What is the best insulation for windows?

Honeycomb blind outside
Curtains and Blinds

Even though the sun is still shining, I can feel a definite chill in the air, with the season  changing.  At this time of year, we always start thinking about how to make our homes warm for the winter.

We love Consumer NZ for their testing they do different products, and an article I came across recently compared different window treatments.

According to their website, the best option for insulating your windows (apart from double glazing) is installing Honeycomb blinds.

Honeycomb Blinds


These are a great economical option, and look great in small tight spaces. However, they don't give you that warm cosy feeling you need in a Wellington blustery southerly. They are also made from crude-oil based Polyester.

Flax Pod Roman Blind

Roman Blinds

Roman Blinds may be the next best option on the Consumer NZ list, if they are well fitted. However, bare in mind, not all windows will allow a blind to be closely fitted.

hall curtain

Well fitted Curtains

Next down the list, (if you are also keen on aesthetics) is heavy lined curtains to the floor. This is what we specialise in. We avoid sill length curtains, because, apart from the reduced insulation factor, they don't look very good.


Long curtains just look far more elegant. I used to say that short curtains were the equivalent of having trousers just that bit too short, but since short trousers are in vogue right now, its a hard argument to win. However, unless you want a cottage look, let's be clear: short curtains are not in vogue! And it is obvious from the Consumer NZ study that to the floor is can retain an extra 5% of heat this way.


What hasn't been disclosed in the Consumer NZ study, is how far above the window the curtains have been installed. As a "cheap  hack" a rolled up towel was used to provide more warmth. It performed better than a standard thermal curtain, but who really wants a rolled up towel on top of your rod? We always try to strike a balance between aesthetics and performance. its the whole Form follows Function design rule. The best design is created when you win on both. We install curtains high above the window and sometimes even to the ceiling if it doesn't look ridculous. Overall we still think curtains that are well fitted are the best option.


Here is a link to the Consumer NZ Website for further details on their testing and resutls.