The average adult needs between seven and a half to eight hours of sleep every night. Without this amount of rest you are at risk of developing chronic illnesses associated with lack of sleep.
Almost a third of American adults are not getting adequate sleep and this can often be because of either noise or light pollution.
While there are a few things you can do about noise pollution one of the best solutions to light pollution is blackout curtains.
Blackout curtains are tightly woven double layered fabric panels designed to block out as much ambient light as possible.
However because of the need for two layers of thick fabric the blackout curtains tend to be quite heavy.
For this you need specific blackout curtain rods designed especially for taking the weight.
We have looked at five of the best curtain rods for blackout curtains to help you get a good night’s sleep.
Amazon Basics Room Darkening Blackout Curtain Rod
This blackout curtain rod is ⅝ inch in diameter and is available in three different widths. It will span windows from 28” to 48”, 48” to 88” and 88” to 120”.
Once mounted on the wall by the brackets the rod sits 2.5”-3” from the wall.
Finishes are available in black, bronze and nickel and the maximum weight of the curtains that they hold up is 20 pounds.
The rod comes with mounting anchors and screws as well as a set of instructions on how to fix it to the wall.
It will give edge to edge coverage for your window and has a wrap around shape to make sure that no ambient light penetrates into your room to disturb your sleep.
Shift workers and night workers will appreciate the extra reduction in light penetration while they try to sleep.
The rod curves inwards at both ends which means the blackout curtains go right up the wall and blocks the light coming through with no gaps.
Fit 3-5 inches above the top of the window to prevent light leaking through here.
- Lightweight rod for maximum weight of 20 pounds
- Very easy to assemble
- Easy to fit to the wall
- Clear instructions
- When using grommets on your curtains the black finish can start to flake off the curtain rod
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Umbra Twilight Single Curtain Rod
The Umbra Twilight single curtain rod is a stylish nickel finish wraparound support for room darkening panels and blackout curtains.
With this design the curtains sit flush against the wall with no gaps for light to get through and blocks any drafts for added insulation.
There is no need for an additional curtain rod bracket as the Umbra Twilight comes with everything you need for installation.
The steel rod is ¾ inch in diameter and is fitted with the help of metal screws securely held in the wall with the help of plastic screw anchors.
Three sizes are available in this telescopic curtain rod, 28”- 48”, 48”-88”, and 88”-144” so it will fit multiple window sizes. It doesn’t come with a center bracket, however.
The curtain rod is capable of holding curtains or room darkening panels of up to 22 pounds in weight. It is also available in a double rod set to pair a sheer panel with your curtains.
Umbra’s simple but modern design will suit most homes and can be used for normal curtains as well as for blackout curtains.
- Strong rod for curtains weighing up to 22 pounds
- Stylish nickel finish
- Modern design in three sizes
- Easy to install with clear instructions
- Doesn’t come with a center bracket for wide windows and heavier curtains
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Sun Zero SN47080 Bronn Wrap Around Window Double Curtain Rod
Heavy-duty blackout curtains need a serious curtain rod and the Sun Zero Bronn wrap around double curtain rod complements this type of curtain in form and in function.
It has an industrial style look with a matte black, aged brass or a polished pewter finish.
The industrial theme is accented by the ¾ inch textured rod and visible screw holes in the supports.
Made to fit multiple sized windows the rod is telescopic and has adjustable lengths from 36”-66" and 66”-120". It can hold two sets of curtains, one fabric and one sheer.
A center bracket is included, and the rod sits at 3 ¾” from the wall, so there is plenty of space for your double set of curtains.
However as there is no stated maximum weight limit for the curtain rod it may be advisable to limit the weight that you put on it.
You can use either grommets or clip rings on your curtains with this rod.
Try pairing it with Sun Zero grommet curtain panels for maximum light blocking, energy saving and noise reduction.
Fittings include two mounting brackets, a center support, drywall anchors and screws. The instructions make it very easy to assemble and install.
- Industrial theme textured curtain rod
- Double set for hanging two pairs of curtains
- Can be used with grommets or clip rings
- Comes with center support bracket
- There is no maximum weight limit listed for this curtain rod
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Kenney Adler Indoor/Outdoor Wrap Around Curtain Rod
This indoor/outdoor ⅝ inch steel alloy curtain rod can be either wall mounted or ceiling mounted.
As the name suggests it can also be used inside or outside and comes in two sizes, 28”-48” or 48”-84" lengths.
It has a tough industrial style and projects 3 ½ inches from the wall so is capable of taking a thick pair of blackout out curtains or room darkening panels.
As it is telescopic the rod can be adjusted to fit the exact size of your window up to 84 inches wide.
The brackets and hardware supplied with the curtain rod are coordinating in color and style and blend in seamlessly with it.
There are two finishes available, brushed nickel and black, and they’re rust resistant so can be used safely outside.
It is suitable for light to medium weight curtains, for heavier curtains Kenney has a ¾” or 1” diameter curtain rod.
Wrapping around your window this curtain rod makes sure that no light gets past your blackout curtains and provides you with added privacy.
- Can be used both indoors and outdoors
- Either wall or ceiling mounting possible
- Steel alloy construction
- This particular curtain rod can only take light or medium weight curtains, but more robust options are available for heavy curtains
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Ivilon Drapery Window Curtain Rod
At a hefty 1-inch diameter the Ivilon Drapery window curtain rod is a heavy-duty support for blackout curtains and will ensure that you can sleep without being disturbed by ambient lighting coming into your room.
It is available in five different lengths from 16”-28” up to 120”-240” so will cover a multitude of different window sizes.
