Best Thermal Curtains – Buying Guide & Reviews

Are you trying to improve your home’s energy efficiency and wondering whether you should replace your windows?  While replacing old windows is often recommended to minimize heat loss, it can be a costly home improvement job and may even require structural alterations. A much cheaper solution to improve energy efficiency is to hang thermal curtains.

Curious to know more? Here are some facts about thermal curtains as well as our selection of the best energy-saving insulating curtains that are currently available on the market.

Related: Privacy Curtains, Soundproof Curtains

What is a Thermal Curtain?

Also known as insulated curtain, a thermal curtain consists of several material layers that provide insulating properties, known as R-value. The job of these curtains is to prevent thermal conductivity, which is referred to as U-value. Most thermal drapes feature three layers, although there are also two and four-layer curtains on the market.

The top layer of the thermal curtain is the decorative fabric made of densely woven material, such as linen, wool, polyester, satin or cotton.

The second or middle layer of the drape is usually made of thick foam or flannel that provides thermal insulation.

The third layer, which is the backing, serves as the protective lining to prevent sunlight from entering the room, just like blackout curtains. This layer may also function as a vapor barrier to protect the window from condensation.

If the backing is light-colored, it can reflect heat and light, which also reduces solar gain during the warm seasons. These backings can be made of reflective film, vinyl or cotton, to name some of the many materials. There are also some curtains that come with the fourth layer as their vapor barrier. However, they are not as commonly available on the market as the triple weave designs.

How Does Thermal Curtain Work?

Thermal drapes work by keeping the heat in the home the same way as a wooly coat that keeps you warm. These curtains are relatively inexpensive to reduce drafts by up to 25% in the cold seasons. They also reduce solar gain by up to 30% in the summer. Although these types of drapes aren’t any thicker than ordinary curtains, which makes them stand out is their additional layers that provide their insulation properties.

The job of these curtains is to create air pockets between the window and the curtain by blocking the warmth from seeping out from the room and through the window. Some drapes include velcro strips that let you place them directly on the wall, thus increasing their effectiveness.

When the curtains are closed, their thermal value increases from R-3 to R-5. But the question is, do thermal drapes really prevent heat loss as much as they claim to? Keep reading to find out.

Does a Thermal Curtain Really Work?

Windows cause up to 30% heat loss in a building. During the summer, they are the main source of solar gain. Therefore, improving your windows’ energy efficiency by adding thermal curtains can significantly reduce your utility bills and improve comfort.

By adding thermal curtains to your windows, you will control drafts and reduce heat loss by up to 25%. So the answer to the question, does a thermal curtain really work, is a big YES!

Does a Thermal Curtain Only Work in Winter?

Thermal drapes work effectively during both summer and winter. If you choose light-colored curtains, they work best for reducing heat gain during the summer thanks to their thermally reflective backing. The orientation of your window will also affect the efficiency of your thermal curtains. For example, north-facing windows receive the least sunlight while south-facing windows receive the most solar radiation. By installing thermal curtains, you will reduce the need to use air conditioners in summer and heaters in winter.

Are Thermal Curtains Same as Blackout Curtains?

Some thermal curtains are designed to block light. In fact, most of the ones we chose in our recommended list serve as both thermal and blackout curtains. Since these curtains are made of thick fabrics, they darken the room the same way as a blackout curtain. The middle layer of these curtains comprises of black felt material, which will have both thermal and blackout properties.

The role of blackout curtains is to prevent any light from penetrating into the fabric. The material is made of tightly-woven thick linings that block heat transfer as well as increase privacy.

The materials of blackout curtains block sunlight, but they don’t provide the same level of insulation as thermal drapes. If you are specifically looking for a 2-in-1 curtain that has thermal and blackout properties, you should pay attention to the thickness of its material as well as its insulating properties.

Thermal Curtains Buying Guide

If your rooms overheat in the hot summer months, the best solution is to opt for thermal drapes that keep out heat. These curtains are an excellent investment – and a true lifesaver – during the scorching heat of the summer. In fact, you can save money in the long term by keeping your rooms cooler without using an air-con or fan.

For maximum insulation, look for a curtain that features at least 2-3 layers of woven fabric. These curtains consist of a foam core that provides the best insulation.

Before buying a thermal curtain, measure your window in order to ensure the curtain is long enough to do its job correctly. There are plenty of high-quality and affordable thermal curtains available at your disposal, but generally, the darker the color you choose, the more effective the curtains will be at blocking out sunlight. For thermal benefits, however, the color of the fabric won’t matter. Here we have hand-picked 10 highly-rated thermal curtains that also serve as blackout drapes so you can enjoy the best of both worlds: privacy and energy efficiency. These are:

WONTEX Thermal Insulated Curtains

These triple weave blackout curtains from the brand WONTEX balance room temperature throughout the seasons. Their super soft and heavy fabric is classy and up to 85% effective in blocking out light, reducing noise and insulating the room. In addition, these curtains are made of thread trimmed material that feels comfortable to the touch and are fade resistant. We think these thermal curtains are especially ideal for bedrooms and living rooms as they are highly effective in keeping out the cold in winter and blocking out the heat in summer.

