Step-by-Step Guide to Installing Blackout Curtains in an Apartment (2023)

Step-by-Step Guide to Installing Blackout Curtains in an Apartment (1)

Blackout curtains are a great addition to any apartment, as they can block out light and provide privacy. If you're wondering how to put up blackout curtains (either portable or on a rod) in an apartment, this step-by-step guide will provide all the information you need.

(Video) The Simplest Way to Hang Your Blackout Curtains - Step-by-Step Guide!

Step-by-Step Guide to Installing Blackout Curtains in an Apartment (2)

Using Portable Blackout Curtains

If you're looking for a simple and easy way to hang blackout curtains in your apartment, portable blackout curtains like the Sleepout Portable which uses industrial-strength suction cups may be the perfect solution. These curtains are easy to install and can be moved from room to room or travel as needed. In this post, we'll provide step-by-step instructions on how to hang portable blackout curtains with suction cups in your apartment.

Step-by-step guide

  1. Measure the windows. Using a measuring tape, determine the width and height of each window that you want to cover with blackout curtains.
  2. Choose the right curtains. When selecting portable blackout curtains with suction cups, make sure they are durable and use the correct design to stay up (Sleepout suction cups use a locking mechanism to make sure they cannot come off once hung).
  3. Install the curtains. To hang the curtains, first clean the windows with a glass cleaner. Then, remove the suction cups from the packaging and attach them to the window. Finally, hang the curtains on the suction cups, making sure they are evenly spaced and hanging straight. You can place the suction cups so that the Sleepout Portables hang horizontally or vertically depending on the needs of the room.

Tips and tricks

  • To make sure the suction cups stick properly, make sure the windows are clean and dry before attaching them.
  • If you are using a portable blackout curtain with weaker suction cups, you can often use a hairdryer on the cool setting to create a vacuum and re-seal them to the window (this is often what we would do when they would fall down in the middle of the night).
  • For added security, you can use Sleepout Strips to reinforce the curtain fabric and ensure that the curtains stay in place.

Hanging Sleepout Portable blackout curtains is a quick and easy way to add privacy and block out light in your apartment. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily install these curtains on your own, without the need for screws or drills or any other tools.

Step-by-Step Guide to Installing Blackout Curtains in an Apartment (3)

Using Traditional Blackout Curtains

Before you begin, make sure you have the following tools and materials on hand:

(Video) Installing Blackout Curtains 🎮

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Screwdriver
  • Curtain rod(s)
  • Blackout curtains
  • Screws or adhesive strips

Step-by-step guide

Measure the windows

Accurate measurements are crucial when it comes to choosing the right size blackout curtains for your apartment. Here are a few tips to help you measure your windows correctly:

  1. Use a steel tape measure. A steel tape measure is the most accurate way to measure the dimensions of your windows. Avoid using a cloth or plastic tape measure, as these can stretch or shrink over time and give you inaccurate measurements.
  2. Measure the width and height. To choose the right size curtains, you'll need to measure the width and height of each window that you want to cover. Measure the width at the top, middle, and bottom of the window, and use the largest measurement to ensure that the curtains will completely cover the window. Measure the height from the top of the window frame to the floor or to where you want the curtains to hang.
  3. Measure for overlap. If you want the curtains to overlap in the middle when they are closed, measure the distance you want the curtains to overlap and add that amount to the width of each curtain panel. For example, if you want the curtains to overlap by 6 inches and the window is 36 inches wide, you will need to purchase curtains that are 48 inches wide (36 inches + 6 inches overlap on each side = 48 inches total width).

