If the windows at home leave you feeling exposed, the best window films for privacy are a simple solution. Top-rated options offer the level of privacy you need while letting in your desired amount of light. Window films with partial privacy will let in more light, while more opaque designs will block both prying eyes and the sun’s rays. Whatever you choose, you’ll also have to decide how you wish to adhere your film to the window, since you can opt for renter-friendly static cling or more permanent adhesive.
What To Look For In Windows Films For Privacy Style
When it comes to window films, privacy comes in many different aesthetic styles.
Blackout window films (much like blackout curtains) will give you complete two-way privacy (both in and out) and block out most light. Mirrored, frosted, and tinted window films can also provide you with privacy, but they’ll still let in some natural light. Sometimes these films offer one-way privacy so during the day, no one will be able to see in, but you’ll be able to see out. That said, these films don’t shield you from view at night. Decorative films are aesthetically appealing, boasting different patterns, colors, and designs while giving some (but not always complete) privacy. Generally speaking, most types of window film offer some level of UV protection and can also act as heat control window films. Static Cling Or Adhesive
The two types of window film applications have their pros and cons.
Static cling is much more forgiving during installation, and it leaves behind no residue when removed. However, it tends to be sensitive to extreme temperatures, so if you're installing a film on a bathroom window, for example, it may be best to opt for an adhesive film. In general, adhesive films are more durable and less likely to peel off, but they can be very difficult to reposition or remove once they're on. Neither application should require much in the way of supplies, but it’s best to start with a clean window, so you’ll want to make sure you have proper window cleaning tools before you begin the installation. Size
Window films are meant to be cut to fit your windows, but your best bet is to choose one that is relatively close to your window size, so you won’t have to do a lot of trimming.
Shop The Best Window Films For Privacy In a hurry? Here are the best window films for privacy: A Frosted Window Film That Comes In 6 Different Colors: Coavas Frosted Privacy Window Film A One-Way Window Film That Blocks Up To 99% Of UV Rays: Gila Privacy Static Cling Window Film A Fan-Favorite Window Film With A Rainbow Effect: Rabbitgoo Decorative SunCatcher Window Film A Striped Frosted Window Film: Viseeko Stripe Privacy Window Film A Rain Glass-Inspired Window Film: VELIMAX Rain Glass Window Film A Stained Glass-Inspired Window Film With A Magnolia Design: Coavas Stained Glass Privacy Window Film A Blackout Window Film For Total Privacy: VELIMAX Static Cling Total Blackout Window Film A Removable Adhesive Window Film That Looks Like Stained Glass: d-c-fix Tulia Self-Adhesive Window Film An Adhesive Window Film With A Whimsical Design: Coavas Frosted Bird Window Film A One-Way Mirrored Window Film: WPCTEV One Way Mirror Window Film
If you want to change your life with a
cheap home upgrade that looks expensive, these window films are truly a budget-friendly way to add privacy and style to your space. 1 A Frosted Window Film That Comes In 6 Different Colors
Amazon reviewers are beyond impressed at how well this low-cost
window film from Coavas has transformed their windows. The frosted film lets in soft light, and yet, will give you the privacy you need. The window film applies via static cling — no adhesive or glues are required. Once installed, the film blocks 96% of UV rays, helps reduce glare, and even offers heat insulation in the warm months and heat preservation in the cool ones.
The window film is made of a premium PVC material, which also comes in six different colors, including frosted white (pictured above), pure frosted (which offers a little less privacy), and black frosted. Each color comes in different sizes, though all can be cut down to your preferred size and shape.
One reviewer wrote: “We bought this to provide more privacy for our front door. We honestly bought this more out of necessity, not for looks. However, I’m extremely pleased with both the privacy enhancement and overall aesthetic improvement this window film provides! I used a spray bottle to cover the glass in plenty of water and then used a credit card to smooth out any air bubbles after applying the film.” Application type: Static cling | Available sizes: 15 | Available colors: 6 Also available on: Walmart, $19 2 A Fan-Favorite Window Film With A Rainbow Effect
With more than 62,000 reviews on Amazon and a solid 4.6-star rating overall, reviewers on the site adore this
decorative window film. And it’s easy to see why: The window film features a beautiful 3-D mosaic pattern that creates a colorful visual effect when sunlight shines through it. Plus, the film reduces glare, blocks out 84% of UVA and 99% of UVB rays, and protects your furniture from getting directly exposed to sunlight.
