Window Shades Buying Guide

Shades have come a long way from the slippery white discount-store versions. Today's shades offer privacy, light control, and energy efficiency in a variety of styles and materials. Used alone or with other window treatments, shades are a smart choice for small spaces and evolving design themes.

Types of Window Shades

Types of Window Shades

Simply put, a shade is a window treatment that opens vertically rather than horizontally, like curtains. Beyond that, the differences aren't so simple. Some shades feature clean lines, while others make lavish design statements. Some are primarily decorative, while others work hard to create comfort.

Roller Shades

Classic roller shades are inexpensive and help create a consistent exterior view under window treatments that vary from room to room. Used on its own or with curtains or draperies, a roller shade is versatile and adaptable. Bottom-mount shades provide privacy at the lower part of a window but admit light at the top.

shop Roller Shades
$60.99 $48.80

Known for their simplicity and versatility, Bali Light Filtering Roller Shades are perfect for those who want a stylish window tre...atment that lets filtered light shine through. These roller shades are available in varied opacities, all of which block... read more

$25.99 $20.80

Our Signature Light Filtering Roller Shades put a beautiful face on privacy and gently filter light. The Signature collection cons...ists of a wide assortment of on-trend solids, tweedy textures, linen effects, subtle stripes and jacquard-woven fabrics,... read more

$95.99 $76.80 Signature Natural Light Filtering Roller Shades dress your windows in stunning natural and synthetic fibers that add te...xture and dimension to your windows, and give any room an instant update. These beautiful shades gently filter light and... read more

$91.99 $73.60

Known for their simplicity and functionality, Bali Blackout Roller Shades are perfect for those who need light blockage but also w...ant style. The blackout fabrics make them an excellent choice for media rooms and bedrooms-or any place that invites the... read more

Tie-Up Shade

If privacy isn't an issue, leave this shade up; to hide a view, leave it down. Because the shade is tied into position, it's less convenient than a roller shade to raise and lower. Take advantage of the large, flat exposure when the shade is lowered by showcasing fabric with a large-scale or graphic pattern.

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These fine, floral-embroidered window curtain tiers naturally invoke warm memories of the past. Simple in design, this classic loo...k will fit gracefully into any room. Coordinate with the matching valances (sold separately). read more


These fine, floral-embroidered window tiers naturally invoke warm memories of the past. Simple in design, this classic look will gracefully into any room. read more


Create a timeless look with the classic style of this Achim buffalo check shade.Features 42" x 63" Charming check pattern Construc...tion & Care Polyester, cotton Machine wash Imported Size: 42X63. Color: Beig/Khaki. Gender: Unisex. read more


Create a timeless look with the classic style of this Achim buffalo check shade.Features 42" x 63" Charming check pattern Construc...tion & Care Polyester, cotton Machine wash Imported Size: 42X63. Color: Black. Gender: Unisex. read more

Balloon and Austrian Shades

These romantic fabric treatments can be installed as decorative, where it's fixed to act much like a valance, or functional, where raising the shade gathers the fabric into opulent poufs. Balloon shades hang flat until the bottom, where the fabric is gathered. An Austrian shade features soft shirring along its length.

Roman Shades

Soft like draperies but structured like blinds, Roman shades use an arrangement of cords, pulleys, and wands to pull up from a flat panel into a stack of tidy horizontal folds. Fabric choice is critical in creating the look once the panels gather into place: Roman shades of natural canvas or muslin present quite differently from those using a classic stripe or cottage floral.

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Brylane Home
$99.99 $32.99

Overlapping folds create a soft, full look while a white liner protects your home from direct sunlight and creates a uniform look ...from outside. Roman shades add a great touch to decor and we offer ours in a variety of colors to complement your space.   available in 9 sizes: 23&", 27&", 31&", 33&", 35&", 36&", 39&", 43&" or 48&"W x 64&"L cotton canvas machine wash imported hardware included we offer a full range of curtains & drapes as well as pretty valances for simple, yet elegant ways to brighten up your space at incredible prices.    Why Buy? Stylish, lightweight, and easy-to-clean, these blinds are the perfect addition to any window. Not to mention they come at a great value so you won't have to worry about overspending a dime for beauty and quality.   Click here to see our Window Measuring Tips.     read more

$233.99 $187.20

With Bali Casual Classics Roman Shades you can achieve the sophisticated look of custom tailored shades at a surprising price. shades feature high quality fabrics that come in Flat and Hobbled styles, with an assortment of neutral tones and... read more

$220.99 $176.80

The Levolor Roman Shade gives your windows the look of luxurious fabric at an affordable price. Add depth and dramatic presentatio...n to any room thanks to the beautiful folds of Roman shades, coupled with a huge palette of designer fabrics. With a rich... read more

Pleated and Cellular Shades

A soft alternative to blinds, these shades filter light and boost energy efficiency. Made of layers of permanently folded paper or fabric, pleated shades fold accordion-style. For privacy, some lift from the bottom up. The three-dimensional honeycomb-style construction of cellular shades creates air pockets that insulate without adding the weight of heavy draperies. Both types are available with varying translucency, insulation, and ultraviolet protection. Motorized shades are ideal for skylights.

