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Here’s Why Blackout Curtains Are Toxic & Bad For Your Health

Blackout curtains allow you to keep sunlight away from your bedroom, allowing you to have a more relaxing bedroom environment.

However, these dark delights also come with some drawbacks that can increase the risk of developing various health conditions – a deal-breaker, especially when you have to exchange your health for getting a better night’s sleep.

Key Takeaways

So why are blackout curtains bad for your health?

Blackout curtains often contain volatile organic compounds or VOCs, which are not suitable for your health. These chemicals can cause various health issues, turning your captivating nighttime into a nightmare.

What Are Blackout Curtains Made From

Most companies make Blackout curtains with various chemicals, including VOCs, which can release harmful gases into the air.

According to the Department of Health Minnesota, inhaling VOCs for prolonged periods can increase health risks like asthma, headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Likewise, years of exposure can lead to chronic diseases like cancer and liver damage.

Besides VOCs, the primary material used in blackout curtains is polyester with a blackout liner made from rubber. Most blackout curtains contain stain treatments and flame retardants made from toxic chemicals.

In short, the manufacturing process of blackout curtains can be chemical-intensive. So whenever you put on your blackout curtain in your bedroom, you will be inhaling VOCs.

Why Do Blackout Curtains Smell

When you open a pack of blackout curtains, you will probably smell a foul scent. The odor develops during manufacturing, where manufacturers coat the polyester fabric with adhesives and chemicals to get the desired blackout properties.

Furthermore, manufacturers seal these curtains in plastic packaging to protect the product till it reaches your home. However, the sealed packaging also ensures that the foul scent remains inside, which can last as long as you use these blackout curtains.

So will the smell fade over time? Unfortunately, chemicals used during the manufacturing process remain with the curtains forever. In short, the foul smell will develop due to the sun’s exposure, increasing the risks of developing health issues.

Thankfully, modern manufacturing techniques have made it possible to manufacture odor-free blackout curtains. These curtains do not contain chemicals and block up to 95% of light.

How to Get Rid of Smell from Blackout Curtains

By now, you might be aware that blackout curtains can emit a foul smell due to their chemical-intensive manufacturing process. While it might not be evident on most days, a sunny day will expose the dark secrets of your blackout curtains.

Thankfully, you can use these methods to get rid of the smell from your blackout curtains.

Wash Immediately After Purchase

One of the best ways of removing the foul smell from blackout curtains is to wash them as soon as you open their packaging. Washing will remove the chemicals, and you will witness less chemical smell from the curtains.

Furthermore, you can add some baking soda while washing the curtains as baking soda is one of the best odor removal agents. After washing your curtains, let them dry outside without exposing them to direct sunlight.

Use Air Purifiers

Air purifiers can eliminate most foul odors with ease as you can get them in multiple variants and odor levels. However, it would be best to wash your blackout curtains first and then use air purifiers to get the best results.

Additionally, you can use vodka as a deodorizing agent to eliminate the foul smell from blackout curtains.

Keep the Room Well Ventilated

A well-ventilated room will promote airflow, allowing fresh air to circulate inside the room. This airflow will also enhance the effects of air purifiers, reducing the foul smell from blackout curtains.

Are Blackout Curtains Bad for Your Sleep

People often use blackout curtains to get better sleep as light from the sun or streetlights can impact your body’s chemistry.

According to Trihealth, darkness enables your body to produce more melatonin, which helps you maintain circadian rhythm. In short, you will get a better and sound night’s sleep if you keep your room dark using blackout curtains.

are blackout curtains toxic

But is using blackout curtains all good? No, not at all! Since most blackout curtains contain VOCs and other chemicals, you will inhale more during the night as you spend more time inside your bedroom.

This prolonged exposure to blackout curtains can increase the risk of developing health issues, meaning you might pay a hefty price for a good night’s sleep.

Furthermore, since blackout curtains make your room dark, you might have trouble waking up in the morning. Your body will love the cozy atmosphere, forcing you to sleep for extended durations. In short, it would be best to use an eye mask instead of blackout curtains while you sleep.

Do Blackout Curtains Cut Off Gas

Besides blocking light, blackout curtains can keep your home insulated in any weather condition.

Since windows contribute the most towards energy loss, blackout curtains can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote better energy consumption. In short, blackout curtains can assist energy savings and help you save money by insulating your home.

For instance, you can reduce up to 25% of thermal loss using blackout curtains, helping you to save money on cooling and heating measures. Likewise, these curtains can also cut off noise pollution to some extent and reduce various side effects of excessive noise.

However, ensure that you use blackout curtains that do not contain chemicals as the trade-off to conserve energy might cost you more with various health issues.

Are Polyester Blackout Curtains Toxic

Polyester is a standard clothing fabric based on synthetic material. Although polyester requires a chemical-intensive manufacturing process, manufacturers ensure various safety measures while producing this material.

So polyester is less dangerous to our health.

Can You Use Blackout Curtains in A Nursery

You can use blackout curtains in a nursery as it promotes better sleep and helps your baby to stay asleep throughout the night.


Blackout curtains can promote better sleep by keeping your room dark. However, their chemical-intensive manufacturing process can make them toxic, meaning you might develop health issues after prolonged usage.

Thankfully, you can use different methods to eliminate the chemicals and smell from your blackout curtains to reduce health risks. Likewise, you can opt for alternative measures like blackout films, cellular blinds, or even use an eye mask to get better sleep.