What's the difference between Blockout and Thermal Roller Blinds?

14/07/2017 2:40 pm

Do you want a dark room or a warm one? This is one of the first choices you’ll have to make when buying roller blinds. But what are the pros and cons of one over the other and can you have both?

When you first find out that almost all thermal roller fabrics keep out just as much light as blockout fabrics you might be tempted to declare the competition over! But it’s actually not that easy; price, selection, longevity and insulation all have a part to play. 

Mind the gap

Keep in mind that all roller blinds (blockout included) have slight gaps around the sides to allow for componentry, so light can still find its way in. Same goes for the insulating properties of thermal fabrics; the benefit are often moderated by the fact that roller blinds are not air tight and those gaps around the edges will also allow some air to flow, reducing this advantage.

So what are the real differences?

Thermal - once a fabric has been coloured, stiffened and treated, it has an acrylic foam coating applied to the back to become a thermal fabric. This coating is soft to the touch, gives more body to the base cloth, and enables the fabric to roll off the roll quietly while offering a white backing to show from the outside of the home. So as not to see the white backing from inside of the home, best practice is to mount your blind with a front-roll. Just be careful not to pull the chain across the fabric when operating the blind to minimize the chances of fraying the material. Thermal roller selection of designs and quality of materials stand out the most, and in general, textured fabrics are only available as thermal fabrics.

Blockout – these fabrics have a stiffer base cloth, are coloured on both sides and often finished with a stain resistant coating to help keep them clean. Though easier to clean, (being plain not textured) they may show marks earlier and have a more “serviceable” feel.

In short, both fabrics block the light and both blinds offer insulation but if quality and selection are your drivers, then thermal rollers have more to offer. How much more this will cost than a blockout roller will vary on the fabric selected and the size of the blind, but will often fall between 10 to 25%.

Start customising your blockout roller or thermal roller now.