Do Curtains Block UV Rays

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Curtains can provide some protection against harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, but how effective they are depends on the fabric, weave density, and lining used. Tightly woven fabrics like wool, velvet, and brocade, or specially designed blackout curtains with metallic foam backings block UV rays better than loose weaves. Adding a polyester backing helps reflect UV rays away from windows.

In general, heavier and darker curtains offer more UV protection. However, no curtains are as fully protective as UV blocking window film. Curtains reduce but do not completely eliminate UV rays. Supplementing with window tinting is best for more sensitive indoor spaces.

How well do curtains block UV rays?


  • Most standard curtains allow some UV rays to pass through. Light, sheer fabrics like linen, lace, and voile allow a significant amount of UV transmission.
  • Tighter woven, heavier-weight fabrics like velvet, brocade, wool, and cotton offer more UV blocking. The denser the weave, the less UV penetrates.
  • Darker-colored curtains absorb more UV rays than lighter colors. Blackout curtains are best for maximizing UV protection.
  • Lined curtains or those with metallic foam backings designed to insulate and reflect light also help block UV. Polyester linings in particular can reflect UV rays.
  • Floor-length curtains provide better coverage compared to short curtains, eliminating gap exposure.
  • No matter the fabric, wet or damp curtains absorb less UV rays than dry curtains. Moisture reduces effectiveness.
  • Curtains on their own block only 15-45% of incoming UV radiation. They reduce but do not eliminate UV.
  • For complete UV blocking, window film or electrochromic smart glass is needed. Curtains alone are not sufficient protection.

So while curtains offer some UV protection, supplementary options are recommended for full UV blockage.

UV protection with curtains

The UV-blocking ability depends on the fabric type, color, and thickness. Curtains made of tightly woven, dark, or opaque fabrics are typically more effective at blocking UV rays. Some curtains are even specifically designed with UV-resistant materials for enhanced protection. Therefore, by reducing UV radiation, curtains can help prevent skin damage and fading of interior furnishings.

Best curtain materials for UV blocking

Some of the best materials for UV blocking include blackout fabrics, thermal fabrics, and certain types of heavy cotton or polyester. These materials are often tightly woven or coated to effectively prevent UV light from passing through. Therefore, not only do they maintain your room’s temperature, but also protect your skin and furniture from harmful UV radiation.

Effectiveness of curtains in UV reduction

Curtains can be effective in blocking UV rays, contributing significantly to the reduction of UV exposure within a room. While not all curtains are designed to block UV rays, those made from certain materials, like UV-resistant fabric, or treated with UV-inhibiting substances can effectively obstruct harmful rays. This blockage helps to protect furniture from fading and also reduces health risks associated with excessive UV exposure.

UV blocking versus light blocking curtains

Curtains can block UV rays, depending on the material and color. However, not all curtains are designed to effectively block UV rays. UV blocking curtains, specifically engineered with protective fabric, are more effective in blocking harmful UV radiation than regular light-blocking curtains. While light-blocking curtains can reduce the amount of light entering a room, they may not provide sufficient protection against UV rays, which can cause skin damage and fading of interior furnishings.

UV damage prevention in interiors

UV-protective curtains are specially designed to block out almost all UV radiation, which can fade and deteriorate furnishings over time. Regular curtains also offer some level of UV protection, but the level of blockage varies based on the fabric’s thickness and color. Darker and denser fabrics generally provide better protection. Protecting your interiors from UV rays with curtains can, therefore, extend the life of your furniture and floorings.

Blackout curtains and UV protection

Blackout curtains offer not just light-blocking capabilities but also UV protection. These curtains are specifically designed with a dense fabric that effectively blocks the penetration of harmful UV rays into your space. This quality makes them an ideal choice for individuals seeking to protect their skin and furniture from the damaging effects of constant exposure to sunlight. Thus, investing in blackout curtains is a practical way of achieving both darkness and protection from UV radiation in your home or office.

Curtains, sunlight, and color fading

Curtains made from fabrics with special UV-blocking properties can significantly reduce the amount of sunlight entering the room, thus protecting your interiors from color fading. However, the degree of UV protection varies with the type of curtain and its material. Therefore, while curtains do help in mitigating UV damage, they may not completely eliminate it.

