Window treatments come in a variety of styles and options. You can install cellular shades or faux wood shutters or thick, velvety drapes. Another popular preference for window coverings is blinds; however, even these offer the choice of vertical or horizontal styles.
How do you choose the best option in window blinds for your home? Once you understand the difference between vertical and horizontal blinds, you will be prepared to select the best one for your particular situation.
Comparison of Vertical and Horizontal Blinds
Both vertical and horizontal blinds are commonly used in homes and offices and each offer benefits particular to their style.
Horizontal blinds are more widely used than vertical blinds. They typically have one-inch to two-inch slats and fit nicely in small to medium sized windows. These window treatments hang at the top at the window, inside the frame, and are raised and lowered by a cord that attaches on the side. A wand that twists can turn the slats to slant up or down, allowing in light or closing it off. Horizontal blinds are also available in varieties that can be lowered from the top to let in sunlight from the upper portion of the window.
Vertical blinds are mounted on a track from the ceiling and hang down to the floor. They are operated with a wand or pulley system and have slats are wider, usually at least three inches wide. Vertical blinds are often chosen for large windows or sliding glass doors.
Similarities Between Vertical and Horizontal Blinds
Vertical and horizontal blinds are similar in two major ways. The first is light protection. The purpose of blinds is to block light from entering windows. Both types of blinds effectively achieve that aim. Regardless of the orientation of the slats, blinds are capable of blocking out sunlight almost entirely, making them perfect choices for bedrooms, nurseries, home theaters, and more.
Another similarity between horizontal and vertical blinds is the material from which they are made. Both are typically constructed with PVC, faux wood, or a mix of the two materials. They are light-weight and easy to install.
Benefits of Vertical and Horizontal Blinds
Both types of blinds are available as high-quality window treatments that provide unique benefits, depending on which option you choose.
- They’re better for large, wide windows. Many homeowners and businesses select vertical blinds for wide windows, a series of tall windows, or sliding glass doors. Certainly, horizontal blinds can be used in these situations, but vertical blinds offer practical benefits that make them the wise choice. Vertical blinds can extend to cover even the widest window. While horizontal blinds can be manufactured for very wide widths, over time, they may bend or sag. Multiple sets of horizontal blinds is an alternative for wide windows; however, vertical blinds offer a more cohesive design in a single unit while still offering complete coverage. For glass doors, vertical blinds are the best option. Because they connect along the floor, unlike horizontal blinds, they will not flap or move when the door is opened or closed.
- They are easy to clean. Because they are vertically orientated, the slats of vertical blinds do not collect as much dust as horizontal blinds do. They are made from PVC and faux wood, which are resistant to moisture, so they are easy to clean and won’t discolor when various cleaning products are used.
- They effectively block sunlight. The large, wide slats of vertical blinds can be opened to let in sunlight, but are very effective at blocking light as well. The wide slats overlap when closed and can block out more light than the smaller slats of horizontal blinds.
- They are great for privacy. Horizontal blinds offer more privacy, because they provide coverage across the entire window and are sturdy once drawn. Vertical blinds may sway in a breeze or when bumped, so they are more likely to allow unwanted glimpses into your home.
- They are better for tall, narrow windows. While vertical blinds are best for wide windows and glass doors, horizontal blinds are better for tall and narrow windows.
- They are shorter. Vertical blinds often run from the top of the window or near the ceiling all the way down to the floor. The slats may even brush along the floor itself, collecting dirt and interfering with your ability to properly clean and mop wooden or tile floors. On the contrary, horizontal blinds typically extend to the window sill and no further. Horizontal blinds can be raised or lowered, so even if the window extends to the floor, the blinds can be lifted to clean beneath them.
- They are quieter. Horizontal blinds make little noise when raised or lowered. Vertical blinds, however, can be noisy when operated, particularly if the tracks are not maintained properly.
- They last longer. Horizontal blinds last many years before they need to be replaced. The moving parts of the track that vertical blinds run along can wear out over time and may need to be repaired or replaced.
Making Your Choice
Now that you’ve learned the basic design, similarities, and benefits of each type of blinds, you can make an informed decision about which window treatment would be best for your situation. Both horizontal and vertical blinds can offer privacy and block out sunlight as well as provide beauty and style to every room in your house.