Types Of Roman Shades – Read This Before You Buy

You have a lot of different options when it comes to choosing the right type of window treatments for your home, but one that many people overlook is roman shades. They are often overlooked because they are not as popular as other types of curtains or blinds and there may be uncertainty about how to install them correctly.

However, once you get past these two things, you will find that roman shades offer some great benefits and can make your living space look much more elegant while still providing privacy for you when you want it. Roman shades come in a variety of materials including wood, fabric and vinyl among others. Each material has its own advantages which we will explore below.

Flat Roman Shades

The most popular type of roman shades are flat ones. These come in two main types – roller and panel. Both types offer the same benefits, but have some slight differences which we will look at below.

Most often, these types of roman shades are made from either wood or vinyl and they tend to be cheaper than other styles.

The main advantage of this type is that they are very easy to install. Most flat roman shades will come as a single large panel, so you can hang it without any special tools or additional supports.

They also offer good privacy, though not quite as much as other types of roman shades while still being plenty to keep light out and maintain a sense of style in your home.

The main disadvantage is that they will not keep the heat out in the same way as other types of roman shades, but if this is not important to you or you live somewhere with mild winters then this should not be an issue.

They also offer less flexibility – you cannot use them to cover a larger window or control light as well as other types of roman shades. The maximum width that can be covered with this type is around 90 inches, which is enough for most windows but not all.

Bamboo Roman Shades

Another type of roman shades which is becoming increasingly popular are bamboo ones.

Bamboo consists of wood, but it has been treated in a certain way to make it stronger and more durable. This makes it very attractive for use as a style of window treatment because not only does bamboo look good, but also maintains its appearance over time without sagging, splitting or fading.

Bamboo is also easy to maintain, making it a good choice if you have pets or small children who may be tempted to play with the roman shades. It can even repel water and resist mildew growth, so there should be fewer problems with mold and mildew forming on your roman shades than there may be with other types.

Bamboo roman shades are also very easy to install, which makes them a good option if you want to save money by not paying someone else to do it for you. The instructions that come with the blinds are usually simple and well-illustrated so they can be hooked up in no time at all.

Bamboo roman shades also provide excellent privacy while still allowing light in, making them a good choice for bedrooms and other rooms where you want extra privacy but still need to be able to see what is going on outside.

Vinyl Roman Shades

Today vinyl is one of the most popular materials for shades in a variety of styles and colors. It's an affordable, environmentally friendly option since it's made from recycled plastics. Vinyl comes in many other solid colors: black, beige, white, browns and tans to name a few. It also comes in patterns such as stripes (a thin masking tape is used on the front to create a striped pattern) and plaid.

Patterned vinyl shades are available in opaque and translucent tones. This material can be used to create roman shades with an almost unlimited number of pleat sizes. Vinyl is very versatile, easy to clean, holds a pleat well and is highly energy efficient. It's also durable enough for outside use although it isn't recommended that you leave your shade in the elements all year around.

Balloon Roman Shades

A balloon shade is a type of roman shade that is made from ultra-thin, translucent plastic. The material has several layers that are stitched together in pleats so the light comes through quite well.

The effect this creates when drawn is similar to opening and closing an umbrella--you can see outside but it's still mostly covered. Two way, three way and multi-way balloons are available for a dramatic effect. A two way shade can be drawn back to reveal approximately 75% of the window while a three way is about 50%.

The balloon shade is a very easy roman shade to install. You can set it up in just one day and if you need to take it down again, you can do that too. This type of roman shades is more expensive upfront but the money you'll save on heating bills over time makes it an excellent value for your home.

Balloons are also great for children's rooms because they keep the light in while still being translucent. If you have a child who needs privacy, this is an excellent choice of shade because adult onlookers can see into the room but the child will feel more private.

Banded Roman Shades

Banded roman shades are less common but still a great way to add drama to your windows. If you already have banded flooring in your home, window treatments can match that theme by using matching colors and patterns on the shades.

They're also a good choice for rooms where you don't want to block out all of the light completely-a wider band allows for light to get in while still maintaining privacy.

Lastolite Roman Shades

Lastolite is a type of vinyl that has an ultra smooth look and feel. It is made with a specially formulated resin which allows it to reflect light and create a shimmering effect popularly called "water glass".

The manufacturing process creates a reflective surface that is smooth and even, which also helps the light come through instead of being blocked by wrinkles or bubbles. This means you will still have privacy as well as the beauty of this translucent shade material.

Lastolite comes in a variety colors to match your decor from warm neutrals like taupe and cream to dark gray and navy blue. It can be used for kitchen window treatments also such as curtain panels, cafe curtains or valances to add extra color and light. It's a great alternative to frosted glass which is more opaque.

Tulip Roman Shades

Tulip shades are available in a wide range of fabrics, from sheer and opaque to solid colors. The most popular is the sheer fabric which allows light into your room but blocks out any view of the outside world. This is a good choice for rooms where you keep the blinds or curtains opened all day long.

The tulip shade is a 45 degree pleated fabric which allows you to tilt and slide the panels from inside your room, giving you maximum flexibility in adjusting the amount of light and privacy that you need in your home.