The curtain rod is wall mounted only and comes with matching mounting hardware, brackets, screws, wall anchors and finials.
There is a choice of black, warm gold, brushed nickel and satin nickel to choose from, so you can be sure to find one to match your decor.
Unlike the wraparound blackout curtain rods this one does not block light from the sides of your windows.
However its size means it can hold heavy-duty curtains and by extending the rod over both sides of the window you should be able to counter any light leakage.
The simple modern design will appeal to those who prefer a minimalist and understated look.
There are matching Ivilon clip rings or loop rings available separately for use with this curtain rod to complete the look.
- Strong 1-inch diameter curtain rod for heavier blackout curtains
- Simple modern and understated design
- Range of different sizes
- Not a wraparound curtain rod so curtains will not sit flush to the wall
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Before you buy a blackout curtain rod there are a few things you need to know about blackout curtains in general and blackout curtain rods in particular.
What Are Blackout Curtains?
Blackout curtains are typically made from a tightly woven fabric and are double layered to exclude as much light as possible from your room.
They are so called because they completely block out any sunlight or ambient lighting coming through the window.
If you are a night worker and need to sleep during the day you will appreciate how difficult that can be.
Not many people can get restful sleep if the room is filled with light, our brains and bodies are conditioned to associate sleeping with darkness.
The closer a room can mimic night, the better the chance of being able to fall asleep and more importantly, stay asleep so that you get your full quota.
Sleep deprivation is a serious problem and can cause chronic health conditions.
This is the benefit of the blackout curtain. It will block out all the light and make the room very dark so that you can sleep without being disturbed by light coming in.
Bear in mind that blackout curtains are not the same as light filtering curtains or room darkening panels.
While a blackout curtain allows no light through a window, a room darkening panel will let around 5% of light into the room.
Light filtering curtains will create a soft glow in a room, allowing a lot of light in but providing a degree of privacy.
Hanging Blackout Curtains
Due to the nature of blackout curtains and their weight it is important that you choose a quality blackout curtain rod that can support them.
Make sure that the rod you have chosen is adequate for the width of the window as well.
Ideally the curtain rod should extend past the edges of the window by approximately 3 to 4 inches.
This allows the curtains to be fully opened and not block any of the window when you are not using them. It also creates the illusion of a bigger window.
More importantly it ensures that any light coming in from the sides of the window is also blacked out by the curtains.
To make sure that any ambient light is blocked you may want to extend the curtain rod by a few more inches to ensure that you get a good night's sleep.
For bigger windows you should make sure that the curtains are supported in the middle to prevent them sagging and letting light in through the top.
A middle bracket will help the rod stay level and stop the weight of the curtains from pulling the fittings from the wall.
Choosing A Blackout Curtain Rod
There are lots of curtain rod designs to choose from, so you will be able to find one that complements your decor and fits nicely with your curtains.
Be mindful that most blackout curtains are dark in color, so you can have a rod that either matches or contrasts with them.
Type Of Curtain Rod
Double curtain rods are great for rooms where you want to hang blackout curtains and sheer curtains from the same support.
When you are not using your blackout curtains you will still have a degree of privacy from your sheer curtains.
Wrap around curtain rods are excellent for blackout curtains as they allow the curtains to fit flush to the wall and block out any light from the sides of the window.
The majority of curtain rods that we reviewed are wrap around curtain rods.
Single straight curtain rods can work well with blackout curtains as long as they are fitted to adequately cover the sides and top of the window.
As they don’t wrap around the window it is a good idea to raise the curtain rod higher above the window and extend the rod to about 5 to 6 inches on either side of the window.
Size Of The Curtain Rod
One of the most important features of a blackout curtain rod is to make sure it is the right size for the window with enough overlap so that light does not come through the sides or the top.
Then you need to make sure that the curtain rod is sufficiently strong to hold up a set of proper blackout curtains.
The real deal will be very heavy as they are a dense fabric and have a double layer to make sure that light does not penetrate through the material.
Not Forgetting Style
And of course you will want to choose a curtain rod that is stylish and fits well with the decor of the room and the curtains.
There is not typically a lot of choice when it comes to the color of blackout curtains, they are usually restricted to dark color to help with blocking light.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Stop Light Coming In Above The Curtains?
If there is light coming from above the curtains you may need to remove the curtain rod and reposition it higher up above the window.
Another solution is to use a valance on the top of the curtains.
What Size Should Blackout Curtain Rods Be?
It is important to measure your window carefully so that you buy the right size curtain rod.
The rod should overlap the window at each side by 3 to 4 inches or more if you want to be sure to cut out all light.
If you are using a blackout curtain rod on a wide window choose one with a middle support bracket to properly hold the curtains up and prevent them from sagging or pulling the fixings from the wall.
Can Tension Rods Hold Blackout Curtains?
Tension rods are really only suitable for lightweight curtains as they have no fitting secured to the wall and are held in place purely under tension.
The nature of blackout curtains means that they are heavy, so tension rods would not hold them up.
With the right rod and blackout curtains you will be able to enjoy a decent night’s sleep without being disturbed by light coming into your room.
This is a bonus for those who work shifts or who need to catch up on sleep during the day.
Blackout curtains are also great for entertainment rooms, making movie night better and will give you the ambiance of a home cinema.
They also work really well for nurseries to help your baby or toddler sleep or nap during the day.
Be aware though that a room with blackout curtains will be very dark so for children's rooms it helps to have a low level nightlight.
It might also help you not to trip over their toys as you tiptoe out of the room.
We hope you are feeling suitably enlightened about the benefits of blackout curtain rods and that you never have to worry about missing out on a good night’s sleep ever again.