The static cling window film is easy to install and can be removed and reused multiple times. The film is made from PVC material. The window film is described as “semi-private,” meaning that it does not offer as much privacy as some of the other picks on this list but definitely blurs things significantly.
One reviewer wrote: “I have a lot of very small windows in my apartment that I’ve always kept curtains on. Since most of my windows are very high up and out of reach, I’d never really open the curtains to let light in, making my place pretty dark. I also wanted something that could give me privacy, as my neighbors across the street could see directly into my place. I decided to give this a try and wow! My place is so bright now, I love it! It was super easy to apply and so far has stayed on nicely! It casts a pretty rainbow on my wall too when the sun rises and sets. Highly recommend!” Application type: Static cling | Available sizes: 10 | Available colors: 1 3 A One-Way Window Film That Blocks Up To 99% Of UV Rays
window film installs using static cling, making it easy to reposition as needed. The one-way window film provides superior daytime privacy, while still maintaining your view of the outdoors. The window film is energy efficient, glare-reducing (up to 93%), and even blocks up to 99% of harmful UV rays. Positive Amazon review: “I have used this product in past houses as well as current, mainly as a means to keep the house cooler. Although it offers a sufficient degree of privacy, it is a great product for reducing the heat and damaging effects of the Southwest Sun. Works wonderfully on skylights as well. I apply by using a damp cloth to wet the window, apply the film, use a credit card to squeegee to the edges, and then trim with a razor. It easily peels back for removal and can then be reapplied.” Application type: Static cling | Available sizes: 1 | Available colors: 1 Also available on: Walmart, $32, and Home Depot, $27 4 A Striped Frosted Window Film
If you don’t need total privacy, this
frosted window film is broken up by fully transparent stripes that allow you to glance outside — and get more daylight — while still mostly obscuring you from view. According to the manufacturer, you’ll get 75% privacy, and Amazon reviewers report that the design lets in a lot of light while cutting down on intense glare. The frosted portion of the design sparkles subtly when the sun hits, too, making it beautiful to look at. The PVC film can be removed and reused multiple times if you wish. Positive Amazon review: “I purchased the privacy film for my back door — it’s a small, high window, but we wanted to have some kind of coverage over it and not a valance. This privacy film is so [...] pretty. I love the stripes because it gives it a little pizzazz. It was easy and quick to put on and also very inexpensive!” Application type: Static cling | Available sizes: 10 | Available colors: 3 5 A Rain Glass-Inspired Window Film
Transform any ordinary glass into rain glass (or at least fake it) with this
VELIMAX window film, which is designed to simulate the beautifully textured style of rain glass. The window film is not for anyone who wants total privacy, since it blurs more than it conceals (though Amazon reviewers suggest it truly does the trick for blocking the view of anyone looking in from outdoors), but it’s a really stylish way to improve privacy without sacrificing light. Reviewers report that the window film is especially easy to install since the backing features grid lines to help with cutting, the rain design of the film masks air bubbles, and the vinyl can easily be lifted up and reinstalled if you want to fix any imperfections.
In addition to providing privacy and style, the window film also blocks 97% of UV rays, softly diffusing sunlight as it reduces its intensity.
One reviewer wrote: “We purchased some dream doors and realized there was no privacy. The rain glass option would have cost thousands! With this product, we have all of the beautiful light and just enough privacy that we do not feel like we are living in a fishbowl. The film makes the glass seem more reflective from the exterior. [Installation] was very easy. [...] We had some ‘streaks’ that looked like lines, but those disappeared the next day when the film dries to the glass. If you are looking for a soft-filtered light, this window film is a perfect option!” Application type: Static cling | Available sizes: 7 | Available colors: 1 Also available on: Walmart, $23 6 A Stained Glass-Inspired Window Film With A Magnolia Design
stained-glass-inspired window film is truly a work of art. The floral “magnolia” print (which comes in five different colors) will dress up any window and provide you with complete two-way privacy since no one can see out or in. However, this pick still allows light to shine through.
Amazon reviewers give this window film a standout 4.6-star rating on the site, among 6,900 and growing reviews. Reviewers are shocked at how easy it is to install this static cling window film, especially considering that the end result looks so grand.
The window film blocks 96% of UV rays and helps with glare, too. If you'd like to remove the window film, it's actually quite easy to do; simply peel it off the window, and you're good to go.
