What are Cellular Shades?

Sometimes referred to as “honeycomb” shades, cellular shades are a type of window covering made from fabric constructed in a way that creates “cells” between the layers of material to trap air, thus insulating the room from the light & heat coming through the window. The insulating properties of these shades help with energy conservation as well as maintaining a comfortable room temperature.

Cellular shades are available in what is called “single-cell,” which means that the shade has a single layer of cells, or “double-cell,” in which the shade has a dual layer of cells. Since the amount of cells is doubled in a double-cell shade, the insulating properties are much higher. Double-cell shades are quite effective when used in particularly hot or cold climates, but the higher R-value comes with a higher up-front price. The good news is that over time, the amount of money that double-cell shades save on energy will far exceed the initial investment. For more moderate climates, single-cell shades typically perform just as well.

Cellular Shades

Benefits of Cellular Shades

As mentioned above, cellular shades are known for their insulating properties. The air pockets, or “cells,” trap the air that has been affected by the outdoor temperature, allowing for more control of the room’s temperature and potential energy cost savings.

While insulation is a major benefit, cellular shades also offer others:

Light diffusion Cellular shades are available in a range of opacities from sheer to fully opaque, allowing you to choose the level of light filtering you prefer. This means that the most opaque shades (called “blackout” cellular shades) can offer room darkening properties that are superior to normal single-layer blackout shades.

Clean, minimalist look Cellular shades offer a contained look, with clean lines (due to their crisp pleats) and custom sizing. When retracted, these shades all but disappear into a neat, compact stack that maintains both the view and the aesthetic value of the room.

Noise reduction Not only do cellular shades insulate your room from temperature fluctuations, but they can also help keep outside noise from entering your home at the same time. The air that is trapped in the cells acts as a buffer to soften the sounds of traffic, neighborhood activities and more.

Privacy The option to choose your shades’ opacity allows you to control the privacy of the room. For bedrooms or other rooms that necessitate a privacy screen but still need the filtered daylight, the top-down/bottom-up option can provide both with ease.

Aesthetics Homeowners have the option of choosing the color of the fabric to complement the aesthetic feel of the room while providing curb appeal, and the soft, clean lines and custom fit of these shades offer a universal, timeless elegance. Furthermore, your choice of single-, double-, and in some cases, even triple-cell design provides the form and functionality to fit all of your window covering needs.

Available upgrades Cellular shades are available with a number of options to ensure that your product is fully custom to your needs. These can include:

  • Cordless Dangling cords are eliminated by replacing them with a hidden control system, providing a safer shade and a cleaner aesthetic.
  • Continuous cord loop Rather than a dangling cord, the cord is secured to the wall or window frame to allow easy raising and lowering of the shade by simply pulling the loop in either direction.
  • Motorized Easily the most convenient option, especially for rooms with large or multiple windows, this upgrade allows you to control your shades remotely. While remote control shades are an option, some brands offer a mobile application that allows you to control your shades using your phone or tablet.
  • Toppers Options to complete the look include coordinating valances, cornices and more.
  • Top-down/bottom-up Available for corded or cordless shades, this customization allows you to raise the shades from the bottom, as is customary, or lower them from the top for more control over light diffusion and privacy.

Additional Considerations

While cellular shades have many benefits that range from comfort to practicality to aesthetics, there are a few additional considerations to make before buying.

Cleaning Cellular shades are made of textured fabric, so they can collect dust and require a bit of effort to clean. The fabric can also be stained if anything is spilled or wiped onto it. Some homeowners take the time to pull the shades down once a year or so to gently clean them in the bathtub; ask your shade specialist how best to care for your shades.

Design  While cellular shades can be customized to the size & shape of your windows and the color of your room, the honeycomb-shaped, accordion-style design may not be everyone’s idea of fashion. In this case, there are other effective solutions, including pairing cellular shades with another type of covering, such as drapes, to achieve the look and function you desire.

Room requirements Depending on the room you’re outfitting, you may need to carefully consider all of your window treatment options. For example, a fabric shade may not be the best option for humid rooms such as bathrooms and kitchens, as the material can absorb moisture and odors.

Situation What direction is the window facing? This is important when it comes to how the sunshine will affect your home during different times of the day and year.

Wall color Window treatments can seamlessly integrate with the room’s color palette, but if you’re not careful, your shades will clash rather than complement. It’s generally a good idea to order samples before purchasing to ensure the hue is right for your space.

Shades of white Yes, white can come in several shades. When you compare different shades of white, you immediately see the differences. One may lean bluer, while another looks a bit yellow. These are undertones. Cool undertones (blue, green, gray) work best when your room is cool-toned. Pairing a warm undertone (yellow, orange, brown, red) with a cool-toned room will likely make the shades look old and dingy; on the flip side, if you pair a cool-toned shade with a warm-colored room, the shade will end up looking cold, sterile or clinical. This sounds like a lot for a white shade, but it is important to those who care about aesthetics.

Window depth To ensure your shades will fit properly into the window opening, measure the depth of the opening. Using a tape measure, begin as far back as possible at the top of the window where the brackets will go. Measure the distance to the edge of the window frame to the nearest ⅛”. If the window is beveled, measure the flattest and widest sections of the window. Is your window especially shallow? Cellular shades are one of the best options for shallow windows.

Curb appeal You want your shades to be practical and to function how you need them to, as well as look great from inside the room, but don’t forget to consider how your shades look from the outside of the home. If curb appeal is something you care about, make sure that the back of your shades look as good from the street as they do from inside.

If you’ve read this far and you think that cellular shades are the right choice for your next project, contact Shade Light Solutions today!