choice if you live in a noisy neighbourhood.

You can also use these blinds in classrooms and entertainment rooms. Movie rooms and digital whiteboards, for example, should not have any unwanted reflections. Reflections make it hard to focus on what is happening on the screen. 

Blackout vertical blinds shield you from the cold during winter and extreme temperatures in the summer. They allow you to maintain optimum room temperatures all year round, ensuring you are comfortable at all times, whether you are working or relaxing. As a result, you can save some of the money you would have spent on heating systems and air conditioners.

Best-known blackout vertical blinds designs

There are two main categories of blackout vertical blinds:

  • ready-made
  • and made-to-measure

Both of these blackout blinds categories come in different materials. They come with a range of delightful designs, structures, and sizes. This means that you can choose the pattern or style that you prefer, whether your room’s décor style is traditional or modern.

There are blackout vertical blinds that open by parting in the middle of moving side to side. There are also choices suitable for floor-to-ceiling windows. In addition, some work better for smaller windows, and others fit patio doors.

Among the best-known designs include:

Fabric vertical blinds

Fabric vertical blinds are the softest blackout blinds, with a graceful, flowing appearance. They come in a variety of colours and patterns for you to choose from. This way, you have a choice that reflects the interior look and style of your room. You can use them to make your room darker, and they are effective for partial light filtering.


A person's hands opening a pair of fabric blackout vertical blinds.

Wooden vertical blinds

Wooden blinds bring a sense of nature into your room. To add even greater elegance, you can select the ones that match your room, floor, and furniture design. 

Metal vertical blinds

Metal vertical blinds are the most common blackout blinds. These are affordable and come in various attractive styles and colours. They are usually made from aluminium, which has the advantage of lasting a longer period of time. Cleaning an aluminium blind is easy, making them a good fit for both home and office.

Metal blackout vertical blinds

PVC vertical blinds

PVC blackout vertical blinds, made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), are the final design on our list. As a material, PVC is waterproof, and the blinds are therefore easy to clean. Hence, they are ideal for any room. Most people fit them in rooms intended for their children. The reason being is they come in a variety of beautiful colours and designs that give you the ability to regulate light as you wish, they also have a child safety mechanism.

A pair of PVC Vertical Blinds showing the variety of colours available for PVC vertical blinds.

The best way to position blackout vertical blinds

There are two options for fitting your vertical blinds: you can fit them either:

  • Inside the recess
  • Or outside the recess

However, blackout vertical blinds work better when mounted on the outside. Although fixing them on the inside can save you extra space for things like curtains, having them on the outside is better for darkening the room.

If you do decide to fit them outside the recess, consider adding extra length and width. Around 45mm at the bottom on both sides will do. They are easy to install, but it is usually better if you get a professional to do the fitting for you. 

You also need to consider the location of your window. How accessible is it? Will you be able to operate the blinds easily? In simple terms, ensure they are simple to manage. If you can access them easily, you will also be able to clean and repair them whenever a need arises.

For patio door blinds, you do not need to consider their location. The blinds move with the door. The only difference is the width of the blind you use on the window and the door. For instance, if you have a French door, you will have to add two inches to the width of the window blind. For better results, mount blackout vertical blinds on the outside.

How to measure and fix blackout vertical blinds

Before you decide which blackout vertical blind to purchase, it is important to understand the two available choices on the market:

  • ready-made vertical blinds.
  • and made-to-measure vertical blinds.

If you give your suppliers the measurements of your windows or patio doors, they will cut blinds according to the exact size needed – these are made-to-measure. But if choose this option, you need to make sure you choose blackout vertical blinds suppliers who are good at what they do

Alternatively, you can buy blinds that come in a few standard sizes, which are called ready-made. These may not fit your window or door exactly and may need to be cut to size when you install them.

There are various methods you can use to measure your window or patio door prior to buying blackout vertical blinds. Measuring in advance may help in budgeting regardless of which vertical blind you choose. This will also reduce your workload if you do decide to fix the blinds yourself. 

The simplest methods of measuring are outside aperture measurement and inside aperture measurement. While taking either of the measurements, avoid using a fabric tape measure. They usually stretch, increasing errors in your measurements. Instead, use metal ones.

Let’s have a look at these two ways of taking measurements:

  • Inside aperture measurement
  • Outside recess measurement


Close-up view of a man measuring a window to fit blackout vertical blinds

Inside aperture measurement

Here, you will need to take three vertical measurements from the inside of your window aperture. That is, on the left, centre, and right. Record your measurements, and if you can, prepare a simple sketch of your window or door.

