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12 Different Types of Window Shades

Window shades have provided protection from the sun for countless homes throughout the centuries. Get to know the many different kinds of window shades you can use on your own home.

Kitchen and dining room in a modern house with light-colored window shades.

It is widely believed that painted window shades first appeared in Holland during the 17th century. In the 18th century, they were commonly used not just in Holland but also in France and England. Window shades made of translucent cloth or paper first appeared in American homes and public buildings around 1780.

Romantic and imaginative landscapes were the most popular designs during the early 19th century. It is also said that the renowned painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir also painted window shades from 1859 to 1861. He painted Bible stories on the shades to serve as stained glass windows for chapels in Indochina.

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Cellular Window Shades

This window shade is made from high quality fabric, also provides maximum privacy.

Source: Wayfair

Window shades are a fantastic way to alter the look of your home, without having to spend an outrageous sum of money. You are going to be able to purchase window shades for a very reasonable price, which will be agreeable to your pocketbook. Cellular window shades are among the most common types and they are very useful. If you want to be able to save a little money on your energy bills, then it would benefit you to look into purchasing these window shades.

Cellular window shades are excellent at helping to insulate your home. There are two different variants of cellular shades that you can choose to purchase. Single cell shades work perfectly to help keep the sun out and will give you plenty of privacy in your home. Double cell shades are even better at insulating and they can be used as blackout shades for people who need to sleep during the day.

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You can get these types of window shades in many different styles. No matter what type of look you are going for in your home, you will be able to find the right cellular window shades to go along with it. You will be able to purchase these shades at a very reasonable price and the practicality of them will make them stand above other options for certain individuals. Take your time to look through the different colors and patterns to choose the best fit for your home.

Roman Window Shades

A beautiful balance of style and light-filtering properties, this waterfall-style Roman shade adds a tailored look to your window.

Source: Etsy

If you want to have window shades that are very aesthetically pleasing, then you might want to consider purchasing Roman window shades. These window shades are typically made out of a heavy fabric. This gives them a bit of a unique look when it comes to window shades, as they just have a completely different feel. If you want to add a touch of elegance to any room in your home, then these Roman window shades are a perfect way to achieve this.

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When you have these window shades pulled down, they hang down completely flat. Once you pull them up you will discover that they form these beautiful horizontal pleats. It really does look very nice and you will enjoy the look of it both ways. These shades are very convenient to use and you will be able to purchase them at a fairly inexpensive price at most locations.

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These window shades are very versatile as well. You will be able to purchase them in several different colors and you might even find some Roman window shades that feature a pattern. The most typical type of Roman window shade will definitely be a solid-colored style, though. When you want to add a stylish new feature to any room, these shades are going to be the perfect option for you to consider.

Roller Shades

Enjoy the soft ambiance of this roller shade that only light filtering fabrics can create with these airy yet privacy fabrics.

Source: Amazon

Roller shades are becoming really popular because of how easy they are to use. You can simply roll these shades up without any sort of a hassle. This is great for people who want to be able to let some natural sunlight come into their homes. They can be rolled up manually in most cases, as they most often feature a cord or a pulley of some sort.

There are more sophisticated models of roller shades that are available, too. You can purchase roller shades that come with a remote control device. This will roll up the window shade automatically with the push of a button. You can push the button again to roll it back down. Some people find this option to be preferable to the manual roller shades, but others will find the manual option to be easier.

These roller shades can be purchased at most major retailers in modern times. You will find plenty of different color options and styles to choose from. This makes them really good for anyone who wants to add a touch of color to a room. These roller shades don’t cost too much money and you can fit them into your overall decor very simply.

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It should also be noted that many people like to add things, such as trim or tassels, onto these roller shades. Some people have even chosen to paint designs on their roller shades to really give them a customized and personal feeling. This definitely isn’t necessary, but it can be appealing to anyone who wants to add their own flair to these shades. No matter what your plans for these roller shades are, you will certainly be able to make great use of them in your home.

Balloon Shades

This balloon window shade offers light filtering privacy and decorative texture for your windows.

Source: Wayfair

Balloon shades definitely have a unique look and they can be very charming. These types of window shades have rings on the back with cords running through them. You can pull the shades open and they will sort of balloon out and form these little puffs of fabric. It can look really cute and it gives off a very traditional vibe, reminding you of something you might have seen in your grandmother’s home.

Most of the time, you will find these balloon shades being made out of silky fabrics or something that is sheer. This can give it a very nice look and it will look quite pretty in your home. One issue that some people have with these types of window shades is that they are too sheer for their liking. The style is very interesting, but it will be letting a lot of sunlight into your home and it won’t give you a lot of privacy.

