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Horizontal or Vertical Blinds?

You’re outfitting a room with new blinds. The endless choices are making your head spin! One of the first decisions you need to make is whether to install vertical or horizontal blinds. How do you decide? Knowing the differences between the types of blinds and the advantages and disadvantages of each can help you choose the right window treatments for your home. 

Horizontal Blinds feature horizontal slats which attach with string or strips of cloth. They come in aluminum, wood or plastic, multiple finishes, a variety of colours and can be ready-made or made to measure. They’re good for the home or office, easy to maintain, versatile, allow for light and privacy control, are affordable, easy to install and suitable for most window sizes. However, cord storage is required to ensure the safety of children or pets, they can make your window look “heavy,” they’re easily damaged and they collect dust.  

Vertical Blinds have individual slats that run along a track at the top of the window, open from side to side or by parting in the middle and tilt for light and privacy control. They’re popular for patio doors and floor to ceiling windows but can be used on smaller casements. Vertical blinds may be casual or elegant, come in a variety of styles, a wide range of finishes, different patterns, and can be purchased in ready-made or made to measure styles. They’re easy to clean, versatile, simple to use and make small windows look large. However, they’re easily damaged, noisy when opening, can make your window look “heavy,” cord storage is required to ensure the safety of children or pets and gaps may occur where the blinds meet the wall compromising privacy and light control.  

Which type of blind is right for your window?


  • Consider the type of aperture you wish to cover: If you’re covering a tall, narrow or small window, horizontal shades work well. Vertical blinds are best for large and/or wide windows as well as patio or sliding doors. 
  • Think about the direction of the sun: If you’re covering an east or west facing window, choose vertical blinds as they effectively block the light of the sun, keeping your home from overheating. Horizontal blinds are more commonly used for windows that face north or south as they can be easily adjusted to block or allow light in as the angle of the sun changes.
  • If privacy matters: Horizontal blinds are the best choice. You can open, close and tilt them as needed allowing visibility and illumination without losing privacy. Vertical blinds compromise privacy when tilted.
  • Consider upkeep and care: Vertical blinds are easier to clean as you can dust a full section in one sweep. However, they rely on a single track with moving slats and are therefore more likely to wear and need repair or replacement. Horizontal blinds come with strings and other mechanisms that cause some difficulty when cleaning and they require cleaning while facing in one direction and then need to be flipped and cleaned on the other side. 
  • Match your home: Most people select their window coverings to fit the overall color theme and design of their home. When it comes to choice, horizontal blinds have the widest selection of style and colour options.


If you’re unsure of which blinds are right for you, talk to your blinds provider. They’ll help you find the perfect fit, style, and colour for each window in your home.

For all your blind and shade needs, call Blinds West (403-270-9696), a division of West Hillhurst Paint and Design. Blinds West offers in home or in store consultation, post-sale service, installation, and warranty service. They carry Hunter Douglas and Shade-O-Matic products. Schedule your consultation today!