Step-by-Step Guide to Installing Blackout Curtains in an Apartment (4)

Choose the right Blackout Curtains

Here are a few tips to help you make the right choice:

  1. Consider the material. The best blackout curtains are typically made from heavy, opaque fabrics that fully and completely block out light. Some common materials for blackout curtains include polyester, cotton, and velvet (Sleepout Curtains are a beautiful cotton/poly blend with a microfibre finish). Consider the style and decor of your apartment and choose a material that will complement your existing furnishings.
  2. Check the light-blocking capabilities. Not all blackout curtains are created equal. Some “blackout” curtains on the market are only 60-70% blackout and easily let light through the material. To ensure that you are getting the best light-blocking curtains, look for curtains that are specifically labeled as true 100% blackout material like Sleepout.
  3. Check the thermal and sound-blocking capabilities: High-quality blackout curtains will also provide thermal insulation capability meaning they keep the home cool in the summer and warm in winter creating hundreds of dollars in energy savings each month. Sleepout Curtains are also sound-blocking to help create the perfect sleep environment.
  4. Consider whether chemicals were used: Many blackout curtains are coated with toxic chemicals as a cheap way to make fabric “blackout”. Sleepout Curtains are both OEKO-TEX and Greenguard certified to be free from any harmful chemicals. Curtains that carry these certifications are often more expensive but can be worth it in the long term considering that toxic chemicals often offgas into a home when heat is applied to them.

Choose the right Curtain Rod

When choosing a curtain rod for your blackout curtains, there are a few factors to consider, including the size, style, and light-blocking capabilities of the rod. Here are some additional tips to help you choose the right curtain rod for your apartment:

  1. Consider the size. The size of the curtain rod is important, as it needs to be wide enough to accommodate the width of your curtains and strong enough to support their weight. Measure the width of your curtains and choose a curtain rod that is at least that wide, or wider if you want the curtains to overlap in the middle when closed.
  2. Look for innovative designs. Some curtain rod companies offer innovative designs that can help block light from the top and sides of your windows, in addition to the front. Look for curtain rods that have a top and side light blocking design, as these can provide even greater light blocking capabilities for your blackout curtains.
  3. Choose a style that complements your decor. Curtain rods are available in a wide range of styles, from classic to modern. Consider the style and decor of your apartment and choose a curtain rod that will complement your existing furnishings and add to the overall aesthetic of your home.

Install the curtain rods

When installing a curtain rod in an apartment, there are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind to ensure that the rod is securely and properly installed.

(Video) Installing Blackout Curtains: Step-by-Step Guide | How to Easily Install Blackout Curtains in Home

  1. Measure twice, drill once. Before you begin, make sure you have accurately measured the width of the window and the distance from the ceiling to where you want the curtain rod to be mounted. This will help you choose the right size curtain rod and ensure that it is installed at the correct height.
  2. Use a stud finder. Most apartments have hollow walls, which means that screws may not provide a strong enough hold to support the weight of the curtains. To make sure the curtain rod is securely installed, use a stud finder to locate the wooden studs in the wall and attach the curtain rod to them using screws.
  3. Use mounting brackets. In some cases, the weight of the curtains may be too much for the screws to support, even if they are attached to wooden studs. In these cases, it is best to use mounting brackets that provide added support and stability for the curtain rod.
  4. Use adhesive strips. If you're not comfortable using a drill or if your apartment prohibits drilling into the walls, you can use adhesive strips to attach the curtain rod. Make sure to use strong adhesive strips that can support the weight of the curtains, and be aware that the curtains may not be as securely attached as they would be with screws.
  1. Hang the curtains. Once the curtain rods are in place, it's time to hang the curtains. Start by pulling the curtains open and placing them on the rod. Then, adjust the curtains so they are evenly spaced and hang straight.

Tips and tricks

  • To make the installation process easier, have a friend help you hold the curtain rods in place while you attach them to the wall.
  • If you're using adhesive strips to attach the curtain rods, make sure the strips are strong enough to support the weight of the curtains.
  • To ensure that the curtains hang straight, use a level to make sure the curtain rods are installed properly.

Step-by-Step Guide to Installing Blackout Curtains in an Apartment (5)


Blackout curtains are a great addition to any apartment, providing privacy and blocking out light to create a comfortable living space. But installation can be a challenge, especially in apartments with hollow walls and restrictions on drilling. As apartment renters we invented the Sleepout Portable for this very reason to make it easy for apartment dwellers to enjoy the benefits of blackout curtains without the hassles of installation.