Health benefits of UV-blocking curtains

UV-blocking curtains play a crucial role in maintaining good health by effectively blocking harmful ultraviolet rays from penetrating into your living space. They are specially designed with protective layers that obstruct up to 99% of UV rays. By preventing exposure to these rays, UV-blocking curtains can aid in reducing the risk of skin diseases, such as skin cancer, and other health problems such as cataracts and immune system suppression. Therefore, they provide an extra layer of protection, promoting a healthier indoor environment.

UV resistance of various curtain materials

While no curtain material can completely block 100% of UV rays, certain materials like polyester and nylon are more UV resistant than others such as cotton or linen. This is due to the tighter weave and synthetic nature of polyester and nylon, which provide a better barrier against UV radiation. Therefore, considering the UV resistance when choosing curtain material can help protect your home from harmful UV rays.

Impact of UV rays on Curtain longevity

UV rays can significantly impact the longevity of curtains. Over time, these harmful rays can cause curtains to fade and lose their original color. Even more, constant exposure can weaken the fabric, making it more susceptible to tearing. Certain curtain materials, especially those designed to block out light, often have UV-blocking properties as well. Therefore, while curtains can indeed block UV rays, it’s important to note that continuous exposure to these rays can gradually degrade the curtain’s material and overall appearance.

How Much UV Does Curtains Block?

This depends on the type of curtain, though blackout materials block over 90 percent of the UV rays. These curtains are better at blocking sunlight than the other fabrics.

Most window treatments allow light to get in your house through the sides.

However, curtains are made to cover the whole window.

This, therefore, implies light will not penetrate your room. And even though your house may be darker, the curtains block harmful rays from going through the window.

Once there are no rays, your furniture will be safe, and your TV screen won’t have a glare.

How Much UV Does a Window Block?

A window blocks over 90 percent of the UV rays.

This is according to reports from the International Ultraviolet Association.

The obstruction is on windows that are made from standard glass.

The type of ultraviolet rays obstructed is known as UVB and UVC. However, only UVA passes through the window.  Among the three classes of rays, UVA and UVB are linked to tanning and sunburns, and A is believed to repress the immune system.

The two are also connected to tanning beds. There is danger associated with the overuse of this type of bed. UVC is produced by sunlight and specialized lights.

The rays that get into your home and harm your skin can lead to increased sensitivity to the sun. And thus, it can cause rashes. However, nowadays, some techniques can lower the potential of UVA going through glass.

For instance, you may install a solar window film on the inner side of a window. The film blocks UVA and can keep your room cool since it reflects some of the heat.

Property owners can install most of the window films since they only need some drops of the dishwashing soap and water.

You choose to add the solar films, then assess it first. You need to do this because not every film can stop or reflect UVA light penetration.    

Do Blackout Shades Block UV Rays?

Blackout shades block UV rays. By doing so, they lower the costs associated with the rays. And they do that by decreasing the amount of light and UV rays entering your room. Besides, they also protect your home from any destruction caused by the sun.

For instance, fading of your floors and furniture. This, therefore, makes all those expensive items in your house to be very reliable.

Over the past years, curtain materials for room darkening have improved.

Like the hotel curtains with plastic sensation polyester, also the soft and slightly static prone alternatives, you may use the blackout shades in spaces that get most of the light in your home.

You can pick them during the hottest times of the day. Ensure you use them in places where you do not want the light to penetrate.

Take note It can be more expensive to acquire blackout shades than non-blackout materials.

But despite this, blackout shades help you prevent unexpected aging of your house fabrics and furniture.

Do Sheer Curtains Block UV Rays?

Sheer curtains block UV rays, though it only prevents a small proportion.

Therefore you can add them to your windows because apart from giving UV protection, they also filter in the natural light. This happens in a less invasive way.

Regardless of being fairly translucent, sheer curtains can help you alter the quantity of natural light filtering in your house. Though some places like living rooms and bathrooms always require some sunlight.

Thus, you can pull back the opaque drapes or open blinds to expose those areas to the heat from the sun.

The sheer treatment provides additional control over the amount and frequency at which sun rays go through a window.

As much as it’s fascinating to have the rays stream in your room, it can cause the fading of colors much faster.

If you need to keep your painting work, carpeting, and furniture from fading or getting destroyed by the rays, then add sheers.

You can do that on windows getting plenty of sunlight.

Do Thin Curtains Block UV Rays?

