Cellular Shade vs. Roller Shade: Which One Is Right For You?

When choosing the right window covering for your home, there are a variety of options to choose from. Cellular and roller shades are two of the most popular styles today. But with so much to consider – cost, style, insulation, and more – how do you know which is right for you? This blog post will discuss the differences between these two window treatments and help you decide which is right for you.

Benefits & Drawbacks of Cellular Shades vs. Roller Shades

Cellular Shades

Cellular shade.

Cellular shades are a popular window treatment option for homes. They provide superior insulation, light control, and noise reduction while looking sleek and modern. Let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of Cellular Shades 

  • One of the main advantages of cellular shades is their energy efficiency. They create an air pocket between the shade fabric and the glass that helps keep your home warm during cold months and cool during hot months, which helps reduce your energy bills. This air pocket also acts as a sound barrier to reduce outside noise and improve privacy in your home. 
  • They come in many different styles, textures, colors, and designs, so you can easily find something that will match the style of your home. Plus, they come in several levels of opaqueness, from completely sheer to completely blackout, depending on your needs.
  • Since all cellular shades are custom-made to fit any size window or door, installation is quick and easy with no hassle. 
  • They can block out 100% of direct sunlight or filter it in depending on how open or closed they are—so you can choose the brightness level in each room.

Disadvantages of Cellular Shades 

  • They can be expensive compared to other window treatments like blinds or curtains. However, the cost is justified because they last longer than cheaper options due to their robust construction with multiple layers of fabric.
  • Some people may find cellular shades challenging to clean since they cannot be removed from the window frame like blinds or curtains can be taken down for washing or dusting.
  • Because they are made-to-order, there can be long wait times before they arrive in your home after purchase, which could cause delays in installation if you need them quickly. 

Roller Shades

White roller shade.

Roller shades are a popular window treatment choice for many homeowners. They provide a simple, elegant look to any room and offer various styles and fabric choices. Let’s take a closer look at what roller shades provide—and what to watch out for before making your final decision. 

Advantages of Roller Shades

  • They are relatively affordable when compared to other window treatments.
  • They require minimal installation effort—only a few essential household tools and a few minutes of free time are all you need.
  • Roller shades can be customized with different materials and colors to perfectly match your home’s design. 
  • They are incredibly durable. This means they will last for years without fading or tearing—even if exposed to direct sunlight all day.
  • They can be easily operated with just one hand. This makes them incredibly convenient if you have small children or pets in your home who may find themselves accidentally blocking access to manual blinds or curtains. 

Disadvantages of Roller Shades 

  • Although they can be customized with different colors and fabrics, they tend to lack the level of detail found in more expensive window treatments like shutters or drapes. A
  • Roller shades don’t provide much insulation from heat or cold air outside your home. This means that you may still feel uncomfortable temperatures coming through your windows during particularly hot or cold days despite having closed the blinds/shades.
  • If you choose light-filtering fabric options for your shades, some light will still get through when completely lowered into place—as opposed to blackout blinds which block all light from entering the room when fully closed.

Side-by-Side Comparison of Cellular Shade vs. Roller Shade

Cellular ShadeRoller Shade
CostCellular shades can range from $50-$350 per window, depending on the size and style of shade.Depending on size and type, roller shades typically cost anywhere from $20 to $150 per window.
InstallationCellular shades are custom-made to fit any window, so installation is quick and easy with no hassle.Roller shades can be easily installed with just a few essential household tools and minimal time commitment.
Maintenance & CleaningCellular shades cannot be removed from the window frame like blinds, or curtains can be taken down for washing or dusting, making them difficult to clean. Roller shades are easy to maintain and only require occasional dusting to keep them looking their best. They also have fewer parts than cellular shades.
Light Control & PrivacyCellular shades provide excellent light control and privacy options. They are constructed with multiple layers of fabric, which can be adjusted to open up or block out as much light as you desire.

In addition, cellular shades come in various opacity levels, so you can choose the one that best suits your privacy and light control needs.
Roller shades come in light-filtering or blackout options.

While light-filtering roller shades allow some natural light to enter the room, blackout roller shades provide complete privacy and block out all external light sources.
Energy Efficiency/Insulation BenefitsCellular shades provide superior insulation benefits compared to roller shades.

In addition, the air pockets between the multiple layers of fabric in cellular shades help keep your home cooler during summer months and warmer during cold winter days—saving you money on energy bills.
Roller shades are not as effective at keeping heat or cold air out.

Instead, they serve as an additional barrier between the window and your home, which may need more to make a noticeable difference in energy costs.
AestheticsCellular shades are available in various colors, patterns, and materials such as wood, vinyl, and fabrics.

They also come with different pleated styles (including honeycomb cell shapes), giving them an elegant look that can complement traditional or modern décor. 

Additionally, cellular shades provide excellent light control and privacy options—allowing you to customize the look of your room while also controlling the amount of natural light that enters.
On the other hand, roller shades have a more minimalist style and come in various fabrics, colors, and patterns.

They are often used to achieve a contemporary or modern look.

While they provide reasonable light control and privacy options, roller shades don’t have the same range of customization that cellular shades can provide.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better, roller or cellular shades? 

The best option for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Cellular shades provide superior insulation benefits and a range of customization options. However, they are typically more expensive than roller shades. Roller shades are easier to install and maintain but don’t offer the same level of insulation as cellular shades.

Are cellular shades out of style? 

No, cellular shades are not out of style. On the contrary, they remain popular due to their range of customization options and excellent insulation benefits.

What is more expensive, roller shades or cellular shades? 

Cellular shades are typically more expensive than roller shades due to their energy-efficient insulation benefits.

Are cellular shades worth it? 

Cellular shades are worth it for anyone looking for excellent insulation benefits and customization options. However, they may be more expensive than roller shades. Still, the additional cost is often offset by the energy savings you can receive from their insulation properties.

Final Thoughts

Cellular shades and roller shades both offer excellent light control and privacy options. However, cellular shades are superior regarding energy efficiency and insulation benefits due to their multiple layers of fabric.

Additionally, cellular shades come in various colors, patterns, and materials that can help you customize the look of your room. Choosing between cellular and roller shades will ultimately depend on your individual needs and preferences.

Whichever one you choose, be sure to consider the energy efficiency benefits, customization options, and budget when selecting the best window treatment option for your home.

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