One reviewer wrote: “I absolutely appreciate how easily this went on and my windows look wonderful. I’m not a huge fan of blinds because of the amount of dust they hold. I put this beautiful paper on the bottom of my windows and left the top plain so I’d have plenty of light while still having privacy at the bottom. You can’t see through the paper from the outside of the house at night.” Application type: Static cling | Available sizes: 9 | Available colors: 5 7 A Blackout Window Film For Total Privacy
Total darkness and privacy can be achieved with this
blackout window film. The vinyl window film offers two-way privacy so that you can’t see out and passers-by can’t see in. At least 99% of daylight is blocked by the film, which is extra-ideal for those who sleep during the day or those who need total darkness to sleep at night. This window film also blocks out UV light and controls excess heat and glare.
The static cling window film is easy to install, and when it comes time to remove it, no residue or glue will be left behind. This pick comes in a wide range of sizes, and can easily be trimmed for a perfect fit.
One reviewer wrote: “My husband works nights and we still had sunshine peeking through the blackout curtains, so I ordered this to cover our bedroom windows. You cannot see through at all! I love that it was installed with water, so no worry of leftover adhesive if we decide to remove it. I used a plastic card to get out the bubbles and smooth it over the window, then used a box cutter to trim around the edges. Definitely recommend if you want to totally black out some glass. We’ve had it up for several months and it’s not peeling or anything. Love it!” Application type: Static cling | Available sizes: 13 | Available colors: 1 Also available on: Walmart, $23 8 A Removable Adhesive Window Film That Looks Like Stained Glass
adhesive window film looks exactly like stained glass and depicts a lush, colorful garden scene that will brighten up any space while creating privacy. Best of all, unlike other types of adhesive film, it can be repositioned during application because it takes 24 hours to set, and can be removed without residue so long as you use warm water, a heat tool, or a hair dryer to loosen the adhesive. The film comes attached to a backing with grid lines that make it super easy to cut, and you can choose to buy it bundled with an applicator tool that helps you apply it smoothly, though many Amazon reviewers successfully applied it with a credit card instead.
The manufacturer doesn’t note whether the window film offers sun or glare protection. Reviewers do note that it lets light into their space while providing significant privacy.
One reviewer wrote: “I added this to the windows in my basement workout room for privacy. So easy to use, gorgeous and still allows in light while providing privacy!!” Application type: Adhesive | Available sizes: 1 (but you can get packs with multiple rolls) | Available colors: 1 9 An Adhesive Window Film With A Whimsical Design
Create more privacy with this adorable
decorative window film from Coavas. Available with a frosted, transparent, or white background, you can choose exactly how much privacy you’re looking for. No matter which option you choose, the design of birds, branches, and flowers would add a sweet finishing touch to a child’s bedroom or a pretty design feature to a living room or entryway. The frosted version blocks 99% of UV rays as well, and it reduces glare. It’s okay to use the film repeatedly, and it can be removed without residue. One reviewer wrote: “This product is still looking great and it has been a few years. You cannot see through to see what we have in our garage and yet it still lets in plenty of light (more than the blinds that were left up by the previous owners). It was like any other window film installation which we cut to size and it is still up after a few years with no signs of releasing away from the window. We get compliments on this cheery design choice all the time.” Application type: Adhesive | Available sizes: 11 | Available colors: 7 10 A One-Way Mirrored Window Film
If you’re looking for a one-way window film,
this one from WPCTEV is superior. The window film provides total privacy during the day; when standing outside, all you see is the beautiful mirrored effect on the window. From the inside, though, you’ll still be able to totally enjoy the outdoor view. (Just keep in mind that the mirror effect only works during the day and at night you’ll need to use curtains or blinds for privacy.)
The window film blocks out 90% of infrared rays and 85% of UV rays. The window film can retain heat in the cool months and keep it out in the hot ones, reducing heating and cooling costs. The window film even reduces glare. Installation is a total breeze; the static cling window film easily adheres to windows and can be cut for the perfect fit. And it won’t leave behind any residue once removed. Choose from six colors — black silver, blue silver, brown silver, gold silver, green silver, and silver — plus a dozen different sizes.
One reviewer wrote: “Applied to the bottom half of our bedroom window for better privacy [without] darkening the room too much (I keep a lot of plants), works great during the day as it’s intended to! I’ll probably get more in the future.” Application type: Static cling | Available sizes: 12 | Available colors: 6
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This article was originally published on
May 24, 2020