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  • Writer's pictureJoel Guyer

What Cellular Shades are Best?

Cellular shades (also known as honeycomb shades) are modern, user-friendly, and stylish. But knowing what cell shade to choose is a challenge for many homeowners. With so many choices of fabric styles, colors, cell sizes, and other options, many homeowners get lost in the decision-making process.

We're going to try to help clarify the options to show why the options exist and what makes the best sense in your home.

Single Cell vs. Double Cell

Cellular shades are very energy efficient because of their individual honeycombed-shaped air pockets that make up the shade. These pockets create a layer of insulation between your window and your room. Cellular shades are available in double (on the left) and single (on the right) celled structures, and the choice between them will come down to two things: your budget and the temperature extremes in each window.

Single-cell shades provide less insulation than double-cell shades but, they are typically cheaper as well. Double cell shades provide another layer of insulation and are a great way to help insulate your home. We often advise customers to put double-cell in the windows that get the most sun and feel the hottest, and single-cell in the other windows.

Although these are important considerations, either product will still make your home much more energy-efficient, adding not just style, but excellent insulation to your home.

Lift Options

There are many other options from which to choose when considering cell shades. Although cell shades ARE available with a typical blind cord that is pulled to lift the shade, this is no longer the typical way we order them. Cell shades are much lighter in weight than other types of shades, so it is easier for manufacturers to offer different lift options without concern about the weight of the shade. Not all of these options are available from every manufacturer, but this is what we generally offer in terms of how the shade lifts.

Cordless - This feature eliminates the need to raise and lower the shade by using a cord and is a very safe option - popular among homeowners with pets or kids. There are restrictions on which shades can be cordless - based on weight of fabric and size of the window. Stay away from brands that don't have these common sense restrictions.

Continuous Cord - This lift option allows the user to raise or lower the shade by pulling a continuous cord loop in either direction. Although it is a very stable lift system, it takes considerably longer to raise and lower the shade than either a normal cord or the cordless option.

Motorized - Many homeowners choose motorization which allows the user to control the raising and lowering of the shade by a remote. Motorization is available in dozens of forms from very simple to complex. They can be added to the many things you can ask Alexa to do.

BUTD - The most popular lift option available for cellular shades is called “bottom-up/top-down.” This lift option functions the same way a cordless shade works except it also allows the user to raise the bottom (like normal shades), as well as lower the top! It's a great option that really works well in bedrooms and bathrooms where you want to maintain privacy but allow maximum sunlight.


Cell shades are available in varying opacities: sheer, light filtering, room darkening, and blackout. As with the single and double cell, these varying degrees are important when it comes to "hot windows" and "sunny windows". The west and south sides of the house are always the sunniest and most susceptible to temperature changes. These windows will benefit greatly from the room darkening and blackout options. Windows that face north will likely only need sheer or light filtering unless in a bathroom or bedroom where greater privacy is required.

Cellular shades are the perfect solution for you if you're looking for energy-efficiency combined with style. If you would like to look through samples and see what cellular shades could do for your home, give us a call and we'll bring the showroom to your home!

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