How Do Blackout Curtains Keep the Room Dark?

Living Room styled with Green Floral custom Curtains and a white couch in front with Blue Chinoiserie custom pillow, fern green velvet custom pillow, and green floral custom pillow next to small baby blue table with gold and white lamp on top

Blackout curtains can help you get some much-needed rest, even when the sun is up. These curtains block out the maximum amount of sunlight to help you sleep at any time of the day. 

So, how do blackout curtains work, and what are the benefits of adding them to your home?

How Do Blackout Curtains Work?

Blackout window curtains are a special type of curtain made from an opaque, tightly woven fabric. These layers work to stop both natural and artificial light from passing through your windows, creating a blackout effect in your home. Controlling light intake and outtake helps you regulate your sleep schedule.

100% Light-Blocking Material

Pepper Home’s blackout curtains are made from completely opaque cotton, which allows them to block out 100% of the light that enters through your windows. While our privacy curtains are perfect for keeping a space cozy and contained, blackout curtains are ideal for instances when you want all outside light eliminated.

Why Use Blackout Curtains?

Navy Blue Custom Curtains  on metal rod in front of an illuminated window with a Navy Blue Velvet chair with a book and white flowers in vase on top

There are plenty of reasons to start using blackout curtains. As we mentioned, blocking out lighat in a room on-demand can dramatically increase your quality of light. For most people, light filtering for a restful sleep is the primary motivation for blackout curtains in the home. 

Your body has an internal clock (called your circadian clock) that is directly linked to the solar cycle. This clock controls your circadian rhythms, including the roughly 24-hour cycle that biologically determines when you sleep and when you wake (known as the sleep-wake cycle).

Since your sleep-wake cycle is directly influenced by light, blackout curtains are an extremely useful way to take control of your circadian clock and make sure it is in tune with your schedule, whatever that may be. The ability to block light and sleep well is vital to not only your sleep but to other aspects of your physical and mental health as well. 

Who Should Use Blackout Curtains?

The benefits of blackout curtains can vary, depending on who you are, what you do, and what you expect out of your rest. If your sleep cycle follows the solar cycle, blackout curtains are perfect for keeping out artificial lights from streetlights, traffic, and other buildings. 

If you work long hours or night shifts, blackout curtains will help you get a deep sleep that would otherwise be disrupted by the sun, since you will be sleeping for some, if not all, of your cycle while the sun is up.

Additionally, babies and children tend to sleep in segments that don’t necessarily line up with the solar cycle and are easily disturbed by light and noise. That’s why we recommend blackout curtains for the areas in your home where your baby sleeps. The obstruction of light — be it sunlight or artificial light — and noise can help our precious little ones fall asleep and stay asleep. 

Blackout curtains are also especially beneficial if you travel frequently. Because your circadian rhythm is thrown off by time changes and jet lag, you will need blackout curtains to “trick” your circadian rhythm back into a healthy cycle, much like overnight workers. 

Where Are Blackout Curtains Useful?

Pepper Home’s best-selling curtains aren’t just an easy and attainable way to get custom curtains that match the look you’re trying to achieve. You can choose between privacy curtains that eclipse 70% of light or blackout curtains that are 100% opaque for a total blackout. 

Different rooms will have different light-blocking curtain needs, and we’re ready to help with anything from the nursery to your home theater to the living room. 

Some people prefer blackout curtains in their bedrooms but privacy curtains in their living spaces, while others prefer one or the other throughout their whole home. Everyone has their own unique home decor preferences, which is why we offer both options in every style of curtain that we sell. 

This allows you to have plenty of options throughout your home, depending on how much or little lighting from outside you want coming in through your windows. Of course, the best blackout curtains are the ones that provide a good night’s sleep while looking perfectly aligned with your room design.

What Size Blackout Curtain Do I Need?

Lilac Velvet Custom Curtains on metal rod in front of an illuminated window with a Moss Green Velvet chair with a pair of ballerina shoes hanging and an open book on top

The window curtain panel size you need depends on a few factors, like your window frame length and height. Thankfully, we have a convenient curtain calculator that can help make this process easy. Using your preferred style and window measurements, we can help you be sure you’ve picked out the perfect drapery for your windows. 

Most importantly, though, you’ll want to make sure to get a blackout curtain that covers the entirety of your window, so no light beams are able to sneak through.

How To Style Blackout Curtains

Because blackout curtains are made from a thicker material, you might assume that they require a different approach than an average curtain for styling. This is sometimes the case, but not always. For the most part, you can style blackout curtains just the same as you would any other curtain. 

There are a few things that you may want to consider when you are designing your perfect blackout curtain, though. For example, you’ll want to take into consideration how the blackout effect will impact the tone of your room. The best home fashion is totally synchronized, from comforters to thermal curtains to pillowcases.

When choosing your curtains, the goal is to find a color or pattern that works as well with the room when the curtains are open and letting in natural light as when they are drawn and you are relying on your home’s artificial light. You can even test out different patterns in your home with Pepper Home’s fabric swatches before you commit to a fabric.

Another useful consideration to make is the type of lighting used in your home. We recommend exploring the best artificial lighting options for your room so that when your curtains are drawn, you are enjoying your living space to the fullest.

We also suggest browsing our paint guide so that you can compare paint design ideas with the different fabrics we offer. The mood of your room can be vastly different depending on if your blackout curtains are open or drawn. Still, with the right set of curtains and room design, you’ll have a room that looks elegant in both scenarios. 

What About Curtain Hardware?

Just like with the multitude of fabric options when it comes to your blackout curtains, you also have considerable hardware options. The first question you want to address before purchasing and installing your curtains is what style is best for you: rod pocket, ring top, grommet, tailored pleat, or pinch pleat. 

Close-up of Blue With Intricate Tiger Design Custom Curtain

The rod pocket offers an easy and smooth attachment to your curtain rod that also makes it convenient to change out. The ring top and pinch pleat are great for curtains that are going to be opened and closed often, and the pinch pleat adds a bit of extra flair with the fanned top adding texture to your curtain.

While you work towards creating a “sun zero” room, take the metal materials in your space into consideration. Maybe you don’t want to put silver grommets in a room with bronze accents, or maybe metal mixing is part of your overall look. 

Once you’ve determined the style of your curtain, you can start exploring which different rod and ring styles would best blend into your space. At Pepper Home, we’ve used our design experience to curate a selection of rod and ring styles that pair well with your custom fabric choices. 

No need to know everything about back tabs, rod pocket curtains, tab tops, or tie-backs to find the right hardware for your space.

What If I Still Need Design Inspiration?

Because we know how important curating the perfect living space is, we’ve gathered plenty of design inspiration to help you along the way. If you visit our style guides, you’ll find a variety of ideas for any trend or aesthetic. 

We also highly recommend you take advantage of our design expertise through our complimentary design assistance. Send us your requests for design help, and we’ll get back to you ASAP with tips, tricks, and other recommendations.


Bedroom with a white bed with an orange and yellow pillow in front of an illuminated window styled with Yellow Stripe Chartreuse Custom Curtains

At Pepper Home, we offer numerous different styles of curtains, all of which can be made as blackout curtains. Plus, we offer free hands-on advice from our design experts to help you perfect any project.

Our goal is to make the curtain shopping process easy, attainable, and an all-around pleasant experience. Picking out the decor for your home should be an exciting process, which is something we strive to make a reality for you

With Pepper Home, you can find the perfect curtains for tying your room together and making sure you and your family have the most restorative sleep possible.


How to get the perfect night's sleep | BBC Science Focus Magazine

Circadian Rhythms | NIH

Close the blinds during sleep to protect your health | Northwestern Now