Choosing a window treatment is no walk in the park. It’s not as easy as going to a store, pointing at something, and saying, “That one”. There are many considerations.

We know what you’re thinking. “There aren’t that many things to consider.” We hope to change your mind by the end of this article. Indeed, choosing blinds vs shutters vs shades can be the difference between a cool, stylish home during hot Alabama summers, and a hot mess you’ll regret and have to re-do. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Without further ado, let’s compare different window coverings and help you find the right option for you.


Shutters are the priciest option of the three and there’s a good reason for that. They’re the ultimate window covering and the only window treatment we’re looking at today that’s considered an upgrade. Shutters have often been called “Furniture for your windows.” 

Interior shutters are classy, beautiful, and go a long way to give your house that feeling of a home you strive for. Their timeless design offers the perfect blend of style and functionality.

When you’re looking for quality, wood shutters are your best bet. They’re absolutely worth the price tag with their unique patterns and texture. Although other, more budget-friendly options also exist.

But shutters wouldn’t be worth it if they were only about looks. In fact, aesthetics are merely the cherry on top. Shutters offer a ton of functional benefits to your home.

On hot summer days, they’re excellent at keeping the heat out by blocking and reflecting sunlight. We’re not talking about a trivial difference, either. It’s not a coincidence shutters are so popular in Southern-style homes.

With temperatures reaching way into the 90s during the day come summertime here in Alabama, shutters can help keep your home’s within the 70s, even without completely shutting them. Imagine how much you’d be saving on your power bill.

By the same token, shutters prevent heat from escaping your home in the winter. This isn’t just because they stop air from escaping through the windows. They also let natural warmth and light into the room, which is great for both your physical and mental health.

If you have a media room, want to binge-watch something over the weekend, or simply take a nap, you can use your shutters to block out most of the sunlight. This is perfect if you have a small child and you want them to have an uninterrupted nap time.

And what interrupts naps more than outside noise? Don’t worry, shutters offer significant noise reduction. If you live near a high-traffic area, this is one of the best ways to ensure a quieter and more peaceful atmosphere at home.

Surely we’re done singing their praises, right? Not even close. We want you to have all the information before you make a decision. On top of all that, shutters are a long-term investment. That’s right – investment. They appreciate the value of your home. As we’ve mentioned, they’re considered an upgrade. But also, with proper maintenance, you’ll be using them for decades.

To top it all off, plantation shutters offer another layer of protection against intruders, unlike blinds or roller shades. They really are the ultimate window treatment but they do come at a hefty price tag.

Shutter Pros

  • Longevity – good quality shutters will last for a very long time with proper maintenance.
  • Easy maintenance – they’re extremely easy to clean and keep in good shape by tightening the slats.
  • Light control – they block out most light from coming into the room or let it all in. You have complete light control.
  • Great for privacy – if you leave the shutter slightly open, you can keep your privacy while still letting enough natural light enter the room.
  • Heat insulation – keeping heat out during the summer and heat in during winter.
  • Save you money – they help you save on your electricity bill.
  • They’re an investment – shutters increase the value of your home.

Shutter Cons

  • Hefty price tag – even the most budget-friendly options are more expensive than other window treatments.
  • Require regular maintenance – cleaning and maintenance are easy but need to be done on a regular basis.
  • The slats obstruct the view – if you don’t have the option to open your shutters to the side, the slats slightly obstruct the view.
  • There’s always something in your window – most people do not open the shutter panels, just the louvers, so if you have a view you love, shutters may not be the best option.


blinds can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, faux wood, vinyl, or even aluminum. The material will determine certain qualities, such as color and insulation, but don’t expect wonders.

Wood blinds are a cost-effective window covering. While they can offer limited insulation (nowhere near the levels of shutters), their main functions are light control and privacy.

Because you can move the slats to suit your purposes, blinds give you better light control than shades. They’re also aesthetically flexible, meaning they can fit more or less any home decoration style. It’s easy to have blinds custom-made specifically for your interior without costing you an arm and a leg.

