Shades provide a way to block light to make it easier to sleep when it's light outside. They protect the items in your home from sunlight damage. Their use can reduce your energy bill by reducing the amount of air cooling needed in the summer. Shades also provide privacy -- keeping people outside from being able to see in at night.
- safety: See note below and references for more information about window treatment cord safety
- appearance: color, pattern
- density or transparency
- ease of use - can you raise and lower the shades easily?
Important safety consideration: Some shades have attached cords for raising or lowering them. Small children playing with the cord could hurt or strangle themselves. Cords can be designed to be safer by detaching or breaking apart rather than tightening. If you have shades with cords, especially if you have small children around, please check into safety measures.
Shades tend to be a solid roll or fan-folded single piece of material. Blinds are constructed of multiple horizontal or vertical slats. Curtains are usually fabric and more flexible.
- WikiHow on How to Make a Roman Shade
- Window Covering Safety Council
- Keep Your Toddlers & Pets Safe: Child-Proof Your Window Treatments
- Parents for Window Blind Safety - an education, lobbying and support group]