One of the questions we’re always happy to answer about window shades in Sunnyvale, CA, is the difference between pleated and cellular shades. Both styles have a lot in common that it’s hard for the untrained eye to tell them apart.
They are both made from thin, folded fabric, offer excellent light filtration, and have a softness effect in a room. When lowered, both offer complete privacy and are available in different variations: corded, cordless, top-down/bottom-up, and motorized.
So, how do you choose? First, it’s important to understand their differences.
The Difference Between Pleated and Cellular Window Shades
The primary difference is the fabric design. Pleated shades are made from folded fabric with well-defined fold lines.
When the shade is raised, the fabric folds along these lines. The material extends when it’s lowered, and the lines create a texture.
In this sense, cellular shades are also pleated shades, hence the similarities. However, pleated shades have a simple fold pattern, while cellular shades have complex fold lines.
They have a geometric design that looks like honeycombs. That’s why their alternative name is honeycomb shades.
This honeycomb design is available in two layers: a single layer called “single cell” and a double layer known as “double cell.” Either design creates small pockets within the shade that traps air.
And this is the defining difference between pleated and cellular shades. The latter’s design provides an additional layer of insulation to your windows.
Are Cellular Shades Good Insulators?
Good enough to significantly lower your monthly energy bills. Cellular shades reduce heat transfer during winter by 40% and lower heat gain in the summer months by 80 percent.
As far as window coverings go, cellular shades are one of the most energy-efficient. Granted, the effectiveness of double-cell shades is better than single-cell shades, but the benefit exists all the same.
How to Choose Between Pleated and Cellular Window Shades
It may seem like cellular window shades are a no-brainer, but there’s a catch. It is a higher-end window shade and, thus, more expensive than pleated shades. Pleated is more budget-friendly and provides a moderate amount of insulation.
If you prioritize long-term energy savings, cellular shades are the better option. But you should choose pleated shades if you’re trying to save money right now.
Also, it depends on where you want to hang them. Pleated shades are better suited for living areas like dining and living rooms, bathrooms, and bedrooms with limited direct sunlight.
They are also a great fit for homes and apartments surrounded by trees or neighbors who block out the sunlight.
On the other hand, cellular shades work better in bedrooms and spaces that receive a lot of direct sunlight. They are also great in rooms that require complete darkness, like TV rooms.
You should also consider getting cellular shades in rooms with poorly fitted windows where the air gets drafty.
Whatever you decide, we carry them. Visit our showroom or call us for a virtual design consultation to explore different variations of pleated and cellular window shades for your Sunnyvale, CA home.