Blocks most light
Thin, but heavy fabric
True to color (white)
Cheap finish on tiebacks
Difficult to remove wrinkles
We purchased AmazonBasics Room Darkening Blackout Curtains our writer could put them to the test. Keep reading for our full product review.
If you are like many millions of people who suffer from poor sleep, then maybe the next step is taking control of the stream of light that enters your room. Blackout curtains like AmazonBasics Room Darkening Blackout Curtains can prevent light from entering the bedroom and disrupting your sleep cycle. These curtains can also keep heat out (or in, depending on the season) for a boost in insulation as well. There are many curtain options, but some sacrifice appearance in favor of function. Keep reading to get our take on the AmazonBasics blackout curtains and whether or not they have the power to turn your sleep issues around.
Effectiveness: Most light stays out
If there is one thing that blackout curtains need to do, it is to keep out light. For the most part, the AmazonBasics brand gets the job done. We ordered the 42-inch by 84-inch panels in white to fit a 57-inch window. The bright, pure white curtains worked within the color scheme of the teen bedroom where we needed them.
Colored blackout fabrics are usually more effective at blocking light. White can be a tricky color for blackout curtains since blackout fabrics rely on the cover fabric to help block light, and in the case of white, it reflects light. However, that wasn’t too much of a problem with the AmazonBasics curtains, which uses a triple weave fabric to block UV rays. The curtains did have a dim glow during the daytime, so technically, they’re not 100 percent blackout, but they were still effective.
Light crept around the edges of the curtains, too. To prevent the sneaky light, we would need a wrap-around curtain rod and extra long curtains to encapsulate all the light. But, we were satisfied that the curtains performed well at their main purpose for us.
Fabric Quality: Effective but not attractive
The triple weave fabric is effective at blocking out light. AmazonBasics highlights the fact that they do not have a stiff liner as some blackout curtains. But, we'd argue that their answer to that problem isn't more attractive. Their triple weave fabric is stiff and hard similar to the texture that you’d find in a painter’s drop cloth.
The stiffness of the fabric gave these curtains body but not drape, which doesn’t make them visually appealing. Part of their flat look is due to the rod pockets. Rod pockets create gathers, which usually give a quaint, casual appeal, but when paired with a fabric that is too stiff and doesn't drape well, the fabric puffs outwards in a flat, stiff way. Sadly, these curtains looked like a bargain find but not in a good way. Heavy, drapey fabrics often tend to look high end, but, in this case, it was the opposite.
The AmazonBasics curtains also had a slightly chemical odor. The odor isn't that unexpected. Many products that are designed for UV protection and packaged in plastic can have a bit of a smell. Once the curtains aired out for a couple of days, the odor dissipated.
Design: The visual detracts from the effectiveness
Although the dense fabric is effective at blocking out the light, straight out of the package, one look at the fabric made us feel we were looking at a drop cloth rather than curtains. Once hung, in its full glory with the gathers at the top from the curtain rod, it looked worse than when it was in the package.
These curtains are definitely a casual curtain choice. The texture and drape of the fabric feel wrong for a curtain with gathers. We liken it to using burlap for a ballgown; they just don’t go together. A stiff fabric like this would hang better with grommets, which is another ordering choice on Amazon. Although we only tested the rod pocket style, we think the grommets would give you wider folds, which would better complement the fabric.
The stiffness of the fabric also makes it more challenging to hang on the curtain rod. It wasn’t insurmountable, but after hanging curtains with grommets in another room, by comparison, grommets were much easier.
After the curtains were up and secure, we tested how well they opened and closed. It was tough since the fabric caught on the curtain rod.
These curtains also come with tiebacks. They have rounded ends and seams finished with bias tape. The casual use of the bias tape finish added to the bargain basement feel and appearance. The tiebacks used a strong Velcro that held back the curtains well. But, since the curtains are a stiff fabric, the gathered look was visually unappealing.
Cleaning Ease: Machine washable but be prepared for wrinkles
These 100 percent polyester curtains can be machine washed in warm water then line dried. We appreciate anything that can be machine washed over dry clean or hand wash only. However, there have been some reports of problems with machine washing these curtains. Some people have followed the washing instructions only to have the curtains ruined. Some report that the fabric sticks together and the blackout fabric breaks away in some places. We did not have that problem when we washed ours. We suggest checking the temperature settings before washing to make sure excessive heat doesn’t damage the curtains.
You can also use a warm iron on them. And, you will definitely need an iron and a lot of patience. Wrinkles covered these curtains when we pulled them out of the package and after washing. We were testing two other curtains at the same time, and they all had wrinkles. The AmazonBasics, however, took the top prize. We tried a warm iron using the polyester setting for 20 minutes, and it didn’t touch the wrinkles at all.
Next, we threw them into a dryer with a wet cloth on low heat. Twenty minutes later, there was no change in wrinkles.
Wrinkles covered these curtains when we pulled them out of the package and after washing. We were testing two other curtains at the same time, and they all had wrinkles. The AmazonBasics, however, took the top prize.
Our next de-wrinkle attempt involved a clean dish towel and the iron’s steam setting. While the steam method took a long time and went against the manufacturer’s instructions, it did get some wrinkles out but not all. We’ve rarely had wrinkles that could resist an iron on full steam, but these did. Maybe it’s blackout fabric or a special finish we can’t detect, but even after fully ironing the curtains for 45 minutes, there were visible wrinkles.
We finally gave up and hung them anyway. Hanging them did pull out some wrinkles, but we accepted that they may always have some wrinkles.
Price: Hard to beat but at a cost
These curtains are a bargain, but they’re not attractive. The fabric and bias tape edge of the tiebacks looked like the manufacturer was cutting corners. Maybe in a different color, it would be a different story, but in white, they looked like a bargain basement blackout curtain.
Competition: Opt for more attractive options
Deconovo Blackout Curtains: Deconovo’s blackout curtains have grommets and a heavy, draping fabric. They come with a higher price and slightly less blackout ability, but if you want curtains that look higher end, these are a better choice.
NICETOWN Thermal Insulated Blackout Curtains: These curtains get top marks for quality and blackout. While the white curtains are only 50 percent blackout, which the company tells you upfront, the other colors are incredibly effective. They have a silky feel and beautiful drape, plus their price is comparable to the Amazon Basics.
No, don’t waste your money.
Maybe, if you need a bargain pair of curtains and love rod pockets, you might consider them. Otherwise, there are curtains with similar blackout capabilities, better fabric, and comparable prices.
- Product Name Room Darkening Blackout Curtains
- Product Brand AmazonBasics
- UPC 191251000427
- Price $28.99
- Weight 3.06 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 42 x 84 in.
- Color 22 colors and patterns
- What's Included Two curtain panels with two tiebacks