Shutters vs Blinds: How To Choose

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When you are shopping for new window treatments there are so many options that it can be quite confusing as to what is your best choice. Many homeowners use the terms blinds and shutters as the same items–but they are quite different from each other and have other options in each style. So how do you choose the best option? Choosing between the two depends on several factors, such as your budget, placement, and your personal preferences. This guide will help you to make the best decision for your exact specifications.

Shutters vs Blinds: Differences Between The Two

The biggest difference between shutters and blinds is the way they install on your windows. Window blinds come in many different styles but are generally installed either above the window frame or inside of it, shutters are attached to the frame of your windows.

Shutters are absolutely beautiful and can be used as a stand-alone window treatment or as the base layer for layering window treatments if you prefer. They are classic and timeless, never go out of style, and last for a lifetime. They are low maintenance, durable, and great window insulation and control your light and ventilation while being easy to maintain and keep clean.

There are many more styles of blinds from which to choose and in shutters, you can choose how they are installed, which makes them operate and look differently.

Shutters vs Blinds: Styles & Choices

Shutters give you fewer style options, which are only designated by the way they are mounted and you may have some variations in the slat sizes. You can choose several different methods of mounting, which determines how your plantation shutters operate and what they will look like on your windows. The three main styles are tier-on-tier, cafe shutters, and full-height shutters. The tier-on-tier style has a set of two shutters on the top half of your window and another set of two shutters on the bottom half of your window. They operate independently of each other so you can have either half of the window open at a time. Cafe shutters only cover the bottom half of a window and they leave the top open for natural sunlight. Full-height shutters are the style with two shutters that cover the entire window from the top to the bottom.

Blinds give you many more choices in the styles from which to choose. They are similar to each other but made of different materials. You can choose from beautiful hardwood or faux wood blinds, metal blinds, or composite blinds in an assortment of colors. These types of blinds are all horizontal but you can also choose vertical blinds for large windows and sliding glass patio doors. Window blinds usually give you a choice of several sizes of vanes in them as well.


Shutters vs Blinds: Durability

Shutters are much more durable than blinds because they are made of either natural hardwood or faux wood, both of which can stand up to years of opening and closing them without fail. In fact, shutters are usually the last window treatments you ever need to buy because they last a lifetime.

Blinds are less durable because they can be broken or bent if they are opened and closed constantly, if they are opened and closed quickly all the time, or if you have children and pets that can bend them.

Shutters vs Blinds: Light and Privacy

Both shutters and blinds have great lighting control and they also give you total privacy when they are closed. Each of these two window treatments can be opened entirely, or closed entirely, or you can adjust the louvers on shutters and the slats on blinds to have filtered light in your spaces.

Shutters vs Blinds: Benefits

Plantation shutters are very durable and long-lasting, so you will likely never need to replace them. Of course, you may decide to layer window treatments and add some decorative drapery panels or side panels for more color and texture in your windows. Shutters never go out of style and most homeowners choose to have a neutral stain color or have them painted white.

Blinds don’t last as long as shutters and they can fade over time or become discolored from the bright sun’s UV rays shining on them constantly. You can also layer soft window treatments as a second layer on top of your blinds. If you choose a particular color of window blinds, you may in the future decide you want to change your decor style and buy need blinds that will reflect your new decor.

Shutters vs Blinds: Cost

Shutters are the more expensive of these two types of window treatments. They hold up well for many years and they actually add value to your home in case you would want to sell it.

Blinds are less expensive, so if you decide to have one style and then want to change to a different material, later on, it doesn’t cost as much to replace them as it would purchase shutters.

How to Decide on Shutters vs Blinds

It’s really up to your preference as to which of these two custom window treatments you want to choose. You should consider the price and how long you expect the window coverings to last. If you like changing styles every so often, you may want to go with blinds instead of shutters. It also depends on what your budget is for your window coverings. As a rule of thumb, generally, indoor plantation shutters look great in larger windows and blinds look proper in medium to small windows.

At Desert Window Wear, we handle a full line of Tucson window treatments for all of your needs. We are the premier dealer of Tucson shutters in the state and we carry all styles of Tucson blinds as well. We offer a FREE in-home consultation with one of our highly experienced designers to help you make the best choices for your particular situation. Contact us to schedule an appointment today for custom window treatments. We look forward to meeting you!





Picture of Danya Cole

Danya Cole

Passionate owner of the Desert Window Wear, leading a dedicated team to transform Tucson homes with top-quality window coverings and exceptional service.

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