What is the Difference Between a Roller Shade and a Solar Shade?

You may hear both terms, roller shades and solar shades, used interchangeably, but there’s a huge difference between the two. Brush up on your window treatment knowledge with this blog post. Read on to find out more about the difference between a roller shade and a solar shade.

super value vinyl blackout roller shades

What Are Roller Shades?

Roller shades can include solar shades, but not all rollers are solars. Does that make sense? Ok, so we can see where the confusion lies. Roller shades is a broad term that refers to shades that roll back and forth to open and close. Solar shades do operate this way but the roller shade category is so much broader, and not limited to solar shades alone.

Our roller shades vary in fabrics and light control. For example, you can choose from different types of vinyl or different fabrics. You can select light filtering shades or blackout so there is something for every room in the home. Roller shades are a very general category so you’ll have to narrow down your search quite a bit to find the perfect one.

What Are Solar Shades?

While solar shades are rollers, they are a very specific kind of roller shade. The main purpose of a solar shade is to block light and UV rays and to cut glare on screens in the room. They range in openness so you go from a 14% openness if you want to block 86% of UV rays and still let light filter through, or a 1% openness to nearly block out all light and UV rays.

They are ideal for media rooms, home theatres, and home offices. The openness will depend on where you need your solar shades and what purpose you need them to serve in each respective room.

The Difference Between a Roller Shade and a Solar Shade

The main difference is that roller shades are a general product with a multitude of light and privacy control options and solar shades serve a distinct purpose, which is to cut glare and UV rays. UV rays can actually damage furniture and carpeting over time so these can also be helpful in rooms that get far too much sun. The excessive sunlight can also overheat your room so cutting UV rays will help minimize that, too.

There are some similarities with both of these products, too. They both come in a range of colours and most models in each category can be upgraded to a motorized lift system. We also offer a Smart Blinds system which can really help you upgrade your home to a more modern and efficient space.

The price points vary widely because we want everyone, no matter their budget, to find the perfect window treatments. Plus, they have a very sleek and contemporary look them so they can easily refresh your home and make it look more modern in no time.

How Do I Choose Between a Roller Shade and a Solar Shade?

The first thing we suggest is to make a list of your needs in each room in your home. Choosing blinds or shades you’ll love depends on finding a product that fulfills your needs in each room. For example, if you’re looking for privacy in the bedroom, a blackout roller shade will fit the bill. But if you want to enjoy natural light in your home office during the day and don’t really make use of the space at night, then solar shades may be the better fit.

If you aren’t sure how to choose the right product, don’t sweat it. Our customer service team is available to help you out anytime. You can find their contact info right here! You can also order free samples of any of our products so you can see and feel the materials yourself before you place your order.

Do you have any other questions about the difference between a roller shade and a solar shade? Or any other window treatments Qs? Ask us in the comments below.

4 thoughts on “What is the Difference Between a Roller Shade and a Solar Shade?

  1. We recently bought a home and haven’t been able to find a good solution to the windows in this house. Our house, being only a short proximity downhill from several other homes, feels like a bit of a fishbowl. You would think that this would make our decision easy – but the simultaneous problem is that our house suffers from not enough light, overall. We don’t want to restrict light whatsoever if possible, but we definitely need a little privacy. Are there any sheers or shades that are somewhat two directional, allowing almost all the light in, in one direction, while obscuring the view a bit in the other direction for privacy?

    • Hi Carmen. You can definitely consider alternating zebra shades which can allow light but also offer privacy. You can adjust them to your liking. Our solar shades also let lots of light in but offer privacy (during the daytime). If you’d like more detailed information, let us know and we’ll have our amazing customer service team reach out to help guide you through the process 🙂

  2. We have a large window facing the lake. approximately 105” wide. We like all the light in the room but we have to wear sunglasses to be able to see out . We don’t want to block the view just the glare of the sun. Do you have a product that will do that? We do not need the blind for privacy. Thank you.

    • Our solar shades would be perfect for you. They block UV rays and heat but if you choose a high openness percentage (10% to 14%) you’ll still be able to see outside very well. Let us know if you need any help.

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