When my husband and I first moved into our apartment, I was dead-set on white curtains. But he's a very light sleeper and requires a cave-like environment of complete and total darkness to really get a good night's sleep. Also complicating matters was that our bedroom windows are huge. Since I couldn't find exactly what we both wanted (his idea was to cover our windows with tinfoil) and our budget was tight, we went with white canvas curtains from Ikea and I fastened on cheap, janky room-darkening panels to the back of them. We made do with this subpar set-up for way too long. Finally, five years later, we were ready to invest in some legit blackout curtains.
I spent hours researching the best blackout curtains online and was prepared to dump buckets of money into transforming our bedroom into the dark cave of our dreams. Surprisingly, I kept seeing Ikea's Marjun blackout curtains pop up as an affordable contender in online reviews. Since one of the reasons for the switch-up was to replace our old Ikea curtains with something more "grown-up," I resisted going back to the tried-and-true retailer. The color options were also very limited; they only came in two colors, a gray and a brown, both with a tonal colorblock on the bottom. But the price was too good to ignore — $50 for two panels, when most of the other highly rated curtains started at $50 per panel — and the real kicker was that at 57" x 98," they were the widest and longest option out there.
So I ordered two pairs of the curtains, fully prepared to have to return them if they didn't work out. But after putting them up, we couldn't believe how well they worked at blocking the sun. The fabric also looked and felt high quality for how inexpensive they were. See the before and after below.
That night, and every night after, I struggled to get out of bed because I was sleeping so soundly. Our room was darker than ever, and it was paying off big time with well-rested nights. We were also going through a heat wave in those early days, and the curtains made a noticeable difference in the temperature of our bedroom. By reducing thermal energy loss, blackout curtains can even cut down your energy bill. This is one of the major benefits of blackout curtains according to experts, in addition to protecting upholstery and wood floors from sun-fade and keeping heat in during the Winter and heat out during the Summer.
Another bonus? My husband no longer threatens to tinfoil our windows. So I call that a win!