A great insulating set of curtains can noticeably reduce your heating and electric bills — while looking stylish in your space. The best energy efficient curtains are designed with a triple weave to retain heat in the winter, keep cool air inside during the summer, and reduce outside noise and light. Not only can a set that meets your needs reduce heat loss by up to 25%, but it will also come in colors or patterns that look great alongside your home decor. Here are a few things in mind when shopping.
Choosing energy efficient curtains that have a minimum of three layers is crucial for proper insulation. In addition to a decorative fabric layer that faces the room and a backing layer that helps keep sunlight out, the middle thermal layer, typically made from foam, thick cotton, felt, or flannel, does the work of insulating. This fabric thickness will also absorb sound waves, both ways — giving you additional privacy and dampening any street noise that may keep you up. Insulating curtains come in a variety of fabrics, but polyester and microfiber are best at resisting moisture. If you are especially concerned with blocking out bright light during the summertime, choose an insulating curtain that blocks at least 90% of light.
It's important to know that an energy efficient curtain is only as insulating as the window it covers. Insulation is measured in R-value and, depending on the window type, the R-value could be as low as R-1 for single-pane windows or as high as R-3 for Energy-Star rated windows. A quality set of thermal curtains can boost the R-value of windows to as high as R-6, though be aware that the R-value is not listed for each curtain because the amount that it can insulate depends on your window type.
Regardless of your windows, you can boost the effectiveness of insulating curtains by measuring your window casing and choosing a size that covers it entirely. The curtains below all come in a range of lengths and sizes. You'll find most options have grommets and be sure to pay attention to the grommet size to ensure they'll work with your rod.
From solid neutrals and brights shades to paisley and foil-printed designs, all of the energy-efficient curtains below are highly rated on Amazon and many have a serious cult following with tens of thousands of reviews. Read on to find a set that is perfect for your space.
1. The Cult Favorite
This triple weave set of thermal curtains has more than 50,000 reviews and a 4.7-star rating. They block 85 to 99% of light and reduce outside noise and are made from a polyester fabric that many reviewers stated feels dense. They are designed with 1.6-inch silver grommets that hold the extra weight of these curtains — plus they’re easy to hang, according to reviewers. Just slide them on a strong curtain rod and you're good to go. If they get dirty, you can toss these curtains in the washing machine on cold and tumble dry. They’re available in 23 colors so you can find a pair that matches your home perfectly.
Helpful Review: “So I bought these for my toddlers room. I was getting really sick of waking up at 430AM EVERY morning because the sun would wake him up. I decided to invest in some blackout curtains! Only problem is that his room is mostly grey. You would not believe how hard it is to find grey black out curtains. Luckily I just happen to find these beauty's on Amazon. Let's start with quality. Thick but with a very smooth feeling. Blocks out all the light WHICH MEANS MY SON HAS BEEN SLEEPING TILL 7am every morning!!! You can definitely tell they are going to last awhile because this quality is fantastic! I would buy again in a heartbeat!”
- Available Sizes: 29 x 45 inches, 34 x 45 inches, 34 x 54 inches, 34 x 63 inches, 34 x 72 inches, 34 x 84 inches, 42 x 63 inches, 42 x 84 inches (featured), 42 x 90 inches, 55 x 68 inches
- Available Colors: 23
2. The Curtain With A Blackout Liner
If you’re looking for thermal curtains that do a good job of keeping light and sound from interrupting your slumber, these lined blackout curtains will do the trick. The polyester set is made with a triple weave and black liner layer that, even if you choose a light-colored curtain, blocks 90 to 100% light and twice as much sound as typical one-layer curtains, according to the manufacturer. These curtains have a 4.8-star rating and more than 22,000 reviews. You can wash these in your machine, just keep the temperature below 86 degrees Fahrenheit and iron them on a low temperature. The 1.6-inch grommets easily hold these curtains in place.
