This quick comparison is based on covering a Master bedroom window measuring 1800mm wide x 2000mm high. The colour has been chosen as cream or clear lacquered as appropriate. All prices include installation and GST. For detailed pros & cons by product scroll down.

PRODUCT PRICE LIFESPAN (YEARS) WARM IN WINTER COOL IN SUMMER
Roller Blind $360.00 2-5 star star
Blind: mesh material $1600.00 5-8 star star
Curtains: self lined $900.00 6-10 starstarstar starstarstar
Curtains: heavy pelmet $2100.00 10-15 starstarstarstar starstarstarstar
Shutters: vinyl $1650.00 Up to 20 starstarstar starstarstar
Shutters: cedar $1800.00 Up to 20 starstarstarstar starstarstarstar
Venetians: cedar $685.00 3-7 starstar starstar
Venetians: aluminium $400.00 3-7 starstar starstar

 

Insulation:
In winter a house “bleeds” heat from glass windows. In summer, outdoor heat radiates inwards. Basically there is no insulation value in glass. A shutter, blind or curtain improves the situation because it creates airspace between the glass and the window covering. The thicker (more insulating) the covering the better. The more you prevent the movement of air behind the covering the better too. Therefore the best result comes with heavier, tighter fitting window coverings to prevent convection of air between the window covering and the glass of the window.

Comparison of best scores:
Heavy-duty curtains and Western Red Cedar shutters have the best overall results for lifespan and insulating properties. These two options require the biggest upfront investment but they last longer. Shutters have the advantage over heavy-duty curtains, of better control of light, airflow and privacy. Shutters are also easier to dust and clean and have no dangling cords which could endanger babies or children under 3 years. We would recommend shutters as the better long-term investment over curtains, because with care, they should never need replacing and they add value to your home

Blind - standard:

standard cream roller blind, back rolled with cream chain and bottom roll

Price (incl GST):
$360.00

Lifespan in years:
2-5

Rating for warming effect in winter:
star

Rating for cooling effect in summer:
star

Pros/Cons:
Appear to disappear completely when retracted leaving window free. Good if you have a priceless view. Reduced exposure to dust and dirt when retracted. However there is no privacy when the blinds are up. Chains/cords can be prone to snap and tangle and must be kept away from young kids for fear of entanglement. Repairs can be fiddly or difficult to organise. Low insulation effect.

Blind - luxury:

luxury stylish look, cream mesh material, filters light, smooth open/shut retraction

Price (incl GST):
$1600.00

Lifespan in years:
5-8

Rating for warming effect in winter:
star

Rating for cooling effect in summer:
star

Pros/Cons:
Attractive blind with smooth operation. Open /close operation can even be automated. Mesh provides some access to view when the blinds are down, but still filters out glare and gives privacy. The ultimate if you want a blind. Cords must be kept away from young children to prevent entanglement.

Curtains - standard:

Cream, attractive woven look, self-lined block out

Price (incl GST):
$900.00

Lifespan in years:
6-10

Rating for warming effect in winter:
starstarstar

Rating for cooling effect in summer:
starstarstar

Pros/Cons:
Attractive, attract dust and dirt, need bi-annual dry-cleaning. Good light block out when closed. It is easy to open windows when the curtains are open. Material can be patched if torn. Full view to street when open but less private than other coverings unless sheers are also made up at extra cost. Cords must be kept away from young kids.

Curtains - heavy, with pelmet:

heavy, luxury look, fully lined block out with matching pelmet

Price (incl GST):
$2100.00

Lifespan in years:
10-15

Rating for warming effect in winter:
starstarstarstar

Rating for cooling effect in summer:
starstarstarstar

Pros/Cons:
Usually a traditional luxury feature in the room which complements the overall décor. A pelmet completes the look and also boosts the insulation affect. Must be closed for insulation effect. Attracts dust and requires expensive dry cleaning. Less private than louvred windows when the curtains are open.

Shutters - synthetic:

man made material, 90mm blade

Price (incl GST):
$1650.00

Lifespan in years:
Up to 20

Rating for warming effect in winter:
starstarstar

Rating for cooling effect in summer:
starstarstar

Pros/Cons:
Stylish look, material must be assessed in case polystyrene is used (toxic in fires). Gives optimum privacy and light control and is easy to clean large blade sizes. Must remain within the window space most of the time- can’t be folded open against the wall because the material will sag over time. Less likely to chip or mark than cedar. Good insulation because the shutter fully fits the window frame.

Shutters - cedar:

Western Red Cedar, 90mm blade

Price (incl GST):
$1800.00

Lifespan in years:
Up to 20

Rating for warming effect in winter:
starstarstarstar

Rating for cooling effect in summer:
starstarstarstar

Pros/Cons:
Stylish look, natural material with excellent insulation when fitted. No dangling cords a big plus! Gives optimum privacy and light control and is easy to clean. Can be a snug fit to any window shape, even circular. Timber shutters can be opened out and folded against the wall for any length of time you like, as they will not sag. Cedar is a lightweight wood, which will show the patina of age. A beautiful look which can be let down by mass production and poor installation. The only window covering which can improve the capital value of your home.

Venetians - cedar:

cedar, lacquered, 90mm blade, cord operated

Price (incl GST):
$685.00

Lifespan in years:
3-7

Rating for warming effect in winter:
starstar

Rating for cooling effect in summer:
starstar

Pros/Cons:
Attractive but fiddly to clean. Cords must be maintained and kept away from young kids. Open/shut mechanisms prone to snap off and can be difficult to repair. Can be angled for privacy and light control. Quality varies from cheap and nasty to really good.

Venetians - aluminium:

cream coloured aluminium, 50mm wide slats, cord operated

Price (incl GST):
$400.00

Lifespan in years:
3-7

Rating for warming effect in winter:
starstar

Rating for cooling effect in summer:
starstar

Pros/Cons:
Attractive but fiddly to clean. Metal can easly bend or dent. Cords must be maintained and dangling cords can be dangerous for kids under 3 years. Open/shut mechanisms prone to snap off and can be difficult to repair. Can be angled for privacy and light control.

Insulation:
In winter a house “bleeds” heat from glass windows. In summer, outdoor heat radiates inwards. Basically there is no insulation value in glass. A shutter, blind or curtain improves the situation because it creates airspace between he glass and the window covering. The thicker (more insulating) the covering the better. The more you prevent the movement of air behind the covering the better too. Therefore the best result comes with heavier, tighter fitting window coverings to prevent convection of air between the window covering and the glass of the window.

Comparison of best scores:
Heavy-duty curtains and Western Red Cedar shutters have the best overall results for lifespan and insulating properties. These two options require the biggest upfront investment, but they last longer. Shutters have the advantage over heavy-duty curtains, of better control of light, airflow and privacy. Shutters are also easier to dust and clean and have no dangling cords, which could endanger babies or children under 3 years. We would recommend shutters as the better long-term investment over curtains, because with care, they should never need replacing and they add value to your home.

Looking for total light blockout?
If you are looking for a window covering primarily to block out light completey you may be disappointed with shutters. To my knowledge there are no industry standards for shutters. If you are after 100% blockout you probably should note Luxaflex advise that their shutters should not be sold as a blockout product, especially plastic shutters which can sag and bow with time.