Hard vs. soft window covering treatments

Hard vs. Soft Window Covering Treatments

Posted by  on 11-01-2022
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Window blinds in Mississauga are used for many reasons, including aesthetics, privacy, and light control. While considering purpose, function, and appearance, there is one question on every homeowner’s mind—which is better, hard or soft window covering treatments?

At Window Blinds Direct, we serve clients across Ontario, providing products and services in window coverings. Working in the industry as long as we have, we’ve got some insight on how hard and soft window coverings can work to your benefit. Here, we’ll discuss the qualities of each, and let you decide for yourself which type is best for you. 

Hard vs. Soft Window Treatments: How are they different?

Window treatments can be made from a variety of materials, including cloth, vinyl, plastic, and wood. The texture and firmness determine which is hard and which is soft. Both soft and hard window coverings can be used at the same time to establish style and functionality. 

Hard treatments include products like:

  • Blinds
  • Shutters

Soft treatments include selections such as:

  • Curtains
  • Valances 
  • Sheers
  • Shades

Hard Window Treatments

Hard window treatments are firm, as the name suggests. Structurally, they offer more control over the amount of window that is covered. Unlike soft coverings, which may blow open, or be nudged away from the window by a passerby, hard window treatments are designed to stay put. 

Window Blinds in Mississauga

Window blinds in Mississauga are an example of a hard window covering, although you can sometimes purchase blinds in a soft material, like cloth. The rigid form of the blind frame keeps it sturdy and provides the structure that hard window coverings are known for.

Blinds come in many colours and materials, such as:

  • Wood
  • Vinyl 
  • Leather
  • Aluminum
  • PVC
  • Bamboo
  • Fabric

They offer light control and, in turn, temperature and energy conservation. Blinds tend to block and control the direction of natural light as it enters your home. With horizontal blinds, turning the slats upward so the convex side faces the window forces light up toward your ceiling, keeping the room cool. Facing the concave side toward the window pushes light to the floor, thus warming the room. 

Blinds offer the benefit of privacy and light control, allowing you to open just the slats, while keeping the blind closed. This lets in light, but not prying eyes. 

There are different kinds of blinds to choose from, such as:

  • Roller blinds
  • Horizontal blinds
  • Vertical blinds

Shutters as Window Coverings

The word “shutter” conjures images of wooden hinged window coverings on the outside of cottages and fairytale homes. Shutters can also be used as indoor window coverings. Interior shutters work much the same way. They close over your windows, thus providing light control and coverage.

The slats on your shutters can be fixed or mobile, allowing some light in, but minimizing brightness and glare. Shutters are an excellent hard window covering if you’re looking for a window treatment that makes a statement. They can be made of:

  • Wood
  • Aluminum
  • Vinyl 

The benefits of shutters include:

  • Durability
  • Easy to clean
  • Customizable 

At Window Blinds Direct, you can shop our assortment of shutters, including a selection of:

  • California shutters
  • Plantation shutters
  • Interior shutters 

Soft Window Treatments

Soft window coverings offer a subtler touch to your home decor, while still controlling light and privacy. Soft window treatments can add colour to a room, increase energy efficiency, and darken or brighten your surroundings. 

There are many kinds of soft window blinds in Mississauga, including:

Window Shades

Shades are one solid piece of soft or pliable fabric that rolls or folds over your window. Because the material is solid, there are no slats for light control. Instead, you adjust for light flow and privacy by raising and lowering the shade.

There are many different models of window shades for sale in Mississauga, including:

  • Accordion shades: These fold like an accordion as they are raised or lowered. Also known as cellular or honeycomb shades, they work well to insulate windows during winter, while letting in slightly more light than solid shades when drawn. 
  • Roller shades: A solid piece of fabric that is rolled smoothly around the shade rod creates a roller shade. These shades block more light than most window coverings, and are sometimes referred to as solar shades. 
  • Roman shades: A more decorative window blind in Mississauga, Roman shades use opulent arrangements of treated fabric and pleats to create a unique aesthetic. These are a great type of shade for those who prefer a little more pizzazz to their window treatments.
  • Bamboo shades: Woven bamboo shades use organic material that is woven for a natural looking window covering. They provide more light than a solid roller shade, as the woven materials leave tiny openings for light to peek through.  

Curtains, Drapes, and Sheers

Curtains are a commonly occurring window covering, even for homeowners with hard window treatments like blinds and shutters. Curtains come in a variety of opacity. The three main window treatments fitting this category are:

  • Drapes: Drapes are curtains with a lining. The lining layer creates a thicker curtain that blocks light and insulates windows. Drapes are a great option for rooms that require full darkness, or that get cold in the winter due to drafty windows. 
  • Curtains: Curtains come in panels, and are generally a single or double layer of fabric that cover your windows. These are denser in coverage than sheers, but lack the lining layer of drapes.
  • Sheers: Sheets can be hung beneath curtains or drapes to layer your window treatments. As the name suggests, they are sheer in coverage, thus allowing you to see through them from inside your home, but blocking most of the view from outside. This lets light in without foregoing privacy.

Valances for Window Treatments

Valances can be combined with any other window treatment, and act as more of a decoration than covering. They soften light coming in through the top of your window, but don’t block the window itself.

The benefits of valances mainly extend to the hardware and curtain rods. Valances hide these items, while also insulating the top of your window area where most window coverings leave a gap. 

Which are the best window blinds in Mississauga?

So, which are better, soft or hard window coverings? The answer is completely subjective. If you’re looking for more privacy, darkness, and ease of cleaning, then hard coverings work best. Soft coverings are a little more difficult to maintain, but provide an assortment of textures, fabrics, and colours to play with.

At Window Blinds Direct, we recommend using both! Opt for blinds and sheers, or shades and curtains to optimize your window covering options night and day. 

Interested in learning more about window coverings? We invite you to call Window Blinds Direct at 1-647-503-4357 or contact us here.

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