For those that need a permanent option, we invented Sleepout Home’s patented curtain rod that blocks light completely on the top and the sides. Try our blackout curtains today and experience the difference of 100% darkness for yourself.

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(Video) How To Hang Blackout Curtains - Sleep better in a darker room!

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Can I install blackout curtains in an apartment? ›

Blackout curtains are a great addition to any apartment, as they can block out light and provide privacy. If you're wondering how to put up blackout curtains (either portable or on a rod) in an apartment, this step-by-step guide will provide all the information you need.

How can I hang my curtains in my apartment without drilling? ›

How to Hang Curtains Without Drilling: 3 Methods
  1. Secure the hardware with adhesive hooks. Adhesive hooks or adhesive strips are versatile hanging tools you can purchase in various sizes and strengths. ...
  2. Use magnetic curtain rods. ...
  3. Use tension rod curtains inside window frames.
May 5, 2022

Can I hang blackout curtains without drilling? ›

Self-adhesive hooks can also help hang curtains without drilling or nailing. General-purpose medium plastic hooks, often used for hanging small towels, robes, or keys, can also be repurposed for hanging lightweight curtains or sheers on thin curtain rods. Medium self-stick hooks hold up to six pounds per pair.

Should apartment blinds be up or down? ›

If the window is on the ground floor, the blind should be closed slats up. Otherwise, people can see in from the floors above. If, however, you are on an upper floor and the slats are up, anyone can see in from the ground floor. For that reason blinds on an upper floor should close slats down.

How do you hang heavy curtains on drywall? ›

Use Curtain Rod Anchors or Longer Screws

Plastic anchors are ideal for mounting on drywall if you can't locate a stud in your wall. If there are studs in your wall, using longer screws might do the trick. Choose screws carefully, as you don't want to keep drilling (and causing more wall damage) to find the right fit.

Can I drill into the wall in a rental apartment? ›

In most apartments, you can make changes as long as you return the unit to its original state before your lease is up. This goes for nail holes, paint, and contact paper. So, typically, you are safe to drill or nail small holes in your apartment walls as long as you fill the holes before you move out.

How do you hang things on an apartment wall without nails? ›

No Nail, No Fail Options
  1. Command Strips. This is probably the most commonly used method of hanging up frames, canvases, and any other decor without leaving a trace on the wall. ...
  2. Command Hooks. ...
  3. Hang Art From Your Molding. ...
  4. Use Your Mantle. ...
  5. Take Up Space on Bookshelves. ...
  6. Embrace the Wall Lean. ...
  7. Put the Art on an Easel. ...
  8. Clip it Up.
Jan 18, 2021

Can you hang curtains with command strips? ›

No need to drill when hanging your curtains! You can use adhesive hooks instead to secure your curtain rod or pole. Our recommendations: Use Command™ Forever Classic Large Metal Hooks or Command™ Large Timeless Hook.

How heavy are blackout curtains? ›

As a result, the average weight of blackout curtains can range from 1.5 to 3 pounds per square yard. This is heavier than most other types of curtains, such as sheer or lightweight curtains, which typically weigh less than 1 pound per square yard.

Do curtains have to go all the way to the floor? ›

Whether or not you should puddle the curtains at the bottom is really a matter of personal preference, but for the most aesthetically pleasing and appropriate look, curtains should run to the floor. If you choose to puddle, you'll want at least 3-4 inches of fabric or so to make the puddling appear deliberate.

Do no drill curtain rods work? ›

Can I hang curtains without drilling holes? Yes, there are so many ways to hang curtains without no need to resort to a drill. Adhesive options like hook or adhesive rods are good for lightweight curtains. If you need a curtain or shade to fit within a door or window frame, use a tension rod.

Do blackout curtains need to go to the floor? ›

Can I leave a gap between the curtains and the floor? It turns out, this may actually be the best option for modern window treatments. 'Our golden rule is that we usually keep them 1/4" off the floor,' interior designer Lisa Staton explains. 'This keeps them long and generous, but not collecting dust.

What do you put behind blackout curtains? ›

Sheers and drapes: The most common and practical method for layering curtains. Use double brackets and double curtain rods to layer a sheer curtain under an opaque or blackout drape or curtain. This technique allows sunlight to shine through while still maintaining privacy.