Waterfall Roman Shade

Waterfall shades are often meant for larger windows that have angled walls. These shades give the same look as a full length curtain at an affordable price. The panels can be adjusted from inside your room by repositioning them on the mounting brackets to alter their look and their purpose.

The waterfall roman shade is ideal for bedrooms where privacy is a must. It helps you to keep prying eyes away from your valuable privacy. If you are using the shade as a room divider, it can be adjusted into a solid panel of fabric.

Hobbled Roman Shades

Hobbled shades are used in front of full length windows to block out the view from outside the room. The shades can be adjusted by sliding them along the rails allowing you maximum light and privacy control.

These roman shades look great when combined with a valance or cornice at your window. This creates a sleek, clean and classic look to your windows. The shades are easily slid along the rails to adjust them, allowing you maximum control over the amount of light and privacy that you need in your room.

Sheer Roman Shades

Sheer shades are often used in bedrooms or living rooms where it is desirable to have some control over the amount of light, privacy and heat that come into a room. These roman shades can be adjusted by sliding them along the rails, giving you complete control over your lighting and privacy needs.

Sheer roman shades also offer privacy and light control on a budget. They work great for bedrooms where you don't want the expense of solid fabric, but still need some sort of shading to stop prying eyes from seeing in your home.

The sheer shade gives you the same classic look as full length draperies without the high cost of fabric, installation and cleaning. This makes it a great choice for anyone who wants to take advantage of this elegant look within their home.

Cordless Roman Shades

Cordless Roman Shades are a versatile, decorative window treatment that can be used in any room of the house. These shades provide privacy and light control by stopping people outside from viewing indoors, and curtailing lighting and heat that enters or exits through windows. They also reduce energy bills by blocking out over half of the sun's UV rays.

Some home owners have a hard time hanging curtains and shades, especially in rooms with high ceilings or odd angles. Cordless Roman Shades make it very simple to install them correctly on your windows and doors. The unique design allows the shade to be installed horizontally or vertically and adjust easily for varying moldings, creating an attractive, custom fit.

The cordless roman shades operate in a very easy manner, and the motor runs on batteries which you may need to replace every 1-3 years depending on your usage. Cordless Roman Shades are available in many different patterns and colors so that you can find the perfect match for your home decor. They can be made with a combination of solid fabrics and lined fabrics for an even more custom look.


Will they block out all light?

In most cases, no. Roman shades are not blackout curtains and do allow light to shine through. Also, depending on your needs, they can be either translucent or opaque.

Will they be effective against glare?

Roman shades can help reduce glare in your living space by up to 90%. This reduction is achieved thanks to the fabric texture and weave, which provide an increase in shade density and light blocking capabilities (Owen & Tomlinson, n.d.).

Are they effective in blocking excessive sunlight?

Roman shades can help block out 100% of UV rays and up to 90% of unwanted heat. They also provide a fabric texture that reduces glare by scattering the light. (Owen & Tomlinson, n.d.)

What are their weight limitations?

Depending on the size and style of your roman shades, you can hang them on a maximum size of 36" wide and 72" tall.

The most common question people ask is if the fabric will fade or shrink over time with direct exposure to sunlight. The answer to this question is no! Roman shades are treated with a SunGuard protectant that prevents sunlight from damaging your shades and fabrics.

What are their advantages?

Roman shades can be closed or opened with the touch of fingers to help control privacy, light, and temperature in any room. They also add elegance and style to any window décor. Depending on the fabric texture and style, they can help reduce glare.

How do I clean them if they get dirty?

If your roman shades seems to have a lot of dirt, it is best to vacuum regularly with an upholstery attachment. Avoid using feather dusters or balls because these can cause damage to the surface. The recommended cleaning agent is warm water, mild detergent, and a soft bristle brush.

What are the safety precautions to use when installing my roman shades?

Roman shades are required to be installed with the cords left outside or wrapped around the back of window moldings. The cord should not hang freely inside your home as it can pose a strangulation risk. According to the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission, there have been 145 incidents of strangulation involving roman shades reported between 1990 and 2004 (U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission, n.d.).

How do I choose the right fabric?

Roman shades are available in different fabrics with different textures and colors. These fabrics vary based on price, durability, and light reflectivity. Some of the fabrics you may consider include cotton/poly blends, satin, silk-like fabric (100% polyester), textured vinyls, suede cloths, linen textures with a variety of fibers that including 35% wool or bamboo.

Will they make my room too hot?

Roman shades will block the majority of heat from sunlight and reduce excess solar heat by up to 90%. This reduction is achieved through the texture and weave of fabrics that provide an increase in shade density.

What's my budget?

The price range for most roman shades ranges from $35 - $200, depending on size, fabric type (polyester vs. cotton), and style (louvers, pleated, etc.).

What about when I want to open or close them?

The Roman shades can be opened and closed vertically or horizontally. It depends on your preference and needs.


Roman shades can add elegance and style to any window décor. With the touch of a button, you can open or close them easily.

They come in many shapes, sizes, fabrics, colors, designs, textures and styles to match your taste and needs. They are available for every room in your home from living rooms and dining areas to kitchens and bedrooms.

Roman shades can help reduce glare, provide privacy, control temperature, and light in your home. They are durable and easy to maintain by vacuuming or dry-cleaning them regularly.

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