What Is Better: Faux Wood Blinds or Cellular Shades?

Faux wood blinds and cellular shades are among the most popular window treatments.

Cost

Faux wood blinds--made to look like wood--are made of synthetic materials, sometimes with wood pulp mixed in. Cellular shades are made of fabric in an accordion-pleated style that traps air between the fabric. Either kind of window treatment has advantages over the other. What works in a particular setting depends on several factors.

Faux wood blinds and cellular shades are both generally less expensive than wood blinds, woven wood blinds and many Roman shades. Faux wood tends to be a little less expensive than cellular shades.

Privacy and the View

Faux wood blinds can be opened a crack to let in light (and even part of the view) over the whole window. Cellular shades can be opened only from the bottom or top. When fully closed, blinds tend to darken more, while shades tend to let in more light.

Insulation

Cellular shades offer significant insulating capacity--so much so that some shades are eligible for the federal tax credit for energy efficiency. Faux wood blinds can't compete there.

Ease of Cleaning

Faux wood blinds are significantly easier to clean than cellular shades and are more durable for the long term.

Consider the Site

Faux wood blinds resist warping from heat and moisture and are a top choice for kitchens and bathrooms. Above windows with a window air conditioner, cellular shades are the best choice because they won't rattle noisily when the unit operates, the way blinds often do.

It's a Matter of Taste

Both faux wood blinds and cellular shades come in an array of colors. Both could be at home in contemporary or traditional decor. In addition to the practical questions, your choice comes down to what you think looks right.

About the Author

Virginia Gilbert reported and edited education, business and science news at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for 27 years, beginning in 1976. She also taught journalism at Washington University, 2000-2004. She is now engaged in urban ministry. Gilbert holds a Master of Arts in English from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and an Master of Divinity from Eden Theological Seminary.