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Update a lamp with this traditional pleated black empire lamp shade. Accented with a light gray zig zag trim along the top and bot...tom with gray colored lining. Shirred shade design featuring a chrome finish clip-on fitter. Recommended for use with a 25 watt candelabra base bulb. From Springcrest Collection™. read more

$36.99 $29.60

Premier Pleated Shades from give your windows instant texture and dimensionality. They are a thoroughly modern update t...hat works with any d?cor. These shades are available in beautiful solids, subtle patterns and natural woven grasses that... read more

Redi Shade
$12.74 $8.99

Non woven fabric instant pleated window shade is manufactured with a durable butcher paper construction that provides instant priv...acy and a neat clean fashionable appearance on windows in seconds without tools or brackets. Contains a peel and stick design simply peel off the backing and stick to window frame or window glass itself and shade can conveniently be trimmed to the width of the window with only a razor knife. Acting as post-it notes for windows the mounting technique uses a high quality adhesive that can be re-positioned several times without loosing its adhesive qualities and strong enough to last for approximately 12 months but gentle enough to be removed without leaving a sticky residue or damaging paint or stain. Perfect for new movers, college dorms or redecorating and great for use in place of blinds or drapes. Product measures 36”x72” and is available in white. read more

$64.11 $51.29

The stylish look of pleated shades now comes with total privacy in's No Holes Privacy Pleated Shades. These shades are ...uniquely manufactured with the route holes recessed behind the pleats, which eliminates the beams of light that appear on... read more

Product Features

Product Features

Most shades are fairly straightforward window treatments, but features and options create choices that suit almost any window design and installation need. With shades, how they work is just as important as how they look. Shop for construction and design details that provide equal parts function and fashion.


Materials vary according to the shade type. Flat vinyl or laminated paper; woven plant fibers such as jute, cane, or bamboo; and lightweight fabrics are used for roller shades and tie-up shades. Silky, sheer fabrics in solids or small prints work best for Roman and balloon shades. Polyester is the most common material for pleated and cellular shades. Consider how each material complements your room decor.

Optional Acrylic Backing

Roller shades bonded with a thin layer of foam provide insulating value and boost privacy.

Lift Mechanisms

For roller shades, the simplest type to use is the spring clutch: Just tug to release the clutch, then position the shade as desired. An upgraded clutch mechanism and a continuous loop of metal bead chain make it easy to raise or lower wide or heavy shades. Pull the chain in one direction to lift and the reverse to lower the shade. Side cords are standard with pleated and cellular shades, but manual or cord-free motorized systems (hardwired or battery-operated) are handy. Roman and balloon shade options include cords threaded through rings sewn to the back of the shade; continuous-loop controls eliminate cord pools for safety.

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

Choosing your ideal shade involves several factors. Because shades are often installed beneath another window treatment, consider how the two elements will work together. Decide whether you want the shade to stand out or play a supporting role in the design. Other considerations include size, style, and the privacy or insulating value you prefer.


Shades of all materials are available in several ready-made sizes, usually 24-48 inches wide and 64 or 72 inches long. For an added cost, custom sizes are available.


Roller shades vary in translucency, and heavy vinyl or bonded-fabric styles are more effective at blocking the view to your interior. Room-darkening shades (similar to blackout curtains) offer the highest degree of privacy. Sunscreen shades made from PVC filter ultraviolet light that fades furnishings. A top-down/bottom-up option allows you to let the shade drop from the top and/or rise from the bottom for both privacy and light control.

Insulating Qualities

Light-blocking backing also helps to keep heat in or out. For additional insulation, look for densely woven fabrics, quilting, or the extra layers or volume inherent in the construction of Roman and balloon shades. Snug-fitting inside-mount shades prevent drafts.

Color and Style

Just as with choosing other window treatments, consider your overall decorating look -- casual or formal, contemporary or traditional -- when selecting shades.


Install only cordless shades in homes with small children.

Decor on sale

$183.99 $147.20

Create some shade and cool off your patio with the Outdoor Solar Shade by Bali, designed to lower your air conditioning bills by b...locking damaging UV radiation and reducing solar heat gain. Select your desired privacy level with 5-10% open weaves... read more

$394.99 $316.00

Bali? VertiCell? Blackout Cell Shades put the energy efficiency of cellular shades in a vertically hanging design that offers tota...l light blockage. The side-opening construction makes them ideal for wide windows and patio doors, especially in climates... read more

Better Homes and Gardens
$13.27 $12.48

Better Homes and Gardens Black Burlap Tapered Drum Shade:Uno fitter (No harp required)Size: 11" x 13" x 9" (27.94cm x 33.02cm x 22....86cm)Round black Burlap hardback shade read more

$60.99 $48.80

Known for their simplicity and versatility, Bali Light Filtering Roller Shades are perfect for those who want a stylish window tre...atment that lets filtered light shine through. These roller shades are available in varied opacities, all of which block... read more

$83.99 $67.20

Our Woven Wood Shades collection features complex textures, exotic reeds, grasses, woods and sophisticated natural colors that wil...l transform your room from dull to striking. These wooden Roman shades (also known as matchstick shades, natural shades or... read more

$104.99 $84.00

Want a cooler patio or sunroom? Dramatically reduce air conditioning bills, glare and solar heat gain with Outdoor Solar Shades by... Select your desired privacy level with 1-14% open weaves (lower openness percentages represent higher privacy... read more

$272.99 $218.40 Signature Blackout Vertical Cellular Shades take the benefits of vertical window treatments to an entirely new level. T...hese shades will not only block harsh sun from your extremely large windows or patio doors, but also provide you with... read more

$244.99 $196.00 Signature Light Filtering Vertical Cellular Shades are a beautiful, insulating alternative to drapes for covering large... picture windows and patio doors. Compared to other national brands, these shades offer comparable styling and function... read more

Luxury Collection
$34.99 $31.49

Add a hint of elegance to any window with the Jewel Floral Tie-Up Shade. This shade features a beautiful, classic floral pattern t...hat is available in a variety of color schemes to complement your decor. Includes: One (1) shade Dimensions: 40 inches... read more

$314.99 $252.00

Bali VertiCell Shades offer style and the energy efficiency of cellular shades with a convenient side-opening design. VertiCell Sh...ades provide a stylish way to insulate wide windows and patio doors. 3/8-inch double cell shades boast a sophisticated... read more

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