What causes pinholes in blackout curtains? ›

What are pin holes of light? Blackout lining is made by coating a base material with layers of acrylic foam. This blocks light but when sewing by hand or machine, the needle pierces the fabric and a tiny hole is created.

Can neighbors see through blinds at night? ›

No, people outside would not be able to see anything of inside, not even movement close to the window, nor the shapes and outlines of things. They would, however, be able to see a diffuse glow of light if you have a reasonably bright light not too far from the window.

Does closing blinds keep apartment cooler? ›

The clever use of blinds, curtains, and other window treatments can help keep your house cool and your bills in check. The Department of Energy says the smart management of window coverings can reduce heat gain by up to 77 percent. (And, as a bonus, these same practices can reduce heat loss in the winter.)

Should blinds be turned up or down for privacy? ›

Turn your blinds up. This direction is better for improved privacy too, as minimized gaps between the slats don't allow curious passersby to view the inside of the house. To let in a small amount of natural light, it's best to turn your blinds down and close them.

What is too heavy to hang in drywall? ›

Toggle bolts are the types of drywall anchors that can support up to 50 pounds, while steel hollow-wall anchors have a drywall anchors weight limit of up to 100 pounds.

Is it OK to hang curtains on drywall? ›

Hanging curtains on drywall is not as simple as it looks. Drywall will not hold a screw because it's not solid. If you mount a curtain rod with a screw, over time you will end up with a sagging curtain and hole. Using drywall anchors is the only solution.

Why is my drywall not holding my curtain rod? ›

Here are a few common reasons: You didn't secure your curtain rod properly. You're using the wrong type of curtain rod that can't support the weight of your curtains, causing it to sag and fall out of the wall. Kids or pets yank or pull on the curtains, bringing them down.

Do blackout curtains go in front or behind? ›

If your blackout drapery does not have a lining, placing sheer curtains behind works as a protective layer for the blackout curtains against premature fading due to sunlight exposure.

Why can't i drill into my apartment walls? ›

The most common reason a drill won't penetrate a wall at all is because the drill is spinning in the wrong direction. If the drill bit enters the wall and then hits resistance, the typical cause is a metal plate or masonry obstruction.

What walls can you not drill into? ›

“One common rule is to avoid drilling around light switches and sockets, as the electrical wires can go horizontally and vertically around these fixtures,” Williams explains. “You can also get an idea of where wires and pipes run by looking in the attic and basement to see where they go up or down through framing.”

What happens if you put a hole in an apartment wall? ›

So, what happens if you drill holes in the walls of your apartment? Nothing, as long as you don't move out and the landlord notices the holes in the walls. Something may happen if the landlord learns you bored holes in the walls. You may lose your security deposit.

Can you hammer nails into apartment walls? ›

Depending on the apartment community, your lease agreement may prohibit nail holes or even place a pricey fine on wall damage. Using nails is the most common way to position wall hangings, but it isn't the only option.

Do command strips damage paint? ›

Command strips can be beneficial during wall decoration as they enable you to hang pictures and other objects without harming your wall. However, if not removed carefully, the can result in peeled paint, sticky patches with leftover residue and in some cases, cracks in the wall.

Can you nail things to the wall in a rental? ›

When you're renting, the general rule is that you should be leaving the property in the same way that you found it from the rental provider. Aside from general, acceptable wear and tear, renters need to receive permission from their landlord before making any alterations, including attaching picture hooks to the walls.

How heavy can you hang with Command strips? ›

Command™ Heavyweight Utility Hooks are strong and let you hang heavier items like sports bags, step ladders, backpacks and more. Holds up to 10lbs. Hang heavy items up to 15lbs with damage-free Command Utility Hooks.

Can Command strips go on walls? ›

Command™ adhesive holds strongly to a variety of surfaces including solid, hollow and painted walls, and those difficult to drill - such as tiles and glass. Command™ Strips are easy to remove – leaving no cracks, holes, damaged plaster or sticky residue.

