When looking for an attractive window covering that is also energy efficient, cellular shades are an excellent option to consider. These shades create small cells between two layers of fabric. These cells, which resemble honeycombs, trap air to provide an additional layer of insulation at your window.
Cellular window shades are available in a variety of colors and styles. Ahead, we’ll provide helpful information about several important features to consider before making a purchase as well as detailed reviews for some of the best cellular shades on the market for your windows to keep your living space both attractive and energy efficient.
- BEST OVERALL: Windowsandgarden Cordless Top Down Bottom Up Cellular
- BEST BUDGET: Bali Blinds 044294 214064 Cordless Light Filtering
- BEST BLACKOUT: SBARTAR Cellular Shades Cordless Blackout Blinds
- BEST CORDLESS: CHICOLOGY Cordless Cellular Shades
- BEST TOP-DOWN: Achim Home Furnishings CSTD35WH06 Top-Down Cordless
Types of Cellular Shades
Before you begin to shop, learn about the three types of cellular window shades for your windows: cordless, motorized, and top-down. Understanding the differences between these types of shades will help you decide which one will be ideal for your space.
Cordless cellular shades are preferable for homes with small children or pets. Traditional window shades and blinds have long, dangling cords that are a potential strangulation threat for children and animals. Cordless cellular shades do not have any visible cord and, therefore, don’t pose that safety risk.
Cellular shades instead feature an internal cord. When you push up or pull down on the rail at the base of cellular shades, they automatically raise and lower. They also include a locking system that keeps the shades in the position you place them in until you lower or raise them again.
As the name suggests, motorized cellular window shades are equipped with a motor that you can operate via remote control. This feature makes them the easiest and most convenient type of cellular shade since you’ll be able to conveniently raise or lower them without getting up from the couch, pulling a cord, or pushing and pulling on the base.
Some motorized shades are programmable to open or close at set times during the day. If you prefer to close the shades once it grows dark and open them again in the morning, you can easily program your motorized cellular shades to do so automatically. This feature can also come in handy if you have young children who take naps; you could program their shades to close at the beginning of naptime and open back up at the end of it.
Top-down shades, also called top-down/bottom-up shades, are designed to let in light without compromising your privacy. With this type of cellular shade, you can leave the bottom of the shade closed to cover most of the window and pull the top of the shade down to allow some natural light into your space.
If you prefer, you can also open top-down cellular shades like traditional shades. Leave the shade all the way up at the top of the window and raise the base, or let some light in from both the top and bottom of the shade at the same time. For this reason, top-down cellular shades are quite versatile.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Cellular Shades
As you begin your search for the best cellular shades, it becomes quite clear that there are a multitude of features to consider. Take a few moments to read through our list of key considerations you’ll want to keep in mind before making a purchase. Familiarizing yourself with the different available options helps ensure you’ll decide on the best cellular shades for your windows.
As with purchasing blinds, curtains, or other types of window treatments, you’ll need to know the dimension of the windows in your home prior to choosing cellular shades. However, with cellular shades, you have the option to mount them on either the inside or the outside of the window frame. Decide which mounting style you’d prefer before measuring your windows, as the dimensions change slightly between the two options.
For an inside mount, measure the width and length of the inside of your window frame. Manufacturers often automatically deduct between ¼ and ⅛ of an inch from the listed dimensions to allow for the right fit for an inside mount. Before making a purchase, confirm if this deduction has already been made from the shades you purchase.
If you decide on an outside mount, it is generally recommended to have the cellular blinds extend about 3 inches past each side of the window to ensure sufficient privacy and light blocking. Use a pencil to mark 3 inches past each window edge, and measure that space.
To achieve the most accurate measurement, use a steel tape measure instead of a ruler or cloth measuring tape. Measure to the nearest ⅛ inch, and always double-check your measurements before recording them. Measurements for shades should always be recorded as (width × height); recording your measurements in this order helps easily identify if a certain product is a proper fit.
Corded vs. Cordless
Cordless cellular shades may be more costly to buy and install, but with an internal hidden cord, they don’t pose a potential strangulation threat for children and pets, which is a priceless feature. Some people also consider cordless cellular shades more visually appealing since they don’t have a cord hanging down in plain sight. Cordless blinds are also very easy to operate; you can simply push up or pull down on the rail to raise or lower them.