You will find some people using these window shades to go over the top of something more solid. This allows them to enjoy the undeniable aesthetic appeal of these window shades without having to deal with the negatives of their sheer nature. This isn’t always the most convenient way to go about things, though. You will want to consider your options before deciding to purchase these window shades, as you should be sure that these are right for you.

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It would be smart to use these in your home in rooms where you want to have a significant amount of sunlight. Putting balloon shades in your kitchen or in a room where you are keeping plants that you want to have access to sunlight is very sensible. It might not work out well in your living room or bedroom. It is really going to come down to your personal preference and your needs.

Tie-Up Shades

This white burlap window shade is embellished with painted stripes that mimic the woven stripes of old French textiles.

Source: Etsy

Another popular type of window shade that you will see in people’s home is tie-up shades. These window shades are very pretty and can be easily tied up to let in more sunlight whenever you desire. This is a really simple design overall, as it is simply a fabric window shade that is hanging from a rod that is placed above your window. Sometimes people will use a mounting board to hang these tie-up shades instead of a rod, and the decision usually comes down to which option you find to be more aesthetically pleasing.

These window shades don’t use a cord or any type of roller, as you will simply be tying them up manually. You will find little ribbons or some sort of ties that are attached to the shade itself. These are meant to be used to tie it up. You get to decide how high to tie it up, so there is some customization with how you decide to let these window shades hang.

Some people might find this to be cumbersome if they are used to simple roller options or opening their window shades with a cord. This will definitely take longer to open up and tie things up properly. You will need to hold everything in place while you are tying, and this isn’t difficult, but it may not be convenient for everyone. If you want to be able to do everything quicker, then you will likely prefer one of the other window shade options that are represented in this list.

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These window shades are really appealing, though. They can help to provide your home with an elegant look that is a throwback to older styles. People who like the traditional style of decoration tend to gravitate towards these tie-up window shades. You can create a gorgeous environment in your home with these at the center of everything, so consider your desires before making an ultimate decision.

Skylight Window Shades

This skylight window shade effectively regulates the brightness of your room by adjusting the fabric open or closed with pole or motorize remote control if at motorize system.

Source: Amazon

If you have a skylight in your home, then you may want to consider purchasing window shades for it. This can add a lot of style to the presentation of your skylight and it will make it easier to keep the sun out of your room when you aren’t in the mood for things to be too bright. There are window shades on the market that are specifically designed for skylights. These window shades won’t be too difficult to install and you will be able to make use of them quite easily.

There are a few different styles of skylight window shades that you will be able to choose from. You will find more typical roller-style window shades that have been modified to work well with a skylight. These are really easy to install and you will use them in the same way that you do normal roller shades. This is a very affordable way to get a good window shade for your skylight.

You can also choose to get something that is a little more in depth. There are skylight window shades on the market that are made in the cellular style that are completely motorized. This is going to be your best bet if your skylight is very high up. People with vaulted ceilings will definitely want to install these window shades in their skylight, as it will be the most convenient option.

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Solar Window Shades

Interior-exterior polyethylene solar roll-up sun shade keeps area cooler by blocking the sun's rays before they heat up your window or patio.

Source: Amazon

Solar window shades are somewhat similar to the cellular window shades mentioned above, but they are distinct from them in many ways. These solar window shades are designed to reduce the sunlight that is coming into your home. People use these shades both indoors and outdoors to protect themselves from the sun’s rays. This helps to keep your furniture from fading and it can also just make things more pleasant.

This differs from something like a cellular window shade because it is designed to reduce sunlight, rather than eliminate it. You will still have sunlight coming through, it will just be significantly less potent. Being more protected from harmful UV rays is a good thing. This window shade is made out of a durable woven polyethylene and it feels lightweight, despite its strength.

One problem with these solar window shades is that they aren’t as stylish as many of the other types that you have to choose from. If you are the type of person who wants to create a living space that is as beautiful as it can be, then these shades might not be for you. They look nice, but they aren’t going to fit in with all decor styles. You won’t find as many options with solar window shades as you do with other types, so you will have to take that into consideration before making a purchase.


Single Cell Window Shades

This single cell shade is made of soft and lofty spunlace fabric that gently filters light and has cordless lift top and bottom, light filtering and energy efficiency.

Source: Wayfair

Single cell window shades are pretty much the most common type of window shade that you will see people putting in their homes. These window shades can look really nice in just about any setting. Combine that with the fact that these shades are incredibly practical and you will understand why they are so prevalent. Many people have taken to using these window shades to help give them the privacy that they need in their homes.

