vertical vs. horizontal blinds

Horizontal and vertical blinds are both great options for window treatments in almost any situation. Horizontal blinds have been on the market for many years and were first introduced as “mini blinds,” called so because they had 1-inch vanes. The horizontal blinds of today are 1-inch or 2-inch, and they come in a large variety of colors from which to choose to match your decor seamlessly.

Pros and Cons

There are many distinct differences between horizontal and vertical blinds; however, both are excellent choices for window shading products. You can find their best pros and cons below:

Vertical Blinds Best for view, some noise cancellation, and energy efficiency, easiest to maintain and clean. In the noisier operation, bottoms can get dirty, decorations on window sills will fall.
Horizontal Blinds Best for privacy, best for noise cancellation and energy efficiency, need cleaning more often. May rise unevenly, dangling cords, more challenging to clean.

Choosing Between Vertical and Horizontal Blinds

The size of a window or glass door can help you decide which type of blinds to choose. Other factors to consider are:

Space Around the Door/Window

Both vertical and horizontal blinds can be installed in two different manners: an inside mount and an outside mount. Inside mounts have mounting hardware and brackets inside of the window or doorframe, making them appear tidy. If you want your door or window that you are covering to look larger than it is, you can have your window treatments mounted outside of the door or window frame, but you need to have enough room above the window or door and on each side to install them in this manner.

Which Direction the Door or Window Opens

Casement windows swing outward from your home when you open them. Therefore, a horizontal blind in a casement window can be obstructed at the top when you extend the window outward unless there is enough space above the window to mount a horizontal blind high on the wall near the ceiling. If you are interested in a vertical blind for a casement window, the best idea is to have the outside mounting option and have the stack or the drawn vanes on the same side of the window as the window hardware. This keeps the blinds from interfering with the window operation.

If your windows open by sliding the bottom upward, you can choose either blind, and it will work great. However, if your windows open from one side to another, you want the stack on a vertical blind to be on the stationary side.

If you are installing blinds on a sliding glass door, you want the stack when the blinds are opened fully to lie on the stationary side of the door. If the stack is on the side that moves to open, it will interfere with the door operation.

Size Matters

Before vertical blinds emerged on the market, there was only a choice of horizontal blinds. However, when horizontal blinds were placed on a large window or sliding glass door, they would not last very long because the raising mechanism had to support the entire weight of the large blind, and it would malfunction quickly. Vertical blinds were created with this in mind since they slide open from side to side instead of upward. The opening mechanism only bears the weight of each vane, making them very easy to open and close.

Smaller and more narrow windows are usually dressed with horizontal blinds because they look more prominent instead of vertical blinds, diminishing their appearance significantly.

one of our custom window treatment projects
One of the custom window treatment projects by Harriet J using horizontal blinds.


Horizontal blinds tend to be more durable than vertical blinds. The newer styles that are cordless are even more durable because they don’t use the older string methods of opening them, which tend to break.

Vertical blinds can be more durable if you make a few additions to them. For example, in a patio door, you can have custom vertical blinds made to be a little shorter in length so they don’t rub on the floor or small objects that may fall onto the floor in their pathway. In addition, the vertical blinds will move in the wind when the door is open, but you can have weights on the bottoms of each vane or small chains that attach them to keep them from blowing when the door is open. This can increase the durability and life of your vertical blinds.

Privacy Levels

The vanes in horizontal blinds slightly overlap when they are fully closed. This gives you an outstanding level of privacy in any window or small door, especially if you have a neighbor that could see in your windows or if the windows face the street or a parking lot.

Vertical blinds don’t overlap when they are closed, not giving you the same amount of privacy. Some gaps of light can be seen between the vanes. Although, you can have a black-out material to make it darker and more complex to see through.

Why Choose Interiors by Harriet J?

With over 11 years of experience as window treatment specialists, Harriet J and her team can provide you with excellent customer service and attend to all of your window treatment needs. We have many different options available in vertical and horizontal blinds, including materials and colors to match your decor perfectly. We also guarantee a perfect fit on all window coverings. So call us today for a consultation to beautify your home with designer window treatment of all types.

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