What is the disadvantage of blackout curtains? ›

CONS: -May take up more space: Blackout curtains are hung from a curtain rod, so they may take up more space than blackout blinds. -Can be difficult to clean: Blackout curtains can be more difficult to clean than blackout blinds because they are typically made of a thicker, heavier material.

How thick should a curtain rod be for blackout curtains? ›

Keep in mind the weight and material of curtains when choosing a rod. Thin rods are perfect for lightweight sheer curtains, while thick curtain rods (at least one inch thick) are ideal for heavy blackout curtains.

How much wider than the window should blackout curtains be? ›

curtains: Measure the Width: Use your measuring tape to measure the width of your window from one side of the frame to the other. Record this measurement. Remember, you'll need your curtain's width to be 1.5 to 2 times this measurement for full coverage.

How do I black out my apartment? ›

Types of Darkening Window Film
  1. Solar Control Film. Solar control window tint films come in a range of colors and darkness levels. ...
  2. Black Out Film. ...
  3. Reflective Window Film. ...
  4. Turn off Extra Lights. ...
  5. Add Plants and Decorative Objects. ...
  6. Use a Non-Reflective Color Scheme. ...
  7. Try Room Dividers.
Apr 22, 2021

Can people see in through blackout curtains? ›

Since you can't see through blackout curtains at all, they increase privacy better than other curtain types. Blackout curtains block sun rays and therefore protect surfaces within the room from fading.

Can you have blackout curtains in living room? ›

Yes, it can be beneficial to have blackout curtains for your living room. Blackout curtains are great for providing maximum privacy from outdoor onlookers, as well as blocking out any outside light that could hinder relaxation in your living room.

What is the alternative to blackout blinds? ›

Tin foil is an alternative to blackout blinds that often creates the feeling of an abandoned home. The tin foil may be an easy solution, but the shimmery appearance often leaves a room feeling cold and harsh.

How do you blackout bedroom windows cheaply? ›

Cover Your Window With Aluminum Foil

Yes, this is probably the least expensive and easiest way to blackout your windows. Simply cut foil squares to the sizes of your window panes before securing them in place with painter's tape.

How far past the window should blackout curtains be? ›

How to measure for blackout curtains. The first step is to measure. I always recommend hanging your curtains high and wide. That means you want to mount your rod high above your window casing (this often means close to the ceiling) and 8”-12” beyond the window casing on each side.

How much bigger should blackout curtains be than window? ›

Curtains should be two to two and a half times wider than the window. This is because curtains should be able to be pulled back beyond the window frame on either side to let plenty of light into the room and to exaggerate the window's proportions, but still look full when pulled across.

What are the disadvantages of blackout curtains? ›

CONS: -May take up more space: Blackout curtains are hung from a curtain rod, so they may take up more space than blackout blinds. -Can be difficult to clean: Blackout curtains can be more difficult to clean than blackout blinds because they are typically made of a thicker, heavier material.

Is it healthy to sleep with blackout curtains? ›

Blackout curtains have few health disadvantages. However, manufacturers may produce blackout curtains or roller blinds using polyvinyl chloride (PVC). This material has phthalates, chemicals that can enter and damage the human body through air particles, direct contact, and other methods.

What is the difference between blackout and blackout curtains? ›

What sets them apart though, is that blackouts are total blockout curtains. That means, 100%. That's not to say that blockout curtains aren't up for the task. They offer about 99% blockout, so really, they both stand shoulder-to-shoulder.

Do blackout curtains make room hotter or cooler? ›

In terms of energy efficiency, both room darkening and blackout curtains can be beneficial with 100% blackout curtains providing the most energy savings. Because they block out all light, they can also block out heat, which can help to keep a room cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

Do blackout curtains go inside or outside? ›

Placing sheer curtains close to the window glass and blackout curtains towards the inside of the room allows for privacy during daylight and darker hours. During the daytime, opening blackout curtains will allow natural light to flow into the room.

Do blackout curtains block 100% of light? ›

True blackout curtains and shades, when installed properly, will block all light, even daylight, while good room-darkening curtains will block most light at night but are less effective during the day.


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