Plantation Shutters vs. Shades: Which Is Better?
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Plantation Shutters vs. Shades: Which Is Better?

If you're looking for window treatments that are both stylish and versatile, plantation shutters may be the perfect choice. Shutters can be custom made to match your home's color scheme and style, as well as give protection from UV rays and noise pollution. Plantation shutters are also energy efficient, which will help lower your monthly utility bills.

On the other hand, if you want a more traditional look, shades could work better for you. Shades can be personalized in hundreds of colors, patterns and textures. And they emit a warm, welcoming glow in certain lighting conditions. With so many choices available today it's difficult to decide on just one window treatment!

Through the years, Louver Shop of Boston has assisted many homeowners with choosing and customizing window treatments. With your vision and our expertise, we're sure to find a solution together. We'll start with a free, in-home consultation where you can see samples up close, from the comfort of your living room. Then your local design consultant will be with you every step of the way, from your free quote to professional installation.

In the meantime, let's review plantation shutters vs. shades so you can find out more about the distinct features of these window treatments.

What Are Plantation Shutters?

Plantation shutters are considered hard window treatments, because they're manufactured from either wood or faux wood. They're often white but are also available in a collection of stains.

Plantation shutters have wide louvers that are controlled by a tilt bar, enabling you to customize the amount of light in your rooms. Unlike other window treatments, shutters are permanently installed to the window frame.

What's the Difference Between Blinds and Plantation Shutters?

The terms plantation blinds and plantation shutters are often used interchangeably when talking about window coverings. But window blinds and plantation shutters have some key differences. Let's go over them so you can choose the ideal style for your home.

Budget and Personal Style

Both are a beautiful window treatment. But what fits best in your home is based on your personal taste, interior design, existing décor and budget. Our custom-made plantation shutters are a premium product created to last a lifetime, while blinds can accommodate a broader range of budgets. Horizontal blinds are also available in a few different materials, including wood, faux wood and aluminum.

Louver Width

Both have vertical slats. But plantation shutters have much wider and thicker louvers than horizontal blinds. These widths range from 2 1/2" to 4 1/2" and can be customized based on the design you choose.

Pull Cord vs. Tilt Bar

Blinds are frequently adjusted with a pull cord, while plantation shutters use a tilt bar that makes it possible for you to let in varying levels of natural light. This makes window shutters a better option for homes with small children or pets, since they don't have dangling, long cords that can be a safety hazard.

Window Size and Shape

Plantation shutters are great for a broad variety of window sizes and shapes, from large windows to specialty shapes. Real wood shutters are recommended for the biggest windows, because they're lightweight.

Light Control and Room Darkening

Plantation shutters offer the most light control. Unlike blinds, they can provide a full room-darkening effect. They're able to provide superior light blockage and your desired amount of natural light since they're installed within the window frame.

While horizontal blinds give some relief from the heat, window shutters offer the best energy efficiency. This is true whether you choose a real wood or faux wood design. They help keep you more comfortable by stopping energy loss at the window, where your home loses the most air. This may even help lower your energy bill!

What Are Shades?

Shades are soft window treatments manufactured from fabric, vinyl or woven wood. Our designer shades from Hunter Douglas are available in many different colors and styles, including sheer shades, honeycomb shades, Roman shades and roller and solar shades. Certain shades are on a continuous roll while others stack into neat pleats when brought up.

Roller shades have the widest selection of fabric to choose from, including sheer fabric allowing more light coming through but less privacy. Roman shades deliver a more elegant look, while honeycomb and roller and solar shades offer the greatest energy efficiency.

Which Window Treatments Are Right for My Home?

This answer depends on a number of factors, like your budget and home décor style. Here are a few points to consider that will help you narrow down the selection process.

Most Customizable

Winner: Tie

With Louver Shop of Boston, your plantation shutters will be just like you imagine them. You’ll have your choice of wood or faux wood, plus louver size, color and more.

Just like our superior shutters, our Hunter Douglas shades are made just for your home. When you work with Louver Shop of Boston you’ll have access to all the latest fabrics, colors and patterns you need to elevate your home. You can see samples of our innovative shades from the comfort of your couch during your free, in-home consultation.

Smart Home Automation

Winner: Shades

Whether your shades are on big windows, hard-to-reach windows or you just don’t like the look of dangling cords, PowerView® makes it even simpler to move your shades. You’ll be able to adjust your window treatments with a tap of your smartphone or with a voice command via Amazon Alexa, Siri® on your Apple device or Google Assistant.


Winner: Plantation Shutters

You’re restricted with how much you can adjust your shades. With plantation shutters, you’ll be able to personalize how much natural light comes through, from fully open to full blackout.

Energy Efficiency

Winner: Plantation Shutters

Plantation shutters are one of the best energy-efficient window treatments. Our LouverWood® shutters are made from an exclusive polymer that insulates up to three times better than wood. This material stops heat, keeps you more comfortable and may even help reduce your energy bills.

A near second for energy efficiency is honeycomb shades. These shades have geometric cavities that trap air at the windows. The result is less heat transfer, improved comfort and potentially cheaper heating and cooling bills.

Most Contemporary


You might not consider plantation shutters as a modern window treatment, because they’ve been around for so long. Available in contemporary neutrals like white, gray and brown, plantation shutters complement a wide variety of home styles.

Designer Roller Shades or Designer Screen Shades are a fantastic choice for minimal homes. The Designer Roller comes in more than 400 fabrics, so you’re certain to find an option that fits your décor. Designer Screen is great for rooms with intense sunlight, because these shades stop at least 75% of damaging UV rays when closed.

Light Filtering

Winner: Shades

Want to change harsh sunlight into a cozy, welcoming glow? Look no further than sheer shades. You can personalize the opacity of the fabric then enjoy the full adjustability of blinds, which hover between the shades. Sheer shades are available in horizontal and vertical styles so you can develop a cohesive look across your home.

Blackout Capabilities

: Winner: Tie

Plantation shutters are prized for their blackout capabilities. Ours are able to deliver superior light control because they’re custom made for your windows and installed within the frame.

Some Hunter Douglas shades are available with a built-in, room-darkening panel. That way, you can enjoy light filtering or blackout capability when you want it.

UV Protection

Winner: Shades

With Designer Screen Shades, you’ll be able to see your surroundings while protecting your furniture, floorings and belongings from damaging sunlight. When down, these solar roller shades repel 75% of UV light.

Start Creating Your Custom Window Treatments Today

Personalizing window treatments for your home shouldn’t feel stressful. It should be an enjoyable and even fun experience. You’ll have a lot of styles and fabrics to look at, but you’ll have expert assistance from your local Louver Shop of Boston design consultant. We’ll be there to help, from your free, no-pressure quote to professional installation. Ready to begin? Give us a call at 888-428-1415 to schedule your consultation today.