Roller shutters and blinds seem like completely different products, but they’re not that divergent. They’re both window dressings that use slats to function. Blinds can easily be pulled open or shut using a drawstring. Shutters can be operated manually by yanking the lower slat, or they can be mechanised for electronic operation. Both have to be custom-fitted to your window size, and they’re not exactly DIY projects. So how do you choose?
All window dressings can offer insulation. Curtains retain warmth, though they also collect moisture and dust. Blinds don’t offer that much protection. They keep out excess light, which can lower temperatures, and they can buffer against strong winds, so that can warm up the room a little, but that’s not much temperature control. Rollers are made of two layers of aluminium slats with foam between them, so they are excellent insulators.
Blinds can’t really withstand natural or human-made disasters. They can come apart in strong winds, are flammable, and offer no waterproofing. Roller shutters are made to withstand forest fires, hurricanes, tornados, tsunamis, floods, and burglars with battering rams. Some are even resistant to vandalism and graffiti if they are coated with non-grip paint.
Blinds are largely a removable piece of furnishing. They are customised to fit snugly in your window, but it’s assumed you’ll take them with you when you leave. Shutters are a more permanent fixture, and you can add their installation cost to the price of your home when you rent it or sell it. It’s also a security feature because roller shutters can be locked from the inside and the outside, or even both. Blinds can’t be locked.
Blinds, like curtains, will slightly mute outside noise and can make your private conversation a little more discreet. But their sound dampening qualities are minimal at best. Roller shutters are almost completely noise-blocking, so they’re convenient if you live near the road. Your neighbours will love them too if you have a particularly musical household. However, blinds offer more versatility because you can have them partially open and control your visibility levels. Shutters can only be fully open or fully shut.
There are different types of shutters. Mini-view shutters are often used in balconies, privacy screens, or indoor-outdoor spaces. They have gaps between the slats, so they offer minimal discretion. Domestic roller shutters
are fully interlocking, so they completely obscure the view. Both rollers shutters and blinds are available in multiple colours, so you can choose a style and design that suits your taste. Blinds offer a wider variety though because they are a decorative feature while roller shutters are more functional and practical.
Blinds and roller shutters both have slats that need to be cleaned from time to time. They gather moisture and dust, and if this isn’t wiped off, it can turn to grime. Interlocking roller shutters are easier to clean than blinds because all you have to do is hose them down. You don’t have to separate the slats. With blinds, you need to vacuum or wipe down each slat individually, which takes a lot more time. You then have to dry them completely; otherwise, the slats can attract mildew and mould. Roller shutters can simply air-dry.
Blinds aren’t very expensive. They are light and flexible, and you can buy them at any interior decorator or hardware store. Roller shutters are a much bigger investment. They are physically sturdier and heavier, and would have to be delivered to you and professionally installed. All these costs are factored into the buying price. They are also expected to last longer, so they come with a 10-year warranty.
If you’re still unsure, you should buy blinds if you have a limited budget and if your focus is on aesthetic appeal, privacy, and flexible light control. If you’re more interested in insulation, disaster protection, security, permanence, and property value, buy domestic roller shutters.