Helpful Review: “I bought these in white. I was a little worried they wouldn’t block the light like I wanted BUT they did great! I’m VERY pleased!"
- Available Sizes: 42 by 63 inches, 42 by 84 inches (featured), 52 by 45 inches, 52 by 54 inches, 52 by 63 inches, 52 by 72 inches, 52 by 84 inches, 52 by 95 inches, 52 by 108 inches, 70 x 63 inches, 70 x 84 inches, 70 by 95 inches, 70 x 108 inches
- Available Colors: 16
3. The Paisley Pair
These stylish thermal curtains feature a trendy paisley pattern and three layers of polyester fabric design to block 85% of light and 100% UV rays, according to the manufacturer. Each panel has brushed nickel grommets that measure 1.6 inches and is machine washable and safe in your dryer on a low cycle. They come in seven colors, all in the same paisley print, including purple, sage green, and taupe.
Helpful Review: “These curtains are lovely. They are silky soft and the pattern and colors are subtle and elegant. The lining is a pale silver color that I think will help block the heat during the summer. They are a medium weight and nicely made. I choose to wash items before putting them to use in my home. They washed and dried up perfectly using gentle cycles. [...] They look beautiful and hang nicely. Good product, good value.”
- Available Sizes: 50 x 54 inches, 50 x 63 inches, 50 x 72 inches, 50 x 84 inches (featured), 50 x 96 inches
- Available Colors: 7
4. The Insulating Curtain You Can Tie Up
Let the sun in — on your terms — with these thermal curtains that tie up in the front, so you can transition between a dark room and a light room with little effort. Designed with a triple polyester weave, these curtains can be hung in three ways: as a curtain valance, standard curtain, or tied up. The curtains block out 80% of sunlight and reduce noise by 40%, according to the manufacturer, and they come with a 4-inch rod pocket. They have more than 2,000 reviews and are machine washable and safe in the dryer on the tumble dry low setting.
Helpful Review: “I was primarily looking for thermal curtains when I purchased these, and was pretty skeptical because of the lack of the traditional thermal backing. My place is pretty drafty so the jury is still out on the actual effectiveness of the thermal aspects, but they do seem to be doing a decent job so far based on the chilly weather of the last couple days. The fabric feels amazing - I want everything made out of this stuff. It's very thick and does an excellent job at blocking light, plus it just looks so pretty! I'm all about simplistic beauty and these fit that bill perfectly. Ultimately I'm very happy [...]"
- Available Sizes: 42 x 63 inches (featured)
- Available Colors: 13
5. The Bold Pair With A Foil Print
These printed thermal curtains are elegant and effective. They feature a foil printed wave line and dot pattern that’s available in 19 colors to match your decor. The manufacturer doesn’t specify how much light they block, but they are made with three weaves of polyester and polyester blend fabric. They have a silver grommet top with a 1.6-inch interior diameter that matches the foil print on the curtains, with more than 17,000 reviews and a 4.8-star review. One reviewer noted that they provided a total blackout experience in their home. The manufacturer recommends hand washing and hang drying these curtains and says you should not use bleach or fabric softer. Remove any wrinkles with a low heat iron.
Helpful Review: “We ordered these curtains as a part of a living-room redecorating initiative. We have some rich colors in our living room, and these curtains are a perfect addition. [...] The color is exactly as it looked online. The foil pattern is just enough to make them not boring without being an overpowering design. The black-out option was not important to us, but now we am very happy that it has this feature. It greatly reduced the heat coming from our East-facing window in the morning. These will be great for mid-afternoon naps as well!”
- Available Sizes: 42 x 45 inches, 42 x 54 inches, 42 x 63 inches, 42 x 72 inches, 42 x 84 inches (featured), 42 x 95 inches, 42 x108 inches, 52 x 45 inches, 52 x 54 inches, 52 x 63 inches, 52 x 72 inches, 52 x 84 inches, 52 x 95 inches, 52 x 108 inches
- Available Colors: 19