The Best Places to Buy Blinds Let You Take the Lead in Designing
Check out our style director’s favorite picks.
Published Mar 27, 2022 1:00 AM
Reading up on Domino’s shopping guides is like having your own personal product concierge. We do the tedious part—deep-dive research, hands-on testing, and tapping experts for advice—so all you have to do is hit “add to cart.” That’s why we call them Simply the Best.
Brace yourself for a barrage of tips on the best places to buy blinds. Window blinds have been used since way back when—but the pool of choices was never exactly vast. Now we see blinds and shades in a whole new way, with endless styles and colors available and decorative and functional window accessories: Your blinds can easily stand alone or be paired with the best curtains. Domino’s style director, Naomi deMañana, has chosen those that include something for everyone: cordless for the minimalist at heart; roman style for the quiet, understated shopper; and smart for the tech-loving modernist.
To help you get started, we rounded up the best places to buy blinds (and some shades, too), including practical, budget-conscious brands and retailers that welcome customizations, from cord length and hardware to tilting and light-filtering capabilities. Keep scrolling to find out where to get the best blinds for your design checklist, then hang them up and applaud.
- Best custom roman shades: Everhem
- Best bamboo options: Blindster
- Best simple cordless roller shades: West Elm
- Best inexpensive light-blocking blinds: IKEA
- Best linen shades: Pottery Barn
- Best affordable paper blinds: Target
- Best custom wood blinds: Smith & Noble
- Best solar shades texture: Shade Store
Best Custom Roman Shades: Everhem
Dimensions: Customizable | Color: Flint | Material: Linen | Mounting type: Inside or out | Design: Pleated, flat, and relaxed
What we like:
- Step-by-step mounting tutorials
- Up to 5 free swatches
- Easy customization process
- Linings only sold in white
Why we chose it: Everhem ticks all the design boxes for customized window coverings.
This site’s detailed setup makes the design process as easy as it comes—even for the most skittish shopper. At the start to your blind and shade selection process, Everhem has detailed imagery of every style it offers (choose from pleated, relaxed, or flat), but to take a closer look IRL, the company can send up to five free swatches to your door (you just pay shipping costs). And when it’s time to iron out specifics, you can find a library of informational videos and articles that answer questions about how to take accurate measurements, blinds’ light-filtering capabilities, and more.
Dimensions are fully customizable—you can even choose the cord-lock mechanism placement—and once your shades are ready to ship, the packages are labeled to help make installation as clear-cut as possible. There’s also a price-tracking widget that helps you see the cost of your blinds from start to finish.
Best Bamboo Options: Blindster
Dimensions: Customizable | Color: Hatteras camel | Material: Bamboo, wood | Mounting type: Inside or out | Design: Cordless
What we like:
- Prioritizes sustainability
- Relatively inexpensive prices
- Will refit blinds for free
- Limited styles available
Why we chose it: Sustainability meets versatility with Blindster’s window accessories.
While the inexpensive bamboo blind prices on Blindster first caught deMañana’s eye (they start at $90), we’re also huge fans of its color palettes: Shades range from rich-toned ebony to a beautifully speckled tan. After customizing dimensions, you can select either a cordless or top-down design. Should you choose the deluxe bamboo, you’ll have your choice of three cordless styles and two headrails. And then there’s the fit-for-free safety blanket: If your panels don’t fit for whatever reason—yes, that reason could be that your blind measurements were slightly off—customers can contact Blindster within 60 days of receiving the product and they’ll remake them in the correct size for free.
Best Simple Cordless Roller Shades: West Elm
Dimensions: 20–50 inches wide; 48, 66, 84 inches long | Color: Sky blue | Material: Polyester, rayon | Mounting type: Inside or out | Design: Cordless blackout
What we like:
- Broad custom width options
- Fair-Trade Certified™ and handcrafted collections
- Easy-to-navigate website
- Relatively pricey
Why we chose it: West Elm’s original designs are synonymous with quality.
You can be fairly certain that what you buy from West Elm is a signature design; 95 percent of its products are made in-house. The blinds selection is sustainably sourced with recycled and upcycled materials and custom-made options up for grabs. While selecting your blinds, if you’re also in the market to shop for other accessories, West Elm’s “pairs well with” feature is like an automated designer of sorts, helping you pull together cohesive looks with ease. For advice that is more tailored to your needs, there are designers one button-click away, too. We love that the store offers a 30-day return policy, but keep in mind that doesn’t apply to custom-made items.