Thin curtains can block UV rays, provided they are closed. Though the type of materials they are made of also matters.

The fabrics have an important role in the protection from UV rays.

Some of the best materials include synthetic silk, linen, and velvet.

What Kind of Curtains Block Sunlight?

Different curtains block sunlight. Besides, they are all unique. Here are some curtains;

Blackout Curtains

LEMOMO Blackout Curtains 52 x 84 inch/Black Curtains Set of 2 Panels/Thermal Insulated Room Darkening Bedroom Curtains

Blackout curtains here on Amazon!

These curtains are a more attractive type of window treatment because they considerably decrease rays exposure. For this reason, they also reduce the cost of energy.

They also prevent close to a hundred percent sunlight from passing through your window.

If your house has these curtains, the place will feel cooler when the sun’s heat is high or during the summer.

You can get them in desirable solid colors. Also, they are made from fabrics like cotton and vinyl.

Reflective Curtains

H.VERSAILTEX Blackout Curtains Drapes 63 Inch Length for Bedroom/Living Room, Thermal Insulated Small Curtain for Bedroom, Grommet Top - Solid in Turquoise Blue (One Panel)

Reflective Curtains here on Amazon!

Reflective curtains are best for two reasons. Their reflective trait enables them to keep out heat. And this can help you If your residence lacks an air conditioner.

The curtains’ fabric does not absorb heat as the sun rays get reflected. Reflective curtains also prevent sunlight from penetrating your space. They are made of plastic and with the shiny side being outwards.

When it reflects sunlight, it deters it from entering your room. Since they are created out of plastic, they are resistant to fading and are also more reliable. Hence you get to save extra cash if you buy them.

Sheer Curtains

GoodGram 2 Pack: Basic Rod Pocket Sheer Voile Window Curtain Panels - Assorted Colors (White, 84 in. Long)

Sheer Curtains here on Amazon!

They may appear like they are translucent and very thin to block UV rays from getting through your windows. However, they can only give minimal protection.

You can place the sheers in front of the heavy curtains created from vinyl, polyester, or cotton.

This will enable you to lessen UV rays, radiation, and exposure. Still, you can decide to layer them over the blinds

Layered Curtains

Exclusive Home Curtains Catarina Layered Solid Blackout and Sheer Window Curtain Panel Pair with Grommet Top, 52x84, Winter White, 2 Count

Layered Curtains here on Amazon!

Curtains with many layers function well as sunlight obstruction. This implies you hang over one curtain. It can be two, three, or more.

The layers will always form great protection from the light. Some thick draperies and those evening light lace curtains are an excellent combination to cover the layered curtains.

You can choose to tie the thick curtains in the twilight.

These curtains are mostly best for getting a cool breeze in hot afternoons.

Draperies with Lining

Linen Blackout Curtains 96 Inches Long 100% Absolutely Blackout Thermal Insulated Textured Linen Look Curtain Draperies Anti-Rust Grommet, Energy Saving with White Liner, 2 Panels, Natural

Draperies with Lining here on Amazon!

Apart from these curtains preventing light from getting into your space, they also obstruct noise. In case you have curtains without blackout fabric, a lining can be of great help.

Some curtains have a lining when you acquire them, while for others you need to buy and then stitch together.

Still, if you can not do it yourself, then you can reach out to a tailor to help you.  The linings are of different sizes and lengths. And you’ll have to measure the curtains before buying them.

This is to ensure they will fit perfectly. You should ensure they match the color of your curtains.

Light Colored Curtains

Linen Curtains for Bedroom Linen Textured Light Reducing Window Curtain Panels for Living Room 2 Panels 95-Inch Crude

Light Colored Curtains here on Amazon!

These curtains are great for the summer season.

And it is because they help prevent sunlight from getting into your room. Many people use them in their offices and houses during hot periods.

The ones they use the most are peaches, creams, and white. Sun blockers love them because they can reflect sunlight. This is unlike the heavy-colored ones like blue, green, and black, which always absorb the light.

Therefore, keep in mind that the color of your curtain determines the amount of heat absorbed. The light colors block lots of heat and light compared to the heavy ones.

You now know that curtains do more than just decorate your house, right? Their operational qualities allow them to achieve all your requirements.

For this reason, you need to explore the different curtains to get one that specifically suits your home.

Hopefully, you will get the best out of the one you choose to buy!

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