Corded cellular shades feature a continuous cord loop. Instead of the long hanging cord found on traditional shades, the cords on these models are a loop that attaches to the window frame or wall. This type of shade—while not as seamless as the cordless blinds—is still a bit easier to raise and lower than traditional corded models, and they still eliminate the risk that free-hanging cords pose for children and pets.
Next, consider the overall look and style of each cellular shade option you’re thinking of purchasing. Cellular shades are available in a wide variety of color and fabric choices, so finding a model that coordinates with your living space should be relatively easy.
Another style option to consider is whether you’d prefer blackout or light-filtering cellular shades. Blackout shades offer the freedom to completely darken your room, regardless of the time of day, and are often a popular choice for bedrooms or media rooms. Light-filtering shades are more suitable for living areas since they allow in some light even when they are closed.
Finally, consider the importance of any additional features that improve the performance of the cellular shades. One such feature to consider is a double- or triple-cell shade. As opposed to a single layer of honeycomb cells, these models instead have either two or three layers of cells, which allow them to provide more insulation to your windows.
If you are interested in motorized cellular shades, look for products that you can control via either a remote control or a smartphone app. Some motorized cellular shades are also compatible with smart-home devices, which provides even more flexibility for control.
Our Top Picks
We conducted extensive research and identified the products below as the top picks in a variety of categories based on the types and features discussed above, in addition to overall quality and performance. Read on to discover some of the best cellular shades for your windows in nearly any room.
These cordless, top-down cellular shades from Windowsandgarden can be mounted inside or outside a window frame. With traditional shades, people can see into your home if the shades are open. These shades, however, allow you to pull the top of the shade down to let light in while keeping the bottom shade lowered to maintain your privacy. You can also raise the bottom rail of the shades to look outside.
There are no exterior cords or cables on these cellular shades, so they don’t pose a strangulation risk for young children and pets. The cord system is hidden between the layers of 100 percent polyester fabric and moves easily when you push or pull on the top or bottom rail.
These light-filtering shades are available in numerous sizes to fit nearly any window in your home. Choose from nine color options, including cool silver, antique linen, espresso, and white, to align these cellular shades with your existing room decor. Their broad size range also makes these as good as custom shades for your space.
- Type: Cordless
- Dimensions: 19 by 36 inches to 38 by 84 inches
- Ease of Installation: Easy
- Highly customizable sizes
- Multiple color options
- No cords or cable hazards
Simply lift or pull on the rail to raise or lower these cordless light-filtering shades from Bali Blinds. When lowered, they allow a little light into your space while still ensuring your privacy. Due to the cord-free operation that does not pose a risk of strangulation, these shades have been certified as “Best for Kids.” As these are honeycomb shades, they help insulate your home, making it more energy efficient.
These light-filtering shades are made from polyester and are available in seven sizes to accommodate windows ranging from 23 to 36 inches wide and 64 inches tall. The manufacturer deducts ½ inch from the listed width to allow the shades to be mounted inside a window, though you can also choose a wider size for outside mounting. These shades are a neutral white color that matches a variety of decors and are priced to match a variety of budgets as well.
- Type: Cordless
- Dimensions: 23 by 64 inches to 36 by 64 inches
- Ease of Installation: Easy
- Light-filtering, energy-efficient design
- All mounting hardware included
- Installation can be tricky
Designed with a special liner between the 100 percent polyester fabric layers, these cordless cellular shades from SBARTAR block up to 100 percent of sunlight and UV rays from entering your room. These honeycomb shades also provide additional insulation and privacy and absorb noises to keep your home quieter. You can choose from either an inside or outside frame mount.
These honeycomb blinds are very easy to operate; simply pull up or down on the rail at the base to set it at the ideal position for how much light you want to permit to flood your space. Since the blinds are cordless, they won’t present a strangulation risk for children and pets.
Choose from over 20 size options for windows from 22 to 58 inches wide and 36 to 64 inches tall, in addition to six color options: cool silver, white, ivory beige, ocean blue, coffee, and wine red. If you are satisfied with the performance of these blackout cellular shades, they are also available in a light-filtering model for rooms in which you’d like to let in a bit more light.