Most blinds are operated using cords.The cords hang separately instead of in a loop, so they are safer for pets and children. Cordless options are available as well. There are even motorized blinds that can be operated via remote control giving you another level of flexibility and comfort.

Blinds Pros

  • Price – blinds are a budget-friendly solution that can fit any home.
  • Flexibility – there are many options on the market. You can easily find something to fit your needs.
  • Motorized blinds – are an excellent option for added comfort and convenience.
  • Light control – excellent level of light control.
  • Limited heat insulation – a small level of heat insulation that’s nowhere near window shutters.

Blinds Cons

  • Can be noisy – some types of blinds, especially vinyl and aluminum, can be noisy when you operate them.
  • Dust magnet – dust loves blinds so you need to clean them regularly.
  • Easy to damage – blinds aren’t as tough as they seem. Even metal blinds are easy to bend or break. The operating mechanism is also vulnerable.
  • Health hazard – hanging cords can be a hazard for pets or small children.


Shades are different from other popular window treatments. Unlike shutters and blinds, shades don’t have slats. This gives them entirely different aesthetics and functionality.

While they can still limit the amount of light that enters a room, shades don’t offer nearly as much control as other window coverings.

Your custom shades can reduce glare or block sunlight completely, but they lack the flexibility of blinds and shutters. You need to raise them if you want to look outside or let more light in, especially if you’ve chosen room darkening shades. However, what they lack in functionality, they more than make up for in style.

There are different types of shades so you can find the style that matches your interior best. You can choose from woven wood shades, Roman shades, cellular shades, mezzanine shades, roller shades, and more. There’s also an abundance of different colors and patterns.

Are you looking for convenience? Then motorized shades are just for you. You can operate motorized shades with the push of a button, making them that much more convenient.

Of course, you can always go with the classic mechanism but beware of cords because they can be a hazard to small children and pets. Many easy-to-use cordless options are available as well. 

Shades Pros

  • Stylish – shades offer many different styles, making it easy to find the aesthetic you’re looking for. Whether you’re looking for something modern, timeless, or classic, you can be sure to find it.
  • Durable – high-quality shades can be used for years before requiring replacement.
  • Easily customizable – it’s easy to fit shades on atypical windows or sizes. Many options for top treatments and controls are available for shades. 
  • Heat insulation – a level of heat insulation which is better or worse (depending on the type), but nowhere near window shutters.
  • Motorized shades – motorized shades are an excellent option if you want to add some more convenience to your window treatment.
  • Keep your views – shades can pull or roll up completely out of your window so you have no obstruction of your view. 
  • Light control – light filtering or room darkening options offer flexibility. Dual shades offer both in one window for the best of both worlds. “Top down bottom up” option offers even more flexibility by letting light in from the top of the window while keeping the bottom closed for privacy. 

Shades Cons

  • Limited light control – light control is a lot more limited than other window coverings. It’s more or less an “on/off” scenario.
  • Can be a hazard for children and pets – if you don’t go for the motorized option, cords can pose a threat to the health of your small children and pets.

Blinds vs Shutters vs Shades – which is the right window treatment for you?

It’s impossible to point to a single window treatment and tell you this is the right choice for you. There are many factors to take into account, such as the pros and cons of each treatment, as well as your budget and needs.

Shutters are the clear winner in terms of functionality, style, energy efficiency, noise reduction, and anything else you can think of. However, all of these benefits come with a hefty price tag.

Blinds are a cheaper alternative that gives you much of the same light control functionality and at a much lower cost. Yet they’re not as durable, nor do they offer so much value compared to shutters.

Shades are stylish and can be upgraded with a motor for convenience. They are easy to customize and look amazing, but they lack the versatility of the other options.

Different window treatments come with their own strengths and weaknesses. If you’re not sure which would be the best solution for you, don’t hesitate to contact us. We can consult you based on your particular home and situation.

Our designer is trained to come into your home and look at your decor and talk to you about your needs and your budget to make informed suggestions about which window coverings are right for you and your home.

Meta Description: Are you looking for the ultimate window treatment for your needs and budget? In this article, we compare Blinds vs Shutters vs Shades in the ultimate showdown.