Best Inexpensive Light-Blocking Blinds: IKEA
Dimensions: 64 inches wide; 23–48 inches long | Color: Blue | Material: Polyester | Mounting type: Wall or ceiling | Design: Roll-down; room darkening
What we like:
- Great price points
- Products searchable by photo
- Limited colors
Why we chose it: What’s not to love about a one-stop shop for home goods?
We appreciate IKEA’s ongoing commitment to sustainability, and when you combine that with products that won’t totally wipe out your budget, you can’t go wrong. If you’ve ever been disappointed by a fruitless search for blinds on your “want” list, you’ll be glad to discover IKEA’s photo-search option that can locate products with ease (shopping is supposed to be fun!).
Need tips on how to hang those gorgeous room-darkening shades? Tap a design expert on the retailer’s site for a virtual consultation and spend less time toiling over mounting options when you should be getting quality shut-eye with your new window coverings installed.
Best Linen Shades: Pottery Barn
Dimensions: 26-by-64 inches, 32-by-64 inches, 36-by-64 inches, 44-by-64 inches, 48-by-64 inches| Color: Navy | Material: Linen-cotton blend | Mounting type: Inside or outside | Design: Roller, cordless
What we like:
- Sustainably sourced
- Designer collaborations
- Broad range of minimalist designs
- Limited color palette
- Limited sizes
Why we chose it: Shop your favorite big-brand names at Pottery Barn.
With collaborators like Monique Lhuillier, Sherwin-Williams, and Disney, Pottery Barn is your go-to for all things classic. For deMañana, the retailer’s patterned linen selection is a personal favorite. Pottery Barn’s linen shades are on the pricier side, but they are sharp. For the minimalist, these understated window treatments quietly elevate a space—and they’re easily shoppable. You can opt for custom or off-the-rack picks and next select your fabric preference, from Belgian flax to Emery linens. Lastly, choose among light-filtering, blackout, cordless, or a customized combination of any of the above.
Best Inexpensive Paper Blinds: Target
Dimensions: 36-by-72 inches | Color: White | Material: Paper | Mounting type: Self-adhesive | Design: Horizontal, cordless, pleated
What we like:
- Easily shoppable website
- Tons of cost-friendly linen options
- Limited high-end options
Why we chose it: A serviceable spot with an array of budget-friendly finds.
If you visit Target and manage to only leave with planned purchases, we need you to teach us your ways. Seriously, it’s beyond tempting to not fill your cart with everything in sight, and shopping the store’s window accessories selection is no exception. DeMañana likes that Target has practical, cost-friendly home decor options, including these no-frills, peel-and-stick, light-filtering paper shades. For those who like to dress their windows with a bit more flair, there are blinds and shades for that, too (see the brand’s collections from Opalhouse designed with Jungalow and Threshold).
Click “add to cart” as many times as you’d like (don’t say we didn’t warn you), and either retrieve your order in store or use the app for contact-free curbside pickup.
Best Custom Wood Blinds: Smith & Noble
Dimensions: 9–102 inches wide; 12–120 inches long | Color: Walnut | Material: Wood | Mounting type: Inside | Design: Valance
What we like:
- Multiple slat sizes available
- Customized dimensions
- Reasonably priced
- Smart hub and remote-control upgrades
Why we chose it: Smith & Noble has a library of shoppable looks to help inspire your inner designer.
Even when you have a strong idea in mind, blinds shopping can still be a harrowing experience because of the extensive choices. But Smith & Noble’s Idea Gallery helps customers hone in on their favorites through more creative control and reasonable prices—wood blinds start at $109. Its visual library, which shows window treatments styled in a variety of rooms, contains a shoppable “get the look” feature for those who don’t quite know where to start or how to accessorize their blinds. Considering all of the customized details for wood blinds in particular (hidden hinges, tilt mechanism, smart technology options), this is an incredibly useful tool.
Best Solar Shades Texture: The Shade Store
Dimensions: Customizable | Color: Cantaloupe | Brand: Chilewich | Material: Mini basket weave | Mounting type: Inside or outside | Design: Solar
What we like:
- Custom measurements
- Broad range of design features
- Lots of fabrics
- Numerous options may be difficult to narrow down
Why we chose it: Design your solar panels down to the smallest detail at the Shade Store.
We took a deep breath before diving into the Shade Store’s inventory because the options are seemingly bottomless, making this retailer an awesome source of shopping inspiration for window coverings. For solar shades alone, you can choose from more than 150 eco-friendly materials. Consider having a design-minded shopping buddy as your second set of eyes to help narrow down your selection. However, we loved how simple it is to find Shade Store’s collaborators on the site—deMañana was particularly thrilled to see Chilewich’s high-performance fabric offerings on the list.
