Buyer's guide to roller blinds

Minimal, modern and budget friendly, roller blinds are the perfect window treatments for kitchens, bathrooms and beyond

Duette Energy Saving Blinds Mid Blue
(Image credit: Duette)

Buying roller blinds? Then you might be looking for expert guidance. after all, when decorating a room, your mind is probably firmly focussed on choosing the perfect furniture, arguing over the wall colour or deciding which flooring is going to look amazing. And while these all may be very important decisions, we think deciding how to dress your windows should also be up there on your decorating to do list. 

It’s time to focus on minimal, modern and budget-friendly roller blinds. See our favourite roller blind finds – and find out how to measure up for your roller blinds. Find more guidance on choosing window blinds in our guide.

We’ve also put together more handy guides on how to choose window treatments. We’ve covered how to choose Venetian blinds, Roman blinds and loft blinds.

Save space with roller blinds

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If your working with a smaller living room, kitchen, home office or bedroom, roller blinds are a wise choice. Their simple, space-enhancing design fits closely to windows and (if you opt for a neutral colour) they tend to visually disappear, whether rolled up or down. They also won’t get caught on window sills, radiators or furniture as curtains tend to do. 

Roller blind in a small hallway office

(Image credit: Hillarys)

Blackout or sheer roller blinds?

When choosing your blind’s fabric, first think about whether you want to completely block out light or opt for something that filters light instead. If you are going for a blackout fabric, make sure they cover the window snuggly for total darkness or fit them outside your window frames. 

We love how the tile print of this blackout blind from Hillarys instantly gives a simple, contemporary bathroom an on trend Moroccan vibe. 

Looking for blackout curtains, too? Find the best in our buyer's guide.

Moroccan print black out blind in a small bathroom

(Image credit: Hillarys)

Pick waterproof blinds in kitchens and bathrooms

Kitchens can be a bit of a disaster zone at times, sauces flying everywhere, grease splatters magically appearing on every surface (or is that just us?), so curtains clearly aren’t going to be the best choose for your space. Instead opt for waterproof rollers that will repel moisture and can be wiped down. 

Find more window treatments for kitchens and window dressings for bathrooms in our design galleries.

Roller blinds in a small kitchen

(Image credit: Hillarys)

Moisture-resistant roller blinds are also your best bet for bathrooms as they won’t rot or go mouldy. English Blinds have hundreds of waterproof roller blinds in gorgeous fabrics; we are particularly in love with this Luxury Grey shade (below). 

Luxury Grey blinds in a modern bathroom

(Image credit: English Blinds)

Choose roller blinds for roof windows

Unsure how to dress your roof or loft windows? Roller blinds are a fail-safe option and can be useful to soften the light and prevent glare. These roller blinds from Velux are ideal for bedrooms as they offer total darkness, plus they come in 42 different colours so you can find one to suit your style. 

Use our design guide to choosing blinds for roof or loft windows

Roof windows in a loft bedroom

(Image credit: Velux)

Save energy with thermal blinds

Thermal blinds, or energy efficient blinds (they are essentially the same thing), keep heat in your house during the winter and out during the summer. They are ideal if you if you live in a period property with older windows that don’t provide the best insulation. 

The energy efficient blinds from Duette have a unique honeycomb design keeps 46 per cent more heat in your home, plus they come in loads of different colours and finishes. 

Find ideas for conservatory blinds in our design gallery.

Made to measure Infusion taupe Intu Micro blinds, from £71 for W40.5cm x L61cm, including fitting, Style Studio

(Image credit: Style Studio)

Combine roller blinds with other window treatments 

Due to their compact nature, rollers can easily be combined with other window treatments. If you want the softness of sheer curtains in a bedroom but aren’t willing to sacrifice a good night's sleep, then installing a blackout roller blind is a great solution. Go for something in a neutral colour and we promise you won’t even notice it. 

Find more smart bedroom window treatments in our design gallery.

Blackout blinds combined with sheer curtains in and Ikea bedroom

Window dressings, Ikea

(Image credit: Ikea)

Use patterned blinds for a quick update

Want to give your kitchen a quick refresh on a budget? Or any room a refresh for that matter? Switching up your blinds is a super easy way to give a room a new look. Dunelm have an amazing selection of printed designs like this Emmott Seafoam Floral roller blind that look stylish but are really inexpensive. 

Read more about designing a stylish kitchen on a budget.

Patterned roller blind in a retro kitchen

(Image credit: Dunelm)

Adjust light levels with ease

Zebra roller blinds have movable fabric bands in an alternating translucent and transparent material allowing you to choose how best to allow light to enter your room by fine tuning the light levels as the bands match up. 

Bloc Blinds kitchen blind

(Image credit: Bloc Blinds)

Fit motorised blinds

While a manual roller blind will generally do, for floor to ceiling windows it might be worth investing in a motorised blind that can raise or lower them all at the touch of a button.

The new Reflection roller blind range from Luxaflex features subtle patterns and textures, perfect for adding a tactile quality to large rooms. Suitable for humid rooms, it can be wiped clean with a sponge. There’s a wide choice of colours: shown here is Unico Bo; prices start from £89. Luxaflex also offer PowerView: motorised blinds that can be controlled from your phone or tablet. 

navy blue roller blinds in a kitchen

(Image credit: Luxaflex)

Want a softer look? Try Swedish blinds

Roller blinds may be suited to more modern spaces, but that's not to say that they can't work in a more traditional home. Swedish roller blinds have more of a relaxed style than traditional roller blinds, but just be aware you are best fitting them to windows where you can reach the top as you will need to roll the fabric up by hand. 

Swedish roller blinds

Window dressings, Ikea

(Image credit: Ikea)

How to measure for roller blinds

Before you measure up, decide which fitting option you'd prefer: inside or outside the recess. If you are going with blackout blinds we recommend choosing a blind that sits outside of the recess to block out the most light. 

If you’d prefer your blinds to sit inside the window recess, measure the width at the top, middle and bottom of the recess. Measure in centimetres and round down rather than up to ensure that your blinds fit within the recess space and don't snag. 

For a blind that hangs outside the window recess, measure the width at the top of the recess, then add at least 4cm on each side, so that the blind overlaps the window symmetrically.

Looking for more window treatment advice?

Hebe Hatton

Hebe joined the Real Homes team in early 2018 as Staff Writer before moving to the Livingetc team in 2021 where she took on a role as Digital Editor. She loves boho and 70's style and is a big fan of Instagram as a source of interiors inspiration. When she isn't writing about interiors, she is renovating her own spaces – be it wallpapering a hallway, painting kitchen cupboards or converting a van.