It’s time for us to shed some light on blinds. Meant to filter and insulate, blinds are typically defined as horizontal or vertical slats made of metal, plastic and/or occasionally fabric that are used for windows, doors, and rooms. If you have the budget for it, you can order custom blinds that are specially made to fit your space. Often, though, ready-made blinds work fine for standard windows and doors, and come at a better price. You do you, though. It all depends on what you need.

How big are your windows? What color is the room? Are you trying to shield it from the sun, cold or nosy neighbors? When shopping, be sure to consider what fits in your space, how much you want to spend and what materials you like. Also insulation, light filtering, and size. We understand that it can get complicated.

Start your search here. From cellular shades to micro blinds, we’ve gone into the different types of blinds and which ones are probably right for you.

Venetian Blinds

The most popular, Venetian blinds are horizontal slats made of metal, wood or plastic that you can tilt up to 180 degrees to allow for more or less light, as needed. Modern types are also cordless, which are generally preferable for families with pets and/or young children. (Cordless means tangle-free. Also, strangle-free.)

Mini Blinds

Similar to Venetian but shorter and often made of metal are the mini blinds. Another variety is the even smaller micro blind, which has slats that are about half an inch thick.

Vertical Blinds

Ideal for glass doors and large windows, these tiltable vertical floor-to-ceiling slats typically come in vinyl or fabric. Make sure you don’t measure the length of slats you need until you’ve put in the track on your ceiling, unless you would like your blinds to drag on the floor.

Panel Blinds

Similar to vertical blinds, panel blinds are made with fabric and hang vertically, and work well as room dividers in addition to window treatments. They don’t typically tilt, which makes them more of an all-or-nothing option when it comes to filtering light.

Motorized Blinds

On the pricier side, motorized blinds can be connected to a smart home assistant like Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri, and controlled by remote, voice or an app on your phone. These are well-suited for those with disabilities who may not be able to operate corded blinds. Also, they look cool, which makes them for everybody.

Aluminum Blinds

Meant for sunny rooms for their ability to repel heat, these blinds look their best in a living room or bedroom. The slats are usually a 6- or 8-gauge aluminum, and come in widths of ½-inch to 2-inch.

Rolling Blinds

Unlike stacked slats of other blinds, the rolling blinds unroll from a spool that you attach to the top of your window. Many are made to keep heat in and cold out, making them well-suited for any windows exposed to wind or that face the sun.

Outdoor Blinds

With outdoor blinds, the slats are closer together and made of tough stuff to last hours in the rain, snow and sun. Often you’ll find these made of woodgrain or reed, used for a porch or any other exterior.

Cellular Shades

Made of spun polyester, these flexible, honeycomb-shaped shades come in single, double and triple combs that can trap air and boost your temperature control.