Key features

  • Anti-rust silver grommets
  • Machine washable
  • Wrinkle and fade resistant
  • 20 colors to choose from
  • Suitable for all seasons
  • Sound-proof

BGment Thermal Insulated Curtains

If you are specifically looking for blackout and thermal curtains for your living room, we can recommend these innovative triple-weave microfiber curtains from BGment. The material is super soft, smooth and lightweight. The package includes 2 curtains and tiebacks with 6 silver metal grommets that measure 1.6 inches. These curtains are easy to hang and function as blackout drapes since they can block out up to 85% of sunlight. Keep in mind that the darker color you choose, the more effective it will be in blocking out the UV rays.

Key features

  • 24 colors to choose from
  • Machine washable
  • Loose thread protection
  • Anti-rust silver grommets
  • Soft and lightweight

NICETOWN Thermal Insulated Curtains

The quality fabric of these soft and heavy curtains from NICETOWN is ideal for bedrooms that require maximum privacy and darkness. These blackout and thermal curtains impede up to 85% UV rays and reduce noise thanks to their triple weave technology. The curtains are wrinkle-free and thread trimmed, which makes them easy to maintain. The heavy microfiber fabric is interwoven with up to 90% energy efficiency capabilities.

Key features

  • 23 colors to choose from
  • Machine washable in cold water
  • Triple weave technology
  • Soft and heavy
  • Wrinkle free

GoodGram Thermal Curtains

This set of 2 chic thermal and blackout curtains from the brand GoodGram come in an assorted variety of sizes and colors. Made from polyester, the metallic pattern of these curtains adds to their elegance. With these thermal/blackout curtains, you can keep cold air out in the winter and trap cold air inside during summer. They also block out light from entering your rooms.

Key features

  • Machine Washable
  • Ultra soft
  • Suitable for both winter and summer
  • A variety of sizes and colors

PONY DANCE Blackout and Thermal Curtains

These super heavy and soft blackout/thermal drapes from PONY DANCE are also made from triple weave technology with no liner. They control light (85%) from passing through the windows and are ideal for both adults’ and kids’ bedrooms. With the help of these curtains, you will save money on your heating and cooling costs.

Key features

  • 15 colors to choose from
  • 100% polyester
  • Super heavy and soft fabric

MIUCO Room Darkening Thermal Drapes

These elegant room darkening and thermal curtains from MIUCO have a wider bottom and side hems compared to other similar curtains. This gives them a more luxury look as well as helps them hang better. The curtains are ideal for the bedroom thanks to their excellent sun light control. Compared to other blackout curtains that block 85% sunlight, these curtains go one step further and block up to 99% UV rays, making them an excellent choice for day sleepers  and babies. These energy efficient properties mean you will reduce your electricity bill by as much as 30% in summer and winter. Another excellent feature of these curtains is their ability to filter up to 60% of the outside noise, thus creating a peaceful sleep environment.

Key features

  • 13 colors to choose from
  • Machine washable in cold water
  • Innovative triple weave technology
  • 99% effective in blocking out UV rays

AmazonBasics 99% Room Darkening Thermal Insulated Window Panels

These ultra-affordable thermal and room darkening curtains from AmazonBasics come with a noise-reducing liner for all rooms of the house. The heavyweight curtains block sunlight up to 99% so you can get a more restful sleep. In addition, the heavy construction of these curtains prevents drafts as well as reduces outside noise. If you are a light sleeper, then these room darkening thermal curtains are exactly what you need!

Key features

  • 6 colors to choose from
  • Ultra opaque construction
  • Noise-reducing liner
  • Budget-friendly
  • Heavy fabric

LEMOMO Blackout and Thermal Curtains

Made from high-quality polyester, these blackout/thermal curtains from the brand LEMOMO are super soft, smooth and built to last. For utmost privacy, opt for darker colors, which promise to filter 99% light and reduce noise thanks to their triple weave production method. They are perfect for living rooms, bedrooms and nursery rooms.

Key features

  • 14 colors to choose from
  • 100% polyester
  • Triple weave technology
  • Soft and smooth

Deconovo Blackout and Thermal Curtains

The decorative blackout/thermally insulated curtains from the famous brand Deconovo come in a set of 2 panels with matching tiebacks. There are 8 stainless steel grommets per panel each measuring 1.6 in diameter. You’ll be pleased to know that these curtains are made from 100% high-quality polyester for maximum light filtering. The foil printed wave lines on these drapes are silky and soft to the touch. These curtains are ideal for rooms that require utmost privacy as they’re not see-through. For best results, hand wash the curtains to retain their quality.

 Key features

  • Triple weave technology
  • Hand washable
  • 19 colors to choose from
  • 8 stainless steel grommets
  • 100% polyester

Turquoize Blackout and Thermal Curtains

Made from triple woven microfiber material, these blackout/thermal drapes are durable, silky, and soft. Their interwoven design comes complete with 50% light filtering and thermal max technology. The unparalleled privacy and energy efficiency of these curtains allow you to create darkness in your room at any time of the day. Whether you choose to slide the curtain rod through the back tabs or use the rod pocket to thread it through, these curtains provide you with multiple hanging options. They can also be used with rings and clips for an overall neat appearance. 

 Key features

  • 17 colors to choose from
  • 100% microfiber polyester
  • Machine washable
  • Multiple hanging options

Best Thermal Curtains – Buying Guide & Reviews