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Some window shades feel a bit too sheer or let in too much light. These single cell window shades do not have that problem. They do a good job of keeping the sun out of whatever room you have put these in. People won’t be able to see inside of your home when you have window shades such as these installed. When you do want to look outside, they are really easy to pull up, so you will be able to enjoy some sunlight when you want to.

These window shades are used to help keep homes cool during the hottest months of the summer too. Blocking out a significant amount of sunlight is going to help keep your home cooler. If you use a different type of window shade, then you aren’t going to have nearly as good of results. This can wind up saving you a bit of money on your energy bills in the long run, so it’s definitely worth looking into it.

Double Cell Window Shades

These energy efficient cellular shades use a honeycomb design to provide outstanding insulation for your windows, reducing your home's heating and cooling bills all year round.

Source: Amazon

Double cell window shades work in much the same way as single cell window shades. The big difference is that they have an extra layer of protection. This allows for the insulation to be much greater and it will keep out even more sunlight. This makes them popular among people who work third shift jobs, as it allows them to sleep without being bothered by the sunlight.

These window shades are used for much more than just blocking out sunlight, though. They are great at helping to keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. You see, the design of these works to trap the air in your home, rather than letting it seep through the windows. Your air conditioning is going to be able to cool your home more easily in the summer and your heat isn’t going to escape during the cold winter months.

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Being able to be more comfortable during the coldest and hottest months of the year is certainly a boon. You can enjoy window shades such as these in your home at a reasonable price as well. They come in many different colors and styles, so you aren’t sacrificing aesthetic appeal for functionality. When you purchase window shades such as these, your life is going to be that much more pleasant.

Cordless Cellular Window Shades

These cordless single cell shades are energy efficient and child safe and also they are light filtering and completely private.

Source: Amazon

When you have children, it becomes necessary for you to think about your purchases differently. You can’t simply think about what the best looking item is or how well something is going to work for you. You also need to consider whether it is going to be convenient while keeping your children safe. Many window shades will come with cords and these can actually wind up being a bit of a hazard for young children.

It is certainly possible to keep your children from playing with the cords on your window shades. If you do your best to keep them away from these cords, then there may never be an issue. Even still, there is an option to simply buy a cordless window shade to be on the safe side. These will ensure that there are no cords for them to play with, so they won’t accidentally get tangled in them or choke themselves in some way.

These cordless cellular window shades can provide you with all of the amazing benefits of the other types of cellular window shades. This means that you can keep the sunlight out of your home and enjoy more privacy. You’ll stay cooler during the hottest months and will just feel more comfortable overall. It isn’t difficult to raise your window shades with this cordless design either, so you will find them to be really convenient.

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Bamboo Window Shades

Crafted of bamboo and showcasing a timeless Roman design, this lovely shade keeps the sun at bay.

Source: Wayfair

You can purchase bamboo window shades that are going to look lovely in your home. For the most part, these window shades are usually done in the Roman style. They will hang down like normal and then give you a more pleated look when you have them up. This type of a window shade can help to keep your room from being too bright while providing an interesting bit of charm.

Anyone who likes to decorate their home in a more natural way will enjoy these window shades. They have a very earth-style quality to them that will look great in any room where you are keeping plants. These are great decorative window shades and you will be able to make good use of them in your home.

Remote Control Motorized Window Shades

Unlike the other spring systems, this shade runs consistently and silently from the bottom to top and controlled by remote.

Source: Amazon

Motorized window shades are the most convenient style that you can purchase in many ways. You won’t have to be worried about dealing with any cords or tying anything up. You can simply press a button and your window shades will either rise or descend. This is going to make it really simple to feel like you’re in control of the amount of sun you’re allowing into your room.

This type of window shade features a powerful motor that will stand the test of time. Some people have avoided purchasing these window shades in the past out of fear that the motor will wear out after a few years of use. Modern motorized window shades are made to last, so you can count on using them for a very long time. You will be able to use them regularly without worrying about it wearing down and stopping.

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It features a convenient remote control that you can use from the comfort of your couch or bed. This will let you open up the window shades, without even needing to get up from your comfortable spot. Being able to have everything be motorized is really quite convenient, but the most appealing part of this isn’t just about not having to get up. It’s that these window shades can be installed in windows that are difficult for you to reach.

Some homes feature higher windows than others. If you have windows that are somewhat high, then manual window shades simply aren’t going to be as convenient. Much like the skylight window shades mentioned earlier, having a remote control option is going to be your best bet. Look into these window shades and find one that is appealing to your sensibilities.

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