Do not add any allowance to your measurements if you opt to fix your blinds inside the aperture. Ensure you measure up to the point where you want your blackout vertical blind to reach. That includes measuring within any limitations such as tiles. 

If your measurements are not completely accurate, this can cause big problems later on. Our advice is that you measure every length and/or width, even the ones that seem to be the same as others. Once you’ve done this, round your measurements to the nearest 0.1 centimetres.

We do not recommend fitting your blind inside the recess if the aperture is less than 130mm/5 inches deep. If the space is smaller than this, you should fit the vertical blinds outside the recess.

Outside recess measurement

When you take outside recess measurements for your blinds, add some allowance. Extend the measurements by at least 7-10 centimetres on all sides and at the top of the recess. If possible, you can also add the exact measurements below the recess drop. That way, your blackout vertical blinds will cover all the corners of the window or door.

Are you looking for vertical blinds for an outside aperture? You should specify that you need face-fix brackets from your supplier. Also, take the measurements as you would do when taking measures for an inside recess. If the measurements are correct, the final results will be much more appealing, and you can avoid any unnecessary stress in the process. 

Blinds cleaning tips – DIY at home

It’s important to clean your blinds regularly, as they can gather dust and dirt over time. When cleaning your blinds, make sure you carefully wipe all the parts, including the slats, using a damp cloth. Using a vacuum cleaner is also helpful. We recommend you do this at least once a week so dirt doesn’t build up.

For wooden blinds, clean any major stains using a cloth soaked in a dedicated wood detergent.

PVC and metallic blackout vertical blinds are the easiest to clean, certainly by comparison with wooden blinds. You only need to dampen a piece of cloth with water. However, be sure to rub the slats more slowly than with other types of blind. This ensures they will not bend or break.

For fabric blinds, you can use a cloth dampened in a natural detergent. Before you use natural fabric stain removers on fabric blinds, clean a small area as a sample. This way, you can determine if they have any adverse effects on the blind. If they don’t show any sign of damage, such as fading or discolouration, then the stain remover is suitable for your blind.

For thorough cleaning, you can also clean any blackout vertical blinds with a vacuum cleaner. However, be sure to attach a vacuum cleaner’s soft brush to avoid leaving marks on your blinds.

Once you are done with cleaning, you can open the windows to let fresh air in, allowing the blinds to dry quickly. This way, you can protect them against mould. Mould affects the lifespan of the blind and can even be dangerous to you or anyone else using the space. This is a particular concern with children and pets. Most toddlers are allergic to mould, and it can also cause skin issues in pets.

Maintaining your blinds

There are various ways to prolong your blackout vertical blinds’ life. As well as cleaning them regularly, you can set a maintenance schedule. Do minor repairs on your vertical blinds every other week, or as soon as you spot any issue. As for wooden and metallic blackout vertical blinds, you need to keep them away from moisture. You should also avoid mounting wooden blinds in windows that face intense sunlight for long periods of time. This will ensure they serve you well for many years.

Some of the parts you need to check often on your blackout vertical blinds include:

  • Vanes and their parts
  • Fasteners
  • Cords
  • Wands and their tips
  • Brackets
  • Tilt mechanism

Good maintenance will ultimately save you both money and time, as replacements can be both expensive and difficult to source. But if you follow all the tips in this guide and make sure you get a professional to fit your blinds, they won’t break easily. The simplest and best tip is to make sure you purchase quality blinds from a reputable supplier. That way, you avoid unnecessary expenses and heartbreak in the long run.

Beige roller blinds and accessories on a white background

A final word

Blackout vertical blinds are a permanent solution to keeping your room dark. They also add privacy to your space. The blinds provide a great deal of elegance, aided by the different colours and styles you can choose from. You will have a wide range of choices, from aluminium to PVC, wooden and fabric blinds. Some blinds also come with patterns and designs. With help from a guide like this one, finding the one that matches your interior décor will be easy. 

For instance, you can match the wooden blackout vertical blinds with your furniture. This will give your room a natural touch and a more harmonious feel.

You need to try blackout vertical blinds today if you are looking to regulate light as you want. If you choose the best blackout vertical blind for your room and keep to the maintenance tips above, they will serve you for years, if not decades.

Book an Appointment

Book an Appointment Contact us