- Type: Cordless
- Dimensions: 22 by 48 inches to 58 by 64 inches
- Ease of Installation: Easy
- Blocks both sunlight and UV rays
- Provides added insulation
- Noise-reducing technology
- Easy to use
These cellular shades from CHICOLOGY are free of any dangerous, unsightly, or frustrating cords. Rather, they are designed with a cordless lift system that makes raising or lowering them as simple as pushing or pulling on the handle. When you’ve positioned the shades where you want them, simply let go, and they stay in place. The shades are available in a wide range of sizes to fit windows from 18 to 72 inches wide and 48 to 84 inches high and allow for both inside and outside mounts.
The shades are made from 100 percent polyester. Choose from several different color options for either blackout or light filtering models, depending on both the privacy you require and the amount of light you want to let into the room. Light-filtering shades offer more available options in muted shades: morning mist, morning croissant, morning fog, morning pebble, and morning ocean.
Blackout shades are available only in the evening mist. Both the light-filtering and blackout shades feature honeycomb cells that trap air and provide additional energy-saving insulation.
- Type: Cordless
- Dimensions: 18 by 72 inches to 48 by 84 inches
- Ease of Installation: Moderate
- Simple push-and-pull design
- Several filtering options available
- Energy-saving honeycomb and light-filtering design
- Also comes in blackout shades
- Filtering quality varies with color
These top-down cordless cellular shades from Achim Home Furnishings allow you to customize which parts of your windows are covered, with the option to either lower the shades from the top or raise them from the bottom. If you want to let light into your room while still preventing anyone from peering in from outside, simply leave the bottom of the shades all the way down while lowering the top.
Made from a nonwoven polyester fabric, the shades effectively resist fading and sagging, and they are mountable either inside or outside a window frame. Available in 11 size options and five colors, they’ll fit windows from 23 inches wide and 64 inches tall to windows 45 inches wide and 64 inches tall. The shades come in white, alabaster, mocha, dove gray, and wheat.
- Type: Top-down
- Dimensions: 23 by 64 inches to 45 by 64 inches
- Ease of Installation: Easy
- Great for large windows
- Versatile for privacy and light
- Fade resistant
- Can be difficult to install
For a versatile shade, consider the Windowsandgarden cellular shade, which is available in a wide range of sizes and colors and provides energy-saving and light-filtering qualities. For shoppers looking to block as much sunlight as possible, pick up the SBARTAR cellular blackout shades and enjoy a truly darkening effect.
How We Chose the Best Cellular Shades
The best cellular shades should be easy to install, simple to use, and customizable enough to fit any size of window—while also available in suitable colors to match a variety of decors.
Our list of recommendations features some of the top picks from our research. We looked at the range of dimensions available per product as well as the materials used in construction. Many provide energy-saving technology, varying light-filtering qualities including blackout shades, and sound reduction. Our top picks all provide an impressive mix of these aspects.
In terms of cordless versus corded options, we leaned toward the more family-friendly side of cordless cellular window blinds. These not only provide a safer environment for children but also bring a more seamless and clutter-free look to your windows.
For more information about cellular shades, check out the below FAQs and review their corresponding answers. If you still have some unanswered questions about cellular window blinds after reading this guide, reach out to one of the above manufacturers to seek additional information.
Q: What’s the difference between honeycomb shades and cellular shades?
The big difference between honeycomb and cellular shades is the two-plus layers that help compartmentalize air within honeycomb blinds. Alternatively, a pleated cellular shade has just one layer of material and does not have any slats built in.
Q: Can I clean cellular shades?
Yes, you can clean cellular shades, but take care not to damage them as you clean. To remove dust or other small debris from cellular shades, try cleaning them with the brush attachment from a vacuum. Be sure to follow the pleats on the shades to prevent crumpling the fabric. If there is dust, dirt, bugs, or other debris inside the pockets of the shades, use a can of compressed air to blow out the debris.
Q: What happens if cellular blinds get wet?
Cellular blinds should never be wet or dampened. Submerging cellular shades or using a wet cloth to clean them can cause them to lose their shape and cause the metal components built in to rust.
Q: Can you see through cellular shades at night?
While some lighting scenarios may make it possible to see lines and shadows through cellular shades, you can not completely see through them at night.
Q: Are cellular shades energy efficient?
Yes, cellular shades are an energy-efficient option. The honeycomb blinds with cells between the two layers of fabric trapped in air. This unique construction adds a layer of insulation to the window to help lower your energy costs.
Q: How long do cellular shades last?
The average lifespan of cellular shades is roughly 5 to 7 years.