The Shade Store has free measurements available along with step-by-step instructions, but you can also schedule a consultation with a professional.
How We Chose These Products
When considering the best places to buy blinds, we placed a lot of emphasis on a site’s design: Was it easy to navigate? Were the price points, dimensions, and other details clear and simple to find? How did interactivity enhance the shopping experience? The best shopper is a well-informed one, and these companies clearly devoted extra time and resources to make sure they present their products with ease and essential details to narrow your search. Additionally, we focused quite a bit on price—we didn’t want you to feel like high-end window treatments are the only way to beautifully decorate your space; sprucing up a room is possible without depleting your budget. Overall, deMañana’s picks are heavily practical, customizable, and in some cases sustainably sourced, too.
Our Shopping Checklist
Privacy and Light
Each of our selected retailers offers light-filtering or blackout blinds and shades. As deMañana points out, you really don’t want a gap between the window and the shade if you’re looking to reduce sound, heat, or both. So it’s ideal to take advantage of a brand that offers customized options with a wide variety of width measurements to help fine-tune your privacy and light filtering to your liking.
If you’re a parent who is worried about safety, pay attention to the cord style. Per WCMA standards, custom cords should not be longer than 40 percent of the window height. By customizing length, you can easily have blinds with shorter cords, or you can go with cordless blinds that can be manually lifted and drawn shut. Electric window blinds (operated by remote) are another option to consider.
There are endless possibilities when it comes to materials, width and length, cord options, light filtering, and the like—some smart alternatives even auto adjust according to the sun’s position so you don’t have to constantly open or close your blinds. Others connect to Wi-Fi and respond to remote or voice commands.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Before shopping, decide how much effort you’re willing to put into the upkeep of your blinds or shades. Those made of cotton and linen are machine washable or can be professionally cleaned, since both materials tend to shrink in the wash. For textures that require a little less maintenance, consider bamboo or wood that only needs an occasional spot treatment or dusting.
Obviously, custom options are going to cost more than off-the-shelf treatments, so plan to spend more if this is the route you choose. We’ve noticed at least a $100 difference in the price between the two alternatives. But as our more practical (but still equally stylish) store selections indicate, this doesn’t mean you can’t spruce up your windows with a more modest budget. Most of our options offer free shipping and free design consultations—and in at least one case (hi, Blindster), free custom remakes are available.
Q: Should blinds be lighter or darker than walls?
This depends on your personal style, but deMañana weighed in with some expert style tips. “In most cases, I’d say go lighter, because most common blind colors are lighter due to light-filtering properties,” she says. On the other hand, there’s nothing stopping you from going darker. “If you have a blue wall with a slightly darker shade of blind in the same color family, I think it would look cool.”
Q: Can I get blinds for bay windows?
Short answer: Yes. In fact, we’ve seen this done beautifully—look at these displays from the Shade Store for inspiration.
Q: How much should blinds cost per window?
While simpler options like Target’s paper blinds can cost as low as $6, plan to spend at least $50 per window for something more durable. Customized blinds can run upwards of $100 per window.
Q: Which blinds are most popular?
Among fan favorites (and ours, too) are roman blinds, wood, and cordless. Smart blinds and shades are also popular (easy open, easy close), as well as roller shades, thanks to their simplistic, minimalist design.
Q: Can I install blinds myself?
Absolutely. The wonderful thing about mounting blinds yourself is you can choose styles based on your installation preferences. Simple peel-and-stick options are obviously the simplest to “mount.” In the event you prefer blinds that require hardware, nearly all of the retailers we mentioned have step-by-step instructions to guide you through the process or can arrange in-home appointments so a professional can take the guesswork out of installation.
Q: Are vertical blinds difficult to fit?
This depends on the user’s experience, but the steps are pretty straightforward: You choose between an inside mount (one that fits inside the window frame) or an outside mount, which positions the blinds above the window and outside the frame. While taking measurements, be sure that the area where your blinds will be hung is clear of obstructions so they can move up and down freely. Also, use a stud finder to confirm that the window frame where you plan to mount the blinds can manage the load.
Q: How far should blinds be from the floor?
The general consensus among experts is that vertical and horizontal blinds should hang 2 to 3 inches from the floor. To get this measurement, add 2 to 3 inches to the total length between the floor and the molding or top of the window for an inside mount; for an outside mount, add 2 to 3 inches above the window.
The Last Word
When it comes to the best places to buy blinds, it doesn’t have to be a one-size-fits-all scenario. Figure out your budget, your style preferences, and which details you can live with (or can’t live without), and enjoy tapping into your inner designer while dressing your windows in top-notch decor.
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