Your home is your sanctuary, so it stands to reason that you want to keep it as comfortable as possible. Thankfully, you can beat the heat with the use of solar shades. We have tested and reviewed the best solar shades for blocking heat so that you can stay cool.
Do Solar Shades Keep Heat Out?
Quite well, in fact. In our tests, we found solar shades to reduce our need for air conditioning by as much as 30%. That’s nothing to sneeze at. With rising outdoor temperatures and high energy bills, the need for solar shades can’t be overstated.
What Are the Best Blinds to Keep Heat Out?
Any type of window covering is going to make a difference in the amount of heat that enters your home. Without blinds, up to 76% of the sunlight that hits your windows enters your house in the form of heat.
Your best bet for keeping out heat is to use solar shades or cellular shades. Both block sun and offer shade for windows. It’s a great way to control heat gain, too, as traditional window blinds don’t provide this kind of flexibility.
Do Roman Shades Block Heat?
Unlike solar shades, the Roman variety is mainly beneficial in blocking sunlight. This isn’t to be confused with heat. Think of Roman shades as sunglasses for your windows. They will make your room darker, but not necessarily cooler.
Do Solar Shades Block UV Rays?
This is perhaps the most important benefit of solar shades. Not only do they reduce heat, but they also prevent harmful UV rays from entering your home. This ensures that your furniture, floors, and other interior items are free from fading.
1. Passenger Pigeon Cordless Shade – Best Overall Option
Passenger Pigeon makes it easy to keep your home cool with its line of solar shading blinds. You can look forward to 100% light blocked thanks to these high-quality blackout shades. Not only that, but all harmful UV rays are blocked, as well.
We like the selection of light-colored options that you can choose from, as it makes it easy to match the décor in your house. The blocking capabilities of these roller shades do a tremendous job of reducing solar heat gain. Natural light is kept out really well, keeping your room darker and cooler at the same time.
If you’re looking to block out solar light completely, these are the shades with which to do it.
- Colors – With a selection of 12 unique colors, it’s easier than ever to match your window coverings with your furniture and décor.
- 100% Light – Now you can block all light coming in through your windows. This is ideal for keeping sunlight from drowning out your television screen or making it easier to sleep. If your bedroom is positioned to where it gets hit with direct sunlight in the morning, you will find Passenger Pigeon’s solar window shades to be a big benefit.
- Easy to Install – We had no trouble getting these solar shades up and running. Installation was fast and straightforward, even though the directions left a lot to be desired.
- Poor directions – The included instructions aren’t the clearest, but thankfully the shades are easy to figure out.
2. Luxr Blinds Custom-Made Shade – Best Upgrade Option
You’re investing in more than just shades for sun heat here. This solar window treatment option is incredibly well-made, with durable materials that should serve you well. Not only are these window shades flame-resistant, but they are also waterproof, breathable, and dustproof.
There are 6 different colors to choose from, each of which looks nice and should go well with most décor. If you’re not concerned with blocking out all light, Luxr Blinds delivers a great option.
The light-colored design makes them slightly transparent, letting in just enough light to make things cheery. The shades reduce heat gain really well, too. We like that they block heat but still allow in natural light.
- Transparent – Luxr Blinds’ solar shades are mildly transparent, allowing you to see what is outside without letting in solar heat. We like the amount of light that these blinds let in, making them a great choice if you don’t like total darkness.
- High Quality – Luxr goes all-out in crafting their solar window shades. The quality is exceptional, giving you durable window treatments that are sure to last.
- Reduced Glare – Even though light comes in, these solar shades do a great job of eliminating glare. So you can have plenty of light without the annoying TV reflection.
- Installation – Installing your Luxr Blinds may prove to be an exercise in patience. It’s definitely better with the help of another person.
3. Bali Blinds Cellular Shades –Best Value Option
This is one of the best options for the money. Bali cellular shades are inexpensive yet effective, reducing solar heat gain in the summer and reducing heat loss in the winter. They are a win-win just about any way you look at them.
During our time with these window shades, we found them do a wonderful job of keeping the summer heat out. Their honeycomb design works well at blocking heat, and yet the light-colored design works to provide ample sunlight.
- Lift System – By eliminating pesky cords, your windows look clutter-free and attractive. This is also an ideal system for families with pets or children.
- Light Filtering – Sunlight enters your home softly, providing just the right amount of light without the scorching heat. We found these shades to be ideal for kitchens and dining rooms.
- Affordable – The low price of these window shades makes it easy to insulate your home and keep heat out or in, depending on the time of year.
- Confusing Instructions – The installation directions appear to be just plain wrong. We had to reverse the mounting and bracket screws near the end of the installation to make these shades work.
4. Radiance Cordless Roman Shade – Best Alternative Option
As we mentioned earlier, Roman shades don’t reduce solar heat very well. But they are ideal for blocking light. If you don’t mind window shades that allow summer heat into your house, Roman shades are an affordable alternative that provides just enough light.
It’s important to note that these shades provide semi-privacy through your window. So you might want to look into a different model if you want complete blocking.
- Safe for Kids – Radiance’s Cordless Roman Shades are actually certified as being safe for kids due to their cordless design.
- Bamboo – The bamboo construction lends to the attractiveness of these shades while serving to provide just enough light penetration.
- Reduced Glare – Perhaps the best feature of Roman shades is their ability to keep sunlight from causing glare on your television screen.
- Heat – No matter how you slice it, Roman shades don’t do very well at reducing solar heat gain. They do a fine job of cutting down on light, but they can’t touch the effectiveness of solar window shades.
Out of all the shades we tested, Passenger Pigeon’s Cordless Shade impressed us the most. Its ability to block both sunlight and heat makes it an excellent choice for beating the hot summer months.
We’re also quite fond of Bali Blinds’ Cellular Shade. It’s an affordable option that does a really nice job of keeping the heat at bay. These solar blinds are perfect for those who like a fair amount of sunlight in the house. Like the other entries we reviewed, they are a safe option for families who have children or pets.
Remember, you can always mix and match different shades throughout your home to get the perfect balance of light and heat blocking.